For spouses and couples, what you'll read may help to foster a fundamental and basic understanding between the sexes, and enable us to communicate more effectively. Additionally, knowing how men and women differ in their thinking and feeling, perceptions and expectations is great for even friendships and business dealings. Women cannot ever expect men to think the way they do, and vice versa. Once we get past that, I think we can then have more harmony at home, at work and in social situations.
One part below that stood out for me: While men’s conversations tend to focus on facts, women’s conversations tend to emphasize the feelings behind the facts. I have to remember this whenever I have an argument with a member of the opposite sex... hopefully he won't be too stubborn a jackass and understand that though the facts are relevant, the feelings behind the facts are just as, if not more, important.
Another book to consider: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
Whenever you spouse says or does something that baffles you, you experience one of the many differences between men and women. But once you understand how differently God has designed male and female brains, you can learn how to use those differences well in your marriage.
Then the gender differences won’t alienate you and your spouse; they’ll complement you both to strengthen your marriage. Here’s how:
Realize just how profoundly men and women differ from each other. Male and female brains are dramatically different anatomically, chemically, hormonally, and physiologically. Those differences cause fundamentally different ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
Appreciate and honor those differences. Recognize that it was God who designed men and women to be different – and to accomplish good purposes. Instead of being frustrated by the gender differences, decide to respect them and learn how to work with them instead of against them.
Understand the differences in how men and women process information. The male brain is highly systemized, with a high ability to compartmentalize, a low ability to multitask, a high ability to control emotions, a low relational orientation, a high project orientation, a high ability to “zone out,” a tendency to act first and think later when faced with stress, an aggressive response to risk, and a tendency to compete with other males. The female brain is highly empathetic, with a low ability to compartmentalize, a high ability to multitask, a low ability to control emotions, a relational orientation, a low project orientation, a low ability to “zone out,” a tendency to think and feel before acting in response to stress, a cautious response to risk, and a tendency to cooperate with other females.
Understand the differences in how men and women communicate. While men’s conversations tend to focus on facts, women’s conversations tend to emphasize the feelings behind the facts. Men solve problems best by thinking about one issue at a time, usually on their own. But women generally need to talk through problems with someone else to process their thoughts. Men approach situations with a strong desire to make decisions and take action, whereas women sometimes just want to talk about how they feel about those same situations. Men tend to speak directly and use words literally, while women tend to speak indirectly. So, wives, give your husbands the time and space he needs to think through issues on his own, be willing to work with him to find solutions you can both act on, and speak to him in direct ways he can clearly understand. Husbands, listen to your wives when they’re sharing their thoughts and feelings about the issues you face, and ask questions to clarify the meaning of what they’re saying.
Understand conquest versus nurture. Men are motivated by conquest. They tend to define themselves by their work and accomplishments. Women are motivated by nurture. They tend to define themselves by the people for whom they care. So husbands, realize that your wives have a strong desire to nurture you. Wives, realize that your husbands have a strong desire to succeed in their pursuits, and to know that you admire their efforts.
Understand provision versus security. Men are wired to provide financially for their families, while women are wired to provide the emotional security of a peaceful home. Husbands need to know that their wives are doing their best to provide an orderly and inviting home even when they’re also contributing to the family financially, and wives need to know that their husbands are doing their best to provide financially for the family even when they’re also helping with household duties. Both husbands and wives need the emotional security of knowing that their spouses truly love them and their children.
Understand respect versus love. Men need their wives to respect and admire them and their efforts and accomplishments, and to take a genuine interest in their work and hobbies. Women need their husbands to express love for them frequently through words and actions. Husbands want their wives to respect their judgment and abilities, and to express that respect in both public and private. Wives want their husbands to love them by paying attention to them, pursuing them, holding and hugging them, helping them with the children and household chores, and telling them they’re beautiful.
Serve instead of seeking to be served. Decide to meet your spouse’s needs without demanding that your own needs be met, and be willing to make the necessary sacrifices. By keeping your focus on serving rather than being served, you’ll improve the dynamic of your marriage relationship, and inspire your spouse to freely serve you. In the process, you’ll both discover that you’re stronger and more effective together than separately.