Use your differences to complement each other. Get to know each other’s different temperaments so that you can learn how best to communicate with each other. Then the differences between you will be less likely to divide you, and you’ll be able to use those differences to complement each other so that you’ll be stronger together than apart.

Bring back lost love. It’s not unusual for couples who have been together a long time to fall out of love, and it can happen to people in any marriage. You and your spouse may lose the love you once had for each other if either you or your spouse neglects maintaining one or more of the factors that cause attraction (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) and which remain important throughout your lifetimes. It’s vital to do the best you can at your age and in your situation to take good care of yourself physically (such as through exercise and good nutrition and hygiene), mentally (learning new things every day), emotionally (expressing love to others consistently through your attitudes and actions), and spiritually (becoming more like Jesus and serving in God’s kingdom).  It’s also important to make sure that the way you and your spouse communicate is marked by both love and respect. When you and your spouse are both doing your best in those areas, you can fulfill each other and keep love alive or resurrect it after it has died.

Deal with conflict wisely. Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, and especially in a close relationship like marriage. But when you manage conflict wisely, it won’t damage your relationship, and can actually strengthen it. Understand that anger comes from either loss or a violation of expectations or trust. When arguing, stay focused on the facts, avoid unhealthy behaviors (criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling), and forgive each other.

Help each other fulfill God-given dreams for your lives. Keep your love for each other growing by sharing your dreams with each other, praying for God’s guidance about them, and working together to help each other pursue the dreams that you each sense God calling you to pursue.

Adapted from The Art of Falling in Love, copyright 2012 by Joe Beam. Published by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Shuster, Inc., Brentwood, Tn.

Joe Beam is a nationally best-selling author who has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Montel Williams Show, The James Dobson Show and other appearances on TV and radio. He is a marriage educator who writes about relationships and life. Joe founded Love Path International (now Beam Research Center), an organization that provides marriage help to hurting couples. Visit Beam Research Center at www.joebeam.com

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles. Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer

Publication date: August 22, 2012