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The Power of Communicating
Itís important to never forget the basics in your marriage, beginning with simple forms of communication.

It's important to offer small tokens of affection regularly, such as cornering them with a kiss.

There is nothing like communication to keep romance alive. Of course, we all like to be recognized by our spouseóthe one who means so much to you. This desire to be acknowledged is often especially strong during holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and, most of all, when our morale or self-esteem needs a boost.

You should never underestimate the power of affectionate communication through e-mail, phone calls and correspondence of all kinds. You just canít receive too many written letters or greeting cards chosen for their special meaning and accompanied by a personal note. Many men and women are correspondence savers and find it pleasurable and comforting to read and reread these notes of appreciation again and again.

Tokens of Affection
Itís very important for both individuals in a relationship to feel needed and loved. A note placed in a briefcase or lunch box, one hidden in a stack of clean clothes, or one placed in a suitcase can immediately create a special feeling of affection for the giver and make the receiver feel appreciated. Whether a person comes from a loving family that expresses affection for each other or a family that keeps its feelings concealed, tokens of love are worth the effort. They always smooth the way.

Because it is difficult for some to express romantic feelings, the give-and-take of verbal communication is very important in keeping love alive.

1. Be honest and straightforward with your mate.
2. Tell him or her what you need and want.
3. Donít expect your partner to read your mind.

After all, few of us are clairvoyant, so try not to get into the habit of thinking just because someone loves you that he or she knows what you need. If you sincerely state your likes and dislikes, you are being a thoughtful lover.

Express Yourself
Sharing your thoughts with your partner builds an important bond. It may be a simple compliment given over a partnerís appearance, a special meal shared together, or making time for each other over a movie or television program at home. We never outgrow our need for a partner to care and to show this caring through togetherness. Husbands and wives need quiet times with each other, whether at a favorite restaurant or at home over dinner, to share their daysówithout the interference of television, please! His or her favorite music is often helpful to set the mood for conversation.

There is one more significant kind of communication that is, perhaps, the most powerful and requires no conversation. A smile, while looking into your spouseís eyes, or a hug given "just because" is universal forms of affection that speak volumes without a word. When we communicate heart to heart, the message is instantaneous and true.

And, sensitivity to the circumstances will serve as the best guide to the most effective kind of communication between partners. Be creative, suitable and flexible in your choices. Root them in your love for each other, and your romance will last forever.

Lou Dunn Diekemper is author of "Let Us Share, A Conversation on Growing Older" and is owner of the Odyssey, a bookstore and gift shop, www.calmjourney.com. Lou has written three other books: "Couples Who Take Care: Elders Weathering the Years with Strength and Love," "Men who Take Care: Walking the Road of Life as Elders'" and "Women Who Take Care: Choosing to Live with Wisdom, Grace and Power after Fifty-Five." Find out more at Lou's website, aconversationongrowingolder.com.

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Over 1 million couples turn to Hitched for expert marital advice every year. Sign up now for our newsletter & get exclusive weekly content that will entertain, educate and inspire your marriage.

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