There are so many things competing for our time these days, maintaining our relationships can often feel like just one more item on our “to do” list.

In families in which both adults work outside the home and the calendar of extra-curricular activities is at capacity, it can feel as though there are never enough hours in the day. But no matter how full our schedules become or how tired we may feel at the end of a long day, it is important to make time to properly nourish our relationships.

Just as we feed our bodies daily, it is crucial that we pay attention to our spouse in order for the marriage to thrive.

Intimacy is not only about sex. It is about the unique bond and trust the two of you create with your clothes on that makes the physical experience intense. The best part is: it doesn’t require a great deal of time, energy, or imagination. All that is needed is a willingness to commit to creating a stronger and more loving marriage.

Here are 4 ways to have a closer relationship with your spouse:

1. Say Something Nice

This is easy and only requires you to open your mouth. Find a way to verbally compliment or affirm your spouse each day. Take notice of the little things he or she does to make life easier for the household; whether it is taking out the trash, picking up the dry cleaning, or rearranging their schedule in order to care for a little one who is home sick.

If you appreciate or admire something about your loved one, speak up. A well placed expression of gratitude goes a long way.

2. Be of Service

You can make your loved one’s day a bit easier just by voluntarily taking a task off their plate. Most wives will yell, “Amen” on this one because we can always find more for our hubbies to do around the house.

But ladies, there are also things we can do to help our husbands out. Offer to take the vehicle in for routine maintenance, chauffeur junior to and from a soccer game, or (my husband’s personal favorite) fix his plate at family functions. Making an effort to show your love by performing random acts of kindness will make him feel like a king.

3.  Spend Time

This one may be the most difficult given how busy we all are, but it also may be the one that yields the highest results. Time. It is important to spend time with your spouse, engaged in activities that make you both happy.

It can be as simple as taking a short walk together or engaging in a competitive game. Another great idea is finding a couple’s class to take such as cooking, dance or art. The possibilities are endless. The primary goal is to make the time to focus on your partner and have fun.

4.  Tiny Tokens

There is a huge misconception that gifts need to be enormous in size or monetary value to have meaning.

While there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with expensive gifts if your coins can handle it, it is not necessary to convey the sentiment. More often than not, the little things we do for each other carry the most weight.

If your spouse mentions needing new batteries for the remote, try attaching a bright red bow to a pack and have it waiting on the coffee table when he comes home. A small but thoughtful gesture will certainly bring a smile to his face.

Marriage is like a garden. In order for it to thrive and be fruitful, both partners have to plant, fertilize, and water appropriately for the harvest to be sweet and plenteous.

It is important to understand your partner’s needs and to work to fulfill those needs…on purpose.

RELATED ARTICLE: 6 Ways to Keep the Fun in the Relationship

Interested in writing for Nia? We’re looking for Guest Writers to join our contributor team! Click HERE to find out how.