How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It

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Product Description

Men are right. The “relationship talk” does not help. Dr. Patricia Love’s and
Dr. Steven Stosny’s How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It
reveals the stunning truth about marital happiness:

Love is not about better communication.
It's about connection.

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 has to act like a woman.

Talking makes women move closer;
it makes men move away.

The secret of the silent male is this:
his wife supplies the meaning in his life.

The stunning truth about love is that talking doesn’t help.

Have you ever had this conversation with your spouse?

Wife: “Honey, we need to talk about us.”
Husband: “Do we have to?”

Drs. Patricia Love and Steven Stosny have studied this all-too-familiar dynamic between men and women and have reached a truly shocking conclusion. Even with the best of intentions, talking about your relationship doesn’t bring you together, and it will eventually drive you apart.

The reason for this is that underneath most couples’ fights, there is a biological difference at work. A woman’s vulnerability to fear and anxiety makes her draw closer, while a man’s subtle sensitivity to shame makes him pull away in response. This is why so many married couples fall into the archetypal roles of nagging wife/stonewalling husband, and why improving a marriage can’t happen through words.

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.

Customer Reviews:

  • What great insights to improving your relationship
    As a couple counsellor I have found the insights in this book the most refreshing information for years. It makes so much sense and is so simple yet so profound. anyone wanting to create a safer and more intimate relationship must read this book....more info
  • My absolute favorite marriage & divorce-busting book!
    This book's name and the cover design really does not do it justice. It's for anyone in a man/woman relationship, no matter what their age. I have highly recommended it to my 21 year old daughter. Michele Wiener-Davis ("Divorce Busting") is my "marriage guru," and I see that she recommends it too.

    My marriage was having problems and it got so that no matter what I said or how I said it, my husband freaked out and complained that I was "digging." I became desperate and didn't have any idea what I was doing wrong. I needed knowledge and action and I needed it fast.

    I had studied assertiveness training and knew how to use "I statements" but they just were not working at all. And nothing could convince my husband to use them, let alone understand them. In order to use an assertive "I statement" you first have to be able to identify the feelings behind your statement. Some men can learn this but my hubby couldn't.

    If you've ever wondered why your man over-reacts and gets angry or withdraws no matter how you approach him, then you must read this book now (you can also buy a version at e-books if you just can't wait, like me). If you love biological psychology, you will go for this author's theories about the origins of men's tendency toward hyper-arousal, and women's deep need for connection.

    Not only does it explain it all in easy to understand language, but it actually tells you what to do to correct the problem of driving your man away by talking to him. This book could save you thousands of dollars in wasted money with marriage counselors. It will turn you on your head if you believe that lots and lots of verbal communication and analyzing is the key to a good marriage.

    This book is worth it's weight in gold to me, and I'm hoping maybe the author will come out with a sequel! ...more info
  • A must read for anyone who wants to be in a relationship
    I have been reading this book nonstop. I was curious if it has helped others as much as it has helped me! It looks like it has.

    This is a fantastic book, it not only has been helping my relationship with my husband without him knowing why, but I see so many of my friends relationship problems explained in front of my eyes! Not only the explanations but how to fix things.
    Thank you for this book....more info
  • A really good approach to helping marriage
    This book was recommended by a friend. I liked it so well I bought copies for all five of my children (all married), and copies for some other people too. It has some very basic concepts well put. It is especially good for situations where there is reluctance to go to marriage counseling, showing that the individuals in the relationship can help the relationship better if they understand the challenges facing the other person. ...more info
  • How to improve your marriage without reading about it.
    I've been trying desperately to get through this book. It has some good points but the writing is so bad that it is painful and hard work to read. I can only handle a few pages a night. And I'm usually one to devour a book. Not worth it my opinion. The few points - shame vs fear is pretty much covered in the first chapter. After that? Downhill. Sorry!...more info
  • Helpful Facts
    As someone who is usually in some spiritual conversation about marriage and relationships, this book has been so helpful. The concrete differences between the sexes are important to know and not try to fix. The second half of the book starts out with compassion being the answer. It is the only answer.

    I Love It. I gave it away and have to buy a new copy for myself...more info
  • Required Reading
    This is the best explanation of the differences of how men and women think. This should be required reading for ALL high schoolers. Absolute Required Reading for all couples comptemplating marriage !!!
    A MUST for all married couples !!!...more info
  • The best book on marriage I've ever read
    Of all of the marriage improvement books I've ever read, this one is the most straightforward and lacks the "fluff" you sometimes have to drag yourself through reading before you get to the meat of the book. There is a clear, educated explanation for each of their suggestions for improving your marriage that can be put into action immediately. This isn't a book that is one-sided toward the male or female of the relationship. Both husbands and wives are given clear advice on how to deal with the person of the opposite sex. This book makes it clear that men and women are different without being degrading to either sex. Equal, but different seems to be their thoughts on men vs. women....more info
  • Wonderful wonderful book!!
    My husband (of nine years) and I are having trouble, and despite a couple of visits over the years to a therapist we both respect and like, we may be heading toward a divorce (his choice). I began reading this book, and then began reading it out loud to him. (I always read to him while he drives us to and from work; we've gotten through many, many history and philosophy books, and the very occasional marriage and intersex relations books.)

    When I would ask if I should continue reading, he always said yes. (!) He was surprised and disappointed when I reached the end of the book. This book explains SO much about the conflicting ways we see things, and each other! Especially this, from page 196:
    The Compassion Paradox: If Available Whenever Needed, It's Rarely Needed

    Research shows that when people - men and women - feel secure that compassion and support will be there if they need it, they are far more independent. Worry that it won't be available when needed creates a deprivation mentality. You can think of deprivation mentality the following way. If you haven't eaten for over a week, are you likely to hold out for a gourmet dinner and eat it with your napkin in place and cut up your food carefully? Or will you shovel whatever food you can get into your mouth as fast as you can? You're likely to resemble a hungry wolf more than a well-mannered diner. Well, the last thing you want is for your partner to be as hungry as a wolf for emotional support. That will make her think about her emotional needs all the time and want more and more attention, until it seems to you that she can never get enough. The trick is applying preventive compassion in small doses, so that she knows it will always be there when she needs it. Once she knows that, she will hardly ever need it.

    The book also discusses at length the physiological reactions of both sexes, and how that plays out in our reactions to each other. Starting at birth, males react more strongly, and act to avoid over-stimulation (hence, for instance, the boy baby looking away from a direct gaze way sooner than a girl baby who enjoys it. Boy babies enjoy it too, but it it too stimulating and so they must look away and look back to reduce their stress.) Girls and women "repair' relationship breaches and problems by talking; for men talking makes then feel worse (physiologically -- not emotionally or mentally...)

    Fantastic book -- buy it whether you're married or not; it will help you understand ALL the men (and women) around you!...more info
  • Very useful-A guide to the thought processes of the opposite sex.
    The authors have some short essays on the web. Check them out, they very accurately represent the book. A guide to the thought processes of the opposite sex. Very useful....more info
    The way men and women have communicated throughout the ages has not always been the best way. We seem to have different methods of getting our message across, and they are very dissimilar. Thank goodness for this book, which will explain these differences and, even better, what to do about them. Communicating is not always talking, which is why I would also recommend The Sensuous Couple's (Flip Over) Guide to Seismic Oral Sex, which explains an oral form of communication that does not involve words, but speaks volumes...more info
  • A Light Came On
    I have read a lot of relationship material. When I read this book, a light came on that wasn't on before. I am referring to understanding how women and men translate communication based on their primary issues which are fear or shame - put very generally. Knowing this allowed me to take another step in my personal development because I could now stop reacting to what my partner was saying and understand more fully why she was saying it. Sounds simple, but is extremely profound....more info
  • I can't believe how much this has helped.
    This book was recommended by someone I looked to for help when things got tough in my household. It's best if both spouses read this book but although my husband hasn't read this, I have and have learned an incredible amount of information to improve my relationship! I think the world of this book! If you have a spouse that doesn't talk much but would like more connecting in your marriage, pick up this book. ...more info
  • Resenting your partner? The "magic" gone? Get back on track. Get this book!
    I gave this book only 5 stars because that is as high as the rating system will allow. It provides both men and women with the means of understanding themselves and their partner in ways that lead to trust and respect toward themselves and each other. It is a truly empowering work for both men and women. The authors share their understanding grounded in years of practical experience working with relationships that have gone wrong and even suffer from abuse. The authors provide a basic understanding of the biological basis for the differences in the perception of men and women that create shame in men and anxiety (fear) in women. Knowing and appreciating the nature of these differences helps you understand and have compassion for your partner (and yourself!) when struggling. When you have compassion for others you would never knowingly harm them. Using the guidelines offered in the book help create a bond of mutual appreciation and understanding. Men and women have different "realities" created by evolutionary selection. This is a condition to be understood and dealt with compassionately. It is not a problem to be "solved" by making men more like women and women more like men. It acknowledges men and women are simply different, not wrong, not right, just different. The book provides various surveys that will help the reader become conscious of exactly what the differences are and what how to honor the differences. It offers many suggestions on how to prevent resentment from creeping into relationships. It also shows you how to maintain your own emotional well-being by discovering, developing and accessing your own core values. ...more info
  • Very helpful book, also well-written
    This book is very well-written and is very helpful for couples working on making their marriage better. Like all marriage books, there are some generalizations in this book, but overall the ideas expressed in this book are backed by research and the experience of the authors.

    As a student completing his dual masters in marriage and family therapy and mental health counseling, and also as a husband, I found the book helpful and useful and it rang true for me in many ways. My wife also enjoyed the book as well, and found it mostly accurate and helpful.

    ...more info
  • Enlightening book
    This book showed me how all the things I was told to do in other self-help books was errored- and how they didn't work. It shows why the most dreaded sentence to a husband is "We need to talk".

    Girl-don't treat your husband like a girlfriend- it's not going to work!

    It's a must-read!
    ...more info
  • Superb new book
    This book is a well written insightful workable guide to improving your marriage without those interminable talks that never get you anywhere.
    I think it is the best book on marriage I have ever read.
    It discusses the differences in our reaction to stress (tend and befriend for women, fight or flight for men). So just when we want to talk, he wants to isolate or starts a fight because he finds talking torturous. You may have noticed this with your husband. I have.
    The book is full of good workable suggestions, too. Get it. You will be happy you did.
    One of the other reviews was very negative, and it sounded like the woman was facing emotional abuse, and perhaps giving it too. Anyhow Steven Stosny has another excellent book, You Don't Have To Take It Anymore, about living with emotional abuse. It even has a Boot Camp in it for emotional abusers. He deals with compassion, not shame, as the solution. His books have changed my life. I can't praise them too highly....more info
    As a professional Psychotherapist I am recommending this book to all my clients. It reads easily, has very important data, and good humor through out. It helps to take a step further in the understanding that we are different creatures in gender and to get this so that we may move onto real relationship. I highly recommend it for all who dare to be in relationship and do their personal work! My husband loves it too!...more info
  • good insight
    I don't know if all the assertions about the driving forces 'fear' and 'shame' are accurate or not (I'm thinking not, at least not to the extent they take it), but it brings a different and helpful perspective to some situations... something to consider. I can atually say that this book improved my marriage somewhat. My marriage was already good, but I heard the author on the gayle king show and I found the perspective she took fresh and she hit on things I had totally overlooked. The book cast some of my husband's behavior in a different light and that alone was an improvement and the advice was generally good also. I think he feels more understood now.. he seems to, but I cant be sure because I didn't ask ;)
    ...more info
  • Wow!
    Extraordinary book. I devoured it. Immensely readable, AND the information illuminated man women relationships in a shifted brilliant and enormously useful manner. It has shifted all my relationships--even the best of them--powerfully. ...more info
  • Very Good Book for Women to read
    This is a very interesting book and seems to hit the nail on the head from my perspective. I think this is a very very good book for women to read. Both male and female will get validated from this book but it also is a must read for women who are in the belief that their man is the issue....more info
  • Excellent
    My wife and I have read several relationship books, this by far spoke volumes to both of us. We wanted a relationship tune-up and we got it. And no, we don't have to talk much about it, the content speaks for itself and we both feel more understood....more info
  • Not Just For Married Folk
    Patricia Love Ed.D and Steven Stosny Ph.D, two reknown voices in the field of counseling, have put together a book of guidelines by which any committed couple might find comfort in learning. The book, contrary to its title, does not limit its value to married couples. The premise of the book suggests that it is through awareness and action (and sometimes inaction)that we can affect our relationships in the most meaningful way. It speaks of the differences in men and women in terms of how they process the same situation differently, and helps to empower each by offering coping mechanisms to avoid the conflicts that so often erupt when one doesn't understand the other. This is a book that places less emphasis on talking (which tends to shut men down) and more emphasis on staying connected in other significant ways (which tends to help women feel loved and valued). This is a book for anyone who wants to add to their arsenal of tools to help them navigate the ever present challenges of marriage/committed relationships. And it is important to note that one does not have to be in trouble or fighting all the time to benefit from this book--it is a great learning tool full of helpful strategies for achieving and maintaining healthy relationships, no matter the current state of the relationship. ...more info
  • Opened my mind
    My wife and I have sort of a reversed relationship compared to what is described in this book. I'm outgoing, and I have tried unsuccessfully to get her, an introvert, to discuss our relationship. This book presented several observations that reflected on my marriage situation in the reverse of usual male/female patterns. It also gave usable suggestions to do just what the title says!...more info
  • Some good points, but...
    I'm the wife of the poster above who thought the book was so awesome. I agree that the book made some good points and offered a ton of good explanations for why it's so hard for men and women to resolve relationship issues. I also offer a word of warning. Take the advice offered with a grain of salt. From what I can see, the author is giving both men and women a way out of acting like adults and taking responsibility for their own actions. You can't just talk to your spouse or treat them any kind of way and justify it because you feel you've been "wronged" due to clouded perception from fear/shame . It's not your spouse's responsibility to learn to control these emotions. Anything your spouse says can be misinterpreted through the cloud of fear/shame/inadequacy/anxiety/guilt and every other emotion you want to toss into the pot. I am not wrong every time something I say or do stimulates a negative emotion in my spouse and the same goes for him. This is a learned response that is no one's fault. If you have this response, it's up to you to control your reaction to it...not your spouse's. It's also not your spouse's responsibility to read your mind...which is what this book advocates (without saying it, of course). Any psychologist will tell you that mind reading is BAD. But if your spouse won't tell you what's wrong out of fear of shame, what else are you left to do? What happens when you're wrong and it's not a fear/shame response? You're left to assume too much when communication is taken out of the picture. No matter how uncomfortable it is, good communication skills are vital to a relationship. No, women don't ALWAYS have to nag to get their point across and men don't ALWAYS have to avoid to keep from getting dumped on. This book reminds me of an infomercial that takes human incapability to the extreme (we just can't help ourselves, brain chemicals and all) and THIS BOOK has the answer!

    The book also has a few other surprises at the end. One of them concerning sex. I could write a whole other review on that alone. Again, take this advice with a grain of salt. I've been married for 5 1/2 years and I have to tell you that no matter how wonderful my dear husband thinks this book is...none of that is gonna fly in this house.

    I think the author had good intentions and there is some good information given, which is why I gave the book 2 stars. But in my honest opinion, I say, save the money that you were going to spend on this book and put it toward a copay for a good psychotherapist....more info
  • The Best Relationship Book Ever Read
    This is the best relationship book I have ever read. It gives such clear explanations for common problems like why he gets upset in the car when I get afraid, why I can't leave him alone when he asks me for a time out, why I feel deprived when he worries about my spending, even though I have lots of money to spend. We read large parts of it aloud to each other and both cried. It is so much more effective than any marriage counseling we have tried. I have ordered additional copies for my best friends. This is a wonderful help, if you really want to improve your relationship and don't mind admitting that you're not always right....more info


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