Welcome back, everyone. We’re continuing our conversation with author Shaunti Feldhahn about her book For Women Only. If you missed the first part of our interview, you can find it here. Otherwise, read on!
4word: Can you give us an example of an insight from the book that changed your relationships with the men in your life?
Shaunti: This book has been life changing for my relationship with my husband. I realized he had needs that I had no idea were there. When we lived in New York, he would work 18-hour days as a lawyer, and I was constantly on him for working evenings and weekends. I would say things like, “Why are you working so late again?” I had no idea that, to him, I was actually questioning if he was a good husband, and I didn’t know he was already insecure about that.
One of the men I interviewed for my book told me, “If your husband is working a million hours, he wants to be with you, but he feels this burden to provide. He’s afraid that, if he doesn’t work that long, he’ll get cut at work.”
After I heard that, I approached the issue differently. I would say, “Thank you for working so hard to provide for our family. I know you don’t want to be away from me so much. I need you to know that I don’t want you to feel trapped in this environment. If we need to make changes to our lifestyle so that you can be at home more, then I am completely up for that.” And that was a freeing thing for him. So that’s an example of how, once you know what’s going on in his head, you are able to make life-giving changes and not shoot yourself in the foot, vis-à-vis the relationship.
4word: What’s one thing that you learned from your research that you wish you’d been told as a young, single woman?
Shaunti: One of the things we found from single men in our surveys was that what they find most attractive in a woman is a sense of genuine admiration and respect. And I can give you the perfect example of that.
I had a young, single friend who had read my book but didn’t really believe what it was saying. I told her, “Don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself!” She worked in the hospitality industry and had a crush on one of the guys she worked with, Kyle. She noticed that Kyle was constantly in conflict with one manager, which made things tense for the whole workplace.
One night, she watched him ask the manager if they could talk about it after hours and stop making things uncomfortable for everyone else. She really appreciated Kyle’s actions but would normally never have said anything. However, based on what she learned in my book, she went up to him later and said, “I saw how the manager was trying to provoke you and how you protected the rest of us. I just wanted you to know I appreciate that. You’re a real man of honor.” And, later, she told me, “Shaunti, he followed me around all night after that!”
Want to learn more about what’s going on inside your man’s head? You can find out more about For Women Only at forwomenonlybook.com. You’ll also learn more about Shaunti’s other books for parents, young women and women in the workplace. Be sure to come back in two weeks. We’ll be interviewing Shaunti about her latest book For Women Only in the Workplace.