Honeymooners class: Lesson 5

The Gender Gap – Have we bridged it? 
” Your willingness to accept the differences between you will allow you to complement one another in ways that make life better for each of you.” ~ C. W. Neal
We didn’t manage to attend this class since we were busy in the kitchen cooking for the fellowship. But the ‘kiasu’ me borrowed the book and read it and I felt that I should pen down these information for keepsake.,

We all know men are from Mars and women are from Venus. In other words, we are really VERY different. Though we may think that we have found a soulmate in each other, the fact is, our partner is really not like our kind. Biblically, Adam lived in the only Paradise that has ever existed on this earth, felt no pain and shed no tears. But even so, loneliness flourished and God determined that it was not “good” for man to be alone – something was missing and He responded by creating Eve – not another Adam.

The authors commented that when a man and woman marry, the partner makes up for what the other lacks. When we are discouraged, they are hopeful. When we are stingy, they are generous. Because we are are male and female joined togeter, there is wholeness. But, the important thing is, our differences, if not understood and accepted, become a source of confusion rather than completeness.

It is thus crucial that we do not evaluate our partner’s behaviour according to our feminine or masculine standards and that we consider the vast differences between the sexes.

So how are we different? The book gave a summary of what we should know about the opposite sex and I find it so true!

What every husband should know about his wife.

1. She needs to be cherished.
I think we, women need to know that we are number one in our partner’s life – that they will think about us when they make any decision or do anything. I love it when the hubs is gentle and tender and he made me feel I am cared for. Before we got married, Ken received the news that he was accepted for his overseas studies and he came to me, quite immediately and asked me about my thoughts. When I showed resistance and fussed over it (because I prefer to stay in Singapore), he was ready to give up the scholarship just so that we would not be apart. He was being real considerate towards me and how could I not support him in his studies and career? His actions won me over and I’m glad I’m here!

2. She needs to be known.
The author wrote this in reference to being listened to by their spouse. Do you find that at times, when you talk to your partner, you just want him to listen, be empathetic, and convey his understanding? But you also realise the man do like to give advice or suggestion. Remember they like to solve problem while we, females are relational beings and just want to share? So, sometimes when I just want to share my thoughts, I would tell the hubs, “No need to give advice. I just want to share.” This will work for me=p

The book asks the reader to consider this fact: Men say three times as many words in public as they do in private, while women say three times as many words in private as they do in public. Women like to match experiences, to draw one another out, to volley in conversation.

Listening to the wife talk without offering quick solution is the only way to meet her need to be known, so the book advises.

3. She needs to be respected.
Women feel insecure and lose their sense of self when they are not respected. On the contrary, the man would become self-righteous and indignant when he feels unrespected and would even give less until he gets what he feels he deserves (I quote the book).

There are a number of ways to show respect to the wife. To begin with, do not try to or change or manipulate her, but rather, honour her needs, wishes, values and rights. I think the worst thing a husband can do to a wife is to laugh off the wife’s request (especially in public) and I find it damning. Respecting the wife also means including her in decisions, supporting her in fulfilling her dreams and aspirations.

Respect says, “I support you, you are valuable to me and you don’t have to be any different from who you are.” In return for this respect, a woman will be able to relax. She will not have a compulsive need to prove herself to be an equal but will automatically feel and be equal.

Ken gives me much respect in the sense that he consults me in all decisions, big and small and supports me in all that I do and this, not just mental support. He goes all out to support me in my passion. I felt very loved.

What every wife should know about her husband

1. He needs to be admired
Being appreciated is a man’s primary need. He measures his worth through his achievements, big and small and needs them to be recognised. This is different for a woman who seeks appreciation through being understood. Men derive their worth more from what they do, while women derive their worth more from who they are.

Consider this: When women do not receive admiration from their spouse, they tend to be more motivated than ever to earn it. But when a man does not receive admiration from his spouse, he begins to lose motivation to try. Without a feeling of being admired, a man’s energy is drained. He soon feels inadequate and incapable of giving support. Without being admired, men lose their will to give. 

Is this true?

2. He needs to have autonomy
By autonomy, the authors mean the man’s need to have time to regroup. This is in reference to the man’s need to have space when he is under stress. At such times, he becomes absent-minded, unresponsive, absorbed and preoccupied. It’s different from women who typically would want to talk abot the situation and be comforted.

I learnt this lesson not too long ago. Ken was reading his paper for an assignment and was deeply engrossed in it. At that time, I asked him a question and when he didn’t respond, I felt weird and asked a few more questions. He looked up and said with an irritated tone, “I’m reading…”

Oops…I learnt. =)

3. He needs shared activity.
Men build intimacy by doing things together while women share secrets, talk things over and cuddle. The book mentions that husbands place surprising importance on having their wives as recreational companions.

Not sure if the later statement is true but well, it’s always good to be involved in our partner’s interest too. The hubs loves skiing and I think I should try give it a try too!

Source: Saving your marriage before it starts by Dr Les Parrott III & Dr Leslie Parrott

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