We call it beer30. It’s the time of day that DH and I get together and talk for about an hour. We do this almost every day before dinner. He has an IPA craft beer and I have red wine. We talk about ourselves, money, the kids, the house, the future, sex, relatives and whatever comes to mind. Nothing is off limits.

Beer30 began about five years ago. We had serious life stuff that required intense discussion. Like, gut wrenching, tear-inducing, occasionally loud and heated discussion. Like, stuff that makes you seriously consider divorce. Somewhere in all that talking, we decided that we didn’t want to get divorced. We’re stuck like glue to each other because we are friends, lovers, partners, parents.

Nothing is off limits during beer30.

We also decided that all this talking was productive. It was really painful at times. But we both slowly learned to be open and honest, which doesn’t come easily–even with your partner. We talked about our feelings, as they went from raw to slowly healing. We came up with compromise, and some areas where we will probably never agree. As time went on, over weeks, months and years, our fights were fewer and less intense.

The result of this constant communication has been shorter periods of arguing, better understanding and a stronger relationship. We talk until we get things talked out (however many days that takes), or we quit talking about things because we know we need to just drop it. We don’t agree about a lot of things and those issues tend to resurface until there is a resolution of some kind. It’s not always fun. In fact, it’s exhausting at times. But since we are stuck with glue to one another, we believe that we don’t have an option; we have to keep talking.

We have learned it’s better to be honest up front. Better than being the “winner” of an argument, or getting your way, or having the last word. Better than dragging a discussion on longer than necessary. Being honest is always better than being “right.” Note that I didn’t say being honest with your feelings was easy or even clear. In fact, I don’t always know what my feelings are but DH might know, and vice versa.

Being honest is always better than being right.

It’s not all seriousness, though. We also delve into our desires, our fantasies, and practical ways to push our sensual boundaries. We figure out what works for each of us sexually and what doesn’t work. We’ve been having sex for 30 years. That’s a long time to do missionary.

Silliness is encouraged. Laughter is good, very good. And if the mood is right, the appetizer before dinner might be back in the bedroom. Then again, we don’t do beer30 every day. There are days when we are busy or not in the mood so we skip it. But we always resume beer30 the next day, or the next. Sometimes we don’t talk much and sometimes we talk, talk, talk.

We know beer30 works and we enjoy it so we keep doing it. We also know that couples our age often are in a habit of not talking. Little things have gone unsaid for years. Communication is broken. We don’t want that. So we keep talking.