Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
This book is great as a way of understanding how our culture trains boys and girls to be different. We teach girls that they can cry when theyīre sad, talk about their feelings, and share experiences with each other. We teach boys that they need to ībuck upī and be manly, to hide the tears, to face it like a man, to be the rock on which the females can rely. It is no surprise that these lessons affect adults, and affect how male and females relate (or fail to relate) to each other.
In essence, a few core themes run through the book, being supported by various examples, and different wording that help make the points clear.
First, men are goal-oriented, internalizing, and when they are stressed, "retreat to a cave" to consider what to do. They want to come to a solution on their own, and *then* emerge. To try to help them while they are in the "cave" is counter productive.
Men want to be trusted and admired. This is the whole Knight-in-Armor, John Wayne, Rambo training we have given men. They want to feel that the woman believes in them. To question a man is to show your doubt. The book recommends if your man is lost while driving, or forgets something while travelling, to just be quiet and accept it. It will show your trust in him to get there eventually or to solve the problem. Iīm personally not sure if tihs is always wise advice.
Women, on the other hand, are nurturing, expressive, feeling individuals who tend to use poetic license such as saying "you ALWAYS forget to do that chore" or "you NEVER listen to me". The advice given to men is to take what women say with a grain of salt, and not to react to any of it literally. Most of what women want, according to the book, is just to be heard. Women donīt want solutions or answers. They want to feel that their feelings are being heard and understood ... they want to be held and be told "Yes, yes, I understand". The book explains that men make the mistake of thinking women tell them things in order for the men to *fix* those things. Instead, the women tell them things in order to share their feelings, but arenīt seeking actual resolutions.
While I agree that women are trained to share feelings and to sometimes be overly emotional, to tell a man that women never want resolutions, and always exaggerate, is not treating a woman as a logical human being perfectly capable of wanting answers.
There is definitely a lot of helpful information in the book. It is of course good to show trust in your husband. It is important to understand what your wife *means* and not just pick apart what she literally has *said*. It is good to understand that society trains men to "retreat" to consider problems, and that they consider interference during this time as "harassment" instead of "helpful". Itīs good to realize that women have emotional cycles and can sometimes be happy, and sometimes sad, and that nobody is always happy.
However, be sure to read the book as a guideline on how to help your relationship, and not as a Bible which has the exact ways in which you and your special partner can relate to each other. It definitely has interesting hints and tips, and interesting stories to share. It also has many generalizations that, for many individuals, simply do not apply.
Buy the book at Amazon.Com
Relationship Book Reviews