Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Men and Women--Venus and Mars Revisited

No one knows the answer to the question: Why are men and women wired so differently? My hub and I have been married over 39 years, yet there are still times when we believe we are having a chat about the same topic, only to discover we are actually into different discussions. I have learned not to change the topic mid-sentence, or he is totally lost. I have to be specific about people I am talking about – he gets thoroughly confused with the ‘he’s and ‘she’s. I will be discussing one she and he believes I am talking about the she mentioned several sentences back. I try to be specific, pausing before changing subjects and using names whenever I remember, but casual conversation does not work that way. It is more a stream of consciousness than premeditated speech.
Hub is also not adept at filling in the blanks. I might mention an individual and make a comment. He is once again at a loss unless I tell him specifically the context in which the comment refers. Other individuals in on the conversation – other women – understand perfectly and follow my conversation without missing a beat. Hub throws up his hands, shakes his head and says he has no idea what I am talking about. The rest of us (women) just roll our eyes and attempt to carefully fill in the blanks so he can once again understand what is going on.
MarketWatch essay by David Weidner brought this issue to my attention. I was drawn to the piece because, as an ex-financial adviser, I am interested in men and women’s differing investment perspectives. The bottom line, according to the article, is that men make bad decisions. The article mentions a few of the many sex scandals in recent years in which politicians found themselves embroiled, the Anthony Weiner fiasco just the latest in a long line of sordid revelations.
Getting back to the heart of the story, the report suggests that women are better investors than men. Women are more disciplined, have more self-control and handle pain better (the world does not come to an end when a man gets the sniffles). I doubt the pain part has anything to do with being a better investor but is a truism I cannot resist mentioning.
I am not sure what the point of all this is. Everyone knows men and women are different. Perhaps an awareness of at least some of the differences can help close the gap between misunderstanding and misinterpretation and lead to understanding each other a bit better. Or at least being able to follow each other’s conversation.


  1. I really had to laugh. I can so relate to having the two different discussions. And I am always the one to figure it out. Add to that, my husband is very hard of hearing. Sometimes it's a hoot to sit back and watch him have a parallel conversation with someone else, though.

  2. My husband has the same complaint. I feel sorry for him. I can't remember what I was talking about half the time, either. I try not to get mad at him by reminding myself that half the reason I talk to him is so he can help me finish my sentences, because they get lost in the ether half the time.

    Maybe I should just hire someone to pay attention.

  3. We have exactly the same problem when talking about stuff. I make a real effort to keep my "him" and "her" closely monitored and try to think how he's hearing the conversation. It usually doesn't help all that much, but I've got to do something to keep the peace! :-)