“You cannot, nor should you ever try to, change your partner. That is his or her job. Your job is to change the ways you communicate, react and respond to your partner.”
1. Give & Take
“Motivation.” Feeling validated motivates a woman to work on the relationship. A man can give her validation by listening to her pain and frustration.
“Responsibility.” A man must accept accountability for letting his partner do all the work in the relationship. Conversely, a woman must take responsibility for neglecting to set boundaries.
“Practice.” Once a woman learns how to set limits, her partner must learn to respect them. This takes improved communication and practice.
“Gender insight helps us to be more tolerant and forgiving when someone doesn’t respond the way we think he or she should.”
“When we expect our partners to be more like us, we are automatically giving them the message that they are not good enough the way they are.”
“We mistakenly assume that if our partners love us they will react and behave in certain ways – the ways we react and behave when we love someone.”
“Just as a man is fulfilled through working out the intricate details of solving a problem, a woman is fulfilled through talking about the details of her problem.”
2. He Said, She Said
Accept responsibility for arguing.
Remove yourself from the argument and take a breather.
Analyze your approach and the language you use.
Consider if you are giving your partner what he or she needs.
Reconnect in a loving and respectful manner.
“Emotionally charged arguments and quarrels can be avoided if we can understand what our partner needs and remember to give it.”
“Men and women seldom mean the same things even when they use the same words.”
“Unclear and unloving communication is the biggest problem in relationships.”
3. Put It In Writing
Write a Love Letter expressing your feelings of anger, sadness, fear, regret and love.
Write a Response Letter expressing what you want to hear from your partner.
Share your Love Letter and Response Letter with your partner.
“Asking for love and support is essential to the success of any relationship.”
“Most of our complex emotional needs can be summarized as the need for love.”
Family & Relationships
January 6, 2004
John Gray, Ph.D. is the #1 bestselling relationship author of all time. He is the author of over 20 books, including The New York Times #1 Best-Selling Relationship Book of All Time: MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS. His books have sold over 50 million copies in 50 different languages around the world.
John is a leading internationally recognized expert in the fields of communication and relationships. His unique focus is assisting men and women in understanding, respecting and appreciating their differences. John's advice can be easily used to improve relationships at home and in the workplace.
For more than 35 years, John Gray has conducted public and private seminars for thousands of participants. John entertains and inspires audiences with practical communication techniques. John's mission is for men and women to understand, respect, appreciate and work together.
John Gray is a popular speaker on the national and international lecture circuit and often appears on television and radio programs to discuss his work. He has made guest appearances on such shows as Oprah, The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The CBS Morning Show, Live with Regis, Fox & Friends Weekend, Good Morning New York, Larry King Live, CNN and Company and many others. He has been profiled in major publications across the United States. John Gray lives with his wife and children in Northern California.