A Communication Rut
How to recognize it: One sign is that you're talking too much. Really. When you spend years talking to someone using the same language and inflections, they may tune out easily. In response, you talk even more to try to get your point across.
How to bust out of it: Surprise! Don't talk so much. Do things together instead. Go for a bike ride; hit that new restaurant; cuddle on the couch. You don't have to announce that you feel as if you're in a rut. Just say, "We should start going for bike rides after dinner again. I love doing that with you, and we haven't done it in weeks." By doing things you both enjoy, you'll enhance the connection between you, which can improve communication. "When couples feel connected, men want to talk more and women need to talk less," says marriage therapist Steven Stosny. "So they meet somewhere in the middle." One thing you can do to make him feel more at ease when you do talk: Reach out and touch him, says neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine. Being touched brings on a surge of oxytocin, the calming and social-bonding hormone.