Men and women are equals in the grandest sense of the word, yes. But just as our bodies are undeniably different, so, too, are our minds. This means, as crazy as it may seem, that how you experience the world isn’t necessarily how your wife experiences it. You can’t fight the evolutionary and social causes behind these differences. Trust me, I and much greater men have tried, all in vain. But you can at least recognize these and other differences, which are explained in very readable detail in “The Female Brain,” by Louann Brizendine, M.D. These insights will make communicating with your wife and she with you much easier. In other words, you’ll more often find yourselves of one mind.
1) She Remembers More. The hippocampus, the part of the brain mostly responsible for memories, is larger in women. That’s why women are better at retaining memories, the good ones and the bad ones, like that time you bought her a Thighmaster. If it seems that your wife can recall tiny details about things, such things as your anniversary dinner six years ago, that you barely remember, well, there’s likely a physiologically reason for that.
Lesson: Don’t argue with your wife over details about something that happened months or years ago. Odds are, she’s right.
2) There’s a Reason She Cries. Women’s brains are configured in such a manner that they are four times more likely to cry than men. One reason for this is that to the male brain surprise, it isn’t so hot at picking up subtle emotional cues in others (with anger being an exception). Sometimes tears are the only way for women to get us to take notice of their feelings; otherwise, without any trace of malice, we keep our focus squarely on the night’s episode of “Ice Road Truckers.”
Lesson: If you wish your wife cried less, work harder at paying attention to the small ways she’s telegraphing her feelings. Better yet, make a habit of asking her how she feels.
3) Her Instincts Are Solid. The parts of the brain linked to gut feelings are larger and more discerning in women. In other words, there’s a factual basis behind the much-touted notion of a “woman’s intuition.” Disregard it at your own peril. And, by all means, if you’re going to the race track, it might help to have her along.
Lesson: Pay attention to your wife’s hunches. She may be picking up on things that your dude brain isn’t even noticing.
4) Her Brain Changes. A lot. Because of menstruation and menopause, the female brain goes through considerably more change than our male brain. In fact, during any given month, some parts of the woman’s brain can change as much as 25 percent! Once past puberty, the male brain is largely spared anything akin to the monthly hormone riot that is menstruation, and the dramatic brain makeover that is menopause. Count your blessings, man, count your blessings.
Lesson: If it sometimes feels that you’re talking to a different woman, well, in some ways, you are. Be patient, dear sir. She’ll thank you for it.
5) Her Head Is Filled with Words. When it comes to the language centers of the brain, women’s work differently than men’s. On average, women speak at a rate of 250 words per minute, while men average half that. In the course of a day, a woman will speak some 20,000 words, while we guys utter about 7,000. This is why we husbands sometimes struggle to keep focused on all our wives are saying, and why we sometimes struggle to find the right words, unless, of course, we’re telling fart jokes, in which case the words flow effortlessly.
Lesson: Push yourself to listen ever harder, and to respond aloud with your reaction so that your wife knows you heard her. Above all, recognize that sometimes talking is her way of processing.
Knowing these, and other, differences between your brain and your wife’s, will make you smarter and you both happier.
Category: Sex n relationship