Communication – This means you actually need to talk to each other.
After we have been with someone for a long time we figure they have heard all our stories and we really have nothing interesting to say. To many couples find themselves sitting in the same room to keep in close proximity but are in total silence.
Communication takes work and sometimes there isn't anything really new to talk about but find something to say. Talk about everything and anything. The day to day stuff, work, the kids, your fears, your hopes and dreams, your concerns, your needs. Once silence envelops you it is hard to go back.
Listen and be present – Listen with intent and sincere interest. Be present and do not use exit strategies to avoid interaction.
More often than not we are only partially listening. It does not matter if it is the boss, a friend, our children or our partner; we tend to tune people out. We think we know what they are going to say, figure we have heard the same speech before, or we our mounting our defense in our head because we feel attacked.
Exit strategies are the things we "have to do" excuses to avoid interaction and being present with our partner ie; working, reading, computer, kids, tv, gaming systems, ect....
Be kind to each other- Use kind language and choose your words carefully as to not inflict pain upon each other. Do not say things in anger that you will later end up regretting and apologizing for. They may forgive you but the wound(s) inflicted will remain.
Remember to say thank you and complement each other. Don't be neglectful of each other or forget that the other person’s time is equally valuable. They are stressed out, over worked and underappreciated as well. Take the time to ease the others burden in the small ways that make a huge difference.
Be grateful – Doing the laundry, working long hours, cooking a meal or taking out the trash are all things that should still be thought of as things done out of love. Don't forget to say thank-you.
Remember being with each other is not out of obligation but should be out of mutual desire to share in each other’s lives. When one does something as small as making sure the car has gas for you, remember it was one less thing you had to worry about. Take notice, say thank you and reciprocate.
Believe in each other – We should want the best for our partner. We should remind them of their worth and encourage them to keep reaching for the stars. Support each other’s goals and dreams. Never let them stop believing.
Play together – This is one of my favorites. I married young so we always kept that young playful tone. I don't think we really lost it until the last few years we were together.
Do things together that are fun and playful. Keep your child like enthusiasm for life and keep the newness of your relationship no matter how long you have been together. Treat each other like new lovers. Surprise each other and break the routine of day to day life. Do the things you would do to impress a lover.
Be intimate – It is ok to be vulnerable with your partner. Let your guard down and trust. Be intimate in your conversations, physically, intellectually, completely.