Opening Our Hearts To Men

Susan Jeffers

Publisher

Piatkus Books

Published

2005

ISBN

978-0749926441

Reviewer

Gill Fitzpatrick

I am sure many of you will recognise the author, she of ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’.

I know I’m one of only a very few that actually didn’t like the book, not the sentiments just the way it was written, it irritated me. I must admit however that it’s a long time since I read it and my perception may well have changed by now so, when I saw this book in a charity shop the other day for 89 pence, I thought OK I’ll risk 89p. I’m very glad I did.

Relationships are my wound, I’ve made a very bad job of them all my life yet it took me until I was in my late 40’s to realise that the common denominator in ALL my failed relationships was me. It sounds so ridiculous doesn’t it? I mean how could it be anyone else’s responsibility but mine yet I just couldn’t see it. I held the Mills & Boon dream that one-day my prince would come and make me happy. As if it’s anyone else’s responsibility to make me happy!  Back to the book. The author asks us to look at ourselves instead of outside, she encourages us to let go of our anger and re-vision our expectations, she asks us to become whole people in our own right and not to look to complete ourselves through another. She asks us to get our relationships in perspective by allotting equal importance to at least eight other areas of our lives so that if a relationship ends we are not devastated.

Back to expectations. How many of us actually sat down with our prospective partner and honestly said “This is what I am looking for and this is what I am offering, is this good for you?” No most of us expect our poor men to be mind readers and feel that we shouldn’t have to tell them what we want, they should intuitively know! I’m not saying men don’t do the same but somehow we seem to have more anger about it than they do.

The author makes a very pertinent point about the transition time that we have been living through since the Women’s Movement. A change as radical as this takes some time to be absorbed into the collective psyche. Our generations may not have had to live though a world war but we do seem to be living through a war of the sexes, both men and women are struggling to know what (who) it is that they are meant to be and especially what (who) it is they are meant to be in relation to each other. This book offers many insights and affirmations to enable us to adapt to this change and makes us realise that men are just as vulnerable and scared of rejection as we are and need just as much love.

Gill x

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