Women Are Like Waves
One of the challenges of this stage is for men to understand that when a woman rises up she also comes crashing down. Women are like waves, as I explain in Chapter 7 of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. As a woman becomes more vulnerable in the relationship, then quite naturally her feelings tend to rise and fall. For many weeks she may feel very loving and happy, but then suddenly, after the wave reaches its peak, the wave crashes and she hits bottom.
When a woman's wave crashes, she has very little to give, temporarily. This is when a man is required to draw from his skills of stage three and continue giving his best without expecting an immediate return. He has to remember he has the power to provide for her happiness. When a man mistakenly assumes that he can't make a woman happy, he becomes very discouraged.
The many positive experiences of stage three prepare a man for this time when he doesn't seem to be as successful. A man can minimize his discouragement and frustration by understanding that women are like waves and by having many positive memories of times when he has been successful. Then, instead of feeling he can't do anything, he knows exactly what to do and has realistic expectations about the outcome.
As the wave rises, a woman is able to give and express more and more love. When it crashes, regardless of how wonderful her partner is, she will temporarily lose (to different degrees) her ability to be as loving. She is suddenly not as self-assured, receptive and responsive.
At those times the man makes the mistake of trying to fix her. He tries to talk her out of feeling the way she does instead of taking the time to be more considerate and supportive in a way that works on Venus. Rather than giving solutions, a man can be most successful if he provides increased understanding and empathy. When her wave is crashing, what a woman needs to feel most is that she is not being judged or rejected for not being as loving.
When a woman feels supported, she doesn't necessarily feel better right away. It takes time. If she is on her way down, then a man's support will just make it easier for her to hit bottom. Once she hits bottom, if she feels his support, her wave will rise up again.
John Gray, Ph.D
Mars and Venus on a Date
You're probably wondering why the hell I put that book excerpt in, right?
The reason is that two weeks ago, the above woman was Missy, and I was the above man. Missy 'crashed', and I tried to fix her, and almost screwed everything up.
It was September 26, the time of our 3-month anniversary. We'd just come back from a couple of days in Sydney, at a party of her sister's and other family members and dozens of their friends. It was a lot of fun. We stayed overnight at my friend's place at Coogee, and included a lunch meeting with another friend, Tricia (who I've spoken about before). It was a nice time. However, that was on the Friday and Saturday, and on the Saturday night, things changed. It was a combination of Missy having lost her job and after the farewell dinner on that night, she was feeling pretty sad. She went through a period where she questioned her feelings towards me, as well as my own feelings towards her. A lot of things came to a head, and I was feeling devastated. I thought I was losing her. She was expressing fears of commitment, and all kinds of other feelings. Instead of looking to the future, she wanted to take things slowly, one day at a time.
I was confused for a week, and then last weekend, while on the phone, I asked her if she still loved me. She told me that she wasn't sure, that something had changed and she felt differently. She still felt it was love, but not as strong. I took that to be that I was definitely losing her, that she was drifting away from me, and there was nothing I could do about it. I had a real bout of sadness for a few days, but then something changed in me.
Instead of thinking I was losing her, I decided that if she did go, that was life. And I may as well just take things as they are and deal with it if it happened. Until then, I'd just accept that things might end suddenly, and just take it one day at a time as well.
That's exactly what I needed to do. It reassured her that I wasn't smothering her, and that I was accepting the way she felt, and most importantly – I wasn't going to run away from her. I was hanging in there, doing what she wanted me to do – back off.
She came here this weekend, for a couple of days. It was great! We went out on Friday night with Scot and Stuart and watched another friend of mine (Ken) sing at a nightclub. It was excellent fun! From the beginning of the evening through to the time we went home, we ended up drinking at 10 different bars, pubs and clubs. Surprisingly, neither of us got drunk, which I can only attribute to the fact that we ate large meals before starting. The best fun was going to the Gypsy Bar and dancing for ages, to all this early 80's music. Excellent!!
On Saturday, I had to work at ORAC, but afterwards we came back home and tried to get some sleep for a few hours before another big night. It didn't work too well… My housemates were having a party, and that started about 5pm. It was a real small one, with only a couple of people turning up. But it was planned that way… Missy and I stayed for a little while, but then went out to dinner at her favourite Chinese restaurant in Belconnen. After that we went to Scot's place and watched The Matrix on DVD. I bought the DVD the other day, but I don't have a DVD player yet, so I lent it to Scot because he has a player. Since Missy has only seen it once and wanted to see it again, that's what we did that night. We came back home after midnight to find the party still going… They had gone from listening to music to watching some rugby match on tv…. boring!!! Missy and I had a few drinks then had a spa bath until about 3am.
We slept well, waking up around 10:30 this morning (Sunday morning). She wanted to take me shopping… to get me some boots and other clothes… and so after a walk in the nearby bushland to look at the kangaroos, we went shopping. I ended up buying only a shirt and shorts after the longest period of shopping I've ever done in my entire life!!! But I'm going back tomorrow to put a lay-by on some boots… I think I tried on half of one of the stores we went to. Phew!
She had brought her kids here to see their father (who lives in Canberra) and left them with him while she stayed with me. When she went to pick them up this afternoon before heading back, I met up with them in the city, so that I could see the kids and spend a little bit of time with them before they went back. I'm glad that I did, as it was good to see them again. Then we said our goodbyes, and she left.
I feel a lot happier now. Everything seems to be ok again. Oh yeh… the book excerpt above.
On Friday, I gave her a copy of the book Mars And Venus On A Date, which is a sequel to Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Excellent books. The one I gave her is the same as the one I own and am reading. It's a great help in understanding men and women and relationships, and now both her and I are reading a copy. She started reading it on Saturday afternoon while I was trying to get some sleep, and said to me later that it was amazing. That night, after the spa, I was reading a small bit from a particular chapter on intimacy, and the above excerpt was on the next page. I read it out to her as well, and we both agreed that it was exactly what seemed to have happened to her. She crashed, and I tried fixing her. The lack of understanding of what was going on almost made me leave her, through thinking that she was losing her love for me. This weekend she told me that she did love me, and that it wasn't going to change. It might go up and down every now and again, but it's still there. The book has changed our perspective, and changed our relationship. We're now more able to understand each other on a higher level, and accept the fact that we're going to go through stages and changes. If we understand all of that and are able to deal with them when they happen, everything's going to be fine.
We've agreed that if, through reading the book and exploring our relationship together over time, we discover that we are great for each other OR that we're not meant for each other, then that's ok. We'll be more relaxed in the meantime and more happier as well.
I really believe that we're going to work things out. I know I'm much happier now, and I know Missy definitely seemed much happier than the last time I saw her.
This weekend was like a restoration of what was between us. Needless to say, I'm pretty bloody happy right now.
That's the reason I haven't written anything for 3 weeks. I wasn't in the mood to write anything. Too confused and too sad. But everything's better now.
Stay tuned… more interesting things to come as the years go by. I hope that you remain as interested in reading my adventures in life as I am in writing them for you.
Thanks for reading! Please add your own thoughts below.
Don't forget to subscribe for new posts sent to you by email!