We are all imperfect people and we are going to make mistakes, even when it comes to the most important people in our lives. With our busy schedules and long work days, it can be easy to fall into a pattern in which you focus more on the flaws of your husband than the gifts he brings to your life. But praise and encouragement are important parts of any healthy marriage.

Here are seven things that every husband longs to hear from his wife; try to incorporate a few into your communication with your husband to let him know how important he is to you.

1. “I Love You.”

It sounds simplistic, but it’s amazing how many couples forget to tell each other they how they feel. When your husband is struggling with a household chore or comes home stressed from work, just walk up to him, give him a hug and tell him “I love you.” It’s a surprising bit of sentiment that will put a smile on his face, no matter how grumpy he might be.

“Let the husband render to his wife the affection owed her, and likewise the wife to her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:14–3

2. “I’m Grateful For Your Spiritual Leadership.”

Encourage your husband’s leadership when it comes to the faith of the family. You both have important roles to play and sometimes it’s easy to forget that a good husband can quietly provide an example of faith simply by being the family’s rock. Letting him know you recognize his importance can serve not only as a compliment to your husband, but also as a validation and example for the rest of your family.

3. “You Did A Good Job Handling That Situation.”

Often, spouses can focus on the things that go wrong. While it’s fine to highlight those learning moments, it’s also important to remember the times when your husband handled things in a way that successfully resolved the problem.

Whether it’s dealing with a challenge to the budget or a child that has misbehaved, make sure to take a bit of time to note when he’s handled things with wisdom. Besides the boost to his ego, it will also help ensure he’ll handle things just as well the next time around.

4. “Why Don’t You Come To Bed Early Tonight?”

It’s easy to fall into a pattern where one spouse stays up late, relaxing in front of the television while their other half is sleeping. If your husband is prone to the relaxation pattern, asking him to come to bed with you might be met with a bit of resistance. But having that time alone to focus on each other is one of the most important parts of any marriage. And having you make the suggestion first is a reminder to him that he’s still a central part of your life.

5. “You Look Good Today.”

There isn’t a man alive who isn’t secretly pleased by a compliment about his looks. So the next time he’s wearing a new shirt, a simple acknowledgement that he’s still got it will put a bit of extra spring in his step. He wants to look great, not just for himself, but for you. And odds are that it’s been awhile since you’ve reminded him that he’s the guy that still lights your fire.

6. “What Do You Want To Do Today?”

Every husband has a “honey-do” list and it’s easy to let those household obligations suck up an entire weekend. So it’s healthy to occasionally ask your husband what he’d really like to do today. Asking him doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily agree, but keep an open mind about his ideas. There is nothing more magical than finding you actually enjoy that auto show he begs you to visit with him every year.

7. “You’re Right.”

Sometimes it can be difficult to express out loud that your spouse is right, particularly if the subject is something you’ve been quarreling over in the past. But there are times when you realize your husband made the right call, and rather than ignoring the situation, a simple acknowledgement of the fact can make the next disagreement a bit easier for each of you to navigate.

Marriage isn’t about keeping score; it’s about leaning on the strengths of both spouses in order to create the best marriage possible.

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