How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking about It Full Review

Dealing with Shame and Fear in marraige

Learning to Love Beyond Words

First Impressions

I wasn’t paid for this review and I am not a professional book reviewer. I was skeptical and my wife was downright opposed to the idea that marriage could be improved without talking.  I showed my kids the book and their responses said volumes.  My daughter laughed at the title and my son responded with an enthusiastic “cool”.  What is going on under the surface that these two kids understand at 11 and 12 years old?  This book is all about finding love beyond words.

“When it comes to “talking about the relationship,” men know something that most women don’t.  Research and our combined fifty-plus years of clinical experience show repeatedly that, despite your best intentions, talking about your relationship has more of a chance of making it worse than making it better.”  If you are skeptical at this point I don’t blame you.  But ask yourself, as the authors did, if all that talking you are doing, is making your marriage better?

The Cycle of Fear and Shame

The cycle Love and Stosny describe is so common to married couples.  “Women want to talk about the relationship because they’re upset and want to feel better.  Men don’t want to talk because talking won’t make them feel better. In fact, it will make them feel worse!”  So he walks away in frustration and she chases after him.  At this point the conversation usually escalates.  He needs to be alone and she needs to feel the connection.  At this point, they are feeling fear and shame, their deepest insecurities have come true.  Their marriage is at great risk.

Change Marriage without talking about it

The Cycle of Fear and Shame

Improve Your Marriage Without Talking

You have been trying communication for years and it doesn’t work.  So it’s not about communication.  Improving your marriage is really about motivation and connection.  “Research shows that people work at their best, with maximum concentration and efficiency, when their relationships are the strongest.”  Do yourself a favor and improve your marriage without talking about it.

How to Get a Closer Relationship with a Man

His greatest fear is that he isn’t enough.  His response to feeling inadequate is to hide.  Here is how to bring him out of it without talking, because talking makes it worse.

  • Touch him to create a connection
  • Share an activity or be present while he does something enjoyable
  • Notice his routine habits and help protect them from chaos
  • Have sex more often

These four behaviors, when consistently done, will produce such a calm and soothing experience for him that he will be highly motivated to talk.  These four behaviors will “tell him” he is enough. When he feels like he is enough for you, he will risk talking to you.

Never Leave Her Alone

Her greatest fear is to be alone.  Here are 35 behaviors, when consistently done, will produce such a connection for her that she will be highly motivated to love.  These behaviors will “tell her” she is not alone.  When she feels connected and protected, she will risk loving you.  Women don’t share love to get closer like men do; they share vulnerabilities.

At Home
  • Acknowledge that it is your responsibility to keep your home life functioning satisfactorily
  • Appreciate specific things she does for the home and family
  • Do your share of chores, management, and meal prep, make it a shared activity
  • Do the chores you agreed to with excellence and efficiency
  • Notice what needs to be done and do it without being asked
  • Willingly pay for help to maintain the residence
  • Notice when she makes an upgrade to the house
  • Pick up stuff, pick up after yourself and others
In Her Dreams
  • Learn her dreams and keep them in mind when making decisions
  • Understand her dreams change, you need to update regularly
  • Understand her dreams are different than yours
  • You have the ability to cause feelings of happiness or unhappiness
  • Become the guardian of her dreams and make fulfilling and honoring them a priority
  • Take pleasure in helping make her dreams come true (Leadership)
In the Midst of Daily Life
  • Suggest and plan activities that include her
  • Ensure that each week includes activities you enjoy together
  • Pay attention to her when you are out in public together
  • Develop rituals for time at home that include her: sharing coffee together, cleaning the kitchen together, watching birds
  • Increase contact time with her- meet for lunch on workday, make physical contact more frequently without it leading to sex
In Bed
  • Pay attention to her when sex isn’t the motivation
  • Let her know she is beautiful, attractive, desirable, sexy, in ways that are not foreplay
  • Pay attention to her sexual needs and notice if she’s satisfied or not
  • Accept that her sexual needs are different from yours
  • Become an expert in turning her on mentally and sexually
  • Understand that she wants a great sex life
  • Become a great sex partner
When You Don’t Feel Like It
  • Acknowledge any symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger, alcoholism, drug use, pornography, or other behavioral health issues
  • Get help for your problems: get a physical, get treatment for alcoholism, depression, and other behavior issues
  • Use resources to treat your problems.  Use personal development resources like books, life coaching, leadership training, and exercise to become your best self and increase your quality and quantity of time together
When She is Afraid
  • Understand and modify your display of anger. The angrier you are, the scarier you are.  Don’t be scary
  • Chronic resentment, angry outbursts, verbal aggression, emotional abuse, violence, have no place in relationships. Get help. Call a skilled counselor who understands and believes in gender differences to get the help you need
In Her Success
  • Fulfill your role as a protector and provider by guarding her emotional well-being.  Look out for her, you know the weight of responsibility, help her carry the burden through love and connection
When She is Alone
  • Maintain various connections that make coming together easy and obvious when you have had alone time
  • When you need space be sure to have a plan for reconnecting and do so
  • Make this plan known before time apart, “I can’t talk right now (because I have a meeting, need time to find words), nothing is wrong between us, and I am looking forward to telling you all about it tonight.”

I have to say this was an eye opening book.  I loved it.  As a man, I felt understood.  There are so many books that send the message “men are not enough” and I am thankful that this is not one of them.  If you have a son or daughter they need to learn this.  The insight will change their lives.  If you are familiar with Love and Respect this will add much to the “crazy cycle”.  You will understand the “crazy cycle” is based on fear and shame.  This makes stopping it so much easier.  I do believe that you can improve your marriage without talking about it.  Men need a handful of things and women need a list of things.  We have been telling each other this for a long long time.  Maybe it’s time we accepted it as true.

Knowing better and doing better are different things.  If new ideas are helpful but they aren’t producing the traction you need to move things forward then maybe we can help.  Visit our Services Page to learn more about our coaching and counseling services.