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In Defense of the Relationally Challenged Male

I don’t think any of us would argue that there are monumental differences between men and women. Anyone who’s been married longer than seven minutes can probably make a laundry list of differences. I read an interesting article HERE which talked about some of the neurological differences between men and women. The article states…

The male brain also produces less serotonin and oxytocin than the female brain. Serotonin helps to calm us down and oxytocin helps us with bonding behaviors.

So what does all this mean? I don’t have a CLUE since my brain is clearly missing a few essential ingredients.

Well, according to the article, it means men may not take in as much conversation as women do, because they have fewer verbal centers designated for it. It also means your husband will most likely want to end conversations more quickly than you do.  Apparently the male brain may also rejuvenate differently than the female brain. Men like to chill out more than women do. Women may want to bond at the end of the day to rejuvenate and feel connected, because of the oxytocin found in their brains.

My advice…

Men:  Scripture calls us to “seek to understand”  (1 Peter 3:7) our wives.  Your temptation will be to tell her why she shouldn’t feel this way or that way. You’ll want to tell her how she’s overreacting or being silly. However, your calling, is not to explain to her why she shouldn’t feel the way she feels but to simply “seek to understand” why she feels the way she feels.

How do we do this? We need to listen. Listen more, fix less. Listen more, explain less. Listen more, argue less.

Women: Clearly the lack of oxytocin leaves us somewhat relationally challenged.  You guys mature so much faster than we do. Most 17-year-old females can function as adults. Most 17-year-old males are still trading baseball cards and giving each other wedgies after gym class. In fact, I’m not sure we ever catch up to your relational intelligence.

We love you.

We really do.

Sometimes we just need a little extra grace along the way.