Or completely separate solar systems??
The relationship of Man and Woman is hilarious. You ask any man and they can't - for the life of them - figure out their wife. Any woman wants to know what is going on in the brain of her husband - because she has no clue what the reasoning is behind anything he does!
Don't get me wrong; I love marriage - and I even love men! The world would be a pretty boring and catty place without them (....and pretty unpopulated now that I think of it). But men are perplexing individuals too, and sssooo different than us women! And I'm definitely not trying to put them down - because there are plenty of characteristics that I wish I could steal from the opposite sex. Just as I know that men love women...it doesn't however, mean that he can comprehend or appreciate everything about his woman.
We are completely opposite creatures...and yet we keep wanting to live with eachother and subject ourselves to this utter confusion and frustration about the opposite sex. Maybe it's because marriage can be the absolutely most amazing and rewarding relationship we will ever have. Maybe it's as simple as a biological craving to have that emotional and physical intimacy with someone. Maybe it's because we balance eachother out to create a perfect atmosphere for children. Maybe it's because we enjoy the personal survival challenge ;)
...and maybe a mixture of all of these.
I was reading about marriage the other day and this doctor had been counselling couples and talking about the importance of communication, honesty...all those other things that we all say are important. He asked every couple to list what was important to them in the marriage - and then came up with a list of 8 general things in which all of their needs could be classified. The list was; Admiration, Affection, Conversation, Domestic Support, Family Commitment, Financial Support, Honesty and Openness, Physical Attraction, Sexual Fulfillment, Recreational Companionship.
When he compiled this list he then asked his counselling patients to list them in order of importance. The funny thing happened when he found that women listed them in almost complete opposite order of their husbands!! (I think we can guess which direction the men went in vs. the wives!) I think when we look at it like this it can make a lot of sense why we are so frustrated. We just value completely opposite things in the relationship.
So a reasonable assumption is that the trick isn't only communicating what we want in the relationship; I think it's fair to say that everyone already does that. (perhaps some a little more often and more loudly than others...) But rather to actually take what is important to them and make it important to us. Definitely not to substitute our own wants and wishes, or deny what we still need. But actually, conciously say 'I may not think that taking the coffee cup out of the car is a big deal, but I know it drives him nuts...so I'll find a garbage.' In the end, we aren't compromising anything - or even missing out if both partners could learn to place the others needs in high importance.
All of sudden it becomes not just saying I love you - but actually showing them that they are important enough for us to listen, respect their dreams and values enough to bring them into our own. It turns 'what have you done for me?' into 'what can i do for you?' And isn't feeling special, valued and loved the one thing that both men and women can agree on?
I'm constantly learning at this whole marriage thing. Even after almost 5 years it's still pretty difficult to wrap my head around things that he does....probably doesn't help that I chose an OCD freak of nature. But hey, that's why I get to be the semi-comatose, let things roll, nothing-gets-to-me kind of person. Which, oddly enough, is the one thing about me that drives him just as crazy!! Aaaahhhh, isn't it great!
Coming to you from venus, it's nice here - you should try it sometime;)...