Book Review: The Man's Guide to Women

Man's Guide to Women
Photo Courtesy of Rodale Books

Book: The Man’s Guide to Women: Scientifically Proven Secrets from the “Love Lab” About What Women Really Want

Author: John Gottman, Ph.D., Julie Schwartz Gottman, Ph.D., Douglas Abrams, Rachel Carlton Abrams, MD

Genre: Non-fiction, self-help

Publisher: Rodale Books

Publication Date: February 2, 2016

Additional Information: Available in hardcover (244 pages), e-reader, audio

Listen up, men! You all keep asking how to better understand women and now there are finally some real answers.

One of the world’s top researchers, Dr. John Gottman, is spilling all the secrets gathered from the “Love Lab.” The authors have managed to take many years of hard data and break it down into one of the easiest to read and understand books to help men. It also will help women as they now have a way to provide clear and concise information to the men they love.

Dr. Gottman is already a best-selling author of the several relationship books including, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. He is currently co-founder of the Gottman Institute™ along with his wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman.  He is the Executive Director of the Relationship Research Institute and an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Gottman is a well-respected and world-renowned relationship researcher.

I can firsthand say as I woman, the authors have got it all correct. I can also say, as a marriage therapist, this book would help a lot of marriages and committed relationships.

Women are generally the ones to file for divorce. Men are often still left wondering “what happened?” I can emphatically tell you that many of the answers are within the pages of The Man’s Guide to Women. And, guys…it’s only 244 pages!

The chapters outline how to date, romance, live with and make love to a woman.

Most notably it is a guide to how to have a healthy, long and loving relationship with a woman. This is not a guide to seducing or getting women into bed. There are enough books on that topic.There are also plenty of books that tell men how to be a good partner. But, I do not believe there are too many books that have gathered their material from extensive scientific research the way that this one does.

My favorite parts of the book are at the end of each chapter. There is a “cheat sheet” that bullet points if you are a “hero” or a “zero.” For example, you are a hero if you compliment her.  But you are a zero if you criticize her body, compare her looks to other women or treat her like a sexual object rather than a real person. The information is really as straightforward as that.

This is the perfect guide for any man wishing to be a better relationship partner to the woman he loves. I would suggest wives buy it for their husbands if they find themselves dissatisfied with their relationship. It would also be a good idea for moms buy it for their sons before they leave for college. But, like any self-help book, it only helps if the suggestions and advice are put into action.

I would have liked for the book to go more in depth on men and their emotions.

Men often seem to struggle with both getting in touch with and expressing emotions with their partners. This can come for socialization and one’s family of origin. But time and again, women often complain about not feeling close to their men because conversations do not go "deep" enough. Pieces of this are sprinkled throughout the book, but perhaps not enough to help men who really struggle on this level.

Relationships are complicated. Sometimes there is conflicting information out there, especially with the plethora of self-help books available. It has gotten more challenging to figure out which author is offering up good and reliable advice particularly when anyone can self-publish or be a self-proclaimed expert. The authors of The Man’s Guide to Women have outstanding credentials and reputations.

They have managed to present a meaningful, yet entertaining guide that comes closer to anyone else in answering the question, “what do women really want?” 

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