I confess I haven’t read many relationship manuals. I’ve never really had a problem with relationships, being -as my brother once said about himself – a serial monogamist. I went from one long-term relationship to another, only having my heart broken once or twice. For a long time, I dated men who would do whatever I told them… then I dated a few men for whom I would do whatever they told me. Either way, I never once wondered why we weren’t communicating properly.
The Husband is a different species, perhaps. Sometimes we really aren’t sure we’re speaking the same language. We find ourselves in difficult discussions where neither of us are really clear about how we got there, or how to get out.
But. I’m not sure this is actually a gender issue. I’m not sure it isn’t just that we are different people. And thank God we are. I don’t think I’d last five minutes in a relationship with someone like me. I’d want to kill them immediately.
I look at our friends’ choices of partner. None is quite the same. Some choose someone so unlike them you wonder what they might ever talk about. Some choose someone so similar, you worry they’ll never through life because they’ll keep making the same decisions, with no one to give them an alternate opinion. Some like to be in charge, some like someone else to be. A father figure, a surrogate mother, a child to care for. My friends are not unlike other people’s, we’re a fairly normal crew. Which leads me to believe that books which claim to help women to ‘understand their men’ are mostly a total waste of space. Each man – like each relationship – is different. Maybe relationship self-help books are one of the last acceptable forms of prejudice and discrimination.
My husband is from Mars. But so are some of my female friends. And I know a lot of guys who have clearly spent time on Venus. Let’s stop pretending it’s as easy to explain as having different genitalia.