If Only He Knew: A Valuable Guide to Knowing, Understanding, and Loving Your Wife

If Only He Knew: A Valuable Guide to Knowing, Understanding, and Loving Your Wife

by Gary Smalley

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With over 800,000 copies in print, If Only He Knew by bestselling author Gary Smalley has long been esteemed as one of the premier books on marriage for men. Smalley helps men understand their wives and meet their needs in order to establish a loving, thriving relationship that will last a lifetime.

Newly revised and expanded to reflect up-to-date research and the current cultural landscape for today’s modern audience, this book is the perfect guide for husbands who want to love their wives and strengthen their marriages in a way like never before.

Using humorous and touching illustrations from his own life, as well as case histories and biblical examples, Gary Smalley maps a blueprint to a better marriage that will have a deep and lasting impact on men and their wives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310599319
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 05/08/2012
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 256,076
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Gary Smalley was one of the country’s best-known authors and speakers on family relationships. In addition to writing The Blessing and The Two Sides of Love with John Trent, their book The Language of Love (newly revised and updated) won the Angel Award as the best contribution to family life. His national infomercial, Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships, has been viewed by television audiences all over the world.

Read an Excerpt

If Only I Knew

Before I approached Gary about writing a "marriage book for men," I knew his material was good, but I had no idea how meaningful it would be to me personally. After all, I had been married for almost ten years and I was nearly an "ideal husband" ... I thought. As I began to work with Gary on the material for this book, it became more and more clear that I was not a successful husband by any stretch of the imagination. I was providing for my wife's material needs and some of her physical needs, but that's where it stopped.

As I got deeper into the content, I realized that for years I had been unaware of many of my wife's emotional needs. For years, she had to put up with a husband whose callousness and indifference forced her to suffer through day after day of not having her deeper needs lovingly satisfied. I am extremely grateful for all that I have learned in the past two months. At last my eyes have been opened, and I see my wife as the unique, beautiful individual that she really is. I am devoting the rest of my life to becoming the husband she deserves. The content of this book not only opened my eyes to my wife and her needs, but it gave me concrete ways to meet those needs. If you get one-tenth the value from this book that I have gleaned from its pages, it will be the most valuable book you'll ever read about marriage. Steve Scott

Chapter 1

How to Drive Your Wife Away Without Even Trying

"You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way." 1 Peter 3: 7

AT THE OTHER end of the phone a quivering voice said, "You've got to help me. She has a court order against me." George was coming to me for help after his relationship with his wife was already in shreds. "We've been married over twenty years, and she won't even let me back in the house. I can't believe she would treat me this way after all I've done for her. Can you help us get back together?"

Before I answered his question, I wanted to talk to his wife. "There's no way you can talk to Barbara," he said. "She wouldn't talk to you. The moment you say you're representing me in any way, she'll hang up on you."

"I've never been turned down by a wife yet," I assured him, "so we might as well see if this will be the first time. Would you give me her phone number?"

To be honest, as grim as things sounded, I did wonder if she would be the first wife not willing to talk to me about her marital strife. But my doubts were unfounded--she was more than anxious to discuss their problems.

"What would it take for you to be willing to let your husband back into your life? What would have to happen before you would try to rebuild a marriage relationship with him?" Those were the same questions I had asked many wives who claimed they didn't want their husbands back.

Her response was typical. "I can't possibly answer that question. He's the worst husband in the world, so I wouldn't think of taking him back. I can't stand his personality or his offensive habits any more." The court order would take care of him, she told me. "Just keep him away!"

I gently asked her if she could tell me the things he had done to offend her. When I heard her response, I said, "It sounds like he hasn't been a very sensitive and gentle husband, has he?"

Once again I asked her to stretch her imagination and think about what changes would be necessary before she would take him back.

There was plenty of room for improvement, she told me. First, he was too domineering and critical of her. Second, he tried to control her every move with a possessive grip. Third, he trampled her sense of self-worth with constant ridicule. And fourth, although he always had time for business and other interests, he seldom took time to listen to her. On top of all that, he spied on her and didn't give her any freedom.

"Don't get any ideas, though," she told me at the end of our conversation. "Because no matter what, I won't stop the divorce."

When I relayed these complaints to George, I knew I had touched some sensitive spots. He defended himself and accused her. I let him rant for a while before asking, "Do you want your wife back?"

"Yes, I'd do anything to get her back," he said.

"Good. I'm always willing to work with someone ready to readjust his life. But if you're not totally serious, let me know now. I don't like to play games." Again he committed himself to change, but his commitment didn't last beyond my next statement. "We're going to have to work on your domineering and possessive nature. It shows you don't genuinely love your wife."

He fumed and spouted, defended and fought so much I began to wonder if he really would commit himself to the necessary changes.

"I've never met a more belligerent, stubborn man in my entire life!" I exclaimed.

Suddenly subdued, he responded, "That's not my nature. I'm usually rather submissive inside. Maybe I'm putting up a front because I'm really not a pushy person. I feel like people run all over me."

"I don't think you and I are talking about the same person," I responded. "If I were your wife, I'm not sure I could bear up emotionally under your domineering personality."

That stopped him long enough for him to give our conversation some serious thought. After talking to his friends and even praying that God would help him understand, he returned to my office, able to confess his faults and ready to change.

Table of Contents

1.How to Drive Your Wife Away Without Even Trying9
2.Where Have All the Feelings Gone?25
3.If Your Wife Doesn't Win First Place, You Lose!39
4.Your Wife Needs Your Shoulder, Not Your Mouth53
5.Climbing Out of Marriage's Deepest Pit67
6.What No Woman Can Resist97
7.What Women Admire Most About Men107
8.If Your Wife's Not Protected, You Get Neglected117
9.Arguments ... There's a Better Way129
10.A Successful Marriage ... It's Easier Than You Think143
11.So You Want a Perfect Wife155
12.Watch Out! It Can Happen to You169

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If Only He Knew 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As one of the Valentine's Day gifts, I purchased this book for my husband. I read other reviews and saw how this book was highly recommended by men, so I decided that it must be worth reading! Thank God I did! This book is SO WORTH reading for married couples. I'm just glad that I thought enough to give my husband a book that will remain in his mind long after the book is over. The book is very clear and offers practical advice...not to mention that it engulfs your attention from the moment that you start reading it. I would also recommend this book to couples who are planning to marry. THIS BOOK IS WORTH PURCHASING! You will NOT be sorry that you read this book. Satisfaction is GUARANTEED! I would also read other books by this author. Simply fabulous!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is perfect for any man that can acknowledge his responsibility for his family and desires to take steps towards becoming the best man he can be. This book was the most effective tool I've come across that helped me understand the importance of the role I, as a man, have to the success of my family unit. THIS IS A MUST READ FOR ALL MEN!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has been in print for around 30 years, and I have read that the author says that it is the book about which he has received the most comments. The reason for the book's longevity and acclaim is that it is an excellent tool to show clueless men (myself included) the numerous ways in which they have damaged their marriages, and how to change to fix things. It is done in a nice and non-preachy fashion, but anyone who reads the book and is honest with himself will be forced to admit that he needs to improve. I thought that the list of over 120 ways to hurt your marriage was especially helpful in demonstrating the many ways I screwed up my marriage. I just wish I had read this book many years ago, along with the Feldhahns "For Men Only", and Steve Stephens "Lost in Translation", which are a couple of other very helpful books with respect to interspousal relationships.
mother-of-3-sons More than 1 year ago
This small little book was an unexpected account of what I was feeling and wanted to say to my husband, but just didn't have the words to do so! It is a must for any woman who is frustrated with trying to "get through" to her man. WARNING: Getting a man who does not like to read to actually read it will be nearly impossible! I don't know if there is an audiobook, but if so, I'd get that one for them. And, if they don't read it, at least you can and it will help you realize that you are not "crazy" or "too sensitive" or anything else men can throw your way! It really made me more confident knowing that I was not alone in the way I felt! Read it: you will not be disappointed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book for my fiance and had to read it before giving it to him. There were so many truths enclosed from cover to cover, that it felt good to read a book that I could relate to. It's practical and very helpful in allowing a man to understand his wife or significant other. This is a must read book that is highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book for: 1) any guy who is thinking about getting married, 2) any guy who thinks his marriage is in trouble(it is), 3) any guy who thinks his marriage is not in trouble(it is). Read this book to avoid the pitfalls!
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