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Every old married couple, counsellor, and anyone with a successful relationship will tell you that communication is the most important part of a relationship. But it’s easy to forget how to do it every day. Over time, we tend to settle into a comfortable routine and forget about all the effort we put into the relationship when it first began (the Honeymoon period is always a breeze). We get into ruts, periods of dissatisfaction and loneliness, all because we don’t realise how much work a relationship actually takes the longer you are together. Here are five easy ways to communicate well on a daily basis to keep your relationship going strong.

#1 Ask them about their day
It may seem trivial, especially if you’ve been texting your partner throughout the day, but having a nice talk over dinner at the end of the day or before bed will give them a chance to blow off steam and maybe even realise their day wasn’t as bad as it seemed. This is also your chance for you to give them a pep talk if they need one, or vice versa. This positive bonding experience before you sleep will bring you even closer in the long run and also gives both of you the reminder that you have a great support system to come home to.

#2 Ask for affection if you need it
Sometimes it seems like everyone is too busy to spend time together. All we have time to do is get home, shower, and sleep. Those of us who need some daily human contact and affection in our relationship might begin feeling neglected and lonely. It’s okay to want more affection, and it’s likely that your partner is too busy to realise how you’re feeling. Instead of letting it fester, talk to them about it and make the effort to put aside time for each other. We’re sure they could use a little couple time too.

#3 Avoid angry discussions
Be kind, as much as you can. Sure, we all get mad sometimes, but being able to take time to cool off and think about what we’re upset about and being able to talk it out later will make for a much healthier relationship in the long run. (Your partner is the love of your life, after all.) Nobody wants to feel like they’re constantly afraid of making their partner angry for fear of getting yelled at. Of course, if your significant other seems to have no concern for your feelings and yells at you often, you should look into couples therapy or consider the possibility that they aren’t the person you fell in love with.

#4 Discuss your finances
Money is always a large issue in a relationship, even before you get married. It’s easy to assume things will be a certain way once you’re married, especially if finances weren’t a huge issue while dating. Relationships outlast jobs and careers, so you should be prepared for your financial situation to change over time and discuss how you’re willing to deal with it. Whether you want to merge all your finances or just have a joint account for household expenses, make sure it’s an agreement you’re both comfortable with.

#5 Be considerate of their feelings
Never invalidate their feelings, even if you can’t understand why they feel a certain way. If something upsets your partner, take the time to figure out why instead of criticising them. It’s easy to see things from a logical or objective perspective, but feelings are hardly ever objective. We’re creatures of emotion, and are all sensitive to different things. If you invalidate their feelings about something that upset them, they might feel unable to be vulnerable around you. Of course, you should be able to discuss the issue with them (tactfully!) and might find a way to make them realise they are being irrational, thereby diffusing the situation.

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