In Imago Relationship Therapy, Dr. Hendrix says there are three steps couples can practice to help them communicate effectively and heal both past and present wounds:
Mirroring: First, couples learn how to listen and mirror back exactly what they hear rather than an interpretation or reaction to what they've heard. They should use expressions such as "I have something to say..." and "Let me see if I've got that..."
Validating: Once both partners have clearly spoken and been listened to, they can then validate each other without necessarily agreeing. They should use statements such as "That makes sense because..."
Empathizing: At this point in the process, both partners can identify with the other partner's expressed thought process and feelings, Dr. Hendrix says. To convey this new-found understanding, he says they should use language to the effect of "I can imagine what you're feeling..."
ETA: From your recent post:
we have not had sex since May 27th of last year.
Discuss sexual expectations before leaving on your trip; if one of you is expecting sex and the other is not, it's gonna add resentment to the weekend.
[This message edited by ladies_first at 7:16 PM, May 22nd (Wednesday)]