Getting To Know Your Spouse Again
One of life’s greatest disappointments is feeling that the person you married years ago now feels like a stranger in your arms.
People are constantly growing and changing; a husband and wife will grow together or grow apart – there’s no middle ground.
How well do you and your partner know each other these days?
Do you know each other’s hopes and dreams? Hopes and fears? Interests and regrets?
How often do you have conversations with each other about life?
Or are your conversations mainly about the kids, grandkids, household chores, and responsibilities?
If your marriage is rather cold, cheerless, and all business, it’s time to get to know your partner again.
How? By making time to have meaningful conversations again. We’re all busy, at least we claim to be, so put it on your calendars if you must because people make time for what’s important to them. Make a date and keep it.
By the way, dating your spouse is a great habit to make. Why should you stop dating the love of your life just because you’re married?
Dating your spouse rekindles romance and gives you time alone, a critical need in marriage.
Plan an enjoyable date in a warm environment just to relax and unwind with each other and enjoy good old-fashioned conversation without any phones or other interruptions.
Remember, a good, enjoyable conversation involves BOTH people; a monologue isn’t a conversation.
Try one of these conversation starters to get the ball rolling.
1. Ask your partner about their day.
Get curious about their life; ask questions; draw out the highs and lows of their daily life; get to know them.
Let the conversation flow naturally as if you were talking to your best friend (which you should be because isn’t your spouse your best friend?).
As they share about what’s happening in their life, smile warmly; be pleasant and genuinely interested; talk back and forth; share details about your daily life, too – the highs and lows.
2. Three happy things today.
Tell your spouse about three things that made you happy in your day. What did you enjoy about them? And why did they make you happy?
Ask them to share a couple of happy things about their day with you.
3. Share simple things you enjoy.
Talk about things that you enjoy and make you feel good in some way. Maybe it’s waking up to the sunrise or watching a beautiful sunset, going for a walk in the cool of the evening, getting a soothing massage, taking pictures of flowers, or a night at the movies, etc.
What are some things they enjoy?
And how can you incorporate these pleasurable experiences into each other’s lives to enjoy them (and each other) together?
If you’ve been married for a while, your interests and likes have probably changed. And if you’ve not been growing together, you might need to reacquaint yourselves with each other.
4. Make a list of questions about yourself.
Have some fun with this one. Write a list of questions about yourself and ask your partner to answer them. Examples “What’s my favorite movie, color, flower, song, sport, passion, dream, or animal?” Or any other questions you want to ask; make it playful.
Have some questions ready to ask your spouse, like, What’s your favorite vacation spot? What was your dream career when you were a kid? How would you spend your money if you won the lottery?
Realize these suggestions are only prompts to start the conversation. Ask whatever questions you want, and let the conversation flow naturally like a dance. Be prepared for some surprises too!
5. The conversation game.
If it seems one of you is dominating the conversation, give this communication exercise a try to balance things out. In a room by yourselves, sit facing each other.
Agree on a safe topic that you both know a little something about, like astronomy, a favorite place, or gardening, for example.
Set a timer for one minute and then ask your partner something about the topic; then they ask you a question; go back and forth for a minute.
This exercise is harder than it sounds because both partners must be asking and answering questions without straying from the topic. Once you’ve mastered one minute, shoot for three, then five.
Don’t force things if it’s been a while since you and your spouse have enjoyed meaningful conversations; relax and give it some time to evolve naturally. Most of all, have some fun as you get to know each other again. Enjoy the process of reconnecting with each other as you work to turn things around and start growing together again.