Certain times of year can be problematical for marriages. Divorce lawyers report that post-Christmas and post-holidays are their busiest times of the year, after the relationship stress of couples spending significantly more time together than they typically would.

Let’s look at some ways to turn potentially fraught times around and invest in your relationship.

– Time for each other can be at a premium, especially if there are young children. The demands of work, home, family and friends can mean that time for yourself and each other becomes non-existent, and this can cause relationship stress. Try to set aside 30 minutes before bed to be together and talk. Turn off your phone rather than sit constantly checking in on social media. Your phone won’t keep you warm at night!

– Share some interests. Sport, exercise, cooking together, a course of some kind perhaps without exams, might be fun ways to rebuild a shared connection and provide plenty of non-routine stuff to talk about.

– Some separate, occasional time apart can also add a spark to your relationship and help you both reclaim your individuality again. Introducing new conversation and enthusiasm can pay dividends in making you both feel attractive, interesting and so add a little zest. Look after yourself, your health, your appearance and hygiene. When you take personal responsibility for yourself everyone benefits.

– Attention is important in a relationship. It makes us all feel special, important, desirable. Remember to stay attentive to each other’s situation, even when you’re busy. You know what they like, are interested in, what matters to them. Smile readily when you first see them, make eye contact, give them a gentle touch as you walk by; all positive ways to ease relationship stress and show that you still find them attractive.

– Gestures, those little thoughtful touches that show you care can make a real difference; a text that simply says ‘thinking of you’, not wanting anything in return, just to say ‘hello’. Bring home a flyer about a talk, lecture, event that may be of interest, demonstrating that you care and have noticed something you think they’d like. It’s thoughtful and costs nothing in terms of expenditure.

– Communicate, share, and be absorbed, genuinely interested in each other. Be eager to include your partner in what’s going on in your life, how you’re feeling. But equally be keen to know about their life too. Remember what you’ve been told and follow through, wanting to learn the next installment.