I’ve been married for 36 years. Back in my 20’s, after a disastrous first marriage, I couldn’t even imagine being with the same man for that long. Of course, it was the height of the “free love” decade and I definitely bought into all of that “do what feels good” chatter. But, unplanned and unexpectedly, I met my husband, moved in with him and married, all in the space of 3 months. And here we are, 36 years later.
Am I happy in my marriage? A few weeks ago, I would have decidedly said “no.” But, as another part of my quest to make my life be what I want it to be, I remembered something I heard a long time ago. Would I be better off with or without my husband. In spite of all the irritations and lack of communication, the answer I came to was definitely that I’m better off with him. Because I’m taking the future into my own hands, I decided to figure out what was really wrong and how I could make it better – for myself, if nothing else.
I’ve read that as many as 80% of divorces occur because the husband and wife have “grown apart.” “Lack of communication” is also cited frequently by couples visiting marriage therapists. In my research, I’ve discovered that it is not so much a lack of communication as it is a “disconnection” that causes once loving men and women to grow apart.
Research and clinical experience have shown that the majority of men want closer and deeper emotional connections just as much as women do. At first blush, I thought “No way – he never wants to talk about what’s wrong or how to fix it!”. Come on, haven’t you had the same thoughts before?
But I’ve learned that my reaction is caused by a basic misunderstanding of the difference between men and women.
How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Patricia Love, Ed.d and Steven Stosny, Ph.d. seemed like a perfect fit for my quest. Since involving my husband in discussions, counselling and other forms of therapy has never seemed to end up in the result I wanted, I am determined to figure this out, or at least chart a new path, on my own. And, as I read the very first chapter, I realized that, in addition to other books listed in the resources section of this blog, there are many, many things I do not know.
So, I’ll be reading and absorbing, then recording the important revelations I come to here. I hope you’ll follow along and you’re welcome to take from this what might pertain to your life.