Female Brain ≠Male Brain

One of the things that drives me crazy over on Quora is the folks who deny fundamental differences between men and women. Of course, our culture has done this for decades, so I shouldn’t be surprised by it.

I recently ran across a great article about gender differences in our brains. One of the researchers interviewed said, “…over the past 15 years or so, there’s been a sea change as new technologies have generated a growing pile of evidence that there are inherent differences in how men’s and women’s brains are wired and how they work.”

Female Brain ≠Male Brain

Among other things, the article points out the bias that has limited science in this area. There was abundant evidence for cognitive differences between men and women, but researchers explained it away as “socialization practices, artifacts and mistakes in the research, and bias and prejudice.”

A few of those differences:

  • Women’s reading comprehension and writing ability exceed that of men.
  • Women’s verbal ability is much greater for just about everything other than verbal analogies.
  • Women beat men in tests of fine-motor coordination and perceptual speed.
  • Women are better at retrieving information from long-term memory. (You can tell your husband that, but he won’t remember it!)
  • Women have stronger and more vivid memories of emotional events.
  • Men are better at juggling items in working memory.
  • Men are better at mentally rotating three-dimensional shapes.
  • Men are better at tracking moving objects and aiming projectiles.
  • Men are better at estimating angles from the horizontal.
  • Women usually navigate by landmarks, while men determine location by estimating direction and distance travelled. (See, he’s not lost!)  ;-)

Of course, all of this is based on averages. There are individuals who don’t fall in the normal ranges, but they are exceptions, not the norm.

The bottom line here is you and hubby don’t think the same way and a good part of that is based on you being female and him being male. It’s not some cultural thing, it’s biological. Denying that helps no one; accepting it makes it easier to deal with the very real differences.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I don’t have to understand Lori to love her!

Reference: Two minds: The cognitive differences between men and women | Stanford Medicine 

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She Is Cared For If I Die

As long as I’ve been married, I have from time to time thought about how my wife would be if I died. I don’t mean how she would cope emotionally, but how she would be financially and if she would have people around to help her.

Men carrying coffin

I’ve talked to enough other men who have similar thoughts to think this is a normal guy thing. I suppose it’s not as big a deal today as it was in the past, but we still tend to feel this way.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and living on property with family makes me feel very good about this.

 #CouplesQuestion: What makes you smile?

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Abstinence And Visual Stimulation

Let me start by saying this is one of those posts that could easily be taken the wrong way. I am in no way offering men cover for wrong choices here. However, if our choices affect how tempted our spouse is, we need to consider that.

Man looking at woman's butt.

A brain scan study looked at how men’s brains reacted to sexual images. They also tested to see how full the men’s seminal vesicles were. When the seminal vesicles were fuller, the men reacted more strongly to sexual images. The theory proposed by the authors is “that the filling state of the seminal vesicles may have an influence on the brain activation and sexual desire in men“. While that’s an interesting hypothesis, I don’t think they proved it. However, they did prove the longer it’s been since a man ejaculated, the more strongly his brain is affected by sexual images.

No doubt some men will say this proves it’s his wife’s fault he looks at porn or ogles women. The truth is he chooses to do those things. However, it’s also true his wife can make his temptation greater or lesser by how often she engages in some form of sex with him.

Jesus said, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!“(Luke 17:1 ESV) Personally, I don’t want to be on the “woe” side of that. 

And as always, if you’re husband is causing you temptation by sexually refusing you, this applies just the same.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and no woe for Lori on this!

Resource: Functional brain imaging shows a correlation between distended seminal vesicles and specific brain activity in young men | ResearchGate

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Marriage Must-Haves

Over on TGH, I have suggested to the guys that they and their wives should both make a list of what they must have in their marriage.

Notebook with "Nice to have" on one page and "Must have" on the other

I want to suggest the same here, but with a few words about why some women will be tempted to cut the legs out from under this.

  • Women are taught to be nice, get along, and not make waves. A list like this violates all of that in principle and it’s even worse if she dares to list something her husband is not currently doing or doing well.
  • Then there’s, “He’s not done it for seventeen years, so why would I expect him to start now?”
  • And of course, there’s “He knows, he has to know.” 

The answer to the last one is men don’t read minds and don’t get hints as well as women do. The second one may also be a matter of he doesn’t know. Even if he does, making it part of your must-have list tells him which things really matter to you. As for the first issue, while it may be presented with Bible verses, it’s not in the Bible. 

And then, of course, there’s “I don’t deserve to be treated well” or “I don’t deserve a good marriage”. Again, these things conflict with the truth of the Bible.

So make an honest list and let the chips fall where they may. As I told the men, be sure to include on your list must-haves that he is meeting.  

When you share your lists, limit it to making sure you each understand the other’s list. Then spend a few days thinking about each other’s lists before you have any further discussion. Ideally, that follow up talk starts with each of you committing to work on one or more of the other’s must-haves where you have been falling short.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and Lori is rockin’ my must-have list.

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“Are You Ready For Winter?”

“Are You Ready For Winter?”

It’s a common question men around here ask each other this time of year. Two months from now the ground will be too frozen to dig and odds are we will have multiple inches of snow on the ground well before that. Certain things can’t be done in the winter and others are far more work. This creates a sense of urgency.

House surrounded by snow

On top of this, most men feel a responsibility for making their house a safe, warm, functional space for their family. This is usually true even if a man doesn’t know which end of a hammer to hold and the change of seasons makes us feel this even if we don’t have anything we need to finish up.

I’m not suggesting the change of seasons is irrelevant to women, but because more of your home tasks are inside, I think it’s a bit different.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’ve got a snow roof to finish!!

#CouplesQuestion: What does your spouse do or say that is very sexy?

Great Posts From My Wife:

CONFIDENCE – this was a perfect female side of my Be His Playground post. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it in time.
FLY AWAY LITTLE BIRDIES – A great post on the empty nest.

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Be His Playground

A couple of weeks ago, I explained to you Why He Grabs, Comments, and Pokes. This is related to that:

Give him a chance to enjoy your breasts, butt, and vulva. I’m not just talking about letting him look; encourage him to touch, fondle, and kiss.

Woman in towel flashing her husband.

If you need a way to kick start this, try something like “I think my breasts could use some attention, can you help me with that?” Or present yourself as he walks into the bedroom naked in good light and point.

Then give him several minutes to enjoy your body before moving on to whatever has come up! Repeat regularly.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and play is good!

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Know When To Walk Away

I saw this image from Gary Thomas on Twitter, along with this:

As Christians, we tend to think that walking away from problematic people is unchristian-like — that we’re failing to uphold an image mirroring Jesus.
But Jesus did walk away. Many times.

The idea comes from his new book When to Walk Away: Finding Freedom from Toxic People, which just went to the top of my to-read list. As it’s not out yet, what I write here is my take on the issue:

Person walking away

Many of us have been told it’s wrong to walk away from someone, especially if they call themselves Christians and or are related to us. But this advice is not from the Bible!

As Thomas points out, Jesus walked away from folks more than once. He also let people walk away from Him. He didn’t feel He had to fix every relationship and He didn’t try to fix people who rejected His help. He put his time and energy into people and relationships where He could be effective. Shouldn’t we do the same?

I’m not giving you permission to avoid people for minor difficulties or because they’re a bit odd. We are called to love the family of God and sometimes that means being nice to folks we don’t like. But if someone routinely attacks us, there is nothing in the Bible that says we have to take it. On the contrary, the Bible talks about avoiding certain people because of their choices and behaviour!

Where this gets tricky is when the difficult person is a relative and especially when it’s a parent. We do have a responsibility to our parents, but that doesn’t require us to put up with horrible treatment and it certainly does not allow the parent to be nasty to our spouse or children!

I don’t often recommend a book I’ve not read, but knowing Thomas as I do I will do so in this case. If you have toxic people in your life, I strongly suggest you pre-order this book (it will be out Oct 8th).

~ Paul – I’m XY, and Lori and I have both been hurt because we didn’t know when to walk away.

Image Credit: © Gary Thomas
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What’s Meant By High Maintenance

You won’t hear it discussed much in mixed company, but men in the company of other men sometimes talk about high maintenance women. And no one has anything nice to say about such women or a desire to be with such a woman. Some men make an effort for something they think they can get (the promise of great sex, usually) and a few get sucked in before they realise what they are getting into. Other fellows marry a woman and then find her to be more high maintenance than they expected.  These relationships generally end with a rather spectacular explosion.

Unhappy woman

So what is high maintenance? I’ve heard a few men use that term to dismiss their wife, but that’s rare. While ignoring a woman’s valid needs can make her higher maintenance, if she’s not high maintenance to start with it won’t make her that way.

A high maintenance woman needs a lot of maintenance. She expects an inordinate amount of her guy’s time and wants his constant attention. She’s the wife who calls her man at work daily or multiple times daily. She expects him to take short days regularly and thinks nothing of making him late for work. She may expect gifts often and she expects gifts to be perfect. She monopolises her husband when they are out with friends and she’s not happy if he ever dares to go someplace without her. Most high maintenance women are all about their appearance and they usually spend a lot of money and time on how they look. And her husband is usually waiting for her to get ready long after they should have left the house. 

In short, a high maintenance woman is a princess and she expects to be treated like one. It’s all about her and if her guy ever forgets that he will be reminded painfully.

I doubt high maintenance women read a blog like this, so I’m not trying to correct anyone here. Just giving you a window into the situation.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife’s not high maintenance.

 #PrayerPrompt: Ask God to work in the marriages of generous wives everywhere (family and friends too).

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