You, Me and Stress (Part 5)
5's my lucky number and so, I'm going to make this post a little more personal and special...
A valuable point I came across in the Mars-Venus book (apart from those that I’ve already shared earlier) is the 90/10 principle. This means that men provide only 10% of the peace and happiness that women desire; the other 90% is what the woman herself is responsible for and it comes from various people in various ways. So, if a woman desires 100% support from her partner at every juncture, she’s setting herself up for disappointment. A woman is wrong in expecting her partner to be her primary source of love, support and understanding.
BOOM! Did I just wreck your world? Mine sure did…
I’ve lived my entire life believing that women rely on men for everything tiny and huge. So what if they can now earn and fend for themselves, a man is still supposed to be chivalrous and give a woman every damn thing be it mental, physical, emotional or material. Apparently not.
As Gray says, “let him top it off”, which basically means you have to be already happy for him to please you, else nothing he does will be satisfactory.
No wonder then that I have often experienced and expressed disapproval when a guy did not live up to my expected action or reaction. I was down in the dumps and waiting for him to lift me and place me on the throne, when in reality I had to be the one hauling myself up and steadying myself so that he could come and seat me down.
Let me be honest – this sounds unfair and absolutely ridiculous to me. I mean if he cannot be there to help in times of need, then why is he there in the first place? If I can’t count on him to make me smile, then why should I stand by him when he’s crying? Just because being kind and caring comes naturally to me and not to him does not mean that he seeks solace from me and I keep getting frustrated and lonely in unpleasant situations...
And let me confess, I’ve often ended friendships due to this reason. If I am there for you, I expect you to be there for me. If you endlessly approach me only in difficulty or boredom, I’m certainly not going to hang around forever as you abandon me when life dishes me out troubles. It’s gotta be just and rational, right? I ain’t a saint!
The author lists out 100 things a woman should do to make herself feel nice. Which isn’t such a bad idea, after all. I’ve ticked out 20-odd activities that I engage in when I want to pamper myself or just take it easy. A few examples? Visit the salon, go shopping, catch up with girlfriends, sing, read and blah.
The gist being, that when a woman is upset, she ought to talk to a friend or a counsellor or herself (in the form of writing a journal or speaking to the mirror), rather than her partner. A man will 98% of the times say something inappropriate and further stress her. So, the woman needs to calm down herself and then when she is relaxed, speak to her partner if she desires. A guy can only solve problems, not discuss them and give emotional bliss.
That’s a very pertinent and profound realization. One that can possibly mend a million relationships around the world. At least for women like me, who harbour absurd beliefs about their partners and relationships…
Here is an attention-grabbing paragraph: When men take time for themselves, women tend to feel rejected and neglected. The opposite is true for men; by taking time out for herself, a woman actually helps a man feel like a success in the relationship. Leaving a man alone and ignoring him is sometimes the best way support him. But women do not grasp this because they feel neglected or last priority when he doesn’t anticipate her needs. The truth is his brain does not work the same way! A man wants a woman to do less for him, and let him do more for her, in order to feel successful. Men need to feel needed and women need to feel they are not alone.
The writer goes on to elaborate about how women keep score in their relationships where points are given and cut for every single thing that both partners do or not do. It does not matter whether the action is big or small. Something that men do not comprehend. They do one big thing and then relax, forgetting that it only means one point. Instead, they can do ten tiny things that are meaningful and would earn them ten brownie points! So, it is not what you do, it is how much you do that counts.
Important: Hugs get men more points than actually providing for the family. Showing interest and concern are also easy ways to win. And voicing a thought before performing the action also doubles the number of points earned. Ka-ching!
There are also a 100 ways enumerated that a man can achieve more points with a woman. Examples are compliment her, love notes, common courtesies, hugs and verbal expressions of love, etc. (These I’ve ticked more than 30 of… not surprising, eh?)
Women, being experts at racking up points, also compute their man to be a zero when she seems to have done a lot more than him. A man is happy when he is winning, but when a woman has more points, she feels like she is losing. She needs their points to be balanced to feel his love and support. Receiving and giving need to be balanced for her to feel secure and happy about their relationship.
When women begin to feel they are not getting enough in return, they tend to give with strings attached. They give with negativity and anger, and count how much they are getting in return. She may still love her partner, but is willing to end the relationship as she feels resentful and dissatisfied. She has nothing left to give.
Sex helps men release stress. They easily roll over and sleep. This is because they have a need for distance immediately after sex. On the other hand, women have a greater need to connect at that time.
But let’s not end on a gloomy note. Here’s a juicy titbit… Especially for men and women of the 21st century :-)
Both need to understand their different needs, and make some minor changes if they want to be happy together and avoid bad feelings. Coz finally, these get pent up and lead to an explosion in the future that can destroy both their peace and joys.