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Are You Arguing Too Much and Loving Too Little?
Are You Arguing Too Much and Loving Too Little?
The Battle of the Sexes:
Tips for How to Get Along With the Opposite Sex!
© 2011 Health Realizations, Inc
Since there was man and woman, there’s been the battle of the sexes. It’s not that men and women don’t get along … they do. It’s just that the powers that be is playing a pretty funny joke on mankind, because men and women’s brains are wired completely differently, and that makes for some interesting drama on the home front …
“Relationships between men and women are not impossible or necessarily difficult,” writes Michael G. Conner, Psy.D, clinical & medical psychologist, at OregonCounseling.org. “Problems simply arise when we expect or assume the opposite sex should think, feel or act the way we do. It’s not that men and women live in completely different realities. Rather, our lack of knowledge and mutual experience gives rise to our difficulties.” He continues:
“Recognizing, understanding, discussing as well as acting skillfully in light of the differences between men and women can be difficult. Our failure to recognize and appreciate these differences can become a lifelong source of disappointment, frustration, tension and eventually our downfall in a relationship.
Not only can these differences destroy a promising relationship, but most people will grudgingly accept or learn to live with the consequences. Eventually they find some compromise or way to cope. Few people ever work past these difficulties. People tend to accept what they don’t understand when they feel powerless to change it.”
You are not, however, powerless to make changes for the better in your relationship, and the first step to doing so lies in beginning to understand how your better half thinks.
Men and Women’s Brains Really are Different
If it sometimes feels like talking to your spouse is like talking to an alien from another planet, it’s not all in your head.
In reality, research by psychology professor Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine and colleagues found that men generally have 6.5 times the gray matter in their brains compared to women, while women have close to 10 times the amount of white matter compared to men.
Gray matter, LiveScience reports, “represents information processing centers, whereas white matter works to network these processing centers.” This appears to have little effect on capacity for intelligence -- both men and women score equally well on intelligence tests and other measures of cognitive ability. Instead, it points to differences in the way men and women think.
In his article, “Understanding The Difference Between Men And Women,” Conner writes:
“Women … have four times as many brain cells (neurons) connecting the right and left side of their brain. This … finding provides physical evidence that supports the observation that men rely easily and more heavily on their left brain to solve one problem one step at a time. Women have more efficient access to both sides of their brain and therefore greater use of their right brain. Women can focus on more than one problem at one time and frequently prefer to solve problems through multiple activities at a time.
Nearly every parent has observed how young girls find the conversations of young boys "boring". Young boys express confusion and would rather play sports than participate actively in a conversation between 5 girls who are discussing as many as three subjects at once!”
In the video below Dr. Linda Karges-Bone explains some of the hurdles men and women experience in communicating:
So, how do these differing routes of thinking manifest in daily life?
Thought Processes of Men Vs. Women
|Men like to retreat into their “cave” when they’re stressed. This allows them a “time out” to mull over the problem or think about something else entirely.||Women like to talk to others about their problem and mull over solutions until it is solved. When a man retreats to his cave, a woman feels ignored and frustrated that the problem is not getting the attention it deserves.|
|Acts of Affection|
|John Gray, who wrote Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, suggests that men assign more “points” to “big” acts, such as buying a woman an expensive gift or taking her on a weekend getaway. He feels a big act will support the relationship for a longer period of time.||Women, Gray counters, actually use a much different scoring system than men realize. They assign one point to every gesture a man makes, whether big or small. What women most appreciate are not occasional “big” gestures, but regular shows of affections, whether big or small.|
|When it comes to seeing a fair and trustworthy person harmed, we all feel a sense of empathy. But if that person is perceived as deserving of the harm, men may get a sense of satisfaction, and actually enjoy the person's misfortune, according to a study by University College London.||Women, however, show empathy when a person is harmed, even if that person was deemed deserving of the harm.|
|Sex and Closeness|
|Men typically feel closer in a relationship by taking part in shared activities, including sex, sports and other “physical and active” activities.||Women feel closer by communication and sharing of personal, intimate experiences and emotions.|
John Gray: How Men Communicate
Communication Tips all Couples Can Count On
That men and women march to a different drummer is part of what keeps the relationship so fresh and inviting. So, instead of focusing on your differences, embrace them, and realize that they are what makes you each unique and, ironically, so attractive.
With that in mind, there are tips that every relationship can benefit from when it comes to communication. You can make your relationship stronger and your communication more open by:
- Not expecting your partner to behave and/or think like you do. Expect that there will be differences and respect them. For instance, if your partner wants to take a break from an argument, let the issue go for awhile. Likewise, if your partner wants to keep discussing a disagreement and you don’t, suggest taking an hour break, but agree to continue the discussion later.
- Not expecting your partner to be a mind reader. Talk to them and let your feelings be known.
- Embracing non-verbal form of communication. A touch on the shoulder or back, hugs and kisses, attentive eye contact and understanding gestures are all forms of staying connected with each other and can make a big difference in the strength of your relationship.
- Letting bygones be bygones. Forgiving your spouse is a way of saying that you know nobody is perfect, including yourself, and that you understand everyone makes mistakes. Forgive, pick up where you left off and move on with life.
- Earning and building trust. Keeping an open and honest relationship with your spouse naturally builds the trust factor. It also is representative that you are supportive of your spouse, believe in them and encourage them to accomplish their goals and dreams.
- Establishing and keeping your own personal goals and dreams and continue to pursue them so you don’t risk losing your individuality. This will help keep you grounded and maintain self-fulfillment. It’s also important to take time to relax, both on your own and together with your partner, to keep stress levels down and experience the true enjoyment of life.