1. How long have you been married? Describe what you think a picture-perfect marriage would look like.
2. What does it take to build a satisfying marriage—and why do you think so many marriages are unsatisfying?.
Monday: Secrets Revealed
1. Are you emotionally ready to explore how your husband is “equal, but not the same?” Brainstorm ways you can start allowing and encouraging your man to function the way he is wired—not the way you are.
Resources for "bonus section" at the bottom of this page
2. If the first thing men need is respect, why do you think we as women don’t always do a good job of giving it to them? Share stories of how giving respect has led a husband to act more loving.
3. When was the last time you "needed" your husband—and told him so? Ask your group members for ideas on how to invite him to do things for you and creative ideas on how to express your appreciation for his efforts.
Tuesday: Creatures from Another Planet . . . or Creatures of Habit?
1. Do you often find yourself asking your husband, "Why do you do that?" Explore whether you are asking him to act less like a man, and talk about other ways you could respond.
2. Identify what kind of mama your husband might have grown up with—the overprotective mother, the no-room-to-fail mother, the driven mother, or the disciplining mother (God bless them!). Did you learn something new by reading these descriptions—and if so, what? (note verse 13).
3. On page 80, Dr. Leman says, "Men are trainable, and the best way for them to learn is through consequences." Try this: role play a situation where a husband consistently comes home about thirty minutes late for dinner. Your goal is to offer consequences that will help to change this behavior.
Wednesday: Think about What You Want to Say, Then Divide It by Ten
1. Brainstorm effective ways you might decrease the number of words you use with your husband. (Example: call a girlfriend to share the story in detail before sharing only the essential details with your husband.)
2. Is it possible to ask your husband to do something and NOT remind him again? Group members, ask each other next week if you tried this model:
1) ask him once; 2) walk away; 3) resist the temptation to remind him; 4) let reality be the teacher.
3. Before reading this chapter, did you realize how emotionally fragile men can be? Discuss at least three examples of how wives can use their words to help their men feel more respected, needed, and fulfilled.
Thursday: Think of Him as a Seal Waiting for a Three-Pound Fish
1. Read question number 2 from chapter 3. Were you successful at not reminding your husband of your expectations this week? How did this strategy work for you?
2. Ah, sex. Why is making love to his wife a key ingredient for a man’s confidence and happiness? Don’t talk about your marriage specifically, but do discuss several ideas for revving up a tired love life. (Example: Surprise a husband by booking a night in a hotel on your half anniversary—5½ years for him, 5½ years for you equals 11 years.)
3. Have you heard of “love languages” before (see page 166)? What do you think your husband’s love language is? Go through all five languages and list at least one idea for showing love for each language: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
Friday: It Takes a Real Woman to Make a Man Feel Like a Real Man
1. What does it mean for a wife to "play smart" in a marriage (see page 175)? Are you comfortable with Dr. Leman's encouragement to put your husband first? Why or why not?
2. Your opinion, please: In an effort to become equal with our husbands, have we sometimes given up on making our husbands the priority they should be in our lives? If you're comfortable doing so, share how you would like to make a change in this area.
3. It's Friday—time to assess your ability to have a new husband by encouraging him to be the hero he's meant to be. Do you believe the principles you've learned can help make positive changes in your relationship—starting today? What are you willing to do to make this happen?
Epilogue: It's all in the implementation, sister!
Dr. Leman's basics on having a new husband by Friday:
1. Show him respect.
2. Show him he's needed in your world.
3. Listen to him, and honor his opinion.
4. Affirm his masculinity.
5. Don't ask him "why?"
6. Choose your words carefully—and streamline them.
7. Pursue his body at will—and put the sizzle and fun back into your relationship.
If you get stuck, simply start at the top of the list, and concentrate on a new "to-do" each day. And if all else fails, remember your husband needs:
You can do it!