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After several years of marriage, Steve is feeling the effects of relationship ho-hums. He and Glenda have fallen into the trap of equalizing affection for one another. He does for her. She does for him. He does for her. She does for him. Love has become monotonous and routine. Steve wonders how they can revitalize their marriage and give it that spark.

Whoever notices the dullness first in a marriage should turn the ignition key. What would happen if you showed more interest in your spouse? Yes, you love each other. Why not display some imagination occasionally? Surprise her.

Look at your wife when she speaks. Watch her eyes and her body language. Nod your head in agreement and say things like, “I see” or “Yes.” Let her know through your actions that you find her worthy. Show your admiration and respect by supporting her. Refrain from “fixing it” or criticizing.

For example, if your wife rants about the idiocy of her boss, do not tell her how to improve her situation unless she asks. Women sometimes like to “think aloud,” and her way of discussion may be her way of solving her own problems. When your wife extols the common sense of her superior the next day, you can rest assured that she has gone through six stages of problem solving to come to her new conclusion. Just listen. Ask nonjudgmental questions in a kind way, when she is through speaking.

Another way to impress your wife is to help with household chores. Vacuum the whole house. Mop the kitchen floor. Dust all the high places she cannot reach like ceiling fans and tops of bookcases. For extra turbo-bonus points, clean the bathroom, including the toilet. It is a repugnant task, even for her.

Wives always welcome a small token of appreciation. Cards are an inexpensive choice. Write a few lines on the inside or on a piece of stationery about your love and admiration of her. Bouquets of flowers are available at most grocery stores for around $5. A beautiful wicker basket filled with cheese, crackers, and fruit makes another excellent surprise.

Steve wonders how he can surprise his wife. She is a nurse who works night shift. She is usually too tired for minor details like polishing her shoes and ironing her uniforms. Steve knows that Glenda likes to look nice. While she is sleeping one day, he takes her nursing shoes and cleans them. He applies two coats of white polish, then buffs them to a shine. He washes all of Glenda’s scrub uniforms. Instead of folding them when he pulls them out of the drier, he irons them. The difference is subtle but noticeable. When Glenda wakes up, she is surprised and touched. She hates to leave Steve to go to work now. Maybe Steve will be surprised next!