As my students all know, I'm a cheerleader of communication THEORY.
Nothing is, no chance, more useful than a great theory for helping us understand or explain things. You know, thing like what happy couples do. What happy parents do. Families. Women. Friends ... et al.
Dialectical Theory - one of my all-time theoretical besties - explains that relationships of all sizes and shapes require on-going navigation of our very human, simultaneous, and contradictory needs: like, being open with each other and being closed (telling and keeping secrets); like newness and sameness; like togetherness and independence. Send me an email if you'd like a bibliography on DT. Really. You can love theory too! Carol@whathappycouplesdo.com.
Speaking of love, I just read an interesting review of a new book on the topic. Okay, so I haven't read the book yet. But the thesis and research supporting it makes my dialectical-theory-loving-self say hmmmm ... Interesting. Is the fondness/heart/absence thing cliche? Either way, maybe you'll enjoy the review (and the actual book. I'll let you know when I'm done with it) too: Click here for full article