Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known psychologist, radio and television personality, and speaker who has taught and entertained audiences worldwide with his wit and commonsense psychology. He has made house calls for hundreds of radio and television programs, including The View, Today, Oprah, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning, and LIFE Today with James Robison. He has also served as a contributing family psychologist to Good Morning America. Dr. Leman and his wife, Sande, live in Tucson, Arizona. They have 5 children and 2 grandchildren.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Do you really believe that a woman can have a new husband by Friday?
To tell you the truth it’s a scam, you can have a new husband by Wednesday! It only takes a few days. Men are quick to notice the differences in you. And they will want to please you.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: What are the most common complaints you hear from women about their husbands?
Compliant #1, he is only interested in sex. And oh, ESPN too. He doesn’t pick up after himself and won’t listen to me.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: What’s the first thing a woman must understand when she wants to see a change in her husband?
She has to put away her psychological Brillo pad and stop on working on his spots. You have to track the man to his den. He is a creature of habits; you can break those habits by understanding a basic truth about your husband. Think of him as a 4-year old who shaves. He is much simpler than you. You are the complex one who majors in relationships. He majors in arm-length relationships, but he doesn’t want an arm's-length relationship with you. This is the key to unlocking your husband. There are some simple keys to turning your husband into the man you want.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Can you explain why you’re so adamant that most men really do want to be good husbands—even though their behavior doesn’t seem to reflect that desire?
As a man who has been married 42 years in a row, I have been at this for a long time. I have written 36 books. I have given sold-out seminars throughout the world. 25 years ago when I did marriage seminars there would be 80% women and 20% men. Your husband gets frustrated because you don’t speak directly to him. Most women want their husband to know how they feel without telling him how she feels. This frustrates many a man and he will hibernate in his personal cocoon.
The key principle in Have a New Husband will help bring that fuzzy little caterpillar out of his cocoon. In other words, women love to be held. For example, if a wife says she wants to be held, her husband will come over and hold her. What she tells herself is that he held you because she asked, but husbands need direct communication. Most men really want to please their wives.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: You say that your steps are simple, but not easy. Can you explain why that is?
Men are the simpler of the creatures. Men and puppies are very trainable and if you do three basic things right, you will have a husband that will want to please you.
- Speak well of your husband; especially in front of other people. It’ll be like you threw him a 3 pound fish. He will take his flippers and bang them together for you. If you threw him a ball, he would balance it on his nose like a seal. Men want to feel appreciated. He thrives on "good job" and other words of encouragement.
- Show him in as many ways as you can that you respect him. Ask him what he thinks; including areas that you know that he doesn’t know much about.
- Finally, show him how much you need him. Keep in mind that men don’t have close personal friends; in fact, your husband probably has none. Most women have 3-4 close friends. So in another words if a women will speak well of her husband, show him kindness and respect, he is going to be a husband who puts you first in all relationships.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: Where do women usually get things wrong when they interact with their husbands?
Don’t ask them why. One word you need to eliminate is why. You will put them on the defense immediately. Most men don’t like to be told what to do. For example, a women should say, “The patio is looking pretty rough, isn’t it tomorrow that the Johnson’s are coming to dinner?” That way husbands can make the decision on their own to clean up the patio.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: What are some rules of thumbs women can keep in mind when communicating with their husbands?
Number 1: Think of what you are going to say and divide it by 10.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: What role does physical affection play in having a new husband by Friday?
I have never...never in 35 years of private practice had a man or a woman come into the office and say, "we have a great sexual relationship and are getting divorced." An intimate, sexual relationship is important to work toward. It’s easier for a man to enjoy sex and quite frankly, if he is planning on being a good lover, he needs to think about the late conductor Arthur Fiedler. The man has to be able to orchestrate many things to make a woman feel loved and prized; that creates the basics for a woman to enjoy the sexual relationship with her husband.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: You say that there are some basic differences between men and women. What are some of those?
We are literally totally different when you look at the research on left brain and right brain. Men and Women are like that too. They have different emotional, psychological, and communication needs. For example on Communication, when you are driving with your spouse and she says, “That is a cute shop”. That means you need to turn around and let her go in there. It is no fun for a woman to tell a man this is what her need is. She wants him to know what her needs are. And when he meets that need without being told, she purrs like a kitten. The researchers tell us that women use 3 and half times the words that a man uses in a given day. We tend to see the same things differently throughout our marriage.
CHRISTIANBOOK.com: How can a couple use their innate, gender-specific differences to better their relationship?
Women are all about relationships and therefore just being a woman gives you an advantage in marriage and in life, in general. I’m always sharing with married men that they would be smart to run everything by their wives first. Women are closer to life than men are. So the smart woman, who is good at relationships, wants her husband to cut the lawn, straighten out the patio, and trim the hedges. It would be so smart and relational to say something like “Hey Rock, isn’t it tomorrow night that our friends are coming over for a cookout?” Let his logical mind figure out that he needs to cut the grass and do the yard work.
A woman understands relationships and understands that the man needs to please her. When you have problem and need a solution, a woman should say, “Honey, I have a problem. Can I step into your mind and see what you think I need to do about it?” Men are good at solving problems and you have made him feel valued and wanted. Keep in mind that because you have the upper hand in relationships, do not over-use or simply manipulate your husband. He will see through that.