The Difference Between Men and Women

This is copied from TED talks, but this gentleman said, “If a man speaks in a forest, and his wife cannot hear him, is he still wrong?” You know from whence that came — the old adage that if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, did it still fall? I can probably do marriage counseling and be pretty good at it, because I know the difference between men and women.

It’s more than just the left brain, right brain thing. It’s that men think with logic and reason, and women think with emotion. Now, that is NOT to say that women are illogical and unreasonable, or that men do not have strong emotion! Their brains just process differently.

Let’s take shopping for example. I like to refer to shopping as retail therapy. Women make shopping an endeavor to get the very best deals on things so we can brag about what really great deals we got. “Oh, look, honey, look what I got today and it was marked $10.00 off.” A wise husband, who is adept at letting his wife savor this announcement, already knows that she is ecstatic because the item being on sale warrants the purchase. Most men are not bargain hunters. (Successful shopping, by the way, produces a dopamine response in the brain resulting in a feeling of euphoria.) Send your husband to the store to get a can of beans, and if it looks like the right bean on the front of the can, he will grab the first one he sees, because he is not a bargain hunter! He thinks with logic here — find the beans, get out of the store, and get back to doing something else. That is reasonable. But we girls know the science of bargain hunting to a “T”. We frequent the same stores and watch the newspaper ads for the best deals, and we can make a dollar stretch further than a child extending a piece of chewing gum away from her tiny mouth. We are emotional about that can of beans, and we usually know which can we are after before the hunt. Is it on sale? Will that can save me money? Is this something my family is going to like? (People cook, by the way, not just to provide a meal, but to emotionally please everyone else but themselves. There is no greater joy than for a cook to hear, “I really liked that,” after cooking something for her partner.)

Another huge difference between men and women is the amount of time that any conversational topic will pique their interest. Again, it’s that logic and reason vs. emotion thing. Let’s say our friend Lacey at church just had a baby. Here’s what men think about that: “Lacey from our church just had a baby.” Here’s what women think about that: “OMG, Lacey had her baby! Was it a boy or a girl? What did they name it? How is Lacy doing after having the baby? Did she have her room all ready? Man, the cost of diapers is gonna kill them now. Should I take some food over for her family? I wonder when I can go see them, too.” Go on, ad infinitum, and text all your friends.

Men are not to be condemned for using logic and reason as the basis of their thought process, any more than women should be chastised for thinking on the emotional side. It’s what makes us different. It is what makes us interesting, and fun, and joyous, and these are the traits that make men and women fall in love with each other. And both men and women should be grateful for these differences. Without each of the sexes understanding this about our various thought processes, there will be a lot of ‘you’s thrown about in the marriage. “You” is the one word that should be totally removed from any conversation between a man and a woman. “You always” is probably the leading cause of divorce, or “you don’t ever,” or “why didn’t you,” etc. Replace the “you” with “I”. In every instance, I feel, or I want, or I wish, is so much less condemning.

Considering the way that men process with logic and reason, and women with emotion, try to ask a question instead of make a statement. Any conversation beginning with, “What do you think about…” will gain you a lot more points than just stating your thought process. And never ask a question if you aren’t prepared for an answer. If a woman asks, “Do you mind if my mother comes to stay for a week,” her spouse is between a rock and a hard place here — he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Most men, using the principles of logic and reason, know that they need to place keeping their wives happy above their own desire not to have company for an entire week.

It’s okay, guys, to think mostly with logic and reason. It’s okay, girls, to be more outwardly emotional. It’s okay to realize that we both just have brains, be they left or right. Love one another, love your differences, just love those brains before you.

Should rich people only love rich people?

If you ever read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, you know that the star-crossed lovers missed their calling to be together because the girl was on the wrong side of the tracks, one of the couple was rich and one was poor, and they didn’t realize their love went way beyond their socioeconomic levels of prosperity until it was too late. Aren’t we all brought up to believe that we should find someone to love in our own socioeconomic class?

When I was a family law paralegal, it always blew me away when someone presented to us for a divorce after some 30 or 40 years of marriage. What changed in the last year or so that made someone decide it was too late to fix it? It is fear and longing for something better, something different, escape from the doldrums that marriage will bring sometimes, and the belief that the grass is greener on the other side. Here’s a news flash: The grass is not greener on the other side because it’s better grass – it just gets watered and fertilized more often. And rich people will stay together far longer than poor people will. They can afford the upkeep to keep the grass watered and fertilized and trimmed to perfection.

Men are fearful of getting into a relationship with a woman who is only after their money, only after their goods, only after what he can provide for her as they reach social security age. And I have heard plenty of women state that they won’t date a guy who doesn’t have a steady income, a great retirement, a luxurious home and all the accoutrements that go with that. That is, to me, the epitome of missing the point. Love should not be based upon a socioeconomic class of rich or poor.

I wish people would get it. You can increase your income with little to no effort if you have the will, the brains and the education to do it. But your heart picks whom you should love, and the rung of your socioeconomic ladder should not decide where you end up. What happens over time, however, is that people forget why they married in the first place. As long as they think they can move to the side where the grass is greener, over that fence they go and they discover the harsh truth that they should have been more concerned with the tender care of the grass and not how green it is.

So can different social classes compete with each other when it comes to love? Would a very rich family accept into their flock their son’s engagement to a very poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks, one whose family was destitute? I so love movies, and The Bird Cage is one of the best. A young man and woman have a “meet the parents” over dinner moment, but the young man has to hide the fact that his parents are both men who are gay. It’s hilarious, but in the end, the truth comes out and we all just have to love whom we love, despite social barriers, despite class distinctions, despite what others might think – “Faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.” I didn’t realize the value of that until just recently. Love is truly the greatest thing you can have, no matter your social status or anything else. A favorite verse from one of the best country songs ever: “Love will get you through times of no money, better than money will get you through times of no love.” Love someone for their character, not what they can give you. You can always get material things, but you won’t always get love.