Men come in for lots of criticism from their wives and girlfriends. Some is deserved, of course. But some women blame guys simply because they fail to understand some basic biological differences between the sexes.
Here are six things women often get wrong, from psychiatrist Dr. Scott Haltzman, the author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Men" and other books on relationships.
Myth: Men Substitute Sex for Emotional Intimacy
Men are sometimes blamed for being so focused on sex that they give short shrift to emotional intimacy. But for men, sex may actually be the key to building intimacy.
How's that? Women generally have a high levels of oxytocin, the so-called "bonding hormone." Men tend to have a high level of oxytocin only during or shortly after experiencing orgasm. That hormonal surge makes them feel closer emotionally to their mates.
Myth: Men Hide Their Feelings
Women sometimes blame their mates for "hiding" their emotions. But are guys hiding feelings - or just not having them?
Studies show that women feel pain more acutely, and their brains show greater activity when they have disturbing thoughts. Bottom line? Men may simply experience certain emotions less intensely than women. And they may express anger instead of sadness or other "weak" emotions.
Myth: Men Don't Care Enough to Listen
"We need to talk," is something many men hear from their mates when a relationship goes into crisis mode. But when a woman says "we," what she really means is "I." She thinks talking will mend the rift in the relationship. But for some men, talking about emotional issues can interfere with problem-solving skills - resulting in even greater emotional distance.
Myth: Men Need to Be More Empathetic
For women, talking is a way to bond emotionally. Some women expect their mates to listen patiently and be more empathetic - and get upset when guys seem to space out or interrupt.
But men are "programmed" to listen primarily in order to gather the information needed to solve problems. So jumping in to offer advice is really a sign that a guy is listening - not shutting down his mate.
Myth: Men Have All the Power
Women sometimes feel that men are the ones who hold the power in the relationship - and that's a feeling that many couples therapists seem to share.
But while men are generally stronger and many earn a greater share of the family income, women have lots of power - over things ranging from when to have sex to where to send the kids to school to what furniture to buy for the living room.
Myth: Men Avoid Eye Contact to Signal Disagreement
Some women criticize their mates for not making good eye contact during emotional conversations. Truth is, some men feel just don't get all warm and fuzzy when making eye contact - but it doesn't mean they don't care or aren't paying attention.
It could be their testosterone talking.
Studies have shown that the more testosterone a baby boy was exposed to before birth, the less he is able to hold eye contact. And that may persist through a man's life.
And that's not the only reason men and women don't see eye to eye about the need for eye contact. Men seem to have a greater awareness of the subtle cues of dominance and submission that eye contact plays in all mammals.