1. Seek first to understand. If you know your partner's frame of reference, you can speak to him/her within it.

2. Pay attention to how your words are landing. If your companion's response looks off the mark for what you said, check out what he/she is hearing....

3. Focus on the solution that would work for everyone, rather than who's right or wrong. Only focus on the problem long enough to understand, then switch to what will fix it.

4. Separate emotion from solution. If one or both of you are upset, irrational or reactive, you aren't communicating. Take a break and try again in a few minutes, when both of you have calmed down.

5. Don't beat dead horses. If you've been over the same ground several times with no forward movement, get some help. An objective third party can work wonders.

6. Be nice. Strive to create a cooperative atmosphere, and consider your partner’s feelings.

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.

Dr. Tessina, is CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for LoveForever.com, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC News.