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It’s no secret that men and women are very different. These differences can lead to challenges in a relationship, as men and women often fail to realize just how different they are. This lack of understanding of how the other operates is one of the biggest challenges faced in a relationship.

Dr. Daniel Amen, a leading expert on the brain, has said that a man’s brain is more similar to a chimpanzee’s than a woman’s. The female brain contains ten times more white matter than a male brain does. A male brain has seven times more gray matter compared to a female brain. The white matter of the brain is the networking grid connecting the gray matter to other processing centers, including the part of the brain that deals with language. The gray matter of the brain is made up of localized information and action processing centers.

The abundance of white matter in a woman’s brain is why women are much better at expressing themselves verbally and why they have a wider emotional range than men. This also makes them better about jumping around in their thinking and speaking, which is why women and their friends often jump in and finish each other’s sentences without losing their train of thought. However, when men are interrupted, they often completely lose their train of thought and have a hard time getting back to their original place.

If a couple doesn’t recognize there is a biological reason for this, they may believe their partner is just being rude or inconsiderate. Once couples understand the biological differences, they are more likely to have patience with each other, as well as know what to do to reduce frustration and poor communication.

Men need to be able to ask their partner for space and time to speak uninterrupted during a conversation to be able to process information and respond properly. A woman’s brain processes information five times faster than a man’s so she’ll be thinking ahead and may grow impatient when her partner takes a long time to respond. By giving men the space they need to think, it will help to eliminate misunderstandings and misspeaks. Sometimes, taking a break from the conversation in order to give both parties time to process and think about what they want to say can be a really beneficial practice. As always, proper communication is the key to eliminating many relationship problems. Both men and women need to be able to communicate their wishes to their partner.

In conversations, men and women both need to realize that the other party isn’t purposely being difficult, but their brains just operate differently. Understanding that this means communication will need to be modified in order to be effective will help to alleviate tension in your relationship and create more harmony. 

Now that you understand the first challenge couples face, click here to learn about the second challenge in part 2 of this blog series.

To learn more about Tj Bartel and how he helps men and couples create more harmonious, deeply intimate relationships, visit his coaching website.