Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review of Melt Your Man's Heart

Melt Your Man's Heart 
Last week we were asked by the good folks at Marriage Sherpa to review a new program called “Melt Your Man’s Heart” by Randall E. Bennett, MA, LMFT, LCPC.

Normally I shy away from books that have titles like this because my experience has been that often they contain manipulative tricks or ideas that I don’t agree with or that may only work in the short term. However, due to my curiosity and since I have extra time during the summer, I decided to go ahead and read the book.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised how informative this e-book is. It actually is quite a comprehensive book that contains many of the ideas that I have been reading about lately in several other books. Better yet, not only do I agree with the author’s concepts and recommendations, I managed to learn some things from the book as well.

The main concept presented is how our behavior or “dances” that we perform in our marriages create distance and therefore make it almost impossible for our husbands to love us the way we believe they should. The premise as presented has been developed by Mr. Bennett from his 25 years of professional clinical/counseling experience and from his counseling of thousands of women.

The author begins the book with a familiar story of a wife who tries to do everything to get her husband to love and pay attention to her. She provides the perfect home, takes care of him, does everything to please him but she cannot get him to love her the way she desires. She truly feels she is doing everything in her power to get her husband’s feelings toward her to change. Perhaps you can relate! Little does she know that she is caught up in a spiral of self-sabotage.

Mr. Bennett discusses how we often self-sabotage our marriages by engaging in behavior that attempts to get our husbands to treat us better. It ends up being self-defeating behavior, because we remain stuck in place, not progressing—and certainly not obtaining the positive reaction we want from our husbands.

Bennett says that based on his experiences there are 7 characteristics of a self-sabotage spiral. These mindsets, beliefs and behaviors keep women from getting what they want:

  1. If I keep doing/saying this…maybe this time he will notice/hear me.
  2. Sugar and spice and everything nice.
  3. All my requests make me look like a nag.
  4. Don’t rock the boat.
  5. He doesn’t think like me…but he should.
  6. My husband will never change the way he treats me.
  7. He is never going to open up to me.

He goes on to explain each characteristic in detail and later in the book provides methods to change these bad habits and trade unsuccessful patterns for good ones.

“Melt Your Man’s Heart” also gets into the four different types of communication styles and how these styles actually hinder more loving behavior rather than enhance it. I really liked this section as it hit home in many ways.

The four communication styles listed are:

  • Passive
  • Passive aggressive
  • Aggressive
  • Assertive

The author believes the first three styles sabotage good relationships, while the last – being assertive – enhances relationships.

I really related to the passive communication styles. These are the “go along to get along” type of behavior patterns, where the woman is afraid of doing anything to upset her husband for fear of angering him or receiving belittling responses in return. She may act shy or wants to avoid any type of conflict.

A passive communicator behaves in a way that is meek, hoping to mostly skate by unnoticed. She may very well have deep desires and goals she would like to achieve, but she fears going after them.

She is afraid of making changes for fear of losing what has become a comfortable position: she may not be getting what she wants, but she at least knows what to expect.

Common feelings of a passive communicator are:

  • being a victim to her husband’s wants or needs
  • resentment and anger
  • hurt feelings because he does not see her needs
  • anxiety over not speaking up

Typically, when a husband is confronted with a passive woman, he tends to walk all over her. He may also harbor some sense of guilt that his wife is not comfortable enough with him to be herself. He feels there are two sides to his wife: the one standing there before him—quiet, meek and humble, and then a hidden one—who has wants and desires that she refuses to voice. This only frustrates him more because he senses this hidden aspect is there and he secretly wants to hear her opinion. Though he may not want to, he may also feel a sense of disrespect towards her because she will not stand up for herself.

He will likely disregard her wants and needs, because she is not communicating what they are and he does not know or understand how to get her to express them. He will mirror back to her the message that she is giving out: You do not value yourself, so why should I?

The husband may also fear that no matter what he does, it will never be enough for her. Maybe he has tried to reach out and get through to her so she will feel comfortable about expressing her needs, but she is still unhappy and will not break free from this behavior. The result is that he no longer feels like putting the energy into the relationship.

On the other hand, there are also the assertive communication patterns…

An assertive communicator has a healthy sense of self. She is able to tell her husband what she wants—but never feels a need to hit him over the head with a rock in order to express herself or to tiptoe around a topic. She has developed a core plasticity: It is strong and yet can be remolded as needed to fit the needs of the relationship without compromising herself or her own strength. She is honest about her wants and needs, respectful in communicating them, and takes a proactive stance in communicating.

The assertive wife looks at her husband as being her friend and equal, and she expects him to respect and value her opinion. She is aware of her feelings and can communicate them adequately to her husband so there is no confusion about what she wants from him.

I’ve only highlighted a small portion of “Melt Your Man’s Heart.” The 136-page e-book has four sections:
1. Why some women succeed when others fail
2. Healthy vs. unhealthy relationships
3. The biggest sex organ: intimacy starts in the brain
4. The new woman: drive your man wild with the new you

The e-book also includes “Your Life Script” – a special companion guide designed to help you personalize the program just for your marriage. It encourages you to initiate and write down changes which can help to accelerate your success.

All in all, I feel this book contains a ton of information that most of us wives can relate to. Mr. Bennett gives clear ideas in an easy to read fashion on how to accomplish the relationship that we desire. A relationship with more passion, intimacy, connection, respect, love and enjoyment.

You can click the following link if you wish to read more information on Melt Your Man’s Heart