Relationships

The Thing About Men And Mars

I don’t think there’s a woman, or a man for that matter, who doesn’t realize how very different males and females are. Spend an extended amount of time around the opposite sex and it becomes apparent. Get married, and it’s like a piano dropped on your head. I can recall many years ago doing an experiment. It went like this.

My husband was off work, and he was in the kitchen with the children. He was busily teaching some lesson to our eldest daughter, and I watched them lovingly from the living room. As I watched their interaction I noticed a stray Cheez-It fall from the table, then in slow motion I watched as my husband stepped on the dropped snack. It made a loud crunch, loud enough that he noticed. I watched as he glanced down at the floor. Then I watched as he chose to ignore the shattered snack.

And so began a battle of wills that lasted a full week until I caved and swept up the obliterated snack. At one point I had even labeled it on the hardwood with a post-it note, and he had smirkingly passed it by day after day. He wasn’t bothered by crumbs on the floor, but I was. It was a perfect example of the difference between man and woman, though not an exhaustive portrayal. It went far deeper than shattered crackers.

How we thought was different. What we placed importance on was different. How we chose to approach matters was different. Such as how I figured it was significant that he want to clean the floor, yet he was persistent to stubbornly prove he didn’t have to do anything a post-it note suggested. How women saw an issue was more complex. It’s like if issues were peaches. Women would see the color, if it were ripe enough, and consider where the sticky pit should be disposed of once it had been consumed. They would pay particular attention to the sweet smell, and take the time to consider if it was large enough to give each member of the family a bite. They might wonder if peaches were a sensible fruit to eat, and how it might affect future digestive health. They would most likely awaken at 3am with an emotional outpouring of memories over how quickly the peach had been devoured, they’d worry if they had done the right thing as a wife and mother eating it that day, and then they’d probably go check the counter to see if they had remembered to clean up the sticky juice aftermath after watching in delight as their children joyfully partook in a peachy treat.

Men would see a piece of fruit. They’d eat it and say, “that was good. Maybe I’ll buy another sometime.”

The wife would begin to mentally budget how the future, excess purchases of peaches might negatively impact the kids’ college funds. Yeah, they’re in preschool. What of it? Gotta plan ahead! At 3am.

As a woman, and as a woman who typically overthinks everything, plans to the most intimate of details, and unwillingly worries over the most unlikely of outcomes, it’s hard when my husband doesn’t do the same. It’s crazy what I may notice or place importance on, and what he may in comparison see as minuscule. It’s honestly exasperating at times. I mean, who hasn’t cursed the dirty pants thrown right alongside the laundry basket, or the pile of trash left laying on the counter right beside the garbage can?! Statistically women notice these things, and mostly men do not. It could drive you crazy if you let it.

So here’s the thing about men being from Mars.

Along the way we forget that women are from Venus.

We neglect to notice a few key factors in our blatantly obvious differences in character traits. The fact is our brains were designed to function the way they do, and while there’s no absolutes in anything I describe, typically the grand design works like this. Men are born with a greater muscle mass, and also a more defined desire to protect and provide for those around him. Women are designed a bit softer, more emotional, more nurturing, and with an innate need to see to the details required to care in the utmost way for those we love.

Yes, it’s a huge weight we as women bear, but it is also a gift. And this is what we cannot forget. We can’t be distracted by the things that make us different and thereby negate the awesome truth that we were uniquely created for great purposes in this life. We as women are a gift to creation, and we should be celebrating our unique perspective on things rather than viewing it as a curse.

Sometimes when our eyes are so fixated on the burdens we carry, or the weight of life’s responsibilities as we see it distributed, we lose sight also of the fact that men were created with a greater purpose in mind as well. They were also brilliantly and magnificently designed. Together, with our unique traits, with our strengths and weakness, with our gifts and burdens we bear, together these amazing designs interact to create something more beautiful than we could have mastered on our own. No matter how multitasking we as women may see ourselves.

My spouse carries unique and strong characteristics to the table that I could in no way bring forth on my own. He is the calm to my storm and the clarity of what’s really important in life when my mind might try to tell me it’s everything. I often try to be everything to everyone, and my husband is that loving whisper that says, “you can’t do it all. It’s ok to let this thing go.” My job as his partner and loving wife is to not simply focus on my role in our marriage, but to also open my vision a little wider than its focus on self. By recognizing what factors he excels in and also where I truly need his assistance I am more able to visualize the partnership we have. I am able to enjoy it more! And that’s the best part.

Yes, men and women are different, and yes, we could focus on how that’s a bad thing. Or… we could purposefully visualize how it just works.

Brie Gowen
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Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.

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