Lots of simple points in this post by Suhail Al Gosaibi of Bahrain. They seem simple, but many people have travelled far and wide and lived long in order to put them into words.
Just like being a parent, all those years and it comes down to food! Or smiling. Or doing the laundry. Or being able to say that you need to say that again, I couldn't hear you properly. Or saying that there is no clear budget now, but there will be in the future.
The link between the two situations is having a familiar practical structure for chatting together. I am in the middle of arranging one weekend a month to stay with my parents. That will mean hanging around together at breakfast and in the evenings, plus total permission to buzz off to do whatever I want all day long.
Here I just go in and chat with my mother in law, eat biscuits in her kitchen, or bring in my cup of tea with me. Then we can discuss some of the things which are bothering us right there and then. We can also talk about the same thing over and over again, but from slightly different angle We know which subjects set us off. I can hear her accent become stronger as she speaks about something close to her heart.
If there is mistrust each side has to start from a dignified position. A prisoner can hardly start to trust his jailer. Only once he is free can there be even a glimmer of mutual respect.