NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many people tell their partners that they love them every day, but relationship experts said there are other phrases equally — if not more important — that can keep a relationship out of a rut.

Jim Whittick and his wife Sarah have been married for 43 years. Every day since walking down the aisle, Jim makes it a point to tell his wife something he feels is very important.

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“I tell her she’s beautiful every single day,” he said. “She tells me I’m a good guy.”

The couple has been together since they were 15.

“This is how relationships launch, ‘I love you, I love you, can’t wait to see you, so happy you thought of me, thank you so much,” relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer explained.

Sometimes, over time, and dealing with all the stresses of life, from jobs and children to financial obligations, and other big decisions these ‘declarations of love’ can fall by the wayside.

“Dealing with the stresses and the pressures and all the tensions they focus on what’s not working, what went wrong, what you didn’t do, what you were supposed to remember,” Dr. Greer told CBS2’s Dana Tyler.

While this can create a vicious cycle of negativity , Greer said there a handful of phrases that — if said daily — can set a more positive tone.

Simple phrases that you probably say to most everybody else, like ‘good morning.’

“It’s really important, because if you’re getting up and you’re not saying hello, good morning, or going to bed and saying good night, it’s as if they don’t exist in your world. They don’t matter to you,” Dr. Greer said.

Another phrase that can help reinforce to your partner that he or she matters is simply asking, how was your day?

“How was your day shows interest that you care about them, what they experienced, what went on for them,” Dr. Greer said.

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Saying, ‘I’m proud of you,’ Greer explained, shows support for your spouse.

‘What do you think?’ means you respect the person and his or her opinion.

One couple said they can’t get enough of the phrase, ‘I love you.’

“Those words are just music to everyone’s ears,” Dr. Greer said.

So are ‘please, thank you, and I’m sorry’ Greer explained.

“I’m sorry is essential if you hurt somebody’s feelings,” Dr. Greer said.

Perhaps one of the most important things you can say to your partner is, ‘you make me happy.’

“It’s like the sugar in a cake recipe,” Greer said.

Greer said that can make people feel secure in a relationship.

Experts said ‘what are we doing tonight?’ Can help spice up an otherwise routine evening.


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