Ask Dr. Elia: Can love be rekindled? Part 2

Last week I talked about why couples grow apart. Today I will discuss specifically "how" couples can reconnect and even reinvent a passionate and loving marriage.

Most, if not all, marriages go through their seasons, affected by circumstances. Whether you've been together for five, 10, 20 or 40 years, the opportunities to reinvent your relationship are always available. The key to doing so is to simply answer this question: Where does my marriage stand on my priority list? Is it first, or does it fall behind kids, work, church callings, leisure time, hobbies or just plain ol' selfishness? If we want our marriage to thrive even under all the pressures in today's society, we have to move it up on our priority list. If we don't, we'll end up just surviving at best, stuck in the kind of "parallel marriage" I talked about last week.

There are four simple ways we can reclaim our marriage from the doldrums and actually begin to enjoy each other's company again:

1. Think of one behavior of yours that is causing unnecessary stress in your marriage, and make a conscious decision to eliminate it from the relationship. In all my years of working with couples, you'd be amazed what difference it makes when we eliminate just one destructive, dysfunctional or even mildly annoying behavior. Whether it's being critical, unkind, cold, unforgiving or just picking up after yourself, it does make a huge difference.

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