My husband needs to know that no matter what,
my relationship with him is my #1 priority (after God).
Ok...so this one was really easy for the first few months. Maybe even for 2 - 1/2 years. At least until a certain red-headed newborn arrived. :-) Really though, it's so easy to get caught up in something, anything, and forget our priorities. God didn't give children and then husbands. People do it that way these days, but that isn't God's plan. God wants the marital relationship to have preeminence over any other relationship that we have.
Some of us become distracted by our hobbies. We spend more time online, shopping, hanging out with friends, couponing, organizing, or reading than we do being the emotional companion that our husbands so desperately need and desire.
Some of us have kid-centered homes. We structure our days around the kids activities, the kids have our attention from early in the morning until late at night, and then sometimes the kids rule the night, as well! We think that because our hubbies are grown ups and the kiddies aren't, that the hubbies should be the ones short-changed.
Some of us are expending too much energy on other relationships. Momma is an important person, but once we are married, our husband takes preeminence over momma. If we talk to her more than we talk to him, there's a big problem. Our home should certainly be open to show hospitality to others, but if our homes are getting too much traffic, our marriages suffer.
Some of us are workaholics. When we aren't at work, we're thinking about work, or working from home. Because work = money (and jobs often have hard deadlines), it seems like a good excuse for husband neglect.
Some of us are dreamers. We are lost on our own little planet of "what ifs" and we don't purposefully neglect, it just ends up that we aren't in tune to reality. Our husbands can't reach us because our minds are off in another world.
I have recently read a couple of articles where the wife asked her husband to list his priorities for happiness and comfort in the home so that she could see the areas she should put at the top of her list. Whether it was a hot meal on the table when he arrived home in the evening, a tidy environment, peace and quiet, 20 minutes in the recliner...she wanted to be able to focus on what mattered most to him. In each instance, the wife was surprised when her husband wrote at the top of the list something similar to this:
"Just be available to connect with me."
I don't know if all husbands have the freedom to approach their wives when they feel the have become 3rd on her list, but I'm thankful that mine does. In earlier days, I was tempted to think, "Well, there's only so much of me, and sometimes what's left is whatcha get." Fortunately, time and experience has changed that mentality, and I find myself terribly missing my husband when we don't have time each day connect on an individual level. Without the noise of the kids, the cell phone, or the door bell.
I have made a life-long vow to only one person.
And the recipient of that vow should be my #1 priority.