We all know relationships have ups and downs. At the beginning you feel smitten and happy as can be. Your love felt magnified and you may have felt like you had found your soul mate. Unfortunately most relationships lose their sparkle after a while, but don't worry, you may be able to, get things back to how they were and get you  feeling happy again.

When experiencing strained relationships  some people make the mistake of leaving things as they are.  They hope that it will run its course and get better by itself. The truth is it probably won't, unless you do something.

This is what you need to consider before you can make progress?

When did things go wrong?

Your relationship must have been better at some point otherwise you would not have noticed that it needs improving. When did everything change? Try to remember. Perhaps your actions (or lack of actions) led to the problems you are having now.

Are there any unresolved issues?

Unresolved issues can lead to tension, distrust or resentment. Sometimes it helps to clear the air and communicate with your partner what your thoughts are about something. Leaving issues unresolved will have you feeling as though they aren't the person you thought they were, or they have changed.

Identify what is missing

What is it that is missing from your relationship? Once you know what that is you will have something to work towards. Are you missing a good sex life, regular sex, friendship, compatibility or maybe something else entirely?

After determining what you need to change, set yourself a goal. Make a realistic goal that will, ultimately, improve things and end your worries. Create small achievable goal for each day, a slightly harder goal that could be accomplished within a week and a more ambitious goal that would take a month.

So what can you do to improve your marriage/relationship:

 Put back what is missing from your relationship

Whatever it is, make the effort to get it back. Think back to when it was not an issue and remember why? How could you get back to that point? You may know the answer already?

You have your list of goals. Don't forget to check what you need to do, analyze your progress and make new goals.

Try to reconnect with your partner by spending more quality time together

Try and spend time alone with your spouse. You could  go out on a date or stay in and watch a movie, whatever you like. Convince them to dedicate a regular time when you spend time alone.  It could be when the kids are asleep, lunch breaks at work or any other time you could fit in. The purpose is to create new memories where you aren't having arguments and you can get to know each other again.

Seek counsel from others

Ask friends how they improve their relationships. The quality of the advice that you are given may suprise you. If you know any couples who have been together for a long time, get their advice too. They are obviously doing something right, find out what it is.

Relationships take work. The worst thing you could do is not take action to resolve your relationship problems. You'll feel like a weight has been lifted if you try some of the tips and they work for you.