Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How to improve your marriage without talking about it


My wife is currently reading a book titled How To Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. She reads it, and then she talks to me about it. Which seems to me to defeat the point. But whatever. We've been to marriage counseling before, and I'm on board with improving things, whether through talking or the silent treatment. It's just that Lindsay sometimes makes it confusing about which we're doing.

This was the conversation that we just had:
Lindsay: Take this survey.
Me: What for?
Lindsay: It measures your fear and shame in our relationship.
Me: I'm busy right now.
Lindsay: Let me explain why you are not too busy to take this survey. 
Lindsay proceeds to talk about our marriage.
Me: I thought we weren't supposed to be talking about this stuff.
Lindsay: We're not talking about it.
Me: We are. We're talking about it right now. I remember, because I was here when the conversation started five minutes ago, and it's still going.
Lindsay: I'm just saying words. They don't mean anything. (sudden silence)
She actually said that. And it's definitely going to come back to bite her. I don't know much about history, or biology, or a science book, or the French I took, but I definitely know a good button to push when I come across it.

So I took the survey, and I look forward to deconstructing it with Lindsay later tonight, perhaps paired with a little defensiveness and stonewalling, after which we'll try some active listening and then we'll hug it out.


12 comments:

  1. *sobbing* You don't even care about creating a "love beyond words"! (Or with words, lot of words.)

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    1. If "love beyond words" means lots of grunting and strange noises, something pre-language, I'm on board.

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  2. First- Love the Sam Cooke reference. Second- Your post came at the perfect time. I have only been married for two years and was just thinking what tricky business this communication stuff is. Glad to know I'm no the only one.

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    1. Happy to help! If only we could just do one really kick-ass round of communication that could be referred to in all future conflicts. But no, apparently the whole communication thing is an ongoing process, never to be completely achieved, always to be sought after. Ugh.

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  3. Totally funny post, but at the end my only thought was "where are their chairs?"

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    1. In my experience, wall-sits make communication a lot easier.

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  4. Neal wouldn't let me sit in a chair during our actual conversation either. No one knows what I suffer.

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  5. Very funny. I gotta get that book because my wife and I don't have time to talk about jack. Kids get in the way of raising kids, and marriages.
    I have just finished going through your archives and really enjoy your blog. Those stick figures rule. Good luck as you proceed. (I too have several pictures of my twin boys trapped under the frame of a pappasan, as in "Things we cram our daughter in")

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    1. I think Rambo might have been trapped in a Papasan in Vietnam at one point in the movie.

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  6. I laughed out loud and read it to my husband, and at the end, he laughed a little with me. I must brag a little, before I read him the post, I had to tell him about the book*. Yes, I managed to read the whole thing and not tell my husband a word about it yet. (I almost did right before in the book it said not to; one of these days, or years, realistically, I'll shove it under his nose though.) So I told about 4 of my best girl friends about it instead.

    Oh, and I know about buttons too. In January 2006 my husband unwittingly said, "It helps to talk." and I have NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let him forget it.

    *Which I told Lindsay about. I'd apologize, Neal, except that I truly don't feel sorry. Someday you'll know enough to thank me. :)

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    1. I've actually found myself on the side of defending the book a few times in conversation with Lindsay. It was unsettling to be in such a position.

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