Do you want to have a marriage that lasts? Here’s part 2 of the 13 Powerful Questions to Ask for a Marriage that Lasts!
The inspiration for this series comes from my grandmother, who composed this list of 13 questions and posted it on Facebook (she’s cool like that). If you missed Part 1, then read that first.
The part of the series focused on conflict, and oddly enough, I had plenty of chances to practice asking myself the first 3 questions this past week.
This week we’ll be looking at how we speak to our spouse, and I think if we are willing to consider these and answer honestly, it could change a lot about our interactions in our marriages.
13 POWERFUL QUESTIONS FOR A MARRIAGE THAT LASTS: PART 2
- Could I be crushing his/her spirit with my criticism?
I’m a perfectionist, and I also like things to be done a certain way (some people might use the term “control freak”). Therefore, I often find myself criticizing rather than speaking kindly. Sometimes, with my husband, if something isn’t done in the exact way and time frame that I wanted, I speak critically to him. Perhaps this isn’t an issue for you, but I know it’s a big one that I must work on!
- How many compliments have I given my spouse in the past week?
Here’s the flip side of that last question. Instead of just not criticizing, perhaps I could focus on complimenting my spouse. If we are only focused on the negative, annoying things about our spouse, we tend to believe that is all there is. When we look for the good in our marriage, we will probably find it.
If you are really discouraged, perhaps you feel like there’s absolutely nothing you can compliment your spouse about. Take some time to sit down and write down the reasons you fell in love with her. Consider the little things he does each day to help or support your family. Then verbalize those things out loud. Even if your spouse does not receive the compliment, continue looking for those things you appreciate about her. If nothing else, it will positively affect your way of thinking.
- Do I speak to my spouse in the same tone of voice as I do my friends? Or am I snippy?
Have you ever been in the midst of an argument with your spouse, and then the phone rings? What happens when you pick up the phone? A total change in your tone of voice, right?
We are usually most comfortable and familiar with our spouse, and the fact that we are so comfortable with them means that we don’t necessarily watch what we say or how we say it. But why would we treat our friends or even complete strangers better than our spouse?Why would we treat our friends or even complete strangers better than our spouse? Click To Tweet
Research shows that tone of voice is a big part of how people perceive and process what you are saying. So if we want to effectively communicate with our spouse, we should probably pay attention to our tone of voice.
- Do I ask for what I want from my spouse without an attitude, or am I insulting?
I’m starting to be a little irritated with my grandmother. It’s like she’s living in my home! But seriously – it’s okay to express your needs or even wants to your spouse. In marriage, we should be open enough and comfortable to share these things with our partner. The issue is how we go about it.
One thing that I often ask Scott to do is take out the trash. There are 2 very distinct ways that I can ask him to do this. One way would be to politely and kindly say, “Hon, could you take out the trash the next time you go downstairs?” The other way could be exactly the same as before, but add on an extra little zinger at the end, such as “It’s overflowing and I don’t understand how you haven’t noticed that yet.” That extra line is an unnecessary insult, and it does nothing to benefit my communication with my husband.
The common theme with all of these questions is in how we speak to our spouse, and it really can make a difference in your marriage.
Marriage Tip: Speak positively to and about your spouse!
It might seem silly, but this week, try and ONLY say positive things to your spouse.
Refrain from the criticism, the insulting attitude, or the snippy tone. Instead, look for ways to compliment your husband or wife. You might be surprised what can happen.
I’m going to take this challenge for myself, and I’d love to have you join me. Comment below if you will try this for just the next 7 days! And be sure to let me know how it goes.