“When Boy Meets Girl: Understanding How the Other Half Thinks” – Part 2


Men and women access the information in their memory banks very differently. Much like a filing cabinet, men’s brains store information in separate files and access the information when needed, one file at a time. This is called compartmental thinking. Women, however, store information more globally, much like a computer. They have the ability to perform a search function in their brains and come up with many different documents at the same time. This search function is very quick and usually astounds the men when they access information from years ago and relate it to their real-time situation!

An example of compartmental thinking would be if you have a question for your husband while he is watching a football game on TV. If he fails to respond right away, you may jump to the conclusion that he doesn’t care about you. But that generally isn’t the case! He is simply unable to focus on both important topics (the football game and your question) because the left side of his brain, or compartmental thinking, is functioning. He is “wired” this way.

Global thinking, however, would take place if while you and your husband are engaged in an argument, you bring up a topic from the past that relates to your current situation, causing him to exclaim in utter exasperation that he cannot believe you have not forgiven him for this after all these years. He is amazed that you have “held onto this for so long.” This is simply global thinking in operation.

Both ways of thinking – compartmental and global – have their own inherent strengths and weaknesses. Putting them together in the same marriage and expecting good communication takes some understanding. It behooves us to accept, respect, and most of all, expect these differences we see between men and women. Thank God for our differences! Without them, we would not function well in our God-ordained positions as husbands and wives. With them, we complement and complete each other, just how He intended when He created us in His image in the first place.

Table below!!!!!

It’s All in the Approach: Adjusting Our Communication Mannerisms

  1. Women like to find closure within our conflicts. We don’t like to leave things hanging! Men, however, tend to close the drawer on conflict prematurely; they don’t always see how unresolved issues can actually hinder the relationship. Husbands should consider this and learn to ask, “Have we resolved our conflict completely, or is there something else that we need to talk about?” This gives the wife an opportunity to express any unresolved conflict so that the enemy does not gain ground in the relationship. “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27, KJV).
  2. It is estimated that the average man speaks 12,500 words in a given day while the average woman speaks about 25,500 words in a day! Men communicate to report facts, while women communicate to build rapport. This mismatch of “report-talk” versus “rapport-talk” can greatly increase the tension in a relationship. When a wife asks her husband how his day was, she wants more than a one-word answer. In the same way, a wife’s tendency to tell the whole story can be frustrating to a husband who prefers the bottom line. Spouses must recognize this difference and work together to meet in the middle.
  3. Men and women differ in how they ask for the things they need. Women often use “hint language,” expressing needs, wishes, or desires framed in the form of a question. The wife may turn to her husband and say, “Wouldn’t it be nice to go see a movie today?” This is “hint language” for “I want to go see a movie.” Unfortunately, men don’t often get the hint. Men tend to take language very literally, focusing in on the content of the message, instead of the hidden meanings in the communication. Women should try to be more direct, asking for what they want, instead of hinting at what they want. Men might try reading between the lines and work on picking up some of the hints that their wives may be dropping.
  4. How often do men look away at the television or newspaper when their wives are speaking? Is it any wonder then that the wife thinks her husband isn’t listening to her? Men should consider changing their approach by increasing the number of seconds they maintain direct eye contact with their wives, perhaps giving some verbal signals to show that they really are listening, or occasionally leaning in and physically touching her during the conversation. A woman will love this because she will know that her husband is paying close attention to her every word, and she won’t feel as though she’s being ignored.




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