Our good friends Steve and Leslie love each other very much. They’ve been married for over 15 years, and they can’t imagine life away from each other. They truly are a cute couple. But one thing they’ve been struggling with lately is communication — specifically, breaking away from the “daily task” sort of talk and mix in some quality daily dialogue.
We’re sure you know the feeling, which is why we were quick to tell them that they aren’t alone. Many couples get caught in a cycle where they stop talking to each other about anything meaningful. Instead, it’s a lot of the everyday stuff like:
Typical Daily Dialogue
“Good morning. Remember, you are the one picking the kids up from school today.”
“What’s for dinner?
“I’m late for work. I’ll see you tonight.”
“Remember, we’ve got dinner with the Gordons on Saturday.”
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All of this is 100% normal, but as Steve and Leslie are learning, it keeps them from truly connecting like they used to. Daily dialogue with your spouse isn’t talking about things you’ve got going on or normal tasks that you share as a couple. It should be an intentional effort where you focus on each other’s feelings, complement each other, talk about your relationship and how it is going, and find ways to improve your lives together.
None of it is Rocket Science
“Marriage is a team sport; you either win together or lose together.”
Below are just a few exercises to improve communication and get some healthy dialogue going in your marriage. I use these techniques quite a bit in some of the premarital courses I host. Also, Prepare Enrich has some excellent material that maps over well and is incorporated into the examples below.
For at least five minutes each day, think about asking each other the following questions:
5 Minute Daily Dialogue Questions List
What’s going on with you?
How are we doing?
Are there some specific ways we can make “us” better?
What between us was good today?
Is there one thing that I can do for you?
Think long and hard about each question, and really try to give your spouse specific answers — not generalizations. For example, perhaps your answer to what went well between the two of you today could be that you really enjoyed that kiss goodbye before leaving for work. In terms of what’s that one thing your spouse can do for you, perhaps it’s as simple as requesting more help with the kids each morning.
As you ask these questions, be mindful of the following:
- Your spouse deserves your full attention. Don’t watch your favorite TV show or respond to someone’s text messages at the same time. Make eye contact and have a purposeful conversation.
- Avoid criticism. It’s easy to get defensive when a spouse shares their thoughts and feelings — especially if it’s related to something you aren’t providing in the relationship. Don’t point fingers, don’t criticize.
- Heap praise. Focus on as many positives as you can about your relationship. Doing so builds each other up and makes it easier to work through the stuff that isn’t so positive.
- Be solutions-minded. Help each other find a solution to whatever problem you are facing.
- Seek counseling. Going to someone else for help with larger issues is not a bad thing. It’s okay.
All we are saying is that we as couples need to show that we are on the same page and that the little things matter. Life can get super busy with all sorts of daily tasks, and it can be easy to focus on those things rather than intentional, focused communication. The daily dialogue exercises above will help get you back on track.
Our heart is devoted to caring about people and marriages!
Our heart is devoted to caring about people. We want to ensure you have the tools to communicate better in your marriage. The best way we know how to do that is by spreading the word to more people and let them know that we are here.
Did we leave anything out? How are you working to improve dialogue with your spouse? What was your spouse’s response? Did you both try to improve your communication? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going. mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com