I write for magazines, and was tickled when a clever high school friend with whom I’d reconnected on Facebook recently gifted me a magazine subscription to Experience Life: She knows I read so many for my job, but she had a motive. Switching from my writer to reader mode, I’m sold. The magazine’s mission is to be different from other health-and fitness magazines and it is.
Scanning the tantalizing editorial offerings, I immediately gravitated to the article, “7 Ways to Improve Your Relationship (Without Talking about It).” I mean, who doesn’t want to improve their relationship—unless they want to leave it? The story is adapted from a 2007 book, “How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking about it: Finding Love Beyond Words” by psychologists Patricia Love, EdD and Steven Stosny, PhD. Kudos to the magazine for choosing a book that isn’t “new,” like other media feels obligated to do. Some books just get better with age, like this one.
So you, the female baby boomer, aren’t happy with “something” in your relationship and you just HAVE TO talk about it. Well, don’t you? Don’t you think that if you and yours can positively and constructively exchange opinions that you can get to the bottom of what’s bothering you, fix it, and move forward? I mean, you can’t just stew and let those negative emotions build up while you feel they’re breaking your relationship down. But know this: You can’t talk to him like he’s a “gal pal.”
Maybe you’ve noticed that as many times as you try to “talk it out,” voices get louder, and you finally walk away shrugging your shoulders and feeling that he just can’t hear you. That’s because he can’t.
Now hear this
These points could change your life—and your relationship:
- Talking about it is more likely to make it worse than better due to differences between men and women.
- Women want to talk about relationships because they’re upset and sense that talking will make them feel better.
- Men don’t want to talk about relationships because they’ve found talking won’t make them feel better, but worse.
- Love is not about communications skills—it’s about connection—which is built when people respect and appreciate their differences, instead of trying to erase them.
- Relationship stress provides fear and shame in both sexes—neither person can hear what’s being said.
As to the “7 Steps,” I encourage you to read the magazine or the book to learn how nonverbal strategies can heal what’s broken. What you can take away from this brief synopsis is that when you have “a failure to communicate,” it isn’t necessarily your (or his) fault. You’re just different.
(Photo courtesy: © Sgame | Dreamstime.com)