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“If I ask if she’s going to the gym today, she’ll bite my head off. I’m not asking because she looks fat, I’m asking because I’m trying to figure out our schedules.” There’s a scientific reason why husbands and wives often feel like they’re having completely different conversations. It’s called the closeness communication bias, a theory that suggests the tighter you are with someone, the more you assume you know what they’re saying. For instance, if you checked with a friend about whether she planned to go to the gym, you’d probably add that you asked because you were wondering if she wanted to hit the same yoga class or get a post-workout smoothie. But couples often leave out the explanation, which can lead to misunderstandings. If one of his questions irks you, simply ask why he asked before a potentially innocent conversation spirals into an argument, suggests licensed clinical social worker Marcia Naomi Berger.

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