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My marriage is a priority. I love my wife with all my heart and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with her. She is always on my mind and I tell her I love her every day. In my head, all is well in our marriage and I imagine that she feels the same and knows the high level of priority that I place on her and our marriage.

However, even if she knows deep down that I make our marriage a priority, if I don’’t show her regularly, then I’’m not doing enough. And the inverse is true here too. If she’’s not regularly showing me that our marriage is a priority for her, I can begin to imagine that there’’s something wrong. Or I can believe the lies that sometimes creep in that tell me that she no longer loves me.

The good thing is that we can show our spouse that marriage is a priority. And, here are four of them:

1. Be consistent with following through

When we make promises to our spouse, we must follow through on them. Of course, no one’’s perfect, but it should be our goal that when we commit to something, we follow through.

If we say we’’ll be home at 5, be home at 5. If we say that we’’ll take the car to get the tire fixed on Friday, take it to get fixed. If we say that we’’ll schedule an appointment at the dentist for the kids, schedule the appointment.

These may seem little in the grand scheme of life, but the reality is that they’’re a huge way to either show your spouse they’’re a priority or not.

2. Be proactive in scheduling time together

Regular alone time with your spouse can be a strategy to a marriage that is happy and thriving——and far too many husbands and wives don’’t make this a priority. And, listen, this is at any stage of life—, whether you’’re newly married, married with kids, or empty nesters!

The key here is that you don’’t wait on your spouse to schedule it. YOU do it! Make the plans, arrange for a sitter, and so on. When a husband and wife are disconnected, the odds increase exponentially that there will be conflict and more issues.

3. Be intentional about communication

Remember, communication involves talking AND listening. Sometimes it can seem like a husband and wife are just ships passing in the night. With young kiddos, working different shifts at our jobs, and general busyness, we can find ourselves either not talking at all or only talking about non-essential things.

Husbands and wives should have regular communication about things that matter. And it should be an intentional time so that there are no distractions and you can have each other’’s full attention. Spend some time talking about hurts and feelings, schedules and calendars, as well as hopes and dreams.

4. Be present

This one will mean something different to everyone . . . but it does mean something to everyone. This can be an emotional presence——be there when your spouse is hurting and caring for them.

This can be physical presence——leaving work and being there with your spouse and giving him/her the best part of you (not just the exhausted, tired part of you).

This can be spiritual presence——going to church and leading your family in the spiritual things of life rather than tuning out and deferring to your spouse.

Showing your spouse that your marriage is a priority can be a great way to take your marriage from surviving to thriving! What other things do you do to show your spouse that your marriage is a priority?

Reposted with permission. This blog originally appeared here.