Dr. Romance Writes: Why do relationship counselors, speakers and authors say repeatedly that your relationship depends on how well you communicate with each other? Because marriage is a partnership and to create teamwork, you need to keep each other informed, and keep yourself aware of your partner's ideas, wants and reactions. We all know a lot these days about the techniques of communication, but I find that many of my clients don't understand the necessary attitudes to create domestic happiness.
Nothing improves communication and intimacy better than enhancing the sweetness in your marriage. We live in a cynical, hard-edged culture, so it's easy to become embarrassed or shy about being sweet to each other, but when you see the difference a little sweetness makes in your emotional life, you'll understand why it's worth it, and that no matter what the bickering couples in the sitcoms are modeling, being kind and tender toward each other creates a much better relationship. If you put more energy into expressing your love and appreciation for each other than you put into arguing and resisting each other, you'll be creating your own happiness. Research shows that a happy, loving partnership will enhance your self-esteem, improve your mental and physical health, and even give you longer life! When your life together is loving and pleasurable, you'll have more energy for success in everything else you do. When you can count on each other to be protective, supportive, kind, and caring, and to do your respective parts in the partnership, you have a firm foundation for handling whatever life brings you. The calm assurance you get from knowing you are loved and cared about makes it easier to think clearly and make good decisions. It's a great blessing to be and have a loving and reliable partner with whom to make plans and carry them out.
Count your blessings out loud. Remember to say "thank you" to your partner, even for little things. If you're thinking about it, you'll be able to find things to express gratitude for several times a day. If you have a spiritual or religious background, give thanks together for everything. My husband and I say "And we thank Thee, for receiving; that which we need to know, that which we need, and that whom we need to know, and the courage to act upon it and the energy to follow through," whenever we want to give thanks.