The book Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus by John Gray needs no introduction and seriously, is doesn't need any review as well. It is almost a decade old book and still considered to be best relationship book for couples.
The book has been acclaimed as the best self help book for relationships which one can find, in spite of the fact that it suffered from many criticisms as well.
After reading the entire book word by word, I can safely say that the author actually understand, to a great extent, how men and women's behavior and nature works. And it is best among John Gray's books.
So I will not make an attempt to review the book. I will just share in a nutshell, my takeaway from the book. I have also jotted down all the important points for a quick read in the form of summary of Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.
The crux on which the entire book is based is Men and Women are different. Their personalities, way of thinking, reacting, perception, mindset, behaviour everything is different. So you accept this as a fact and half of your problems in a relationship will be solved.
According to John Gray the basic feature of women's nature is she needs to be heard. And the basic feature of men's nature is he needs his space. If men genuinely hears out women and in turn women provide men solitude when required, it will always result in a harmonious relation. It is when men and women don't get what is required, then all the misunderstanding and misinterpretations starts.
My Personal Experience
The book has been written in the simplest possible manner, keeping in mind the complex topic. There are examples and situations you can easily relate to. In fact, many of them happened with us also.
There were times, while reading I used to plunge into a reflective mood. I started understanding myself better. Honestly, I used to wonder why my husband reacted in that way or why I reacted in certain ways. The book really explains that.
In one of the chapter the author writes that women while talking expresses feelings, but men only absorbs information. Let me give you an example from my life.
Whenever I don't want to cook, I ask the husband, "What shall I cook?" In reality, I want him to read between the lines and take me out for dinner. And the husband says, "Cook food in dinner simple." So we end up eating at home and I end up feeling frustrated that why can't he understand.
I realized it after reading the book. So next time I asked him, "Would you take me out for a dinner." And bingo he said let's go out.
So in other words the book helped me understand my own behaviour and also my husband's. Instead of taking his silences as rejection, I try to interpret them in a more positive way and give him space.
The book has been criticized for the clear demarcation of traits. There are many men who think out loud, which the author prescribed to be a women's trait while there are many women who crave for solitude which the author prescribed to be a men's trait.
It is also criticized to present everything as a statement and not as a theory.
For this reason, in the new edition, the author specifically clarifies on it, that clear demarcation was done for the ease of writing and understanding and characteristics could be found in anyone and it is not gender specific.
The book was written in early 90's so as expected there is a lot of build-ups and frills in the book. It becomes tad bit boring and tiring to read due to repetition of the same stuff again and again. Nevertheless the book still seems to be valid to a great extent.
Other Books by John Gray
After the unprecedented success of Men From Mars and Women From Venus, John Gray wrote more books in the same series. They were
- Mars and Venus in the Bedroom
- Mars and Venus on a Date
- Why Mars and Venus Collide
- Beyond Mars and Venus
- Mars and Venus Starting Over
- Mars and Venus 365 Ways To Keep Your Love Alive
All these books are based on the same concept that of Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus but are presented in different way and are more niche specific.
Basically it was a money churning topic and the author tried to present the same set of dolls with different clothes. In other words same concept written in different words with more stress on the niche topic.
Reading one book is enough maybe the first one.