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Excerpted from What Your Mother Couldn't Tell You and Your Father Didn't Know by John Gray. Copyright 1994 by John Gray. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"What your mother couldn't tell you and your father didn't know is how to satisfy your partner's emotional needs without sacrificing your own personal fulfillment."

John Gray, What Your Mother Couldn't 
Tell You and Your Father Didn't Know
, Part 1

Once upon a time, untold ages ago, men and women were peaceful partners in a hostile and dangerous world. A woman felt loved and respected because each day her mate went out and risked his life to provide for her. She didn't expect him to be sensitive or nurturing. Good communication skills were not a part of his job description. As long as he was a good hunter and could find his way home, relationship skills were not required for a mate to be desirable. As providers, men felt loved and appreciated by women. While surviving was difficult, relationships were comparatively easy.

Men and women existed in different spheres. They depended on each other in order to survive. Food, sex, children, shelter, and security motivated them to work together because the fulfillment of these basic needs required specific roles and skills. Men assumed the role of provider and protector while women specialized in nurturing and homemaking.

It was a natural separation. Biology had determined that a woman gives birth and hence feels a great responsibility for raising children and creating a home. The man honored and respected her role by agreeing to take such dangerous assignments as venturing into the wild to hunt, or standing guard to protect her and their young. Although men would often be out for days in the freezing cold or blazing sun before making a kill, they were proud of these sacrifices because they honored the female, the life giver. Since the partnership between a man and a woman provided the basics of survival and security, their interdependence generated mutual respect and appreciation.

Now, though, life has changed dramatically. Since we are no longer utterly dependent on each other for security and survival, the rules and strategies of our ancestors have become outdated. For the first time in recorded history, we look to each other primarily for love and romance. Happiness, intimacy, and lasting passion are now requirements for fulfilling relationships.

What your mother couldn't tell you and your father didn't know is how to satisfy your partner's emotional needs without sacrificing your own personal fulfillment. This new agenda can be accomplished only through the practice of new relationship skills.

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