What's He Really Thinking?: How to Be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life [NOOK Book]


A woman's guide into a man's heart and mind offering invaluable insights, understanding, and the tools for building healthier relationships.

Even in the best of relationships, over time, men and women drift apart because of the communication gaps they naturally possess. In What's He Really Thinking?, author and speaker Paula Rinehart gives incredible insight into these differences. In her conversational, almost poetic style, Rinehart ...

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What's He Really Thinking?: How to Be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life

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A woman's guide into a man's heart and mind offering invaluable insights, understanding, and the tools for building healthier relationships.

Even in the best of relationships, over time, men and women drift apart because of the communication gaps they naturally possess. In What's He Really Thinking?, author and speaker Paula Rinehart gives incredible insight into these differences. In her conversational, almost poetic style, Rinehart unlocks some of the age-old mysteries of the male mind-set.

With more than twenty years of counseling experience, Rinehart sheds a realistic light on:

  • how men think
  • why they do what they do
  • what they struggle with

She believes women who truly understand men have an ability to make an extraordinary impact on their lives. From scientific research to practical real-life stories, Rinehart removes the guess work and shows women how to become the relational geniuses they have always longed to be.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418576486
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 541,203
  • File size: 476 KB

Meet the Author

Paula Rinehart is the author of Strong Women, Soft Hearts; Better Than My Dreams; and What's He Really Thinking? As a professional Christian counselor, she divides her time between counseling, writing and speaking to women's groups nationally and internationally. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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What's He REALLY Thinking?

How to be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2009 Paula Rinehart
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8499-1880-3

Chapter One


You make me want to be a better man. -JACK NICHOL SON TO HE LEN HUNT, IN THE MOVIE AS GOOD AS IT GETS

If there is one universal in any woman's life, it's this: she will always be relating to a man.

Fathers. Friends. Husbands. Boyfriends. Employees. Sons. Men make up approximately half the human race-and many of them are up close and personal. This man in your life. Or this man you want to be in your life.

Since men are everywhere, it's easy to confuse the commonplace with the known and understood. But men are another species, really. Men care about different things. They are motivated by different drives. Their hormones shape their brains in ways alien to our own. Men aren't women with big feet and beards. They are completely other.

All of this to say-men are fascinating creatures.

I admit that there are days when men seem more frustrating than fascinating. I've spent a big chunk of my life waiting for a man to respond as a woman would. But frustration is designed to give way to intrigue. Intrigue canserve us well. It leads to the questions that, I believe, are central to enjoying life with men: Who is this man? And how does he experience life differently than I do?

Your discoveries in this search can provide what you need in order to relate well to men. Most important, those clues will be the basis of becoming a relational genius with the men who matter most to you-especially the man you love.

My own search for understanding has been helped by my work as a professional counselor. I listen for a living, so I've heard many men tell stories about themselves that they don't tell easily. Thirty-plus years of marriage to a quiet, thoughtful guy of German descent means I've had to learn to read a man who (like most men) is a bit of an enigma.

Letting yourself puzzle over the mystery of gender, of men and women created as they are, for a purpose, has its rewards. It leads to a God so awesome that it takes two distinct genders-male and female-to even begin to express what he's like.

This larger picture is what you feel and intuit in many subtle forms. Think of the last time you sat with a steaming cup of coffee in a relaxed setting, talking with a group of friends. Women friends. (Chances are, much of that conversation was actually about the men in your lives).

Have you ever noticed how the conversation changes the moment when, by some chance, a guy joins the group?

It's not the same, is it? Something other has arrived on the scene. It's more than the way he looks. It's not merely that the topic of conversation may suddenly shift. This man brings a presence that just feels ... well, different. Let me suggest that exploring what and why it's different can unlock some of the richest secrets in relationships.

One can argue that men are simpler beings, and that may well be true. But the doors into their inner lives-their psyches-are not the same as yours and mine.

Understanding where a man is coming from takes some real detective work. The way I figure it, though, is this: we are better able to love what we understand. And loving and being loved is the main way we reflect the glory of God.


Understanding the man you love and loving the man you understand is greatly helped, oddly enough, by a sane estimation of yourself. As a woman, what you bring to a man is the antidote, the completion, the sheer pizzazz that, humanly speaking, he searches for all his life. Percy Sledge got it right a long time ago: when a man loves a woman, he'd trade the world for the good thing he's found.

I bet there are days when you don't feel quite that special. And yet, a man with any insight knows he's missing something. We are usually the ones in the dark.

It's crucial to realize the good and creative power God gives us women. As one guy on the verge of marriage said to the woman he loved, "You bring beauty to my life." His fiancée was surprised to hear his comment; she's not a woman known for her looks. He was right, though. A woman, by her very nature, ushers a man into a world that, to him, is marked by beauty.

Any reality check about your actual worth as a woman will take you back to creation. We are not the afterthought of God's original work, as if he stapled a few enhancements onto the original model for added value. John and Stasi Eldredge say well in their book Captivating, "[Eve] is the crescendo, the final astonishing work of God. Woman. In one last flourish, creation comes to a finish not with Adam, but with Eve. She is the Master's finishing touch.... Eve is created because things were not right without her. Something was not good."

Indeed, some of the most famous words in the creation account are the ones God speaks to Adam: "It is not good for the man to be alone." That reality echoes through the chambers of time until it shows up in hard, cold statistics. Men who live alone, sans the company of a woman, die earlier and have greater rates of depression and suicide.

Maybe that's why the Eagles sang about the "desperado" who needed to come to his senses and come down from his fences-he needed to let someone love him before it was too late. Otherwise, his prison would be "walking through this world alone." And men just don't do well alone.

Without the influence of a woman-without mothers and sisters and wives and daughters-a man lives like a "naked nomad," a rootless, purposeless existence, wandering the earth in search of himself. God said it wasn't good for a man to be alone, and so ... he created a woman. Most men know in their gut that a woman's presence completes something inside that remains loose, unfocused, and disconnected without her.

Without you.


When a woman realizes her worth, she relates differently to a man. In fact, without that kind of confidence, it's hard to get accurate insight and understanding about men.

Listen to the story of a friend of mine, and consider how a sane estimate of herself shapes the way she relates to men. Her chutzpah is inspiring.

Hillary was beginning to date again after a failed first marriage, and this time she was clear about what she wanted in a man. She had been seeing a guy named Greg; she believed their relationship had real possibilities. Hillary was also a fabulous cook. Occasionally, she would bring her recipe book over to his place and cook something special for the two of them.

One night Hillary was at Greg's place, poring over her recipe, making sure she had all the ingredients. And Greg chose this moment to check in with her. "I've been thinking about you and me," he said, rather casually. "I'm happy with the two of us just being friends."

I should mention that, up to this point, Greg had given Hillary every possible signal that he was interested in a future with her. Certainly not just as friends. She had months of energy invested in this relationship. She had been clear, from the start, that she hoped to get married again.

So what did Hillary do? No tears, no big scene, no explosive drama. Hillary looked at Greg for a moment and paused, weighing the implications of what she just heard. Then she closed her recipe book, gathered up her stuff, and calmly walked past Greg, whose mouth was now ajar. She spoke only one sentence on her way out the door:

"Honey, you're going to miss me when I'm gone."

Now, there's a woman who has realized that what she brings a man is something too valuable to be used up and discarded. It's too good to squander. She could win an award for "best one-liner delivered at a crucial moment."

There's a kind of push-back quality in good relationships between men and women. When a woman assigns the same value to herself that God does, she is able to ask something from a man: Give me the best of who you are. When we count our own influence, we're in a position to acknowledge a man's as well. We're a few steps down the road of understanding men.


By far, though, your most profound influence in a man's life is an insight so familiar that you, perhaps, take it for granted.

A woman's brain can add together a raised eyebrow, the tone of someone's voice, the way his eyes avoided hers when a certain topic was discussed-and the impression she forms is, quite often, uncannily accurate. This ability has been honed from birth. Your mind comes equipped with antennae that gather a deluge of information, sorting and filing beneath your conscious awareness. More than you may think, you are lining up the dots that make it possible to know someone's interior world.

This ability can be intimidating to a guy. It's like you have on night goggles, and he's just stumbling along in the dark. But it's also rather wonderful. Your ability to see is an enormous gift to him. You may "get him" long before he gets you. Much of what he realizes about himself comes only as he works at a relationship with you. God has given you eyes to see. And those eyes can be a man's most reliable mirror of who he is and who he can be.

A bit of insight is what lets you see past a backward baseball cap-or the defeated expression of a guy with a remote in his hand. You recognize not just the persona but the potential. And sometimes, it's what you see that gives a man the courage to claim it for himself.

A variety of studies indicate that men are more easily satisfied in a relationship than women. I used to doubt that research. But after listening to men discuss their relationships, I realize the old adage is true: if a man gets a (reasonable) dose of good food and good sex, and if he can talk with the woman in his life rationally and without rancor-he's a pretty happy camper.

What most men learn of the depth that's possible between two people comes from an understanding and persistent woman.

So it's worth the time to explore this strange and wonderful world men inhabit. A man will let you into his domain if he's convinced you won't use his heart for a punching bag.

He longs for you to find his strength-and to need his strength. In the deepest symbolic meaning of sexual intimacy, his great hope is that he will be received by you.


If you've ever shopped for a man's or a boy's clothes, you know how fundamentally boring that task can be. Give me a pair of jeans and a pair of khakis with two shirts, and I'm out of here. Women's clothes are another story. The options are exhausting.

If we could peel back the layers of our inner worlds, though, we'd find that the stripes and colors and textures of a man's soul are quite richly varied. On the inside, they aren't all wearing blue jeans. Or khaki pants and a polo shirt. The actual shape of their interior lives varies greatly.

Our drives and passions make us who we are. Some of those we are simply born with-like wiring that is already installed, waiting on the hand of God to turn on the switch. As I mentioned before, the most telling question we can ask is, who is this man? If he were on a desert island with a handful of survivors, what kind of man would he be, because this is who he is?

There are many broad brushstrokes we could use to describe men. The ones I offer here are generalities, and if taken as such, they can prove useful. The man you have in mind may be a combination of two descriptions. These are helpful categories because they describe the emotional and psychological "neighborhood" where this man lives.


This guy is born itching for a cause. His best self is motivated by heroic impulses. A crusader at heart, he wants to be on the winning side of ideals he believes in. He's the state trooper you pray will find your idling car during a snowstorm. Terms like loyalty, responsibility, willing to serve describe the better parts of his character. He has more drive and energy than the average guy. His idea of "relaxing" might be stiff competition in a sport that leaves him a happy, sweaty mess. Take heart, though. In a relationship, he also won't let a woman he loves go without a fight.

Yet a "fighter" man gone awry closely resembles a pit bull. Anger can become a drug he uses to distance himself from any emotion that feels like weakness. God's work in his life will often cause him to find his strength not in himself but in God.


This guy appears to be more laid-back than he is. Some might fault him for a lack of initiative in a public sphere of influence. But his focus is those people and those responsibilities he feels particularly charged to protect. In that arena, he's part Labrador retriever and part bulldog, and he will defend his territory tenaciously. In a relationship, he can be moved by the pain you feel-especially if he thinks it's pain he caused or failed to prevent. When everyone else in your life has packed up and gone home, this man will still be there.

Left to his fears, the protector can tend to overcontrol the people he most cares about. He may collapse under a weight of responsibility he is afraid to delegate to others. Redemption, for him, looks like learning to let go and trust that it's not all on his shoulders. He may struggle to let others in very close.


When you think of an adventurer, think of Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier or the men who spent years trolling for the remains of the Titanic. The adventurer is a man driven by the need to explore the universe. He wants to be "out there in it." He's motivated to push out the bounds-to do it because it can be done. Risk is just another word for challenge, and he loves that. In a relationship, you (hopefully) become part of the adventure. He longs for a woman willing to join him as he explores some new physical terrain.

The adventurer can be naive about his own personal limits-or the limits of others. If he uses adventure to avoid the unpleasant aspects of relationships, he can mutate into a true escapist and the people he loves will feel abandoned. As with many things, his real challenge is balance and perspective.


Every human endeavor needs the builder. This man will invest his energy putting together the bricks and mortar, the people, or the conceptual systems needed to make something go. A big-picture thinker, he usually has a natural ability to get others to work together for a common purpose. You will enjoy life with a builder, as long as he creates a category called "building relationships," since those, too, are built piece by piece.

Life with a builder goes south if he gets fixated on his goal. His do-or-die attitude can alienate the people who matter most to him. It may be hard for him to wait on God, to believe that "unless the LORD builds the house" (whatever that may be), the labor will be for nothing.


The nurturer is the consummate father figure. Put him in any setting, and he naturally becomes a sort of coach or mentor or spiritual shepherd. Others value him for his rocklike quality. He cares what happens to people; he feels charged with the responsibility of developing people within his influence. Internally, he has an uncanny sense of what's needed to help someone become who he or she is capable of being. What you may feel most concretely in his presence is the permission to exhale. It would really bother this kind of man if he feels he has failed or disappointed you.

A nurturing man gets off track when he confuses care with fixing or solving the problems of someone important to him. "You should ..." or "You ought to ..." might be words he uses too often. If his concern turns heavy-handed, he will spoil the freedom of those he loves.


Excerpted from What's He REALLY Thinking? by Paula RINEHART Copyright © 2009 by Paula Rinehart. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


1. Understanding Your Influence....................1
PART ONE UNDERSTANDING THE MAN YOU LOVE 2. What Men Do....................19
3. Why Men Hurt....................34
4. How Men Change....................56
PART TWO LOVING THE MAN YOU UNDERSTAND 5. Expectations....................77
6. Respect....................92
7. Conflict....................110
8. Getting Through....................127
9. Intimacy....................142
Appendix A: Praying for the Man in Your Life....................161
Appendix B: Understanding This Man....................164
Relational Genius Guide....................169
About the Author....................206
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  • Posted March 16, 2011

    Recommend for the women who doesn't believe her husband cares!

    "What's He Really Thinking?". This just tickled all my psychology buttons as everyone who reads this blog will know is a key component of my mental workings.

    I love Psychology and how the brain works. Yes, I admit I am guilty of reading books such as "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" and other embarressing layman books for quick reads in the psychology world. What I have found from these books has disappointed me. Why? Because in the end you lean back, close the book, and realize you just spent some priceless hours reading nothing buy common sense. Sure there are a few facts and figures thrown in there that only research could tell you, but in the end, if you look over at the love of your life you have to smile knowing you knew about 80% of what the book just told you.

    This book however is different, this book is getting into how your man thinks and how you as a woman can show your understanding of his thoughts as a way of loving him. Yes, us your power for good and not evil. No, this is not a book on love languages (another psychology minded like book and feeling loved and appreaciated), but rather a way to say, okay this is how my husband works, now how can I use this to understand him and how he loves me. I don't have to necessaraly except this, but I can begin to start communicating this.

    One example was how men are doers, and so many times we as women are racing around taking care of all the details of life (believing our husbands are leaving loose ends at every turn), but we don't stop long enough to see that he washed our car. Now this may seem small, or almost minute, but he is there to protect, to keep our cars in tune, our brakes working, our gas tanks filled. He makes sure that we are supplied to continue on with our busy days when we are just too busy to take care of ourselves. So yes, sometimes it feels like our men may be leaving little things such as getting our children dressed, or ordering pizza every time its his night to cooks, etc, but he is also there to pick up our wounded and broken pieces, or get this, keep us from having broken pieces, when we ourselves are too busy to care for ourselves.

    Yes this book has the makings of a he said she said view point, but in the end its a book written by a woman, respecting a man, and showing that although his thoughts are different, they are equally as important and valuable to keeping our households running, and even more importantly, US as WOMEN running..we might be chicken with our heads cut off sometimes, but our men are there to carry our heads back to us when we are ready to finally take care of ourselves!.

    Thank you Paula Rinehart for helping us take a moment to understand our men, and also understand how we as women can work with what our men are thinking and doing, not loosing site of our differences, but exploring how amazing God made each of us to work together with the uniquely opposite ways of thinking and doing.

    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson as part of their BookSneeze program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2011

    A must-read for any woman!

    The subtitle of this book says it all: How to be relational genius with the man in your life. While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, this book will set you on your way. This is not a book just for married women, or even just for dating women. This is a book for any woman who has a brother, father, uncle, co-worker, or friend. This book is about human relationships at their core, and the misunderstandings that could be avoided if we understood our gender differences on a deeper level.

    The book is divided into two portions: Understanding the Man you Love, and Loving the Man you Understand. In the first section, counselor Paula Rinehart breaks down what it is that men do, what makes them hurt, and how they grow. She compares men and women, pointing out our sameness, but also our inherent difference. And, between the two, the reasons that we complement each other so perfectly.

    The second section is devoted to us women. In this section, Rinehart addresses expectations, respect, conflict, getting through, and intimacy. She not only gives clear and helpful how-tos, but also explains the psychological and Biblical reasons behind each.

    This book is, as the back of will tell you, a Field Guide to the Male Psyche. Not only is it fascinating and interesting, but it is practical and helpful. A must read for any woman!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    A Woman Who Listens to Men - What a novel idea...

    To Paula Rinehart, the relationship between the genders is a long-term, hard fought partnership. It requires the best of both male and female but must endure the worst of both as well.

    In her book What's He Really Thinking?, Rinehart brings together thirty years of marriage as well as decades of counseling experience in a concise, direct counter punch to the anti-male feminism that pervades our culture. Rather than demanding that men be more like women or women's ideals, she dives into the heart of man and explains it in terms a woman can comprehend, if not understand.

    Rather than wasting time on flowery speeches or technical jargon, this book is a straightforward presentation of both the differences between men and women and some practical steps women can take to better deal with the differences. As a man, I approached this book with a certain amount of skepticism, but Rinehard won me over. Time after time, I found myself nodding in agreement with her assessments because she did not try to judge male thinking in terms of female thinking. She presented it as it was presented to her by countless men, and then she took the time to explain how a woman might think about the same things. The comparison is useful for people of both genders.

    If you are a woman struggling to understand the men and boys in your life, this book will illuminate the unspoken challenges. If you are a guy who is frustrated with the women in your life misunderstanding and misinterpreting you, there is some tremendous insight for you as well. But be warned. It will not fix things. All Rinehart does is present the problem and some potential paths to solutions. The work of building these relationships still lies with you and the men in your life. She is plain about this. Only the people involved in a relationship can heal it and open it up for further growth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    Love It!

    What's He Really Thinking by Paula Rineheart depicted stories from her professional experiences as a counsellor and researcher background in providing females with the insights into how men's mind works. It offers guidance on how men think and accept the differences between the two genders.
    I don't really read books on relationships but this book is worth the read. I am a daughter, sister and wife. Hence, it is important to understand men and find ways to have better communications with men. Paula Rineheart had made it easy for women (like me) to understand how they think or react and why they act the way they do. The writer did not only restrict to men and women relationships but also association with our father, brother, friend or husband.
    This book claims that it can help to avoid conflicts, create better balance between men and women and improve relationships. I hope this knowledge that I gain may help me in future to forgive men's shortcomings and understand better their world.

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    Very Good BOok!

    This book was very informative and very enlightening. I found out that I didnt know as much as i thought I did about how men think. I have learned to be more understanding and patient. I loved this book!I feel that women need to read this and they will have a totally better understanding on how the mind of a man does work.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    What Women NEED to know about men.

    What's He Really Thinking?
    By Paula Rinehart
    I wanted to read the book What's He Really Thinking? by Paula Rinehart because I desired a deeper understanding of how females relate to men. In this book, Paula Rinehart offers an in-depth study and guide for women on the male psyche.
    Paula Rinehart uses her more than 20 years experience as a counselor and scientific research to help unlock the male mind-set. She helps readers understand that men's ways are different and yet complimentary to women ways of experiencing the world.
    Paula offers categories that describe the emotional and psychological neighborhoods that men live in and explains that a man may be a combination of two of them. Each category has an upside and a downside. She states that each man is created to bless and bring life and yet there are cracks in the pot, broken places that bring pain. She explains how a mans father carries special weight in determining if he is "man enough" and effectively receives his diploma in masculinity through his acceptance.
    Paula relates men's need for respect and intimacy. She explains how conflict in a close relationship has much to be gained if you think of disagreement as an extended dialogue. She states that empathy, for most men is a slowly learned skill and does not come naturally.
    Paula states that it is God who reveals himself in a mystery so great it takes two genders to even give us a peek. I appreciate her experience and her sharing what she has learned in all her years of counseling. This book has helped me to understand better the differences between men and women in relationships and how I can respond in ways that will draw my relationship closer rather than alienate and drive away.
    This book gives you the information you need to understand what men really want in a relationship and what women can do to understand her man more intimately.
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze dot com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Men - explained :)

    Wow, this book is great. Seriously - it has been a long time since I've read a non-fiction book that held my attention so riveted.
    What is going on inside his brain? Why does he keep trying to compare himself to other? These and other questions that have been nagging somewhere in the back of our female brains are discussed.
    The best part about this book is that while it provides a lot of useful information, but it is not overloaded with scientific calculations and data which makes the info easy to process and understand (and understanding is crucial the entire point of this book).
    I definitely recommend this book - What's He Really Thinking: How to be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life - to all girls who want to "get" the other half of human population, i.e. men.
    Whether you're already married or looking forward to dating or simply want to UNDERSTAND what drives the guys around you - this is the book for you.

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  • Posted March 27, 2011

    save your money!

    This book is as bad as it souds. You cant cluster men or women when it comes to thought processes. If you want to know what a man is thinking just ask him!!!

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    Helpful book, especially for married women

    At first, I was slightly skeptical of this book because of the high claim on the cover of becoming a "relational genius" with the man in my life. I'm not sure any book can make a woman a 'relational genius' but I agree with Stasi Eldredge's review on the front cover: "for every woman who wants to grow in understanding and loving the men in her life." Yes, I would recommend this book as a great step towards that end. The book is broken down into two parts: Understanding the Man You Love, and Loving the Man You Understand. The chapters cover: what men do, why men hurt, and how men change; and then go on to discuss: expectations, respect, conflict, getting through, and intimacy (and I really appreciated the fact that the author dealt with soul intimacy here, not just physical). Although the book claims to be of help with men in any area of your life, I did feel as though it was meant mostly for married women or those in a dating relationship. A phrase I will take away from the book is Rinehart's admonition to "not let your husband pay for the debt other men have left in your life." A profound thought, and something to keep on pondering through the years. Definitely a good book filled with good advice from an author who spends much of her time counseling marriages and seeing first hand what works and what doesn't work.

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  • Posted February 18, 2011

    If you are a woman....and you know a man....you need to read this.

    It is no secret that men and women are different. As soon as children realize that there is such a thing as a "girl" and a "boy," they begin recognizing and pointing out the differences between them. From there, simple recognition escalates into curiosity, annoyance, and irritation..but rarely, if ever, do the differences between the sexes God so deliberately designed ever receive the appreciation that is due them.

    No, the recognition of our differences that began around age five is, by the time we reach age thirty or so, replaced by a general sense of aggravation; it is hard to find a woman who can honestly say she appreciates and enjoys the differences between herself and the men in her life. Rather, the differences that God intended for enlightenment to His nature are more often seen as a sort of punishment.

    "Why can't he be more like me?"

    "I don't understand where he's coming from.. It would be so much easier if we just thought about things the same way."

    On and on our complaints go, girlfriend to girlfriend. What we really need, though, is not a magical transformation that makes men more like us. What we need is a radical shift in our thinking that reveals why men are the way they are and how they really function in light of their obvious differences from us.

    Enter the book What's He Really Thinking: How to be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life. I recently received a copy of this book by Paula Rinehart to read and review, and I loved it.

    I've been a student, you could say, of the differences between men and women for several years now. (It's no coincidence that the beginning of my studies coincides roughly with the start of my relationship with my husband.) I've read different books and had many conversations with other women who also desire to know more about the men they love and want to have fulfilling, Godly relationships with the man with whom they have partnered their lives.

    No, men and women are different, and Paula Rinehart really gets it. She is a counselor who, after years of talking with men in counseling sessions and thereby receiving unlimited insight into their hearts, put her thoughts on paper. This isn't another standard book about the gender differences, e.g. "Men don't want to listen - they want to solve our problems," and, "Women are far more interested in the emotional aspects of relationships, while men are inordinately preoccupied with the physical." No. This is a book that goes deeper, expressing why men are the way that they are and challenging women to look at men the way God does. Why did God make men this way? What blessing does God have for me in the way that He made this man?

    This book digs deep into the souls of men and into the interactions we women have with them, and is one I'll be recommending to my girlfriends with whom I've have those bewildered conversations. It's time we recognized that men aren't women with big feet and beards, as Rinehart says, but are completely other. (p. 2) With that recognition comes a little more understanding, and with just a tiny bit more understanding may come a lot more love and infinitely more fulfillment for all of us. That's what God intended, and I - for one - am ready to move past annoyance into true appreciation and respect.

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    Great book - well worth it!

    The blurb for "What's He Really Thinking? How to Be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life", starts out saying the following,

    "A woman's guide into a man's heart and mind offering invaluable insights, understanding, and the tools for building healthier relationships."

    There are so many differences between us, the ones from Mars and those of us from Venus. It's a topic that I keep my ears pealed for, as I feel when I understand it better, it helps me to be more accepting and have a deeper understanding and appreciation of those of the opposite sex.

    I love the way that Paula writes about it all, from a very personal, inviting, easy to read style. At the same time so respectful and bringing out wonderful and positive sides to things that can be a bit hidden at times. In reading and understanding a bit more some of the in's and out's of how men think, why they do what they do and what they struggle with it's helping to give my greater understanding and appreciation for them. And while I'm single at the moment and not involved in a personal relationship it's shedding new light on some of the experiences I've lived over the years and even giving me new and greater understanding my two brothers.

    She believes women who truly understand men have an ability to make an extraordinary impact on their lives. From scientific research to practical real-life stories, Rinehart removes the guess work and shows women how to become the relational geniuses they have always longed to be

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  • Posted December 2, 2010

    Insightful Book about the Men in Your Life

    I came upon this book at a very timely place within my life. Due to simple life demands, this wasn't a quick read but well worth the time invested. The author discussed one universal truth among women is that each of us will always somehow be relating to a man. Her words from Chapter 1: "We are better able to love what we understand. And loving and being loved is the main way we reflect the glory of God." were the words that motivated me to complete this book One of the main concepts were of the importance of realizing your own worth because when you view yourself as God views you, you can have a profound influence upon the lives of others. The author also discussed the various roles a man has as well as the varying temperaments/personalities. The most insightful aspect I found was in becoming aware of the challenges a man faces that women do not. I enjoyed the section on specifics to pray for regarding men and how our expectations often influence who or what people will become within the given relationships. Though the book does include any sort of relationships you may have with a male (brother, father, mate, etc.), this book does seem more personally applicable to the marital relationship. This was my introduction to the works of the author, Paula Rinehart, and I look forward to reading more of her materials.

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  • Posted September 27, 2009

    A relationship book that offers more than fluff

    I picked this book to review for Thomas Nelson because I am a counselor. But I set it aside and life got busy..ho hum, I wasn't expecting much from another relationship book. Way too many of these books promise great things, but in the end, deliver nothing but fluff.

    This book was different. What's He Really Thinking? How to be a relational genius with the man in your life is well worth the time it takes to read.

    For one, the author's voice was very unique. It sounded like it was coming from a wise woman who had learned her material from living it. Paula Rinehart uses her 20+ years of counseling experience to lead us into the heart of men.

    The second thing that made the book seem different is that she brought in the latest research in neuroscience. She shows you how the man's brain is different and how that impacts the way he relates:

    "Their amygdala tends to be much larger, with far more neurons devoted to action and aggression.the drive to do is quintessentially male."

    She explains that the average guy has 40 - 60 times more testosterone than women and that does is costs him his speech.

    The value in Paula's book is that she forces women to confront the differences between genders and to have a sense of appreciation for how God wired men:

    "Am I going to count love as it comes to me in a male package? Or am I going to spend my life insisting love be delivered in the manner I recognize most quickly - words and empathy?"

    In a way, this book seems like a woman's version of John Elderedge's "Wild at Heart." Rinehart focuses on seeing the males in our life as a wonderous gift from God.

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  • Posted September 24, 2009

    What am I really thinking?

    Paula Rinehart takes her 20 years of experience to produce a book that will help women understand the men in their lives better. She covers issues such as what to we think, why do we do what we do, and what are our struggles. She gives some insightful thoughts on the mind and make up of men. I believe and like her main thought or some might even say pretext that if women understood men better they would be better able to help us. I believe this probably is a very attractive idea to women. What's He Really Thinking? is helpful for the woman who has just recently decided she should work harder at understanding her husband. However, for anyone who has spent anytime at a conference, small group, or read any other books on the subject it will be dull and unoriginal. This book would not make my top 10 list for books to help your marriage.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Is It Possible to Be A Relationship Genius?

    Book Description

    A woman's guide into a man's heart and mind offering invaluable insights, understanding, and the tools for building healthier relationships.

    Even in the best of relationships, over time, men and women drift apart because of the communication gaps they naturally possess. In What's He Really Thinking?, author and speaker Paula Rinehart gives incredible insight into these differences. In her conversational, almost poetic style, Rinehart unlocks some of the age-old mysteries of the male mind-set.

    With more than twenty years of counseling experience, Rinehart sheds a realistic light on:

    * how men think
    * why they do what they do
    * what they struggle with

    She believes women who truly understand men have an ability to make an extraordinary impact on their lives. From scientific research to practical real-life stories, Rinehart removes the guess work and shows women how to become the relational geniuses they have always longed to be.

    ***MY REVIEW***

    I really enjoyed reading this book and learning more about relationships with the men in my life. I appreciate that this book is written not just for the significant man in your life but also your dad, brother, son, etc.

    The most pivotal part of this book was the chapter titled "Conflict". Paula Rinehart hit the nail on the head for me in this chapter when she provided an example of what a man hears when his woman is angry with him. She also touches on the vulnerability of a man and how women can easily overlook this.

    Overall, this is a very informational book that I would recommend for any woman, but especially those who are dating and contemplating marriage. I would have appreciated reading this book prior to my marriage as I feel that maybe some of the things I did would have turned out differently.

    A review copy of this book was obtained through Thomas Nelson Publishers (http://brb.thomasnelson.com/) through which I am member of their Book Blogger Review program.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Have you ever wondered what in the world is HE thinking?

    In "What's He Really Thinking? : How to be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life Paula Rinehart uses stories and her professional expertise to give any female insight into how the male brain works. I'm sure most women out there have been utterly stumped by how a man in their life has acted. Well, Rinehart gives the reader those answers and the why behind them! This is a quick read never ceases to capture the reader's attention. Humans tend to over think and make relationships complicated. Rinehart somehow makes everything that usually seems extremely complicated seem almost simplistic. I took away an understanding that as a single woman I can keep in my back pocket and pull out in the future for use in all current and future relationships of any type. I find the idea to react to someone based on how not only you feel the need to react, but on how they need you to react to simplistically genius! Rinehart's insight and advice dealing with relationships is useful not just in romantic relationships but in every kind of relationship. If you want to take the guesswork out of relationships; you need to read this!

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  • Posted September 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What's He Really Thinking?

    Okay, I'm a man. So why is a man reviewing a book that so obviously targets women?

    To spare you my mid-life introspective ponderings, suffice to say I was simply curious as to whether a woman could come close to understanding and describing what a man like me thinks and feels.

    Conclusion? She hit so many nails on their heads it's scary.

    The underlying premise of He Really Thinking is that "we come to love what we understand." Rinehart divides the book into two sections - "Understanding the Man You Love" and "Loving the Man You Understand."

    While her exploration of many of the age-old clichés regarding the differences between men and women were helpful, I found the book punctuated with profound sentences that left me examining my own thoughts, desires, and feelings.

    "Men conk things on the head or are conked themselves."
    "A man longs for a few people in his life - most notably the woman he loves - to get what he's up against every day."
    "Oh, what a glorious day, when men could finally be wired to computers that record their inner workings."

    In what I consider the most poignant story in the book, Rinehart describes a conversation she had with a man who was trying to put his marriage back together following an affair. She asked that given his remorse, how could he have allowed himself to be sucked into an affair.

    "It wasn't the sex. [Rather] I used to go to a restaurant with her, and sometimes she would reach over and put her hand on my arm. We'd laugh at something funny. She just simply enjoyed being with me."

    Rinehart concludes this is at the heart of that which most feels like love to us - the pleasure of feeling enjoyed by someone.


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  • Posted August 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What He's Thinking? If I don't Want Sex Make Me A Sandwich

    Trying to explain how a man thinks is like trying to describe a color.
    What He's Really Thinking? How To Be a Relational Genius, by Paula Rinehart is a misguided attempt to inform women of how the men in their life are thinking.
    For me it didn't work. Let me show you why:
    Michelle: Look at this Thomas Nelson book I'm reading, Vince. It's called What's He Really Thinking?
    Vince: I'm thinking I can't believe you spent $15 on that.
    Michelle: It's a review book, hunny. Let's spend quality time together and discuss this topic of great marital importance.
    Vince: You want to make me happy? Men are simple .
    Michelle: Oh my God, not this speech again .
    Vince: . if I don't want sex, make me a sandwich.
    Michelle's secret thought: I hate that speech.
    That's the problem with these man-woman books. They don't make sense.
    And believe me, I've read them all.
    My first big attempt at relating to this wonderful spouse of my with whom I've have the obscene pleasure of trudging through nearly two decades was when John Gray came out with Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus.
    Michelle's secret thought: This is great. The answer's right here! I'll be the perfect wife!
    I lapped it up. And I assure you. I tried everything. I read it to him. I explained it to him. I made him double chocolate brownies, bought bags of pork rind, cases of disgusting unshelled sunflower seeds. I poured his sodas, bought his gut-busting big stick popsicles and gave him all the 'cave time' he wanted.
    He, of course, lapped it up. Lots of food, lots of football, lots of time to work on his imprint in that tired old Lazy Boy.
    After that I tried Gary Smalley and the Five Languages of Love. My language is money.lots of it and no guilt or condemnation upon spending it.
    Oh common, reader . there's always 'such a deal!'
    My husband's love language, of course, is service. lots of it and no guilt or condemnation about demanding it.
    You know how that is reader, there's always 'another game on after this one.'
    Next was Dr. Laura's How To Raise a Happy Husband - or something sing-songy like that. I drowned him with the idea that I could hear his needs and that I was taking care of my poor misunderstood, different-than-me life partner.
    He loved that one. In fact, he developed a life phrase: If I don't want sex, make me a sandwich.
    And now, 19 years into this little experiment called marriage here I am again with ANOTHER sure-fire way to make my relationship better. Paula Rinehart's What's He Really Thinking?
    Picture Michelle reading to Vince as he is sprawled out across the bottom of the bed with all the good pillows and is effectively bunching up the blankets so that all I can do is get them over the bottom half of my legs even though I am freezing cold because he absolutely insists on running that dumb swamp cooler 24-hours a day and turning our house into an Alaskan winter in the middle of August:
    Michelle: Look Vince, the author says this analogy describes the very nature of a man: "A boy puts a bean up his nose because he can. That very inclination to do something, because, after all, it can be done (and that ) is the way his mind works."
    Vince: A boy puts a bean up his nose because he wants to make his friends laugh. Did you know I once told a joke so funny I caused Robert Downy (not the actor - a childhood friend) to blow baloney out his nose?
    Michelle: Not that tired story again.
    Read the rest at http://bit.ly/8fU5t

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    What's He Really Thinking

    What's He Really Thinking by Paula Rhinehart takes women through the psyche of a man and helps us understand what he's thinking. Rinehart covered topics such as: what men do, why men hurt, how men change, expcectations, respect, conflict, getting through, and intimacy. Her well-researched insight was both helpful and refreshing.

    I really enjoyed reading this book. The conversational tone and real life scenarios held my attention while the references to other books on the same topic gave credibility to what Rinehart said. Becoming a "relational genius" with men is a challenge for any woman, Rinehart's book gives women a good place to start along with continuing resources including guides for praying for the man in your life, understanding this man, a relational genius guide along with guided questions.

    I am a reviewer for Thomas Nelson.

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An easy and applicable read! But what would men think?

    I can't help but wonder what a man would think of Paul Rinehart's What's He Really Thinking? How to be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life. After all, a woman did write the book. What would the book be like if a man had written it? And if a man had written it, would women really read it?

    Considering Rinehart's counseling experience and extensive research for her book, I trust that she writes truthfully. And she does provide plenty of insight into the male psyche. Whether men would agree with her verdicts, I do not know, but I do know that Rinehart fills What's He Really Thinking with what men are really thinking. Even better, she discusses the roles of both males and females as found in the Bible. Although she uses very few Biblical examples or Biblical verses for support, everything she says has a firm Biblical foundation. Rineheart's ultimate point focuses on the fact that God made man and woman to fulfill different roles and have different types of emotions and abilities. Thus, to woman, man seems like a creature from another planet, but man and woman are actually meant as counterparts that can fit together under God's supervision.

    Rinheart also covers the male urge to "do," why sexual identity is so important to men, the male's need to feel adequate and needed, the female's need to understand the background of the men in her life and how their backgrounds affect who they are, how men handle change, why men do not show emotion as much or pick up on female emotions, and how women fit into male lives.

    I read Rineheart's with my father in mind, since I have yet to date or marry a man. Rinehart makes it clear that her book is applicable to all kinds of relationships with men, but she does refer to "sex" quite often, something that may make parts of her book an awkward read for singles. We all know there's no way avoiding the topic. My dad, himself, made a joke about how a woman took an entire book to explain a topic that men could explain in one word.

    Overall, Rinehart succeeds in giving her readers just enough information to help them in their relationships with men. She could have used more facts, more research, more details (and there were certain parts she should have expanded on), but Rinehart chose to appeal to the common person with stories and examples. She hits core issues that most women deal with, and she addresses the female role and how it fits in with the male role. What's He Really Thinking provides a short, easy read for any woman wanting an inside look at the male psyche... or for any man curious enough about the female perspective on men.

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