Men Are From Mars

Which means, according to marriage guru John Gray, that when they are stressed, they need to go away and be by themselves in their caves, until they have relaxed enough by watching sports or reading the news to be able to come back out of their caves and interact with the women. Meanwhile, when stressed, the women (being from Venus) want to talk about their feelings, sharing their thoughts and concerns, freely moving from one problem to another, apparently (at least, as the men see it) at random, until they have felt heard and understood. Women feel snubbed when their men go into their caves; men feel got at and blamed when women need to talk about what's worrying them. This is particularly a problem when the men are feeling stressed and need to go into their caves and stay there until they feel better. It is a Big Mistake at this point for the women, who need to talk, to follow their men into their caves and try to keep talking. The solution? According to Gray, the women should wait until the men feel able to come out and feel ready to listen. Then (and, apparently, only then) the women can talk about the things that are stressing them and get the support that they need from being heard.*

Am I the only one who sees a problem with this picture?

*NB, as a corollary, that men like feeling needed or, rather, useful to women, but they hate it when women become needy--i.e. actually need them.


  1. I see a problem with that picture, because according to that description I am most definitely a martian- which doesn't exactly jive with the fact that last time I checked, I was quite far indeed from being a man. Maybe I'm just an exception- I guess I do have some pretty male tendencies- having hero-worshipped mostly males during my childhood. Any other girls out there who don't like talking about their feelings (Although I guess I am okay with writing about them, but that's different- or isn't it?) or am I just butch?

  2. I agree, I recognize a good deal of myself in Gray's description of the man from Mars, but the thing that really got me was the implication that it was the woman's job to wait until the man felt better rather than for the man to hold off retreating into his cave until after he had listened to the woman. On the one hand, I agree with much of Gray's description of Mars' and Venus' tendencies (having recognized them in myself and my husband's behavior), but on the other, I find his solutions to the tensions almost as bad as the tensions themselves.


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