Dr. Jess lists six conversations you need to have with your partner
We all know that communication is essential to a happy marriage, but most of us struggle to broach the difficult subjects. These conversations won’t lead you directly to the bedroom; however, they can lay the groundwork for a more harmonious and intimate relationship. And be sure to revisit them annually.
How often do you want sex? What is your partner’s ideal frequency? Find out and then talk about how you can come closer to making it a reality. You may never meet your ideal targets, but the fact that you’re willing to talk about them further stabilizes your relationship.
You don’t need to divulge every fantasy in explicit detail, but talking about them in a broader context can help you better understand one another’s core desires. You’ll likely be nervous or uncomfortable talking about your fantasies, but these nerves keep the spark alive — being too comfortable can kill the chemistry.
A friend once told me that she has the perfect system for maintaining a good relationship with her in-laws: they live far enough away to preclude unannounced pop-ins but close enough that they don’t need to spend the night when they visit. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that my father lives with my husband and me, so I obviously don’t buy into this formula. I do, however, believe that discussing boundaries and expectations in an open forum makes for a happy marriage.
Division of labour
A chore calendar might seem juvenile, but it saves marriages, as the resentment that grows out of a perceived imbalance bleeds into every other component of your relationship.
How do you strike a balance between saving for the future and living in the present? Your formula is likely different than your partner’s, so talking about why you spend or save as you do can help you to better understand one another’s motivation and logic. A monthly or seasonal check-in to discuss your financial situation can also serve as a preventative measure to stave off the big financial fights.
Fears, insecurities and vulnerabilities
Instead of lashing out when you feel vulnerable, admit your vulnerabilities (e.g., “When you travel, I worry that you’ll be tempted”) and respond to your partner’s concerns with nonjudgmental reassurance (e.g., “If the roles were reversed, I’d worry too; you have nothing to worry about”). These conversations reduce the power of negative emotions and may help you generate solutions.
Dr. Jess says couples need to make the tough conversations a priority and to revisit each topic once a year