Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Men are from Mar, Women are from Venus: A Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex

by John Gray

This book was published in the early 90's, and a paperback version has been sitting on my shelf for years. I decided, after some frustrating discussions with my husband, to read it and hopefully gain some wisdom into the mystery that is Man.

If you haven't read this book and are in a relationship, please do! It will save you so much frustration trying to interpret the actions and words of a very different gender. Although some critics say that the depictions in this book are stereotypical, I found them to be (at least for me) to be very accurate. I was laughing out loud at some of the described situations because I had played them out almost word for word.

For example, Dr. Gray explains how men have a "cave". It is the reason that men usually escape into football, the newspaper, tinkering with the car, etc: they like to escape stress. By solving smaller problems, their stress about larger issues is eased. Women, on the other hand, have a tendency to "talk out" their problems and stress. Man comes home, plunks down with TV. Woman comes home and wants to talk about her day.

The problem comes in the translation of the spoken and unspoken actions of both partners. She feels he is ignoring her and being distant because he won't share his feelings. She thinks she is being supportive by peppering him with questions about his day, when really all she is doing is annoying him. While she talks about the stress of her day, he thinks she is asking him to solve her problem. When he offers solutions to her problems, she becomes frustrated because she feels he isn't listening to her. She becomes more upset; he feels like he can't do anything right and retracts further into his cave.

This is just a small sample of the insight that the book offers. I thought this book was very educational and helpful!


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