Relationships are complicated and therefore so is relationship advice. From navigating intimacy issues after years of marriage to dealing with the financial woes that come with combining bank accounts, each situation calls for a specific remedy (which is then tailored to each individual couple, no less).
But for time's sake, we were interested in the one piece of relationship advice that the experts keep coming back to. Rachel Sussman, a New York City–based couples therapist and marriage counselor, is constantly advising her clients to slow down and actively listen to each other. "Your fantasy is that your partner should know you better than anyone," said Sussman to Business Insider. "So when your partner doesn't get you, when your partner doesn't agree with you, when your partner invalidates you, it can be a very lonely, scary experience."
This reality further underscores the importance of open, honest communication. Rather than getting defensive, talking over your partner, and trying to be heard, she recommends slowing down, asking thoughtful questions, and remaining open to answers. If you have to take some time and space to process the situation, then do it. What's more, studies show that this emotional attentiveness can actually lead to greater intimacy behind closed doors, in addition to long-term relationship satisfaction.
Try writing down your thoughts to your partner in a notebook, and share your communication advice in the comments below!