How well do you think you know your spouse? If you knew him well when you got married, who is he now? How has she changed over the years? When you think of your spouse, are you depending on old information? Sometimes we know our spouses well in one area of life, but not in another.
This simple plan can keep you in touch with each other and give you many things to talk about. The following questions are designed to tune you into what is happening with your spouse in each of the major areas of human life — Physical, Mental, Social/Emotional, Spiritual, and that of your Marriage.
- First, read through these questions and look for their answers or something similar in conversations with your spouse. Ask him or her directly when the appropriate occasion arises. These conversations are not times for advice-giving, but for discovering, hearing and understanding. Purposefully listen for what is happening in each area of his or her life.
Physical Life: What are your spouse’s likes and dislikes when it comes to foods? How does he feel about his overall health? What is her attitude toward sleep? Does she get enough of it? Does he enjoy exercise? What is her favorite sport to take part in? What is his favorite sport to watch? Is she concerned about aging? What is his attitude toward the physical changes in his life?
Mental Life: What did your spouse like the most about work this week? What did he or she like the least? What is your spouse’s ideal job? Do you know what talents of hers she especially enjoys? Do you know which talents he would like to develop? What habits does he have that he likes? What bad habits has she already given up? What obstacles in her everyday life frustrate her the most? What does he think about global warming? How involved is she in political issues? What is the wisest piece of advice he has ever heard? What would she like to learn?
Social/Emotional Life: What things regularly make him happy? What music always perks her up? How does he like to help others? What does he do when he needs peace and quiet? Which family and friend relationships would she like to strengthen? What are some people he would like to get to know? What is his idea of a perfect vacation? A perfect Sunday? Which of the arts does he like to watch? Which does she like to take part in?
Spiritual Life: How important is faith in him? What role does doubt play in her life? What does he think about life after death? What is her view of God? How does the spiritual affect his daily life? Has she ever seen a miracle?
Marriage Life: How does he feel about your marriage relationship? What would she like it to be like in five years? Twenty? What things do you enjoy doing together the most? Where do you give each other room to do individual things? Do you feel like you are growing in knowing each other? In trust?
- Now, check in by asking yourself: Have I learned a little more about my spouse in at least one part of each of these areas this week?
Use these questions to trigger questions and discussions of your own. You may find that focusing on your spouse in these areas makes you a better listener to him or her in every conversation.