If nit-picking is the superficial problem you two face, it's time to admit that. Ask your mate to sit down with you. Explain that you love him/her, but feel neglected, and you were wondering if he/she also feels neglected or unappreciated by you. Most likely, lonely feelings go both ways. Talk about specific things you can do to repair the bond, from couple activities to choosing to operate with good intentions by commenting on the positive things each of you do, every day. (In a prior column I suggest giving a daily dose of recognition—go to www.nymetroparents.com/fightless to read about that.)
You can also make simple changes, like giving each other a big hug and kiss when you first see each other at home at the end of the work day. Ask your mate what else you can do to show him/her more appreciation, and then DO IT. It doesn't matter if you think his/her request is silly. Love survives and thrives when we are willing to go out of our way to make our mate happy.
Our monthly relationship columnist Laurie Puhn is a Harvard-educated lawyer, couples mediator, pregnancy and parenting blogger at www.expectingwords.com, and bestselling author of "Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship Without Blowing Up or Giving In," who frequently appears on CNN, "Good Morning America," and "The Early Show" to offer relationship advice. She lives in Westchester with her husband and two children.
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