As I briefly mentioned, last weekend Josh, Lochlyn, and I packed up a million baby things and headed to Calgary. We dropped Lochlyn off at my parent’s house late Friday afternoon and then met up with our friends Sean and Leah for dinner. I unfortunately didn’t take pictures last weekend, but we went to Brewsters and it was pretty good!
After dinner, we headed to a marriage course that we had signed up for a while ago. Sean and Leah had been before and invited us to go with them this time. The course was called “Laugh your Way to a Better Marriage” and I highly recommend it.
It was super entertaining, funny, and I feel like I learned a ton from it. Josh and I actually watched the DVDs from the course when we were engaged, but it is sure different taking the course after you have been married for five years!
One of my favourite things that I learned from the course was…
Men and women think completely differently.
Okay, I realize this is kind of obvious, but the way the course explained it made so much sense to me. The speaker, Mark Gungor, explained that men compartmentalize all of their thoughts into little “boxes”. For example, they have a box for finances, a box for work, a box for the kids, and a box for their significant other, etc. When they think or talk about something they metaphorically go in, take a box off of the shelf, open it, think/talk about it, and when they are done they put it back. They don’t think, or talk about two subjects at once. Each subject has it’s own box. They don’t ever touch. This means men don’t make connections between the different subjects, or jump back and forth between them.
Something that was very interesting to me is that men also have a box for nothing. They literally have the ability to think about nothing when they want to. There are actually scientific studies to prove that men have this capability (women don’t). This is especially useful for them when they want to de-stress, or relax. They just pull out their “nothing box” and literally think about nothing. When you see your man staring at the TV/cupboard/wall with a blank look on his face, he is literally thinking about absolutely nothing. Must be nice.
Women think much differently than men (duh!). Our minds can be compared to a mass of jumbled wires. Everything connects to everything. Nothing is separate from anything else. We are constantly thinking non-stop all the time and we definitely don’t have the ability to think about nothing. Our minds are constantly on-the-go, jumping from one subject to the next, and then back again.
When women get stressed out, our minds kick into overdrive, and we need to get those thoughts verbalized in order to relax. Talking helps us figure out what is going on inside our heads. We don’t need a solution, we just need an ear (or a pen and paper!) to hear our thoughts.
Men often mistake our venting as asking for help and they try to offer advice. The only help women really need is someone to listen. Mark Gungor explained that guys never go to other guys with a problem unless they are asking for help. This is why when you go to your guy wanting to talk, he tries to solve your issues for you. So annoying – Am I right ladies?!
I always find it frustrating when I know something is upsetting Josh, but he just sits there and doesn’t say a word. When I ask him what is going on in his head, he tells me nothing. I always think he is lying and that he doesn’t want to talk about it. I also feel like he is shutting me out and I tend to take it personally. I assume that he is upset with me, even if the problem has nothing to do with me. This course recommends just letting men sit there in their nothing box and de-stress. They are actually dealing with their problems!
I guess this explains a lot of communication problems in relationships. When a woman sees that something is bothering her significant other, she immediately starts prying to try to get him to talk. Really, the man just wants to be left alone to “do nothing” until he gets over it. When a man sees that a woman is upset, he gives her space, and tells her to “relax”. Really, this is the last thing that she needs! I guess this explains why guys need other guys friends and girls need other girl friends.
The course encouraged women to give men space and let them be. It also encouraged men to listen to women when they need to talk, without offering solutions to their problems. If Josh and I can get even this one small point from the course, we will be much better off!
This is only one of many concepts that was discussed at the marriage course we attended. I think that I gained something from each of the six sessions we went to. I was actually planning to talk about some of the other sessions, and what we did for the rest of the weekend, but this post is already getting long.
I would highly recommend the course that we went to. If it is something that you may be interested in, feel free to ask me more questions. You can also check out the website here. If there aren’t any sessions offered in your area, DVD’s of the course are available. Also, this course is super appealing to men. It is hilarious, pokes fun at both genders, and doesn’t condemn at all. Josh loved it!
Have you ever taken a marriage/relationship course? Would you?
Do you agree with the differences to how men and women think?