Learn More, Less Talk Incentive

How to Improve Your Relationship Without Talking About It Book CoverThe goal of the Learn More, Talk Less Incentive is to encourage couples (married and unmarried) to learn fundamental principles about how men and women behave in relationships before you learn to rely on talking to connect and solve conflicts. By reading this book you will be able to retire old assumptions that can potentially trap you in cycle of disconnection and learn how to become open to new ideas about your partner, yourself, and the relationship.
The Incentive is this: I will give you a $25 dollar discount toward one of your couples sessions if you read the book How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, by Dr. Patricia Love and Dr. Stephen Stosny. Score 70% on the quiz to demonstrate you have read the book (there is no limit on how many times you can take the quiz).
Why would I pay you to read a book about talking less when I get paid to help people talk more? The reason is simple: I find that couples that read this book before or during couples therapy have better outcomes. There is no other book that I recommend to couples with such confidence. The truth is that there are many, many wonderful books about all imaginable aspects of relationships. Yet none seems to capture the essence of what heterosexual couples struggle with like this one.

BOOK SUMMARY: How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, by Dr. Patricia Love and Dr. Stephen Stosny
Starting in the Right Gear

Talking is not the problem. Talking about your relationship is a necessary gear into which all couples must know how to shift. The problem is that most couples use talking as the first and only method of connecting–the equivalent of first gear–when it should be more like a second or third gear. The first gear should be to make the basic assumption that the other person’s reality has a logic and order. This means you would believe that, in your partner’s world, all things are happening for a reason that can be readily understood and appreciated if you can absorb enough information. This “first-gear” that most of us forget about is what I call pre-validation. When you don’t understand or are frustrated with your partner about something, pre-validation is like saying, “you must make sense, I just need help seeing that sense.”

couple_relaxing_together.jpgHow to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It is a expert’s guide on how to see the sense that your partner of the opposite sex makes. You will get a jump start on understanding the sometimes complicated, sometimes simple reasons your partner does that thing that drives you crazy and why criticizing it is like asking for more of it. Specific chapters tell you about important reasons for neurobiological differences between you and the average person of the opposite sex. Here is an excerpt from the chapter titled “The Silent Male: What He’s Thinking and Feeling:”

Although men can seem cold and indifferent, they are actually a lot more susceptible to feeling overwhelmed by their emotions. Most of their anger, emotional shutdown, and seemingly cold intellectual analysis is a defense against feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Remember, a male feels an enormous amount of physical and psychological discomfort when he experiences the jolt of hyperarousal-and he’s always guarding against it. When a woman asks him to “get in touch with his feelings,” it’s like asking him to get in touch with a red-hot horseshoe. He was conditioned early in life to hide his emotions, not necessarily to regulate them….By the time he’s an adult, his emotions are like an invisible clitoris; you should not be too direct too quickly.

I’d be willing to bet you haven’t heard that analogy before!

The authors hit the nail on the head so perfectly that couples often return to me, jaws dropped, saying, “They are talking about me.” But unlike other popular books about gender differences in relationships, How to Improve is a direct guide on how to use the information you learn about your partner to connect, both with and without words. There is a chapter for men called “The Worst Thing a Man Does to a Woman: Leaving Her Alone But Married.” And there is a chapter for women called “The Worst Thing a Woman Does to a Man: Shaming.”

At the end of the day you still have to talk to your partner and I will still have a job helping people do that. If you take advantage of the Learn More, Talk Less Incentive, you get to keep some cash and also make my job a lot easier!