Title: I Wish He Had Come With Instructions: The Woman’s Guide to a Man’s Brain

Author: Mike Bechtle

Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group)

# Pages: 213

Rating: 4 out 5


Why I Chose It: I always thought I had a firm grasp of the male brain.  I grew up as a tomboy, tagging along with my older brothers and making more male friends than females.  I seemed to click better with them.  When I envisioned my future husband and children, difficulty in communicating never crossed my mind as a potential struggle. Then I got married.  Then I had my first child (a boy).  Boy, was I ever in for a shock!

I picked this book not in an effort to control the men in my life or to manipulate my interactions with them, but as a way to learn more about the innate differences between men and women (the majority of them, at least).  I hoped this book would help me form stronger bonds with them by communicating in a more effective and supportive manner (instead of just getting upset when they didn’t do or say something in the way I wanted or expected).

Publisher’s Blurb: 

What is he really thinking?

You used to know him so well, you could finish each other’s sentences. But more often now, it feels like he speaks a foreign language–or maybe came from another planet. What happened?

Relationship and communication expert Mike Bechtle offers you an insider’s guide to the sometimes puzzling male brain. He explains how men think, act, communicate, and grow in relationships. Simple and practical, this book is a road map for better conversations and improved relationships.

My Thoughts:

In honor of learning more about different communication styles and ways of thinking/processing, I am going to do this post a little differently.  Instead of my usual lengthy discussion, here are the things I love (and hate) about this book.

3 things I loved:

  • The humor–Each chapter begins with a funny anecdote designed to make women chuckle in a collective understanding– “he gets it, we can trust him to shoot us straight.”  Bechtle’s voice is wonderful.  I could have a conversation with this man every day and never grow tired of hearing what he has to say.  It is engaging, relevant, and honest.
  • The cover — seriously, it gets me every time, folks! Good marketing really does increase your initial customer interaction.  Give me a cute wind up robot and attractive lettering any day if you want me to give your book a chance.
  • The quick tidbits that stick in your mind — this book can be a quick read, or it can be a lengthy study.  Choose your own adventure and you will still take away a wealth of knowledge.

“Healthy relationships come when similarities aren’t forgotten and differences are celebrated” (31).


2 things I hated:

  • The repetition— Mike Bechtle won’t make generalizations and claim to know about every man.  We get it.  Women can’t “fix” their men, but need to embrace the differences.  We get it.  What women want out of a book like this isn’t a “quick fix,” but insight.  Bechtle gives that, but his hesitance to act as an expert on a topic that he is writing a book about is frustrating.  If women can’t trust you to discuss men’s brains (or rely on what you are saying to form an opinion), why in the world are you writing a book about the topic.  Give your warnings to heed once (not every chapter, beginning and end) and let us women be on our merry way to navigating the (healthy and humanly imperfect) man’s brain.
  • The length of the book — this ties directly in to the first thing I didn’t like.  If things weren’t repeated 10 times, the book could have been considerably shorter and more direct.  I honestly feel that while there was a lot to take away from this book, my attention span would have appreciated only having 1/2 the number of pages with twice the punch.  Just become some women tend to chatter like magpies doesn’t mean that a book geared toward women needs to be filled with rambling repetition.

1 thing to take away

  • Chapter 13:  Make Two a Team — this chapter is the essence of the book.  A woman can’t make a man behave in a certain manner, and a man cannot control a woman to create a particular lifestyle or home situation.  Both partners need to work together to create a harmonious relationship in which both partners feel loved, respected, and needed.  The same can be said for any type of relationship, whether between a man and woman or 2 individuals of the same sex.  Ultimately, you must know a little about human behavior and motivation in order to best understand how to compromise and work toward the same goal TOGETHER.  Life isn’t a competition–no one gets out alive anyway.