Have things with your partner gotten a bit stale, or do you find yourselves repeating unhelpful patterns? Experts explain how to strengthen your bond and take your relationship to a new level.
Are you ready to take your relationship to a new level? Heed the wisdom of these five experts:

1. "Stop all shame, blame, and criticism. Instead ask for what you want in a clear, specific, and positive manner, and express appreciation for your partner. To elaborate: Men need to feel competent that they make a contribution and that it is noticed."

Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of Getting the Love You Want

2. "Change from a critical habit of mind, in which you're very involved with your partner's mistakes, to a positive one, in which you catch him doing something right."

John M. Gottman, Ph.D., author of The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships

3. "When your relationship starts to break down, you need AAA: an Apology, Affection, and a promise of Action. You say you're sorry for what you've said or done to hurt or disappoint your partner. You immediately offer a hug, a kiss some meaningful gesture of warmth. You pledge to do something that matters to your partner."

Mira Kirshenbaum, psychotherapist and author of The Weekend Marriage

4. "With books on the market like How to Make Love Like a xxpornx Star, one of the greatest services you can do for a guy is to reassure him that he doesn't have to make love like a xxpornx star. You can show him how to make love like a woman: creative, sensual, non-genital-based, and more pleasure- than xxfuckingxx-focused."

Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First

5. "All relationships grow a bit stale as time goes by, and the longer-lasting they are, the staler they can get. The best thing you can do is pump in some fresh air. A long weekend in a romantic hideaway would be ideal, but even a few hours in a motel helps. Don't tell anyone where you are, turn off your cell phones, and unplug the TV. When you get home, you'll find your relationship has acquired ruddy cheeks."

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, psychosexual therapist and author of 52 Lessons on Communicating Love