Are There Instruction Manuals For Men?

Why Don't Husbands Coem With Instructions - Parenting Like HannahAsk any parenting expert and (if they are honest) they will tell you a healthy marriage is one of the best things you can do for your kids. Unfortunately, most people don’t receive a lot of insight into the mind of their spouse before the wedding. It’s usually until the differences are beginning to cause conflict that most people start looking for a little insight and help.

Regardless of what some would have us believe, there is scientific proof men and women’s brains are wired differently. This means a married couple is trying to handle some of the most important and difficult parts of life with someone who sees the world in a very different way. Because most people aren’t clued into those normal differences and how to work together while celebrating them, often quite a bit of conflict ensues. Much of the conflict centers around the idea of why in the world the other person in the marriage would even think of saying or doing what he or she did.

I don’t have any suggestions for the husbands out there at the moment, but there is a new book that wives may find helpful. I Wish He Came With Instructions: The Woman’s Guide to a Man’s Brain by Mike Bechtel is an attempt in clarifying how men think to the women in their lives. Bechtel wants women to look at the differences in the sexes in a new way.

He believes women are generally told to either learn to tolerate the differences or find ways of changing the man so he thinks more like a woman. He believes neither of those perspectives is healthy in the long run. He believes instead, the differences should be celebrated. He views them as the balance to each other, making the marriage of “them” a more effective one.

Much of what is in this book can be found in other quality books about how men’s brains work. The difference here that I found refreshing is the author’s perspective on change. He believes the inherent “maleness” of a man’s brain was designed by God and should be celebrated. What he does add that most don’t is that some of the ways a man thinks are based not on his maleness, but on his childhood environment and other outside factors. Bechtel argues these things can and should be changed if they are harming the man or those who love him.

I do agree with the author’s wife though. Books like this are almost impossible to write. In explaining things to the reader, it is really easy to end up sounding like the reader is the one with the problem and the one needing to do all of the changing. Often it is easy to feel the writer is more on the side of the spouse and than the reader.

While this author does try to balance the issue and even admits his wife called him on it at one point, it will still be a struggle at times for some readers. I think this has more to do with our attitude than the author’s. If you decide to read this book – which I do find incredibly balanced and helpful – you must approach it with a humble attitude. Otherwise, Satan will use your natural self-defense mechanism to get you angry so you ignore the helpful advice this book shares.

This book is not a Bible study. The author doesn’t quote scriptures or encourage couples to build their relationship around God. Having said that, the advice he gives is not ungodly and will help improve understanding and communication in a marriage. I think it’s definitely worth reading if you have ever wondered if it is just your husband or if all men are wired that way – and what in the world you can do to make it easier for you to thrive in a relationship with him!


This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.

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Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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