Marriage is hard.
It just is. Sometimes life gets so busy and we lose track of the last time we actually sat down and had a focused conversation. As a wife and the one that the little ones call Mommy, I am guilty of putting my marriage on the backburner and focusing on the kids way too much. And let me tell you, fellow Momma, we can’t do this for too long before it robs us of our intimate connection.
I created these conversation starters for couples to help all of us get back on track learning about each other, and bulding intimacy. I know we need it, and if you are here reading this, then you need it too.
As a former marriage therapist, one of the biggest complaints I heard was the lack of intimacy. Generally speaking, men need that physical connection and women need that emotional connection. Let’s try to put our stuff aside for a while and make a solid attempt to begin meeting those needs by starting somewhere. Let’s start talking to each other again.
- Describe what love is to you.
- When you were growing up, how did you see love expressed in your home?
- Was affection openly expressed in your home? How did that shape your views on affection in your marriage relationship?
- When you were growing up, how were birthdays and holidays celebrated?
- How was family time managed in your home growing up? What kinds of things did you do? Was family time done consistently and frequently, or randomly?
- As you were growing up, what kinds of verbal encouragement did you hear? Who did it come from most often?
- What has been the best gift you have ever given your spouse?
- What are one or two things you have done to make your spouse feel loved?
- What is one action that your spouse has done in the past that has made you feel most loved?
- What can your spouse genuinely say to you that would make your heart flutter?
- What is one gift that your spouse can give to you that would make you feel their love?
- What is your favorite form of non-sexual physical touch?
- What does quality time with your spouse mean to you? What do you do during this time?
- What is one way that your spouse serves you?
- What is one way that you have served your spouse?
- When you think about your childhood, what’s the first good memory that pops up?
- Before you were married, what was your favorite date and why?
- What are your top 3 best moments from your wedding day?
- If you could live in any country in the world and didn’t have to worry about a job, where would you live and why?
- Describe the moment that you realized you were in love with your spouse.
- In your life and from your perspective, name a couple that has a healthy marriage relationship. What qualities or characteristics do you wish to duplicate in your marriage?
- What is your dream job? Why? What stops you from living this dream?
- What character from a movie would you most like to be like? Why?
- If you were a musical artist, who would you be and why?
- What song do you want to serenade me right now? Do it!
Face your expectations.
A lot of times couples enter a relationship with high hopes, unspoken (and sometimes unrealized) expectations, and subconsciouscly put on the rose-colored glasses. It’s easy to think that the hiccups along the way will evenutally resolve themselves and in time, life will be incredible because we are together. It kind of sounds like one of a million movie scripts.
After so many years of unmet expectations and hurt, I got to a place where I really didn’t want to learn more about my husband. I just didn’t. And guess what? I don’t think he really wanted to learn much about me either. That’s a really sad spot to sit in.
I had to come to terms with the fact that our marriage problems won’t just resolve themselves. If they are left unchecked, a day will turn into weeks, which then turns to months, and you guessed it, years.
If we want a better marriage, we have to talk about the problems and then I have to put in the work to resolve them.
Did you catch that? I said I. Yes, I did. I believe that marriage is 100%/100%. That means that if I see a problem, I take responsibility for what I can and do something to fix it. I don’t want to be a spectator in the failure of my marriage because I’m too prideful, unforgiving, or even due to my high expectations. I can’t control him, but I sure as heck, can control what my efforts are.
Oh… and I also realize that my husband and I don’t live in my favorite romantic comedy.
So, I took off my rose-colored glasses and lowered my expectations. Yeah, I know. That’s no fun. It almost feels like he gets a free pass and doesn’t have to do anything.
That, my friend, is a lie from the enemy. He has his own choices to make in this marriage.
As a couple, we play off of each other without even realizing it.
For example, I can be in the best mood and my husband walks in the door with an attitude, and a switch goes off in me. Guess where I find myself then? Yep.
With an attitude. And then the night goes downhill from there.
So, if we have cycles with all of our bad stuff, why can’t we create good cycles? If he comes in with a bad attitude, is there a way that I can change that negative cycle?
Maybe. I can fight my urge to get frustrated and respond to him with compassion and empathy. I could give him some time alone to decompress and cool down. I could go to him and say, “it looks like you have had a rough day. It’s okay if you don’t want to talk about it. Can I pray with you?”
What do you think happens when I do something different over time? His view of my response begins changing and then our cycles begin changing too.
God created us for relationship, with Him and with others. Our marriage struggle is an opportunity to seek more of Him in our lives and marriage, and it has the greatest opportunity to glorify God if we walk where He leads us.
It’s difficult to get there when we aren’t connecting at all. Conversation starters are a great way to reconnect in a light-hearted way. We need to build positive experiences in conversations over time, in order for us to get to the hard stuff.
How do we do this?
Plan 10 or 15 minutes of pillow talk each night and ask a few questions at a time.
Ask a few questions at dinnertime, if you are alone.
Plan a date night and ask a few during some focused talk time.
Use a few of the questions on a drive.
Go walk around the neighborhood and engage in a few of them.
Commit to the first 15 minutes after the kids go to bed as sacred “Couple Chat Time” before going on with whatever your nightly routine is.
Use the questions while you cook dinner or clean the kitchen together.
Make a consistent plan to use them.
Building relationships are well worth the struggle. Don’t give up. There are always adjustments you can make, even when you think you have tried everything. What is the biggest challenge you are facing in your marriage right now?
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, you might want to read Create Brilliant Healthy Habits and Transform Your Marriage with an Intimacy Challenge. Are you interested in even more?
If you are struggling in your blended family, then you will definitely want to read some of these books below.
I highly recommended them all!
***Below are affiliate links, which means when you click on a book, the link will take you to Amazon.com where you can read about the book, and if you make a purchase using any of my links, I will make a little money. However your price remains the same. You can read my my full disclosure here.