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Pillow Talk: Is Talking Overrated?

While communication and connectedness are bedrocks of a vital marriage, a new book suggests that over-talking could actually be detrimental to the success of your marriage. That probably grabbed your attention a little, but isn't it also something you've noticed in your own experience? The gulf we try to bridge with talking can so often grow larger as we try harder and harder to be understood or to understand.

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Dr. Patricia Love’s and Dr. Steven Stosny's new book about marriage and relationships, How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, suggests that biological and cultural differences between men and women must be understood and accepted in order to find meaningful ways to remain close and connected in marriage. They assert that love is not about better communication, but about better connection, and their book illuminates how men and women feel connected in significantly different ways, and how they feel distressed in very different ways, as well.

Following this link will take you to Meredith Vieira's interview with the authors on the Today Show and to a provocative excerpt from the book, in which the authors lay out some of our differences around fear, shame, pain, and inadequacy, and how we misinterpret each other's experiences and needs.

Of the several points the authors make about marital happiness, here are four:

You'll never get a closer relationship
with your man by talking to him like you
talk to one of your girlfriends.

Male emotions are like women's sexuality:
you can't be too direct too quickly.

There are four ways to connect with a man: touch, activity, sex, routines.

Men want closer marriages just as much as women do, but not if they have to act like a woman.

The promise of the book?

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It teaches couples how to get closer in ways that don’t require “trying to turn a man into a woman.” Rich in stories of couples who have turned their marriages around, and full of practical advice about the behaviors that make and break marriages, this essential guide will help couples find love beyond words.

It's always wise to consider new approaches to making relationships work, especially when what we're doing isn't working. This might be just the book you're partner would be willing to read as well, though it might be wise to let him know you won't be expecting him to talk with you about it.


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Join The Conversation
smith3 smith3 8 years
This sounds like sexist, essentialising claptrap to me. I'm not saying there can't be ways of connecting besides talking, but being able to communicate and discuss things is the thing I value most in any relationship (and get from my partner - even if it took a while to convince him it was a good idea!)
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