There have been many things written about the differences between men and women. And there are many differences, but I want to propose to you today that many of the differences are necessary to move a family forward. I also want to make sure I state that there are tendencies, rather than absolute when it comes to the gender differences.
Today I want to focus on the difference between the way men and women when it comes to the home. The reason I came to the conclusion that I wanted to focus on this is because of the experiences I’m going through at this point in my life. Right now John and I are downsizing. Yes, DOWNSIZING! That means different things to different people especially when it comes to a husband and wife.
As I thought about this, I thought about the differences that we as women feel about our home compared to men. (Again, I emphasize there is no all or none!) Early in my marriage my husband was very sensitive to my need for making the home comfortable. He wasn’t necessarily about making it stylish, but he knew how important it was to me to make our home clean, straight and inviting. My ideas about this were a tad bit different though. He thought that if you have furniture and all is straight and there is room in the home, then all was ok.
Well, I want to have more than just straightness. My home is an expression of me and who I am. I want things to say that I’m all-together, I know what’s in fashion etc… Men however, I have observed find some expression of themselves, but their expression of themselves is in what they do, career, activities and hobbies etc… They want it also to be easy. A place where they can just come home and get away from the problems at the office. Thus the “Man Cave” need. So there can be different expectations just because of our beliefs in something as simple as who we are.
I noticed that the articles that my husband sent to me regarding “downsizing” spoke of the common things that we have a hard time letting go. Men tend to have a harder time letting go of “National Geographics or Books” we as women more the sentimental things such as things given to us or firsts or symbolic stuff. I noticed this when my husband had all of his books from College and Dental school still. I’ve asked several times why he kept those, and he states that he might need to refer to them one day. My thoughts are well, that’s what the internet is for. For me, I was having a hard time letting go of journals that I had written and pictures. Even though there were duplicates, I kept all the pictures good and bad. To me it was like throwing a person away if I throw a picture away.
When I received these articles from my husband I quickly asked him, so what do you mean in sending these to me? I thought maybe he needed to hold on to stuff longer, or I was getting into his space too much. Well, as usual I was reading too much into it. He told me that I could empathize with him a bit more, but he had mainly sent them because he thought they would be helpful for both of us.
I guess one of my questions I would like to ask today, is… What would you say you would grab first and what would your husband/wife grab first if there was a fire? This is an interesting question to place to see what your expectations might be. Another way that you might get a better understanding about how your partner feels which is called empathy. Let me know how this works. ok?