Relationships are full of ups and down, ins and outs. Some couples get caught on the “down” side and fall into the nasty hole of disconnection, loneliness, and dullness. In many ways, it can feel as if being stuck in a bottom of a ditch; nothing to grab onto to climb out, and the more you work to dig your way out, the more dirt falls in. Many couples try to make repair attempts to climb their way out of the deep hole, but the more it barriers them with more issues to work through. Does any of this sound familiar?
Getting caught in a ditch with no tools and no ladder, can be exhausting. Couples simply need a bit of hope and teamwork to help them climb their way out. Here are a few simple steps you can do to begin spicing up your relationship and climbing out of the ditch:

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  1. Get Out of Routine: Many couples fall into routine, get used to the fact that they have a partner, and overlook nurturing the relationship. Stop watching television nightly, stop making sex a routine, and stop waiting on your partner. Find a way to surprise your partner and do something different.
  2. Get Re-energized: Begin creating excitement and energy in your life by focusing on you. Take your lunch break and meet up with a friend, or get energy by joining a group, or start a new hobby. Any sense of energy is better than no energy. The excitement you have in your personal life can boost your motivation to crawl out of the pit.
  3. Talk About It: Begin a conversation about being stuck; share with one another about what it is like to be stuck in the ditch, talk about things that might help you two get motivated, and problem solve about other options for climbing out.
  4. Comfort One Another: When you two have been trying to dig your way out, it can get tough. Hold and comfort one another while going through the tough times. Tell your partner that you two will find a way to get out. Remember, you aren’t the only one stuck in the ditch.
  5. Look for the Good Stuff: When the disconnection is overwhelming and the energy is low, the optimistic thoughts dwindle away. Take an active approach and look for the good stuff in the relationship. Think positive and shift your thoughts from doubtful to hopeful.
  6. Seek Professional Help: When the tough gets going, and the digging only makes things worse, it is time to start yelling for someone to help you find a way out. A professional, such as a couple’s therapist, isn’t stuck in the ditch and can toss down a rope to help you climb out.

By Jennine Estes, MFT. Copyright © 2010 Jennine Estes, used with permission. All rights reserved. Read more from Jeanine at