Communication Complications Within a Marriage Essay

“She’s the talker in our family! ” This statement said by a man about his wife was very ironic to most of the people at the party that night, being that the man was doing most of the talking and offering ideas while his wife sat silently in the corner. This arousing anecdote in Deborah Tannen’s essay, “Sex, Lies and Conversation: Why Is It So Hard For Men and Women to Talk to Each Other” portrays the truth of the relationships of married couples by revealing that American men tend to talk more than women in public; however, they barely communicate at home with their spouses.Through the use of ethos, logos, and pathos Tannen provides a strong argument directed specifically at married couples in discussing the communication problems between a husband and wife and how to resolve them without the marriage leading to divorce. All three elements of the rhetorical triangle are conveyed throughout Tannen’s essay effectively, but ethos, the credibility, seems to be the most powerful and frequently used.In the third paragraph of the essay, she writes about how most women gave lack of communication as the reason for their divorces, but only a few men said that was a reason in Catherine Kohler Riessman’s new book “Divorce Talk. ” This shows that men don’t think that communication is a very big factor in a relationship, but women do which causes many unwanted problems. Men and women have very different views on things, but they need to find common ground in order for the marriage to succeed. In the preceding paragraph, Deborah Tannen converses about her own research.

She talks about how she has received many complaints from women about having to do all the chores around the house and trying to go above and beyond for their men with little in return. Men and women partners should share duties in every aspect; not one or the other should be putting forth more effort than the other. Tannen says that most wives want their husbands to be conversational partners, but few husbands share this expectation of their wives.

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I feel like this is true in not all marriages, but a lot of them.Generally, women are expected to do the chores around the house, while the men get home from work, go right to the couch, and watch television. Although this stereotypical statement isn’t the case for every marriage, it seems to be common in a lot of them these days. Stanford University’s Eleanor Maccoby reports that children’s development is influenced by the social structure of peer interactions making men and women very socially different. She shares that boys and girls tend to interact with children of their own gender and both genders have different social interactions.Women seem to base relationships on communication and intimacy; however, men would rather avoid a lot of talking and do things together. Maccoby’s studies seem to show a lot of accuracy, being that we see this in relationships today. Boys usually interact with boys and girls tend to socialize with other girls.

One last study shown in the essay from Walter Ong’s book “Fighting for Life” examines how men and women handle situations. He points out that men use “warlike” behavior, which means they use fighting to deal with problems. On the other hand, women would rather use conversation to debate the problem.Throughout the essay, Tannen provides differences between men and women’s social values. She says that men tend to have short, simple conversations while women have more elaborate, long conversations. Also, men like to switch topics very rapidly and talk about many different subjects, while women like to talk about one thing at a time and keep going with it. This exposes to married couples that men and women have very different, unique social strategies.

Throughout all of these studies, there seems to be a reoccurring message in that men and women just do things and go about situations in different styles.The credibility makes this essay very powerful in giving married couple’s the expert’s research of the communication problems in a marriage, likewise the logos part of the rhetorical triangle aids in creating this message as well. The logical reasoning is shown many different ways throughout Tannen’s essay.

In the first paragraph Deborah Tannen uses an anecdote of a couple at a party to describe how reality really works. The husband plays the outgoing, talkative person giving out his opinions and ideas, while his wife sits next to him barely spitting out one sentence. However, things go very differently at the home.Men show very little communication, whereas the wife puts a lot of effort into interacting with her partner. Showing this real life situation gives a clear example of what actually goes on in everyday life strengthening the logical aspect. The essay states that this pattern destroys marriages being that men and women have a hard time communicating with each other.

Partners are able to talk to people other than their spouses. Deborah Tannen’s essay isn’t biased towards men or women; it only talks about how both genders are very different making their social interactions and feelings very diverse.Even though ethos and logos are portrayed the strongest throughout Tannen’s essay, the emotional appeal is used in uncovering the claim too. The emotional connection is not outright said in this essay, but it is more developed by the reader itself.

The essay lets readers form their own opinions about this major communication complication contained in a marriage. Tannen wants married couples to get a sense of a frustration when reading this essay and to realize that a lack of communication can result in divorce.She wants both genders to see the stereotypes put on their specific genders and to want to resolve these issues. It puts a stereotype on women being “naggy” all the time and just wanting attention which is not always true.

This essay also puts a stereotype on men saying that they can easily communicate out in public, but have a hard time communicating with their wives which is not necessarily a truthful statement either. Deborah Tannen tries to acquire fear in a husband and wife to get the message across to them that if there is no communication, the ending result is normally divorce.Deborah Tannen makes a strong argument using all aspects of the rhetorical triangle in my opinion, but others may feel differently. Using her own research, Tannen tells that she has received complaints from women about their husbands because they have given up their own career to accompany their husband to his, or doing more work around the house. Although in some situations this might be true, a lot of married couples might not agree with this action.

They might feel that it is more common for both partners to be managing a career thus sharing the household duties causing no miscommunication.Deborah Tannen not only uses her own research, she uses studies from other experts creating strong ethos, so readers will most likely not refute this claim. Another point Tannen talks about is that men and women have very different social construct. She discusses that men tend to keep conversations short and simple while women like to elaborate on what they are saying. This could be another controversial subject that not everyone agrees with.

Some men would probably argue that they talk a lot and their wife likes to keep conversations simple.They might conclude that every person is different and it depends on a person’s personality whether they talk a lot or not. However, Tannen doesn’t favor men or women, she is not biased towards one gender, she gives logical real life situations which makes the logos part of her argument easier for readers to believe and trust. The emotional appeal is not stated directly in the essay, Tannen expects readers to form their own emotions based on their own life and feelings. Some people may feel that her argument is weak because she doesn’t state the feeling specifically and therefore won’t listen to her advice.Although the emotional connection is not just given, Tannen does this purposely for the audience to be able to form their own opinion based on how they are feeling at the time being that everyone is different. Making readers produce their own emotions aids in making the pathos side of the argument very forceful.

Even though Deborah Tannen provides a strong argument in discussing why communication is a huge problem in a marriage, others, mainly married couples, may refute the reasons she points out, but all in all her essay provides powerful points persuading readers to agree with her and save their marriage.Being that Tannen uses all three aspects of the rhetorical triangle, she creates a strong argument in telling married couples reasons there is a lack of communication in a marriage and how it may result in a divorce. A relationship only works out when both partners are willing to communicate with each other and try to resolve the issues at hand; moreover Tannen does so when describing the importance of communication and how to resolve issues in her well-developed essay, “Sex, Lies and Conversation: Why Is It So Hard For Men and Women to Talk to Each Other. Deborah Tannen applies credibility, logic, and emotional connection very effectively and thoroughly in her essay to give many reasons and examples to show the differences between men and women and their social interactions. By using better communication skills and putting forth more effort, a marriage will have a better chance of working out in the long run.

Works CitedTannen, Deborah. “Sex, Lies and Conversation: Why Is It So Hard for Men and Women to Talk to Each Other. ” The McGraw-Hill Reader: Issues Across the Disciplines. Tenth Edition. Ed. Gilbert Mueller. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

86-90. Print


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