The big day has come and gone. Congratulations, you're married!
Laurie Puhn, author of "Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life," drops by with tips to improve communication with your spouse and keep your love alive!
• Don't Be an Over-Talker
Don't have disagreements with your mate and talk endlessly without arriving at an agreed solution. Do create closure with a concrete plan of action so the problem doesn't recur. Fighting about who takes out the garbage? Take charge and say, "Let's create a shared calendar indicating each of our daily responsibilities."
• Don't Be a Drill-Sergeant
Don't give your mate orders such as, "You have to buy milk for our morning coffee." Do make requests. Ask, "Can you please buy milk for our morning coffee"?
• Don't Complain Without Impact
Don't complain by saying what you don't want, as in, "I don't want to go to the Chinese Restaurant for dinner." Do complain with impact. Say what you do want, as in "I don't want Chinese, but I do want to go to the Italian Restaurant near the train station."
• Don't Tune Out
Don't listen to your mate talk and keep silent without offering verbal responses. Do tune-in. Ask simple questions that start with the letter "W," like who, what, where, when and/or why to show that you are interested and understand what your mate is saying.
• Don't Leave Room for Mind-Reading
Don't assume your mate knows what you want just because you're married. Do be specific and say, "Orchids are my favorite flower and I really love it when you buy them for me on special occasions."