So many couples who are experiencing relationship problems seem to need an interpreter.
In fact, what I mostly do during a couple’s counseling session is to to translate “what he just said” into words that she can understand, and then translate “what she just said” into words that he can understand.
So on the surface, it seems like poor communication is the problem. But like so many other things in life, there’s more to it than that.
In other words, the lack of connection and understanding run deeper than mere word-choice. There are some fundamental biological and social differences that lead to very different world views — a situation that’s not easily resolved, especially when it prevents us from even trying to understand.
At the root, we find the commonly held belief that “men are simple,” and “women are complicated.” I hear that a lot, so much so that it seems to be universally accepted as an immutable fact of life — one that gets in the way of any hope for a better connection. Internet author Grantley Morris puts it this way:
There seems a common belief that women are more complicated than men. This belief has perhaps contributed to more marriage problems than any other belief. Men generally conclude from it that women are so hard to understand that there’s no point in even trying to understand them. (Women who try to maintain an aura of mystery may be doing so to their own hurt.) And women tend to assume that men are so easy to understand that there is no need to even try to understand them better. So when it comes to better understanding the opposite sex, it’s often the case that men feel defeated before they start and women barely see a need to start.