I am reading this REALLY insightful book: What Women Want Men to Know.
I have made the most huge discovery about women and it makes a lot of sense of some behaviours. I’ll write a few posts on it. This is the first.
I’ll summarize bits from page 34-35:
For most women, love is a nonstop reality, a consistent awareness that never quite disappears even when we are performing tasks that seem to have nothing to do with love.
For most men, on the other hand, the experience of love is much more compartmentalized: it is an appointment men make with a part of themselves.
Women don’t shift into loving awareness – they are in it most of the time, whether it is being expressed or not.
On the contrary most men have to consciously choose to make a shift into love mode.
That right there explains so much for me. So many missed conversations. Missed looks. Missed connections. I simply wasn’t in my “love mode” because I spend time in other modes… hobbies, sports, food, work, ambition… whatever. But a woman in love spends time in all of those areas too… but they are viewed and lived through “love mode”.
Of course not ALL of this is true for ALL people. But it’s making sense to me.
When Melissa is in an intimate relationship, she sees the world through a lens of love. A news story is something she can share with Joseph. A song evokes memories. Raspberries are the fruit Joseph like.
Joseph, being male and not looking at the world in the same relational way, he incorrectly assumes that if this is how Melissa feels about him, she must be making a HUGE effort to love him in this manner, and therefore, she must be unbalanced and obsessive.
Many men make the same error in judgement – “if I was behaving that way or feeling that way, it would mean that I didn’t have a life and that I was really needy and desperate.” – which might in fact be true for a man… but not necessarily for a woman. The man then concludes (from a male perspective) that their partner must be needy, empty and insecure if they love that much or focus on their partner that consistently.
Women know better. Melissa isn’t making any effort at all. She’s in love. Focussing on Joseph is as natural to her as breathing. She doesn’t even think about it. It just happens. She isn’t thinking about him because she has no life of her own, or she has problems… she is thinking about him because that’s the way she loves as a woman.
FAR OUT! This is news to me!! And you guys?!
Initially I struggled to believe this, but when I looked back over my life and the relationships where I have seen doting partners… I can see how “strong” women have rejected their feelings and how society has rejected loving women… but it is entirely possible that this is how healthy women love!
Then I thought about my mother and how she cared for me, how she tried to make a home, how she thought in general. I think it’s true… women really do see the world differently.
This will work well if both partners love one another and respect the role the other is willing to play.
It can be a wonderful thing if one partner will carry the burden for growing, guiding, healing the emotional health of the family while the other partner will work on the security and provision for that family. One is inward looking (using her built in emotional gifts for that) and the other is outwoard looking (using his natural aggression, focus and vision for that).
I think where that broke down for my parents was that they were not whole in themselves, didn’t respct and didn’t nurture one another. So they didn’t really pull together as one, they remained separate and the marriage didn’t work. Of course, that’s only my view. I will never know.