Neil Patrick Harris on the key to a successful marriage: You need to talk it out

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Neil Patrick Harris Reveals How He Makes His Marriage Work


Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary this month during a summer when many celeb couples are going their separate ways. ET caught up with NPH and got him to open up about his key to a happy marriage.

"You got to ebb and flow," Harris said. "The relationship changes. The definition of it changes."

PIC: Neil Patrick Harris Celebrates One-Year Anniversary to David Burtka

Harris, 42, wed Burtka, 40, after 10 years of dating and the two are the proud parents of 4-year-old twins Gideon Scott and Harper Grace. The Emmy-winning actor admitted that having children transforms a relationship and insisted that managing your own expectations can help you be more flexible when it comes to adapting to changes in a relationship.

"If you are too rigid about what your expectations are and then suddenly it changes, then you have more reason to want to look elsewhere for stuff," Harris noted. "In our relationship, communication is super important. Good friends of ours said, 'You need to talk it out,' and if that means raising your voice, you need to raise your voice. Know what you're talking about. Know where you're standing as opposed to letting stuff build up, I guess."

WATCH: Neil Patrick Harris Pranked 'The Voice' Coaches and It Was a Truly Terrifying Experience for Him

Harris spoke to ET while promoting his new hosting gig for NBC's variety show,Best Time Ever. On the show, which boasts that anything can happen, one of the host's tasks is to prank celebrities -- a feat he admitted can be scary. Harris described one such prank where he tried to get the best of The Voice coaches.

"I was Jurgen Vulmer, who was the host of The Voice Austria, which doesn't exist," he said, explaining the prank, which consisted of asking the coaches a bunch of random, strange questions. "I had almost three hours of prosthetic makeup on. I looked nothing like myself, and had a different accent."

WATCH: Neil Patrick Harris on His Much, Much Younger Celebrity Crush, Nick Jonas

"It was incredibly terrifying," he continued. "They thought I was insane."

Best Time Ever airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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Neil Patrick Harris on the key to a successful marriage: You need to talk it out
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Neil Patrick Harris during an interview with host Seth Meyers on October 1, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka attend 'The Country House' Opening Night - Arrivals & Curtain Call at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on October 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: Actor Neil Patrick Harris enters the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on September 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: Actor Neil Patrick Harris attends the Opening Night Gala Presentation And World Premiere Of 'Gone Girl' 52nd New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall on September 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 15: Neil Patrick Harris poses at his caricature unveiling celebrating his last performances in the Broadway Musical 'Hedwig and The Angry Inch' at Sardi's on August 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 17: Actor Neil Patrick Harris tapes an interview at 'Good Morning America' at the ABC Times Square Studios on July 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 16: David Burtka (L) and Neil Patrick Harris attend 2014 'TrevorLIVE NY' Benefit at Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 17: Neil Patrick Harris is seen at Huffington Post Live on July 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08: Lena Hall, Michael Mayer, Neil Patrick Harris, Ben Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask in the press room during the 68th Annual Tony Awards on June 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 8: THE 68TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS, broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall, Sunday, June 8 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/ delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning actor Hugh Jackman hosts. Pictured: Neil Patrick Harris for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. (Photo by Heather Wines/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08: Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka attend American Theatre Wing's 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 8: THE 68TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS, broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall, Sunday, June 8 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/ delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning actor Hugh Jackman hosts. Pictured: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical Neil Patrick Harris for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. (Photo by Heather Wines/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08: Neil Patrick Harris, winner of the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, poses in the Paramount Hotel Winners' Room at the 68th Annual Tony Awards on June 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08: Neil Patrick Harris attends the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08: Neil Patrick Harris and the cast of 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' perform onstage during the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08: Neil Patrick Harris and the cast of 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' perform onstage during the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08: (L-R) Actors Tony Shalhoub, Jessie Mueller and Neil Patrick Harris attend the American Theatre Wing's 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 03: Neil Patrick Harris accepts his three 2014 Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards for 'Favorite Diva Performance', 'Favorite Actor in a Musical' and 'Favorite Musical Revival' for 'Hedwig and The Angry Inch' backstage at The Belasco Theater on June 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02: Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka attend The Launch Of EAT (RED). DRINK (RED). SAVE LIVES at Eataly Birreria on June 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for (Red))
TODAY -- Pictured: Neil Patrick Harris appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris attend the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Neil Patrick Harris and Katy Perry pose backstage at 'Hedwig and The Angry Inch' on Broadway at The Belasco Theater on April 26, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Neil Patrick Harris attends the Broadway Opening Night After Party for 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' at the Belasco Theatre on April 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Neil Patrick Harris, Lena Hall and band during the Broadway Opening Night Performance Curtain Call for 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' at the Belasco Theatre on April 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Neil Patrick Harris during the Broadway Opening Night Performance Curtain Call for 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' at the Belasco Theatre on April 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 07: Actor Neil Patrick Harris attends U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announces his campaign to give Broadway and live theater productions a major tax break that will encourage investment and spur job creation at Sardi's on April 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Neil Patrick Harris (L) attend the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 Honors David Heyman at the Order of the Golden Sphinx Gala at the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center on March 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Neil Patrick Harris (R) and husband David Burtka arrive at the 22nd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar viewing party held on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03: Neil Patrick Harris during The Drama League's 30th Annual Musical celebration of Broadway honoring Neil Patrick Harris at The Pierre Hotel on February 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03: David Burtka and husband Neil Patrick Harris attend The Drama League's 30th Annual Musical celebration of Broadway honoring Neil Patrick Harris at The Pierre Hotel on February 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 26: (L-R) David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris arrive at the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 21: (L-R) Chef David Burtka, son Gideon Scott, partner actor Neil Patrick Harris and daughter Harper Grace attend opening night of Cirque du Soleil's 'Totem' at the Santa Monica Pier on January 21, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 16: Model Heidi Klum and actor Neil Patrick Harris attend the 'Under The Gunn' Finale Fashion Show at Los Angeles Theatre on December 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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