The common instruction to “communicate more” in marriage can be confusingly vague. How often and about what? Should you tell your spouse every little thing that bothers you or only the big stuff? The Power of Two Online recognizes that people benefit more from specificity and tangible activities! In that light, here are 15 relationship questions that should make essential talking points in your marriage. Use these relationship questions to evaluate your marriage and open dialog with your spouse. Checking in regularly on these points – about once a month – will help to maintaining healthy communication and a great marriage.
Relationship question #1: Do you feel you have equal power in your relationship?
Whether on big decisions such as parenting techniques or small ones like what to eat for dinner, you both should feel equal power in your marriage. Differences in power where one spouse’s needs dominate over the other’s can lead to and resentment in the submissive spouse. Remember, you and your spouse are not opponents, you are teammates. If one of you feels consistently overridden it’s a signal that it’s time to learn the skills for healthy conflict resolution.
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Relationship Question #2: Is the amount and quality of sex we have satisfying to you?
There is no right frequency or right “way” to be physically intimate with your marriage partner. Some couples share high libidos and benefit from the bonding experience of sex every day. Others share essential physical closeness through non-sexual intimacy and have intercourse once a week or less. What matters is that you and your spouse are on the same page about type and quantity of sexual encounters.
Sex can feel awkward to discuss even among long-married couples. Your partner (and yourself) may hesitate to express true feelings when unsatisfied with sex in marriage. This is why it is so important to ask directly. Just remember: it’s not selfish to get your needs met – it’s essential!
Relationship Question #3: Do you feel supported?
Positivity is a key element of a happy marriage and an essential display of positivity is enthusiastic support. Enthusiasm about your spouse’s dreams, goals, and decisions create a loving aura in your home and bring you closer. You are each other’s #1 cheerleaders! If one of you doesn’t feel supported, or feels the polar opposite, negativity, you are on the slippery road to falling out of love.
Negativity to a spouse’s opinions and desires is another area where the offending partner may not even be aware of his or her hurtful behavior. Doubly important, then, for you to check in verbally with each other.
Marriage question #4: Do you feel appreciated?
Appreciation, or positive feedback, is another subset of positivity along with support. No one likes to feel unappreciated. In fact, researchers have found that expressing gratitude is a key element of happy relationships. Not only does giving appreciation boost the recipient’s self esteem and loving feelings towards the giver, it reminds the appreciator of all the wonderful qualities about the recipient.
Thank your spouse for every little thing he or she does. Compliment your partner on a job well done or a display of ingenuity or wit. Don’t ignore your spouse’s feelings of being overlooked: feeling unappreciated is one of the biggest causes of infidelity and divorce. If you feel the love in your marriage has cooled, try using gratitude to put the spark back in your relationship.
Marriage Question #5: Do we share responsibilities in a satisfying way?
You are running the business of a home. Just as companies have frequent check-in meetings to make sure each department is running smoothing, you should too for Our Home, Inc.
Household and family chores needn’t be split 50/50. More important is how satisfied each partner feels in doing his and her tasks. Also important is that each of you enjoy (or at least don’t detest) your chores. If one of you feels that the other isn’t pulling equal weight in the management of your home, you are heading down the prickly road of resentment.
Read: How to share chores.
Marriage Question #6: Are you happy with the amount of us-time and apart-time we have?
Some time apart is essential to developing you own interests and independence. And, brief separation does indeed make you miss your partner and become excited for your reunion. Yet too much time apart cools your bond and makes room for other individuals to move into the space reserved for your spouse. Your marriage is one of the most important elements of your life. If either one of you feels unhappy with the time arrangement of your days, do as much as you can to fix or work around your scheduling.
Marriage Question #7: Do your spouse’s relationships with certain friends concern you?
Hints of jealousy should always be addressed. Suspicion means that one spouse has done something to concern the other, and that in itself is cause for an investigation into the problem. If you feel uncomfortable with the amount of time your spouse is spending with a colleague or attractive friend, speak up.
Marriage Question #8: Are you comfortable with your financial decisions this month?
Money can trigger strong emotions in spouses like no other subject can. Make sure you are both on the same page about the family budget by holding frequent check-ins. Purchases that concern both of you are use large sums need to be decided on jointly. At the same time, there are many different financial arrangements you can work out to ease your financial union. These include separate spending accounts and delegating purchase decisions. Read more about how to handle money and marriage.
Some big issues in marriage only need to be addressed when they arise. At the same time, a happy marriage isn’t just about catching the big issues. It’s the small things that set the tone for your partnership and can snowball into bigger problems. Scheduling regular conversations about these common problem areas in marriage can help you catch the small things early.
Having trouble bringing up relationship questions without getting into disagreements? You’re not alone. Talking about marriage issues is tricky. Very few of us are taught the skills to handle these conversations in relationships. Luckily, you can learn these skills at any stage in life. The Power of Two online program teaches you proven techniques for resolving conflict, increasing intimacy, and building a positive, joyful marriage.