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As love and marriage experts, we can report that successful couples know how to talk about serious issues with their spouse.  These couples report a high level of satisfaction with the way they communicate with each other, and they attribute their marital success first and foremost to the fact that they have honed their communication skills over time.  

So, what are the lessons we have learned from those couples that communicate really well—that communicate effectively on just about every level.  As we poured over our interview notes from thousands of couples, five important actions began to emerge.

1. Communication always begins with proper engagement and in a proper context.   Talking about serious matters cannot occur effectively when dealing with chaos, such as a blaring television, crying baby, etc.

2. Discussions about serious issues must always begin with agreement about what the issues really are.   Work to identify the issue, establish the parameters of the discussion, and agree to solve the problem together.

3. There is proper etiquette to follow in effective communication.     Lower your voices, speak in a calm manner, make eye contact, listen intently and seek clarification if you don't understand.  Refrain from blaming, accusing, calling names, making nasty remarks or getting defensive.

4. Brainstorming ideas is always the first step in a fruitful conversation about important matters.   It is important to get your respective ideas out on the table.  Talk about the relative strengths and weaknesses of each.  Agree on ideas worth exploring.

5. Never, we repeat, never be judgmental when debating issues with your mate.   Instantly passing judgment on an idea is usually the death of open and honest debate between two people.  

The successfully married couples we have interviewed as love and marriage experts, report to us that they never felt invalidated by their spouse, that they always felt their arguments were heard, and that their opinions always mattered.  Learn the simple lessons of communication that these wonderful couples have taught us—and have now taught you!  

[Link Removed] in love and marriage. Love well!

Creating a [Link Removed] 

By Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz
America's #1 [Link Removed] 

**Today, you can see how you stack up to the best marriages around the world.  Take the [Link Removed] to assess your chances of achieving a successful marriage of your own.

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