So, I got this new book…and I think it is going to radically change my marriage.
I read this article on MSN last week about how I am actually hurting my marriage by insisting that Chris and I talk about feelings. What if that is true? What if it isn’t some hooey made up by a guy who just wanted his wife to shut up?
According to some psychotherapists (one male and one female), talking actually makes situations WORSE. We all know that men and women are wired differently, and over the years we have come to accept this and even have done our best to work with the differences. This article, however, pointed out a difference that I had never quite understood before:
“If there's a conflict, girls and women want to talk about it. Boys and men, however, need to pull away. A man's greatest suffering,” psychotherapist Stosny says, “comes from the shame he feels when he doesn't measure up—which is why discussing relationship problems (i.e., what he's doing wrong) offers about as much comfort as sleeping on a bed of nails.”
Chris has actually said that to me before - that when I talk to him about my feelings, he just feels shitty, and thus shuts down. Men don’t seem to process the information we share as “helpful strategies for making your wife happy.” They just feel like they screwed up and might as well give up.
So, I bought the book, “how to improve your marriage without talking about it” by Patrice Love and Steven Stosny
I’m not entirely sure that it is going to tell me anything new (the article went on to say that ‘positive reinforcement works wonders – bullshit). I do think the book is going to present information in a new way.
I also think that reading the book will make me more aware of Chris’s perspective. For example, this is my “girl week.” I am typically very hormonal, very emotional, very easily pushed into tears and hopelessness. However, it didn’t happen like that this week. Every time I felt emotion creeping up to ruin our day, I thought, “Please don’t make your marriage worse today. Please don’t make Chris feel like a shitty husband today.” And you know what? Last night, Chris was extra super duper happy when he asked, “Hey, where’s the emotional stuff?” And I said, “That time has passed.”