Marriage is a commitment. You know that. You said, “I do” days, weeks, months, or years ago. And now you live out what you promised…right? Most people think that marriage is work, but many are not doing the right kind of work.
Most marriages work re-actively–reacting to conflict, reacting to situations, reacting to this and that. But to be proactive is rare. As such is the case, being proactive in marriage is something that may be worth addressing. One way to be proactive in marriage is to ask questions; however, these are not questions that you just ask “whenever.” Nor, do you ask in the midst of a conflict, or argument. These are questions that you schedule time to ask and to discuss. So here are 6 hard questions that you should ask your spouse (because assuming just makes things more difficult.)
Question One: Are we happy together?
Now this is a humdinger! What if they say “no?” What if they say “not for a while?” O…what if they say “yes” (Whew!) Whatever the response, it is best to know the answer, and not just assume that because you have “no problems” that you have no problems. (Get it?)
If this answer is not what you want to hear, consider it an opportunity to get better and do better. Don’t get mad, don’t upset–get focused. Marriage is a journey, sometimes people get tired, that doesn’t mean that you can’t regroup and start the journey again…got it?
Question Two: Are our vows still valid?
What? We said to love, honor and cherish til death do we part…how could that not be valid. Easy–you had no clue what you were promising at the time. Besides, these are very vague terms, and so perhaps it’s time to sit down and drill down on the expectations of those vows, beyond the fanfare and the 7-tier cake.
Question Three: What can we do to be better for each other?
This is a question for the bravest of the brave. And if you ask this question…you are the real MVP. Seriously. Most married people believe that they are doing the best that they can, and that is all that they can do. But is it? Probably not. What if your spouse just needs you to listen to their recap of the day (or wait and hour for them to get settled before you start). The “do” can be very little–but have so much impact on the status of our unions.
Question Four: Is our sex life (physical intimacy) satisfying?
Ummmm yes! This is a question that you have to ask. You may think that you have it going on–and maybe you do–but perhaps that’s not always what the situation called for. When we talk to premarital and marital couples at The Relationship Firm, we address their sexual expectations. (Actually we tell them to address them, and then report back with as little detail as possible…SMILE!) People always tell married people that they have to keep the spice–or keep “it” fresh…but what does that mean in YOUR marriage. And if your spouse tells you no…don’t get all emotional…ask why? Then we can move forward.
Question Five: Is there anything that you miss about me? (You can also add “about us?”)
This is different way to ask the question “have I changed?” Great question. And a great way to open up a dialogue around emotional intimacy, spatial intimacy, and spiritual intimacy. You may have no clue that your spouse REALLY liked when you made pancakes and you had breakfast together on Saturdays; but now you grab granola as you head to yoga. They may miss how you jumped in the shower and washed their back. Again, it could be little things.
More questions on intimacy and closeness (if you need them).
Lastly, Question Six: Is there anything that you want me to know?
This is a blanket question. But it has power. Consider using it if you are not ready to ask the other five questions.
At the end of the day, it’s your marriage and you have to find out what works for you. All the couples at The Relationship Firm know that we are just a GPS and they have to set their destination. When people tell you what works in marriage, they only know what worked for them–not you. Don’t be afraid to have a unique marriage. Don’t be afraid to do things differently that ANYONE ELSE. If it works and keeps you moving forward as a couple, then that’s all that matters.