'I've never heard someone say 'I want a divorce – my partner understands me.'' -Warren Farrell, Ph.D.
In <bWomen Can't Hear What Men Don't Say, Dr. Warren Farrell ranks the inability to hear personal criticism without becoming defensive as 'the biggest Achilles' Heel of human beings.' Ironically, the deeper our love, the more vulnerable we feel, the more defensive we become. Soon, couples feel they are walking on eggshells. Raising children means less time for communication, but more reason to stay together. The result: passion fades, and we are legally married but psychologically divorced. Or in a minimum-security-prison marriage.
Dr. Farrell begins by teaching both sexes how to handle personal criticism without becoming defensive. Then, since the title implies that men repress feelings, Farrell helps women understand why a man might repress his feelings. For example, he explains how a man often has all his 'emotional eggs' in the basket of the woman he loves, making him fear her withdrawal should he say what he really feels. And in the workplace, Dr. Farrell brings to the conscious level all the ways men learn how success involves repressing feelings, not expressing feelings. Once women understand why men repress feelings, Dr. Farrell articulates the actual feelings men repress. For example, men often feel criticized for the housework they don't do, but rarely share with women some of the more than 50 areas of contribution to the family they typically make. Fortunately, when men feel that what they do is 'seen' and appreciated, they are happy to do more. (Ditto for women.)In the same way the women's movement uncovered denigrating images of women, Dr. Farrell takes us on a journey through everything from ads and movies to books and Hallmark cards to bring to the conscious level the denigrating images about men and boys that haunt our sons on an unconscious level.