Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus Summary
The entire book Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus by John Gray is based upon a simple theory that men and women are different. If couples recognize it and accept it and make a conscious effort to explore each other then, half of the problem is solved.
The author, in great, details has explained how men and women are different and failure to understand these differences leads to fights and in many cases separation well.
So lets decode the men and women’s behavior.
Men takes pride in solving problems on their own. It gives them a sense of achievement and competency. They feel incompetent when someone interferes and offer them advises or help.
Women due to their caring nature can’t see their men in trouble and feel nothing wrong in offering advises or help.
It is here the problem begins. Men hate unsolicited advises.
What women can do in such a situation?
Women should restrain themselves from givings advises until and unless asked for and trust their partner to find a solution on their own. Men feel loved when their partner trust them.
When women are irritated and frustrated, something is troubling them, they seek companionship and expect attentive ears to hear them out and understand them.
Men are problem solver by nature. They love to provide solutions to the problems. It is their way to express love.
It is here the trouble begins. Women hate solutions when they actually want their partner to listen to them. They feel unloved and unheard.
What men can do in such a situation?
Men have to understand, when women are frustrated they just have to hold them, hug them and listen to them without offering their expert solution.
In other words men want space and women want to be heard.
How Men and Women cope with stress?
Men become quiet.
Women become talkative.
Men and women respond to the same problem in different ways.
When men are pondering over a problem and searching for a possible solution, when they are stressed out or when they desire to spend some time in solitude or with oneself they suddenly become silent, aloof and distant.
If they can’t find a solution, they will busy themselves in some other activities to divert mind. Conversing or listening to someone is the last thing they want to do.
This sudden silence and withdrawal of men is alarming for women. The latter feel unloved, ignored and crave for attention. They misinterpret their silence for rejection. They can’t understand men’s need to keep all the problems to themselves instead of sharing them and feel better.
Well, this is what women do when they are under stress, when some problem is disturbing their peace of mind, when she want to spend sometime with oneself or unwind. She talks, she shares and she feels better. Talking is a natural healer for women. In the absence of which women began to bottle up the frustration.
How to tackle such diverse behavior?
Simple, when men seek solitude, women should respect their need for space and spend that time in fun activities like a day out with friends, going for shopping etc. Without feeling rejected or ignored.
Men, on the other hand, can easily spare a few minutes to listen to their partner. When women shares her feelings, she is not exactly blaming him for her frustration. Men don’t have to take it personally.
Different speaking language
Men and women style of conversing and expressing and absorbing things is also different from each other. Men give more attention to words and their literal meanings. Women give more attention to the tone behind the words. Men absorb information when women express her feelings.
So when men say he is fine. It means he is fine. But the same might not be true in case of women.
Women talk in a way which sound like riddle to men. For example if a woman says, ‘what to cook in dinner. I am short of ideas. Do you have any suggestion.’ But what she actually wants to say is ‘let’s go out for dinner’. But man gathers just the information and suggest some ideas for dinner.
Just like women misinterpret men’s silence, men also fail to read between the lines which leads to friction. The entire situation blows up for nothing.
Men can try and develop the art of listening by finding out the underlying issues bothering her, by sympathizing and understanding her without giving solutions.
Women can be a little more articulate with their feelings and don’t fail to appreciate your partner when he listens and makes you feel better.
Men and Women Intimate cycle
The author has explained men and women intimacy cycle through metaphors like rubber band and waves respectively.
Men will pamper and cherish their partner like the most important person in their life when they are at the peak of their intimacy. But then they suddenly get this desire to pull away for some solitude like a rubber band stretches away they will pull away themselves. But after a certain point the rubber band comes back where it started. Similarly the men come running back.
Women when on high wave will be at her best. They will be happy, loving and caring. But suddenly they realize that they are not receiving love and care in the same way they are giving, their wave crashes. She becomes insecure, irritable and frustrated.
The problem begins when the men’s pulling away and women’s crashing waves happens at the same time. During pulling away time men seek solitude and during wave crashing time women seek companionship.
Assuring women and making them feel secure each time her waves crashes is the way men can support their partner. As soon as her waves begin to rise she will come back to her normal charming and loving ways.
Similarly, women should allow men to pull away from time to time without raising alarm.
This is a natural intimacy cycle for both men and women, which shouldn’t be suppressed or obstructed.
Different emotional needs
Women want care, understanding, respect, devotion, validation and reassurance from their partner.
A man should show his heartfelt concern for her well being, to understand her viewpoint, to respect her needs and wishes as an individual, to support her, to validate her feelings, and to make her feel secure. She doesn’t like solutions when she is seeking attentive audience and a few comforting words of understanding. She feels loved when she is high on his priority list.
Men want trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval and encouragement from their partner.
Men thrive when women trust their abilities, when they accept them as they are, when their efforts and contributions are acknowledged, when women admire their characteristics and talents, when he is her hero and encourages him to move forwards in life.
The bond deepens when men and women receive these expressions of love. There could be minor friction here and there but things will never blow out of proportion when men and women receive all the expressions of love.
In the otherwise scenario, the resentment finds their way out at the slightest pretext which could have been easily avoided.
The way men and women give points to each other for loving gestures is also supremely different. Men give scores in leaps and bounds for every loving gesture from his partner, but women give only one point for each loving gesture irrespective of the size, big or small.
So if a man proposes his wife in hot air balloon in the most romantic manner scores one point and a surprise peck on the cheek also scores one point.
Now what men need to do is to fill her tank of love with these small loving and caring gestures along with the occasional big ones. For women little things are also equally important as the big one. When she is brimming with love, she will shower on him all the six expressions of love which he wants.
But often men forget doing these small things and concentrate on the big one and remains in the illusion that he is doing enough. Women get frustrated that they are giving a lot and not receiving enough.
Here John Gray advises women that instead of getting frustrated that their men are not doing enough, guide them. Request them to do those little things and appreciate them. Gradually men will understand.
Men, on the other hand, need love, all the six expressions of love mentioned above and women can easily score points by supporting men when they are vulnerable, when they have committed mistakes, when they don’t keep their commitments etc.
The words spoken in the heat of the moment, with the frustration bottled up, resentment at the peak, they pierce into the heart leaving behind a deep wound. John Gray has shared a very effective strategy to avoid such a situation.
Instead of facing your partner directly write a love letter pouring out all your negative thoughts, fears, anger, sadness, hatred, regret into it till the soft feeling return. And you will feel fantastic or at least your thoughts will be coherent and organized and much of the negativity will be absorbed in the letter leaving you in a better state to face your partner. And men and women might amiably resolve the issue.
Give and Receive
A major problem couples face, which also create an imbalance of give and take in a relationship, is women don’t ask for support and men don’t give without being asked.
There is nothing as such men don’t want to give their support to women. They want to support in every possible way. The problem is they don’t even know about it. Men take pride in being self reliant and think same for women as well.
Women, on the other hand, are caring by nature. They provide support and care to others without being asked. So they expect the same thing for themselves which sadly doesn’t happen all the time. This is another reason which creates so much trouble in a relationship. Women becomes tired of giving and after a certain point they start resenting.
What is the solution?
How do women get support without asking? There are three strategies for it.
First women have to make request for small things and then appreciate men open heartedly for their help and support. Soon men will know when you expect help and will provide it without being asked.
Second step ask for help and support even when you know he will say no. Take the no gracefully. He won’t be able to say no next time.
Third step is to ask for help assertively and if he grumbles, then keep mum for sometime. The grumbling will soon convert into positive action.
By following these steps men will soon be conditioned to support women without being asked. Because men will know instinctively that their partner need support. But yes, women should not fail to appreciate men for their initiative.
Well, this is a brief summary of the book Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. The book faced severe criticism for being sexist and creating gender differences by calling men and women different. Also the author has presented everything as a fact and not as a theory.
Anyways, you might relate to the book or you might not. You might agree with some parts of the book and other parts could be simply avoided.
If you liked this summary then please subscribe to the blog to receive more such summaries or join our whatsapp book group.