11 Relationship Tips from Ms. Vicki

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For years, military spouses have been sending in questions to Ms. Vicki, an expert on many things, including relationships. From time to time, she tells spouses what they don't want to hear -- which makes the rest of us squirm and sometimes giggle.

Here are some of the best relationship tips from Ms. Vicki over the years, centered in situations that relate directly to military spouses.

1. Why Are We Fighting So Much Before Deployment?

Some service members start transitioning to the "deployment lifestyle" before they leave; some even start picking fights. My spouse once said he thought it would make me miss him less if he was a jerk before he left. Um, no. But Ms. Vicki has ideas on how to combat that.

2. Communication Tips for Couples

Sometimes, we all need a reminder on simple, but effective, ways to communicate with our spouses -- especially when we're not physically in the same place. From listening techniques to putting off tough conversations when you're tired, there are several ways to get ahead so fights don't occur.

3. How Can We Stop Yelling? Tips for Military Couples

Is your relationship full of yelling? This spouse has been married for 15 years and is worried her marriage is over after they spend all their time angry and yelling at each other. Ms. Vicki encourages them to find the root of the problem and try to keep their tongues in check.

4. Ways to Make You Happier in Minutes

Life is hard at times, and military life will hit you when you're already down. Here are ideas on ways to quickly turn your frown upside down, and change your outcome on the day, situation or even deployment.

5. You Can't Make Someone Love You

When a spouse is "sent away" by her service member because she is unhappy that he's spending time with other women, Ms. Vicki lays down some truth. The fact that you can't make your spouse love you or want to stay with you will hurt, but sometimes you have to face that and take care of you, and your kids.

6. Quick Tips to Restart the Romance

Deployments and years can add stress to military marriages. But that doesn't mean you should throw in the towel. Spending a little time together and trying these tips will help you restart the romance and make things even better.

7. Things That Stop People from Getting Help

Counseling is something most people consider from time to time, but there are so many things that get in the way. Ms. Vicki addresses some of them. Counseling is important and worth overcoming the obstacles that may stand in the way.

8. Tips for a Trip to the Man Cave

It's football season! (Or whatever sports season.) These tips offer a glimpse into the compromise that makes a marriage great -- and they don't apply just to football. Take time to learn about what your spouse is interested in, and they will love you even more.

9. Constant Checking Kills Military Marriages

While it's tempting to check up on your spouse when you suspect they may be hiding things, Ms. Vicki is concerned that that turns into something far worse. So before you start hacking into their phone or social media accounts, think twice.

10. Easy Words to Save Your Marriage

There's no magic trick for a successful marriage, but these magic words may be the closest thing to it. Understanding your spouse's point of view is the key to understanding why they say what they say, or even why they are angry.

11. Avoid Marriage Counseling by Skipping This Holiday Problem

Merging traditions around the holidays can lead to big marital problems. But by managing expectations and realizing that things are different now, you can overcome some of these common pitfalls.

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--Rebecca Alwine can be reached at rebecca.alwine@monster.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebecca_alwine.

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