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It’s so easy to fight about finances but talking about money—the right way—can actually help make your relationship stronger, Cilona says. The idea behind this is simple, she says: Love is an active daily choice, and you have control over how you’re feeling.

“A couple that communicates their financial goals, and is willing to work together to achieve them, will likely have a deeper bond," he adds. “When we wake up and the first thing we notice is a flaw in our partner, it will be hard to feel connected and in love for the rest of that day,” she says.

“This can free up your relationship to be a source of joy rather than something that lets you down," he says.

It's called "mirroring." Here’s how it works: When you’re having an important discussion with your partner, repeat back exactly what you heard them say before you comment on it.

“Commit to investing an hour—on an ongoing basis—to work on strengthening your relationship, troubleshooting, and making it more satisfying,” says Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist Joseph Cilona, Psy. Set up a weekly or monthly dinner where you only talk about relationship issues or goals.

Sure, it might sound drab, but getting your "homework," or couple's maintenance out of the way during a designated conversation is better than having it sabotage a perfectly romantic meal. “Once you think that your feelings don’t matter, won’t be heard, or are not worth sharing, you open the door to harbor negativity and resentment.” That includes positive feelings, too, she points out—especially when they’re connected with your partner.

We have a new webinar on intimacy and relationships for military couples. Get Sara’s 6 Secrets for Bridging Military Separations.

“We expect so much from our relationships these days.

We want our partner to be a best friend, confidant, co-parent, and companion.

When it’s unsolicited, it can be annoying and sometimes even insulting (hey, we all have that friend).

But when you actually seek it out, it can be hard to find what you're really looking for—like a definitive answer on whether or not yours is healthy, and what's truly important.

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