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Men are from Mars… you know the rest

I think everyone’s heard of the “Men are from Mars” book. It was a household name back in the early 90s, one of those things that became part of the vernacular. “Duh, you know what they say… Men are from Mars bwah haha” Blech, whatever. Guess what? That dude was onto something.

My marriage didn’t work out. There were reasons and issues and whatever, and I love you all, but that part’s private. More than a year later and I had (and still have) a lot of doubt and crazy stuff going on in my head about men and women and if they are meant to be together. Are we meant to wander around alone? Are we meant to be with one person? Are women just crazy, crying, nagging, spendaholics?

ANYWHO… a year later at a garage sale I see THE book, the ONE, it was like 10 cents in a box of books. Being a dude, I put it in a stack of other more manly things like a book on wiring, and a book about dinosaurs (for the bean), and book about how to beat the house when playing craps. I took it home and read it. It kind of blew my mind. The best part is my current lady friend saw it on my shelf and read it as well, and guess what, we’re both brainwashed now.

This isn’t a book review or anything, it’s more like half-assed crib notes and I’m going to try and break down it down a little bit for y’all. This is all just what made sense to me.

The book is cheap now, like a couple bucks on Amazon, buy it and read it. Better yet, buy 2 and read it together at the same time in bed or whatever, goof on the dumb parts, do whatever, just read it. It might help you learn a few things if you’re not too dumb to admit maybe you don’t know everything about how your significant other might be thinking/feeling. I’m not saying it’s the LAW or I’m just saying if you’re not careful, you might learn something before it’s done.

First things first. There are a lot of dumb hypothetical situations and references to Mars and Venus, don’t read those.

Men Go to Their Caves and Women Talk

When there’s a problem, men want to go away and figure it out by themselves, and women want to talk about it and figure out a solution. Makes sense right, and makes sense why there’s a disconnect. Men like to have an immediate solution, fix, or resolution to a conversation and women like to talk things over.

She wants support and he wants to be a hero.

When she has a problem SHE DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SOLVE IT. She wants you to listen and understand. Even if it’s killing you and you’d sooner chew your leg off to escape (thanks Michael Stipe) than sit and listen to how she thinks so-and-so is mad at her cause she didn’t invite her to tea, just sit there and listen and understand. AND DON’T TRY AND FIX IT. That’s dismissive dude. If you’re like “Eh, that’s no big deal” you just made her feel like nothing she says or feel matters and she’ll die a little inside. And guess what ladies, if your man had a bad day and wants to go grumble in the basement and tinker and not talk… let him go, he’ll sort it out in his head and then be back.

What you think is worth a bunch of brownie points, ain’t.

Men and women score things differently. Women give each thing 1 point and dudes think certain things are like 20 points. So don’t think cause you bought her some flowers that you built up enough points to get you through all the dumb stuff you’ll do the rest of the week. 1=1. BELIEVE DAT. Showing her you love her and care in lots of little thoughtful ways is way more awesome than some flowers when you’ve been an idiot for a month. And here’s where it gets weird. Guys, you’ve been an idiot for a month, you bring flowers, she doesn’t repsond how you thought, so you’re like “why bother if it gets me nowhere” so you stop doing things cause she doesn’t care anyway right? And ladies start getting resentful cause “you don’t bring me flowers anymore”.  VICIOUS CIRCLE.

Think of a rubber band.

This is just another way of saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Let him go have his boy’s night out, let her go to her book club. You need time away from each other. then when your love is stretched you miss each other and you want to be together and loving. I think of course this is a nice way of saying once in a while you both get sick of each other and need to be alone for a bit. Your “rubber band gets stretched” and then you want to bounce back to each other, corny, I know.

Something about how you ask for help.

I still kind of don’t TOTALLY get this but it’s something about how ladies should avoid requesting help from a man in a way which either doesn’t sound like a clear request, or carries implicit criticism that he should have already done it. Something about how guys like to do stuff for you, and they want to be asked (makes them feel more heroic) but there’s some difference between “Could you” and “can you” or “would you” or “could you”, I don’t know, to that I say stop being a wussy dude, you know what she means.

I’m still a man.

I’ve already gone way too long on this and it sounds very self-helpy, but goddamn it works. Plus me and my lady friend also use it as an inside joke and parts of his book as stuff we say now, like “my rubber band is stretched”.

OK, let me have it. Is this book full of crap? Ladies, does any of this strike a cord? Dudes, did you learn anything?


  • Charlie

    Great post, buddy. I hate that author with a passion and not because I’ve read him or heard him speak about anything in particular, but every time I saw him in person, he was a gigantic douche baguette.

    But I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you. That part is the most important.

    The most key element for me, in getting into and staying in my relationship with my wife, has been growth and creativity. Finding ways I could create the relationship. But I had to make sure I was myself first and then a boyfriend/husband/maid.

    Anyway, keep up the great writing yourself. In the end, I’m not certain you couldn’t write a better self-help book with the way you write.


    • Pete Fazio

      Yeah, that’s a whole other aspect. Growing together, supporting each other, and being your own person.

      I’m not crazy about the author either. It’s just he kind of opened my eyes and gave a little insight as to how a woman might think.


  • Tracy

    Yes, we can be crazy and total crybabies.

    Yes, we DO have to explicitly tell you neanderthals EXACTLY what we want and mean, because you simply won’t figure it out. It’s been scientifically proven. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve said things like, “…but you should have just KNOWN that’s what I wanted you to do!”. He didn’t. He’s not a mindreader.

    The whole flowers thing is spot on. He brings me flowers and there are actually times where I’m almost annoyed that I have to clip the stems, find something to put them in and fill it with water. Terribly ungrateful (although I always say thank you). More meaningful and worthy of points? Taking the kid to breakfast and letting me sleep in WITHOUT MY ASKING. Taking out the garbage and doing some other annoying task WITHOUT MY ASKING. That earns waaaaay more points, and that way I don’t seem like a naggy mom… because that is really not hot.

    There’s a book called The Female Brain that is pretty similar. You should check it out. Good post!


    • Pete Fazio

      As long as when you SAY that taking the kids is more meaningful and you actually MEAN taking the kids is more meaningful. Nothing worse than “say something is ok but get mad when we do that thing you told us was ok” :)


  • Erin B. Inspired

    My mom has been divorced twice and this book was basically her bible after her second divorce. When I was younger I asked her what the book was about (since I’d seen it in various places around the house) and she told me when I got older I’d understand. I think it’s a good time to pick that book up and read it for myself.


  • Brett

    That’s great. Women like to talk. Men like to fix shit, but only when we decide we want to fix it not when she tells us to do it.

    Now how the hell do I beat the house at craps???


  • Leila (Don't Speak Whinese)

    This was a rad read. Okay so that book is referenced a lot and usually as a joke but there is a lot of truth to what it conveys.

    The points you addressed are true… the one that I relate to the most is sometimes a chick wants her dude to STFU and listen not try to be a hero. I can figure my shit out. I don’t need someone dismissing my problems like I’m a jackass who can’t deal. I just need to vent. I can ninja kick those problems on my own.

    The rubber band reference is great. People NEED time away from others… that doesn’t just apply to your significant other. That goes for kids, family, friends and co workers. If you are always up someones ass it’s going to chaff eventually!


    • Pete Fazio

      Listening to venting is THE HARDEST thing to do. There’s such a strong urge to try and fix it. It’s true. Guys just want to go “you shouldn’t be mad about that” and have it be over. Partially cause listening to the looooong story is really kinda excruciating, and partially because we really don’t want you to feel bad, and we think telling you not to worry about it helps… Does it?


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