Read an Excerpt
In the old days, men were men and women were women, but this is no longer true. Today we have multiple choices, and we need new concepts if we are to mate and marry and stay married. With poor role modeling by divorced parents, and conflicting media images of maleness and femaleness, men and women are creating a mixture of old traditions and new-age values to the confusion of everyone. Western culture has traditionally cast men as the protectors, leaders, and predominant doers. Men have traditionally proposed to women, have conferred status upon women, and have been the security providers. Women, on the other hand, have been the domesticators, the followers, the recipients-they have made themselves available to the life plans of men and have been responsive to male needs. Maleness, in this scheme, is the pragmatic, functional way in which we handle work and initiate action. It is verbal, centered in the left lobe of the brain. Femaleness is the passive, the receptive, the emotional centered in the right lobe of the brain; it can be represented as nonverbal energy. Its function in traditional terms is to serve as an outlet for emotion and a moral brake; it can be seen as the stable center that allows a relationship to develop and be maintained.
Although both male and female elements are vital to the makeup of both men and women, for a relationship to be healthy and successful, they must be reconciled and be complementary. In other words, there can only be one male and one female in every relationship.
Excerpted from Staying Married... And Loving It! Copyright © 1997 by Dr. Patricia Allen and Sandra Harmon.