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January 05, 2017

At a Loss for Conversation in Your Marriage



Question: Dr. Dobson, when my husband and I were dating, we could talk for hours about anything and everything. Now that we're married, we go out to dinner and have nothing to say to each other. What has gone wrong? Richard just keeps his thoughts to himself.

Answer: Millions of couples experience that transformation. They talk endlessly before marriage but find themselves with little to say a few years after. When the courtship is over, some people find it very difficult to express their feelings openly and honestly. That is more true of men than women as a general rule.

Research makes it clear that little girls are blessed with greater linguistic ability than little boys, and it remains a lifelong talent. Simply stated, she talks more than he. As an adult, she typically expresses her feelings and thoughts far better than her husband and is often irritated by his reticence. God may have given her fifty thousand words per day and her husband only twenty-five thousand. He comes home from work with 24,975 used up and merely grunts his way through the evening. He may descend into Monday-night football while his wife is dying to expend her remaining twenty-five thousand words.

Every knowledgeable marriage counselor knows that the inability or unwillingness of husbands to reveal their inner thoughts to their wives is one of the common complaints of women. A wife wants to know what her husband is thinking and what happened at his office and how he sees the children and, especially, how he feels about her. The husband, by contrast, finds some things better left unsaid. It is a classic struggle.

You and Richard can overcome the problem if you will get it out in the open and agree to work together on communication. It is a key to successful marriage.

From Dr. Dobson's book Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide.

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