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CBN.com You've written Woman Power: Transform Your Man, Your Marriage, Your Life as a companion to your recent book The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. How do the two books relate to each other?
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (PCFH) resonated with
women who were frustrated and unhappy in their lives and marriages, not
knowing what they could do besides complain and blame their husbands -
and that wasn't working to make things better. PCFH resonated with men
who were frustrated and unhappy in their lives and marriages, not knowing
what they could do besides be the blame. PCFH supported that part of women
that yearned for the serenity and satisfaction of having a quality relationship
with their husbands - based on an understanding, acceptance, and appreciation
of the natural polarity between male and female instead of the gender
war of power and demands. Women discovered that with a change in attitude
that they were happier in their marriages and their men became wonderfully
attentive and loving towards them.
Woman Power is my contribution to this growing awareness and movement. It takes the concepts in PCFH and brings them even more alive through a combination of reading, workbook exercises and assignments (of observation, analysis and conversation), and journal opportunities to further each woman's journey to maximize her depth of appreciation of a man-woman relationship.
You say that women have lost touch with their "special power" and what it means to be a woman. What is that "special power" How did women loose it?
That "special power" is innate in a woman - it is her sensitivity,
intuition, compassion, nurturance, and consuming love. The woman's movement,
while well-meaning in it's original attempt to create a legally gender-blind
society, went too far (as most movements do) in denigrating femininity,
wifely duties and behaviors, motherly sacrifice, marriage, men, and child-rearing.
The message was that men were the oppressing, evil-empire, and the only
way for a woman to have a quality life was to give up anything reminiscent
of traditional female roles and behaviors. This rush to financial power
and independence from men and family didn't change the inherent desire
of women to nest
.but it distorted the process with promiscuity,
shacking up, illegitimate children, immodesty, hooking up, and so forth,
becoming the alternative outlet for natural needs
.which only brought
women pain and loss and devastated children.
Are you saying women can't have it all, career, marriage and family?
A typical complaint of married women with children is that their job stress tired them out so that they have little quality emotion and energy left for their children, much less their husbands. A marital commitment/relationship is not a right, it is a privileged obligation. Children are not a right, they are a privileged obligation. When men or women make their work their top priority and become hostile to the normal, natural needs of their children and spouse - obviously, something is wrong. Unfortunately, it is too often the marriage or the child-rearing that gets dumped. Women have been horribly misled to believe that hired help is a satisfactory substitution for a mother's love, time, and attention (child-care). Do women also believe that hired help is a satisfactory substitute for them in their husband's bed .'cause they're too tired to be intimate and see it as an unreasonable burden?
What has happened to relationships now that so many women are financially self sufficient, even making more money then their men?
Research indicates that most women want their man to earn more than they do. There is a certain security that comes in knowing he can support her when she desires to create a home atmosphere (as opposed to a hotel room everyone converges to at night) and stay home and raise the children full or part time. There are usually increased marital problems when the woman is the primary breadwinner - it too often ends up in the man being treated with less respect. Ultimately, the polarity between masculine and feminine should not be reduced to money.
How do you balance that dynamic in a relationship?
The woman needs to make the extra effort to find ways to see her man as her hero - and to treat him as such.
Is your book stating that women carry the BURDEN of making their partners treat them with respect, love etc.
To the contrary! Woman Power (and The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands) reminds women that they have the POWER to create the atmosphere in their homes and marriages because men and children are very dependent upon them for approval and love. Frankly, for the most part, men break their backs trying to make their women happy - when they get little in return outside of criticism, nagging, and dismissal of their needs, they tend to withdraw. Any woman has the power to turn around her husband's seeming waning interest by attention to : affection, approval, and appreciation.
You say women should assess what is valuable and what is vulnerable in their marriage. How do you even begin that process?
Woman Power is my contribution to the ground swell of interest women have had in recognizing that they had extraordinary power to transform their marriages almost over night. Women wrote to me by the thousands, asking for more to read, think about and do to improve their lives and their marriages. That's why Woman Power is part reading material (my commentary as well as inspirational feedback and tips from readers of PCFH), part workbook (including assignments to talk to the generations of both men/women in their families about their joys, disappointments, hurts, and satisfactions with respect to the opposite sex), part journal (where the women record their thoughts and feelings during their journey).
You write that having the right attitude toward your relationship is important. How can couples do that?
If one has picked a good man (and most women have) then giving him the feedback he needs as a man fulfills a woman's need to love and nurture (while men protect and provide). Frankly, it amazed me that so many women wrote the same kind of success letter to me: They were kind, patient, supportive, complimentary and sexy with their husbands ..and, in return, their husbands finished some plumbing or carpentry that's been left undone sometimes for years .believe it or not, that was their measure of success: that their men were working on the home and doing the projects the wives had been nagging to have done for years.
What if a woman gives & gives & gives and nothing changes?
These books do not apply if husband is sociopath, narcissist, addict, violent, or philanderer...those are the minority regulation good, decent guys (the majority) will definitely respond - sometimes you have got to give it a week or two for the husband to feel that the changes are real and will last. Guys need to feel safe again.
What can unmarried folks learn from this book?
Unmarried folks can learn from PCFH and WOMAN POWER that in a marriage, it is important to ask what you can do for your beloved, not nag them into doing for you. I usually hear the problems during the dating and engagement time I have told men who've called my show that if they're dating a woman who will not read PCFH (and now WP) that they shouldn't marry them - they have due warning that the marriage will be all about her. (By the way, I have always told women that if their man will not swim through shark infested waters to bring her a lemonade - she shouldn't marry him either).
*Men are more grateful than women are when their spouse is nice to them. Women seem to feel "entitled" and are perpetually demanding of more, more, more, and different, different, different ..it's never quite right or enough; whereas men are so grateful for their woman to be in a good mood - that everything else is easily forgiven. This is a fair generalization and is why these books are largely directed toward women .men are easier to "turn around" from a bad marital place than is a woman.
Will men buy WP as they did PCFH?
Yes, as gifts for the women in their lives (wives, daughters, sisters, etc.). This book is a workbook/journal experience for women to develop a deeper understanding of their feelings and behaviors towards their husbands - there is a section for the men to answer questions - to help their women understand them better.
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