Listening may be the most important aspect of any relationship, but it is also the hardest part for us to get right! Listening requires our full attention, not just to the words spoken, but also to the emotions attached. Doing so allows us to understand how our spouse is feeling and, if we listen attentively, to repeat back what we are hearing. When we do this without first making a defensive reply, issues get resolved and our spouse feels supported. Then we can reverse roles, expressing our thoughts and feelings on the issue, as our spouse becomes the listener. Happy couples work on these skills until they become second nature, thus keeping their relationship bond strong.