Dear Dr. Romance: I Do My Best to Stay in My Loving Heart

Dear Dr. Romance:

Quite honestly, all the info in "Lighten Up - Cures for Marital Boredom" is great. But if your list of reccomendations were a test, we have failed everyone or most of them. I am walking lightly around here, just knowing, somehow, somewhere in time, we will find our way back into each others space, or away from all this, when the survival mode is no more, for now, I just do the best I can to stay in my loving heart. Have a delicious day.

Dear Reader:

They're not a test; they're things for you to try out instead of being resigned try having fun. If he won't do it with you, then try doing it by yourself but in his presence. Laugh at the funnies, turn on a comedy show, put on some good music and dance around. You'll feel better, and he will eventually be tempted to have some fun, too.

Dr. Romance on Getting What You Want:

If you have difficulty in knowing what you want and communicating it, try these steps:

1. Get clear about what you want: You can't express what you want effectively if you're not clear what it is, so before approaching your partner, your boss or your child with a request, think about it and make sure you can write it down in one clear sentence.

2. Create a good atmosphere: If asking for what you want is difficult for you, don't do it without preparation. Make sure you and the person you're asking both have time, and invite the other person to sit down and talk with you.

3. Simply state what you want: Don't preface your statement with a lot of disclaimers - they make the other person feel accused of something. Just ask, politely, for what you want.

4. Be prepared to accept a "no." Remember, if you can't accept a no answer, then you're making a demand, not a request, so have a backup solution. Find a way to get what you want for yourself, even if the other person isn't cooperating. For example, if you don't get that raise you deserve, maybe it's time to begin a job search.

5. Listen politely to the other person's answer: Whether the other person says yes, no, or something in between -- listen carefully to what he or she says. Don't get all caught up in a lot of worry and noise inside your head - pay attention. You need to know what the answer is.

If you follow these steps, you'll find you're successful a good percentage of the time, and when you aren't you have a backup plan - so you really can't lose.

Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences will help you understand your husband, and then help him to understand you better, too.

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