There are seven questions that you should ask your partner on a regular basis. These are questions that will change your marriage for the better…
“How was your day?” This is the common backup question – the one you depend on out of habit. The one you use when you want to show that you are interested (even when you’re not) and the one you dig out when you don’t know what to say. Worst of all, if you ask this question regularly, your partner doesn’t really hear it anymore and just answers automatically, without really paying attention themselves.
What you ask and the way you ask it, however, is very important for a healthy marriage. By asking good questions, you keep conversations going, you open communication lines and you get to know your partner on a deeper level.
On the website www.bustle.com, New York etiquette expert, April Masini, writes that she believes a good communicator is someone who knows how to articulate their needs and someone who listens out for misunderstandings and concepts that needs to be explained. “When all people in the communication transaction understand what is being said and expected, there has been effective communication,” April says. Specific questions can help you and your partner to start a successful dialogue so that you can both effectively communicate your feelings, fears and concerns.
Here are some questions to ask your partner:
QUESTION #1: What can I do to help you?
Guys, listen up, because this is an important question to ask. If you are the kind of person who wants to fix things (a doer), you may mean well when you jump right in, without getting the desired response. Why? Because your partner doesn’t always want you to fix the problem. However, he/she wants to know that you care enough to want to do it. If you jump right into action mode, ready to help, your partner may feel like you just want him/her to shut up, but when you ask how you can help, it shows your partner that you care, that you are really listening and that you are willing to do what your he/she needs.
QUESTION #2 What can I do to make you feel more loved?
Everyone wants to feel loved and sometimes the way you feel has nothing to do with your partner, but rather with what happened in your childhood or with things that you are currently trying to sort out in your life. However, you can do a lot to make your partner feel better about him or herself. You may just not always know how. You might think that running a bath for her will show her how much you love her, but meanwhile all she wants is for you to sit right next to her on the couch watching This is Us.
QUESTION #3: Do I understand correctly when you say…?
So many quarrels arise as a result of misunderstandings. Misunderstanding that happen when two people are talking past each other, when they are not listening carefully or are making assumptions. Before you get hot under the collar, take a step back and first ask: “Do I understand correctly when you say…?” Also count to ten before you respond and ask as many questions as necessary for you to get clarity about the situation.
QUESTION #4: What can we do together to achieve that goal?
We are often in such a hurry on the way to achieve our own goals, dreams and future plans that we forget how important it is to work on a shared future dream. Do you really know what your partner is dreaming about? Strategize together and make plans to get there. This one conversation will take you to a much deeper level of intimacy than where you were before this important question.
QUESTION #5: Would you like us to talk about it again?
There are very few serious issues that can be sorted out in one brief debate. Most arguments will need another conversation, and perhaps yet another one. And it is not just arguments, but also conversations about where to move to or which school to choose for the children. These issues need several discussions… and follow-up discussions to make sure that you are both still moving in the same direction or whether it is time to go through everything again. Follow up to make sure that you both have certainty and peace about a matter, and that you are still on the same page after you’ve had time to think about it separately.
QUESTION #6: What is your most beautify memory of us?
This question is super important and you can ask it every now and then, or you can make it an annual event to ask this question on your wedding anniversary. According to research published in Motivation and Emotion, couples who cherish memories of their best times together, reported greater satisfaction with their relationships.
QUESTION #7: Do you think we spend enough time together?
Whether your love language is quality time or not, it is important for any couple to ask this question. According to therapist and author, Tina B. Tessina, it is important not to get so caught up in your role as parents (for example) that you forget how to be friends. Ask your partner regularly if he/she thinks that you spend enough time together, so that the romance doesn’t get lost completely.
There are many other questions that you should ask frequently. Keep some of them light and ask things like: “What on earth freaks you out the most?”, but do not forget about the serious questions, for example: “What is your biggest dream for our children?”. Read magazines and note the questions that celebrities answer. Try to remember things that stood out for you during your childhood and ask your partner about it, for example: “Did you ever eat Catawba grapes as a child?”.
What it actually comes down to is that you should never stop asking your partner questions. While certain things won’t ever change, such as your partner’s past, there are always variables. In ten year’s time she might not feel the same about adoption or university studies, because she is a dynamic being. Keep this in mind, always stay curious and ask as much as you can.
Additional sources: www.bestlifeonline.com; www.bustle.com; The Effect of Reminiscing about Laughter on Relationship Satisfaction, published in Motivation and Emotion and written by Doris G. Bazzini, Elizabeth R. Stack, Penny D. Marincin and Carmen P. Davis.