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Dear Amy: I have been married to my husband for 10 years. We have a 5-year-old son.

My husband is fantastic; however, he takes zero interest in what is going on in my life. He never asks me how my day is, or wants additional details about anything, even if he knows that something important is going on.

I have expressed this frustration multiple times, and he might ask once after that, but he'll never ask again.

I will ask him about his day, and he always says, "the usual." How can I get him to care about what is going on in my life?

Amy says: Most of us learn our communication styles from our family of origin. Your husband might have learned very early on that staying quiet was the best course for him.

You see this as him not caring about what is going on in your life. I see this as the two of you not knowing how to engage in intimate spoken communication. It takes practice.

If your husband always answers "the usual" when you ask him about his day, he's not providing any information for you two to engage in a conversation. In addition to not telling his own story, your husband is not being responsive, but this doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't care about what's going on with you.

Asking more open-ended questions might draw him out. Instead of "How was your day," try, "Tell me about your day."

Another suggestion is for you to "call a meeting." In my family, we will occasionally call a meeting when we have something important to discuss. This is giving other family members advance notice that they are expected to listen and participate.

Learning intimate communication is not easy, but it can be done. Check out "The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships," by John M. Gottman and Joan DeClaire (2002, Harmony).

Once you recognize communication patterns, you can begin to change the way you interact, which will influence others.

Emergency call

Dear Amy: I got upset at my husband because I found out that he put my mother-in-law (his mom) as his first emergency contact. He listed me as his second contact.

I feel hurt. Am I overreacting or being selfish?

Amy says: Depending on how long you've been married, listing his mother as his emergency contact might have been your husband's first instinct, but now you have a chance to analyze it.

Of the two of you — his mother or you — which person is more likely to be able to react quickly if your husband is in an accident? Do you always have your phone nearby and charged? Or is his mother more likely to be reachable?

I think you might be overreacting. Depending on how healthy your relationship is, this seems more a curious choice than a deliberately hurtful one.

Send questions to Amy Dickinson at