By Shana Aborn
You're both so busy with work, the kids, and your own interests that you can go for days without having a real conversation. And bedtime? That's strictly for sleeping, thanks.
What's the problem? When you eliminate quality time from your marriage, you risk getting too casual about your relationship -- or worse, assuming that you don't need to work on it anymore. Too much of this for too long and you could wake up one day and not even remember why you married each other. "People respond to detachment by pulling back themselves," says Kirshenbaum. "And things just go downhill."
Cleanup time: People also respond in kind to respect and niceness. So cut out distractions and use the time to reconnect. You can't miss your kids' games, but you can share a pizza in the stands or sneak away for a short walk. If you've fallen into the habit of zoning out in front of the TV every night, turn it off for at least 20 minutes and talk or do a sudoku puzzle together.
And if there's too much space between you in bed, work on getting back in touch -- literally. Experts agree that you may have to schedule sex, and even talk yourselves (and each other) into being interested. But it's totally worth it, because physical intimacy really can make the rest of your relationship stronger.