Whether to order Indian or Thai for dinner - that's an easy conversation. Asking about that tube of fungal cream in his bathroom cabinet? Not so easy. We asked Dr Ian Kerner, relationships expert and author of Sex Recharge, for tips on how to tackle tricky topics.
THE TOPIC: His career move
Say this "I have total faith in you. How can I help you make this work?"
Not that "What if it doesn't work out?"
Because "Men want to feel like their girlfriend or wife is on their team," says Dr Kerner.
THE TOPIC: His habit of forgetting everything
Say this "You make me really happy when you remember..."
Not that "You never friggin' remember..."
Because The second you blame him, you throw your chances of finding a solution out the window. "Give specific examples of what you'd like him to do instead of focusing on a negative tendency," advises Dr Kerner.
THE TOPIC: Your mum's birthday dinner conflicts with poker night
Say this "It would really mean a lot to me if you came with me."
Not that "It's just a game."
Because "It might be easy to feel like there's some kind of priority system - that family always trumps hanging out with the boys," says Dr Kerner. "But it's never a good idea to belittle a relationship or event that matters to someone else."
THE TOPIC: Your relationship - ending
Say this "I don't think we work because..."
Not that "I'll always love you, but..."
Because "It's better to be honest. Give clear reasons for why you shouldn't be together," says Dr Kerner.
THE TOPIC: Having kids
Say this "You would make the best dad."
Not that "I want one girl and one boy and their names will be Apple and Banjo."
Because You may have had your perfect family planned since Year 3, but he probably hasn't thought about specifics. "If you start by telling him exactly what you want, he'll feel like he doesn't have a say in what happens," Dr Kerner says. "It's OK to help him picture what your family might look like, but it's important to decide together what you want."
THE TOPIC: He's spending waaay too much money
Say this "The economy is freaking me out. I think we should look at our spending habits."
Not that "You bet how much on Miss Andretti?"
Because Men can be defensive about money, says Dr Kerner, which could cause them to stonewall. You'll get further if you blame something outside of his control and offer to help figure it out together.