Families: When Venus Crosses Mars

Why can't a woman be more like a man? And vice versa? Guess what! More and more, they can be!

There were five couples--all in their 20s and 30s--in the workshop run earlier this year by Peter Fraenkel, director of the PREP Couples Program at New York University's Child Study Center. Fraenkel noticed something curious: when four of the men showed an eagerness to share their feelings more extensively with their partner, the response was, in effect, "What is this guy's problem? He's so needy."

"I care how he feels," explained one of the women, a 37-year-old administrative assistant. "But it's boring to talk about your problems for two hours. Let's fix it and get it over with."

After years of...

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