Has starting a conversation with your spouse become a challenge lately?
Even though you generally think you have good communication with him or her, there may be times when your communication doesn’t seem to flow as easily or the occasional silence doesn’t seem as comfortable as it once was.
So what can you do to stimulate a good conversation with your spouse?
Here are some ideas to get your communication flowing again.
- Ask what was the best part of their day while they were away from you (for example, if they were away at work)
- Ask about the worse part of their day
- Read up on several news items of the day or some trending topic or report on social media and share some interesting information about one or more of those stories with a follow-up question such as “What do you think about that?”
- Research and give a few ideas for activities to do together this coming week, weekend, or month, and see what they think about those ideas. Also, ask them if they have any other ideas and which one or two would be their top picks from among the choices.
- Ask something about one of their family members- For example, “Have you spoken with your mom (or your brother) recently? What is she up to?” Also share some observations, opinions, or ideas related to the topics brought up about that relative and any issues they are going through.
- Tell your spouse you want to plan to have a nice dinner together so you want their input on either what type of food and/or which restaurant they’d like to go to, or, what type of food they’d like to have for the menu of a make-at-home dinner. Work out specifics of where, when, who’s cooking, who’s making the list, who’s shopping for the ingredients, for whatever the case may be.
- Bring up a minor to moderate problem for a problem-solving brainstorming session. Think of something you’d like to try to address together and ask your partner if they’d be willing to toss around some ideas and potential solutions so you can both find a resolution for that problem.
- Use some conversation starter, such as: “If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, what is the one thing you would have to take that you cannot live without (besides me!), or what is the one type of food you would want to have there that you would not want to live without,” or, “If it was our 30th anniversary next year, where do you think we should go for a fabulous anniversary trip?”
- Or try: “I miss hearing your voice. Can you sing to me or tell me a funny story from your week or something you read online?” If you have a wise guy in your life, he might just reply: “Yeah, my funny story was when my wife asked me, the guy who can’t carry a tune, to sing to her! Isn’t that hysterical?” But hey, at least you would have jump started some talking!
- Tell about your latest activity or hobby you’ve done (your workout at the gym, latest book you’ve read, encounters during your online gaming or bicycle ride) and then ask about your partner to tell you more about how their recent hobby or activity.
Remember that even if the talking fizzles out quickly, every day brings more ideas and more opportunities to begin a conversation. Be mindful of trending topics in the family, in your lives, and out in the world, so you can continue to take advantage of opportunities to engage your partner in lively conversation and keep your communication strong throughout your marriage.
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