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The Key to Understanding Women

"Women are too emotional." Many men believe that women just need to be more logical and less emotional in their decision-making process—that would fix women's problems, men think. There are all kinds of jokes and memes about how emotional women are and men attempting to avoid dealing with women's emotions. So it's not news that men and women experience the world differently—men are from Mars, and women are from Venus, so they say. Men lament their lack of understanding women, yet few take the time to learn about the fundamental differences between the sexes, much less accept those differences. It comes down to one key difference in men and women: how we experience pain. 

Humans experience two types of pain: emotional and physical. Generally speaking, men and women handle the pain they experience in vastly different ways. Have you ever seen a man with a cold? It's ridiculous. He's writhing in pain, moaning and complaining. The end of the world is surely nigh. Or what about a hit to his nether region? Most men will double over in pain with even the slightest graze. I know, men, I know. Right now, you're ready to harangue me—but just bear with me. How do women typically respond to these physical reactions in men? Well, how have I? I've made light of it and denigrated you for it. Most women roll their eyes; we laugh, and we secretly know that men just can't take physical pain. How bad could a kick to the testicles really hurt? I mean, a man would never be able to withstand monthly period pains or childbirth, amiright?

While men are usually physically stronger than women, they are typically not able to tolerate physical pain like women can. I'm not saying women don't feel physical pain, because of course we do. I'm saying that women are able to handle the pain much better than men. Women get a cold, and you'll never know it, because we don't stop working, cooking, cleaning or caring for the children. We literally shed organ parts every month, and nary a word is said about it. Acknowledging and accepting this fundamental physical pain difference in men and women is the first stage of men understanding women.

Conversely, women experience emotional pain much differently than men. When women experience emotional pain, we internalize it. We are rarely able to push it aside, and it affects every facet of our lives. Most men are able to push emotional pain aside and finish their day, while women just aren't capable of doing so. I'm not saying that men don't experience or feel emotional pain, because of course they do. What I am saying is how they handle it compared to the rest of their lives is much, much different than women. 

To look at male and female emotional capacities and regulation, let's look at it as a circuit board. On the circuit board is everything we deal with in life: relationships, friendships, parenting, work, bills, responsibilities. With women, every circuit is intertwined. If something is going wrong in one area, every other area is affected as well. Ever have a single light bulb go out on a strand of Christmas lights? The whole strand is useless until that one bulb is changed. Men, however, separate all of their circuitry into different grids. One circuit misfires, and the rest of the board can still be lit up.

This difference in our circuit boards is highlighted humorously in a video that went viral several years ago where a woman has a nail in her head. She's talking to her husband about it, and she just wants to work out her feelings. She needs to talk about the nail and the pressure she feels from it before she will ever consider removing the nail. The man sits there and keeps trying to point out the obvious nail in her head. He struggles to empathize with her, and it's apparent he wants to just take the nail out for her to fix it.

The key to understanding women is simply this: recognize women experience emotional pain how men experience physical pain. When women are hurting emotionally, treat them with the same care you would desire when you are physically hurt. When you minimize her emotional hurt, you are in essence laughing at her pain. It would be similar to a woman laughing at a man who just got a swift kick to his groin. And men know that's no laughing matter.

In every loving, Godly marriage I've ever seen, the man understands these fundamental differences in men and women. They may not understand why she acts the way she does, and he may not agree with it, but he understands that women experience emotional pain in a visceral way.


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