Everyone always talks about their wedding being the stuff of fairy tales, but no one ever talks about what happens after their happily ever after. After the wedding, a couple is at bliss at their honeymoon phase as they get used to the idea of them being married for hopefully the rest of their lives.

But once they’ve returned to their everyday lives and the dust settles, it is easy to fall into a monotonous routine and let the passionate marriage fade into a comfortable live-in relationship if you and your spouse become complacent and fail to make an effort in the marriage. This could take years for some couples, or just a few months for others. Here’s what you can do if you find that your marriage has grown dull.

Open Up Communication and Set Goals

Think realistically. A honeymoon may be one of the best times of your marriage, but sooner or later, you’ll have to return to your regular life (albeit with some changes as a married woman). You and your spouse will have to return to work, which means not being able to spend quality time every day. Either of you also have your own interests the other is not really a fan of (if you like running, your spouse may like swimming) and will need time apart. And there may be times when you really will clash over major decisions and have both minor and major fights in your marriage.

If you thought the rest of your life was going to be a honeymoon, then it’s likely you and your spouse did not prepare ahead for the major decisions in life. Have you talked about kids? Real estate? Savings? Retirement plans? And were these discussions serious and based on realistic goals, or were these just pillow talk about your (unlikely, difficult, and probably unobtainable) dreams?

Marriage ruts commonly happen because of a lack of communication. If you want to improve your relationship, have a serious talk about what you look forward to and how you expect the marriage to move forward. This isn’t a business, though, so setting goals is a lot different. For example, if you want kids as soon as possible, let your spouse know so you can start trying and preparing.

Plan a Vacation

Maybe you’re not tired of the marriage; you’re just plain old tired. Now that you’re balancing your marriage, your job, your interests, and your social life, your life can get pretty tiring after months or years of doing the same thing. And since your spouse is the closest to you, you may just be deflecting your exhaustion and thinking you’re just tired of your marriage.

You may love your spouse, but sometimes you just really need to get away from them and the rest of the things in your life that may tire you. Plan a weekend getaway with a few friends or even just yourself and spend that time relaxing and just getting the strength to get back into your daily routine. Plan a staycation in an affordable Airbnb, visit a spa resort, or do anything that can take your mind off your daily stressors.

Change Things Up in the Bedroom

Sex isn’t everything in a relationship, but it is an important factor. You and your spouse’s sexual activities are what connect you on a deeper level. A healthy sex life can even improve your relationship and lower stress. So, if your marriage feels lacking, maybe change things up in the bedroom. You don’t have to explore limits neither of you are interested in, but if you want to try something but have always been too embarrassed to ask, consider opening up. Also be willing to listen to your spouse and see if they have any ideas they also want to try.

While sexual activity in a marriage varies between couples, what all couples should avoid, though, is using sex and intimacy as a bargaining chip. Baiting your partner to do something or act a certain way (or just to tease them) is just selfish and paves the way for a damaged relationship that even sex can’t fix.

A Last Resort: Talk to a Divorce Lawyer

If everything else fails and you feel like your marriage is starting to fail, maybe it’s time to visit a divorce lawyer. However, I recommend talking to a divorce lawyer that offers free consultations for two reasons.

First, it’s highly unlikely that you want to divorce your spouse just because the marriage has become boring. Some divorce lawyers charge high amounts just for the initial consultation, even if you aren’t sure you want to go through with the divorce. Speaking to a lawyer when it is free can help you understand what you, your spouse, and your children (if you have) will undergo during a divorce process. Even if you’re not sure, you still get professional advice without having to pay.

Second, visiting a lawyer can help you realize whether or not you really want to divorce your spouse. You can be in love with your spouse and want to stay with them, but the rut your marriage is stuck in can make you feel restless and eager to leave a marriage. When faced with a divorce lawyer and learning the process your marriage will undergo, you can see how you feel. Do you feel trapped in your marriage and want to leave because you feel your marriage was a mistake, or do you still genuinely love your spouse and have suddenly thought of ways to make the relationship work now that you know what the end of your marriage may entail?

It’s natural for you to feel like your marriage has become a boring routine. But if the love is still there between you and your partner, this is a rut that you can overcome if you and your spouse are still willing to make your marriage work.

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