Book recc: “How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It”
I don’t read a lot of self-help. My time spent in that part of the book store is pretty much dedicated to the “there’s something weird going on with my kid” shelf. But a little while after my Disturbing my calm blog, I went looking for some paperback perspective.
What caught my eye was a fantastic title: How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. I mean, talk about a book your husband WANTS to see you reading. (Oh yes, I downloaded it to our joint Kindle account.) And, the sample chapter really caught my attention. So, purchase, download, devour. This book described to me some of the exact scenarios we play out in our house again and again. That’s always a big bonus, because the author is addressing my specific issues.
To sum up greatly: the book says that (generally speaking) men are driven by shame avoidance, and women are driven by fear avoidance…fear of being alone, unloved, etc. We want to, for example, talk a lot to connect and feel secure, but men feel like those talks are just long exposes on how badly they’re doing. The authors cover the reasons and evidence that this is so, and discuss what to do about it.
The biggest thing this book did for me is give me understanding. I get what’s going on a lot better now, and why. Even better, I get how I’m part of the problem. And if I’m part of the problem, then there’s something I can do to make things better! (I am at least old enough to understand you can’t “fix” another person…) That’s a relief. It’s also a relief that the solution isn’t a bunch of stupid, shitty tricks, or anything unrealistic. Or even anything you have to discuss with your partner. You just…start being a better partner yourself, in a few specific ways.
So in short, I recommend this book for anyone in a committed relationship. If you read it and say “Well duh, I already knew all of this”, then good on you…you’re ahead of the curve. Everyone else: get thee some perspective.