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As a child, each of us was told, “You’ve got to learn to think before you speak.” But I’ve seen we need to refine that edict if we want a great marriage: we’ve got to learn to think before we blurt!

And it turns out that those of us who happen to be of the female gender need to be particularly mindful of this concept. Why? Well, we already tend to be more verbal than our husbands — but we also tend to process out loud. If we’re not careful, that can trigger an all-too-common problem.

In our research with men, it was clear that one of a man’s most painful feelings comes when he tries to do something (fix the sink, dress the kids, find a new route around construction to the restaurant), and then gets the sense that he’s inadequate: that his wife has examined him and found him wanting.

Yet in our research with women, it was clear that women think things through by talking them through; in other words, they start the process of examination by jumping in and analyzing it verbally.

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