Mars and Venus

The best selling hard-cover nonfiction book of all time is Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray, Ph.D. This reflects people’s fascination with sex differences in explaining relationship conflict. Even though many of the concepts in the book are not supported by research, there are particularly useful concepts that are helpful in couples counseling.

Women tend to process information externally, by sharing information with others. In doing so, they see their choices more clearly and come to their own conclusions. Men tend to process internally by mulling information on their own and making decisions. Of course there are women who are internal processors and men who are external processors.

If someone is an external processor, they are looking for someone to listen to them without trying to fix or solve their problem. By talking out loud, external processors typically sort out their own solutions and resent others trying to fix their problems. Internal processors will come up with their own solutions but need to be sure to share their conclusions.

In summary, men need to listen to their wives and not fix their problems or give advice. When men come to their own conclusions, they need to share this information with their wives.