07.1 What to Know
When you’re able to talk with the mother of your children and solve problems together, it helps you both to raise healthy children. But even when you and she do a good job of talking and solving problems, it can sometimes take a lot of work for you to know where she’s coming from, and for her to do the same with you. That’s because the ways in which men and women are wired to think differ
A great way to think about how men and women think is:
- Men are like waffles, and
- Women are like spaghetti
(This way of thinking is described in detail in the book and study guide Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti by Bill and Pam Farrel.)
Think about the shape of a waffle and how spaghetti, after its cooked, lays out in a bowl or on a plate. A waffle has “boxes” divided into neat rows. Syrup flows into the boxes and separates. Spaghetti noodles lay all over each other, twisting and turning over and under one another.
Like waffles, men tend to put the parts of their life into separate boxes that create space between those parts. They tend to spend time in one box at a time. A dad might, for example, focus on being a dad when with his children and not think about work. But when he’s at work, he thinks only about work and not about his role as a dad.
Like spaghetti, women tend to have every part of their life touching every other part. They tend to “flow” easily from one part of their life to another because they see them as connected. A mom might, for example, focus on being a worker and mom while at work, and a mom and worker when with her children.
This way to think is a bit simple. It can also not describe the way some men and women are wired. Some men can be wired more like spaghetti, and some women like a waffle.
Still, it’s useful because it can help explain why you and the mother of your children can sometimes have trouble talking and knowing where the other person is coming from. It helps explain why, for example, you might want to get right to the heart of the matter and solve a problem, while she wants to explore it in detail and talk it out.