Reading and replying to comments on both this blog and The Generous Husband gives me an interesting perspective of how differently men and women see things. Seems there are two sides to most things. Much of this seems to come down to a clash between “male culture” and “female culture”.
I found a great many definitions for the word culture. Borrowing from a couple of those, I’m calling culture “A way of life. The accepted customs, activities, and worldviews of a subgroup of people that provides them with a basis for perceiving themselves as persons of worth.“
Looking at the world around me I see many cultures, with most of us belonging to or ascribing to multiple cultures. I think the vast majority of us include a gender-based culture in there, and I think it has a particularly powerful influence in how we think and act. The fact we don’t usually think about culture in terms of gender makes it invisible, which means we generally fail to realise it’s affecting us.
A great example of what I’m talking about can be found in the comments on last month’s A Different Take on His Porn Struggle post. I’ve gone a couple of rounds of comments with several of you as we try to understand what we each mean by certain words. Beyond that, there are the assumptions/beliefs we have about what using porn does and does not mean. All of this fuels significant gender-based differences in how men and women perceive porn use. This is just one example of gender culture clash; I see it in many other situations.
When male culture and female culture differ on something, how does a couple find common ground? It’s not usually something that can be solved with a compromise, and asking either to abandon what their culture tells them feels invasive and disrespectful.
The only hope I see is for both spouses to be willing to challenge what their culture has told them is truth. Attack confirmation bias and reject peer pressure. Look for God’s truth and reject anything that’s at odds with that.
I realise this is a radical suggestion. It means you may put yourself at odds with female culture. But if it puts you more in line with God’s kingdom and helps your marriage, I figure it’s worth it.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I know I’ve been significantly programmed by male culture.