When Conversation Gets Stuck
By Lisa Lakey
On a recent anniversary date with my husband, I filled him in on upcoming appointments and activities for the kids. He filled me in on when he’d be out of town the following month, and we talked about a couple of work projects we were each doing. Then … silence.
It continued as he paid the tab and we headed to a movie, complete with popcorn and two action-packed hours we didn’t have to fill with small talk.
Alone time with your partner might not come easy. You’ve got kids that can’t seem to function without your constant direction, a demanding job that pushes past the 9-5, aging parents to care for, church events and Bible studies, or maybe just more volunteer opportunities than hours in the day.
Or maybe you’re both just so exhausted from life you can’t muster the energy for anything past immediate needs—coffee, food, sleep. We’ve been there, too. Frequently.
But connection requires communication. So when the words won’t come, here are 10 questions to ask your spouse that go a little deeper than schedules and the weather.
- How can I pray for you this week?
- Outside of work, what is the biggest stressor in your life right now?
- What do you wish we could do more of together as a couple?
- What are two things that make you feel happy?
- What do I do that makes you feel loved?
- What changes would you like to see in your life five years from now? Ten years?
- What is one thing you’re grateful for in this season of life?
- Is there anything I can take off your plate to make life a little easier for you?
- What is your favorite memory of us?
- In this season of life, what sounds like a reasonable amount of alone time for us (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly)?
The Good Stuff: Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. (Psalm 143:8)
Action Points: Pick one of the questions above and find time to ask your spouse. Listen to their answer without interrupting, dishing judgment, or attempting to fix. Remember: Listening is more important to your communication with your spouse than speaking.
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