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    Author: C. C. Sorensen. Expected Release: Early September, 2015.

    We have no qualms laying out men’s sins—especially abusive behavior. But we’ve avoided “going there” when it comes to women. This book offers advice to heal marriages and families where women display controlling behavior or create fear. It will help turn crumbling relationships into partnerships of love and trust.

    Overall Customer Rating of 3 Reviews:

    Loved it!

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    Now, this book uses the term "abuse" to describe the 10 things women do that harm their relationships, but Sorenson makes sure to define abuse as the spectrum...it's not all just threats, sexual abuse (which women are guilty of too), or swearing and saying profanities toward him. No. It could be simple, subtle, little off-putting things that sometimes we just don't realize are hurting our husbands. Sorenson also reminds us that men are sometimes just as guilty with these 10 things, but there are already plenty of church talks, studies, books, etc condemning and lecturing them for that, but there aren't really any resources when women act these ways.



    Now, this book takes an LDS gospel twist to it, but honestly, it is applicable to any Christian marriage, or really ANY marriage in that matter!



    Again, Sorenson's 10 things are really a broad spectrum:



    1) Controlling your spouse

    This could be manipulation, isolation, forced submission, trying to make men thing like women (they are physiologically and psychologically wired differently!), trying to be overtly influencing in his church duties, making him do everything (chores, cooking, child-rearing) her way and saying that his way is wrong, the whole "what do you want to do tonight" "oh, I don't want to do that," and using "revelations from God" to control your spouse.



    The one that I'm guilty of and trying to work on is having Justin do things my way, especially when it comes to Rhys, cooking, and driving. I'm not a perfect parent, and Justin takes good care of Rhys and Rhys loves him, so I need to be less controlling when it comes to that. Even simple things like saying, "Cook the fish first before frying the rice" (which I actually said on Sunday night and he called me out on it), or "get into the right lane, the turn is coming up" when he knows where to go is considered "controlling your spouse", and therefore harming our relationship. I'd be annoyed if Justin acted that way to me, so I shouldn't do it to him.



    2) Verbal abuse

    Of course this could be profanities, yelling, and being demeaning to your husband. But, it could also be little threats. It could also be nagging. Sorenson says that we shouldn't use PMS'ing as an excuse to be *witch-y*. He says that a lot of times, men will tiptoe on eggshells because they don't want to upset us. Really, with reading this chapter, I just got the impression of the Kat from Taming of the Shrew. He even includes complaining about our husbands as verbal abuse.



    We really shouldn't complain about our husbands...I've seen plenty of FB groups for newlyweds that do that. NO! Remember what you learned as a child: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!" However, I do realize I am guilty of nagging Justin.



    3) Drawing comparisons

    This includes comparing him to other men spiritually ("you don't respect your priesthood as well as the Bishop"), physically (drooling over six packs when your husband doesn't have one), or situationally ("Bob is getting his PhD, owns a house already, and is making twice as much as you. Why didn't I marry him?")



    I'm bad at comparing our situation to others, but together as a couple. I don't blame Justin for any of it, but I do have the green monster tendency sometimes.



    4) Unreasonable expectations

    Basically, think of your teenage check-list for the perfect husband. I'll be honest. There is no such thing as a perfect husband. These expectations could be in how he treats you, the job he works, his skills and hobbies, how spiritual he is, how he looks. It isn't fair to project a set of dream standards upon him when you agreed to marry him the way he is.



    I wanted to marry someone taller than six feet, who wanted to go to grad school immediately, loved to read, and loved to stay active, and had some sort of musical talent. Although Justin is good at folk-dancing and some ballroom dancing, he is only 5'10", has an auto-immune (plus diagnosed flat feet) so maintaining as active a lifestyle as I lead is difficult, would rather watch sports or play a game then read, and doesn't need to go to grad school for his career choice (just take qualification tests and certificates), I still love him for who he is. I support his decisions, although if he chose to work on any of those check lists, I would be ecstatic, but I don't expect him to because I fell in love with him the way he is and married him for who he is.



    5) Transference of blame

    This is blaming all arguments on your husband, or saying that he drove you to do a certain thing, or "he brought it upon himself." It takes two to argue, and the truth hurts. I have seen my dad give up many arguments with both my mom and us children saying, "I'm the loser. You win. It's my fault," when the majority of the time, it was our fault to begin with. My dad doesn't like tension in the house and doesn't like confrontation, so he'll put the blame upon himself before someone else can do it.



    I feel like I'm the opposite in this. I tend to blame myself more than blame Justin. I tend to think of myself as the worse spouse and him as the better spouse. Maybe that needs to be fixed, but at least I'm doing good with this chapter!



    6) Creating doubts

    Sorenson describes this chapter as "not necessarily seen as formal 'abuse'...may simply be evidence of bad communication skills or the utilization of dysfunctional 'techniques' in relating to others or in expressing needs and concerns." Really, it's making your husband think something that isn't true. It's kind of like Verbal Abuse and Transference of Blame put together. And, it can be seriously manipulative and cause serious damage to your husband's self-image and self-confidence. And the worst part is, sometimes it's completely unintentional!



    One of the clearest examples I have was when we were dating. I've always been a pretty independent girl and put heavy dedication into my schooling. So, there would be a few nights that I would say, "Ok, I'm gonna go work on homework, see you in the morning." Then, without a kiss, but a quick hug, I'd leave and go work on homework. Justin never dated a girl like that, so he thought he did something to cause me to leave. Also, apparently, I have a few faces or tones that I use for various reasons. Sometimes that can be confusing to Justin and makes him wonder if he did something wrong.



    7) Manifest Jealousy

    Sometimes women can be jealous of their husbands: how they react with other women, staying at home while he gets to go to work, or how close he is to his family, etc). This can cause tension between the marriage. But, he also says it could also include women who are overtly dependent.



    Honestly, I'm not jealous of Justin in any of these regards. I don't isolate him, I let him go out on bro-dates, and have his own hobbies, and let him play video games often. However, there was a point in our marriage in the first few months, where I had trouble socializing outside of him. So, when he was out with friends, after a while, I'd get real lonely and couldn't sleep, so I'd ask him to come home because I missed him. I don't do that anymore. If he's out late, or playing a video game late, I text him and tell him I love him and I'm going to bed (because he asks to know when I'm going to bed).



    8) Exhibiting Violent Behavior

    Now this is another spectrum one: actual physically violent behavior to him or his property, threats, or accidental violent behavior.



    I am proud to say that I have never damaged Justin's property, nor have I ever touched him harshly. I have made a vow to him that I will never hit him. And I take that seriously.



    9) Withholding Intimacy

    Now, I'm going to say this upfront--this is a private issue, I'm not going to talk about Justin and me. Eww. Bedroom stuff should stay in the bedroom, and not on a blog.



    Remember that one episode of Everyone Love's Raymond where he and Deborah got in a fight and then starting withholding sex from each other and then it turned into a contest to see who could go without the longest? That's an example of this chapter--withholding sex as a punishment or encouragement to get your husband to those unreasonable expectations. However, it also has a big caveat for women who have been sexually abused before or to whom sex is physically painful for them. However, the biggest warning he gave was that withholding sex because you just don't feel like it or are too tired or that "the stars aren't aligned" is a small form of this abuse. He makes sure to say that women shouldn't have to give sex to their husbands whenever they wanted it, but they needed to be clear about expectations and to remember that Heavenly Father gave us the commandment and gift to be intimate with each other. Intimacy strengthens the marriage.



    10) Creating Fear

    This is another form of manipulation. Again, threats like divorce, turning kids against your husband, telling everyone negative things about him, suicide, etc. This just isn't fair or nice, nor is it establishing a good strong partnership.



    Thankfully, I don't threaten my husband! However, he has mentioned that sometimes, he stays silent because he's afraid I'll get upset or it'll hurt my feelings. That, too, is a form of creating fear. We both act that way--we don't want to hurt each others feelings so badly that sometimes our communication as a married couple suffers for it sometimes.



    Honestly, most of these chapters have to do with communication, which is one of the most important things in a marriage. I really enjoyed this book, and love learning different ways to improve myself as a women of God, a mother, and a wife. I definitely suggest this book to you if you are married, engaged, or dating someone.

    Mebane, NC

    good for women to read

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    Before any of my fellow ladies get angry and annoyed at this seemingly sexist title, and want to ask, “What about the things men do?,” C.C. Sorensen fully acknowledges that in many cases, men definitely can, and do harm their relationships. The reason why he chose to write a book addressing what women do is because it is very rarely talked about by the general public, or counseled on by LDS church leaders. It is something that is very real, but doesn’t get the exposure it needs.



    In each chapter, he mentions that men are sometimes guilty of the abuse in question too, and that it is absolutely inappropriate, but reminds us he is talking about women in this book.



    In his conclusion, in speaking of why he wrote the book, he said, “My goal was not to vindicate men or to criticize women. On the contrary, my intent was to heal marriages and families (pg 156). ”



    Even though he is speaking to LDS women (or really, any Christian women), I truly got the feeling that he does want to help heal marriages and families through his writing.



    That being said, Sorensen is very blunt. If you take offense easily, you may not like this book much. It took me a couple chapters to get used to his candor, but once I did, I really started to contemplate on his words, and ask myself, “Am I guilty of this?”



    His advice really held weight because, amongst his words, he included words from experts, words from general authorities, statistics, and most poignantly, stories from men and women he has counseled over the years. Sometimes, the things the women said were like nails on a chalkboard, and some of the things the men said just made me want to cry.



    Male abuse is real, and women really can be abusers.



    One thing I loved about Sorensen’s book, was that in almost every chapter, he explained how some abusive behaviors could be a result of mental illness or previous abuse. He outlined symptoms, and said that if someone was feeling that way, to go and get some professional help. He also said that in cases of mental illness, the person may not be fully aware or accountable of the abuse.



    The book also helped me to learn a little bit about how men and women are different. Sorensen spoke of Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages, and of how men’s brains are more compartmentalized like waffles, and women’s are more intertwined like spaghetti. Having knowledge of these differences can help the way a wife interprets her husband’s words and deeds, making her less likely to get angry over something he does, most likely unawares, to annoy her.



    There were two things about the book I didn’t like:



    The comments in gray by different women and experts – When I first started reading the book, I read all the comments, which were reactions and personal opinions related to Sorensen’s words. Unfortunately, it was taking me forever to read the book, and sometimes I would have to stop mid-sentence to read a gray comment, and then turn the page and read the rest of the sentence I left off on. It was distracting. So, I stopped reading all the comments, stopping randomly to read some. I admit, some of the comments were well-thought out, and even spiritual. Others, though, added nothing to the content, and some even were rather judgmental and hotheaded.

    Sorensen’s words about pornography in Chapter 9 – The subject of pornography is a very sensitive subject to me. In the text, Sorensen made it sound like men have daily sexual temptation around them that women just can’t understand (as if women don’t also see all the things men do), and also made it sound like a man’s wife might push him to a pornography addiction, if not by lack of physical needs being met, by emotional needs not being met. He asked wives whose husbands have porn addictions to ask what needs their husbands aren’t getting met, as if the wives were the cause of the addiction. That really rubbed me the wrong way. I doubt he meant to do so, but he really did, especially because he failed to mention that in many cases, husbands already have pornography problems before marriage. Anyway, sorry about the soapbox.

    Overall, the book was really well written. It gave a wealth of insight on ways that women may unknowingly be abusing their husbands, or at least harming them emotionally and mentally on some level. I have some takeaways for myself, as I occasionally do some of the things he spoke about.



    If we women are honest with ourselves, we will know the real answer to “Am I guilty of this?” With that honesty and self-reflection, we can be the beauty our husband needs, rather than the beast he fears.



    *I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. www.ablisscomplete.com

    When Beauty is a Beast

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    I found this book gave insight on things many women may do that may cause harm to a relationship with their husbands/men in their life. One thing that the book points out is, that we tend to mother our men sometimes, and we may not realize it. I find myself doing that and since reading the book I have tried to be more aware of this and change it. There are many other things in this book that tells the man's side of things and it is a real eye opener. It talks about many other things, that are abusive behavior by women to men. I was really surprised and shocked at some of the things in the book. Reading this book could be a real help to couples to see things that could be done differently to make for a better relationship. It helps you to build up your husband/man so he feels better about himself.