Author & Book Views On A Healthy Life!
Book Review: Why Mars & Venus Collide by John Gray, Ph.D.
Are you stressed out? The burdens of work, child-rearing, credit card debt, commuting, including the rising costs of healthcare, housing, and food is demanding a significant payment from our marriages and romantic relationships today. We are too tired and busy to maintain our partners emotional and physical needs. Which in turn, creates further pressure, leading to fights, emotional separation, and divorce.
John Gray,Ph.D. author of Why Mars and Venus Collide points out the effects of stress on modern relationships:
Mild depression from stress suppresses passion.
A sense of urgency takes away our patience and flexibility.
A sense of distress, anxiety, and panic greatly diminishes our capacity to be happy.
Irritability overshadows our feelings of affection, appreciation, and tenderness.
Decreased energy limits how much we can freely give of ourselves.
With unstable blood sugar levels, our moods either become flat or fluctuate too much.
Men lose interest in the relationship while women feel overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time and support.
Beyond this, stress of course leads to physical problems as well--infertility issues, digestive difficulties, insomnia, high blood pressure, and decreased immune function among other impairments.
Men and women react differently to stress because of chemical and physiological differences within our bodies. Not understanding the behaviors of the opposite sex during these difficult times can lead to further misunderstanding. Men produce large amounts of testosterone, especially during stress situations, which hinders oxytocin--a calming chemical. This allows men to fight for survival or protect the family when necessary. It also causes hostility, withdrawal, and sometimes anger.
Women produce oxytocin, released in large quantities during childbirth and breastfeeding. Estrogen, another female chemical, raises the effectiveness of oxytocin. Women would rather talk through their difficulties, protect and care for their children, and surround themselves with female support.
Understanding your partner is the key to a destressed relationship, making home a safe haven rather than a war of roses. Men tend to think of themselves as the breadwinners, difficult as it may be today. Though needing nurturing and love, they are risk takers with money, more dominant and independent, and tend to focus by blocking out distractions. When under stress, they will become silent. Best option here--John Gray writes that it is important to leave the man alone. In fact, ignore him for a while. This will help destress him.
Women tend to multitask, see the implications of a situation in a broader context, reach out to absorb more information, and skillfully use verbal abilities. Faced with stress, they will argue and persuade. Best option here--give the woman some attention. Ask about how she feels.
John Gray states that a woman's greatest challenge is caring for herself. She is a giver. 9 out of 10 women will sign up to donate their organs if killed in a traffic accident versus 1 out of 10 men. A man will give everything he has to support his family and then return home tired and needing to unwind. Having been married nearly 20 years, I understand this distinction between men and women. My sister-in-law phoned me not long ago, concerned that her husband arrives home from a 12-hour workday, only wishing to watch TV. Because she did not comprehend his need to switch gears and relax, this issue had created some minor friction in their household. I advised my sister-in-law to not nag her husband about watching television first, explaining that many men do this to loosen up after work.
Handle your stress rather than blame it on your spouse. Recognize that your spouse deals with stress too, even if he doesn't want to talk about it.
Best stress releasers:
Relax through yoga, meditation, massage therapy, listen to music, read a book, or just sit quietly.
Make time for yourself and don't feel guilty about it.
Sleep 7 to 9 hours a night.
Eat properly--fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains.
Exercise induces the release of endorphins which will also improve your mood.
Talk to a listener who will not judge you, but who can offer a new viewpoint.
Seek out a professional therapist who will treat serious stress related disorders.
Compromise your point on occasion and avoid the argument.
Write down your feelings, volunteer your time, begin a hobby.
Say "No" to demands that exceed your time limits and abilities.
Avoid smoking, emotional eating, too much alcohol, and abusing drugs.
Highly Recommended Reading: Why Mars And Venus Collide by John Gray, Ph.D. The book will open your mind and eyes and allow you to see your partner for who he or she is. Restore the passion and romance in your marriage with the insight offered through the author's research and knowledge of the intricacy of relationships.