They say that love is a two-way street and that it's important that you give and take for a relationship to sail smoothly. This means that if your partner has some annoying traits—say, he's messy or is always forgetful—you don't just kick him out of bed; you kick the habit. Here's how you can do that without ending up in a heated argument or worse, a breakup!

Compliment him.
Want to reinforce good behavior? Whenever you see your man helping around the house or being more active at family reunions, compliment him. According to Marcia Naomi Berger, a private psychotherapist and author of the book Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You've Always Wanted, behavior that gets rewarded, gets repeated. "Besides enjoying the process of giving and receiving appreciation, you’re likely to find that complimenting your spouse results in her or him doing what you like more often."

Keep him preoccupied.
Does your man like to bite his nails? Does he like to roam around aimlessly while you try to work on your presentation? Instead of letting these habits get to you, give him something else to do. Ask him to type for you, or better yet, hold his hand!

Tell him what you want directly and calmly.
The tone of your voice can make a big difference when it comes to communicating. Diane Gehart, Ph.D., professor of marriage and family therapy at California State University, Northridge says, "Ask for what you want simply without the presumption that he is going to say no." She also says that your partner is not mind reader so instead of giving him the silent treatment just because he can't pinpoint what’s bothering you, communicate with him.


PHOTO: Enrique Lin/Flickr Creative Commons

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