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Laura Berman
1. Never underestimate the power of a compliment.

"Every day, tell your partner about one thing they did that you appreciate. Everybody is quick to let their partner know what they didn't do right, and what made you angry. Make sure you balance this with what they do that pleases you. From the small things to the big things, the more you say 'Thank you,' the more of what makes you happy will come your way."

ŚJane Greer, Ph.D., couples therapist and author of Gridlock: Finding the Courage to Move On in Love, Work, and Life

2. Listen more, talk less.

"Communication is 85 percent listening and 15 percent talking. The more you listen, the more you'll enhance communication. Try getting out of the house, taking a long walk without your cell phones, and just looking into your partner's eyes and listening to him. It's an amazing thing in a relationship when you truly feel listened to!"

ŚNeil Clark Warren, Ph.D., founder of and author of Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons

3. Sweep your problems (the little ones) under the rug.

"It really is okay to drop certain subjects and not even come back to them. People think this means you're avoiding key issues. But for everyday little things, successful couples agree to ignore the small problems. It's not worth the aggravation to insist on winning everything."

ŚDavid Wexler, Ph.D., executive director of the Relationship Training Institute in San Diego and author of When Good Men Behave Badly

4. Treat your love like a cherished friendship.

"The happiest couples relate to each other with respect, affection, and empathy. They choose their words carefully, avoiding the most poisonous relationship behaviorsŚcriticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewallingŚ and feel emotionally connected."

ŚJohn Gottman, Ph.D., cofounder of the Gottman Institute in Seattle and author of 10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage

5. To change our relationship, change yourself.

"In most relationships, we think, I'm right, you're wrong, and I'll try to convince you to change. The truth is, if one person changes, the relationship changes. People say, 'Why do I have to change?' But when I show them how to tip over the first domino, their only question is, 'Why did I wait so long?'"

ŚMichele Weiner-Davis, couples therapist and author of The Sex-Starved Marriage

6. Watch out for harsh commentsŚthey hit harder than you think.

"When you're tired or frustrated, it's easy to slip into being critical of your partner. But remember, negative expressions and comments and behaviors hold much more weight than positive interactions. Make sure that for every one negative interaction, you have five positive interactions to counteract itŚa touch, a laugh, a kiss, an act of love, a compliment."

ŚScott Haltzman, M.D., psychiatrist and author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men

7. Sex: Just do it.

"Have sexŚeven when you don't want to! Many times, arousal comes before desire. Once you get going, you'll probably find yourself enjoying it. And the more you experience sex, the more your body will condition itself to want it. You'll feel more sensual and energized, and your partner will pick up on this sexy change."

ŚLaura Berman, Ph.D., director of the Berman Center in Chicago and author of The Passion Prescription

8. Don't knock it till you've tried it...twice.

"Try being adventurous in bed. Even if you don't like something, give it at least two chances before you give up on itŚit may grow on you!"

ŚLaura Berman, Ph.D.

Laura Berman

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