A rash of books on marriage renewal has hit the market during 2006, amidst recent statistics revealing that in America 56% of all marriages are now ending in divorce. Among those released this summer is a very short book (111 pages) by Judy Carden titled What Husbands Need: Reaching His Heart and Reclaiming His Passion. Carden explains early in the book that she used online polling to get responses from men at random regarding aspects of marital relations. As such, her book lacks scientific credibility in that she doesn't know the ages, races, professions, or educational levels of most of her respondents. Nevertheless, drawing from her own work as a researcher and writer, her own marriage challenges, and these online surveys, she has assembled some core advice for women who feel as though their marriages are growing cold.
The format of the chapters is a mixed bag. Carden will start by telling a story of a couple, first names only, who faced a difficult passage in their marriage. Then she will switch to a sampling of quotes from men who responded to her surveys, followed often by a story about her own marriage rough spots. Scripture verses are sprinkled in occasionally or some homespun wisdom from someone's mother. There is nothing deep or profound or heavy here, but she does succeed in categorizing several areas in which women need to do a better job of understanding men and relating to them.
Two parts of this book are particularly accurate. First, she explains that because men like to be alone (working in the garage or off fishing or hunting or involved with a sports activity), doesn't mean they are not in love with their wives. Men just enjoy private "down time" for thinking, planning, and unwinding. Often they will return to their spouses and kids with even greater love for them. Second, she explains that men need sex for more than just physical pleasure. It also serves to show men that their wives still find them attractive, masculine, and youthful. Men have a deep psychological need for such reinforcement.
Women may bristle when Carden tells them to spend more time on their makeup, their seductive words, their clothes, and their flirting, but in most cases she is right about this. She also is blunt in saying that if women want knights in shining armor, they need to look like and behave like noble ladies. Candid, but true.
This is a book that can be read in an hour or two. It's not a startling psychological research tome, but rather a reader friendly reminder of what makes men happy and what makes marriages work. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book Previews.com
Even “good” families—those not fractured by divorce or separation—are frazzled by the day-to-day activity of our lives. In innocent pursuits of purpose and personal fulfillment, sometimes the husband-wife relationship suffers from lack of consistent nourishing. With sensitivity acquired from personal experience, Judy Carden reminds women to turn their hearts back toward home and to look upon one of their greatest treasures—their husbands—with a fresh and tender perspective.