Ask any marriage counselor how to maintain a healthy relationship, and you're sure to hear two words repeated again and again: "Good communication."
But what do those two words actually mean?
To many experts, communicating effectively with your partner calls for much more than merely talking and listening.
"The goal of true communication is empathetic understanding. Both partners must engage in "active listening" and draw closer in an increasingly intimate relationship, while each person maintains their individuality.
What's the best way for two partners to work at communicating better? Here are a few tips from the experts:
Listen actively to what your partner is telling you by doing your best to imagine the situation he or she is describing.
Don't try to "fix" your partner's problems with instant solutions. Quite often, you'll find that he or she doesn't really want a "solution"...but only a chance to talk about some strong feelings and experience really being heard.
Are you and your partner finding it difficult to talk intimately because of job stress or the demands of raising kids? If so, you must make the effort to set aside time each week for personal sharing.
It is an absolute necessity that you make time for each other. You need to take a deep breath, step back, and start enjoying each other's company again.