Don't wait until the spirit genuinely moves you to warm your partner's heart, Lerner says.
"Just like we can act courageously when we're afraid, we can act lovingly and focus on the positive when we're feeling...well, not quite that way," she says.
Your entire family will be better off if you take some "just the two of us" time to talk about the grownup stuff.
Working towards a common goal builds feelings of togetherness, and doing something physical—whether it's training for a half-marathon together or vowing to each lose ten pounds—gives you each an opportunity to encourage and call on each other for support.
Stop worrying that "the feeling is gone" and remember that even the best marriages get stuck sometimes, and if you're focused on what's wrong instead of bringing your best self to your marriage, that's a good recipe for failure.
Maybe it's as involved as a weekend B&B trip, or maybe it's as simple as spending an afternoon playing tourist in your hometown—say, by checking out the new neighborhood sushi place or visiting a nearby historical site.
Limit yourself to one criticism a day, figuring out which one matters most is a good exercise.