Marriage is not easy but it’s through committed relationships that we grow the most. I’ve read before that relationships are really about us. The person we’ve chosen to be with is really a mirror of us, but often times we can’t see it. Have you ever noticed that when people leave a relationship, the next person they end up with is very similar to their previous partner? We probably all know at least one person, or know of at least one person who has had multiple relationships with the same person; just a different face. Barring the obvious deal breakers in a relationship, it’s usually worth it to work through your problems in an open, honest way so you both grow and learn.

Here are 7 ways to help get your marriage back on track if it’s starting to go off track.

1. Commit to not blaming your partner for everything that is going wrong in the relationship. Learn to ask yourself: “How am I contributing to this problem?”

2. Create a life of your own outside your marriage so you’re a more fun and interesting person to be around. Often times we let small things bother us when really the issues are more about us than the other person.

3. If you insist your way is the only way, learn to accept that there are many “right” ways and insisting on doing things your way all the time creates resentment. Ask yourself, if your partner did it her or his way what is the worst thing that would happen?

4. Commit to a weekly or bi-weekly date night. This is especially true for people who have young children. You absolutely must take time out as a couple. Remember the reason you got together in the first place. Find a babysitter you can trust and look after your children’s parents.

5. Every single day tell your partner at least one thing you appreciate about her or him. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Even if they don’t immediately reciprocate, kind words will strengthen your marriage. Even on days when you might not like the person very much, find something good to say. It will shift your mindset too.

6. Accept your partner for who she or he is. No one wants to be someone’s project. If it really bothers you that your husband eats junk food, let it go. If you can’t stand that your wife watches so much reality TV, let that go too. We’re all human and we all have strengths and weaknesses, funny habits, crazy moods and passions about things that sometimes aren’t shared by our partners. That’s OK.

7. Take 5 minutes out of your day to say a few kind words via email to your partner. It will make their day to see “I LOVE YOU” in the subject line of their inbox. It takes minutes to make a significant difference.