"MARS & VENUS TOGETHER (Relationship Skills For Lasting Love)" by John Gray Ph. D. 

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Additional thought of Graham White in highlights.

Use the same style of introduction for your book.  Also use the quote style used in the book.

The high rate of divorce is not a sign that people today are less interested in marriage.  On the contrary, it indicates that we want more from our relationships than ever before.  We sense that passionate monogamy is possible, but we do not have the skills to fully experience it.  It used to be an accepted fact that passion waned after a couple was married.  We no longer accept this, but we haven't developed the skills in order to keep the passion alive.  Divorce seems to be the solution and those who take this option early find marriage a revolving door of excitement turned to disappointment.

Having an affair is one way of injecting passion back into your life, but it's like taking all your savings and blowing them in Las Vegas.  You spend it all and you are quickly back to where you started.

All relationships experience difficulty.  If you don't plan for the times when things are rough, you may end up having an affair.  It is important to set up your life to make it as affair proof as possible. 

As a personal example, I used to do long-term on-site consulting in nightclubs.  The availability of young, attractive, willing partners was endless.  In order to ensure that it was less likely that I would take advantage of an opportunity should one arise during a week when I was not getting along well with my wife, I made certain that I did not develop any close relationships with anyone I was particularly attracted to.  In fact, if I was attracted to someone that I saw regularly, I made certain that all they sensed was "disinterest".  That way, when I was having moments of doubt, I didn't have a relationship already developed that I could manipulate into a mistake I would permanently regret.

It could be said that we all have Ph.D.'s in conducting relationships that are just like our parents', since we lived with them for eighteen years or more and unconsciously learned how to behave and react from them.  For this simple reason, childhood experience heavily influences the quality of our relationships in later life.

Even if our parents dearly loved us, they could not teach us what they did no know.  They could not give us solutions to problems that did not exist in their lifetimes.  We not only have to master new skills but must also shoulder the additional burden of unlearning what we learned from our parents.

If when we were children our parents had asked for our forgiveness when they made mistakes, we would know how to forgive.  If we had watched them forgive each other, we would better know how to forgive.  If we had experienced being forgiven for our own mistakes again and again, we would not only know how to forgive, but would have experienced firsthand the power of forgiveness to transform others.

We have Ph.D.'s in everything our parents knew.  What they did not know is much harder for us to learn.  Your family of origin determines almost completely who you are up until you are 18.  If you quit learning when you quit school, you will know little more than your parents.  With a world changing as rapidly as ours, not only do you suffer if your parents struggled, but you begin to fall behind at an exponential rate as the world moves exponentially beyond what you last learned.

The problem is, times have changed.  We no longer need the same type of arrangement our parents and grandparents needed in order to survive.  Personal fulfillment has become more important than the family unit.  Many are prepared to sacrifice the marriage in order to gain that fulfillment.

In many cases, you'll discover that there is nothing wrong with you or your partner.  It is simply that you never learned the necessary skills for making a relationship work.  Release the blame and begin practicing new skills.

Men just do what their father did.  He wants to make you happy, he just doesn't understand how.  Men, say less and listen more.  It actually works.

Women, to expect a man who doesn't talk much to suddenly open up and share is unrealistic.  With a little encouragement, the same man can easily focus his energies on learning to be a better listener.  When approached in this manner, behavioral change is possible regardless of what we learned from our parents.

Instead of focusing on what we can't or don't do, focus on what we CAN do and how to do it.

Men like to be experts.  If you hand them the book and say "You need this," it creates resistance.  But if you open the book to sections that describe men and ask your mate if what is written is really true, he may suddenly become interested. 

Divorce isn't higher because morality has declined, it's higher because we have the luxury of higher expectations, but not the skills to fulfill them for our partners.  We were always selfish, it was just in our selfish interest to stay married before.

For the first time in recorded history, we look to each other primarily for love and romance.  Happiness, intimacy, and lasting passion are now requirements for fulfilling relationships.  What your mother couldn't tell you and your father didn't know is how to satisfy your partner's emotional needs without sacrificing your own personal fulfillment.

Men are no longer valued and appreciated as providers and protectors.  Although they continue to do what they have always done, it suddenly isn't enough to make their partners happy.

While women today no longer want to wait on a man at the end of a day, men still want what their fathers wanted - to be waited on.

Times have changed, and we have no choice but to change with them.  A new job description is required in relationships.  New skills must be learned if a man is to feel needed and appreciated by his mate.  A new awareness is required of women if they are to continue working side by side with men, then come home to a loving and nurturing relationship.  New skills are required to remain feminine and also be strong.

Our mothers could not teach their daughters how to share their feelings in a way that didn't make men defensive, or how to ask for support so that a man would respond favorably.  They did not understand how to nurture a man without mothering him or giving too much.  They did not know how to accommodate his wishes without sacrificing their own.  They were experts at pleasing their men at their own expense.

In essence, our mothers could not teach their daughters how to be feminine and also powerful.  They couldn't teach them how to support their partners and also get the emotional support tat they deserved.

Our fathers could not teach their sons how to communicate with a woman without passively giving in or aggressively arguing. Men today have no role models for leading and directing the family in a way that respects and includes their partners' point of view.  They do not know how to remain strong while providing emotional support.

We must not blame our parents for failing to teach us things about relationships that they could not know.  It is imperative that we do not expect our partners to always know instinctively what we need without our telling them.

Relationships become increasingly difficult when we expect too much of ourselves or our partners.  In education theory, to learn something new, you must hear it (and/or apply it) two hundred times.  If you are a genius, maybe a hundred and fifty times will do.  Mastering new relationship skills is not immediate.

Even if you're an adult, if it's new, it takes time and repetition.

You will occasionally forget what you have learned.  Old patterns and reactions will come back, but with each progressive step it becomes easier, more rewarding and more fun.  Once learned, your skills will enrich all aspects of your life.

The most important skill of all is anticipating temporary setbacks and acknowledging the necessity of relearning a lesson until it becomes second nature.  This understanding gives you the hope to be patient and forgiving.


If problems arise at home, the traditional male approach to solving them is to become more successful at work.  If a relationship is troubled, a traditional man doesn't take a seminar or purchase a book on relationships; he takes a course or buys a book on business or success.  Why?  Because from time immemorial, a man could always make his partner happier by being a better provider.

You MUST add a written to do list into your schedule when you're working on change.  You CAN'T be accountable to each other.  It doesn't work.  You need another system.

TITLE How to get him to listen - How to get her to give you space.  How to get her hot.

At no time in history have relationships been as difficult for men as now.

Many men work just as hard as their forefathers, perhaps even harder, but still can't manage to be their family's sole support.  Deprived of the strong sense of self that being a sole provider would bring him, on a deep emotional (and sometimes unconscious) level he easily feels defeated when his partner seems unhappy or unfulfilled.  He feels emasculated.

When a modern man returns home he generally faces defeat instead of victory.  His partner's unhappiness signals that he is a failure.  

Men are wired to give their all to work, then come home and receive.  Through history, men could tolerate the stresses of the outside world because they would return home to a nurturing and loving woman.  all day the male was goal-oriented, but come evening, he either relaxed, played, or was waited on with love.  What he didn't have to do was continue working to win his partner's favor.

When a modern woman shares her feelings of having to do too much, a man generally hears it as blame for not doing enough or as an order to do more.  Neither message is agreeable to his nature, which is telling him, "OK, you're home.  Relax and reap the rewards of your labor."

I don't really believe that women were happy to just be at home, raise the kids and wait on their husband when he got home.  The only way this worked was when they were in a community with other women and they shared the different aspects of labor.  Women who began running single family households probably had to deal with a huge amount of stress that their mothers didn't deal with.  That is what gave rise to the women's movement.  Now, men & women need to get together and redefine the family.  We need to find what works for everyone and stop focusing on our self-centered interests.

Once we sit down and design a plan that give both of us (and our children) what we all want, we have a plan for success.

When men are preoccupied with work

He doesn't realize that he is not listening or responding to the people he loves because he is so utterly focused on solving his problem.  At such times, he has temporarily forgotten what is really important to him.  He does not recognize that he is pushing away the people he loves most.

When a man is focused on his work, he doesn't just decide to ignore his family.  He truly forgets.  He doesn't decide to forget picking up his daughter at school, it is an automatic by-product of increasing his focus on solving his problems at work.  It is not a sign that he has stopped caring, if anything it is a sign that he does care but is just not adept at coping with his stress.

Men need appreciation

If a man is appreciated by his mate, he can deal with a failure at work and return to face the same challenge tomorrow because he is supported at home.  He will probably still require time alone, but won't retreat nearly as much.

-A man's tendency is to focus and forget.

What women mean when they say:

Many times, she simply needs to be listened to.  When she says "You don't understand," she really means "You don't understand what I need from you.  I just need you to listen and empathize."

Women don't know how to communicate their need for support.  Either women expect men to be mind readers and know their needs, or they let their needs build up until they are resentful and then demand more.  Neither approach works.

For centuries, the sign that a woman was loved was her not having to ask for signs that her husband recognizes her needs.  Now, when a man appears to a woman as if he is not motivated to support her needs, it weakens her self-esteem and humiliates her.  She feels that she is not worthy of his love.

Men can give more only in small degrees.

Sometimes the best place to start isn't with doing more, but listening more.  Work on doing more in very small increments.  It is unrealistic to expect a man suddenly to be motivated to do 50% of the housework if he has been used to doing much less.  

Focus on asking him to listen to your feelings while making sure that he knows how much you appreciate his emotional support.  As he gets better at listening to your feelings, he will eventually be able to do more without expecting you to always be happy or appreciative.

Talking to men

The problem is that women give too much and feel overworked while men give only what their fathers gave and expect to receive the same measure of support.

Before you share how you feel, first prepare him by letting him know how much you appreciate all he does for you.  Before asking him for more, you must convince him that he is already doing enough.  Once a man experiences his woman's appreciation, his resistance to doing more melts way.  Instead of feeling like a child controlled by his mother, he begins to welcome her requests for more.

A woman can prepare a man to listen by letting him know in advance what it is she needs.  "I'd love to talk about my day, but first I want you to know that I love my job and I don't want to quit."  Now he knows you just need to unwind through talking about your day.

Any well off person can tell you that money does not eliminate problems.  It makes life more complex.  The greater the wealth, the more momentous the decisions about spending it, using it and protecting it.  For women, it makes it even more challenging if they are unhappy.  Her friends can't understand what she has to complain about and her husband assumes it is enough to be a great financial provider.

Talking to women

Listen without getting upset that she is upset.  This is not as easy to do as women assume because merely listening is too inactive for him.  He must learn to defend himself without retaliating, something his predecessors didn't have to do - assistance in this process can greatly speed up his progress.

No matter how much he loves her, after about three direct hits he will no longer be capable of listening to her in a supportive way.  War breaks out.  Once these defensive responses are triggered, he will attempt either to change her mind through arguing or protect her from his own aggressive reactions by emotionally withdrawing.

The freedom to express emotions safely with their mate's help is vital to women.  Men inevitably express surprise at how much women need to feel safe.  When a man can listen to a woman's feeling and allow her to articulate them without responding negatively, she is not only very appreciative but more attracted to him as a result.  (How to get your wife hot).

Women are under such constant pressure to be loving and sweet.  They want to be free to unload somewhere, now that ends up being with their husband.  They no longer have the extended community their grandmother's had.

Our metabolism isn't slowing down as much as our weight is slowly creeping up.  Weight gain is due to ignorance in habits and emotional eating.  Plot your heaviest weight, not lightest weight from year to year and you'll discover that their is a steady upward climb, not the major spike (unless you had a really difficult emotional year and ate to deal with it).

When anyone has a strong emotional reaction, it is to a combination of many elements, not just the subject at hand.  When a woman is upset, she rarely has the ability to appreciate solutions.  This is because what she needs then is to be heard, not fixed.  In some cases a solution makes matters worse by minimizing or even invalidating her feelings.

By doing so, he will upset her, respond in defense, get hit again with each successive emotional blow growing more and more painful.  After the third strike, it is advisable to take time out to cool off, think things over, and then resume the conversation when you feel more centered.

Learn to walk away and come back when you can begin with a compliment or word of understanding.

Your wife is your equal partner in life and deserves to be included in any major financial decision.  For her to feel equal she needs you to take her emotions into account.  You have probably spent 6 months figuring out exactly why your decision is so perfect, weighed the pros and cons - give her the ability to take a moment to think as well.

Men don't realize that an emotionally upset woman is not demanding agreement or submission from him.  She just wants to be considered.

When a woman is upset, she first wants to talk about it and decide later what she thinks should happen.  He mistakenly concludes that he has to agree with her point of view before she can feel OK again.  If he doesn't agree and doesn't want to give in, he feels driven to point out the deficiencies in her argument to get her to agree with him.

One loose derogatory zinger can undo 20 minutes of attentive support.

A woman admire a man if he has the strength to control his emotions and has the sensitivity to respectfully consider her point of view as a valid perspective.  Women are turned off by passive and submissive men.  They don't want to be the boss in an intimate relationship.  They want to be treated as equal partners with equal say and having their feelings and perspective validated.

Interrogation is an automatic reaction when women don't feel safe enough to share their feelings.

When women became emotional, they generally ask questions as a sign that they need to be questioned themselves so that they can explore their feelings.

A man will always be tempted to defend hi point of view.  He instinctively feels that if he could only share his understanding of the situation she would feel better.  In truth, she will feel better only when he shares in her understanding of a situation.  When a woman feels understood and validated, she can relax.  Otherwise she feels she has to fight to be heard.

Don't correct anything she says, silently listen.

Most men fear that if they don't correct a woman's statements, she will continue holding on to them as fact.  This is true in court but not in a relationship.

What most men don't understand is that the more a woman feels the right to be upset, the less upset she will be.  If a man doesn't criticize her for being critical, or blame her for blaming him, he give her an opportunity to release any criticism or blame she may be harboring.

When a woman shares negative emotions, she is generally in the middle of the process of discovering what she feels to be true.  She is not stating an objective fact.

It's hard for men to relate readily to this mood change because it's foreign to their natures and they just can't fathom it.  When a man is upset and talks with the person who is upsetting him, he tends to remain upset unless that person agrees with him in some significant way or until he can find a solution.  Simply listening to him and nodding your head in sympathy is not enough if he is really upset.

In counseling, a woman will share her feelings and a man will feel attacked and blamed.  (Interview both separately first).

An overwhelmed woman talks about her feelings the way she shops.  She is not expecting you to buy a particular feeling any more than she is necessarily going to buy it herself.  She is basically trying on emotional outfits to see if they fit.  Just because she takes a lot of time trying on an outfit or testing an emotion doesn't mane it's "her".

It is easier to dodge a woman's resistant feelings and not feel blamed if a man remembers that her feelings are not permanent and that she is just trying them on for size.

  1. When you suspect she is upset, don't wait for her to initiate the conversation (when you initiate, it takes away 50% of her emotional charge).

  2. As you let her talk, keep reminding yourself that it doesn't help to get upset with her for being upset.

  3. Whenever you feel an urgent need to interrupt or correct, don't.

  4. When you don't know what to say, say nothing.  If you can't say something positive or respectful, keep quiet.

  5. If she won't talk, ask more questions until she does.

  6. Whatever you do, don't correct or judge her feelings.

  7. Remain as calm and centered as possible, and keep a lock on your strong reactions.  (If you lose control and "spill your gut" even for a moment, you lose and have to start all over at a disadvantage.)

If you back off and give her more space, you only make things worse.  She doesn't want more space, but more contact and attention.  

Women today have a much greater need to talk in a "Female" way with their male partners because they are deprived of it at work.

The phrase, "You don't understand" is so automatic to a woman that she has no idea that she is preventing a man from giving her the support she needs.  Not only does this phrase sound like criticism, but it doesn't make any sense to him.

He feels that what he is doing demonstrates that he does understand what she is saying, and to maintain his pride he is willing to fight to prove it.  Although he started out to help, he ends up wanting to argue.

Here's an alternative.  First, pause and consider that he is doing his best to understand and then say "Let me try saying that in a different way."

Men want to forget about their problems, women need to talk them through in order to put them behind them.

A man will make her feelings much more important if she doesn't demand it.  By preparing a man by saying "It's not really a big deal.  I just want you to consider how I feel," he will listen more attentively than before.

Women can easily become convinced that TV is more important to their husbands than they are if he pays more attention to the TV than he does to her.  The truth is, if he is paying more attention to the TV than he does to her TV is more important than her.

Men, if you haven't developed the ability to listen to a woman without trying to solve her problems, you can talk to her about setting an initial time limit.  Listening is a skill that needs to be developed.  If you haven't really listened before, you won't be able to start listening for 15 minutes straight.  You may even find 10 minutes challenging.  Having ADHD will make 5 minutes seem like a stretch.  Begin with what you can and agree that you will increase the length over time.  Find a solution that works for you.

When a man can't take the time he needs for himself, it is extremely difficult for him to find the loving feelings that originally attracted him to his partner.  In a similar way, when a woman doesn't get the chance to share her feelings and connect with her female side, she loses touch with her deep, loving feelings.

If something else in life is keeping a man distracted, like problems at work, he will find it very challenging to focus on his wife.  If she is able to first address his need of taking some time to either problem solve or de-stress from what's on his mind, she may find that he is better prepared to connect with her and listen.  It also makes a huge contribution if she lets him know the things he is currently doing that she admires, regardless of the fact that not everything is perfect.

Men need to retreat into a private mental space.  The best way to tell if that is where he is is simply to ask.  He can help by giving a clear signal when he is done being alone.  Coming over and giving his wife a hug or kiss on the cheek is a good way of letting her know that he is ready to connect.

Generally speaking, when a man is doing something that a woman thinks is a waste of time, he is in his private mental space.  It might be fiddling with the computer, reading the paper, watching TV, working on a car, working out, or going to a movie by himself.  There is nothing wrong with him spending time every day being alone (or with other men) to relax.  The problem comes with a lack of balance and never getting out of that space in order to reconnect with his wife.

If he simply remains in his own space, with his own thoughts, with his own activities, with his own friends, he needs to be aware that he has become nothing more than a room mate.  If this is the case, he shouldn't be surprised when she asks for a divorce so that she can find a man who wants to be her husband.  Self-centered men easily forget what the marriage agreement was.  Separation is sometimes the only way to wake them up to the reality of their actions.  If nothing changes, then she must ultimately accept that she is not as important as his interests and determine if she wants to remain in that type of relationship.


How to help him learn to communicate better:

1. Pause.  Ask him if this is a good time to talk.  

2.  Postpone.  Don't interrupt him until he lets you know he's done with his time alone.  Give him time to develop the ability to listen to you.

3.  Pass it on.  If you feel frustrated or critical because of his difficulty listening, talk to someone else first so that you are able to be more loving and centered when you talk to him.

4.  Prepare him.  Tell him how long it will take and that he doesn't have to say anything if he doesn't want.  Let him know that you don't blame him for how you're feeling and that you appreciate him listening and supporting you.

5.  Persist.  Continue giving him the support he needs so that he can support you.  If he is weak with his listening skills, you're going to have to do more of the initial work.  If he resists conversation, gently ask him to listen to you even if he has nothing to say.

Remember, he may be growing in his skills slowly.  Don't sabotage the work he has done because he isn't growing as quickly as you'd like.  If you do, you may alienate him from continuing the work he's begun.


When a woman wants to talk and he doesn't, she is embarrassed.  It feels as though she loves him more than he loves her.  One of her greatest needs is to share with him at the end of her day.  If he isn't interested, she feels personally rejected the same way he feels is something is preventing her from being completely involved and interested in making love when he wants to.

Just as romance is important to a woman, sexual fulfillment is important to a man.  He needs constant reassurance that his partner likes sex with him.  Sexual rejection is traumatic to a man's sense of self.  (This doesn't mean she should have sex whenever he asks, just that she needs to be hypersensitive when sex is the subject.  Providing him with a means of alternative sexual release other than intercourse that she is involved with is often a good alternative).

A man can understand a woman's sensitivity to conversation by comparing it to his sensitivity to sex.  If he is turned on and she isn't interested it can be very embarrassing.  He is most sensitive to rejection when he is in the mood.  She feels the same way about being able to engage him in meaningful conversation.

Men and women will turn off this need more and more as they feel rejected in order to avoid feelings of being hurt.  A great deal of energy is expended suppressing each of these needs and takes away from all areas of the relationship.  The individual may ultimately lose touch with what their real needs are.  If this happens, it will take some work for their partner to convince them that it is safe to again begin expressing their need.  If someone outside of the relationship indicates an interest in fulfilling these needs, an affair becomes more and more likely.

When a woman is in a state of emotional confusion, she doesn't want to share or discuss what is creating that confusion.  Our society provides messages that being emotional without a clear reason is a sign of weakness.  This can lead to a woman turning to food for comfort rather than working through her feelings by talking about them.  One of the best ways a man can help a woman with a weight problem is to develop a more nurturing relationship.

Failure is deadly for a man.  Alternatively, when he is appreciated, he will summon up energy and motivation to do even more than he already has.  Women generally do not realize that the kind of love a man needs most is her loving message that he has fulfilled her.

When a woman is upset and sharing her feelings, it is most important that she is heard and validated.  When men are upset and sharing their feelings, they also need to be right.  If she is not prepared to agree with what he has to say or at least validate his point of view, it is important for her to postpone the conversation.

A man is almost always annoyed when a woman wants to "work on the relationship."  He doesn't want to work on it, he just wants to live it.

A man needs to feel that sometimes he is on vacation from the relationship, a time when he can do no wrong.  He wants to feel that he is find the way he is and doesn't need to focus on changing something for a while.  If a woman can be lighthearted about her problems, it will go a long way to making him feel better about the situation.

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