This stuff saved my parents' marriage and has helped me navigate many tough conversations. Any other tips?
  1. Actively listen: "I'm hearing that you're angry because you want more connection with me. Am I getting it right?"
    Listen with empathy for unexpressed needs and check to see if you're understanding. Then apologize if called for / offer a solution.
  2. Ensure you're delivering the message you intend: "I want to check that we're on the same page. I said X. What did you hear me say?"
    It's shocking to realize that what you say often isn't what someone else hears. This can save a lot of time and headaches.
  3. Express feelings without judging: "I'm feeling X because my need for Y wasn't met in [this specific case]. Would you be willing to do Z next time?"
    No accusations or generalizations. Make a concrete request at the end. Compare to sullen silence or: "You're such a jerk to me all the time!"
  4. Build rapport: "What I want for us both is a healthy relationship where our needs are met. What can we do to make that happen?"
    "We, our, us" = inclusive rather than "I, me" which is exclusively focused on one person's needs.