"When someone recognises the good in us, we feel loved," says Dr Huang. "It can be as simple as thanking your husband for helping you recharge your mobile phone. Just today, I thanked my wife for replacing my toothpaste when it was empty. It sounds like a small thing, but I am grateful that she noticed my need and decided to help me. It's these little appreciative gestures that are so heartwarming and endearing."
"I like to tell my patients that identifying the good in their spouse is like taking a highlighter to mark out their positive traits," says Dr Huang. "Even if you're very busy, take time to see the beauty in each other. For example, you might tell your spouse, "You look so beautiful when you kiss our baby on her face."
"How was your day?" is a common enough question between married couples, but our response to our husband's answer is also important. This shouldn't just be a griping session; try to focus on positive parts of the day instead of dwelling on the negative. "If your husband complains about his boss, don't be too quick to take the boss's side and point out your husband's flaws... Don't side with the enemy!" says Dr Huang. "Instead, listen and empathise at the crucial moment when he is expressing himself."
You should also reciprocate and tell your husband one good thing that happened during the day, and how you felt about it. This will keep your connection strong, says Dr Huang.
All of us face stressful times during our life, whether they come from work, family issues or major life events like moving house. "Happy and unhappy couples all encounter stress, but the happy ones don't let stress spill into their marriage," says Dr Huang. "Learn to see every stressful event as an opportunity to get closer. Share your feelings, take comfort in each other, see stressful moments as a wonderful time to build your bond."
Think of your marriage as an emotional bank account, where you deposit "love credits" when you feel comforted and loved, and withdraw them when you feel criticised or unloved. It's important to keep your account full, says Dr Huang. Rather than keeping score all the time, aim to fill up each other's love accounts so you have credits to spare when you may accidentally upset your spouse.
Be in tune with each others' love language: some gestures of love may feel very grand to you, but may not translate well with your other half. "A lot of the time, couples don't understand each other's love languages," says Dr Huang. "For some people, showing love might be working three jobs to save up and buy their wife a diamond. The diamond may earn them $10 in love credits, but the simple act of calling their wives at work to ask about their day may earn them $100 in credits. Listening to and spending time with your spouse often earns more credits than simply buying gifts."
Human beings are wired to respond to touch, and we crave it in order to feel loved. "If a wife is under postnatal stress, and her husband is willing to give her a massage, she feels loved and supported," says Dr Huang, "Aim to give each other a 15-minute massage up to three times a day."
The hug is different from a massage, says Dr Huang. It requires less time - about 10 secods - and is a different way to rekindle loving feelings between couples. "Hugs are important for establishing emotional closeness, but sometimes one spouse just isn't a hugger. If that's the case, you can give them something else they prefer. Giving space can also be a form of love - learn to pay attention to your spouse's individual needs so you can see how they want to be loved.