When you’re married to a partner who finds it difficult to open up and communicate with you, you have to get creative. Verbally expressing what you’re feeling, what you need, and what matters most to you, doesn’t come naturally for everyone. So, while you can’t force your spouse to open up and talk to you about anything, you can encourage them by introducing activities and a safe space that makes it easier for them to share. In this post, we will explore five great conversation starters for married couples, to help you better understand how to talk to your spouse about anything.
How to Talk to Your Spouse About Anything
In This Article:
- Create a Safe Space
- Prepare to Get to Know Your Spouse
- Start With These Five Conversation Starters
- Maintain the Communication After it Starts
Let’s first recognize that no two people are alike. If we begin there, it will be easier to understand why your partner can’t be more like you. There are different communication styles that can include passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive. Falling in love with your partner and choosing to get married won’t automatically mean both of your styles are in sync. There still may be work to be done in this area. Here are a few ways to do that work as well as some conversation starters for married couples.
Create a Safe Space
A perfect place to begin is by creating a space where you both feel comfortable sharing. Is there a judgment-free zone in your relationship? This means you and your partner can freely express yourselves without worry that your feelings will be scrutinized or criticized in any way. It should also mean that each partner will feel heard, acknowledged, and valued in the relationship. Creating this safe space has to be intentional. Both partners have to practice pausing when they feel the need to immediately react or respond negatively when the other partner is communicating. In addition, each spouse should control their need to defend themselves when they hear something they don’t agree with or like. Remember, your spouse will be sharing their own truth and experience, and it just might differ from yours, and that is okay. This will be how you learn and grow from one another. It won’t be easy, but it is possible and necessary.
Prepare to Get to Know Your Spouse
Once a safe space has been established, it’s time to prepare for the next step. Again, getting to know a partner who doesn’t willingly open up is challenging and that is why preparation is key. You have to prepare yourself to enter the conversation with an open mind ready to learn. If you bring your own set of baggage, or what you think your spouse might say or do into the conversation, you will surely not get the results you are seeking. Enter into the conversation not assuming but being ready to actively listen and be completely present. A great way to prepare is by writing down your questions and your approach in advance. Think about what you want to share as well as what you want to know most about your partner and your “why”. The “why” is important as it will help your spouse better connect to your needs for wanting to learn more about them, and will make them more likely to share.
Start With These Five Conversation Starters For Married Couples
Now that a safe space has been created and you have prepared for the communication with your partner, let’s get started with these five conversation starters:
Use index cards for your conversation starters for married couples and write one of the five topics listed below on each card. Randomly select one of the topics and lead the conversation with the prompts that are associated with each.
- The first topic is all about Childhood Relationship Memories. Ask your spouse about what they learned about marriage and relationships as they were growing up. The responses to this topic will provide insight on why your partner might show up like they show up in your marriage.
- The next topic is on Relationship Lessons from Adulthood. Though this could be a painful topic as you both think about relationships from the past, it is still a conversation that needs to be had. Ask your spouse what they learned from relationships that didn’t go as planned and how those lessons are showing up now. Again, this will provide great insight into how your partner became who they are and what impact that might be having in your marriage.
- Topic three is all about their Current Relationship Beliefs. In this conversation starter, it is okay to highlight behaviors you notice that your partner displays. Asking why or where their beliefs came from that trigger that behavior is a great way to get beneath the surface a bit to learn even more about your partner.
- The next topic is about discovering What’s Working and What Better Looks Like for your marriage. I have learned that there is always an area of growth and opportunity in every relationship. This conversation starter will help you and your spouse figure out what that is for both of you.
- The final topic is about Relationship Goals and a Vision for the Future. Think about where you see you and your partner in the future. Together, create goals and discuss the plans for your relationship. Having a couple’s vision board is a great way to map out and visually see what you both want to manifest into your lives and within your partnership.
Maintain the Communication After It Starts
Once the conversations start you have to do what’s needed to maintain that communication. These types of discussions should be ongoing as you both grow and your needs change. There should also be frequent check-ins with your partner, especially as it relates to goal setting and creating a vision for the future. You want to make sure that you are on track to achieve those relationship goals.
Opening up, being vulnerable, and sharing your innermost thoughts and your feelings will require effort and intentionality from both partners. But if you want to improve the communication in your marriage and be better able to talk to your spouse about anything, it’s necessary.
BMWK, how is the communication in your relationship? How have you and your partner created a space where you can talk to each other about anything? What conversation starters for married couples would you recommend?