She: Get this. There’s new research that says married women who keep silent during marital disputes have a greater chance of dying from heart disease and other conditions than women who speak their minds. I knew it!

Z: Is a heart attack really such a terrible thing?

She: We’ve gone over this before, honey. Just saying words isn’t the same thing as communicating.

Z: Filbert, dustpan, marbles.

She: Not funny. Communication is the open sharing of ideas and feelings.

Z: Tequila, farmer, hot dog.

She: I mean like talking, not just writing a note to tell me you’re going to Denmark for a week.

Z: Let’s not argue about this, again. I said I’d bring back chocolate.

She: But it’s important for me to argue. Otherwise I might get heart disease.

Z: That’s ridiculous. No one in my family has ever had a heart attack, and we don’t communicate at all.

She: Because it’s not important for men to communicate, just women. The study found that married men who kept disagreements to themselves had the exact same life expectancy as men who spoke out.

Z: Firestone, Lowenbrau, Corona.

She: It’s science, baby. Like I always tell you, sometimes I just need to talk.

Z: Which balances out quite nicely with my need to space out. I mean, listen attentively.

She: There’s more. A University of Arizona study of heart patients found that the pronouns couples use in speech — whether they say “me” or “us” — seem to predict the course of a spouse’s heart disease during the subsequent six months.

Z: So all of that, “What did we get my mom for Christmas?” might actually be keeping my heart healthier?

She: Exactly. There’s something about “we talk,” the idea that we’re in whatever struggle it is together, that keeps people healthier. Especially for women. There’s a stronger connection.

Z: Excellent. So, what are we making me for dinner tonight? And are we really going to keep not buying us a Wii? I hear Wii talk is good.

She: Hostile couples actually heal more slowly.

Z: Do you think Lorena Bobbitt knew that?

She: Not that hostile. More like, “Is a heart attack really such a terrible thing?” hostile.

Z: That wasn’t hostile. That was funny passive aggressive. And years of Reader’s Digest Science have proven that laughter is the best medicine. Is there a Reader’s Digest column called “Bickering is the Best Medicine?” I don’t think so.

She: We could write them. I’m going to work on a proposal while you’re in Denmark.

Z: Nintendo, straight flush, airport.

She: Get this. The women who “self-silence” when they’re worried or stressed about things are four times more likely to die than those of us who express our feelings.

Z: You, my friend, are going to live forever.

She: I’m doing it all for you. Us.

Z: Does it mention anything about whether husbands have to listen in order to make the talking therapeutic?

She: No, but I’ve got my own science on that. You don’t have to listen to make the talking therapeutic. However, you do have to listen to make the talking stop. If you don’t listen it will never stop. Do you hear me, it will never stop. Never, ever, ever.

Z: I hear what you’re saying.

She: And …

Z: Whatever you want, the answer is yes?

She: And …

Z: Yes, dear.

For those of you who can’t keep silent, She loves to chat online at Don’t worry, she’ll tell Z all about it.