Truthfully, it means we need more time, patience and skills to navigate relationships. Unfortunately, for many couples, time is one thing they feel like they don’t have. Without the skills to understand what’s really going on in your partner or spouse’s mind, it’s very easy to make mistakes and misinterpret the signals received. From my perspective, the core principals in the Mars Venus books are more important than ever; even if we have to “age” them a bit so they reflect the changes we’ve experienced in our society in the past 20 years.
For a modern day couple, I offer this guide to translate the 5 most important Mars Venus messages from the original book into today’s fast-paced world:
Core Message #1: Men and women are different.
This is as true today as it ever was. We are different. The core message here is that men and women have different ways of giving and receiving love. What makes him feel safe, secure, virile and capable of giving to those he loves is different than what she needs.
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From my perspective, there’s nothing wrong with being different. It doesn’t mean that one sex is better than the other; it just means we’re different. Understanding those differences is the key to creating harmony in relationships. Denying they exist is like trying to teach a fish to walk on land; it simply can’t happen and trying to make it happen is futile.
I know there are a lot of science studies out there that take on the brain chemistry of male and female brains, and for those of you who believe in this science I ask you to consider this: it’s not just science that makes up how we relate, there are also the complicated variables of societal messages played out in popular culture, the values you were raised with and a host of other factors that make up the complete picture of who you are. However, brain chemistry differences related to our hormones are one big piece of the puzzle, and many scientific studies in the last 20 years have validated these differences.
Core Message #2: To recover from stress he needs a cave and she needs a well.
This is also true today, only for women it’s far more complicated. The root of this complication is that with so many women in the workforce, women are required to spend more time on “male” side to be successful at work. The more this goes on, the more we’re seeing that women need a cave too. Let me explain what this means.
The “cave”, as I define it, is a metaphorical place where people go to de-stress. It’s not a conversation about what created the stress; it’s an action like mowing the lawn or going to a ball game where you can remove yourself from the stress—even the thinking about the stress—and be totally distracted for a time to let your mind relax from the incident.
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What happens for most men after this time away is that they are able to return with clearer thinking about what to do. It’s also at this time that men either act or ask for help. It’s a mistake to believe that men never ask for help; men ask for help but ONLY when they know they need it.