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By [Link Removed] 

Change your actions for the next 40 days–or maybe permanently–to improve your relationship.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the 40-day period of Lent. Even if you're not a Christian, the idea behind the season is interesting. It's a time of giving up vices and substituting more positive behavior in their place. Where better to try this out than in our relationships?

Every couple has their own unique blend of struggles, but here are some 10 bad habits of action and communication that most couples could stand to give up. This trial only lasts 40 days, but who knows? At the end, you might want to give up your bad habits permanently.

1. Saying "You always..." When disagreeing, speak in "I" statements about your own feelings. Don't try to tell your partner how he or she feels or what he or she does. Instead, say, "I feel..." [Link Removed] 

2. Taking "I love you" lightly.  It's not just a way to end phone calls or something to abbreviate in a text message. You worked hard to find—and keep—this special connection. Say "I love you" out loud and in-person.

3. Showering separately.  Or at least, don't do it all the time. After a while, couples tend to stop noticing each other's bodies. The intimate act of washing your loved one (and all the sexy stuff than can occur during and after) is worth taking turns under the shower head. How To Have Sex Like You Just Met

4. Emailing so much.  Instead of emailing your sweetheart a link to that funny YouTube video or posting something on a Facebook wall, share your thoughts on paper. Write a haiku or a knock-knock joke. Doodle. Check "yes" (not "no"). When was the last time you really looked at your partner's—or anyone else's—handwriting?

5. Forgetting to say "please."  Many of us fall into the habit of just telling our partners to do something. But sharing your life with someone is not a given. It's a gift. Say "please" and "thank you."

Our YourTango Experts also endorse the idea of devoting the next 40 days to loving your partner better. Here are some of their suggestions:

6. Creating distance when you go through a rough patch.  Touch your partner on the face or arms before bringing up a tough subject—touch works much more effectively than words do. Then say what you need to say. – Mary Jo Rapini

7. Complaining.  Instead, each day tell your partner three things that you appreciate about him/her or the relationship. – Dr. Diana Kirschner, author of Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor's Guide to Lasting Love.

8. Hyper-focusing on everything your man does wrong, hoping that he can read your mind . Because he can't. Instead, remember that he will never think like a woman, and focus on what he does do for you and acknowledge it. And if you want something else, ask for it. – Carin Goldstein Do You Expect Too Much From Men?

9. Putting off getting support if you are facing problems as a couple. Be proactive and find support before it gets worse . There are a multitude of marriage education resources on the web, ranging from counselors, coaches, ministers, psychologists, non-profit organizations and more. – Paula Bisacre

10. Giving your partner what you want.  All too often, we give our partners what we think they want, because it matches what we would want in the same situation. Instead of assuming you know what your partner needs to feel loved, ask. If love to your partner is more hugs and kisses, give them. If love is a night out with the guys, give it to him. Show your partner his or her kind of love for the ultimate loving experience. – Dr. John Gray

What bad relationship habits should you give up for Lent?
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Cynthia Rowland - Facial Fitness Expert
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Cynthiarowland, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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