Men, women, relationships, tolerance

Disclaimer: this is totally anecdotal experience.

It seems like most of the men I've known put up with a lot more crap in their relationships than most of the women I know. Their relationships can be full of discord, yet if you ask directly, the man will say there's no real problem, and he has no intention of leaving. It's the woman who is constantly torn with should-I-stay-or-go. Yes, there are women (and men) who suffer physical abuse, but I'm not referring to those clear-cut cases, just the everyday conflicts and resentments that seem part and parcel of most any relationship. I have zero tolerance for actual abuse. Most of the men I know have abundant tolerance for discord.

Given the male reputation for being commitment-shy, I wonder why this is. Most obviously, it could be observation bias on my part - my female friends might be more apt to confide in me about their feelings towards their relationships. Then again, I know far too much about my male friends' relationships.

It seems to me that men get far more stressed out by work and financial matters, and relationship stress is less likely to show up on their radar. My own mate is often incredulous why I'm making a "big deal" out of some relationship issue when such-and-such is happening at work. It also seems like men are more quick to express anger and quicker to cool down, whereas women quickly become seething pots of resentment.

The women I know, including myself, tend to spend a lot more time thinking and talking about our relationships, and I wonder how that contributes to the perception that it's all gone wrong. I think we feed off our own thoughts, and each others', and sometimes we might be well served to adopt the male code of silence & sports (or other distraction).

No comments: