Jill: I’ve got a question for you: When was the last time you and your spouse talked? Not about the kids’ grades, your family schedule, or who’s taking the kids to basketball practices. Really talked, listening to one another’s dreams and hopes, as well as any frustrations about where things currently are.
Mark: Not too long ago, we wrote about dreaming with your spouse. But today, we want to expand that, and write about listening to your spouse.
Jill: Often in marriage, we make assumptions about what our spouse is thinking and feeling. However, we rarely take the time to actually ask…and fully listen.
Mark: Just taking the step to start asking intentional questions can lead to some really important conversations that may just help you learn something new about your spouse, while deepening your connection.
Jill: That is, if you listen well! A great phrase we use to improve our listening is “Tell me more about that.” We also have learned the importance of reflective listening, which looks like this: “So what I hear you saying is _________. Is that correct? So tell me more about that.” When your spouse is answering the questions, resist the urge to comment or insert your thoughts on the question. Save that for when you’re doing the talking.
Mark: This week, we want to encourage you to set aside time to simply talk about your marriage. You don’t even have to come up with what to ask! We’re sharing all the prompts you’ll need right here in this blog.
Jill: Want a pro tip before you get started? Most men prefer to open up when they are doing something. Love and Respect author Emerson Eggerichs says that women like to speak face-to-face, while men prefer shoulder-to-shoulder communication: in a car, on the couch, out to eat, or at your own dinner table. Even washing dishes or pulling weeds side by side might net more communication than a face-to-face conversation ever will.
Mark: Jill and I recently asked each other some of these questions as we were driving. She learned that I have an Alaskan cruise on my bucket list. We had never talked about that! See what you can discover with some of these conversation starters:
Conversation Starters for Marriage
- Name two things on your personal bucket list.
- If you had to give our marriage a grade, what grade would you give it? What could we do to improve that grade?
- What is weighing heavy on your heart that I can be praying for you about?
- How is our pace of life? Too fast? Not active enough?
- How are we doing at exercising? Is there anything we could do together?
- Are there any adjustments on the home front we need to make? Division of chores? Parenting challenges? Meals? Laundry? Housekeeping? Yard?
- Are we satisfied with the time we have together as a couple? Do we need to do anything to change that?
- What is the most important goal you have for yourself for the coming year?
- What is the most important goal you have for us for the coming year?
- What do I do that you’d like me to do more often?
- What do I do that you’d like me to do less often?
- How are we doing financially? Is there anything we need to change in how we’re managing our money?
- How are we doing spiritually? Are we serving in our church and community in meaningful ways that match our passions? Are we growing in our faith? Is there anything we can do to grow together in our faith? Can we pray or read the Bible together in a new or different way?
- How do you feel about your career?
- What can I do to help you achieve your goals?
- What would you like our life to look like in five years? Ten years? Twenty years?
- How are we doing with extended family relationships? Are there any boundaries we need to set or reinforce? Do we need to make plans to see family more often or less often?
- What do you like best about our holiday traditions?
- What do you like least about our holiday traditions?
- What activities would you like us to do more often?
- What activities would you like us to do less often?
- What does your ideal vacation look like?
- What could we do to celebrate our next anniversary?
- How do you prefer to celebrate your next birthday?
- Is there something special we’d like to do for our upcoming milestone anniversary? Should we start planning or saving toward that?
Meaningful conversation takes intention, but it’s so worth it. We hope these conversation starters lead to some great discussion in your marriage. Your marriage matters!
(P.S. Looking for more marriage support? Grab a copy of No More Perfect Marriages or download our free Rebuilding Trust Roadmap!)
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