Episode 12: John Gray, "Love, Health, and Communication"

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In this episode, Beth interviews relationship guru John Gray. With 20 million books sold and counting, John Gray is a pioneer in supporting men and women in understanding differences between the sexes, and how to thrive in, rather than suffer through those differences. This amazing interview has it all, how to understand differences, communication styles, hormone production and the connection to sex and purpose, and finally, John’s latest passion, nutrition, which he views as key to keeping our hormone production at higher levels which keeps us feeling alive and sexual even as we age. If you have ever wondered why you and your partner seem to be speaking different languages, or how the male brain differs from the female brain, or how through diet we will not need the will to exercise because we will simply want to, this episode will be enlightening and enlivening for you.

Transcript

John Gray, “Love, Health, and Communication”

Intro
This program brought to you by personallifemedia.com is suitable for mature audiences only and may contain explicit sexual information.

[Music]

Beth Crittenden:  Hello, everyone, and welcome to A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews.  I’m your host, Beth Crittenden, and I’m coming to you from One Taste Urban Retreat Center in San Francisco.  On today’s show I’m incredibly pleased to present John Gray.  John is the author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, which is the biggest-selling book of the past decade.  It sold over 20 million copies in the world.  He’s also the author of Mars and Venus in the Bedroom.  Welcome, John, to the show.

John Gray:  It’s a real pleasure to be here.

Beth Crittenden:  Thanks for being with us.  So today we’re going to talk about some of those men/women dynamics and how to connect with each other a little better, how to understand where the other’s coming from.  We’ll go back to some of the basics from Mars and Venus for those of you who haven’t read it or for those of you who want a refresher.  And also, John’s current passion is the importance of health and cleansing within your body, for creating lasting passion in your relationships.  You’ll also hear why sex is important, and tips for great communication in the bedroom.  So just sit back and enjoy the ride.

[music]

Beth Crittenden:  Join us today on A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews, as John Gray gives us all information on why men ‘go to their caves’, revisit some of the Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus basics.  You’ll hear about the ‘Mars/Venus’ gender-specific cleansing program for a lively and healthy relationship and a healthy body.  You’ll also hear why sex is important and tips for great communication in the bedroom.

[music]

Beth Crittenden:  So, John let’s get started by talking about some of those basics.  I remember when my mom turned me on to the book.  She said, “You have to know about the ‘rubber band’ and ‘the cave’.”  So tell us what she was talking about there.

John Gray:  Those are two of the more popular concepts that came from Men are from Mars.  Remember, I wrote that book fifteen years ago.  So it’s really amazing, I’ve been teaching it 25 years.  The ‘cave’, which is essential information for every woman to understand about men, and for men to understand about themselves, is that men cope with stress differently than women.  And quite often when a man has had a stressful day, he just wants to be alone for a while when he gets home.  That might be watching the news, watching a TV show; it might be reading the paper, a hobby of some sort… and women don’t understand this because often, when women are in a relationship with a man, they come home and they can’t wait to find somebody who’s a friend, you know, somebody to talk to, somebody to share with, somebody to connect with.  And although he has the same feelings towards her… he’s in love with her; he cares for her… he needs his alone time, and I call that “cave time”.  And there’s a big sign on the cave, and it says, “Do not enter”.  And every man reads that language… that’s the Martian language, but women misread the sign, and they see a bright light shining, saying, “Hey, I’ve had a stressful day… come ask me questions.”  She’ll go over and start asking him lots of questions, and that’s really not what he wants to do, and then a little tension can develop, and she starts to feel like, “Well, why doesn’t he want to share with me?  What’s wrong, or something?  Did I do something?  Is he withholding from me because he’s mad at me?”  Because often women stop talking when they’re mad at you.  So she assumes if he doesn’t want to talk, he must be mad at her, and he’s not.  He can become mad at her if she keeps trying to get him to talk, so… Let him take some alone time, and that frees women.  They go, “Okay, it’s not my job to bring him out of the cave.”

So now the ‘rubber band’ concept is the recognition that just as men will tend to pull away in their cave to cope with stress, many women experience intimacy differently.  And as men go into a woman’s world… and that’s what intimacy really is… there’s no world for women to go into with men.  I mean if you look at sexual intimacy you see men go into her world, and men are drawn into that world.  It’s a huge attraction that men have, to connect with women.  But when he’s drawn to be in her world, he is completed to a certain extent.  There’s a part of him that finds a balance.  And then once he finds that, he has to pull away.  It’s literally just as much as he has a strong drive to go into her world, he has a strong drive to get out of her world, back to his own again.  So it’s kind of like an ‘in-and-out’, which is what sex is all about, if you can imagine having sex with a man, and he was just to go into her world and he doesn’t want to leave, he just stays in there the whole time, it could be very boring because there no movement, there’s no dance between the sexes.  So for men it’s more about they approach, and then they pull back; they approach and they pull back… And when he pulls back, at a certain point he will spring back to her like a rubber band.  If you stretch a rubber band it will spring back.  So when he’s pulling away, if a woman pursues him at that time, if they go after him…”What’s the matter; what’s going on?  We’re not spending as much time.  How do you feel about the relationship?  It seems like your feelings have changed.”  …And gets him to talk, that just pushes him further away.  What she has to do is let him take his distance, until he misses her to a certain extent, and he shows interest in her, and he comes back to her.

So those are two really important concepts, but that’s what your mother wanted you to know about men.  And since there’s men listening, we should know what the complementary ideas here for men to understand about women… is just as men will cope with stress by not wanting to talk about it sometimes, going off to be alone, women have an instinctive urge and a need, and their brain requires that they process information to a much greater extent out loud.  What I do is I teach couples how to do ‘Venus talks’ when it comes to this.  And a ‘Venus talk’ is a woman talks about what’s going on, and the man doesn’t reciprocate and talk about what’s going on in his life.  Instead, his job is simply to listen.  And you limit it to about ten minutes.  He asks questions about “what else?”  “What else?” basically.  And she’s to talk about her feelings, and what happens in her day, whether it be dramatic or not dramatic, but with no interruptions, and without any expectation on him to comment, to fix it, to solve it, to feel bad.  And what happens is it creates the safety for her to open up and share herself, and naturally a hormone called ‘oxytocin’ gets produced. 

And what’s unique about my message now is it explains how men and women are different hormonally.  Oxytocin is the magic hormone in a woman’s body that will lower cortisol levels that will lower her stress levels.  And of course what you talk about here is the importance of oxytocin for orgasm.  The orgasm hormone is oxytocin.  And orgasm is one way to stimulate the production of oxytocin, which lowers a woman’s stress level.  Sharing and talking about feelings, connecting, intimacy is another stimulator of oxytocin.  And whenever a man feels that he can be successful in fulfilling a woman, in ten minutes, and she’s feeling better, and feels good, that will then raise his testosterone levels.  Because men’s testosterone levels go up whenever they feel they’re successful and they’ve made a difference.  And for men, when their testosterone levels go up, their stress levels go down. 

Beth Crittenden:  And how did you develop these models?  Did you hit a certain point in your relationships where you wanted things to be different, or was it some clients you were seeing?  How did that work?

John Gray:  It’s a blend of all those things.  Certainly I started teaching ‘Mars/Venus’ about in the early ‘80’s, back when E.T. came out, the movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.  And I was teaching about gender differences at the time.  It was very “politically incorrect”.  I mean I was literally a lone person out there, saying that, “Hey, men and women are different,” and everybody else was saying we should be the same.  And there was a lot of resistance to what I was teaching.  Today there’s not even close to what it was then.  There are a few still diehard feminists that want to say that we’re all the same, and that men should be like women, basically.  And we’re not and we shouldn’t be.  But back then there was a lot!  There was a lot of friction and resistance, and I just kept trying to find a fun way to talk about it.  And when E.T. came out, I just said to one of my audiences, I said, “Just women, imagine your husband’s E.T.,” and they all laughed, and then, “What planet is he from?”  I said, “He’s from Mars.”  “Oh yeah, my husband… he’s from Jupiter.”  They were like, having a lot of fun with that.  So that was like the key that opened… became a way for me to easily teach it, and that’s over 25 years ago.  So this is a gradual progression, and I developed it basically seeing my clients coming in and seeing that they were really misinterpreting each other all the time.  That was really it.  Women were constantly having the same complaints about men.  Men would constantly do things… they would mislead women, not intentionally, but women would misunderstand what men were doing, so I would just translate.  All I was doing was translating, and I had a waiting list for my counseling practice.  I mean it was a very, very popular counseling practice, so I started teaching it.

And then part of the whole genesis was also my own relationship with my wife, Bonnie.  Together, we have grown through those differences to come together.  And that’s the key in a relationship, is to be able to identify what the differences are, not from the point of view of criticizing them, but from the point of view of understanding them, so we can embrace them and accept them, work together with them, benefit from them, and even laugh at them… in a fun way.

Beth Crittenden:  How do you explain to people what the value is?  For people who’ve never had a connected, fulfilling relationship, how do you tell them, “Yes, you’re going to go into this fire, and there will be some struggling while you’re trying to understand each other.”  What tips can you offer people who want to get to that place of feeling like their love is worthwhile and growing and… with the humor?

John Gray:  Well the key is… I mean my presentation is humor, and then eventually you see the humor and the differences, in a relationship.  That’s kind of a later stage.  I won’t say it was always funny in the beginning.  It was… this information helped me to get through those difficult times when I was being misinterpreted.  Probably one of the biggest problems today is that in relationship… we’ll say 50% of it… is women constantly reject men, resist men, resent men, because they misinterpret a man’s behavior.  Just that one concept about a man and his cave… a woman goes, “Well why doesn’t he want to be with me?”  Immediately she’s resisting him, and misinterpreting him, “Well if he doesn’t want to be with me, then when he comes out of his cave I won’t want to be with him.”  Now she’s going to reject him.  Or she’ll start to resent, because while he’s sitting in his cave she’s making a dinner for him, and she’s thinking, “Well gee, I’m doing this loving thing for him… what’s he doing for me?”  And she doesn’t understand there’s a distinction here: In his mind, he spent all day earning a living so he could be a good enough provider for her, and that’s what men have been taught for thousands of years, and now the whole dynamic has changed today, which makes it even more confusing for women, because women are doing the jobs their mother did.  Instinctively they feel the need and the compulsion, and they’re hormonally driven to create an environment, which is nurturing and supportive, ‘the nest’.  Whether you have children or not, a part of you will start creating a nest. 

Men don’t have that urge like women.  We don’t have the instinct.  When I come home, I don’t see a nest; I see a TV set.  And for me the priority is to rest after my hard day at work, and that’s way more important than whether the kitchen looks clean.  Whereas for a woman, when she comes home, she makes the priority her environment, and rightly so.  That’s how women are; that’s what they’re…  We can go into much deeper analysis of this… I go into all the brain differences, the eye differences, the hormone differences, the sensual differences… it’s so, such a different world for women.  So when she sees him collapsing on the couch, she immediately misinterprets and thinks, “What, does he think I’m his maid?”  No, he would be just as happy if she sat on that couch too and collapsed, and said, “Oh, I’m exhausted as well.”  But women will say, “I’m exhausted, and you’re exhausted… why aren’t you up here helping me?”  And from his point of view, he’ll be like, “What’s more important… washing dishes or taking a nap or watching a TV show?”  He has his priority and she has hers.  And somehow women have sort of… [in-filtered] all of our media to make, “That’s wrong,” like being a man is wrong. 

And I’m one of these lone voices out there that try to keep standing up for men, not for men’s sake, but for women’s sake.  Because when you see the differences in your husband, and you’re critical of him, then how does that make you feel?  Are you feeling loving?  Are you feeling happy?  Do you feel cared for?  Do you feel adored by this man?  No, but that’s why he’s going to work and doing his thing.  And it comes down to… Like this particular one, and I’ve only touched on one of the many, many distinctions, but one of them is that men’s bodies have a need to cope with stress.  They produce 30 times more testosterone than women do.  And if a man doesn’t make that testosterone he becomes depressed.  Women don’t need to make all that testosterone.  And how do you make testosterone?  By resting.  That’s how you make testosterone.  Women have a need to cope with stress… which is a hormone called oxytocin.  And as I mentioned before, it’s a hormone that creates climax.  It’s also a hormone that, when you have a baby, you make oxytocin for the contractions, or for breastfeeding.  It’s also when you’re getting a massage, oxytocin is being produced.  When you’re doing anything you love to do, that has to do with nurturing, beautifying, caring, creating a nest, creating a loving community, creating harmony between others… all those actions are oxytocin-producing. 

So from her point of view, she comes home, and she’s driven, in the limited amount of time she has, to start doing oxytocin-producing behaviors.  But unfortunately, she spent most of her time during the day doing testosterone-producing behaviors.  So she carries this huge burden.  She feels the weight of doing everything at home, which women have always felt, that responsibility.  And now she’s in a situation where she has to be a provider as well.  She goes to work and she has a job and most of the work world stimulates testosterone, as opposed to that harmony, nurturing hormone that comes from good communication, intimacy, caring and sharing, and romance.  All those things stimulate oxytocin.  So in a sense, women are massively deprived of this important… of the stimulation they need for this hormone. 

So my job now is to educate men in hormonal terms, “These are some things you can do to help stimulate oxytocin for her, without having to become a woman.”  Okay, because as soon as women get men to be like women, women reject them.  I’ve seen that as well!  They complain, “Oh, he talks too much.  Always in touch with his feelings.  He’s so needy.”  Because men do have a female side, and all you have to do is put attention to that and express that… you go further and further to that.  And as soon as men do that they become very self-absorbed… [laughs]…And you're nodding your head because you know these guys!  You know, they’re like the ‘sensitive guys’.  And then suddenly you go, “Oh, I thought it was going to be so good, but it’s not!  You know, I want a guy who’s like, not so needy, who’s interested in me, who can be there for me, who can be present for me.”  But there’s a price you pay for that, and the price is you can’t expect… You can’t have it all, but you can be a woman and have him be a man.  He’s a man, but he can learn to respect your needs, and she can learn her needs as well, like what you’re doing here is learning the important need for orgasm.  You know ‘oming’, as a practice for women, is a great thing, because it’s one of the ways women are daily stimulating the production of oxytocin in the body.  And there’s a variety of other things, like you start any way you can. 

In my message it’s more about creating good communication, for men to focus and listen and be there for her as she shares her feelings.  And of course in sex to be able to be there for her, and not just have sex be about the way he wants sex.  But… sometimes to have sex be about the way he wants sex.  So there’s… you know we have to have an equal respect for both sides.  And it’s a big knowledge; it’s not gong to be covered in a 30-minute interview, or even in one book.  It’s a lengthy… it’s a life process.  And right now we’re going through the most critical time in history, when it comes to men and women’s relationship, because women have taken a huge leap to move into this expanded self of being both more masculine and feminine, trying to find that balance.  And men are trying to figure out, “Well, what am I supposed to do with this?  How do I deal with this?”  They have no idea, and when they attempt to do something, what they generally get is dissatisfaction from women, rejection, resistance, and whenever you reject, resist, or resent a male, you deplete his testosterone levels, and then he has less to give you.  So this information is so critical for men to have, and for women to have.  I remember one woman coming up at a seminar, and the guy was glowing, and the woman’s glowing, and I said, “What are you feeling?”  She said, “Well, I didn’t know all this!  I just judged him and criticized him all the time.  Now I realize God has made him this way!” [laughs]  She just had to understand the actual chemistry of it, the bodily chemistry, which I’ve talked a little bit about.  I haven’t talked about the brain differences, but we’re so different in our brains, in our bodies, it causes us to cope with stress differently.  And we realize we’re under so much stress today, rather than being a source of stress to our partners, we can become a source of support.  And by taking time to study the different information that is available about our differences, and then applying it in our relationships, we can make our relationships better.  And you know many people have different resources; some people like to read books… Certainly there’s lot’s of books on gender differences.  I have fifteen books on gender differences.  I even have a free TV show, so if anybody’s interested, they can just go to my TV show.

Beth Crittenden:  Great.  Well, we’re going to have to break now, John.  Thank you so much.  This is A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews, on Personal Life Media.  I’m your host, Beth Crittenden, from One Taste Urban Retreat Center.  When we come back we’ll talk about John’s approaches to health and cleansing in your body, in order to connect more, in order to have a more lively intimate relationship.  Stay tuned.

[Break]

Beth Crittenden:  Welcome back to A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews on Personal Life Media.  I’m your host, Beth Crittenden, from One Taste Urban Retreat Center, speaking with John Gray, the author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, and Mars and Venus in the Bedroom.  So, John, tell us more about this passion for cleansing and physical health, when it comes to linking it to relationship.

John Gray:  Well, I’m now 55, and generally as people get over 40, their hormones start dramatically changing, and it can happen even younger for people today.  What happens is stress will cause their hormone production to lessen, and when those hormone levels start dropping, the passion leaves relationships.  I mean all my peers don’t even have sex with their partners anymore.  You know, it’s kind of an occasional thing.  They might say they still do it; in most cases they don’t.  And that’s not good enough for me.  I understand it, in my experience when I have regular sex, I feel young… you know I want to take cold showers.  I always know I need more sex when I start not feeling like I want to have a cold shower, and that’s virility, you know, strength… you’re going to the gym, you’re working out, you’re feeling good about yourself… And as people get older they stop feeling that, and a big part of that is they lose their sex drive.  People think that’s just a part of growing older, and it’s not.  It’s a part of not having enough hormones in your body, which is…if you’re not making enough hormones, why aren’t you?  Why isn’t your body putting it out?  And it’s not that you’re old; it’s that you’re stressed, and it’s an effect of an accumulation of stress.  So good relationship skills is one part of it.  Regular sex is one part of it.  You need regular sex; you also need love, romance, and all these good things. 

But that’s… we’ll put that like a bird flying successfully through the sky.  That’s one wing.  The other wing is ‘what are we putting into our bodies?’  You know, what foods are we eating?  It’s so critical, what we eat will have a huge impact on our interest in sex, our interest in romance, interest in relationship.  The same things that make me interested in sex make me interested in my wife, my relationship, makes me interested in creating new goals.  It makes me interested in writing a new book.  I mean people ask me… said to me 15 years ago, “What do you keep writing books for?  You know, you’re a multi-millionaire.  You don’t need to do this.  What do you keep promoting yourself for?”  I’m not promoting me.  I’m promoting a message.  I’m helping the world.  I’m making a difference in the world.  That’s what we’re all -- underline ALL ­­-- here to do, is to help each other in some way.  My gift is I’m good in the media, so I have a voice, I can speak out, I can articulate things, and so that’s what I do.  But we all have our way of being of service.  But I find the same hormones that make me interested in sex are the same hormones that keep me interested in all of those things.  So I watch these people start thinking about retiring?  That’s literally, for a man, it’s like digging your own grave.  Statistically, when men give up that drive, they’ve got three years to live, and you can look at that biochemically as that when your testosterone levels start dropping your heart starts to fail.  Every man, and even women, but women have other issues as well, who has heart disease, which is our number one killer, has low testosterone.  It’s directly linked to the health of the heart.  It’s also directly linked to cancer.  It’s also directly linked to obesity, to diabetes.  All those things, all these problems are all directly linked to the production of male hormones for men, and female hormones for women. 

And so how do we get down to producing a balance of those?  On one hand it’s good relationship skills; regular sex is a big part of it, and on the other side you’ve got to provide your body with the right nutrition to make those hormones.  People are just unconsciously eating packaged foods.  Any packaged food out there has got bad stuff in it.  That’s as simple as it gets.  I mean it was 15 years ago when I realized there’s nothing I can buy in a 7-11 [laughs], a convenience store.  It took me about five years to train my reptilian brain, because we have this ‘reptilian brain’ inside that sort of controls us; we’re not thinking.  It’s just going to lead you to a convenience store to buy some junk food, because that junk food will give you a boost, a temporary boost of certain brain chemicals that you’re deficient in.  And then you’ll grow even more deficient in them, like dopamine and serotonin.  Dopamine gives you passion and interest.  Serotonin gives you relaxation and well-being and optimism.  And sugar, for example, refined sugar will bump that, and then have them crash again.  Whereas if you have a good diet, good nutrition, you can create stable blood sugar and a stable amount of brain chemicals.  That will then lower your stress levels, increase your hormone production, and suddenly you have a very healthy body, healthy sex life; you’re orgasmic and you enjoy orgasm, and you’re strong in it and you’re good about it.  You exercise… it makes you feel like exercising, not because I’m telling you to… you want to go out and go for walks.  You want to go the gym occasionally.  You want to compete in something, if that’s what you do, if you’re an athlete. 

So it’s not like using willpower.  The only willpower we need to apply is to start eating some things that actually taste very good.  So what I did is I wrote a book called The Mars and Venus Diet and Exercise Solution.  And in there I give some very simple recipes, very simple stuff.  I used to be a yogi in my twenties, so as a yogi I would fast 30 days at a time.  I’d fast 7 days at the beginning of every year, and every week I did at least a one-day fast.  It was a very common part of my life.  It’s probably why I look so young now and so healthy now.  But then when I got married and had kids and did all that, I forgot all that.  And then in my forties I started gaining weight.  I had 25 pounds more than I have now, and it was mostly all in my belly, you know, hips and belly.  I go, “What is this?” you know that little inner tube that men get.  And that’s all just waste; it’s just junk.  It’s weighing you down.  Imagine carrying 25 pounds around with you all day long.  It’s just a weight that people carry when they’re overweight.  And so I said, “I got to help people get rid of this,” and also the same thing that gets rid of that extra weight is also the same thing that cleanses the body. 

So I developed the Mars Venus Cleansing Program, which is a gender-specific cleansing program.  Back in my day, back 35 years ago, when I was fasting, based upon what all the big faster of the last century knew, and everything, nobody was obese.  There was no such thing as an obese faster.  Nobody was extremely toxic.  We weren’t the way we are today.  Another thing that happens for people when they fast today that we didn’t have 20-35 years ago was all the heavy metal pollution.  So one of the things is the heavy metals start coming out of your body, and they cause inflammation and mess up the whole process.  So then there’s… you can take aloe vera for that.  So I put together a whole variety of fasting things to do on your fast day, with no calories, but certain liquids like aloe vera, lemon, which is an old-fashioned one, enzymes, acidophilus… You put these things together with some liquid vitamins, and people feel great through the day.  They do a two-day fast, and then they do a three-day post-fast, which is just as important as the fast, because you have to stay in that fat-burning mode.  And there are certain foods that will keep you in fat-burning, and certain foods that can take you out of it.  And it’s so convenient, you can even… you know, five of the days you can have regular meals, but they’re just healthy meals, and then you have low-calorie meals as well, and then two days you do a fast.  And that’s my 7-day cleanse.  And I bring people through, and I have calls where I explain that this next two days this is what you’re going to do.  I give them all the information they need, and it’s free for people to get that information and support.  And I’ve seen people’s sex lives wake up in an instant.  You know their whole… People who are on anti-depressants… gone in 7 days.  I mean the Russians proved this: You get people who are bipolar for their life… they give them medications.  A 30-day cleanse… bipolar gone forever.  This is just detoxification of the brain that has to take place for people, and when we don’t have it we get hyper-active tendencies, depressive tendencies, schizophrenic tendencies, or just simple depression tendencies, or lack of interest in sex. 

That is the beginning of the downfall, when we lose our interest in sex.  Every day we should feel that interest and be excited about that part of our life.  Then you have a really vibrant life.  That’s the foundation for it, which is why I really appreciate what you’re doing, and your show, A Taste of Sex.  People need to have more awareness about sex, and more importantly, is to keep that body awake, so that when touched with this basic drive that keeps us alive on this planet… because when it starts being pushed away, whether it be through judgmentalness, whether it be through lack of love in our life, whether it be by lack of nutrition, whatever the causes of it be, or just simple ignorance, thinking that it’s a bad thing, that sex is a bad thing, which still some people think, a dirty thing… this is snuffing out our aliveness.  When we come back to being natural, connected to the earth, men and women connecting to each other in a loving and embracing and accepting way, we provide the foundation for love, for health, and that becomes the two wings for the beautiful bird of peace to fly in the world.  And therefore we each can then find our gifts, and make the difference we’re here to do.  And that’s a very beautiful, beautiful way to look at our bodies… that we are all here to make a difference, and this world can’t thrive unless each person is coming forth to find what they have to offer.  And it doesn’t mean this big thing of, “Okay, I’ve got great things to do.”  One step at a time, one step at a time is all it takes.

Beth Crittenden:  Nice.  Thank you.  I imagine that sometimes one half of a couple is more interested in undertaking changes than the other person.  How do you teach people to communicate, to like, bring each other on board for a new lifestyle?

John Gray:  Well, this comes up again and again in relationships.  As a therapist, the person who comes to me of course is the one who’s interested in making change in the relationship, but generally the way they want to make change is they want their partner to change.  And the most obvious change is they want their partner to be interested in changing the relationship.  It only takes one person to change a relationship.  There’s always the dynamic of two people depending on each one.  Now maybe my partner’s not going to change the way I want them to change, but they will change if I change.  Nobody feels loved when somebody’s trying to change you. 

Now let’s put this in gender perspective.  Generally speaking, but not always the case… remember there’s always exceptions to situations… generally speaking, women have a gene… I call it “the home-improvement gene,” [laughs] which is they get in a relationship and they just want to improve.  And they want to improve everything about it, and he becomes the target, and she wants to improve him.  And what I tell women is like, “Wait, wait, wait, wait… back off.  Don’t improve him; focus on improving yourself.”  The secret for a woman to improve a relationship is to improve herself.  Not from a point of view that she’s bad, but from a point of view of ‘improve your life by taking more time to do the things you love to do’.  Get regular massage; get the stimulation that you need, where it’s available to you, without looking to everything from your partner.  And as your partner sees that you’re growing and changing and happy, he becomes more interested in what you’re doing.  But as soon as you focus on, “Oh, he’s interested in me; now I’ll be interested in him and try to change him,” that comes across as a message of criticism and rejection, to men.  And if you really analyze it, even though your intention is love, you are rejecting who he is now, by saying, “I want you to be different.”  And men are extremely sensitive to that, in the same way that a woman is sensitive when a man wants to tell a woman, “Don’t be upset about that.  You shouldn’t need that.  You shouldn’t want that.  You shouldn’t feel that way.”  And every woman knows how she doesn’t like it when somebody tells her, “You shouldn’t feel that way.”  Well, that’s how a man feels when you tell him he shouldn’t do the things he’s doing.  So we have our different sensitivities. 

And I think as we get to know each other and work with this and be successful at this, instead of thinking, “Gee, it’s like we’re not made for each other,” what we actually begin to see is that we’re perfectly fit for each other.  And we’re the ideal complements for each other.  And quite often we have that natural sexual chemistry with somebody who is the opposite of us in many ways, in ways that would actually be nurturing to our own self if we were to learn to embrace that difference, rather than try to change that.  So what changes took place is you were choosing to change, as opposed to trying to change him.  Because any time you try to change a behavior in a male, often you’ll get resistance, unless he’s asking for your help.  Same thing I’ve learned about women and their feelings.  You never try to change their feelings; you learn to listen to their feelings, and when they feel heard, the feelings that seem negative, or weighing her down, will tend to dissipate.  The same thing when you can focus on men’s good behaviors, and appreciate the good they do, they will naturally do more and more and more.

Beth Crittenden:  Great.  Thank you so much, John Gray, for being with us.

John Gray:  You’re very welcome.  It was a real pleasure.

Beth Crittenden:  So this has been A Taste of Sex: Guest Speaker Interviews.  I’m your host, Beth Crittenden, from One Taste Urban Retreat Center.  If you would like text and transcripts of this show, please visit www.PersonalLifeMedia.com.  If you’d like to email us feedback, you can email [email protected].  Also, to find out what One Taste has going on, to see our videocast, to read our chat board, see the different classes and events that we have, please visit www.OneTasteSF.com.  Thanks so much for listening.

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