ARE men really from Mars and woman truly from Venus? John Gray wrote a fairly compelling book a few decades ago suggesting that was the case.
Gray argued that men and woman are just so incredibly different that we might as well have come from different planets.
Gray gave some much-needed insight and advice for the two species. Although I haven't read the book, I resonate with the concept and notice fundamental differences between my husband and I.
Indeed, I used to think that there was something wrong with my husband when we first started living together. I couldn't quite figure out why he just stood in the kitchen looking at the toaster for a few minutes, waiting for the toast to pop, when the dishwasher needed unpacking.
I questioned why he needed to fix my problems or tell me to stop doing something if it caused me so much stress, when all I needed was a friendly ear.
And I constantly marvel at his capacity to enter a supermarket, purchase exactly what is on his list and exit within a two-minute period. This simply doesn't occur for me. I notice the things on special and advance my family meal planning accordingly.
I also recall my husband saying to me: "Kristen... you know, if you have a problem with me then it is probably your issue. Really, I just worry about food, sex, and... actually, I just worry about food and sex. If I get enough of both I am pretty happy and other stuff doesn't bother me much. So if you are upset with me, it is probably something you are bringing to the situation."
He was joking a little, but behind every joke is an element of truth.
Given I grew up with a sister, a great mum and a fairly evolved father, the male species have been somewhat of a mystery to me. But over time, and with the hundreds of conversations that I have had with other women about their men, I have come to realise that there is actually nothing wrong at all with my husband. He is a man and he does man things.
I suppose I am foolish to keep being surprised at our differences. Case in point - the other night at a family roast chicken dinner, my hubby and I showed my boys how to separate the chicken wishbone, with the person who scored the joint getting the chance to have their wish come true.
We were all prepared, pinkies in place and wishes made. We snapped the bone and my husband won, so I asked him what he wished for - and if this doesn't highlight the difference between male and female then nothing does ...
Let me tell you my wish first - "For my family to remain healthy and happy for the rest of our lives."
My husband's wish was for ... yep, you guessed it, sex. My husband regretted telling me his wish, as we all know what happens when you speak the wish out loud.
I have come to realise that there is nothing wrong with my man, and there is nothing wrong with me. We are just different and the more we grow into our marriage, the more I realise that our differences are our strength... most of the time.
-A registered psychologist with a masters in applied psychology, Whanganui mother-of-two Kristen Hamling is studying for a PhD in wellbeing at Auckland University of Technology.