Secret #2: Communicate

Saying what you mean, meaning what you say.
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Why Communication Counts

Over and over again, communication problems are targeted as the number-one cause of marital strife.

In many cases, couples think they're communicating, but the messages aren't getting through. Communication problems stem from differences in conversational styles between men and women.

Another common reason for communication foul-ups is what we call the mind-reader syndrome. Many couples -- newlywed as well as long-married -- fall victim. "If he really loved me, he would know what I want" is a typical complaint. So is "She's not saying anything, so she must be mad at me." Men are also much less likely than women to ask questions of a personal nature. They frequently think: "If she wants me to know, she'll tell me." Unfortunately, clinging to misconceptions often prevents couples from saying, honestly and directly, what they really feel and need.

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