Embracing Our Differences
When Dave and I were in our premarital counseling we read a chapter of a book. That chapter radically changed the way that I viewed my future husband and the way that I interacted with him. In fact it has continued to influence our communication and interactions since. The book is Men Are Like Waffles -- Women are Like Spaghetti : Understanding and Delighting in Your Differences by Bill and Pam Farrel. (And while I've only read one chapter, I've heard from many that this is definitely a marriage read worth picking up.)
By now it should be no surprise that men and woman are different. We look different, we act different, we dress different and we THINK differently. Honestly I had never given it much thought before but when reading Bill and Pam's explanation on the men and woman thought process I was blown away. And after a quick "hey Dave is this you?" I couldn't believe how spot on their description was!!
The Farrel's describe it like this : Men are like waffles, women are like spaghetti. Men can easily take EVERY piece of life, compartmentalizing it into a box, much like a waffle. Every part of a man's life has a box. It's what makes them problem solvers and universal thinkers. Boxes for work, boxes for hobbies, boxes for interests, boxes for tasks and boxes for nothing. Yes, nothing. Ever catch your husband staring off into space? Guess what box he is in. Women on the other hand are like a bowl full of noodles. Our thoughts are intertwined and connected, often moving seamlessly from an idea to the next. It's what makes us fantastic at multitasking! The emotional and rational are completely connected in our thought process and so instead of compartmentalizing life we connect it all together in a seemingly singular strand of understanding. It's partly why our brains seem to never turn off, always moving from one thought to the next.
Que the lightbulbs!! I finally felt like I had a road map of sorts into the brain of my husband. I could finally see why he took life one thing at a time and why he couldn't understand how my thought about chocolate cookies could even be remotely connected to a thought about my car. We think differently and therefore approach life differently. With this basic understanding of our thought processes we could start to communicate and understand each other better.
By no means are we skilled communicators, not yet at least. But understanding how we both approach life and process information has helped us learn to be better. Men and woman are different. But it's our differences that make us work better together. By embracing HOW we are different we can garner great appreciation for each other and find more joy in our marriages!
Men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti. A simple, yet for me, profound thought and a game changer in the way I approached my husband. Has there been anything in your relationship that has changed the way that you relate to your spouse? What have you learned that has made your marriage better over the years? I'd love to hear!