Women today are overworked, overstressed, and, more often than not, misunderstood. Shouldn’t this mean then that it’s time for men to step up to the plate, be more appreciative of their feminine counterparts, and work to make life easier for their Venusians? The answer is yes and no. But, have no fear—this logic is intended to work out for both sexes in the end.
Yes, it is time for major shifts from old ways of thinking to more inclusive, balanced ways of relating to the world that is quickly changing around us. But what are really called for in today’s stress-filled world are some adjustments on both sides. Men should work to understand and help women more, but women must also learn how to help themselves. Ultimately, when a woman makes a conscious effort to focus on herself regularly, she leaves the door open for a man to lend a hand and support her in the best ways he can.
This change in behavior successfully occurs when we “get it,” when we see that men and women are biologically and physiologically designed to join together because of their differences. We complement each other on many levels and the result can be awesome in the true sense of the word. The result is the beauty of realized love.
The Biology of Flatlined Passion in Men
“Stressed out? Are you kidding? Look at him sitting there in front of the tube. He certainly doesn’t look stressed to me.” What is a woman to do when her partner’s emotional energy has flatlined and there are no passion spikes to be seen on the horizon? Understanding how your Martian is biologically programmed to handle stress is a good place to start. What may look like a lazy, self-centered, and uncaring male, in actuality, may be a male exhibiting the symptoms of stress and low levels of testosterone.
In the beginning of a relationship, a man’s testosterone is in full swing. He has a purpose—the challenge to win his woman. He’s connecting with her, making her feel special, and sending her oxytocin levels skyrocketing. His testosterone and her oxytocin are engaged and the world looks rosy, passionate, and stress free. With this success two things happen. One, he relaxes and settles in, enjoying this elevated level of oxytocin togetherness and sexual arousal. Neither of them suspects that too much cuddling and togetherness will send his testosterone into a nosedive and taking his energy with it.
The challenges a man encounters at work will once again lift his testosterone and give him the energy to accomplish his goals, but when he comes home he needs to rest to restore his hormones before he’s ready for more “we” time. Whether it’s helping with dinner or cuddling on the sofa to hear all about your day, he simply is not ready immediately and trying to force him to talk too much or exhibit a lot of energy for the same things you’re doing could very well backfire.
Now, let’s look at the woman as she comes home. Her levels of testosterone are way too high after a day of goal setting and being on her male side at work. A lack of oxytocin has her stress levels severely elevated—but when she walks in the door at home, unlike a man, her stress will go even higher. She has reached her “second job” and is hit with her never-ending to do list. She has dinner to prepare, laundry to fold, kids to manage, and a floor to scrub. With a deep sigh of exhaustion, she begins to push herself to “get things done,” looks over to see her partner lounging on the sofa and sees red. Our Venusian is still on her masculine side; her stress is not going down. And throwing herself into her never-ending to do list is no way to make the stress subside. With a little Mars Venus wisdom, both halves of the couple can learn how to relieve their stress and maintain a closeness with their equally-as-stressed (but for different reasons) partner.
How a Woman Can Help a Man Raise His Testosterone
Before helping her partner raise his testosterone, a woman needs to help herself. That is, she needs to replenish the oxytocin that has been depleted during her workday. Oxytocin is that feel-good hormone that lowers a woman’s stress. Why Mars and Venus Collide is filled with simple suggestions for things a woman can do to build her oxytocin such as listening to her favorite music or taking a bubble bath. The idea in replenishing her oxytocin—and likewise, in him replenishing his testosterone—is that you are both making yourselves balanced again so that you can be there for each other.
What a Martian seems to inherently know—but what a Venusian has to learn—is to take time for numero uno. This can seem like selfishness on the man’s part but, in actuality, he kind of has the right idea. A woman, the nurturer of the house, sees everyone else’s needs first before her own and sets her focus there, thinking that doing things for others will fulfill her. It can, but only to a point. A man is able to identify the moments when he needs to rejuvenate himself and wastes no time in making this happen. A woman must concentrate on doing the same for herself and carve out time to regroup—in order for her to help others she has to help herself first.
The most important thing for a woman to know is that raising a man’s testosterone is not her job, but she can help get him to a better place where he has renewed energy. Just as a woman’s oxytocin levels are her responsibility, so it is with a man and his testosterone levels. This is another 90/10 equation; each person is 90 percent responsible for his or her own well-being and 10 percent help from a partner is greatly appreciated.
Now that you have an even deeper understanding of how stress affects men, and you have taken the proper steps to lower your own stress, an Ask Mars Venus coach can help you even further by providing pointers on how your normal, everyday behavior can actually lend to building up a man’s testosterone—and you don’t even really have to go to any extra effort. From problem solving to goal setting, from respecting cave and rubber band time to showing appreciation, supporting the one you love doesn’t have to take it all out of you. There are ways to “work” with a man without reducing yourself to nagging or mothering tones. Awareness of stress and your own habits is half of the battle.
The physiology of stress and how it affects men and women differently is a new concept but it doesn’t have to be daunting. Coaches are here to explain the Mars Venus principles that will aid you in overcoming the toll that stress can take on your relationship. In examining your relationship, questions may arise about either your partner’s behavior or your own. You may wonder if what you see happening is merely hormonal imbalances or something more serious. This is also a good time to call an Ask Mars Venus coach who can help you sort out what’s happening with you and your partner and provide you with real solutions for moving forward in a positive way.