By Carol Petersen, RPH, CNP - Women's International Pharmacy
After reading his classic and still best-selling book Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus many years ago, I was looking forward to hearing Dr. John Gray speak at a recent meeting to add to my understanding of the many ways that men and women are different.
I had already learned about (and seen first-hand) how men need their “cave time” and women need men to listen and not try to fix everything. In his first book, Dr. Gray focused on the “what” of our differences; in his most recent book Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice he delves into “why” those differences occur.
As Dr. Gray so deftly and humorously explains, not only do we need a balance of hormones for managing PMS, post-partum depression, menopause and andropause, but hormone balance also has a great deal to do with our relationships. Healthy, loving relationships require a healthy balance of hormones!
One of the primary ways that men and women behave differently is their coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. And, unfortunately, many men and women are constantly stressed from unrelenting demands of their life in the modern world. As a result, their production of cortisol, which is designed to reach peak levels when challenged with an emergency and then quickly drop down, stays at a high level. A chronic high level of cortisol tends to make them more emotionally unstable (among other things), which also affects their relationships.