My husband has seen me in some of my best and brightest moments, but he has also watched as I hurled into a plastic shopping bag while in the passenger seat of our car. After 13 years together, it's safe to say any mysterious allure we once possessed has died along with going out to brunch and sleeping in on weekends. 

Both my husband and I pour our efforts and energy into making a good life for our boys – a thankless task that can drain even the best of parents. Often times, we feel under appreciated and overextended. If you're like me, you may not always tell your spouse how much you appreciate them. But a little effort can add a lot of value to a marriage. Need a little inspiration to get your wheels turning? Start with these five ideas to show your spouse how much they are appreciated. 

1. Praise Them in Front of Others

Make a point to compliment your spouse in the company of others. Feel free to go on and on about how fantastic they are in every way.

2. Show Them You're Listening

Take note of the little things your spouse mentions, then take action. Notice your wife grumbling about doing the dishes? Clean them for her the next night. Hear your husband mention he is all out of toothpaste? Pick some up for him at the store. Notice the small things. Those comments made in passing may be an opportunity to show your spouse you care.

3. Don't Keep Score

As hard as it can be, allow your spouse to do things without keeping tabs. I used to keep a list in my mind of how many naps and nights out my husband had a week, so I would make sure I had the same amount! Then I realized it is not always going to be fair. Sometimes he has more freedoms than I do and other times the kid-free fairies show me favor. We both deserve our free time and I have learned to be happy for my husband when he gets his. 

4. Surprise Them With Something Special 

When my husband travels, I like to slip a small love note into his suitcase. It's that simple! Leave your spouse their favortie candy on their pillow or restock the fridge with a 6-pack of their favorite beer. 

5. Post It

Leave a Post It note with a few kind words stuck to the bathroom mirror or the pantry door. Even something as striaghtforward as "I appreciate you," can make your spouse feel the love. 

It only takes a little effort to make your spouse feel appreciated. Although we may think about how much we appreciate one another, we probably don't say it or show it often enough.
Start a new habit of showing your appreciation, and chances are, the appreciation will find its way back to you as well!