Millions of people gravitate to John Gray, Ph.D. and his Mars Venus analogy that men and women use communication for different reasons. His work is credible, because he has counseled thousands of couples, synthesized research across the mental health and medical (diet, nutrition, physiology, neuroscience) fields to explain underlying trends that impact everything from our health, work satisfaction, and happiness. He focuses on gender intelligence, because inter and intrapersonal relationship health is what determines how well we are able to have it all—work satisfaction, keeping our marriages intact, and producing thriving children (despite previous learned dysfunction from our families of origin). John Gray asserts we’re from different planets, but we’re now here on Earth so we need to learn the other’s dialect to stay connected. We often frame how we see the world based through our own lens of experience and knowledge first, before we become aware that other people interact within and view the world from a different perspective. When we try to force ourselves to focus on our similarities, then we run the risk of neglecting the part of us, the differences or opposites that may have attracted us to our spouse in the first place. Co-dependency and resentment could result, because we begin to think the other person does not get us, is neglecting us, because they are withdrawing when we want to connect, or connecting when we want to withdraw. In a healthy relationship there is room for dancing, for give and take, and keeping passions alive, by learning how to love our spouse in the way they want to be loved. The Mars/Venus analogy is appealing for two reasons as we strive to keep passion alive in our marriages:
(1) Once the Honeymoon’s Over, The Differences Can Become the Source of Tension
These differences can make or break a marriage, depending on our understanding of what is happening. John Gray’s material does not condone being more like your gender to the detriment of your relationships. The Mars/Venus analogy allows couples to honor their masculine and feminine traits, and use it as a way to better understand each other. While understanding the differences helps ease the tension, it is not the most important aspect of any relationship. However, the comic relief is refreshing as we tackle how better to love one another. Understanding gender differences neutralize one way is better than another. It aims to bring couples closer together so they can work on increasing their emotional intelligence, continue to bond and attach as a couple (without becoming co-dependent), and discover how their relationship beliefs and personality traits also factor in to the success and growth of their relationship. Passion builds over years of being together, of nurturing and appreciating how the other person being there for you makes life easier and richer.