When I got married, I promised to love, honor, and respect my husband. It was an easy promise to make because I was marrying a man I knew for many years and loved deeply. I trusted him (and still do), and he has never given me reason to distrust him (he still hasn’t). He promised the same to, me and we began creating a life together.

Now, six years after our marriage, I can comfortably say that we are still loving, honoring and respecting one another. But if I can be real with you, I don’t think that is the secret to making our marriage work. For me, the secret is the fact that I love, honor and respect myself. That’s right—myself. Listen, I just don’t see how I can go around expecting someone to treat me like some queen when I don’t even treat myself that way.

And you know what I have come to realize? The better I treat myself, the better this marriage gets. It’s true. I show myself more love, I honor myself in every way, and I respect myself before making any decision, and our marriage is just getting stronger. It’s a beautiful thing, really. Of course this doesn’t mean that I don’t need him because I’ve got this. Not at all. Rather, it means that I deeply appreciate what he gives me because I know how much work goes into giving it to myself.

So ask yourself, are you committed to loving, honoring, and respecting yourself? Not sure? It’s all good. Here are a few signs that maybe you’ve forgotten how.

Your health is going down the drain. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but it needs to be said. Part of truly loving yourself is caring about your health. Sure, we all put on pounds, we all have rough years, but we also have to get back on track. If you know you have hypertension, diabetes, achy knees and who knows what else, you can’t walk around still putting on weight and acting like you are so in love with yourself. That may be what your mouth is saying, but your actions are saying that you started neglecting yourself a while ago.

You’ve put your dreams on hold. I firmly believe that no one should ever put their dreams on hold—ever. Maybe you have to slow down your progress towards your dreams at some point because—well, because life happens. But it doesn’t mean you should stop making some progress, even if it’s very little. You can’t use your marriage, your children, or anything else as the reason for putting your dreams on hold because if you do, resentment will ultimately follow. There is never really a good time to pursue your dreams because life will just keep on keepin’ on. You just have to decide that now is the right time.

You minimize your accomplishments. I know so many women that do so much and they act like it’s not a big deal. Here’s the thing though: it is a big deal. If you are juggling multiple responsibilities and you are still standing strong, you rock on so many levels, and you need to be able to give yourself props for that. If you can’t, you truly are not honoring who you are and all you do.

You let fear run the show. Fear will glady run your life if you let it. It is relentless. The thing is, we were all created with gifts that we should share with the world. We all have greatness within us. To love, honor, and respect ourselves is to love, honor and respect the gifts that God gave us. And for the record, doing that means looking fear dead in the eyes and saying, “ Step aside. I’m running the show up in here.”

You are still holding on to pain from your past. No good ever comes from holding on to pain. If you want to show yourself some serious love, you have to forgive, work through your pain, and move on. Holding on to pain damages you from within, and that inevitably damages your marriage. You deserve so much better and so does your spouse.

Although the vows you make to your spouse are incredibly important, please remember that the vows you make to yourself should not be taken lightly. They matter so much and they truly can make all the difference.