Anyone who has read ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ by John Gray will understand the many differences between men and women and how these two alien species react to the world in different ways. In essence, it follows the story of two alien species, the action-driven, emotionally absent men of Mars and the caring community of Venusian women. They look across the stars at each other to try and understand the unusual behaviors and motivations that drive these unusual creatures. When a martian man encounters an emotional setback or problem, he retreats to his cave for a time of isolation and reflection, whereas a woman from Venus would share in a group and work on a combined solution. The book uses alien metaphors to show how different men and women are and by the end of the book, you feel you know the other sex that little bit better.
Being married with two young daughters, I have been given additional insight into the world of women and yet I still get it wrong. If my wife says she is ‘fine’, she is usually anything but, and there are many occasions I am told NOT to do something only to find out later that I should have done them and now I am in the dog house.
Being a man, I’d like to think that men are pretty easy to understand. Many say what they mean/want and a simple ‘you ok… yep, you?… yep’ is all the conversation we need. But then my wife asks me if I talked about the house move, the new job, the class, the training and I draw a blank. However, when things aren’t so great, men become a little more complex. The proverbial Martian cave can become less a peaceful place of problem-solving, but a prison. And staying in there too long can lead to mental health issues, spiraling depression or worse.
At the end of the book, the Martians and Venusians come together, as they both have qualities that help them both become better, stronger, and more balanced. The happy Martians are able to use the coping tools from the Venusians to solves problems faster, and men love solving problems.
Nowadays, not everyone has a friend, partner, or family member to lean on when times get tough, and sometimes those that do try to keep up an illusion that everything is fine. Social media has us posting fake lives to compete with the Joneses, showcasing successes in order to ‘fake it until they make it’ and keeping our real feelings tucked deep inside.
With this in mind, I was happy to stumble on a new site that helps men get advice from other men, the “Ask The Men” feature on MenWhoBlog.com is just that, a sounding board for like-minded men to openly talk and discuss the myriad problems that plague modern men.
Questions can be asked whilst inside your Martian cave helping you to hear similar stories, get insights and solutions and eventually solve the problem, escape the man cave and rejoin the community. Men shouldn’t have to suffer alone and being able to talk to people who have been in similar can help.
Similarly, if you have been through an ordeal and managed to successfully navigate it and come out the other side unscathed, why not share your story, help others and join the community… in the end, we are all Martians trying to live together!