“A happy marriage is a long conversation that seems all too short.” ~ Andre Maurois
Before I was married, up until the last steps I took down the aisle single, I believed that men and women were more or less the same. Except for anatomy, of course.
I disregarded stereotypes of women portrayed as overly emotional and men acting overly stoic. They were caricatures drawn up from old school thinking. I believed that gender differences resulted more out of nurture, not nature.
I grew up through the ranks in the public school system at a time when teachers taught from the same playbook: men and women were equal. A woman can do anything a man can. In some cases, even better.
I didn’t doubt it.
When I left home for college, I didn’t have enough rebellion in me to pursue an English degree over something practical.
Why not pick an area of work men traditionally dominated in? I started researching fields where women were least represented. Engineering.
The majority of my colleagues have been men, but I never felt I was any different from them, even if some male co-workers felt otherwise. That was their miseducation, I figured.
I was naive and very mistaken.
I’m not saying a woman can’t get a man’s job done quicker or better.
What I’m talking about is making a life together.
Once I got married, I learned quickly that men and women are different.
* A man’s body temperature is skewed 5 degrees warmer than reality. A woman must gently disregard a man’s input when adjusting the thermostat or she will forever be wearing sweatshirts and socks to bed.
* Men lack the ability to self-soothe when a spirited debate ensues. A man avoids sensitive topics but women enjoy exploring feelings and what-if scenarios.
* A man thinks that active listening means nodding and maintaining eye contact. A woman needs lots of spontaneous interjections like “Really?”, “I can’t believe it!” and “Honey, you’re the best.”.
* Men feel sleepy when they’ve had a long day, but women start waking up to talk as soon as they get comfy in bed.
* Men like to veg out when they are stressed. Women like to talk.
* Men like to hear the how-did-your-day-go recap once in cliff notes, but women like to tell the director’s cut version, along with different angled replays thrown in.
* Men like to solve your problems, while women like to talk about the problems.
* Women like films with British accents, that talk more than move. Men don’t.
We were definitely made equal before God, but I happily yield to the notion that men and women are not the same.
There are many side benefits to being different and married.
I don’t have to pick up dead critters, if need be. He does.
He can get me ice cream when I have a pity party — and make me laugh or allow me to cry, while eating it.
We may not see eye to eye on everything, but we can take the other gender’s view and try it on for size.
We aren’t always able to solve every problem, but we care more about each other’s feelings than the solution.
When we see our differences, we remember we each have individual stories, that include our hurts and our dreams. We respect each other as friends first, as spouses second.
He can put all the IKEA furniture together, while I pick it out.
I can tell a funny joke and provide comic relief. Because he’s the only one who’d get the punchline.
I can admire him and tell him the many ways I remember all the little things I appreciate about him…
… As I turn up the thermostat, lay down from a hard day’s work, and talk until we both fall asleep.
I never thought I’d say this, but men and women are different.
A marriage is happier for this fact.
“God created human beings…Reflecting God’s nature.
He created them male and female.”
What do you think are the differences between men and women — if any?
What are your thoughts on love and marriage?
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“Friendship fuels the flames of romance because it offers the best protection against feeling adversarial toward your spouse.”
~ John Gottman, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage work
I received one of the best marriage advice in a book given to us, by a godly couple who has enjoyed over 40 years of wedded bliss: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman.
If you’re looking for a practical book about marriage that is both interesting and challenging, check it out here.
We’re in the middle of a special February Faith Jam series — Unwrapping Love. Check out next Thursday’s topic below and be sure to weigh in with your voice.
*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
Faith Barista Jam Thursdays — I serve up a topic of faith, you write the post. Keep faith fresh with a faith prompt and add your voice to this community.
Today’s Faith Jam Topic 2/10:
What I Wished Someone Told Me About Marriage
Share your post by clicking on the blue button below “Add Your Link” or just comment directly. Let’s encourage each other. Swap our stories.
Next Thursday’s Topic 2/17:
Share your thoughts on faith and love — or —
What are you discovering about God’s love for you?
Next week’s topic is inspired by Faith Jam blogger, David @ Red Letter Believers, whose One Word for 2011 is “Love“.
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Oh yes, we are different. I agree, and thank goodness. I’d hate to be married to someone just like me! It helps to remember these benefits to being different when we disagree, too. Keeps it all in perspective – thanks!
Opposites do attract! 🙂
six years of dating, 19 years of marriage, and we’re STILL figuring this out! but we’re having a blast – even at mid-life! grace. that’s the ticket.
Wow. That is awesome to hear, Kendal! I have a feeling learning is what keeps things fresh. Grace everyday.
So true, Bonnie. I definitely agree and celebrate the differences — especially after having four sons!
Four sons! That’s great representin’, Laura. I’m with you in spirit — I have two myself.
I linked up today. Thanks for the opportunity Bonnie.
Your posts always encourage me.
Yay! Looking forward to reading!
[…] up to the Faith Barista’s Faith Jam February series, “Unwrapping […]
* Women like films with British accents, that talk more than move. Men don’t.
So true. I got a good laugh at how familiar many of these differences are. I’ve learned, like you, that men and women are NOT as much the same as I used to think. And I’m thankful.
“We were definitely made equal before God, but I happily yield to the notion that men and women are not the same.”
Amen. Thanks for another great jam post and topic, Bonnie!
Whew. Not just me. 😉 Heading over to your post, Lisa!
Hey, I resemble that! 🙂
Thanks for taking one for the troops. Good representin’. 😉
This reminds me of the time, during our engagement, a couple invited us over to take a personality test. We filled in our answers in separate rooms. I remember thinking, as I was filling in my answers, that I knew exactly how Charles was filling in his (the same answers as mine)! I was so surprised afterwards, when I saw that his results were totally different. That was the biggest thing I learned from that day. (I still don’t remember exactly what his four-letter personality type was, but I do remember realizing that we were not the same.)
That’s too funny!
[…] I’m posting as part of Bonnie Gray’s Faith Jam on the topic: “What I Wished Someone Told Me About Marriage.” With Valentine’s Day approaching, I think it’s a timely […]
What a nice post! I love that so many of those have to do with women talking. I’ve heard it put several different ways, but it seems some studies show that women use 3 times as many words as men 🙂 I even see this in my cats. One is male and one is female. The female cat is way more vocal than the male 🙂
No, I disagree. I had a female cat as a single person and a male cat as a married person. The male cat talks more and is far more needy. I think the female cat I had was a feminist.
Love it, Jamie. That would be a fascinating study to conduct — in the animal kingdom.
I love this post Bonnie. I had a real recipe for disaster when my wife and I were first married. We were married on September 7th, returned from our honeymoon a week later, and I dove into a full load of seminary classes. One of those classes was a counseling course. So yeah, that didn’t go so well. I distinctly remember my wife saying, “Don’t make me one of your counseling class projects!” Oh my, not only did I think I could solve problems, I was taking a course in it.
I forgot everything from that class and gave the books away. I think my marriage is stronger because of it. 🙂
Yikes! LOL. Nothing like a zealous seminary student. I can only imagine the scenes that ensued, Ed. Good decision chucking those books. 🙂
“Men like to hear the how-did-your-day-go recap once in cliff notes, but women like to tell the director’s cut version, along with different angled replays thrown in.”
THAT made me laugh. My husband has learned this is who I am so listens to every replay, director’s cut version, and whining that goes along with it. LOL
They grow to enjoy “quality” conversations… 🙂
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Glynn Young and HisFireFly, Nikole Hahn. Nikole Hahn said: RT @gyoung9751: A Great Marriage Requires Men and Women Who Are Different, new post by @TheBonnieGray at Faith Barista. http://bit.ly/eOlqmu […]
Bonnie, your post made me smile, then laugh out loud. I love that we are different. I need those qualities in my husband that I don’t have, and he needs the ones in me that he lacks. We are definitely better together than apart. Learning to appreciate those differences takes a little time and a lot of willingness to choose not to be irritated. Just like any relationship. I think men and women are different because of their gender, but also because everyone is different. God loves variety, and he put us together like parts of the body — we need each one of us.
“Learning to appreciate those differences takes a little time and a lot of willingness to choose not to be irritated.” I love this. Pure Joy wisdom and insight. Happy Proposal Anniversary!
Great thoughts on marriage, Bonnie! 🙂 Josh and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary on the 24th and I have learned so much about the differences of men and women in that decade. Wait, let me rephrase that: I have learned so much about the differences of Josh and I in that decade. I have only learned about us, put me in another situation and I would fall short as a counselor, because I can only tell you (somewhat) how my husband works. The thing I think I’ve learned the most is that we’re all unique individuals and we have to approach each other that way.
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So my husband and I are a bit different… He is the verbal processor, I want to veg. I want to solve problems, he wants to talk them out. I want the cliff notes version, my husband wants to give me an extended-cut directors version 🙂
But, its a lot of fun to find out the differences we do have and explore them together in Christ!
Praise God for differences. The being united as one doesn’t mean that we have to think the same, act the same, talk the same, like the same things. It means that though we are different, unique people, we are united enough to journey together.
This post is DA BOMB. Goodness, there are so many differences it seems, although sometimes our differences are just personality differences rather than men vs. women ones. Still, differences there are! Right now we are knee deep in Emerson Eggerich’s Love and Respect book, which has opened my eyes to so many things. Tons of folks have already read this, but the gist is that women crave and need love while men crave and need our respect (from Ephesians 5:33). It is so simple yet so complicated!
Thanks for letting us come over to your place today, Bonnie! Love ya! 🙂
You know honestly I didn’t think there were huge differences either when I got married, but I was wrong! And now that I’ve had a few years to accept it, I’m very glad about it. It’s amazing how God will change our perspective if we let Him. 🙂 Thanks Bonnie!
As a single gal, I think the differences are the parts that scare me the most. 🙂
Love this, Bonnie! I’m so glad Ron Burgundy and I are different. I sure wouldn’t want to be married to me for 38 years! Besides, I don’t need a dozen sets of socket wrenches, but it appears he does.
I am so glad that men and women are different. Think of how boring it’d be if we were the same! I’m thankful that I found a man who is like me in the fact that we LOVE Jesus and have made Him the center of our home. I’m a little less thankful that he isn’t a neat freak–because I’m not either so one of us needed to be 🙂 Oh well!
[…] 6. Renewal – Blog Carnival by PeterP 7. Our Worth In The Master’s Hand by Dusty Rayburn 8. A Great Marriage Requires Men and Women Who Are Different by Bonnie Gray 9. You don’t need more time by Seth Godin 10. Talking Bad about Jesus by jason […]
What is it about a British accent that melts our hearts? Colin Firth, why couldn’t you have waited for me?!?! Well, maybe his wife wouldn’t mind if he just called and talked to me from time to time. I don’t know him, but I do love his voice!
So many smile producing moments in here, Bonnie—IKEA, Cliff notes, the termperature, and when we (as women) are ready to talk. Thanks for a truthful and lighthearted look at our differences.
At my house I’m the one wired 5 or 10 degrees too warm! Great post and wonderfully wise to realize it is our contrasts that make marriage so exciting!
Great stuff here, and you made me laugh–especially the part about not having to pick up dead critters! And British films–yes, oh, yes! Warning though about those thermostat differences, though. Once you start sneaking up on 50, you have to readjust all those temperature settings. Just saying.
Great post, and so true! When we married 26 years ago, I considered myself a feminist, and believed thoroughly that all the sex differences came from upbringing — nurture, not nature. Having a son and then twin daughters sure changed my opinion on that pretty quickly! The differences are there, from birth, it seems. And that’s what makes marriage and motherhood so interesting!
I do take care of my own dead critters, though.