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How to revive the romance in your marraige

Deborah Cruz is a SheKnows parenting expert and blogger at The TRUTH About Motherhood, which she calls a place of "humor, support, honesty and integrity." Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Silence is golden... until it means you're taking your partner for granted. Here's how to rev up your relationship.

Photo credit: altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

There is something wonderful about a long marriage in which a couple can sit in comfortable silence, but when is the silence too quiet? My husband and I bicker; I tell him that it’s because I care. If I didn’t care, I would silently stew and plot my escape, but I do care so occasionally we argue. I think our marriage is worth fighting for and I am passionate about keeping the relationship alive and thriving. I don’t think anyone wants to get so comfortable that she begins to take her partner for granted, because then the love dies and they become roommates instead of lovers.

If your relationship has endured one too many comfortable silences and is on life support, here are a few ways to resuscitate your dying romance.

Talk

Comfortable silence is fantastic, but you also need to be able to talk when you have something on your mind. Simply sitting in (un)comfortable silence when you have something that needs to be discussed will not make the problem go away, it will only make you frustrated and angry that the other person can’t figure it out. Tell him. And if he needs to talk, listen. Don’t interrupt, don’t get defensive and don’t try to fix it... just listen.

Just do it

It sounds simple, and it may even sound barbaric, but believe me when I tell you that we need sex in a marriage. It is more than getting your rocks off (though that is more important than you can imagine); it is about the intimacy created through the closeness we share when we make love or even have a quickie with our partner.

Do something silly

Some of us get in bad moods and take ourselves too seriously, including myself. I am notorious for having my head in that serious place, and when my husband says something completely innocent I go after him like a wounded lioness. It’s usually not about him, it’s about me. We all know biting your partner’s head off is not conducive to marital bliss, so why not try laughing at yourself or just doing something silly to break the tension. Laughter really does release the tension and let you move past anger.

Go away and be partners, not parents

Date night. I used to think it was a luxury that we could not afford and, quite honestly, didn’t think we needed. Then I realized that if we only saw one another as our children’s parents, we would lose our view of the person we married and maybe the attraction we had. We need that attraction. We all need to feel wanted as men and women, as sexual beings, not just someone’s mother. I want someone to make me feel like he can’t live without me, not like he's staying with me because it's comfortable and familiar. There is a difference.

Be kind

Try a little tenderness. Sometimes in marriage we become so worn down from raising children and just trying to get through the days of obligations that we take for granted what we really have. Not everyone has a partner in life to depend on completely, someone who is fully invested and freely gives unconditional love. It’s hard to find and even harder to keep in a world of 50 percent divorce rates. Cherish your mate and try to remember that underneath it all, he is the man who you fell in love with. Be kind to him. He is more than just the father of your children.

Don’t know what you’ve got 'til it’s gone

Give each other some space. I know it sounds counterintuitive when you are trying to resuscitate a dying marriage, but you never really know how good you have it until you don’t have it. When you are married, you sometimes become almost fused as one. In fact, we pride ourselves on that, not knowing where one ends and the other begins. But I have to say, my husband is never hotter to me than when one of us has gone away and returns home. It’s exhilarating and sexy every time the other person returns, because you had time to miss and appreciate them.

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