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Think about the last conversation you had with your partner. Was it about work, your finances, the kids, upcoming obligations, or something similarly, well, flat? If you answered yes, then it may be time to change the subject. True, happily married couples talk about all of the above, but they also make a point to regularly engage in dynamic discussions that dig a little deeper.
If you've ever heard of the "daily dialogue" used in Retrouvaille, a faith-based marriage program that focuses on establishing healthy communication skills, then you're familiar with the benefits that are said to come from daily, meaningful discussions between partners. For the uninitiated, the gist is that a strengthened bond and marriage will result from these everyday check-ins.
Do you need to be of a certain religion to benefit from the daily dialogue concept? Not at all. Here's how to put it to work in your marriage.
Daily Dialogue Questions
You can set some typical dialogue questions about each other's daily experiences to start the conversation between the two of you.
- How do you feel about today?
- What made you feel good today?
- What did you learn today?
- Did you meet any new person or see someone you hadn't in a long while?
- What made you think differently today?
How Well Do You Know Your Spouse?
No matter how long you have been together, there are always more things to learn about one another. Try these questions:
- What do we, as a couple, want out of life?
- What do you think we'll be doing in 10 or 20 years?
- How would you describe yourself?
- How do you think I see you?
- What's your ideal way to spend a day off?
- What's your favorite childhood memory? Grade-school memory? High school memory?
- What do you most admire about your parents and want to emulate? Your grandparents?
- What was the best date we ever had?
- What actor or actress should portray you in the story of your life?
You may even go back to a list of questions to ask each other before getting married. It's never too late to open the lines of communication about the really important issues. You may or may not have fully discussed the deal breaker issues before you got married — think children, money, sex, religion, fidelity, abuse, addictions, chores, and in-laws. Most of these need to reviewed regularly as views will change as a person matures and new factors, such as children, a new job, or moving to a new location, come into play.
Dreams and Plans
If you want to steer away from heavy questions, it can be both entertaining and enlightening to discuss dream scenarios:
- If you hadn't gone into your current profession (and salary wasn't a factor), which one would be ideal?
- If we won $10,000, how would we spend it? What would we do $1,000,000?
- What's your dream vacation?
- What's your sexual fantasy?
- What three places on Earth would you most like to visit?
- What kind of house or apartment would be ideal for us in the next five years? What would be best when we have an empty nest?
- What would your death-row last meal be? If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- What five things would you want to have when stranded on a deserted island?
- What three wishes would you ask for from a genie?
- What new hobby would you like to take up?
Keep the Dialogue Going
Don't come up with excuses as to why you don't make time to talk with each other. And although topics like the health issues, weather, chores, finances, and your kids are necessary and important to talk about, make sure that the two of you find ways to broaden your conversations to include more than just the practical aspects of your marriage and lives.