Improve Your Relationship

Don't let work, kids, your girlfriends or your crazy schedule get in the way of your relationship. It's time to get out of your routine and spice things up, and SheKnows knows just what will do the trick!

How did things get off track?!

Often the hardest aspect is trying to understand what the man in our life is thinking. Michael French, author of Why Men Fall Out of Love: What Every Woman Needs to Understand, explains why men fall out of love, and offers tips on how to bring some excitement back into any marriage or relationship. In his book, French presents a fascinating look at men's deepest feelings, identifying the key issues that can unravel even the tightest bonds, and has even identified the four top relationship busters:

Loss of intimacy
When a man feels rejected by his partner

The quest for validation
Which stems from low self-esteem, and a man's continual search for approval and acceptance

The perfection impulse
The tendency of men to mask low self-esteem with achievement

The fading of attraction
When men tell their partners they're no longer attracted to them, they're masking the real reason for their loss of interest -- that they're not getting enough love

"Libido is like a muscle -- use it or lose it! That means you have to make a habit of lovemaking. The more you do it -- the more you'll feel like doing it," says Jennifer Oikle, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in relationship coaching. So, ladies, you heard the doctor, go out and get some "exercise."

What motivates men?

According to Dr. Cheryl McClary PhD, JD, a women's health professor and the author of The Commitment Chronicles -- The Power of Staying Together, men are not motivated by simply wanting to have a better relationship. Instead, men are motivated by:

  • Fear: of losing, and of change
  • Greed: for food and for money
  • Lust: for you and for his toys

"In a way, men sometimes are like cute pet puppies. A man would much rather roll around in the mud or dig holes in the yard than spend time making his relationship better," Dr. McClary says.

"Now I am not saying men are like dogs or that they should come panting when you whistle. I am saying that many lessons about living with men can be learned from observing ever-faithful canine companions."

All obedience schools are based on the reward system, she says, so it's probably worth applying some of their basic principles.

How to improvE your relationship:

  • Remember that what you want is a responsive, attentive companion.
  • Be persistent and consistent in teaching him what you expect.
  • Communicate your needs clearly.
  • Model gentle, loving behavior.
  • Lavish him with rewards (which will reward you too!).

Next page: 7 tips to make your relationship rock!

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Comments on "How to keep the romance alive (and hot!)"

Katie January 18, 2013 | 1:02 PM

Thanks for this. I definitely like the tip about letting go of the past. Honestly, this is hard for me, but I like the idea of a fresh start. We all make mistakes.

Tina July 02, 2012 | 4:58 PM

This was just what I needed. I think it's easy to get stuck in the routine of marriage. It's so important to keep things new by doing little things for eachother and really appreciating eachother. Simply acknowledging your husband when he walks in the door and giving him a huge hug will make him feel needed and desired by you.

olumide November 03, 2009 | 4:32 AM

am cool. and i want to even be a member November 02, 2009 | 2:09 PM

I think there are certain things that you need to do to bring the passion back and it's doing the same things you did back when you first started dating. That will let them know you are working to rekindle it. Then you should do sweet little things that you would have had it been a new relationship. Don't let yourself get lazy. Here are some ideas.

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