Back in the 90s, I read a hilarious book that discussed the phenomenon (or not) of Male Answer Syndrome. When I Googled it to give credit, my mind was blown by the entries. This is not one person’s vendetta. Check out the top three results:
I hadn’t thought about this phenomenot for many years. There is a payoff to the years of training required for a successful marriage – haha! Then I came across a blog post by a blogger who often offers thoughtful reflections about life.
His overall point was that there are two different kinds of conversations, ones where you need to listen and others where you’re being asked for a solution. In understanding this difference, you can avoid many disagreements and misunderstandings. I completely agree, so I left this comment:
Such a good point, and a smart way of distinguishing. We had many conversations about this early in our marriage but now we can read each other pretty well about what we’re looking for. It’s often the stereotype that women are the listeners and men always want to offer a solution. I used to say to my husband that I wasn’t looking for M.A.S. (Male Answer Syndrome). I can’t remember where I read that but it made me laugh and it made it clear to him. What do you think? Do men have a harder time having those listening conversations and holding back the advice?
Ready for it?
Yes. We men have a really hard time with that. We need women to help us polish off those rough edges and teach us, just like you did when you explained to your husband that you weren’t looking for an answer or a solution. You wanted to be listened to and empathized with. Keep reminding him–he’ll get it.
Is it just me? I almost pee myself every time I read it again. He agrees with me, then ends by giving me advice! I called him out on it and he was a great sport, so I hope he doesn’t mind that he inspired this blog post.
Sorry guys, I’m not trying to extend the gender divide but some things are just truth.
Am I right?
Don’t answer that.