Why do they do what they do?
What do they struggle with?
How do men change?
What makes men hurt?
It's safe to say there are few ladies who would consider themselves "a relational genius" when it comes to the men in their lives. What's He Really Thinking by Paula Rinehart is a guide to the male psyche for those of us who have a thing or two to learn. While exploring the key topics of: expectations, respect, conflict, conversation, and intimacy, the book intertwines contemporary culture, personal stories, useful suggestions, and biblical truths.
I'll admit to being a bit skeptical of a book about how men think that was written by a woman. Yet, as I read, it became evident that Paula has put together a fantastic resource based on her time researching, and gaining knowledge from her relationships with men. As with anything we read, certain statements may not apply to ALL men. This is recognized and addressed with an appendix full of appropriate conversation starters to help the reader find out what their man is really thinking about each topic.
Several statements from the text inspired to consider the way I react and interact with my husband:
When speaking of conflict Rinehart compares specific issues to the walk in closet in a home. We don't live there, but once in a while we have to go in, take something off the shelf, and spend time dealing with it together. The whole issue may not be handled in one setting and will have to be revisited, which is fine. As long as we are both able to put that issue back on the shelf for the time being and continue living happily in the other rooms of our home.
"Each man has his own mix of strengths and weaknesses...you don't get a particular strength unless you accept its' corresponding weakness."
"When talking of invalidation Rinehart says, "Stopping long enough to validate (his) feelings, experiences, or opinions ~ even if you don't totally agree - gives him permission to go beyond those thoughts and feelings...to entertain new possibilities."
This book has so many helpful points on understanding the men in our lives. What He's Really Thinking is a useful read for personal reflection, and an appropriate choice for a ladies group study. Discussion questions are provided for readers as they explore each chapter.