- Tell each other “I love you” at least once a day.
It’s like smiling, says Thomas. “Even if you’re not feeling very loving, the mere act of saying you love your partner will create that feeling in you.”
- Give each other check-the-mail time.
At the end of the day, each person needs 10 to 20 minutes of what Thomas calls “unwind time” – when you take off your coat, go to the bathroom, check the mail, turn on the news – before being handed the baby or told about the clogged sink. “If you deny each other that alone time, you’ll build up resentment that compromises the time you do spend together.”
- Touch, touch, and touch.
“Touch is the gateway to sustaining a connection in a healthy sexual relationship,” says Patti Britton, a licensed sex therapist and author of The Art of Sex Coaching. Try a healing touch (rubbing your partner’s aching neck), an affectionate touch (a squeeze around the waist), or a sensual touch (running your fingers through his hair).
- Let it go.
“Most of the things you fight about don’t matter a lot,” says Hamburg. So when you find yourself dueling over when the kids should eat or who should do the dishes, just flip a coin. Obviously, serious conflict should be dealt with on a more serious level, says Hamburg, “but most of the things couples fight about don’t matter a lot either way. Your kids will grow up healthy whether they eat now or later.” “Being right is the booby prize of life,” Page adds, “because in the end, you haven’t really won.” So let go and lighten up – you’ll both be happier for it.