Finally, maintain mutual admiration. It takes intentionality and focus to maintain positive momentum. Resist the natural temptation to slip back into criticism and negativity, and instead be Pollyannish, noticing the good things about your mate. Everyone wants to be praised and responds positively to it. Compliment him/ her. Catch them doing things well. Speak highly of them and bring civility back to your marriage. You'll be glad you did.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Are you ready for a new marriage in 2011? Practice these five strategies and let me know how they work for you. Feel free to email me for more information, and read about The Marriage Recovery Center on my website,

Dr. David Hawkins is the director of the Marriage Recover Center where he counsels couples in distress. He is the author of over 30 books, including 90 Days to a Fantastic Marriage, Dealing With the CrazyMakers in Your Life, and Saying It So He'll Listen. Dr. Hawkins grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and lives with his wife on the South Puget Sound where he enjoys sailing, biking, and skiing. He has active practices in two Washington cities.