Sunday, January 31, 2010

Have a New Husband by Friday

and why I have a problem with this book.
I did not read this book because I want a new husband.  I don't.
It's our selection for Book club next month.

I've read many of these types.
This one was basically...'treat your husband better and he will treat you better.'

Or as the author says,   
"Ask not what your husband can do for you, 
but ask what you can do for your husband."  

However I had some strong disagreements with the author on a few things.

For example, I think most people would agree that women love compliments.

What was Dr. Leman's solution for this?
He says we should tell our husbands something like this:  "Would it ever strike you that I'd like to hear you say I look nice?  In order to get my hair done, I have to arrange for a sitter for the kids, I have to take them along to the mall to find a dress.  Oh that's a lot of fun.  Maybe you don't realize how much time and effort goes into me trying to look nice..."  

Oh, so we make him feel obligated to compliment us?
What kind of a compliment is that??

That might work a little if we were looking for a compliment on the house,  "Honey, I spent 5 hours cleaning today and it was not easy doing this while taking care of the kids, answering the phone, doing your laundry, and making your dinner, but I did it for it would really be nice if you noticed and said something to me about it..."

That perhaps would fit with his logical mind.
But not about the way we look.  Either my husband is attracted to me or not, but I can't talk him into it.  And I don't want to talk him into it. 

Dr. Leman also has a chapter about natural consequences and men.  He tells us how we can get him to pick up his stuff.  Most men I know, and there are exceptions I suppose, are not into neat and tidy.

His suggestion made me laugh:
"What if you didn't pick up the stuff he lets lay around?  What if someone stops by to see him unexpectedly and sees the family room trashed, and he's embarrassed?  So?  Will that kill him?  No, but it will teach him a valuable lesson about consequences." 

Are you kidding me??  My husband is never embarrassed about any mess left behind.  Never.   
Because he doesn't notice it. 
Which has its perks too.  He tells me often that our home is immaculate.  Yeah right.  As long as he thinks so.

And I don't mind picking up after him at all.  All he does for me, it's the least I can do.

I also do not like how the author continually puts down men, referring to them as "dumb as dirt", "children" and  "like a dog that can be trained."

I did like his list of 9 things.
I added the last one before I realized I would be showing it here:

I added:  "It's not your fault."  I don't know why, but men seem to like that sentence.

In my opinion, Dr Kevin Leman did much much better with his best seller, "The Birth Order Book."  I read that when my boys were young and loved it! 


darlene said...

I'm with you, Jill. Guilting your husband into complimenting is not sound psychology AND it's not a loving thing to do. I use the Golden Rule. Would I like to be talked to like that? It works every time with everyone. Including kids. I do like the nine things list. My husband would respond positively to each of those phrases. But then, so would I.

Jill said...

Darlene, THAT was the word I was trying to think of: GUILTING him into it. Thank you.
Funny but the author talks about the Golden Rule...about treating him better and then he will treat you better. But then he blows it by his advice. Also, I was thinking last would I feel if I saw my husband reading a book called, "Have a New Wife by Friday." ?

My feelings on this book I think are in the minority. I checked out the reviews on Amazon, and most of them are very positive.

Sue said...

Those 9 things you can say to get your man's attention sound like toadying up to your husband while managing, at the same time, to patronize him.

I'm with you. Icky stuff.



darlene said...

The title of the book is offensive. I think it's a trick to get unhappily married women to buy it, and then make them take some responsibility for the problems in their relationship.
In my case, I like my husband just the way he is, thank you very much!

Ammy said...

Are you kidding me? I can't beleive he is a man and writing a book like this. I agree, you don't GUILT your husband into doing things like that...or most people don't. It made me laugh whe I read the part about leaving his messes and someone came by to see him...he would be so embarrassed....NOT!!! That is why he does it. He doens't think its a mess...and I pick up his messes because, like you, it's the least I can do after all he does for me. It seems liek a book out of the 50's or 60' seems like a saw a movie like it called, "If A Man Answers." I was thinking about reading this book for some time but thanks to your book report....I don't think I will be reading it!

Rebecca said...

I read "Have a New Kid by Friday". It worked. Well actually it was the same kid, but he seems to do better!

Jill said...

Rebecca, I'm not sure but I think that's by the same author. I can see how some of these techniques would work on a child.. natural consequences and all...but not on husbands. are having the same reaction I did...I kept saying that too: "Are you kidding me?" I shared much of it with Dennis and he thinks the guy is nuts.

Natalie said...

Yes, I agree. I think when you resort to guilt tripping, patronizing and manipulation you are damaging the authenticity of the relationship. It becomes contrived and while actions may change, does it really seem genuine? Interesting thoughts.

grandmapeg said...

This book doesn't sound like anything I'd like to read although I did like the list of nice things to say, and I'm with you about wondering how I would feel if I saw my husband reading a book titled, "Have a New Wife by Friday". Thanks for sharing your review.

Lisa said...

I'm glad for the heads up since I was thinking I'd try to read this book. I went to Amazon & it got RAVE reviews. I recommended it to a friend who has big marital issues and thought it would help, but now I wonder. Oh well.

No one can say that you don't have an opinion on things. It's kind of funny how people feel like they need to play games with each other. I can't even bring myself to play board games. Hahaha. Good "take" on the book!

Jill said...

You know Lisa, this book may still help your friend. I just pointed out all the things I don't like about it. It did have some value I think. And if a marriage is in crisis, hey, it might help. Many people like this book as you saw on Amazon. Why don't you just borrow my copy and read it and then go to book club with me on the 18th? I'll pick you up...let me know.

Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

I don't think I like this guy's attitude. But I did like the part about treating him better and he will treat you better. Thanks for telling us about the book. I was wondering about it.

Valerie said...

Your hubby sounds like mine! He never understands why I want the house perfectly clean if someone comes over. He couldn't care less.

I love your addition of something to get a man's attention. Haha!