DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have problems communicating because I don't talk enough, but that's the way I was raised. My family just didn't talk about serious things. I'm not saying avoidance is right, but I have a hard time talking seriously.
When I feel put on the spot, I find it difficult to form my words correctly, and I shut down. My husband doesn't understand why I don't talk when it comes so easy for him. This gives him the impression that I don't "want" to talk, and therefore, I don't care about our marriage as much as he does. Any advice? -- MY LIPS ARE SEALED
DEAR MY LIPS: Issues that are not discussed often grow greater until they erode relationships. If you value your marriage, use this issue as a jumping-off point to start talking with a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional.
The way you were raised was unhealthy. It is destructive to building relationships as well as self-esteem, and can have lifelong consequences, as you are finding out. Please don't put it off, because your communication problem won't resolve until you do something proactive about it.