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Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Hardcover – Large Print, 1992
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The most well-know, long-lived, and tried-and-tested relationships guide ever: the phenomenal #1 New York Times bestseller Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus . In this classic guide to understanding the opposite sex, Dr. John Gray provides a practical and proven way for men and women to improve their communication by acknowledging the differences between their needs, desires, and behaviors. No other relationship guide on the market will give you the same level of evidence-based insight sure to help you strengthen and nurture your relationships for years to come.
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On the other hand, I definitely felt that much of his advice was very heavily slanted in the man's favor, at significant risk of turning the woman into a doormat. For example, when a man withdraws, the author advises the woman to basically just accept it if the man doesn't want to come out and provide the needed or requested support. This ranges from simple requests like "could you take out the trash" to rather necessary errands: "could you take me to the shop to pick up my car so I can go to work" or "could you pick up our kid from school" (taking examples from the book). If someone resisted doing those last two things, especially on a regular basis, I would seriously question his/her priorities, as well as their suitability as a partner and parent.
I would also regard an unwillingness to provide emotional support as a yellow flag, especially if the onus for emotional maintenance falls on one party-- in this book's case, it's usually the woman. Is the man upset? The woman has to give him space and be caring and accepting, no matter how he responds. Is the woman upset? She has to figure out why she's upset, tell the man she's upset, then sit back and... basically leave the rest up to him. If he becomes caring and accepting in turn, great. If he's still distant, then the onus falls back on her to do more work. In other words, many, if not most, of the author's proposed sacrifices seem to fall on the woman to bear, because men are the way they are (i.e., from Mars). I can't really think of a section in which he says, "men, if a woman responds this way, just accept it-- that's how women are."
Overall, I'd keep and re-read the book for its insights, but it's very much picking out what works and glossing over the rest.
I think it does a great job of allowing people to see the differences between men and women, and embraces those as real.
It has helped my boyfriend and I communicate better and have verbiage to describe what we are feeling or what we perceive them to be doing.
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Can't even be returned for a full refund. Oh well...