1) Refresh your Memory - Often times we forget about the nice things or the thoughtful gestures we did during what I call the “Unconscious Stage” (usually in the first year). Pull out some old photos/videos or cards and refresh your mind and spirit with how you felt about your mate in the beginning.
2) Communicate Often - Circumstances and experiences most often change a person, which subsequently affects perspective. More specifically, what you thought was acceptable to your mate in the beginning, could have changed dramatically in the present. Frequent communication can minimize the surprise of new or modified expectations.
3) Renegotiate New Terms and Conditions – According to how long you have been together, it may be the perfect time for new and improved practices, expectations and boundaries. For some, a renewal of trust and love may be needed. Others may want to improve on some small weaknesses in their relationship. The 21st century has ushered in all sorts of new influences and new ways to connect to people globally, which can negatively affect your relationship and send you on a downward spiral.
4) Listen - Active listening is a seldom used art form in some relationships, especially with those who have been together for a number of years. Normally, when one person is talking, the other is preparing their response, instead of listening. Active listening requires your undivided attention, patience and focus. This will enable you to receive exactly what your spouse is trying to convey. Remember, understanding is one of the goals of a conversation. If your spouse feels misunderstood, especially when you have failed to listen, the connection will be lost and that can lead to more challenges.
5) Self-Awareness – Self-evaluation is a key ingredient to growth and prosperity. Always check in with yourself. Introspection is a conversation with your soul and spirit. Take the time everyday to think about what you are doing, what you have done and what you can change for the better. As you perform maintenance on the inside, the fruits of that hard work will manifest on the outside.