ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Improve Your Marriage Communication WITHOUT Talking About the Relationship

Updated on June 2, 2011

In reading the book, "How to Improve Your marriage Without Talking About It," I've gained some important insight into how men and women fumble our communication with each other. Though the book specifically addresses marriage, I believe the principles could be applied to co-workers, children, friends and family.

Prompted by an article on, I bought the book "How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It," by Pat Love and Steve Stosny.

Here's the quote that got me: "The number one myth about relationships is that talking helps. The truth is, more often than not, it makes things worse," says Love.

So often in my marriage, I bring a relationship issue to the table, and when it's all said and done, both my husband and I feel worse. I enjoy learning about relationships, so I figured it would not hurt to read what the authors had to say.

The book came, and even though I blogged about my excitement, it sat for a long time. First of all, because I did not want to, once again, learn something new about relationships only to hear my husband refute it. Second of all, I did not want to read the book, because I did not have the energy to DO anything with the knowledge I would gain. I also did not want Chris to see me reading it and thus expect me to be a perfect wife. And third of all, I was mildly skeptical that the book was going to spend 213 pages and a few hours of my time to basically tell me to shut my trap and accept my husband as he is.

It Starts

Wednesday night, after my son was asleep and my husband was at work, I drug the book out. Chris and I had experienced a communication break-down that morning, so I figured it was high-time I use the tools already at my disposal to at least try to improve my marriage.

The book is divided into two parts - why you need to improve your communication with the opposite gender and subsequently, how to improve your marriage without actually talking about it.

The book starts out like this:

"Let's begin by asking a question of our women readers. If you were to say to the man in your life, 'Honey, we need to talk about our relationship,' what do you think would happen?

"If he would answer this question with something like 'I thought you'd never ask!' or 'I've been dying to share my feelings about our life together, and I especially want to hear how you feel about us and what you want us,' then you do not need to read this book. We expect our men to get distracted, defensive, irritated, or fidgety, or shut down completely; and most men would feel like they were being punished for a crime they didn't commit. Undoubtedly, you've had the conversations we are talking about. She knows her lines, he knows his and it always ends up worse than it started."

Part One of this book was so amazingly accurate, insightful and encouraging, I read all 94 pages Wednesday night.

I am not interested in recounting all the scientific data the authors offered to prove their point, but their basic premise is that the problem with the sexes' communication "stems from a slight difference in the way sexes experience fear and shame (page 2)." Period. That's it. No joke. And as I continued reading the book, I actually came to believe that the core issues really are that simple.

The Woman's Perspective

Every reaction a woman has to every circumstance and/or situation she is faced with is based on her subconscious fear. (I might be exaggerating a little, but you get the idea.) From a very young age (babies), women are hypersensitive to fear - fear of abandonment, deprivation, rejection, discomfort, pain, etc. Supposedly, the biological reason behind this is because, back in the day, women had to be in constant contact with her children and the protectors in the group or else her and her children would be prey.

The book gives some great evidence and examples to prove this idea to be valid, and my life experience makes it applicable to me. I am uber-sensitive to closeness and distance in my relationships. The second something changes, I am instantly fearful, but when I feel close, I can relax. From page 41, "If a woman's natural fear of deprivation or isolation has been repeatedly stimulated throughout her life, she'll become anxious around any issue related to time investment, attention or contact. She can easily be seen as unreasonable or insatiable."

The problem? Men do not know what fear physically feels like. Research shows, according to the authors, that women (and even baby girls) are more fearful, afraid, frightened, anxious, worrisome and phobic than their male counterparts. Literally, females are not the protectors, men are, and therefore, men are not wired to be fearful, afraid, frightened, etc.

If your male partner cannot comprehend the feeling of your fear, it is nearly impossible for him to be truly empathetic to your plight. If he cannot understand it, he is probably not listening.

The insight to the female psyche this book provides describes me perfectly. Honestly, I am constantly afraid of being rejected, of being abandoned, of being physically harmed, of being deprived of basic needs like food. It is sad to say, but after reading this, I can see exactly how my fears have motivated my conversations in an attempt to reconnect with my husband and thus feel safe and comfortable, adored and connected.

The male side of this communication barrier is more difficult for me to understand (for obvious reasons) and so it is more difficult for me to recap. I want to try, though, because the flip side to my fears is important in bridging the gap in our communication. And from what I do understand, my husband is also pretty accurately described in this book.

The Man's Perspective

Every reaction a man has to every circumstance and/or situation he is faced with is based on his subconscious need to avoid shame, failure and feelings of incompetency. (Again, a mild exaggeration.) From a very young age, men are hypersensitive to abrupt stimulation, which leads to a propensity for hyper-arousal. Apparently, baby boys are five times more likely to be started by a lower stimulus (i.e. a stomach gurgle). This hyper-arousal instantly puts males in the fight or flight mode necessary when protecting and/or hunting. (Really?! Men are still cavemen?!!)

This sensitivity to hyper-arousal forces males from a very young age (babies, even) to instinctively guard against over-stimulation (because they are not always chasing down lions for lunch!). The book explains this by talking about the inability of baby boys to maintain eye contact. They can, but in order to avoid being overwhelmed, they choose to avoid focusing on your eyes for an extended period of time. If you look at his mouth, rather than deeply into his eyes, he will look into your eyes for longer periods of time. He wants the intimate interaction, but he cannot handle it. Often times, though, adults give up and change from an intimate interaction to an active one. This teaches the boys almost instantly that "if I like it too much, they will take it away if i do not do it right."

Remember in the beginning, I said that men will avoid shame and failure at all costs? Will that is where this fits in - if a boy learns that not doing it right will rob him of the opportunity to do it at all, he will stop trying to avoid shame AT ANY AND ALL COSTS.

Women, on the other hand, see all relationships (co-workers, friends, family, spouses) as an alliance. So, we tend to be humble. We cannot comprehend why a man refuses to ask for directions, because it is the choice to make for the betterment of the common good. It is not say men are entirely selfish - it is actually the opposite - men NEED to provide and protect. What women see as pride, men see as courage.

She Talks, He Hides

Page 2 has a great summation of the problem:

"The real reason women want to talk about her relationship (beneath frustration with the current situation), is a disconnection that makes her feel anxious, and on a deeper level, isolated and afraid. The real reason the man does NOT want to talk about the relationship is that her dissatisfaction with him makes him feel like a failure. He feels ashamed (subconsciously). His shame is too great to allow him to understand her fear and her fear keeps her from seeing his shame."

"Fear puts thoughts into your consciousness; shame keeps thoughts out of it."

--Pat Love and Steve Stosny in "How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It

His impulse when he feels shame is to HIDE. He disguises his shame with annoyance, impatience or even anger. Each time men reject our attempts to connect, our fears blind us to reality and we try to talk more (ever chased your husband around the house to continue an argument?). This communication barrier creates a vicious cycle which typically ends with men feeling angry, women feeling isolated, and no one extending a hand to try to understand the other's perspective (needless to say, the actual circumstance that sparked the battle never gets dealt with.) Interestingly, when women feel connected they do not feel the need to talk about "issues."

Because we require emotional connection for comfort, we do not understand (and are sometimes offended) that men deal with stress in ways opposite to ours (i.e. sitting on the computer for hours without any interaction with his wife). For men, however, relationships are NOT a reliable source of comfort. "Going to his relationship for comfort is like seeking solace from the enemy. Talking about the relationship, which is guaranteed to remind him of his inadequacy, is the last method he would chose for comfort. (page 16)."


Similar to how Chris and I have a different definition of “cherish”, men and women have a different definition of "security."

Basically, home and marriage is a safe place to man to unwind after a rough day. A place for peace, quiet, and love, so that when the world attacks him again tomorrow, he is refreshed. They are perfectly content watching TV with their entire family in a different room - as long as the family is present, his relationship is his security.

Women, on the other hand, "want to feel secure enough to relax in their relationship." This security comes from interactions with their men.

"He thinks he is honoring the relationship because he can relax with her in the room, and she thinks he is failing the relationship because he is not interacting with her. (page 50)"

I think the book, "The Five Love Languages" can be helpful, too.

And there's more!

The book goes on to offer invaluable insight regarding many typical relationship dilemmas.

  • logical vs. emotional thinking
  • abusive relationships
  • infidelity
  • emotional attunement
  • how our histories play a part in our relations and communication
  • what he is really thinking
  • what she is really feeling
  • understanding man's needs for routine

"Fear and shame keep us from hearing each other. The prerequisite for listening is feeling safe. No one feels safe when we are threatened by fear or shame."

I do not think Part Two of the book "How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It" is really going to tell me to NOT talk to my husband about any issues I may have. It might, but my guess is that the authors are going to explain how I can have better respect for our differences and approach my husband in a non-confrontational, non-threatening way so that both of us are compelled to listen.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I was more than happy to search out this ineetnrt-site.I wished to thanks on your time for this glorious learn!! I undoubtedly having fun with each little little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      My wife and i ended up being quite satisfied Ervin maagned to round up his research from your ideas he made out of your weblog. It is now and again perplexing just to always be releasing instructions which usually many others could have been selling. So we acknowledge we've got you to thank for this. All the explanations you've made, the straightforward web site menu, the friendships you assist to promote it's got everything incredible, and it is leading our son in addition to our family reason why the subject matter is fun, and that is tremendously important. Many thanks for everything!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Life can be very displeasing especially when we loose the ones we love and cherish so

      much.My husband abandoned me and my 2 kids and said he wanted new adventures.I asked what i had done wrong but he said nothing.He continued paying our bills but moved in with another woman i was so frustrated and atimes i will cry all night because i needed my husband by my side. all thanks to Dr Osaze, i was nearly loosing hope until i saw an article on how Dr Osaze cast a love spell to make lovers come back. There is no harm in trying, i said to my self. i contacted him via email and after 24 hrs my story changed. words will not be enough to appreciate what he has done for me. i have promised to share the testimony as long as i live because he brought back happiness and joy into my life.If you having any kind of problem in your relationship and you need your man back i RECOMMEND Dr Osaze.pls do contact him directly on

    • broussardleslie profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Broussard 

      9 years ago

      Thanks, Scott and Dohn for your comments. I am glad my hub was interesting enough to read all the way to the bottom ;)

      Women do have insecurity issues, Scott, and hopefully you will be patient and graceful and help her rather than add to those issues.

      Dohn, it is sometimes difficult to NOT try to change the person you are married to. But, you are right, that is NOT the solution.

      Thanks again, Guys.

    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I think that when some people get married, they fail to realize that they're not doing so to change or mold the other person to their liking. I've been told time and again by sages of married life that, "Marriage is not a reform school." This books certainly sounds intriguing enough to buy, Leslie. I hope that it continues to give you good sound advice.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I can't wait to get married and try this stuff out. Lord knows when I get famous I have no doubt my gorgeous starlet wife with the insecutity issues and I will have problems. You always have good stuff to read.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)