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Ten Positive Ways to Make Your Relationship Better

If you don’t take some action, the issues will only get bigger.

If your relationship is in trouble and you want to stay together, you have to take action. Doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t is a great way to begin the process. Here are 10 things that many partners who have endured difficult times and emerged stronger have done:

  1. Go to therapy. This seems obvious coming from a marriage counselor, but many couples think that if they can’t work it out themselves, the relationship isn’t right in the first place. Wrong. Few people can be objective about their own relationships and behaviors. A trained and objective third party can help.
  2. Do more together. That includes waking up and going to bed together, eating together, talking together. It will help you get it together.
  3. A picture is worth a thousand words. Keeping your partner’s picture on your desk, in your wallet, or on your computer lets him or her know that you think of your love throughout the day. This seemingly small thing can be very reaffirming.
  4. Dance the night away. Even if you have two left feet, just holding your partner and swaying to the music can be romantic and bonding. If you can’t get out, your living room will make a fine dance floor. You can also watch “Dancing with the Stars” together and pick up a few new moves.
  5. Do the new. Doing new things together releases oxytocin in the brain, which is one of the chemicals that makes us feel all atwitter when a relationship is fresh.
  6. Make love. For those in sex-starved relationships, the bond can be badly damaged. Touch is one of the most nurturing forces we know; if you don’t want your partner to touch you, you have to take a look at this issue and do something to change it.
  7. Travel together. Whether it’s a day trip to the lake or a month in Europe, traveling helps you build memories you can treasure forever. It can also help you forget the painful past, or at least put it in perspective.
  8. Connect every day. Don’t go even a day without speaking to your mate. Find some way to touch base daily. The more, the better.
  9. Proclaim your love. Not saying “I love you” is just not okay. The words don’t cost you a thing, and withholding them speaks volumes.
  10. Talk about everything. Keeping secrets or not sharing what’s in your head and heart will make your partner feel distant, and you won’t get the real benefit of a shared life. Speak up and express your feelings.

These techniques can help you heal everything from infidelity to in-law issues. But if you don’t take some action, then whatever the issue is will only get bigger and harder to heal.