Why Mars and Venus Collide – Book Review

Throughout a person’s life they can read many books, some good, some bad and some that can change the way you think about life.  I have just finished reading one such book. That book is called Why Mars and Venus Collide: Improve Your Relationships by Understanding How Men and Women Cope Differently with Stress and I have to say it was a fascinating read. I’m not usually a self help book kinda girl but I saw it on the shelf in our local charity shop and thought i’d give it a go.

I really do believe this book has helped me gain a better understanding of why my partner and son do the things they do; which in turn has made me a lot more patient with the two of them.
An example of this would be when my partner used to get home from work and plonk himself down in front of the TV and promptly fall asleep, now that use to wind me up something chronic. However after reading Gray’s book I now understand why he does this.
Gray explains how over the course of the day a man’s testosterone levels fall. Then when he comes home and the stress of the day is over he needs to replenish these levels.
He does this by having a nap, watching TV or doing something simple like reading a newspaper.

“When a man’s workday is over, a switch turns off in his brain, and he shifts to a passive, relaxed mode”

This made a lot of sense to me, so now instead of getting angry with my partner and spoiling the rest of the evening, I let him have his 30 minutes of downtime. After that we can enjoy our evening together.
In complete contrast to a man, a woman is fueled by oxytocin, ‘known as a social attachment hormone’. A woman regularly needs to perform oxytocin producing activities to make herself feel good.
Mars and Venus collide
Some examples of these are having a massage, talking to a friend on the phone, cooking a meal for someone and, believe it or not, cleaning! Really it’s any feel good activity, anything that involves ‘sharing, caring, befriending and nurturing’.
This explains why when a woman’s day is over she wants to talk about it in great detail, this is her way of releasing stress and after she has she feels more relaxed.
This is where you can see problems arising when the man and woman come home and she wants to talk and he wants to sleep.

 

‘Women mistakenly expect men to react and behave the way women do, while men continue to misunderstand what women really want’

Gray explains in great detail how men and women are ‘hardwired to be different’ and the different things that cause us stress. He believes that the rise in stress between men and women is because of ‘the shift in the roles of men and women’.

I for one completely agree with this theory. When my Grandparents were younger the roles that both sexes played were very clear cut, the men went out to work and earnt the money while the women stayed at home, raised the children and kept a house. Everyone knew where they stood and what was expected of them.
My Grandparents are still married and have been since they were in their late teens. They’ve had a very happy life and are still very much in love.

“When women become men, men lose purpose, meaning and inspiration in life”

Gray also covers the increase in testosterone levels in women and how ‘taking part in testosterone-producing activities at work can diminish a woman’s oxytocin levels’ (the thing that makes her feel good).

Gray also explains how unlike a male, a woman’s stress levels increase when she get’s home from work because she still has a million and one things to do. This is when things such as cooking dinner, being a mother or partner can seriously overwhelm her.

“Having a job or career is often no longer a choice for most women, but a necessity”
Obviously the book covers a lot more than just the points I’ve highlighted here and I could go on and on about it, but at the risk of boring you I will stop (well that’s if you even made it this far!).
There were so many different points in it that were actually very simple but perhaps things you wouldn’t have thought about before.
I would definitely say this book is worth a read.
“Being equals does not mean men and women are the same or should be the same”

 Gina

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