Many of you probably have read the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus and many of the rest you have heard things about it if you haven’t read it. Well, I didn’t write it.
But I worked with John Gray for 18 years, wrote workshops and a training based on the Mars Venus stuff and trained over 500 speakers and therapists on how to give those workshops. So I should know about men, right? Well, I know some things about men.
In order to feel loved in a relationship, men need to be trusted. Men need to be accepted the way they are. They don’t want you to try to change them. Men want to be appreciated for what they do.
They also want to be admired, to be regarded by their partner with “wonder, delight and pleased approval”. Men also need encouragement so that they become hopeful and courageous to go out and do what they do all over again even when it’s hard.
This is all vintage Mars Venus. You may not agree but the expert says so and the following are how I observe this to be true about the man I live with all these years:
Men Need to be Trusted
One of the most hurtful things I can do is not trust my husband. When he does his household disappearing act like leave, say nothing to me that he’s leaving or where he’s going, he is disturbed by my not trusting that if he were going some place for long or really away, he’d tell me.
After all, he just went to the car for twenty minutes. I shouldn’t be worried that he died somewhere or was captured by other Martians.
Men Need to be Accepted the Way They Are
Now I’m a woman and if my husband tells me lovingly that when we are with other people, I sometimes (or often) interrupt him or finish his sentences and we could have a signal so I know when I’m doing it, that’s cool. I don’t mind. He’s right. I don’t want to be the person who does that.
But in his case, he’d rather I tell him how what he does affects me and trust that he’ll make his own improvements. He doesn’t want me to tell him what to do or how to do it.
Men Want to be Appreciated and Admired for What They Do
My love in the form of appreciation and admiration has helped my partner grow from a shy, somewhat timid man, to an outward-going yet quiet type with lots of inner confidence.
I know because he’s told me. I don’t think it would have worked this way if it weren’t truly authentic on my part. I do admire and appreciate a zillion things about him. It’s funny. Admiration alone leaves me feeling a little empty or needing something else. I seem to need his commitment and respect. Those are totally satisfying to my inner self.
Men Need Encouragement
When my ex- used to come to me for encouragement, I basically wanted to kill him. He was mean and ugly a good deal of the time and then it seemed he wanted me to be a good and kind mother. I wasn’t happy about that at all. Whereas when my current husband is low, I find it easy, most of the time, to offer encouragement and, amazingly, it usually works for him.
Men and Their Caves
John Gray also says men like to go to their caves. This was truer in the beginning of our relationship and I’m grateful I knew “men go to their caves”. Maybe the cave has changed but it doesn’t look like it used to. It used to look like hours alone or away.
Now reading without interruption seems to do it for my husband. I’m not sure why it’s become different. I have a suspicion that it’s because he now knows I trust him to leave the cave and I don’t have to try to break my way in to get him to come out.
Why Men Are Further Away Than Mars
If I agree with all this Mars Venus philosophy, why do I say, “Men are from way farther away than Mars”? Because sometimes I cannot understand his thinking, his worldview and the way it must be inside the being of a man.
For example, I knew my husband for probably 20 years, our relationship has a very high level and amount of communication and he, shockingly, one day revealed that he believed in capital punishment!
How can a man who is, like me, peaceful to the point of believing in the possibility of world peace and who is nice and friendly to my ex-, who has liberal views on most anything else still believe in capital punishment?
Another example: say he thinks he’s coming down with a cold. He has lots of sick days. Why does he persist in going to work anyway? It isn’t because he doesn’t take good care of himself. He exercises.
He eats healthy. But he will just muscle through until he can’t stand up any more. And I don’t get martyr vibes from him either. I just don’t’ get that. If I feel sick, which isn’t often nor am I wimpy about it, I lie down. If I muscled through, I would definitely feel like a sacrificial victim. Under those circumstances, I do what I have to but not a drop more.
Since women can’t see the world through the eyes of a man and men can’t view the world through the eyes of woman, my husband and I have both been known to marvel that any relationship ever works, anywhere, any time!