Our Naples-based psychiatrist talks one of her patients through the possible source of his wife's discontent.
Once a patient asked me:
"Dottoré, is it possible that men and women are born with the same brain, and then it becomes different with age?"
"Gennaro, men and women do have different brains. It’s not that one is better than the other — it's just that certain areas of the brain develop differently in the two genders. And this happens from the embryonic state onwards."
"So then explain this to me: My wife and I, when we were young, we were like one soul and one heart. I would buy her a flower, and she would say, 'That's my favorite flower!' I would take her to the cinema, and she would say, 'That's my favorite movie!' Everything I liked, she liked too. And vice versa. But now it's all the opposite: I like white, and she likes black. I take her to the beach, and she wants to go to the mountains. I buy her something made of gold, and she tells me she prefers silver. How did things go haywire? It must be the brain itself that has changed!"
"What you're talking about has nothing to do with the brain.... Wait, Gennaro, didn't you tell me that you have a mistress?"
"Yes, Dottoré, but what does that have to do with it?"
"Well if you give her a diamond, what does she say?"
"She says, 'Thank you, it's beautiful, it's exactly what I wanted.'"
"Then her brain is just like yours! It hasn't changed with age! So, isn't it possible that maybe before, you and your wife were young and in love, and now you're not anymore, and so all of this has nothing to do with the brain?"
"No, Dottoré. I still love my wife — with my mistress, it's just sex!"
"Well, maybe that's what has changed. Try having more sex with your wife, and maybe your brains will start working the same again."
"You mean, like when we were young?"
"Gennaro, let's not exaggerate!"
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