The Men in Our Lives

Last week, we enjoyed Amy Dickinson’s visit to our blog and her look at the important role women in her family – “The Mighty Queens” – have played. Now, with Father’s Day just a week away, we turn our focus toward the men in our lives – fathers, brothers, husbands, lovers, sons, teachers, grandsons, even colleagues – and consider our relationships with them. We play a vital role in nourishing “our men” and are nourished by them as well. But how much do we really understand them?

John Gray has written about communication problems between men, from Mars, and women, from Venus, encouraging both to come together, celebrate their differences and understand one another. Gray describes men as “Mr. Fix-it,” ready to offer solutions to problems without necessarily listening to the whole story and validating the feelings behind them. Women, on the other hand, are more attuned to talking about what is bothering them and are more likely to feel loved and cherished when the men in their life connect with them in this way. These different styles of communication can also mirror different needs for intimacy. Gray describes men as “rubber bands,” who draw close and then pull away in their expressions of love. This snapping back and forth can leave women confused and hurt.

So how do we gain understanding of “the guys” and learn how to get what we need from them? Stay tuned in this week as we look at positive ways to experience the men around us. And, to learn more about how men in long-term relationships view communication, click on the title above to take you to an article on our website,, entitled “Father’s Day, Boomer Men and Communication.”

Tomorrow we start by taking a deeper look at how differences begin early in children’s development.

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