You’ve seen them, haven’t you? The couple that never talks to each other.
We most frequently see them when we’re out to eat. They’re just sitting there. Yes, they talk to the waiter and order their food, but other than that, there’s no conversation. I mean nothing. And what’s even more disturbing is that there doesn’t seem to be any hostility between them. There’s not any conversation.
I’ve always shivered at the possibility of us becoming one of “them.”I’ve heard it said that the opposite of love is not hate but rather indifference. Couples like this seem indifferent towards each other, and I don’t know about you, but I NEVER want to be in this spot with my wife!
How did they get there, and how can we protect ourselves from getting in that same place? The following solution may seem overly simplistic, but I dare you to try it…
Communication is an essential part of any relationship, especially marriage! Maybe you’ve heard the cliché’, “You have two ears and one mouth, use proportionately.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Tedd Tripp puts it like this:
“The finest art of communication is not learning how to express your thoughts. It is learning how to draw out the thoughts of another.”
One way to draw out your spouse’s thoughts is to ask good questions. Here’s a list to get you started. Don’t ask all these at once, but pick one that stands out to start the conversation.
These are great to use on 1 of your weekly date nights.
- What one word would you use to describe our marriage right now?
- What benefits are you receiving from our marriage relationship that you wouldn’t have received if you had remained single? Be very specific.
- What strengths do you see in me?
- What do I do that makes you feel loved or of value?
- What do I do that expresses love and appreciation toward you?
- What do you think the strengths are in our marriage?
- What can we do to further strengthen our marriage?
- What do you feel is the weakest area in our marriage?
- What could I do to show that I respect you and your ideas, and how can I assure you that I hear you and understand what’s in your heart?
- What can I do to make you feel secure?
- What can I do to ensure you have confidence and joy in our future direction?
- What attribute would you most like for me to develop?
- What attribute would you like me to help you develop in yourself?
- What achievement in my life would bring you the greatest joy?
- What would indicate to you that I desire to be more Christ-like?
- What mutual goal would you like to see us accomplish?
- What are five things you would want me to say about you in public?
Of course, this isn’t the only thing you need to do to keep your relationship from going stagnant, but it will be a step in the right direction.
Let me know how it goes!
Hans co-founded Marriage Revolution with his wife, Star, in 2010. He counsels couples in The Woodlands, TX, speaks at marriage conferences around the country, and provides leadership and direction to Marriage Revolution.