1. An Everyday Thank You Identify tasks (large and small) your partner performs on your behalf. Say “thank you” with all of the sincerity and gratitude you can muster. You can also identify one of your favorite things about your wife or partner, very specifically say out loud to them how much you enjoy and appreciate this particular thing about them and how grateful you are to have that in your life. Can be combined with the Six-Second Hug to save time.
  2. Employ Six-Second Hugs The brain releases certain feel-good chemicals (oxytocin and serotonin) after about six seconds of a physical embrace with someone. “I love you” rings hollow when said on auto-pilot before walking out the door or hanging up the phone. “I love you” can change a bad day into a good one in the midst of a good six-second hug. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can overachieve your way up to 10-second hugs and change the entire world.
  3. Set a Phone Reminder to Plan a Shared Activity Together One of the easiest ways to get into a relationship rut is to do the same thing every day, every night, every weekend, wash, rinse, repeat. Many break-up and divorce stories begin there. Plan an activity together. Something you both enjoy preferably, but when in doubt, default to an activity they enjoy. Do this every two weeks, at minimum. Here’s the best part: The shared activity itself is simply icing on the strong-relationship cake. What you might discover is that it’s the effort and energy being invested in your togetherness that will go noticed and appreciated.
  4. Flirt by Text, Email or Handwritten Note The significance of the desire humans have to feel wanted cannot be overstated. An estimated 95% of every affair happened because someone else made a person feel wanted and attractive while their partner (intentionally or not) made them feel ignored and undesirable. FLIRT. It’s fun. You know your wife or girlfriend best, so you need to know where her personal boundaries lie (if you don’t know, you’re doing it wrong – ASK HER). Sometimes it’s best to be playful, other times, being direct works. When someone knows you are investing imagination and mental energy into your desire for them, it makes them feel sexier, valued and cared for — things you may already believe you’re demonstrating. Leave no doubt in her mind who it is you want to touch.
  5. Do a “Chore” (Intentionally Look for One) Without Being Asked or Expecting Thanks In almost every household, the division of labor can sometimes feel unbalanced and unfair to someone. When someone brings up this imbalance they feel, it tends to lead to defensive arguments, resentment and is often cited by wives as the reason they wanted to end their marriages. While thoughtfully flirting with one’s wife or girlfriend can produce sexual arousal and desire, thoughtlessly (or worse—intentionally) leaving household tasks for her to take care of has the opposite effect. When we put people in a similar position to our parents, then they feel like a parent which is among the world’s most effective ways of making someone not want to have sex with you. Identify something that needs done and do it well. Cleaning a dirty dish or putting away a clean one. Emptying the bathroom waste basket. Folding a load of laundry. Feel good about making her feel good. You and your family will be happy with this decision when you’re celebrating your 40-year wedding anniversary.

Matthew Fray is a writer, single dad, divorced guy and creator of MustBeThisTallToRide.com. Likes: Funny stuff, books and not divorcing.