The article, “Sex, Lies and Conversation”, by Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics, distinctively informs us about the importance of conversation and how it drastically affects marriages. Aimed at married couples and people in serious relationships; Tannen, explains marriages are being destroyed because men express themselves more freely in public rather than at home “(Tannen 2)”. Tannen enlightens us with the similarities between men and boys and women and girls. For the latter “intimacy is the fabric of relationships, and talk is the thread from which it is woven…So a woman expects her husband to be a new and improved version of a best friend” “(Tannen 9)”. Men and boys on the other hand have bonds “based less on talking and more on doing things together. Since they don’t assume talk is the cement that binds a relationship, men don’t know what kind of talk women want and they don’t miss it when it’s not there” “(Tannen 10)”. Men and women view marriage and conversation completely different in saying “women’s conversational habits are as frustrating to men as men’s are to women” “(Tannen 18)”. Ending relationships and divorce are not solely based on conversation or the lack there of, yet, it is a fundamental element in our everyday lives and it should be understood by each participant so a clear understanding of what the other is feeling is reached and interpreted correctly. It is in these misconceptions and this miscommunication, Tannen believes, that we
have record numbers of divorce but “Once the problem is understood, improvement will come naturally…” “(Tannen 24)”.
Tannen, Deborah. Sex, Lies and Conversation; Why Is It So Hard for Men and Women to Talk to Each Other? Professor of linguistics at Georgetown University.