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So at Web MD, we asked the experts to reveal the secrets of happy couples. "It's not about how much you love each other, or how much money you have, or even if your personalities mesh," says Howard Markman, Ph D, leading marriage researcher, co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, and author of Fighting for Your Marriage: Positive Steps for Preventing Divorce and Preserving a Lasting Love.
Far more significant than these factors -- yes, even more important than heart-pounding lust, which, let's face it, often fades over time -- is communication, says Markman.
"The first is to learn to talk without fighting about inevitable conflicts," Markman says.
Making a concerted effort to see the other person's perspective, and avoiding the blame game of "she said" or "he did," goes a long way.
I'm still hot." Most likely she'd applaud the recent research published in The Archives of Sexual Behavior that busts the stereotype of the sexless older adult.
And, interviewers told interviewees that the "sex" or "sexual activity" did not necessarily mean intercourse or orgasm but rather "any mutually voluntary activity with another person that involves sexual contact." So, does being married cause you to have more sex, or does having more sex cause you to stay married longer? But isn't it nice to know that some older couples can still look into each other's eyes, blind to the physical changes that occur over the years, buoyed by the closeness and years of togetherness, and still want to be sexually intimate with one another?
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While you can't necessarily teach a couple how to be friends, you can teach good friends how to communicate better.
Markman regularly tackles this task, using a research-based method derived from data that he and his colleagues at the University of Denver have collected over decades of systematically observing unhappy and happy couples.