Every couple becomes disconnected from each other occasionally. Time constraints, familial responsibilities and issues at work all can work against a solid relationship and sometimes problems arise. A strong relationship or a couple that is determined to stay together will work through these moments by talking through the problems and figuring out a way to not let it happen again.

However, how do you know when your marriage is in real trouble?’  Many people are under the assumption that marriages end in giant explosion of affairs, screaming matches and threats. In reality, most marriages are about two people who drift apart and no longer know how to find each other again.

Are you complaining more to your partner or about him to your friends? Negative comments whether intentional or not are an early sign of the problems to come. Whether directed at him or just to the girlfriends, negativity breeds negativity. Instead, try making positive comments – tell him when he looks good and share some of his positive aspects with your friends.

Communication is an important part of any relationship marriage, family, friends, work and even with your dog. Without talking, no one really understands what the other person is thinking and withholding information is deadly to a marriage. When you first met, remember how you shared with him all your dreams for the future, feelings and secrets? And he shared his with you? And how you could spend hours talking and actually listened to each other? What happened and how do you get back to that time?

Actually, ‘‘time’’ is critical. Healthy couples make time for each other and although a special evening together or a romantic weekend away is nice, sometimes that is not realistic. What about spending a few minutes before dinner relaxing over a glass of wine and talking through your day? Alternatively, make dinner together if time is a problem. Even fifteen minutes a day can bring couples together again as long as communication stays open and positive. Too often, couples put everything else ahead of their relationship careers, kids, family, exercise, school. Make your relationship a priority because it is and like everything else, it takes work.

When you can schedule an evening out together, make it a special one and special does not have to mean expensive. For some couples, just being out of the house together without the kids, the dogs and the stress is special enough and all they do is go for a drive, a walk or to the local coffee shop to talk, hold hands and be a ‘‘couple’’ again.

Touching is an important part of a healthy relationship and not just the sexual, behind closed doors type of touching. Holding hands, caressing and hugging are all touches that bring two people together. Look back at when you first met again, how long could you go before you had to touch the other person? A few minutes maybe? Remember watching TV snuggled up together on the couch? Or holding hands when out for a walk? Remember how only half your king size bed was used as you slept together? Do the dogs sleep between you now? Shove them out of the way and snuggle up beside your partner again. Watching TV? Sit down beside him on the couch instead of in your lonely chair. Invite him out for a walk and take his hand in yours. Touching is an integral part of a relationship but an easy one to rekindle.

Trust is one of those odd things that is in a relationship or it isn’’t. You cannot partially trust a partner and consider your relationship healthy. Trust must be earned and it can be given it is actually a significant gift to give your partner. Trust is also one of the first things to go when a marriage is on the rocks and it makes sense how can you trust someone who you barely talk to, spend no time with and never touch?

The good thing about trust is it can be rebuilt, strengthened and unfailing if you do work on all the other aspects of your relationship. Once you trust again, you know you are off the rocks and back to sailing calm seas.

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