Summary- The author conducted a survey and interviews to find out about men. He then used the information to compile the book. It is about men’s perspectives on life and marriage relationships from a man’s point of view.
This was a fine read but nothing super special.
The information presented in the book was mostly stuff I already knew or expected from years of reading relationship books. So, there wasn’t much new here. Men still prefer doing to talking. Men want more sex than women most of the time. Men don’t mind helping with housework as long as women don’t criticize what they do.
There were a few aspects of this book that I did really like. I liked how the author covered how men view certain stages of their marriage. A man in the honeymoon phase sees things differently than a man in the empty nest phase.
I also liked that the author indicated what the most common answers were but that men are all different. For instance most men wanted sex equal to or more than their women did. But, there was a small percentage surveyed that wanted less. I have been married to two men like that so it was nice to know that they aren’t as rare as people are usually led to believe.
It was also interesting to note the changes in men’s views from the time before the 60’s feminist movement and after. Marriage and relationships are changing and we can’t just look at the examples our parents set and follow them.
When I talk to my dad he often tells me about his parents marriage. My grandparents married young. Grandma stayed home with the kids and the house was her domain. She consulted with my grandpa about things but he mostly let her have free reign. Grandpa worked. Often three jobs to support his wife and four sons. He didn’t have the time or energy to be bothered with household issues unless his attention was needed.
My father and mother both worked. They shared childcare and household responsibilities. They also kept fairly separate worlds. My mother had her friends and interests and my father had his. Neither was dependent on the other for companionship. They both shared in decision making but because of their background and religion my father had final say if there was a disagreement.
I am still trying to figure out where I stand in the marriage thing. My first marriage was to my best friend. We married at 18 and tried to be each other’s everything. We also couldn’t agree on anything. From where to live to whether or not to have children. We decided to stay friend but divorce. According to the Voice Male survey modern men who marry young tend to get divorced even though generations of older (pre 1960) men successfully married their high school sweet hearts.
My second marriage I tried to follow a more traditional model. He worked. I ran the house. He made the money and spent the money. I cleaned, cooked, and had dinner parties so he could impress his colleagues. We lived in separate worlds and kept to them fairly strictly. I would report to him anything I thought he needed to know and he would do the same. But now a days it is hard to be married in that way. And we divorced shortly after my daughters were born.
I am now living with my first husband. We have grown up. We are still best friend but more mature than we were. And in a different relational phase according to Voice Male. We are in the child rearing phase. It has different challenges than the honeymoon phase.
I don’t know that Voice Male will improve my relationship or my understanding of my boyfriend. I think it has made me more aware of the changes relationships go through. I think it also has opened my eyes about using role models. Trying to have a relationship like my grandparents did will not work for me even if it was presented as an ideal when I was growing up. The world is changing. Relationships are changing. In our family my boyfriend is a stay at home parent to my kids. We have to figure out how to make that work without the help of role models that succeeded in their marriages but had much different challenges than we face.