February is the month of love. One of the best ways we can be loving partners is to be better communicators with each other. But sometimes it's not that easy. Whether you've been together one year or 50 years, bad communication habits can develop and become ingrained.
Before you start writing us off -- and taking bets on who will get to keep the house (FYI -- my husband says he will be buried in our house) here are my thoughts on the all-important "is silence golden or deadly to your relationship?" debate:
Couples, whether married, engaged, or in committed relationships, can learn a great deal from the way that two of the key protagonists -- Mary and Matthew Crawley -- have fiercely disagreed over money.
Relationships that are the most successful are those where both partners share their inner world with one another -- their real thoughts, feelings and desires -- and where their partner, in turn, is able to really hear them.
You may be one of those precocious and cautious couples that seek such training from a therapist or from a workshop right before or soon after your marriage. Or you may be the starry -eyed, idealist, lazy, avoidant procrastinator who waits until the s--t hits the fan before rushing to seek help.