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30 Days Back to Love

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If you really want to feel closer to your husband again (and vice versa), you need to invest in a strategy that reawakens some of the feelings that drew you together to begin with. In my years of counseling, I've seen many husbands and wives regain in only a month an emotional connection that took a decade or two to lose.

To bring your partner on board, start by telling him the idea behind 30 Days. "What if," you might ask, "there were a tune-up for strong marriages like ours? It's supposed to take only a few minutes each week. Would you try it with me?"

Tell him you've read this article, and invite him to read it, too. Let him know you could always start the journey and decide to stop short (though I hope you won't).

Here's a week-by-week plan for how to do it.

Week One: Take the scenic route

You can be married a lifetime and not let parts of yourself be known. During this first week, the goal will be to move out of the familiar emotional landscape and gain some new perspective on each other — and the relationship you share.

Step 1. Name one thing that you would never change about each other — and one thing that bugs you

Why identify something positive and something negative? Because finding your way back to love begins with reassuring each other about what's good in the marriage, while getting to work on just one roadblock that's creating distance between you.

If you find it hard to be completely honest about what isn't working perfectly between the two of you, feel free to blame me directly for the "complaint" part of the discussion. Tell your husband, "The article says this is all about figuring out what really makes us tick as a couple. We're supposed to just think about what we tell each other, not respond to it. And no grudges later."

Flip a coin to choose who goes first, and keep the tone light, even playful, if you can — supportive, not accusing. Remind your husband he'll get his chance, too, and that you're planning to listen and not to get defensive.

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