You’ve been married for five, 10 or maybe 15 years. Life has settled into a predictable rhythm and you are sure that you know almost everything there is to know about your spouse. Or so you think. But has it ever occurred to you that truly understanding your spouse is an on-going process?
I’m sure you’ve come across this quote: You’re not obliged to be the same person you were a year, month, or even 15 minutes ago. You have the right to grow.
See that’s what happens in a marriage. Couples get together and grow together. The experiences and challenges that you face constantly change you (and your spouse) and it’s highly likely you both aren’t the same people you were when you first got together.
But people often take for granted that by sheer virtue of the duration of time they’ve been together, they know each other inside-out. And that’s where the problem starts. Couples don’t acknowledge these changes and assume they know each other. That leads to distance which is the kiss of death in a relationship.
So break the cycle and don’t let it happen. Take the steps to understanding your spouse all over again and for who they are as opposed to who they were and you assume didn’t change.
Here are nines great questions that you can ask to start understanding your spouse on a deeper level. They may unravel some fascinating insights about your spouse that you are clueless about!
1. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Now don’t roll your eyes just yet and assume that of course, you know where your partner sees himself in the future! Yes, you are together, and (hopefully) working towards the same life goals. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you really and truly know where you both are heading.
Your spouse might have some new career aspirations, life goal, skill to learn or just about anything that previously didn’t exist. Understanding your spouse means checking in on these goals now and then and ensuring that you are aware of these goals and that you are helping each other to achieve these goals.
Never stop talking to each other.
While you might be surprised at what you discover, the opportunity to work towards something together will definitely make your relationship stronger!
2. What’s your biggest regret in life?
Understanding your partner means knowing the experiences that shape him to be the person he is now. That includes the failures and regrets that plague him. Often the disappointment that a person faces in life causes him to harbour some unresolved conflict and feelings which later lead to crises or existential angst.
Find out what these are, and if you already know (or think that you do), find out if there were any new regrets along the way.
Do remember to keep an open mind and if the answer includes something that you decided on or did together, and your spouse regrets it, don’t get defensive. Listen objectively and try to understand what went wrong.
3. Which thoughts and worries keep you up at night?
You know your spouse best so ask this question wisely. If your spouse appears troubled or disturbed lately, this might be a good question to ask. Of course, understanding your spouse means being aware of the struggles that they experience so you should ask such questions.
However, if you know that your spouse prefers some space when he is stressed, make a mental note and ask this question when things seem a bit more settled.
Even if there’s nothing visibly troubling your spouse, it might be good to check on what might potentially cause him stress and anxiety.
Understanding your spouse means knowing what bothers him.
4. What made you fall in love with me?
But of course, I know the answer to this question! Yes, I’m sure you do but it never hurts to sit down and reminisce the good old days. Marriage is tough and trying and there are days when you struggle to like each other. Sometimes the challenges, stress and setbacks may take your focus away from the powerful feelings you once had for each other.
Use this question to bring back sweet memories that will remind you of what you mean to each other. I’m sure it will re-ignite the spark and keep things alive.
Having said that, please don’t ask your spouse this question every other day and completely defeat the purpose of it!
5. What are your fantasies?
No, these questions aren’t just for newly-weds or couples who just got together. Understanding your spouse means being open to understanding their sexual expectations as well. It’s also a good way to prevent boredom from creeping into the bedroom!
6. Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?
Again, you might assume that you know the answer to this question. In fact, I’m sure you do. But then again, it’s good to give your spouse the limelight now and then. Let them blow their trumpet a little bit and feel good. There’s no harm in that.
This sets the stage for sharing each others’ nice moments and the joy can be a connecting moment for the two of you. It’s also a good chance for you to shower your spouse with compliments and tell him how proud you are of him.
7. What’s your favourite thing that I do for you?
Appreciation is key in a relationship and sometimes married couples forget to show each other appreciation. Not that they don’t appreciate, but sometimes people get caught in the daily grind. Answering this question gives you some insight into what your partner values and encourages you to keep doing it. It also makes you feel good!
Understanding your partner also means viewing yourself through their lens.
8. How do we organise our lives?
If you’re married, there’s bound to be conflict. When one resolves another comes up and strangely enough, the conflicts continue regardless of how long you’ve been together.
But sometimes things get out of hand and conflict over simple things like household clutter gets in the way of relationships. In fact, it can make or break a relationship. Trust me, this continues even in old age.
So work things out. Talk about it occasionally. You really don’t want your spouse to start forming resentment because you aren’t doing something and you didn’t even realise it!
9. What should we do to stay healthy?
The longer you are together, the more you should start thinking of how to answer this question. Age will bring a whole set of inevitable health issues and it’s good to start talking about these things early on. Talk about prevention, talk about a cure, talk about how you will support each other. In sickness and in health.
It could potentially lead to a heart-to-heart conversation that sets the stage for you to truly open up about your fears to each other.
There you go mums and dads, nine great questions that will help you in understanding your spouse better. Remember, marriage is never static. People are never static. The only constant is change and just as you would professionally, you should always remain open to learn, unlearn and relearn your spouse! Good luck and start talking.
Source: BDG Media Inc