Thursday, March 30, 2006

Women vs. Men, part II

Wow, two posts in one day!

This is the partner to the post containing Hubby's recent opinion survey of women regarding men. He went to the church men's dinner and asked the guys, "What is the one thing you wish women understood better about men?" Below is his report of the responses. As usual, I've interjected some comments because, hey, its my blog and I'll pontificate if I want to!

I think the men responded well to the ladies' survey responses although there may have been a few men that were surprised that the number one response from women was "listen."
Overall, I think men would like women to understand that, while we are different, we are not mindless neanderthals that need "fixing" like the sit-com husbands (not everybody loves Raymond).
My hope is that these surveys would spur conversation among men and women so that we can learn to understand and love one another better. That we could use our differences to complement each other rather than using them as a wedge to divide us.
I love that last paragraph. I told you Hubby was a great guy. Okay, let's continue....
We Are Different (and that's ok)
• Please have respect for our interests and hobbies (even if you don't understand them).
If you want them to have respect for the things you do, you have to show respect for what they do. You can guild the lily by taking an actual interest in their hobbies, but don't try to fake it. I think being patronize hurts more than being ignored.
• Understand that our sexual needs and desires are different from yours.
Men are visual. Make peace with this and then go to Frederick's of Hollywood and have some fun! Read Tommy Nelson's "Book of Romance" (a teaching on the Song of Solomon) and have even more fun!
• We are not always "thinking about something." Sometimes we just vegetate.
I think only women are capable of worrying 24/7 about something (hormonal pregnant ladies take the gold medal in this division)
• A result of our God-given "need for adventure" is that sometimes we do spontaneous things.
• We are not mind readers.
• Our communication methods are not as complex as yours and sometimes a short answer is sufficient to explain how our day was.
Face it ladies, we've made talking a sublime art form. There's actually a statistic out there that compares how many words are spoke by women each day compared to the men. Let's either not expect them to talk as much as we do or be patient while they catch up to us.
• We need time and space to think about things, especially if it is something important.
James Dobson's book, Bringing Up Boys talks about how early in a baby's development in utero, the hormone surge that creates the male genitals also messes with the synaptic connections between the two hemispheres of the brain. This does not mean men are brain damaged, it just means that thoughts and emotions do not move through their heads at the lightening speed it does in a woman. Come to think of it, we could all benefit by slowing down a bit...
• We would like to be forgiven when we've apologized and move on. A corollary to this is a request to not project onto us how other men in your life may have mistreated you.
Amen! Holding a grudge or keeping score of when your partner messed up is like taking poison and waiting for the other guy to die. It will make your life miserable.
• We are vulnerable sometimes (we can be hurt) and not always the invincible tower of strength in every situation.
I think a lot of women assume that since men aren't as emotive as we are, that they don't get hurt as easily or that they will recover quicker from a hurt.
• We need some understanding at the end of the work day and time to adjust to being home.
Now here's a touchy subject. I'm going to say somethings that might cheese some of you off. Sometimes we stay at home moms have a tendency to look at ourselves as martyrs. i.e "Nobody else has a tougher job than we do, if your day was bad, mine was worse because I was stuck here with the kids, I don't get a break, etc., etc."
Consider the following:
1. you chose to get married, have kids and stay home with them.
2. even if the kids are horrible, you can discipline them and send them to their rooms for the rest of the day. Can hubby do that with his co-workers?
3. you can completely blow your job and have chance to try again tomorrow. Hubby completely blows his jobs, he could get fired.
4. you can phone it in by having the kids watch two hours of tv. Hubby cannot set the boss up in front of Tele Tubbies and hope that he leaves him alone for a bit.
5. watching the kids grow, listening to their funny statements, getting sponteous smiles, hugs and kisses from them is priceless. When I was working outside the house, I didn't want any hugs and kisses from my co-workers!

If your man has a job he goes to day in and day out to support the rest of you, cut him some slack and give him a nice place to come home to.
• We do have emotional needs. Sensitivity to and affirmation of this would go a long way towards winning us over.
I don't think a lot of us realize this because a lot of men act like neanderthals, but I'd wager that half of that off behaviour is to cover up an emotional need or hurt.

Shaunti Feldhahn, a Christian columnist and author said at a retreat she was on, the participants were asked, "Given a choice between feeling alone and unloved, and feeling inadequate and disrespected, which would you rather feel?" Overwhelmingly, the women chose to feel disrespected rather than alone or unloved. But men said they would choose to feel alone and unloved rather than to feel disrespected. Interesting, eh?

Okay enough sermon, time for chocolate


Gail said...

Ah, wit & wisdom yet again! :) I am soooooo glad God put y'all in our lives to be an example for our marriage/family! Yes, I know you are not perfect; but y'all do a pretty good job at living out what you preach. Could you call me up everyday & remind me of this stuff??? pretty please????? Because most days I feel like I just don't get it. Yes, I realize that I chose to get married; we chose to have children & that we(one of us) would stay home & raise them. But I would still like a break once in a while.
I do truly appreciate the truth you speak into my life. THANKS! -G

AT said...

Soo what about us moms who do BOTH? and the dads who stay home! I thouht being a SAHM was tough until i went to my paid job and come ome to my work...!

And the SAHD's! All the "fun" of SAHM..and none of the support.