What’s it about?

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (1992) is the best-selling relationship book that helps men and women understand each other and reconcile their differences. The book’s author, John Gray, uses the playful metaphor of opposite sexes being from different planets and creates a reading guide that can help men, “Martians,” and women, “Venusians,” to understand each other better. This guide can help them establish intimacy and formulate stronger relationships.

About the author:

John Gray, Ph.D., is a popular speaker and author. He has written over 20 books about relationships and has appeared on Oprah, The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and many more.

Acknowledging the contrast between men and women:

Men and women are extremely different beings. You are probably thinking, duh! But that’s the problem with most relationships. People expect their partners to interpret a situation just like they do. Men like to take emotionless and rational actions, while women would instead get into the depth of their emotions in every case.

Men always want to fix it. They eye a problem; they rush into fixing it. They take every moment as a chance to prove themselves to their woman and protect her. While this is necessary for women, it is only a drop in the sea of her needs.

Women, on the other hand, are made to nurture and build. They see a problem; they rush to talk about it – sing to it, water it, paint its pot. After your long day at work, she sits by your side and asks how it went. She pays close attention to every detail you mention then attempts to comfort you. This is great as well, yet not what a man wants.

The truth is, men see women’s approach to guide and nurture as an indication that he is not capable of taking care of her, while women will look at a man’s fix-it-fast method as apathetic and cold reaction. This is mainly what ruined some of the best relationships.

How did things go south? Well, the couple didn’t succeed in understanding the truth key: men and women come from totally different planets. Not literally, but there is that much contrast between them. Couples need to be aware of such differences to be able to respect and understand each other and have a happy and healthy relationship.

Why relationships need effective communication to survive?

Most problems that lead to divorces and breakups are due to poor communication between the couple. You might talk all the time, but talking doesn’t cover the scope of communication. 

As we learned earlier, men and women want different beings, so it’s safe to say they are differently-motivated. Men are motivated when they feel needed, while women when they feel cherished.

Men grow up, believing that they must live for themselves only. That’s why solitary life fits them perfectly, with no family attachments. However, this fades away as they grow older and feel the need to share a life with someone. That’s when fear kicks in; a man starts seeing his life as a task to complete, and if he senses he didn’t get through, he thinks of himself as a failure and, well, gives up. This is the case with relationships and love. A woman in this situation should step in and assure her man that everyone makes mistakes and that she is a safe place, clear of judgment.

The complete opposite for women, though; they always feel unworthy of love, then react by giving their all into the relationship. The fear of being rejected comes in, and the only way women deal with that is by giving everything she got until it hurts, and it does. However, women get exhausted from always giving; they want to receive as well. Am I tall enough? What if he doesn’t think I’m pretty? Will my kids scare him off? They would have given so much, so they need to be reassured by their man that they deserve love. 

Communication spans between verbal and non-verbal actions. If you ask any man, he would say that women always tell their problems loudly but not lucidly. But the real truth is that women don’t express their feeling in words i.e., verbally, because they won’t give you that much detail unless they feel you want to do something about it. Women aren’t meant to fix problems, not like that at least. However, even with fewer details, if you listen better, you would understand. Men usually respond to a woman’s complaint as a call to fix it. Or they entirely misread it and answer insensitively.

As for men, when they get stressed, they tend to give silent treatment. At this time, women wouldn’t know how to react because their default is to talk; but how do you speak to someone who isn’t responding? They feel frustrated and analyze it as neglect or abandonment. The truth is, the man would be talking in silence. The key is to listen, not hear, for both of them.

Communication is a two-way road and can be achieved through a few rules:

  • Accept and offer criticism with love, care, and caution.
  • Pronounce clear statements; don’t leave anything hoping that the other person would just blindly get it.
  • Don’t go on throwing blame when you decide to share your feelings, and don’t immediately conclude that you are getting blamed either.
  • Never forget that your partner is intensely different from you; treat her\him accordingly.
  • Be ready to offer words of encouragement and support at any time.
  • Always listen, not just hear.

It might not come as a shocker to you anymore, but men and women love differently as well:

As weird as it sounds, men love like a rubber band. When a man is in a relationship or in love, he keeps pulling away further and further; until a sudden realization that he can’t live without his partner and comes rushing back to her – kinda like rubber bands when you stretch them if you think about it.

A man acts this way because a relationship can easily make him feel like he is losing himself, his identity, so he pulls away to reassess his life. He might seem cold and distant at first, but he surely will pull back right to his woman with a little time.

Women’s love is very different. Their feelings bloom, rise, peak, then crash to peak again. Because men feel responsible for their partner’s happiness – or lack thereof – they become uncertain of how to handle this cycle. At first, women are in love, and it’s like paradise. This is the peak of the wave. All of a sudden, everything goes south for no reason – the wave crashes. Then it goes up, and the cycle keeps on the move.

Men need to understand when a woman is experiencing this change, his job is not to blame anyone, especially himself. He should maintain a level of love that she could respond to.

Being able to handle emotional needs, changes, and arguments:

Men’s core needs are acceptance, trust, appreciation, admiration, approval, and encouragement. On the other hand, women need respect, understanding, caring, reassurance, validation, and devotion. Twelve very different languages of love. 

Couples usually complain about not receiving those needs from their partners. But they have to understand that unless they are ready to give their partner their needs, they can’t expect them to provide them with theirs. It is all a give and take cycle that can’t work without both parties’ full commitment.

Arguments can’t be terminated from relationships, but they can be reduced. Couples argue all the time; the problem arises when one of them complains about how the other treated him\her during a disagreement. That’s because when two people are arguing, everything regarding their relationship becomes on a temporal break, and anger controls their every move. To steer clear of arguments, couples should practice loving and respectful communication. They should respectfully approach arguments and remember that the problem is the enemy, not their partner.