If you were ever wondering why he is not able to do this, or why she is not able to do that, you are probably like most other people struggling to understand the gender differences in making life decisions. Men think that women never know what they want, and women are of an opinion that men are limited in their choices and try to search for solutions when they are not needed. Here are some typical situations when it takes her ages to buy that pair of trousers, or she spends 2 hours in the shop and then declares there was nothing worth her attention, time is wasted, he is mad. On the other hand, he just tries to watch TV (by watching TV we mean blankly flicking through the channels), but she won’t stop talking “you know, today I had this meeting, and it didn’t go well and everyone teases me now”… and on and on and on. But, he doesn’t seem to hear a word of what she said and then proclaims – “well, you can tell them all to go to h*ll. And now leave me alone, I am watching TV”. In fact, none of them was either heard or understood. Repetition of those situations make spouses feel further apart and abandoned with their problems. Whereas if we spent more time educating ourselves about the other gender, most problems could be easily avoided and each partner would receive needed share of comprehension and appreciation from the relationship. Acknowledging and accepting our differences is already a big step to functional communication with our partners.
Try to observe and look at the world with your spouse’s eyes. You might find it very interesting to explore and perceive an alternative point of view. Accept a possibility of learning from your significant one, it can do no harm to you, but might make your communication wiser and you two more approachable for one another.
Commonly, men think they are the ones who apply logic to any situation. While not all of them are aware of what’s going on in women’s analytical mind. While women have managed to bring the skill of the inner dialog to a mastery level – “What if he doesn’t call me, shall I text him now or wait 20mins, what if he thinks I am not attractive, what is wrong with me all the time, why no one likes me, my boss probably thinks I am silly”… Sometimes I wish I could switch this inner voice off! We tend to over-think so many unnecessary things, that it is painful how many nerve cells we could have saved if we didn’t worry about at least half of these situations. However, it is part of being a woman. This is who we are and we love discussing it with girlfriends over a glass of wine, talking 5 hours in a row and still leave with a feeling that we missed something.
On the same matter, men cannot understand why our stories take so long if the essence can be explained in one sentence. I told Raff a million times not to interrupt me in the middle of my story saying “and…?” It ruins the whole pleasure. I don’t want just to say the point, but I want my listener to taste the story, to feel part of it, and then I might get to the point. But, many women’s stories don’t have a point really, they often put more focus on the narrative, rather than actual conclusion.
On another hand, men either don’t talk about their problems, or talk about them in a very rational way – the problem, possible solutions, the decision made. Done, all clear and no feelings involved. Only when they don’t know a solution, they would need time to think about it, Alone! Or face-to-face with their TV, but no women around. This also helps them to deal with the stress and calm down. So, ladies, remember to give them this space and let go of any worries that he either doesn’t trust you or doesn’t appreciate your opinion. He would share once he feels a winner in that situation. Just give him time.
The list of differences between us is indeed long, but it comes down to an important point – women see the world through feelings and men – as a sequence of situations, which require solution. That’s why our reactions on the same situations are different, we handle issues differently and have different communication styles. As both partners become aware and respectful of those differences, they can build a more loving and trusting union.