By Dean Steinberg
Recently I have been having an onslaught of couples in my private practice entering therapy primarily because they say they "can't communicate." As they go on to report their behavior and actions with one another, it turns out that they are communicating perfectly well, but what they are communicating is that they can't stand one another. Upon digging a bit, the truth often is that they really love one another yet they are communicating something completely different than how they feel. Therefore the problem is not that they "can’t communicate," it is that they are communicating the wrong feeling.
A marital counselor would do well by clients to simply say, "be sweet," especially to the wife. They're born of women, and what do many of them have from the beginning of their lives, a woman (mom), cooing over them, kissing, hugging, saying sweet things—if a woman wants a man to melt in their hands, just be sweet. Guys are low maintenance; feed them, be sweet, make love to them, that's how they recognize the love, attachment, and bonding. If a woman does this, the couple will never have to see a marriage counselor again.
A couple cannot resolve all the problems in their lives, all the problems of the day—finances, kids, dogs, neighbors, taxes—you cannot always work all that stuff out. And if the only way you can imagine having a good marriage is when all those things can be managed, talked about, argued about, worked out, then you will never have a good marriage; nor any peace. That is the constant crap that is always surfacing in our lives. If it needs to be fixed for a couple to then be happy with one another then you better hold hands and jump off a cliff together. Want to fix your relationship. I am giving you the two words that may save you thousands in couples counseling. Be Sweet.
By Dean Steinberg