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Married Romance » Articles » Marriage

How to Jump-Start a Stalled Relationship
Five ways to move from "me" to "we"

Work deadlines, piles of laundry, and time-crunched schedules combined with the stress of dealing with conjugal differences can test even the strongest marriages. It's normal to wonder what happened to that initial loopy-in-love feeling. But before declaring "game over," read on to discover how you can jump-start a stalled relationship and build an unconditional love that will last.

"People say love is blind," says Mort Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness: 4 Steps to Building & Maintaining Phenomenal Love (MarriageMax, Inc. $13.95, "But true love is not blind. True love sees and still loves. True love is unconditional."

A sought-after public speaker and world premier marriage coach, Fertel wrote Marriage Fitness to provide a step-by-step system for helping couples tap into the potential of their relationship. Endorsed by relationship experts around the world, Marriage Fitness focuses on building and maintaining a healthy relationship, not on conflict resolution or therapy; it unmasks the myth that "love is a mystery" and reveals a system of activities and behaviors to help you "make" more a more loving relationship.

"When you and your spouse discover differences, flaws, and problems, that's not when the marriage ends," says Fertel. "It's when you move from "me" to "we" and build lasting love." To help you jump-start your marriage, Fertel offers five fast ways to move from "me" to "we."

  1. Move your "circle of life."
    Choose one of your spouse's hobbies or interests and get more involved with them.

  2. Pick a hobby--any hobby.
    Select a new hobby or interest that you and your spouse can do together. It could be anything--investing, Thai massage, cooking, gardening, wine tasting, or bicycling. Once you select your hobby, get into it! Search the Internet, send for information, sign up for a class or talk to experts. Whatever you do, do it together!

  3. Make room for love.
    Sometimes you may need to drop a time-consuming interest or hobby in order to make more room for your marriage. Maybe time in front of the tube or those three-day golf outings are interfering with your love life. Choose one hobby or pastime that your spouse is not involved with and eliminate it from your life. You'll be amazed at the positive impact it will have on your marriage.

  4. Be a team.
    Instead of letting your flaws or problems drive you apart, invite your spouse to work on them with you. You may not solve your problem, but you'll improve your marriage by connecting with your spouse.

  5. Ask your spouse, "What do you think?"
    Pick an area of life in which you make decisions regularly. Start asking your spouse for their opinion and let them influence your decisions.

"The more your lives intersect, the more you will connect," says Fertel. "And that connection is the magical experience of love. It's the experience of 'we'."

Don't wait until your marriage is on its way to the junkyard, advises Fertel. Take action now! Make a conscious choice to connect with your spouse, get involved in each other's lives, and then watch the phenomenal way your marriage--and your life--grows!

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