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It’s not about communication

November 25, 2014

Here’s a great idea…

In their book, How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, Patricia Love and Steven Stosny say,

“The real reason the woman wants to talk about it [the relationship]-beneath the resentment and frustration-is that disconnection makes her feel anxious and, on a deeper level, isolated and afraid. The real reason the man doesn’t want to talk about the relationship is that her dissatisfaction with him makes him feel like a failure. On a deeper level, he feels ashamed. His shame is too great to allow him to understand her fear, and her fear keeps her from seeing his shame.” (p. 2)

In other words …

Women want to talk about “the relationship” because they want to resolve any issues that might prevent the closeness and security they feel with their spouse/partner. Men don’t want to talk about issues because they make them feel incompetent in their ability to care for and protect their partner/wife. These misunderstandings drive wedges in a couple’s ability to connect and feel close to each other.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life …

The next time you feel resentment towards or frustration with your partner, choose compassion instead of defensiveness. While resentment makes you devalue the contributions of your partner by avoidance or attack, compassion moves you to improve, appreciate, connect, and protect. As compassion and support are given regularly, you will feel valued and your feelings of resentment and frustration will dissipate.

To find out more…

about couple relationships, check out our FREE resources: The Marriage Garden or the Getting Our Hearts Right programs at, follow us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also like to read How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It.

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