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How to Stay Married (and Happy)

A new book says the secret is communication

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Communication may be the most important gift you can give your partner. — Getty Images

What's the secret to creating and maintaining a great marriage? Communication may be the most important gift you can give your partner, says Gary Neuman, whose latest book is Creating Your Best Marriage and How to Affair-Proof It. "Too many people think that love will conquer all," Neuman explains, "and it's quite incorrect."

Neuman tells AARP Radio host Mike Cuthbert that his research indicates that only 30 percent of all couples identify themselves as successfully married — the remaining 70 percent are either divorced or unhappily married. The happiest couples, Neuman says, spend an average of 30 minutes each day talking to each other, uninterrupted by other activities.

"Those who are successful are constantly touching base with each other, trying to get to new places together, and they keep in contact," he says. "There's going to be ups and downs … trying, struggling times in life. We make it through those times because we feel there's a kinship, a best friendship with the person we're living our life with."

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