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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.
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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.
John Gray is a doctor of psychology and is a relationship counselor and lecturer. Gray says, “Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus is a manual for loving relationships. It reveals how men and women differ in all areas of their love…” (5).
The book is set up in 13 chapters, each with different topics and subtopics. They explain the issue, use examples of men versus women, and the ways to solve and understand the main topic. “Men Are Like Rubber Bands, ” and “Women Are Like Waves,” are chapter titles and topics. Some chapters are aimed more towards one sex while others address the same issue and how each sex handles it differently. Each chapter describes the problem at hand, how we handle the issue, and then teaches us how to respond effectively. Reading each chapter revealed new insight helping me, keeping me reading, and keeping me crave more.
Gray uses clear examples to help the reader understand and avoid any misunderstanding or fight all together with the opposite sex. Gray provides an example of a short conversation between a couple to help us understand the “incorrect” way to handle the situation and a “correct” way. By giving the audience the “before and after” it makes learning how to handle a situation much easier. You can be told what to do, but just because you are told something does not mean you understand it: these examples provide the visual for understanding. The format Gray uses teaches and understanding and ways to avoid arguments and fights.
Gray’s book helped me immensely and was enjoyable to read, but it still had its downfalls. His book is repetitive: it was about three hundred pages, it could have been around 100. Gray often repeats the concepts of “the cave” and “On Mars…. On Venus….” Being repetitive can be a useful tool to further push your point and to make it more clear, but Gray surpassed this!
Some may believe this book is sexist because he is a man writing about both men and women. In fact, Gray is not being sexist he is being honest. Gray states early in the book, “I make many generalizations about men and women in this book. Probably you will find some comments truer than others …. I suggest that when you do not relate to something in this book, either ignore it...” (7).
Gray’s examples and explanations taught me a lot. My relationship has gotten much stronger from this reading. This book is full of good tips; you just need to read with an open mind to fully understand and get the most out of the reading. I strongly recommend the book if you are able to read with an open mind and a willingness to learn. This is a harder read but it is worth it-- 4/5.
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...