Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex - John Gray 1992
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
Imagine that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. One day long ago the Martians, looking through their telescopes, discovered the Venusians. Just glimpsing the Venusians awakened feelings they had never known. They fell in love and quickly invented space travel and flew to Venus.
The Venusians welcomed the Martians with open arms. They had intuitively known that this day would come. Their hearts opened wide to a love they had never felt before.
The love between the Venusians and Martians was magical. They delighted in being together, doing things together, and sharing together. Though from different worlds, they reveled in their differences. They spent months learning about each other, exploring and appreciating their different needs, preferences, and behavior patterns. For years they lived together in love and harmony.
Then they decided to fly to Earth. In the beginning everything was wonderful and beautiful. But the effects of Earth’s atmosphere took hold, and one morning everyone woke up with a peculiar kind of amnesia—selective amnesia!
Both the Martians and Venusians forgot that they were from different planets and were supposed to be different. In one morning everything they had learned about their differences was erased from their memory. And since that day men and women have been in conflict.
REMEMBERING OUR DIFFERENCES
Without the awareness that we are supposed to be different, men and women are at odds with each other. We usually become angry or frustrated with the opposite sex because we have forgotten this important truth. We expect the opposite sex to be more like ourselves. We desire them to “want what we want” and “feel the way we feel.”
We mistakenly assume that if our partners love us they will react and behave in certain ways—the ways we react and behave when we love someone. This attitude sets us up to be disappointed again and again and prevents us from taking the necessary time to communicate lovingly about our differences.
We mistakenly assume that if our partners love us they will react and behave in certain ways—the ways we react and behave when we love someone.
Men mistakenly expect women to think, communicate, and react the way men do; women mistakenly expect men to feel, communicate, and respond the way women do. We have forgotten that men and women are supposed to be different. As a result our relationships are filled with unnecessary friction and conflict.
Clearly recognizing and respecting these differences dramatically reduces confusion when dealing with the opposite sex. When you remember that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, everything can be explained.
AN OVERVIEW OF OUR DIFFERENCES
Throughout this book I will discuss in great detail our differences. Each chapter will bring you new and crucial insights. Here are the major differences that we will explore:
In chapter 2 we will explore how men’s and women’s values are inherently different and try to understand the two biggest mistakes we make in relating to the opposite sex: men mistakenly offer solutions and invalidate feelings while women offer unsolicited advice and direction. Through understanding our Martian/Venusian background it becomes obvious why men and women unknowingly make these mistakes. By remembering these differences we can correct our mistakes and immediately respond to each other in more productive ways.
In chapter 3 we’ll discover the different ways men and women cope with stress. While Martians tend to pull away and silently think about what’s bothering them, Venusians feel an instinctive need to talk about what’s bothering them. You will learn new strategies for getting what you want at these conflicting times.
We will explore how to motivate the opposite sex in chapter 4. Men are motivated when they feel needed while women are motivated when they feel cherished. We will discuss the three steps for improving relationships and explore how to overcome our greatest challenges: men need to overcome their resistance to giving love while women must overcome their resistance to receiving it.
In chapter 5 you’ll learn how men and women commonly misunderstand each other because they speak different languages. A Martian/Venusian Phrase Dictionary is provided to translate commonly misunderstood expressions. You will learn how men and women speak and even stop speaking for entirely different reasons. Women will learn what to do when a man stops talking, and men will learn how to listen better without becoming frustrated.
In chapter 6 you will discover how men and women have different needs for intimacy. A man gets close but then inevitably needs to pull away. Women will learn how to support this pulling-away process so he will spring back to her like a rubber band. Women also will learn the best times for having intimate conversations with a man.
We will explore in chapter 7 how a woman’s loving attitudes rise and fall rhythmically in a wave motion. Men will learn how correctly to interpret these sometimes sudden shifts of feeling. Men also will learn to recognize when they are needed the most and how to be skillfully supportive at those times without having to make sacrifices.
In chapter 8 you’ll discover how men and women give the kind of love they need and not what the opposite sex needs. Men primarily need a kind of love that is trusting, accepting, and appreciative. Women primarily need a kind of love that is caring, understanding, and respectful. You will discover the six most common ways you may unknowingly be turning off your partner.
In chapter 9 we will explore how to avoid painful arguments. Men will learn that by acting as if they are always right they may invalidate a woman’s feelings. Women will learn how they unknowingly send messages of disapproval instead of disagreement, thus igniting a man’s defenses. The anatomy of an argument will be explored along with many practical suggestions for establishing supportive communication.
Chapter 10 will show how men and women keep score differently. Men will learn that for Venusians every gift of love scores equally with every other gift, regardless of size. Instead of focusing on one big gift men are reminded that the little expressions of love are just as important; 101 ways to score points with women are listed. Women, however, will learn to redirect their energies into ways that score big with men by giving men what they want.
In chapter 11 you’ll learn ways to communicate with each other during difficult times. The different ways men and women hide feelings are discussed along with the importance of sharing feelings. The Love Letter Technique is recommended for expressing negative feelings to your partner, as a way of finding greater love and forgiveness.
You will understand why Venusians have a more difficult time asking for support in chapter 12, as well as why Martians commonly resist requests. You will learn how the phrases “could you” and “can you” turn off men and what to say instead. You will learn the secrets for encouraging a man to give more and discover in various ways the power of being brief, direct, and using the correct wording.
In chapter 13 you’ll discover the four seasons of love. This realistic perspective of how love changes and grows will assist you in overcoming the inevitable obstacles that emerge in any relationship. You will learn how your past or your partner’s past can affect your relationship in the present and discover other important insights for keeping the magic of love alive.
In each chapter of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus you will discover new secrets for creating loving and lasting relationships. Each new discovery will increase your ability to have fulfilling relationships.
GOOD INTENTIONS ARE NOT ENOUGH
Falling in love is always magical. It feels eternal, as if love will last forever. We naïvely believe that somehow we are exempt from the problems our parents had, free from the odds that love will die, assured that it is meant to be and that we are destined to live happily ever after.
But as the magic recedes and daily life takes over, it emerges that men continue to expect women to think and react like men, and women expect men to feel and behave like women. Without a clear awareness of our differences, we do not take the time to understand and respect each other. We become demanding, resentful, judgmental, and intolerant.
With the best and most loving intentions love continues to die. Somehow the problems creep in. The resentments build. Communication breaks down. Mistrust increases. Rejection and repression result. The magic of love is lost.
We ask ourselves:
How does it happen?
Why does it happen?
Why does it happen to us?
To answer these questions our greatest minds have developed brilliant and complex philosophical and psychological models. Yet still the old patterns return. Love dies. It happens to almost everyone.
Each day millions of individuals are searching for a partner to experience that special loving feeling. Each year, millions of couples join together in love and then painfully separate because they have lost that loving feeling. From those who are able to sustain love long enough to get married, only 50 percent stay married. Out of those who stay together, possibly another 50 percent are not fulfilled. They stay together out of loyalty and obligation or from the fear of starting over.
Very few people, indeed, are able to grow in love. Yet, it does happen. When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences then love has a chance to blossom.
When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences then love has a chance to blossom.
Through understanding the hidden differences of the opposite sex we can more successfully give and receive the love that is in our hearts. By validating and accepting our differences, creative solutions can be discovered whereby we can succeed in getting what we want. And, more important, we can learn how to best love and support the people we care about.
Love is magical, and it can last, if we remember our differences.