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We have so much to take care of - kids, home, pets, job, money and our health - that we might lose touch with our life partner. We may think he/she can take care of him/herself and thankfully that's one less thing we have to do.

The truth is, giving to your partner doesn't have to be another thing on your "to-do" list, but it can help deepen your relationship.

You can build a more loving relationship by following some simple steps:

  1. Set up time to talk about your goals and dreams as a couple. Don't call these "dates" because when life gets busy, it's easier to cancel a "date" than to cancel a "meeting."
  2. Remember that you are in this relationship for the long haul. You may not have as much time or energy as you'd like right now to work on your relationship. Every relationship takes time and energy. It's okay to set aside time to build those relationships.
  3. Share your thoughts and feelings honestly and often – even if it has to be through emails, notes or phone messages.
  4. Turn off the TV – no kidding! Many partners say that once they stopped watching TV every night, they were able to focus on their partner.
  5. If you share a hobby or interest, you are blessed. If you don't, find one. Then plan some time to enjoy this interest together.
  6. Remember the feelings you had when you first met your partner. When you are doing boring work around the house, such as washing clothes and paying bills, remember your feelings when you were first together.
  7. Don't get upset over little things your partner does that annoy you. Learn to "let go" of the things that may have upset you in the past. If you must say something, do it in a loving way. Make each day a new beginning.
  8. No family is perfect and every family has problems. Maybe you are having money problems, an illness or have lost a job. Be careful not to blame someone for your problems. Try to be kind, rather than right. It is the hard times that make you realize you need your partner. This can make your relationship stronger.
  9. Make ordinary things special with your partner. Helping each other with daily tasks can make it more fun and gets the work done sooner.
  10. Be nice and loving to each other in front of your kids. Say things like, "Thanks for making a great breakfast." "Did you see mom make that perfect catch?" "Thanks for coming home early so we could eat dinner together." Your kids will learn how to appreciate others and how to truly thank them.

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