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Men, Women and Relationships: Making Peace with the Opposite Sex Paperback – November 12, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Men and women are alien species, writes relationship guru Gray in this 1993 forerunner to his bestselling Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus series, now in paperback. Women are emotional, subjective, relationship-oriented and like to talk about feelings, while men are rational, objective, work-oriented and like to withdraw into their "cave" and watch TV. The mutual incomprehension of the sexes leads to friction and conflicted relationships in which women feel neglected and unloved and men feel nagged and smothered. Rather than denying or suppressing their differences, Gray argues, men and women must acknowledge their masculine and feminine essences and learn to understand, tolerate and value the characteristics of the opposite sex. Men must learn to listen sympathetically ("make reassuring responses like 'hmm,' 'uh-huh,' or 'tell me more,'") while women must learn to give men space. Gray often pushes the essentialism too far ("Illness and disease are manifestations of the dark side of our female self") and treads lightly around issues of sexism. But many readers will see elements of truth in these behavioral stereotypes, and Gray has a perfect pitch for the ways in which misunderstandings can escalate into shouting matches and deep-seated marital bitterness. His is a hopeful message that troubled relationships stem from a simple failure to communicate, but it skirts the possibility that there might be deeper sources of conflict between men and women.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

John Gray, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading relationship experts, and an authority on improving communication styles for couples, companies, and communities. His many books have sold more than fifty million copies in fifty different languages worldwide. John lives with his wife and children in northern California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (November 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060507861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060507862
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to anyone who needs help communicating with, or is filled with resentment toward, their spouse. I would also get a highlighter out and start using it at the begining! I laughed over and over again while reading this book because it was truly as if the author was speaking directly to my husband and I! I never thought it would be THAT good, but it was! Things are so much better now, but it takes practice so this book remains on our shelf for later reference!
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I just finished reading this, and my copy is dog-eared and well marked throughout. The author explains how everyone has both masculine and feminine attributes that need to be balanced in order for a person to be centered. When a person is centered, they feel more powerful and loved and are able to complement their spouse better so that the spouse also feels more loved and valued in the relationship. I especially appreciated the part about how men and women react differently to stress (so I'm not crazy after all!). He also gives many examples of the ways husbands and wives unknowingly offend and invalidate each other. Extremely valuable is his "feeling letter technique" which is a tool to enable a person to release resentment and other negative feelings in order to make room for the positive emotions to emerge, allowing one to be the loving, centered person that they truly are.

I talked to a couple people who felt the book was too quick to categorize men and women into boxes...but he actually addresses that argument in the book, saying that everyone is unique and their masculine/feminine traits can cross a whole spectrum. He describes the traits themselves as being masculine or feminine - he is not saying that all men fit in this box and all women fit in another box. The point is that we need to recognize and honor both sides of ourselves.

I have to say that some of the concepts were difficult for me to grasp in a few places where it seemed like the author gravitated to writing like the Ph.D. that he is (then again maybe it's just me); but he made up for it by providing lots of examples.
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It's unfortunate THIS BOOK was NOT the one that sold 50 million copies like "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus"

This book it 10 times the Mars/Venus book.

Should be recommended reading for ANYONE even considering marriage.
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I've read several of the M/V books and this one isn't all new info, but it did help me to understand some basic differences in men and women. I wouldn't put it at the top of the list of must-reads, but I think overall, it's worth your time.
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By Lilia on June 25, 2011
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The idea of the book is great, reading it makes you understand a lot of things and change your behavior towards the opposite sex!
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First time reading any of Dr. Grey's Venus and Mars books. This was excellent. Both my husband and I gained a tremendous amount of insight as to mind of the opposite sex and how we relate to different situations. I highly recommend it, especially if you are having trouble understanding how your partner does what she/he does.
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I sometimes felt that I was overreacting to stuff, but now I know my reactions are typical of my gender and to be expected. I am not wrong as my husband would have me think. He is not wrong either, just male and viewing things from his perspective. He thinks something is wrong with me because I don't view things his way. Thank you John Gray for your insights. My next project is to get the male in the family to read the book so we can peacefully coexist. Well worth the money to buy and the time to read.
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A man recognizes thirst as the feeling he gets when he needs water and hunger as the feeling he gets when he needs food. He recognizes fear as needing safety and loneliness as needing people. But we men are lousy at recognizing the feelings we get as connected to not having our relational needs met, for appreciation, acceptance, and trust, and we may not even recognize we need these things. John Gray does, and it's impressive how well he describes the dynamics of what happens when men and women don't get their needs met.
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