Mr. French seems to have a lot of rather misogynistic notions about women - but then it happens that a lot of men seem to as well. He attributes quite a bit of power and control to us that I'm not sure is actually valid - but then, I'm a woman and by definition I'm not going to understand why so often men do attribute so much power to us when we feel helpless and manipulated by just the type of actions and circumstances the men in this book describe. Still, I'm finding this book helpful because it gives a purely male view toward what causes relationships to fail, and that is what I was looking for in order to better understand my own present circumstances. I do not have to agree with all of what he says in order to gain insight and value from it. French does an excellent job of presenting a list of very well-illustrated reasons why men may have difficulty in relationships, and this information will help me to be more effective in my dealings with people of the opposite sex, as well as have empathy toward them and perhaps not be so likely to feel hurt by them. Understanding, respect, and open dialogue about the inner landscape that leads us to act and feel the way we do about others is the canvas on which he makes a case for more effective and ultimately satisfying relationships between men and women. After all, it's the inability of the sexes to communicate effectively that is at the root of most of our failures, and this is a point he makes rather well.
Reading this book led me to discover the attachment style theories. This in turn provides more insight into the problems that can develop when two people in a relationship do not understand their own motivations and issues, and are ignorant of certain important truths about themselves and their relationship partners due to realities that they perceive as flawed, unbelievable, or invalid.
Fortunately not all men are like the troubled ones described in this book. It is, however, a good guidepost for things to watch out for - because in the initial stages as related by the individual men who share their own stories, there were definite warning signs of the problems that would be likely to develop, if only their partners had been knowledgeable about the inability or difficulties that certain people have to develop and sustain close, successful, and ultimately satisfying partnerships. As much as I berated myself for being unable to discern what really lay behind my recent husband's dissatisfaction and rejection, I know now that I did all that I could. An entire realm of personal excavation and growth needs to be explored before he will ever be ready for a real relationship with anyone, including himself. And I can not do that for him.