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Explainer:

  • In the busy rush of everyday life, it can be easy to forget the most basic ways to connect with your partner. These simple yet powerful gestures, courtesy of the forthcoming book Save Your Marriage in Five Minutes a Day byBonnie Jacobson, Ph.D., with Alexia Paul (Adams Media 2011), are easy ways feel closer in mere minutes.

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  • 1. Give him a hug from behind

    More casual than a regular embrace, this is a reminder that says, “Although we race through our separate days, you are the one I will always come back to.” Surprise your spouse (but be careful not to startle him!) with a cuddle while he is engaged in some mundane task, like dishes or sorting the mail.

  • 2. Grab hands whenever you can

    Getty Images stock
    Holding hands is announcing to the world that you're together.

    Handholding is an uncomplicated sign of your togetherness. It's an announcement to the world that you belong together. Reaching for your spouse's hand may also take you back to those first few dates where his touch sent sparks flying.

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  • 3. Link arms

    This is charmingly old-fashioned and shows that you lean on each other. While walking together, take his arm and notice an instant feeling of togetherness. If you and your partner don't enjoy holding hands, this gesture is a great alternative.

  • 4. Cuddle on the couch

    Turn your usual TV time into a physical encounter by snuggling on the couch. Rather than sitting in separate seats, or putting the bowl of popcorn between you, just plop down and get close. This turns what could have been an average evening into a warm, shared experience--and maybe even more.

  • 5. Spoon before you sleep

    You will drift off sharing the warmth of each other's bodies. Spooning can often lead to sex; the feeling of the full length of your spouse's body pressed up against yours can be hard to resist.

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  • 6. Offer a back or shoulder rub

    Image: massage
    Getty Images stock
    A massage or back rub is an unselfish act.

    This is an unselfish act that is usually appreciated beyond measure, especially if it's unsolicited. And don't forget foot massages, which can be surprisingly sensual. Doing this may inspire him to return the favor. (Or you can ask in your sweetest voice and he'll get the hint!)

  • 7. Bad day? Head for the bedroom

    Lousy day at work? In a fight with your spouse? Getting busy may be the last thing on your mind, but I challenge you to witness the transformative power of sex. Making love even during the tough times can shore up a rocky period in your life or in your relationship. Work through your resistance and keep in mind that much can be made up for in the bedroom.

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  • 8. Hold his gaze over dinner

    Your meaningful glance will relay the message that more is on your mind than passing the green beans. That first spark you felt with your mate was probably through eye contact, and your shared gaze remains powerful.

  • 9. Create a private signal

    An ear tug or wink will mean nothing to those around you, but you'll both know what the other is thinking. Covert foreplay in public often adds to the sensual vibe you are seeking.

  • 10. Remind yourself that your spouse was once your boyfriend

    Your days are likely filled with responsibilities and compromises that are decidedly unsexy, and sometimes, it can seem like you're running on parallel tracks with the person you married, just trying to get it all done. But if you take a few minutes to think about your partner as your chosen lover, you'll feel more connected. This is foreplay's foreplay, getting yourself primed to reach out to your partner.

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  • 11. Be unpredictable

    Surprise your spouse by introducing an arousing vibe into otherwise mundane moments. Give him a long, unbroken kiss while stopped at a red light. Sometimes it's the surprise that counts!

  • 12. Tell him what's right about your love life ...

    before you share what’s missing. A brief conversation conducted with humor and love will give each of you the opportunity to honestly propose new ideas. If you're too shy to talk about sex directly, give your spouse hints as to what you desire the next time you make love. A well-timed moan or touch may speak volumes, depending on the other person's capacity to read between the lines.

  • 13. Skip the frills and lace

    .... andjoin your spouse in bed in just a thong or a T-shirt with nothing underneath. No need for frilly nightwear, which many people find too over the top or forced. You may be more comfortable in subtle, cozy cotton than itchy lace. Sometimes sexy is simple.

  • 14. Go to bed at the same time

    Image: A wife's suffering sex life
    Roy Mcmahon  /  Corbis stock
    Opportunity is key to keeping sex alive.

    And keep the television off. Opportunity is key to keeping sex alive in your marriage. If one of you is more of a night owl than the other, that person can always go back to her television, book, or computer after you've made love.

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