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Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex Paperback – April 3, 2012
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“Gray offers a Berlitz of the heart, a translation of that foreign language your spouse is speaking. And hearing.” -- USA Today
From the Back Cover
Rediscover the most famous relationship book ever published
Once upon a time Martians and Venusians met, fell in love, and had happy relationships together because they respected and accepted their differences. Then they came to Earth and amnesia set in: they forgot they were from different planets.
Based on years of successful counseling of couples and individuals, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus has helped millions of couples transform their relationships. Now viewed as a modern classic, this phenomenal book has helped men and women realize how different they can be in their communication styles, their emotional needs, and their modes of behavior—and offers the secrets of communicating without conflicts, allowing couples to give intimacy every chance to grow.
- ASIN : 0060574216
- Publisher : Harper Paperbacks (April 3, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780060574215
- ISBN-13 : 978-0060574215
- Item Weight : 9.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.83 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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A friend and I were talking and this book came up. She seemed shocked I had never read it. I'm a huge fan of expanding my knowledge in any way, plus, I'm married! So I decided to give it a whirl.
This book would likely only be useful in the 50's, when women belonged at home, cooking, cleaning and taking care of babies...and were meant to be fully submissive to their husbands. If you want to believe that men and women are equals, this book is NOT for you. I am by no means a feminist, that whole movement these days is just obnoxious, but holy moly this book is sexist! Words cannot express how awful this book is, but I will give it a try for the purpose of enlightenment.
The main bullet point of this book is that women need to walk on eggshells and tip toe around their men, for fear of upsetting them in some way. I'm a big reader of non-fiction/self-help type books. I love knowledge. I am also a big under-liner in books. I underlined one sentence that was somewhat intelligent. the rest of the time I just asterisked with LOL or OMG next to it! Let me find a few excerpts for y'all!
(Side note, I buy a ton of books, so I buy them all used on Amazon. It seems whoever read it before me didn't even get as far as I did before realizing how awful it was. Highlighting the first few dozen pages, then nothing.)
Ok, here is some of a list of things not to say to your husband, because it will upset him . (Or, as stated in the booked verbatim, "...ways a woman may unknowingly annoy a man...")
"There's a parking spot over there."
~If this annoys your husband, you have a ridiculous brat for a husband. Seriously?!
"You should spend more time with the kids; they miss you!"
~I can see that this could possibly bug some guys, but it should more be bugging them that THEY have put themselves in a position for someone to tell them that their kids miss them.
"Oh, you forgot to bring it home again? Maybe you could put it in a special place so you will remember it."
~Again, if your 'man' gets upset at you for saying this, you don't have a man; you have a whiney baby.
"Without an understanding of how they are turning men off with unsolicited advice, many women feel powerless to get what they need from a man. [...]
"[...] What if his table manners are atrocious or he dresses really badly? What if he's a really good guy but has a habit of behaving in a way that makes him look like a jerk?[...]"
"The answer is, she should definitely not offer advice unless he asks."
~Ha! OMG! So a man could be completely oblivious and is actually embarrassing himself, but instead of letting him know, you don't want to annoy him so you continue letting him make an arse of himself?!
Then, in that situation the book gives the following advice...
"She should say to him "There is something I want to talk about, but I don't know how to say it. I don't want to offend you. Would you listen and then suggest a better way that I could say it?"
~Right?! I'm not even making that up!!!! I mean, I know I have a ridiculously amazing husband, but come on. I seriously feel sorry for anyone who is in a relationship that this book would be helpful to.
"To withhold correcting a man is a way to nurture him. Giving advice is only helpful if he asks for it."
~If he doesn't know he is doing something wrong, how could he possibly know to ask for advice?!
"When a man becomes quiet he is saying "I need some time to think... I will be back. ", but he doesn't realize that a woman hears "I don't love you, I can't stand to listen to you, I am leaving and I am never coming back!"
~If you are a woman or your woman has ever thought this way......you/she needs some serious mental health help...STAT!
"Women don't think of giving appreciation, because they assume a man knows how appreciated they are."
~Say what?! I tell my husband thank you every time he cuts the grass. I tell him I appreciate him calling the mechanic so I don't have to. I tell him that I am grateful that he ran out to get something from the store that I may have forgotten to buy. In fact, I'd say the opposite is likely true, MEN often don't verbalize appreciation, even if they do appreciate.
Good grief this book is AWFUL! I quit just past page 100. It was pure torture to read this. PLEASE do yourself and your marriage a favor, and DON'T read this.
Dr. Gray gives men 2 ways to relate to the women they are in relationship with:
1. Listen to her.
2. Do as many small things as you do big things for her.
Dr. Gray gives women many ways to relate to men they are in relationships with:
1. Show appreciation for everything he does. (Because he needs a cookie to feel good about himself for every little thing he does)
2. Admire him (How about he does something to earn admiration)
3. Give him his man cave space even though you are hurting, wait and hurt until he feels ready to deal with you.
4. Speak in small direct sentences with no detail because his attention span is low. (Really and these are the leaders of our world!)
4. Don't give him unsolicited advice because he will feel you don't trust him to figure out a solution and be offended (Are grown men really such babies)
.5. Accept him for how he is-if you give him advice he will think you are trying to change him and be insulted and feel incompetent-even if he is incompetent in some situations. (Oh Vey!)
6. Be careful to phrase your requests for help appropriately. Say would instead of could or can you. If you say could or can you, he will think he could do what you are asking but he isn't going to. If say would you, he will be more willing to because he has a choice. REALLY! That is so childish!
7. There is a training sequence for how we ask him for help. One of which is to be okay with him telling you NO. Of course there is no direction for him to be okay with you telling him NO. I don't think so! (Really, is there a training sequence that he needs to learn for how to be an equal adult in a relationship?)
There were a couple of good suggestions. I do think that we should be aware of what each sex finds most important is helpful, but this book was heavily laden with accepting a man for how he is and learning to cater to how he is and very little with how a man should cater to his woman.
I also found the Love Letter/Response Letter a very useful tool, not just in romantic relationships but with any relationship.
Overall, hugely chauvinist.and hopefully outdated-I hope society has grown past this approach. Dr. Gray portrays men as sensitive, immature, selfish, thoughtless babies that we have to tip toe around to make them feel good. My questions is " If this is how men really are, and we have to do all this to be in a relationship with them, why would we want this?" Clearly, he portrays females as the superior sex and males as the inferior.
So, so shockingly true that men and women think so differently. Seems like men know this well (that women are impossible to understand), and unlike youthful women, wise women don't get disappointed because they know men just don't think like them. And both sexes benefit from understanding and getting rid of the notions they have that their partner's needs are just like theirs, and that their partner should both know what they need instinctively and appreciate what they're getting (even though it's not what they truly need because they aren't you!). Knowing how the opposite sex thinks (in general) makes things so much easier to deal with.
Top reviews from other countries
I noticed how politically out of date it is as it suggests a lot that women are more likely to do the cooking, cleaning, shopping and child rearing than the man is, and he can score points with her by taking her out to dinner. In my house, everything is 50/50 and we don't score points against each other, whatever the author says.
The book doesn't really touch at all on the basis for most couples arguments; money and financial infidelity. The outdated PC issues aside, I felt that there was a lot of nonsense in the second half of the book that I found it hard to relate to. The author boasts how he can 'heal' 20-year marriages in a weekend. I don't agree. Deep rooted psychological or communicative issues that have dogged long-term couples since the outset are unlikely to be healed in 48 hours. I felt the book was a little patronising to this extent.
In the beginning I felt there were some interesting concepts that I cold see certainly related to other couples I know, but then I lost interest around the time he started to introduce writing love letters. I don't see how this is helpful as it is pandering to the lack of communication couples have. Just talk to each other for crying out loud, don't make silly little games out of it just open your mouth and pour out what's inside. Basically, don't hold onto it and let it eat you alive.
I think the book could be revised to be more befitting to the modern societal values. I would not recommend this book at all. A lot of condescending waffle.
I didn't even manage the first chapter. Example- Sue should not comment if Tom is driving and is lost as he will feel unappreciated - when Sue doesn't comment, Tom feels valued and appreciates her consideration. WTF? It's like reading a Woman's own guide from the 1950s. This is just brain numbing rubbish
This is a relationship book for adult men and women… yet it is written for children, smart last year primary school children who have a limitless attention span. The idea that men and women are from different planets and forgot they’re not the same, isn’t just on the cover, it’s not even just in the intro (which is a good place for it), it’s in the entire book. Every page is so condescendingly simplistic, I felt like I was watching one of Laci Greens old YouTube videos on sex ed.
And much like Laci Greens old content, most of it isn’t necessarily bad advice, the problem is that it genuinely doesn’t know exactly what it is talking about, yet it’s stating opinions as if it’s proven fact.
Now there are differences between the sexes, in fact there’s far more difference than similarities, but there are some similarities. This book goes on as if there are none, it just makes blanket black and white generalizations about the sexes, that doesn’t take into account the grey. As such, the generalisations are wrong.
For example, he talks about how when women complain about issues, they don’t want to have solutions, they just want to empathized with, while men don’t want to be empathized with when complaining about problems, because men only complain about something if they want advice. Now to some extent this is true, it might even be more true than false, but it is at least partly false. As a man myself, there has been some times in my life where I haven’t been at my strongest, and just needed to vent and have someone validate it, and in my life at least 3 different women have responded to me like this unempathetically with advice. But as far as this book is concerned, that cross over never happens.
Honestly, this reads as a man who has generalized himself as a representative of all men, and his wife as a representative of all women, not accounting any of those differences to personality type or upbringing, and accounting all of them to innate gender. And he’s done so with short, overly simplistic, black and white metaphors, stretched to ridiculous excess.
Seriously, all books have filler, that’s par for the course. If a book doesn’t have filler it’s either a pamphlet, or a really good book. I have never seen so much filler in my life. The second chapter can literally be done in one sentence that it does in 15 pages, and still has the exact same amount of information provided: “Emotional people don’t want advise, they want empathy, for people only want advise when they ask for it”. How does someone stretch a sentence like that into 15 pages and not add any more value to it what so ever?
Honestly, this just makes me think there needs to be a case study to find out why things like this or Laci Greens old content become so popular in the first place.