By Debbie Ceresa for Divorce Support Center

Has your marriage lost that lovin’ feeling? The same old New Year’s resolutions of getting into sexy shape by going to the gym won’t rekindle the once burning embers in your relationships and love. Now is the time to reignite your relationship flame. It’s important to remember that you did find the right person, but somewhere along the way you lost yourself. Think back to the time you fell in love. Not long ago, you could look at each other and instantly know each other’s thoughts or just the memory of your loved one made you smile. You can be that right person for each other again. As a relationship expert, my dating advice is to start by conjuring up those lost memories while you work on the five following commitments.

Dating Advice On Rekindling The Lovin’ Feeling In Your Marriage

1. Respect: Aretha Franklin knew it was worth spelling out. You know respect when you feel it. It’s an inner sense we all have. If you want to be admired and held in high esteem, know that your spouse is looking for that same feeling. Respect is essential in a successful marriage. Often it manifests itself in small gestures such as the endearing name that makes you feel loved or expressing thanks for the cup of coffee your spouse makes for you every morning. These are little gestures, but how about the bigger ones? Talk to each other when making joint decisions, whether it involves accepting a dinner invitation or making a huge purchase. Recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses and encourage rather than belittle your partner. Make a conscious effort to bring back your secret looks, kind acts, and loving nicknames.

Related Link: Relationship Advice: Why Your Dating New Year’s Resolutions Fail

2. Teamwork: “I’m on your side,” should be your motto to each other. Author and marriage and family therapist Tina B. Tessina shared in her book, Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, that instead of dwelling on who’s right and who’s wrong, the focus should be on solving the problem that the two of you are facing together. Her dating advice emphasizes on talking about your challenge long enough to understand it. Then you can move on with mutual solutions. Working together to find a joint solution will add motivation to continue working as team players both during challenges and good times.

3. Love: I love you. This phrase never goes out of style. It’s a powerful statement to each other that can’t be said enough. We all enjoy being loved. Love is sharing, appreciating, and admitting our mistakes. Have you heard the saying, “You attract more bees with honey than vinegar?” The more love energy you send out, the more your spouse and others will want to be around you. Write down a few date ideas, initiate a date night and spend time being a couple. Incorporate your teamwork skills to schedule a special event without your cell phones, kids or friends. It’s always fun to think outside the box and try a new activity, such as visiting a museum or a unique restaurant.

Related Link: What Can We Learn From Celebrity Divorces?

4. Commitment: “When people say they are committed to his or her relationship, they can mean two things,” said Benjamin Karney, a professor of psychology and co-director of the Relationship Institute at UCLA. “One thing they can mean is, ‘I really like this relationship and want it to continue.’ However, commitment is more than just that.” A deeper level of commitment, the psychologists report, is a much better predictor of lower divorce rates and fewer problems in marriage. “It’s easy to be committed to your relationship when it’s going well,” said senior study author Thomas Bradbury, a psychology professor who co-directs the Relationship Institute. “As a relationship changes, however, you must say something like, ‘I’m committed to this relationship, but it’s not going very well — I need to have some resolve, make some sacrifices and take the steps I need to take to keep this relationship moving forward.”

5. Forgiveness: You were the one who was harmed and feels bad—why should you forgive? Forgiveness doesn’t mean you excuse the hurtful behavior, but it does mean you can let go and move forward. Here’s the benefit: After you forgive, you’ll feel better. Your ability to forgive gives you a feeling of empowerment and the power to take charge of your happiness. Holding onto old disappointments, arguments, and hurt is a waste of your time and energy. Forgiveness will keep you healthy both physically and emotionally.

Related Link: Relationship Advice: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Saying “I Do”

So if your relationship has lost that lovin’ feeling—take five. By focusing on mutual respect, teamwork, love, commitment, and forgiveness, you will find the keys to a new and improved relationship just in time for the New Year.

Debbie is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist® and the author to the #1 bestselling memoir A Beautiful View, available on amazon.com. A Beautiful View documents her journey through her husband’s battle with cancer, which ultimately ended with his death. She has experienced grief firsthand and is well equipped to aid others in the recovery process, whether with death or divorce. For more information about Debbie and how to recover from your loss, please visit debbieceresa.com.

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