The purpose of this blog is to give helpful insights into issues, themes and situations that hinder living in fullness of life. Posted from newest to oldest, they cover a variety of subjects. Browse by scrolling through the articles or using the Archive. The 1st post "Greetings" is an introduction to this blog. More about Abundant Life Services can be found via the link to the website. Please feel free to comment if you would like or submit ideas for future posts.

Monday, July 28, 2014

I Just Don’t Understand Him/Her

Much of what I encounter when working with couples is actually very common to most couples rather than, “what is wrong with us!” For them, they think the problem is unique and thus something is wrong with him/her, or how can I change him/her. Perhaps the most common and confusing of these, what I’ll call, gender differences in the way men and women process things. Women feel things. It’s as if women process through a thick outer layer of feelings and emotions. Men, on the other hand, process things in a much more non-emotional, fact based way. In other words, for women, feelings seem much more relevant than facts, while for men, facts seem much more relevant than feelings . . . and both think their way is the best way. In fact, they cannot fully comprehend any other way of processing then their own. Of course this sets up an awkward, if not outright frustrating scenario. An event occurs and she wants to talk about it so that she can have someone to share her feelings with. For her, this is the first part of resolving the event. He wants to get down to the facts so it can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. She can’t believe he can be so insensitive to her feelings. He can’t understand why she is so emotional when the logical solution is obvious. She thinks he is being a jerk and probably doing so on purpose. He just shakes his head and is reminded how much women don’t make sense, but that’s not all. He puts it all into a little mental "box" and doesn’t “need” to re-open it unless he sees the benefit of it or is forced to. So he’s content to not even revisit, what for her has now become, a deeply emotional issue. She, on the other hand, carries it continuously along with any other recent events and the corresponding emotions connected to them. For her everything flows into her emotional river while he compartmentalizes in his factual post office boxes. Both of these methods of processing events have their advantages and disadvantages. In fact, it could be argued that the world needs both and I would argue that each marriage needs both. The key to harmony in the midst of such a major difference is to understand that these methods are unconscious responses and will not likely change. Thus the other partner is not intentionally “trying” to be difficult and change does not come without some hard work and maybe some coaching. The truth is, each is confused by the each others feelings and behavior. I have good news. If each one seeks to understand and to celebrate the differences rather than fight them; if each one seeks to learn from each other and to meet in the middle - they can benefit from the advantages and minimize the disadvantages of both methods. Remember, God made us the way we are intentionally. If men try and make women think like men and women try and make men think like women, we both lose the benefit of our God designed differences.
May God bless you with Hope and Life.  
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