Have you ever wondered why in the world you can’t seem to understand the man in your life? Or why he can’t understand you? Ever think it’s because he just doesn’t care to? Mike Bechtles’ book, I Wish He Had Come With Instructions, puts that notion to bed and explains what’s really going on in a man’s brain in a very accessible, and sometimes funny, way.
I am enormously interested in brain matters (Hee, hee. That’s punny.) and this book takes a not so simple topic and breaks it down into bite size chunks. There are so many fascinating things I learned from this book. Like, did you know that men have around six times more gray matter than women? Or that women have around ten times more white matter than men? Or have you ever even heard of white matter before? Yeah, me either. Did you also know that men tend to use only one part of their brain at a time (like compartments or boxes) and women are able to think and feel at the same time (which uses two different parts of the brain)? Fascinating. The difficulties that we have in communication with members of the opposite sex may relate more to neuroscience than anything else, which is learnable and gives us the opportunity to find better ways to relate to one another. Well, that’s excellent news.
While the sections related to the brain were my favorite parts of this book, there is much more to it than just science-y stuff. There’s a chapter called, “What he wants you to know”, where the author interviewed men on several different topics and asked them what they wish their women knew about how they felt. Really good stuff. There’s a chapter about how men are really just tall boys (not in a demeaning way, but in a really beautiful way) and how we can encourage and feed that part of their soul.
This book lays out the differences between how men and women think and feel and process and then helps the reader to know what to do with those differences. There’s a bit of repetition throughout the book, but I assume its purposeful. As someone who has been married for over 17 years, I’ve read plenty of marriage and relationship books and articles (like a whole ton of them) and I’m always so excited when I find one with NEW information. Although much of this book has been written before, some of it was entirely new to me. The author also gave a fresh perspective and unique voice to the other stuff too (that I had heard before) that definitely makes it worth a read. I had several conversations with my husband as a result of this book that were wonderfully enlightening. I truly believe Mike Bechtle’s book, I Wish He Had Come With Instructions, to be helpful to anyone who wants to improve their relationship with their husband. Go read it. You won’t be sorry.
Some of my favorite QUOTABLES from I Wish He Had Come With Instructions:
“The only option that results in healthy relationships is to recognize the reality of those differences and see them as ingredients for an amazing connection. It’s more than accepting those differences; it’s celebrating them.” (p36)
“To see others accurately, we need to recognize that they might have different lenses. It doesn’t mean those lenses are wrong, they’re just different.” (p52)
“There are some things about men that come from their maleness, and some things that come from their choices. The key to your sanity is to understand and discern the difference between the two.” (p57-58)
“Men are wired for conquering. When there’s a challenge, they want to solve it. When there’s an insurmountable issue, they want to find a way through. When someone says, “It’s impossible!” they think, Yeah? Just watch me.” (p72)
“If your house is on fire, it’s the wrong time to argue about who left the stove on. You might win the argument, but you’ll lose the house. Deal with the crisis at hand and talk about its causes later.” (p146)
“One of the biggest relationship killers is when people try to rush their conversations. Being efficient with people almost always slows down the process of connection. Real trust is built in real relationships, and real relationships take time to grow. Deep, meaningful relationships develop in a crockpot, not a microwave.” (p146)
“The key to communicating with a man during conflict? Be intentional about leading with your head, not your emotions. If you lead with your heart, you’ll mess with his head. If you lead with your head, you’ll speak to his heart.” (p161)
“It’s like dancing with another person. If we change what we do in our dance, the other person is placed in the position of deciding how they’re going to dance with us. We decide how we dance. They decide how to respond.” (p188)
“If you focus only on the things you can’t change, you’ll always be a victim. Accepting their reality is the foundation for freedom.” (p198)
Here’s a great interview with Mike Bechtle about his book, I Wish He Had Come With Instructions. Totally worth a listen.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Baker Books Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.