Wives, do you want to know what makes your husbands tick? Does it feel like rocket science when it comes to improving your marriage together? In today’s episode, Dr. Leman gives a simple synopsis of how husbands think and offers suggestions on how wives should respond to their behavior.
Learn more about Dr. Leman at BirthOrderGuy.com.
Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing
Produced by Unmutable™
Andrea: It seems like every time I turn around, I’m talking to a mom who is actually heartbroken because she and her husband don’t have a good relationship, and she doesn’t know where to go from there. If that’s you, you’ll be interested in this podcast and the title to Dr. Lehman’s book, Have a New Husband by Friday, is rather intriguing, so we get to hear from him today about that book.
Doug: Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.
Andrea: And I’m Andrea.
Doug: And I don’t want to hear this podcast about parenting, your Have a New Husband by Friday. But anyway, we are so glad that the rest of you are here to hear what Dr Leman has to say about-
Andrea: I want to hear what he has to say.
Doug: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, if this is your first time here, we want to let you know that this is for your education and entertainment purposes only. If the subject matter raises any concerns for you or your child, please go seek a local professional for help. So Dr. Leman, I have to ask, did
Andrea put this topic in here? Is that why we’re having this one? Did she suddenly call you and say, “This is what we need to talk about doc”?
Dr. Leman: No, no, she didn’t. You got a good one.
Andrea: Rest assured.
Doug: So Dr. Leman, what is this, have a new husband by Friday? Like, what the heck is that all about?
Dr. Leman: Well, I have to … This is confession time. You know, as authors, your books are your kids, and you like your kids, hopefully, love your kids. I like my books. I love some of my books, confession time, more than some others. Okay. The genesis of that, just to give you the inside scoop is sometimes publishers come up with these ideas. Oh Dr. Leman, we want you to write a book about this. Like the village idiot, I go ahead and do it. Well, there’s a difference in doing a book like that and doing a book that I really want to do that I’m passionate about. Okay?
Dr. Leman: So I’m speaking out of school here. You’re getting the inside skinny. But what I think of favorite books of mine, it’d be a horse race, a nose to nose at the wire, so to speak, but Have A New Husband By Friday, was one of the most fun books to do. I enjoyed doing it so much and it got a tremendous response from people. By the way, if you want to get your husband’s attention, ladies, just pick up a copy of Have a New Husband by Friday, and leave it somewhere in the house. Trust me, you’ll get his attention. But the book itself is really a teaching tool for women to understand who this man is she married.
Dr. Leman: I’d like all of you women to think that you’re about to board an airplane and the door to the cockpit is open and you’re a curious soul and you sneak a peek inside and you see all those switches and buttons, and you hear these two people are sitting there and you’re trusting that these men and women are going to know which buttons to push and somehow this huge, big, very heavy aircraft is going to go launch into thin air and get you to grandma’s house on time. I want you to remember what that cockpit looked like, all those switches and buttons.
Dr. Leman: They represent you. You, as a woman. You’re complicated, you got a lot of different switches. You’re not simple. Now, I want you to return home, go to your front door and look at your doorbell. Okay, you’re looking at your doorbell, You got it in your mind, that’s your husband. He is so simple. We are not mysteries. And by the way, are all men the same? No, they’re not all the same. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying on a whole, on the average, this is how most men are. We’re very simple.
Dr. Leman: If you want to reach into your man’s heart and you want oneness in your marriage, and Andrea was just alluding to so many people that she runs into daily are just struggling in their marriage, or they’re headed toward divorce for good reason. Women are the relational gurus of our society. They thrive on relationships. I always say they hug anything that moves. They go potty and groups of eight, 10 and 12, it’s a social event, anyone want to go potty? And there they go, like a [inaudible] quail. Men Aren’t like that. Men specialize in arms-length relationships.
Dr. Leman: Two men meet. We might ask the question, what do you do for a living? What do you do for a living? What do you do for a living? We talk for a few minutes and we’re done. We have no need to dig deeper into the psyche of mankind to figure out who this guy is. Most of your husbands don’t have friends, they have associates. They have their fishing associates, their bowling associates, their hunting associates, whatever their thing is. And so we live in an island in many ways. The mistake that many women make is that they view their husband like their girlfriend. Well, number one, we’re not your girlfriend, we’re your husband, we’re different.
Dr. Leman: You have to get behind the husband’s eyes and see how he sees life and they have to understand his needs, which are clearly I need to feel needed, wanted, and respected. Okay? You want to say fulfilled? I’ll throw that one in as a bonus. Very different from you women, whose needs tend to be affection oriented, communication, commitment to the family. So for you to be successfully a married woman, you got to understand this guy. You got to understand that when you say something nice about him in front of other people, his chest swells up and you’ve given him the all time attaboy. You’ve made him have more reason to try to please you than you can imagine.
Dr. Leman: Just like I’ve said it many times, the kids want to please us as parents. I’m convinced that men want to please their women. So, is that as a prologue to our discussion, we will now talk to the Terpening’s. One of them is a male, that would be Doug, and the other represents the female gender very well.
Doug: So Dr. Leman, you can say that men want to please their wives, and they want all this. What would you say, as this is the common mistake I see that women make towards their husbands.
Dr. Leman: They put a skirt on them. They treat them as a girlfriend, you know?
Doug: But what does that mean? and what does it look like?
Dr. Leman: Well, she’ll get offended when he doesn’t want to go shopping with her. She’ll turn it into, “You don’t care about me, you don’t love me.” I tell a story in one of my books, I took my wife to New York. I was doing Fox and Friends, and there’s a Nine West shoe store there, right on Sixth Avenue. My wife loves shoes. I said, “Honey, there’s a Nine West shoe store. Do you want to go over to it?” You should have seen her light up. “Shoe store? Yeah well, I could run in there for a little bit.” That’s a lie. Let me point that out to you.
Dr. Leman: I knew it was a lie when she said it, by the way. Nevertheless, we went to Nine West. She was in there two hours. I was in there for a while, walked out, checked out some stores that were nearby, came back, had a seat, didn’t say a word. Two hours later she came out. No shoes. Then she had an epiphany that she had to go to another shoe store, which was conveniently located just 35 minutes away in a cab, so we went down there. I know who she is. She’s very different than me and she understands that that was a labor of love on my part to take her there. I’m not interested in shoes, but I’m interested in her.
Dr. Leman: So, for the woman who has a husband who loves to fish for example, and she has no interest in fishing, maybe sometimes she should just say, “Honey, I’d love to go fishing with you some time.” He might say, “So [inaudible] go fishing? You really? I mean, you never.” “Well, no I just want to be with you.” I mean, I think it has to come across to this man that this woman really cares about him. I think women in general treat that relationship too casually, and certainly men do. Men have taken women for granted for years.
Dr. Leman: I’m not pointing fingers at women. I’m just saying the reality is you’ve got to understand he’s a man and he’s going to do things in a man like way.
Doug: So, in talking to some of these ladies, I’ll overhear the conversation with Andrea, and all I can hear is how he has done all these things wrong. Right? “He doesn’t do this, he doesn’t do this, he doesn’t do this.” Quite frankly, some of them are kind of justified, like he is kind of a jerk. How will reading, Have a New Husband by Friday, help us get out of that rut, or even have hope with that mindset?
Dr. Leman: Well, you’ll understand by reading the book how much your words mean to him. You women are wordsmiths to begin with, so this ought to be easy for you, but when was the last time you said something really nice about your husband? When was the last time you said to him, “Honey, I value you so much for what you do for our family. You come home smelly every day, because you work hard.” He works in the trades for example, “And I’m just so pleased that you’re willing to work so hard to provide a nice place, and good food, and a happy home. I’m just so lucky to have you.”
Dr. Leman: How many men get that message from their wife? I don’t think very many. A man’s love language, so to speak, now I’m getting on my friend Gary Chapman’s side of the boat. Many of us, our work that we do is our way of saying, “Hey, what do you think I’m going out there beating my head against the wall every day for? I’m doing this for you and the kids. Okay?”
Dr. Leman: Again, he might just be a working guy, works hard and so be it. That man needs to feel honored in his home. Well, how do you honor a husband? How does he feel needed and wanted? When was the last time you sent an email to your husband at work that said, “Great news, the kids are gone. Why don’t you hurry home early? I’ve got some great ideas for you and me big boy.” When is the last time you did that?
Dr. Leman: What effort do you put in as a woman to scratch where a man itches? He needs to feel needed, wanted, respected. What you want from him is conversation. You want words, you want dialogue. Well, I got news for you. Most men are not great communicators. Most men are not very affectionate. So who’s the teacher to your husband? You are.
Doug: You know Dr. Leman, it is surprising what you just said, that you said that if you tell your husband, “We really appreciate how hard you work for the family,” Andrea had said those exact words to me yesterday, and I felt like 1 million bucks, and you know, Andrea is nearly the perfect wife, except for one or two things which I can point out, but it is so true the things we do. What about for that wife who feels like, exactly what you just said? “He isn’t affectionate. He doesn’t connect with me. I get nothing from him. He’s a cold fish.”
Andrea: What if he doesn’t respect me and he’s just really selfish?
Doug: What hope does she have?
Dr. Leman: Well, I would say this to that woman. “Do you understand that he really doesn’t like your questions? Every day when he comes home, you ask him the same question, ‘How was your work today, honey?’ He hates that question. Do you ever get a full answer from him? Then why do you continue to ask the question?” We men hate your questions. If you want your husband to talk to you, this is real simple, ladies, ask him his opinion. He’ll talk your ear off.
Dr. Leman: Eliminate the why word. Your husband says something, you come back with, Why?” As soon as you throw up the why word, he’s done talking to you. He’ll walk out of the room, he’ll shut down, he’ll go turn on a ball game and tune you out. His message that he got is, you don’t give a rip about me. You ought to understand that I don’t like the why word. You don’t understand, I don’t like your stupid questions, but when you touch me, okay, when you touch me and say, “Honey, I’d love to know your opinion about something.” I guarantee you, he’s going to talk, and you might find out that your husband, who you think is so shallow, runs a little deeper than you’ve given him credit for.
Dr. Leman: When was the last time you left the kids at home and kidnapped him for a weekend? I’m going to give you all kinds of things to do to make a man feel important, but we all need time out. We all need this time to say, “Hey, stop the busyness and lets talk about us.” You’ve got in this position by not honoring each other in marriage, by putting other people first, namely your children, by putting your job first, that’s so typical for us men. So you sort of deserve your plight in life. I think the book, Have a New Husband by Friday, is a great starting point to get back on track.
Doug: So with that segue, the eBook promo from [inaudible] this week is, Have a New Husband by Friday, July 30th to August 5th of 2019, for only $2.99. I’m going to say that again. Have a New Husband by Friday, eBook July 30th to August 5th, so you only have a week for only $2.99. You should go get it. And a no-nonsense parenting advice with Dr Kevin Leman.
Dr. Leman: Just the facts ma’am, just the facts. Well, I think the facts are these. Screen time is not good for children, period. It just isn’t good for them. We live in a screen-filled world. Kids have cell phones in their hands, I’ve seen them 18 months, two years, in strollers with Mommy’s cell phone, scrolling up, scrolling down, punching letters. It’s nauseating. Hey parents, you need to be the parent you need to be. Being a parent means that you make judgment calls that are best for your family and best for your children. Do some research on this. Don’t take my advice far. There’s all kinds of new research that says that screen time for kids is just downright destructive.
Dr. Leman: I see parents in toy stores buying expensive toys for children. I would have to admit that my wife, grandmother supreme, now with two little three year old twins, she is a sucker to buy all kinds of things. I saw the other day she bought a keyboard, a musical keyboard for the kids. It does all kinds of wonderful things. It’s musical, and I’m certainly not anti-music, I love music, but it also cost $69 I noticed.
Dr. Leman: You’ll love this personal information. I just bought some new toilets for our home and they’re the kind, they’re a little higher than the normal ones that are set so low. They’re nice toilets. I bought them at Home Depot, and the thought struck me as the guy was taking it out of the box. I said, “Wow, $69 versus a big box.” You know, kids need to have their creative abilities and hands during those first few years of life, and believe it or not, just playing with boxes in a family room is a creative fun way, and a cheap way for kids to be entertained.
Dr. Leman: We have the mentality, and you see this in cars. I’m in a stop light. I look over in the van and the two kids both have little videos they’re watching that are embedded in the back of the seat. I’m thinking, “This is what the world has come to.” We as parents feel an obligation to entertain our children. No wonder they get bored easily. How nice it is to see kids play with things, play with cushions from a couch, and making a fort using a sheet.
Dr. Leman: I just think we miss the opportunity for kids to develop creativity and in its place we put a screen. Now again, some of you look at screens all day long at your work, and again, don’t take my word for it. Check out the latest research on the effects of screens on the human brain. It’s not good for any of us, but it certainly isn’t good for young children.
Dr. Leman: So obviously, and I know many of you have little appliances where you love to show the little videos and everything to your kids. Yes, you can use them, but they really have to be limited. And who’s the limiter? You are. The problem is you’re busy and in your busyness, you’ll stick that appliance in your young ones hands and they’ll have it not for a half hour, they’ll have it for three hours, or four hours. Be the responsible one, parents, step up to the plate, be the parent you need to be.
Doug: Dr Leman, there’s a lot of these women that Andrea has connected with, and the one thing I think they have is they have no hope. They literally have no hope that their husband will change, they have no hope that their situation can get better, right?
Andrea: Well, even as I listen, I’m like, well, I’ve heard so many stories where the husband is just, I’ll be frank with you. He just sounds like a real jerk, like he’s so selfish. He has no concept of loving his wife or taking care of his family.
Dr. Leman: Jerks are all over the place, Andrea, but one thing I would say to that lady is, “Wait a minute, let’s just stop a minute. You’re the one that married this guy. You’re the one that said, ‘This is the man I want to spend my life with.’ How much of this bad relationship is on you? If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?” You’ve got two sons, let’s say.
Dr. Leman: I would say that woman, “How am I going to make sure that my sons learn to respect women? If I’m stuck in that marriage,” and for whatever reason this woman feels like she can’t leave the marriage and this jerk has continued to be the jerk, then the next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to take refuge with my sons and I’m going to make sure those kids get as healthy a perception of a woman as they possibly can from me. So again, the focus is usually on, he is such a jerk. I get that. But the question is, what are you going to do about it yourself? What are you willing to do differently today to try to unjam that standoff? What’s gonna move that ice that’s blocking the channel of life? What can you do different?
Dr. Leman: Some people go and seek counsel and that can be a very good thing. Most men don’t like that, and most men don’t have any inclination to share their thoughts or feelings with anybody. Women are much more open to that than men are. So for a lot of women, they read books and they listened to tapes and podcasts and try to find a way through this. But again, you’ve got to own up to the fact, hey, this is the guy you brought home to marry. This is the guy you said I want to spend the rest of my life with.
Doug: Dr. Leman, when I think about a couple of these couples that we know, I would imagine that the women have the fear that, if I become soft and loving and kind or if I read, Have a New Husband by Friday, and I try these things and it … “I don’t think he can change. I don’t think he will change, and now it’s going to be worse, then he’s going to walk all over me.”
Andrea: Exactly. He’s going to take advantage of me.
Doug: Now, he’s going to take advantage of me. Help them have a right perspective on that.
Dr. Leman: Well, and again, everything you just said might be very true. There’s people in the world just don’t get it, men and women. Okay? But you got yourself in this bad relationship. You got kids, and you have to take stock of where you are in life. Am I better off alone? Am I better off as a single person? What’s my financial future like? What about my health insurance for myself? And my own medical condition that I have? There’s so many different hooks along the way that you just have to look at the big picture and figure out what’s best for me and my kids?
Doug: Here’s what I’m asking. I’m asking the question poorly, because I’ll use myself. I will tell people, “I think the only reason that Andrea and I are still married is because of Andrea. I was a jerk, I was selfish, I was angry, I got whatever I wanted and it was Andrea’s tenderness, and softness, and honestly her just like when I was a bleep, she was the soft one and then she eventually won me over to it. Is there hope that if they apply these concepts, they’ll have this same experience that I had? What would you say to that?
Dr. Leman: Well sure, but it always takes somebody doing some changing, doing the same thing. Whatever your plight in life right now is in your marriage folks, it’s not going to change unless you start doing something different. That means you have to do some changing. You have to stop playing the games that you and your husband, or you and your wife continue to play. Somebody’s going to have to stand up and say, “Listen, I am very unhappy here. Things have to change. This isn’t working.” And again, I’ve referred to this many times, I’d much rather have a blowout than a slow leak. So if it takes a blow out, so be it, but let’s try to do some things different.
Dr. Leman: I’ve been a part of putting people back together again who were divorced, and now they’re remarried and happy. So yeah, there’s always hope. If you’re a person of faith, you claimed it with God, all things are possible. I wish I could drop names in this business of movie stars and entertainers, and that I’ve had a part in changing their life. You’d be shocked.
Doug: So for that discouraged married woman, how will this book help her know the right changes to make? How will Have a New Husband by Friday, how will she have the confidence?
Dr. Leman: There’s no easy answers when it comes to changing the direction of a relationship. But again, do you have a protocol? Do you know where you’re going? Do you know where you want to go? I think you have to ask the hard questions as a woman. “Am I using my husband as a scapegoat? Is he the reason I’m so miserably unhappy? Or is it me? Am I part of the equation?” And again, there are jerk men out there, tons of them, but there’s jerk women out there as well. It’s never one side. It takes two people to get a relationship in bad shape, and once they get in bad shape, it’s tough to turn them around. But as you’ve attested to it, that they can change.
Dr. Leman: If you want to really get a handle on, how does your husband think? How does a man think inside? Read to Have a New Husband by Friday?
Doug: You know, one thing I regret about this podcast is we went down this dark hole, and I took us there about these marriages that are on the rocks, but this book also is just like, if you’ve got a good marriage and you want to go to a great marriage, right? You want to understand your husband more and be able to just have a great marriage. This book could be fabulous. Again, it’s never going to hurt to invest in understanding each other more. If you’re like Andrea and inclined to try and do the right thing, this is for those kinds of ladies that are like, “I’m willing to invest to understand it better, and watch my marriage flourish.”
Dr. Leman: Okay, let’s have everybody think about the wedding that they’re invited to this summer. Okay? I want everybody to think about the wedding they’re invited to, or been to recently. Or maybe it’s a fall wedding that’s coming. Here’s what I want you to know. All the money spent on that wonderful ceremony, all the money spent on the honeymoon, will not deter this fact that most of those marriages will last seven years or less.
Dr. Leman: Now, here’s my question for every young person out there who’s listening, or maybe somebody who’s getting married, what’s going to make you different? “Oh well, Dr. Leman, we love each other.” Really? Do you think that all these people who are divorced now, didn’t tell themselves at one time they loved each other? You gotta be kidding me. I’m just telling you, this isn’t easy. We take for granted, as a woman, what a man’s all about, what a woman’s all about.
Dr. Leman: I’m telling you, the sexes do not understand each other very well. Read Have a New Husband by Friday. Read, Have a New Sex Life by Friday. Sheet music, my book on sexual intimacy, is a classic book. It’s been acclaimed in so many different places. Sheet Music, there’s help out there. Get it, read it, be as knowledgeable as you can and really try to put each other’s feelings first in marriage. If you really commit yourself to doing that, you’re off on a positive note.
Doug: Thank you for that incredibly well-stated summation. I’m just going to say it one more time, you can get this book, Have a New Husband by Friday, July 30th to August 5th, 2019 for less than $3, $2.99. For your sake, please get the book. Well, we love being with you. We love helping you. We love helping your marriage so that you can parent your kids easier and enjoy them more, and we just appreciate the time that we get to spend with you. We hope that you have a fantabulous day and a incredible marriage.
Andrea: Have a great week.
Doug: Take care. Bye, Bye.
Andrea: Bye Bye.