Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex - John Gray 1992
Women Are Like Waves
Awoman is like a wave. When she feels loved her self-esteem rises and falls in a wave motion. When she is feeling really good, she will reach a peak, but then suddenly her mood may change and her wave crashes down. This crash is temporary. After she reaches bottom suddenly her mood will shift and she will again feel good about herself. Automatically her wave begins to rise back up.
When a woman’s wave rises she feels she has an abundance of love to give, but when it falls she feels her inner emptiness and needs to be filled up with love. This time of bottoming out is a time for emotional housecleaning.
If she has suppressed any negative feelings or denied herself in order to be more loving on the upswing of her wave, then on the downswing she begins to experience these negative feelings and unfulfilled needs. During this down time she especially needs to talk about problems and be heard and understood.
My wife, Bonnie, says this experience of “going down” is like going down into a dark well. When a woman goes into her “well” she is consciously sinking into her unconscious self, into darkness and diffused feeling. She may suddenly experience a host of unexplained emotions and vague feelings. She may feel hopeless, thinking she is all alone or unsupported. But soon after she reaches the bottom, if she feels loved and supported, she will automatically start to feel better. As suddenly as she may have crashed, she will automatically rise up and again radiate love in her relationships.
A woman’s self-esteem rises and falls like a wave. When she hits bottom it is a time for emotional housecleaning.
A woman’s ability to give and receive love in her relationships is generally a reflection of how she is feeling about herself. When she is not feeling as good about herself, she is unable to be as accepting and appreciative of her partner. At her down times, she tends to be overwhelmed or more emotionally reactive. When her wave hits bottom she is more vulnerable and needs more love. It is crucial that her partner understand what she needs at these times, otherwise he may make unreasonable demands.
HOW MEN REACT TO THE WAVE
When a man loves a woman she begins to shine with love and fulfillment. Most men naïvely expect that shine to last forever. But to expect her loving nature to be constant is like expecting the weather never to change and the sun to shine all the time. Life is filled with rhythms—day and night, hot and cold, summer and winter, spring and fall, cloudy and clear. Likewise in a relationship, men and women have their own rhythms and cycles. Men pull back and then get close, while women rise and fall in their ability to love themselves and others.
In relationships, men pull back and then get close, while women rise and fall in their ability to love themselves and others.
A man assumes that her sudden change of mood is based solely on his behavior. When she is happy he takes credit, but when she is unhappy he also feels responsible. He may feel extremely frustrated because he doesn’t know how to make things better. One minute she seems happy, and so he believes he is doing a good job and then the next minute she is unhappy. He is shocked because he thought he was doing so well.
Don’t Try to Fix It
Bill and Mary had been married for six years. Bill had observed this wave pattern in Mary, but because he didn’t understand it, he tried to “fix it,” which just made matters worse. He thought something was wrong with her tendency to go up and down. He would try explaining to her that she didn’t need to be upset. Mary only felt more misunderstood and thus more distressed.
Although he thought he was “fixing it,” he was actually preventing her from feeling better. When a woman moves into her well, he needs to learn that this is when she needs him the most, and it is not a problem to be solved or fixed, but an opportunity to support her with unconditional love.
Bill said, “I can’t understand my wife, Mary. For weeks she is the most wonderful woman. She gives her love so unconditionally to me and to everyone. Then suddenly she becomes overwhelmed by how much she is doing for everyone and starts being disapproving of me. It’s not my fault she’s unhappy. I explain that to her, and we just get into the biggest fights.”
Like many men, Bill made the mistake of trying to prevent his partner from “going down” or “bottoming out.” He tried to rescue her by pulling her up. He had not learned that when his wife was going down she needed to hit bottom before she could come up.
When his wife, Mary, started to crash, her first symptom was to feel overwhelmed. Instead of listening to her with caring, warmth, and empathy, he would try to bring her back up with explanations of why she shouldn’t be so upset.
The last thing a woman needs when she is on her way down is someone telling her why she shouldn’t be down. What she needs is someone to be with her as she goes down, to listen to her while she shares her feelings, and to empathize with what she is going through. Even if a man can’t fully understand why a woman feels overwhelmed, he can offer his love, attention, and support.
How Men Are Confused
After learning how women are like waves, Bill was still confused. The next time his wife seemed to be in her well, he practiced listening to her. As she talked about some of the things that were bothering her, he practiced not offering suggestions to “fix her” or make her feel better. After about twenty minutes he became very upset, because she wasn’t feeling any better.
He told me, “At first I listened, and she seemed to open up and share more. But then she started getting even more upset. It seemed the more I listened the more upset she got. I told her she shouldn’t be getting more upset and then we got into a big argument.”
Although Bill was listening to Mary, he was still trying to fix her. He expected her to feel better right away. What Bill didn’t know is that when a woman goes into her well, if she feels supported she doesn’t necessarily feel better right away. She may feel worse. But that is a sign that his support may be helping. His support may actually help her to hit bottom sooner, and then she can and will feel better. To genuinely come up she first needs to hit bottom. That is the cycle.
Bill was confused, because as he listened to her she appeared to get no benefit from his support. To him she just seemed to be going deeper. To avoid this confusion a man needs to remember that sometimes when he is succeeding in supporting a woman she may become even more upset. Through understanding that a wave must hit bottom before it can rise again he can release his expectations that she immediately feel better in response to his assistance.
Even when a man is succeeding in supporting a woman she may become even more upset.
With this new insight, Bill was able to be more understanding and patient with Mary. After becoming much more successful in supporting Mary in her well, he also learned that there was no way to predict how long she would be upset; sometimes her well was deeper than at other times.
RECURRING CONVERSATIONS AND ARGUMENTS
When a woman comes out of the well she becomes her usual loving self again. This positive shift is generally misunderstood by men. A man typically thinks that whatever was bothering her is now completely healed or resolved. This is not the case. It is an illusion. Because she is suddenly more loving and positive he mistakenly thinks all her issues are resolved.
When her wave crashes again, similar issues will arise. When her issues come up again he becomes impatient, because he thinks they have already been resolved. Without understanding the wave, he finds it hard to validate and nurture her feelings while she is in the “well.”
When a woman’s unresolved feelings recur, he may respond inappropriately by saying
1. “How many times do we have to go through this?”
2. “I’ve heard all this before.”
3. “I thought we had established that.”
4. “When are you going to get off it?”
5. “I don’t want to deal with this again.”
6. “This is crazy! We are having the same argument.”
7. “Why do you have so many problems?”
When a woman goes into her well her deepest issues tend to surface. These issues may have to do with the relationship, but usually they are heavily charged from her past relationships and childhood. Whatever remains to be healed or resolved from her past inevitably will come up. Here are some of the common feelings she may experience as she goes into the well.
Warning Signs for Men That She May Be Going into Her Well or When She Needs His Love the Most
Shee feels: Overwhelmed
She may say: “There is so much to do.”
Shee feels: Insecure
She may say: “I need more.”
Shee feels: Resentful
She may say: “I do everything.”
Shee feels: Worried
She may say: “But what about …”
Shee feels: Confused
She may say: “I don’t understand why …”
Shee feels: Exhausted
She may say: “I can’t do anything more.”
Shee feels: Hopeless
She may say: “I don’t know what to do.”
Shee feels: Passive
She may say: “I don’t care, do what you want.”
Shee feels: Demanding
She may say: “You should …”
Shee feels: Withholding
She may say: “No, I don’t want to …”
Shee feels: Mistrustful
She may say: “What do you mean by that?”
Shee feels: Controlling
She may say: “Well, did you …?”
Shee feels: Disapproving
She may say: “How could you forget …?”
As she feels more and more supported at these difficult times, she begins to trust the relationship and is able to journey in and out of her well without conflict in her relationship or struggle in her life. This is the blessing of a loving relationship.
To support a woman when she is in her well is a special gift that she will greatly appreciate. Gradually she will become free from the gripping influence of her past. She will still have her ups and downs, but they will not be so extreme that they overshadow her loving nature.
During my relationship seminar Tom complained, saying, “In the beginning of our relationship, Susan seemed so strong, but then suddenly she became so needy. I remember reassuring her that I loved her and that she was important to me. After a lot of talking we got over that hurdle, but then again a month later she went through the same insecurity. It was as if she had never heard me the first time. I became so frustrated with her that we got in a big argument.”
Tom was surprised to see that many other men shared his experience in their relationships. When Tom met Susan she was on the upswing of her wave. As their relationship progressed Susan’s love for Tom grew. After her wave peaked, suddenly she started feeling very needy and possessive. She became insecure and demanded more attention.
This was the beginning of her descent into the well. Tom could not understand why she had changed, but after a rather intense discussion that went on for hours, Susan felt much better. Tom had reassured her of his love and support, and Susan was now swinging up again. Inside he felt relieved.
After this interaction Tom thought he had successfully solved this problem in their relationship. But a month later Susan began to crash and began feeling the same way again. This time Tom was much less understanding and accepting of her. He became impatient. He was insulted that she would mistrust him again after he had reassured her of his love a month before. In his defensiveness he negatively judged her recurring need for reassurance. As a result they argued.
By understanding how women are like waves, Tom realized that the recurrence of Susan’s neediness and insecurity was natural, inevitable, and temporary. He realized how naïve he had been to think that his loving response to Susan’s deepest core issues could permanently heal her.
Tom learning successfully to support Susan when she was in her well not only made it easier for her to do her inner healing but also helped them not to have fights at those times. Tom was encouraged by the three following realizations:
1. A man’s love and support cannot instantly resolve a woman’s issues. His love, however, can make it safe for her to go deeper into her well. It is naïve to expect a woman to be perfectly loving all the time. He can expect these issues to come up again and again. Each time, however, he can get better at supporting her.
2. A woman going into her well is not a man’s fault or his failure. By being more supportive he cannot prevent it from happening, but he can help her through these difficult times.
3. A woman has within herself the ability to spontaneously rise up after she has hit bottom. A man does not have to fix her. She is not broken but just needs his love, patience, and understanding.
WHEN A WOMAN DOESN’T FEEL SAFE IN HER WELL
This tendency to be like a wave increases when a woman is in an intimate relationship. It is essential that she feel safe to go through this cycle. Otherwise she works hard at pretending that everything is always all right and suppresses her negative feelings.
When a woman doesn’t feel safe to go into her well, her only alternative is to avoid intimacy and sex or to suppress and numb her feelings through addictions like drinking, overeating, overworking, or overcaretaking. Even with her addictions, however, she periodically will fall into her well and her feelings may come up in a most uncontrolled fashion.
You probably know stories of couples who never fight or argue and then suddenly to everyone’s surprise they decide to get a divorce. In many of these cases, the woman has suppressed her negative feelings to avoid having fights. As a result she becomes numb and unable to feel her love.
When negative feelings are suppressed positive feelings become suppressed as well, and love dies. Avoiding arguments and fights certainly is healthy but not by suppressing feelings. In chapter 9 we will explore how to avoid arguments without suppressing feelings.
When negative feelings are suppressed positive feelings become suppressed as well, and love dies.
When a woman’s wave crashes is a time of emotional cleansing or emotional housecleaning. Without this cleansing or emotional catharsis a woman slowly loses her ability to love and to grow in love. Through controlled repression of her feelings her wave nature is obstructed, and she gradually becomes unfeeling and passionless over time.
Some women who avoid dealing with their negative emotions and resist the natural wave motion of their feelings experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS). There is a strong correlation between PMS and the inability to cope with negative feelings in a positive way. In some cases women who have learned successfully to deal with their feelings have felt their PMS symptoms disappear. In chapter 11 we will explore more healing techniques for dealing with negative emotions.
Even a strong, confident, and successful woman will need to visit her well from time to time. Men commonly make the mistake of thinking that if their female partner is successful in the work world then she will not experience these times of emotional housecleaning. The opposite is true.
When a woman is in the work world she generally is exposed to stress and emotional pollution. Her need for emotional housecleaning becomes great. Similarly, a man’s need to pull away like a rubber band may increase when he is under a greater amount of stress at work.
One study revealed that a woman’s self-esteem generally rises and falls in a cycle between twenty-one and thirty-five days. No studies have been done on how often a man pulls back like a rubber band, but my experience is that it is about the same. A woman’s self-esteem cycle is not necessarily in sync with her menstrual cycle, but it does average out at twenty-eight days.
When a woman puts on her business suit she can detach from this emotional roller coaster, but when she returns home she needs her partner to give the tender loving support that every woman needs and appreciates at these times.
It is important to recognize that this tendency to go into the well does not necessarily affect a woman’s competence at work, but it does greatly influence her communication with the people she intimately loves and needs.
How a Man Can Support a Woman in the Well
A wise man learns to go out of his way to help a woman feel safe to rise and fall. He releases his judgments and demands and learns how to give the required support. As a result he enjoys a relationship that increases in love and passion over the years.
He may have to weather a few emotional storms or droughts, but the reward is much greater. The uninitiated man still suffers from storms and droughts, but because he does not know the art of loving her through her time in the well, their love stops growing and gradually becomes repressed.
WHEN SHE’S IN THE WELL AND HE’S IN THE CAVE
Harris said, “I tried everything I learned in the seminar. It was really working. We were so close. I felt like I was in heaven. Then suddenly my wife, Cathy, started complaining that I watched too much TV. She started treating me like I was a child. We got in a huge argument. I don’t know what happened. We were doing so well.”
This is an example of what can happen when the wave and the rubber band occur around the same time. After taking the seminar, Harris had succeeded in giving more to his wife and family than ever. Cathy was delighted. She couldn’t believe it. They had become closer than ever. Her wave was peaking. This lasted for a couple of weeks, and then Harris decided to stay up late one night and watch TV. His rubber band was starting to droop. He needed to pull away into his cave.
When he pulled away, Cathy was greatly hurt. Her wave began to crash. She saw his pulling away as the end of her new experience of intimacy. The previous couple of weeks had been everything she had wanted, and now she thought she was going to lose it. Ever since she was a little girl this type of intimacy was her dream. His pulling away was a tremendous shock to her. To the vulnerable little girl within her it was an experience of giving candy to a baby and then taking it away. She became very upset.
Martian and Venusian Logic
Cathy’s experience of abandonment is hard for a Martian to understand. Martian logic says “I have been so wonderful for the past two weeks. Shouldn’t that entitle me to a little time off? I have been giving to you all this time, now it’s time for me. You should be more secure and reassured about my love than ever.”
Venusian logic approaches the experience differently: “These last two weeks have been so wonderful. I have let myself open up to you more than ever. Losing your loving attention is more painful than ever. I started to really open up and then you pulled away.”
How Past Feelings Come Up
By not fully trusting and opening up, Cathy had spent years protecting herself from being hurt. But during their two weeks of living in love she started to open up more than she ever had in her adult life. Harris’s support had made it safe for her to get in touch with her old feelings.
Suddenly she began to feel the way she felt as a child when her father was too busy for her. Her past unresolved feelings of anger and powerlessness were projected onto Harris’s watching TV. If these feelings had not come up, Cathy would have been able gracefully to accept Harris’s wish to watch TV.
Because her past feelings were coming up, she felt hurt when he watched TV. If given the chance to share and explore her hurt, deep feelings would have emerged. Cathy would have hit bottom, and then she would have felt significantly better. Once again, she would have been willing to trust intimacy, even knowing it can be painful when inevitably he temporarily pulls away.
When Feelings Get Hurt
But Harris didn’t understand why she would be hurt. He told her she shouldn’t be hurt. And the argument began. Telling a woman she shouldn’t feel hurt is about the worst thing a man can say. It hurts her even more, like poking a stick into an open wound.
When a woman is feeling hurt, she may sound as if she is blaming him. But if she is given care and understanding, the blame will disappear. Trying to explain to her why she shouldn’t be hurt will make matters much worse.
Sometimes when a woman is hurting she may even agree intellectually that she shouldn’t be hurting. But emotionally she is still hurting and doesn’t want to hear from him that she shouldn’t be hurting. What she needs is his understanding of why she is hurting.
Why Men and Women Fight
Harris completely misunderstood Cathy’s hurt reaction. He thought she was demanding that he give up TV forever. Cathy wasn’t demanding that Harris give up TV. She just wanted him to know how painful it was for her.
Women instinctively know that if only their pain can be heard then they can trust their partner to make whatever changes he can make. When Cathy shared her hurt, she just needed to be heard and then be reassured that he wasn’t permanently reverting back to the old Harris, addicted to TV and emotionally unavailable.
Certainly Harris deserved to watch TV, but Cathy deserved the right to be upset. She deserved to be heard, understood, and reassured. Harris was not wrong for watching TV, and Cathy was not wrong for being upset.
Men argue for the right to be free while women argue for the right to be upset. Men want space while women want understanding.
Because Harris did not understand Cathy’s wave, he thought her reaction was unfair. He thought he had to invalidate her feelings if he wanted to take time to watch TV. He became irritable and thought, I can’t be loving and intimate all the time!
Harris felt he had to make her feelings wrong to gain the right to watch TV and live his life and be himself. He argued for his right to watch TV when Cathy just needed to be heard. She argued for the right to be hurt and upset.
RESOLVING CONFLICTS THROUGH UNDERSTANDING
It was naïve for Harris to think that Cathy’s anger, resentment, and feelings of powerlessness from being neglected for twelve years were going to go away after two weeks of being in love.
It was equally naïve for Cathy to think that Harris could sustain his focus on her and the family without taking time to pull away and focus on himself.
When Harris started to pull away it triggered Cathy’s wave to crash. Her unresolved feelings started coming up. She was not just reacting to Harris watching TV that night but to the years of being neglected. Their argument turned into yelling. After two hours of yelling they weren’t talking to each other.
By understanding the bigger picture of what had happened, they were able to resolve their conflict and make up. Harris understood that when he started to pull away it triggered Cathy’s time to do some emotional housecleaning. She needed to talk about her feelings and not be made wrong. Harris was encouraged by the realization that she was fighting to be heard, just as he was fighting to be free. He learned that by supporting her need to be heard she could support his need to be free.
By supporting her need to be heard she could support his need to be free.
Cathy understood that Harris did not mean to invalidate her hurt feelings. In addition she understood that though he was pulling away he would be back and they would be able to experience intimacy again. She realized that their increased intimacy had triggered his need to pull away. She learned that her hurt feelings made him feel controlled, and he needed to feel she was not trying to tell him what he could do.
What a Man Can Do When He Can’t Listen
Harris asked, “What if I just can’t listen and I need to be in my cave? Sometimes, I start to listen and I become furious.”
I assured him that this is normal. When her wave crashes and she needs to be heard the most, sometimes his rubber band is triggered and he needs to pull away. He cannot give her what she needs. He emphatically agreed and said, “Yes, that’s right. When I want to pull away, she wants to talk.”
When a man needs to pull away and a woman needs to talk, his trying to listen only makes matters worse. After a short time he either will be judging her and possibly explode with anger or he will become incredibly tired or distracted, and she will become more upset. When he is not capable of listening attentively with caring, understanding, and respect, these three actions can help:
Three Steps for Supporting Her When He Needs to Pull Away
1. Accept Your Limitations
The first thing you need to do is accept that you need to pull away and have nothing to give. No matter how loving you want to be, you cannot listen attentively. Don’t try to listen when you can’t.
2. Understand Her Pain
Next, you need to understand that she needs more than you can give at this moment. Her pain is valid. Don’t make her wrong for needing more or for being hurt. It hurts to be abandoned when she needs your love. You are not wrong for needing space, and she is not wrong for wanting to be close. You may be afraid that she will not forgive you or trust. She can be more trusting and forgiving if you are caring and understanding of her hurt.
3. Avoid Arguing and Give Reassurance
By understanding her hurt you won’t make her wrong for being upset and in pain. Although you can’t give the support she wants and needs, you can avoid making it worse by arguing. Reassure her that you will be back, and then you will be able to give her the support she deserves.
What He Can Say Instead of Arguing
There was nothing wrong with Harris’s need to be alone or watch TV, nor was there anything wrong with Cathy’s hurt feelings. Instead of arguing for his right to watch TV, he could have told her something like this: “I understand you’re upset, and right now I really need to watch TV and relax. When I feel better we can talk.” This would give him time to watch TV as well as an opportunity to cool off and prepare himself to listen to his partner’s hurt without making her hurt feelings wrong.
She may not like this response, but she will respect it. Of course she wants him to be his usual loving self, but if he needs to pull away, then that is his valid need. He cannot give what he doesn’t have. What he can do is avoid making things worse. The solution lies in respecting his needs as well as hers. He should take the time he needs and then go back and give her what she needs.
When a man can’t listen to a woman’s hurt feelings because he needs to pull away, he can say “I understand you feel hurt and I need some time to think about it. Let’s take a time-out.” For a man to excuse himself in this way and stop listening is much better than trying to explain away her hurt.
What She Can Do Instead of Arguing
In hearing this suggestion, Cathy said, “If he gets to be in his cave then what about me? I give him space, but what do I get?”
What Cathy gets is the best her partner can give at the time. By not demanding that he listen to her when she wants to talk, she can avoid making the problem much worse by having a huge argument. Second, she gets his support when he comes back—when he is truly capable of supporting her.
Remember, if a man needs to pull away like a rubber band, when he returns he will be back with a lot more love. Then he can listen. This is the best time to initiate conversation.
Accepting a man’s need to go into the cave does not mean giving up the need to talk. It means giving up the demand that he listen whenever she wants to talk. Cathy learned to accept that sometimes a man can’t listen or talk and learned that at other times he could. Timing was very important. She was encouraged not to give up initiating conversation but to find those other times when he could listen.
When a man pulls away is the time to get more support from friends. If Cathy feels the need to talk but Harris can’t listen, then Cathy could talk more with her friends. It puts too much pressure on a man to make him the only source of love and support. When a woman’s wave crashes and her partner is in his cave, it is essential that she have other sources of support. Otherwise she can’t help but feel powerless and resent her partner.
It puts too much pressure on a man to make him the only source of love and support.
HOW MONEY CAN CREATE PROBLEMS
Chris said, “I am completely confused. When we got married we were poor. We both worked hard and we barely had enough money for the rent. Sometimes my wife, Pam, would complain about how hard her life was. I could understand it. But now we are rich. We both have successful careers. How can she still be unhappy and complain? Other women would give anything to be in her situation. All we do is fight. We were happier when we were poor; now we want a divorce.”
Chris did not understand that women are like waves. When he married Pam, from time to time her wave would crash. At those times he would listen and understand her unhappiness. It was easy for him to validate her negative feelings because he shared them. From his perspective she had a good reason to be upset—they didn’t have a lot of money.
Money Doesn’t Fulfill Emotional Needs
Martians tend to think money is the solution to all problems. When Chris and Pam were poor and struggling to make ends meet, he would listen and empathize with her pain and resolve to make more money so she wouldn’t be unhappy. Pam felt that he really cared.
But as their life improved financially she continued to get upset from time to time. He couldn’t understand why she still wasn’t happy. He thought she should be happy all the time because they were so rich. Pam felt that he didn’t care about her.
Chris did not realize that money could not prevent Pam from being upset. When her wave would crash, they fought because he would invalidate her need to be upset. Ironically, the richer they became the more they fought.
When they were poor, money was the major focus of her pain, but as they became more financially secure she became more aware of what she was not getting emotionally. This progression is natural, normal, and predictable.
As a woman’s financial needs are fulfilled she becomes more aware of her emotional needs.
A Wealthy Woman Needs More Permission to Be Upset
I remember reading this quote in an article: “A wealthy woman can only get empathy from a wealthy psychiatrist.” When a woman has a lot of money, people (and especially her husband) do not give her the right to be upset. She has no permission to be like a wave and crash from time to time. She has no permission to explore her feelings or to need more in any area of her life.
A woman with money is expected to be fulfilled all the time because her life could be so much worse without this financial abundance. This expectation is not only impractical but disrespectful. Regardless of wealth, status, privilege, or circumstances, a woman needs permission to be upset and allow her wave to crash.
Chris was encouraged when he realized he could make his wife happy. He remembered he had validated his wife’s feelings when they were poor, and he could do it again even if they were rich. Instead of feeling hopeless, he realized he did know how to support her. He had just gotten sidetracked by thinking his money should make her happy when really his caring and understanding of her had been the source of her contentment.
FEELINGS ARE IMPORTANT
If a woman is not supported in being unhappy sometimes then she can never truly be happy. To be genuinely happy requires dipping down into the well to release, heal, and purify the emotions. This is a natural and healthy process.
If we are to feel the positive feelings of love, happiness, trust, and gratitude, we periodically also have to feel anger, sadness, fear, and sorrow. When a woman goes down into her well is when she can heal these negative emotions.
Men also need to process their negative feelings so that they can then experience their positive feelings. When a man goes into his cave is a time when he silently feels and processes his negative feelings. In chapter 11 we will explore a technique for releasing negative feelings that works equally well for women and men.
When a woman is on the upswing she can be fulfilled with what she has. But on the downswing she then will become aware of what she is missing. When she is feeling good she is capable of seeing and responding to the good things in her life. But when she is crashing, her loving vision becomes cloudy, and she reacts more to what is missing in her life.
Just as a glass of water can be viewed as half full or half empty, when a woman is on her way up she sees the fullness of her life. On the way down she sees the emptiness. Whatever emptiness she overlooks on the way up comes more into focus when she is on her way down into her well.
Without learning about how women are like waves men cannot understand or support their wives. They are confused when things get a lot better on the outside but worse in the relationship. By remembering this difference a man holds the key to giving his partner the love she deserves when she needs it the most.