Behavior is learned from the past 

Smiling senior couple jogging in the park (iStock: Lordn)


I have gotten to the point of feeling pretty neglected in my marriage. I am a pretty sensitive person and I have taken this problem to heart. I’m not saying that my spouse is to blame, but if I bring up a problem between us, he will either ignore me or sometimes he just walks away. This behavior seems very rude to me, and I’m willing to look at myself in regard to this problem, but the bottom line is that we do not even have the conversation.  

I really care about my husband, and I do think he loves me, but this issue is very upsetting to me. I have thought that nothing much has changed over the years so I can’t think of what to do to make this issue better. I’m fearful that he has been holding on to things for years and has never spoken of it.  


Juanita Sanchez - "Problem"
Juanita Sanchez – “Problem”

I believe that men and women communicate in much different ways. A lot of our communication is based on what we learned in our family. That by itself is a problem, because we are likely to repeat what we learned. Your family may have learned to communicate in a way that didn’t work well. If you followed in their footsteps you may just be repeating what didn’t work well then and it does not work well now.  

Simple fundamentals help: 

Read the Four Agreements and apply the principles: 
1. Be impeccable with your word, speak your truth. 
2. Do not take things personally. People do what they do because of them not you. 
3. Do not assume that you can read minds. 
4. Do the best that you can. 

My simple guidelines are check your tone and what you are about to say. If it is hurtful, harmful, critical, or demeaning—save your breath. Ask yourself if you would like to be spoken to that way? If you would not like it said to you in that manner, don’t say it. If you ask a question, you might add “I’m trying to understand, could you help me?”

I guess the bottom line is respect, respect, respect. Most of us have faulty communication, and it can always be improved. Be patient. Ask for help from a therapist or someone you can trust. Keep your marital issues private. Look for solutions and ask what your part of the problem is.  

To submit problems, contact Juanita Sanchez, psychotherapist, by email at [email protected] or through High Plains Journal