The turning of the clock, the arrival of a new calendar year, always brings with it a little bit more perspective, doesn’t it? We may ask ourselves… Did we make the most of last year? Was it a hard year or a good year? Maybe both? Is there anything we can do to make this coming year better?
We know that a lot of people make resolutions and a lot of people fail at them. We do think it’s possible to make some great resolutions for your marriage – and keep them – but resolutions are just one way to get your new year off to a great start. Another way is to have one good 30 minute conversation with your spouse.
Most of the time when resolutions are made, they are made individually. We want you to enter this year the way we hope you enter every other area of your life: as a team. Here are just three questions we think will help you get your marriage off to a good start this new year…
3 Questions to Set Up Your Marriage for a Great New Year
1. What would you like me to do more often?
Think in terms of something you already do, or you used to do. Maybe you check in on your way home every once in a while, and your spouse would like you to do it more often. Maybe you used to give the best back rubs, but you haven’t rubbed your partner’s back in years. Perhaps you used to be in the habit of pouring your spouse a cup of coffee in the morning when you poured your own, but somewhere along the line that good habit got dropped.
This is really a tune-up question. It is not necessary to overhaul your relationship in order to improve it. It’s the little things that make a big difference. Sometimes all you need to do is pick up a habit you used to have, or increase the frequency of something you already do. The Gottmans call these Rituals of Connection. So, ask your partner if there is anything they would like you to do more often.
2. What are you daydreaming about or hoping for this year?
This question will help you really get in touch your spouse’s inner life. It’s possible you are already good at having these types of conversations regularly. But, more often, we think we know what’s going on with our partner and it turns out there is more to their thought life than we realized. Asking a question like this can shed light on something we didn’t know we were on the outside of.
Asking your spouse what they are daydreaming about or hoping for will not only give you better insight, but help them feel loved for who they really are. We all long to be truly known and truly loved and that longing doesn’t go away once we say ‘I do.’
3. How can I support you?
One of the great glories of married life is the opportunity to support one another and build your dreams together. Depending on your stage of life – no kids, young kids, teenagers, empty nesters, grandparents – it’s easy to become two orbiting satellites living out our lives as individuals who may bump into each other now and then.
The beautiful thing about a good marriage is that we don’t have to live that way. Ask your spouse what you can do to best support them. Whether you are talking together about a big long-term goal, or the average everyday stuff, knowing that you really have someone by your side makes all the difference. Take a look at the 4 Types of Supportive Behavior from our archives for help with this part of the conversation.
Asking each other these three simple questions could have a huge impact on your marriage this year. So, share this post with your spouse on their Facebook page, email it to them, or send them a text and say, “Babe, I’d love to have this conversation with you tonight. Are you up for it?”
Schedule some time, ask each other some good questions, practice being good listeners, write down your answers and enjoy the coming year knowing you are actively working to #staymarried.
Starting a weekly habit of asking each other good questions is a great way to build faithfulness and growing together into your marriage. The #staymarried Book is set up to guide you through 52 weekly conversations.
I’ve loved what other readers have had to say about it…
“Michelle’s book (and the website, and the podcast) have helped me see at least some of the concrete ways my communication style fails at critical times. Spending 30 minutes a week with my wife, talking about bite-sized ideas and issues, might seem like–literally–the least I could do. But kind of like a mustard seed and faith, doing such reaps rewards for us we never expected. And conflict, because that can’t be avoided, either.
I’m thankful for a resource like this that gets right to the heart of each matter, bases itself in real academic resources, roots itself in faith (without clique-y exclusivity), and doesn’t assume there’s a cookie-cutter answer to every problem between these two people who are undertaking the breathtakingly brave step of intertwining their lives.” – Noel, Amazon Reviewer
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The #staymarried blog was created to offer hope, stories, and resources for couples who want to stay married.
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