You can grow closer to your husband or wife by asking the right questions. Some of those questions are meant to spark laughter and fun. Other questions are meant to help you evaluate the health of your relationship and determine steps for improvement.
The following seven questions are designed to help you connect with your spouse on a deeply transparent level.
Don't react with anger or defensiveness if you don't agree with his or her answers. Humbly listen and make the effort to understand his or her perspective. The answers to these questions could set you in a new and healthier direction in your marriage. These questions could potentially spark one of the most transparent, productive and intimate conversations you've ever experienced with your spouse.
1. What is it like to be my husband/wife?
Encourage your spouse to answer honestly about the most enjoyable parts and most difficult parts of being married to you.
2. What is one thing you would change about me if you could?
This isn't an opportunity for your spouse to pick on your physical features, but rather a chance to help you see blind spots in your personality, your words or your demeanor.
3. What is one thing you would change about yourself if you could?
Give your spouse the opportunity to reflect on his or her own fears and shortcomings. Encourage and affirm your spouse in these vulnerable moments.
4. When did you feel our marriage was at its strongest?
If the answer is anything other than "Right Now," talk about the reasons why. Recapture the habits you were doing at your strongest point and then build from there so your best days can be ahead.
5. When did you feel our marriage was at its worst?
If the answer is "Right Now," talk about the reasons why. If it was some point in the past, talk about what led to the difficulties and how you can learn from them and prevent repeating them.
6. What is one way we could improve our marriage?
Don't list off all the ways your marriage could be improved. Focus in on one area and develop a plan to get better in that area. Maybe it's your parenting, or your sex life, or your communication. Pick one area and then do something practical to improve.
7. What is one dream you have for our future?
Couples who dream together are stronger than couples who don't. Talk about your hopes for the future and how you could support each other's goals and dreams. Work together to ensure your best days are ahead of you and not behind you.
This article was originally published on Patheos. It has been republished here with permission.