“Sure, let’s see Spider-man tonight.”

Relationships are all about compromise–including what movie to see on Saturday night. Even if your husband knows comic-book films aren’t your cup of tea, expressing enthusiasm–it could just be about how excited you know he is–will make the outing lot more enjoyable for him. And it’s a two-way street: You come, no complaints, to his movie, and he holds the tissues while you sob your way through The Fault in Our Stars later this summer.

“Thanks for making dinner, babe.”

Even if you don’t dig whatever’s on the menu, thanking him for taking charge rather than pointing out what you would have done differently makes him feel in control and mastery of the situation. “Men can be sensitive to emotional cues, often more so than women realize,” says San Diego-based therapist Rebecca Jurgensen, Ph.D. “If you criticize the way a task is done, he may feel like there’s no point in trying again.” Meal prep might not be your husband’s forte, but it’s best to accept his strengths, appreciate when he steps out of his comfort zone, and little by little, you never know, he could turn into a master chef.

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