|Photo by Ed Passi|
One of the challenging areas in my marriage is conversation. Part of the problem is that we already know so much about each other that there’s little mystery.
What’s new to talk about that hasn’t already been covered in countless conversations in the past?
Another issue is that I am like the average woman who has a daily word count of about 20,000 in comparison to my very male husband who barely musters around 7000 words per day. Add to that my counselor side that loves to analyze, theorize and super-size every topic of conversation my greedy little counselor mind can evoke. and you’ve got the makings of a very intimidated hubster at times!
Do any of you struggle in your marriage in this way?
I know I’ve used at least 10,000 of my 20,000 daily allotment on several occasions discussing this problem with my female friends, and the consensus is always the same—our male counterparts are sadly “conversation-challenged.”
But conversation is so vitally important to women!
Truth be told, it’s important for men too. It’s important because it strengthens and boosts our friendship factor. We all need to know that our “hearts” are understood, known and liked by our spouses.
Very often conversation is the first thing to go in a marriage—pushing marriages ever closer to messiness and mayhem.
So here’s what I’ve done to tackle this problem in my marriage:
- Practice – conversation is a skill, and like any skill, it takes practice. As you practice, you stretch your “conversation muscles” (yes, guys, this is an area where strength training needs to be applied as well!), making it easier to converse more proficiently next time.
- Ask Questions – Instead of thinking you must fix the problem your wife is having or feeling you must tell your hubby all about your day, consider asking him/her a question. I’ve provided some helpful questions to get you started here.
- Use a Cheat Sheet – Yes, there really is a cheat sheet for conversation in the form of various books of questions. Here are a couple I recommend: The Complete Book of Questions and 101 Conversation Starters for Couples. Have them handy at the dinner table or take them with you on a date.
- Schedule Times to Connect – My husband and I have a weekly “Talk Time,” as well as, setting aside much face-to-face time on our day off. This investment has really helped our marriage. We need to schedule daily times to connect as well … something we’re not quite as successful with yet … but we’re a working on it!
So what do you do to keep the conversation muscles strong with your spouse?
What seems to get in the way of making this a priority in your marriage?