Throughout my career as a marriage and family therapist I have helped many couples work through challenges and ultimately strengthen the foundation of their relationships. Every relationship has its unique ups and downs and I have seen and heard many of the issues that can challenge even the strongest of relationships.

A variety of issues can strain a relationship and if it is not addressed, it can become overwhelming for both partners. Stress takes over and the power of the mind can betray us and paint a simple problem as a complicated and intense issue. Add our hectic lifestyle to the equation and things can quickly get out of hand.  Herein lies a problem that can be soothed by taking a step back and getting back to the basics of building a strong relationship. Focusing on the foundation of your relationship can help put other issues into perspective. Sometimes a few small changes can help make a big difference. Try these 5 tips that can help drown out the noise and help rekindle that spark.

5 Easy Ways to Rekindle Your Spark

Look for positives: The mind has a funny way of finding what it is looking for. If you are looking for things that bother you or mistakes your partner makes you will find it each and every day. Try reversing this mindset and look for things your partner does right or makes you happy and you will find it.

Accept quirks:  Trying to change somebody is a fool’s errand. Why? Our life experiences and environment shape how we do things, why we act in certain ways, and in many ways, who we are. There is something behind each quirk or difference that attracted you to them in the first place so give up your silly plan to change the person you already fell in love with. Accept your differences and focus on each other’s strengths.

More than date night: Having a date night during the week is popular way to stay connected to your partner and enjoy quality time. Try applying this concept to other tasks you can do together. Cooking for the kids, paying bills, doing yard work, or watching TV shows are other ways to create on-going connections.

Speak up: Just because your partner has been taking the kids to school every morning for 3 years does not mean hearing a “thank you” is not appreciated. It’s easy to forget and overlook the sacrifices we make for each other. Take the time to say it and do not assume it’s implied.

Reminisce: Don’t let great memories fade away, cherish your history. Recall, retell, and bring back the feeling of those good memories. It’s always a good way to lift moods and laugh together.