The concept of the wall of trivia I think belongs to Mary Goulding. She is the first person I ever saw present this idea. The idea is that some couples get lost in trivia which eventually becomes a wall between them and interferes with their intimacy between each other. The trivia can be a multitude of things including discussion about the children, weather, money, family and so forth.
It is the Free Child to Free Child interactions that provide for the emotional intimacy between two people. When these two ego states interact both will feel as sense of connection and intimacy with the other. The exchange of positive strokes is at the highest it can be between two people.
However as soon as one does this they then become open and vulnerable and have to trust the other not to hurt them. This for some is too frightening and so over time they develop a wall of trivia between them, often out of their awareness. The couple gets distracted onto other things which need to be dealt with like child management, money matters, work and so on. This allows them to avoid the fear of closeness and intimacy that many have.
The problem with this it is the FC to FC contact that makes a relationship intimate and one feels a sense of connection to the other. A couple do not want to lose this type of interacting if they can. Having this type of contact makes the relationship desirable and one wants to be in it and with the other person. If this contact is lost then the relationship moves from being fun and desirable to being one off work. I don’t know how many times I have heard women state to me in counselling, “I love my husband but I am not in love with him.” The FC has gone out of the relationship in her mind and by the time she gets to see me it has usually been out of the relationship for years.
A common time when the FC to FC contact really suffers between husband and wife is with the arrival of children. The arrival of a child immediately brings one very big, demanding, loud, at times smelly, Free Child into the marriage and it is relentless. Day in and day out 24 hours per day at least in the beginning. And this large FC is there to stay for years. It kind of takes up all the FC space in the family and the mother’s and father’s slowly retreat into the back ground and the contact between them diminishes. However as I have said before for some, most often the male this actually suits them in one way because the idea of such closeness is frightening.
Of course there is much more to a good marriage than just Free Child to Free Child contact such as compatible values and similar interests, but any couple do not want to lose this type of contact if at all possible. It is the life blood of a successful marriage.
The wall of trivia has direct implications for counseling as well. Counselling work, issues and discussions are an excellent way to avoid intimacy through FC contact. Counselling can easily become just another wall of trivia between the couple.