Thursday, September 29, 2011

Me Tarzan. You Jane.

My favorite is bottom left.

Emerson Eggerich is the main speaker for the Love and Respect Conference: ( He is an amusing, insightful speaker and gets his point across with loads of humor.
Marriage conferences like to point out the obvious. Men and women are different. I think we’re all grateful for that, but there’s more. Lots more.
Just to be clear up front, everyone wants and needs both love and respect. However, we are hard-wired (so to speak) for different interpretations. Men crave respect. When we get respect, we actually feel loved. Women crave love. When they are truly loved, they feel respected.
Men, they said in the conference, are blue, with blue glasses, blue headphones and blue megaphones. They see, hear and speak the color blue. Women are pink, with pink glasses, pink headphones and pink megaphones. They see, hear and speak the color pink. When men speak to women, the blue sound gets garbled in the pink headphones, and vice-versa. We don’t see things the same way. Neither is wrong, they said, but simply different.
This leads to what Emerson calls “The Crazy Cycle” and I immediately recognized it as a system archetype called escalation. The man loves the woman, but he’s talking blue, and she doesn’t hear the pink she expects. The woman shows respect to the man, but she’s talking pink and he doesn’t hear the blue he expects. Disappointed, he shows less love. Unloved, she shows less respect. Things go down the drain from there.
(If you’re good with systems, you also know the other side of that. If the man speaks pink and the woman speaks blue, then there is still escalation, but positive escalation instead of negative.)
One example of relationships getting rocky was the story of a woman who came to Emerson and said her husband was an island and she had paddled around him for years trying to find a place to land. She was fixin’ to head to a different island where she could land. She was done paddling and quit complaining and vying for affection. The man thought things were going great. This, said Emerson, is why so many men are blind-sided by divorce. They think when their wife is quiet, things are good. It's the opposite.

Emerson pointed out that he knew one couple was in trouble because the husband turned to the wife and said “I love you so much, I’d die for you.” Her arms folded, and looking straight ahead, the wife replied “Oh, sure. You keep saying that, but you never do.”
There is a pretty good article at It covers some key points.
8 Signs She Is Leaving You
July 02, 2011, By Karl Withakay
 As a man, I'm not tuned into women's feelings; it's just the way I am. When I'm unhappy, I say why I'm unhappy and what can be done to fix it. Women aren't like that. They speak in code or give subtle hints, and usually all of it goes right over my head. Here are some of the things I learned about rocky relationships, and how to break down the barrier between men and women. If your wife or girlfriend is considering leaving the relationship, it's likely that she'll behave in at least one of the following ways:
1.       She no longer confides in you, and she isn't interested in talking with you.
2.       She does her best to avoid you by staying out late, making plans without you and spending more time with friends.
3.       She doesn't complain about things that she always complained about before. This may be because she thinks that she's going to leave you soon anyway.
4.       She doesn't seem glad to see you when you get home; she no longer misses you.
5.       She has no interest in sex.
6.       She has a "whatever" attitude. She doesn't want to discuss any plans for the future or even for next week.
7.       She doesn't like to hold hands with you or be touched, kissed or hugged by you. When she kisses you, she acts like she's kissing a relative. When you go to kiss her, she turns her head so that you kiss her cheek.
8.       Her friends and family act a bit different and uncomfortable around you because she has told them that she intends to leave you.
~ There’s more to the article, but I left it off.  If interested, go read it at the provided link.

This isn’t written from a Christian perspective, which is where I come from, but it makes some good points – and some bad ones. If both partners are still willing to talk and work together, then I don’t think the relationship is beyond repair. After all, something brought the couple together, and that’s just familiar ground that is too often overlooked. Back to the beginning, as in The Princess Bride.
The article correctly points out that sometimes (often, in my experience) the woman doesn’t want a discussion with a solution – she just wants you to care enough to listen. So listen to this, buddy. If there was a paycheck attached to listening, you’d do it. If your drill sergeant was talking and you didn’t want to run ten miles, you’d listen. If God was speaking to you, you’d listen. You know how. Shut your mouth and do it. Listen to the woman you love and respond to what she means. If you can take something she says more than one way, take it the way that is meant with respect and love, because (hopefully) that’s how she means it.
One of the responses to the copied article said that it was a myth that men are “not tuned into a women’s feelings; it’s just the way” they are. It isn’t a myth, but listen closely guys – it’s not the way it has to be.
In the business world we’re taught, and we understand, that perception is most of the problem. You may not be taking unfair gratuities from a supplier, but if others perceive that you are, then it doesn’t matter. We learn to avoid situations of bad perception. We learn a new way of behavior.
My point here is that you (men) might think you are loving your wife as much as you possibly can, wearing yourself out doing things for her to make her feel loved, but if she doesn’t perceive (feel) the love, then you’re not doing it right. Don’t go grumbling and complaining that I’m telling you to change. When your Daddy was teaching you to hammer nails he took the rock out of your hand and gave you a hammer, then showed you how to use it so it wouldn’t smash your thumb. I’m doing the same thing. You think a rock will do the job. It won’t. Everything will get smashed up.
When Tarzan meets Jane, he’s a savage. He’s managed to advance beyond the group nature of his gorilla family and he’s known as King of the Jungle to all the local natives. He can read English, but not speak it. He has no idea how to treat a woman from England, the country of his birth. Eventually he becomes Lord Greystoke. I think it’s because he spends most of his time with Jane listening.
Men, we will always have a strong, wild, and courageous heart in our chests. We want to be the hero in our married story. We would die for our families, for our wives, for our duty. 
John Carter of Mars, Dejah Thoris and Tars Tarkis
Learn how to talk. Learn how to listen. Learn how to respond. And the hero in the story could be you, as it should be. You, and your heroine.


  1. Mm-HM. Disagree. I asked you in an email about the pink and blue thing and you said the central focus of the conference was the love/respect dichotomy, and that bugs me. I'm female. In my experience, if someone respects me, I feel indebted to them. I feel appreciated. And therefore, I feel loved. But I have seen people NOT show me respect and known that those people loved me. And it didn't make one bit of difference - I felt hurt and struggled to act kindly, even though I knew they had affection for me, because they could not bring themselves to treat me with respect. ^.^ So perhaps I am just strange, yes? Or overly proud? If I have misunderstood this post, okay. I know that I seek conversation, so that's true. I know that learning to talk and listen is one of the most important things a person can do. But if someone cares for me and does not respect me, I will know and I will not feel any rush of gratitude or joy at ALL.

  2. Obviously I explained poorly.
    Men and women need both respect and love. Men filter their world through a lens of respect, women through a lens of love. This is not absolute, but based on a Bell curve distribution.
    Personally, if someone does not respect me, I do lack love for them; it certainly becomes more a matter of will than feelings. I still want love, but I don't "hear" the love without some level of respect.

  3. Thanks for posting some of my article. You have some excellent points. Your criticism is well taken.

    Karl Withakay