For two weeks now I’ve explored thoughts about couples and families who live life on the surface, never really connecting with each other. Last week I suggested asking each other about childhood memories and having fun learning more about the past experiences of loved ones. Today I’ll offer some more topics to deepen relationships.
Some couples find it difficult to communicate about their relationship. When this seems risky, go slowly and keep it positive. Speak about your own thoughts and feelings with sentences that begin with “I think or I feel…” rather than “You think, or you…anything.” When a question or sentence starts with “you” it’s apt to sound blaming or critical to the other person.
Here are some positive ways to begin. Describe the happiest day of your marriage. Tell which vacation was the best one and why. If there’s mutual agreement about having discussions of this kind you can both answer questions such as these: What surprised each of you the most about marriage? About being a parent? About each other? What do you like best about each other? Give positive answers. This is not a time to criticize.
Bring up topics about your future also. What are your hopes, dreams and ambitions? What are your career goals? What do you each hope to be doing five years from now? Ten years from how? What kind of retirement do you hope to have? During all of these discussions be a good listener and be positive in responding to each other. This will encourage further communication.
Next week I’ll continue with an almost magic key to deepening relationships.
A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. Proverbs 16:23