We all hear from “everyone” that going on a date with our spouse is so important in order to grow in our relationship. If we don’t, then we may tend to drift apart and lose the passion and intimacy that we shared during our dating, engagement and first years of marriage.
Life takes over. Meetings, volunteer activities, Bible studies, Community Group Meetings, work, other commitments.
And that is BEFORE we have kids. Once they are in the picture we find ourselves trying to balance so many plates above us that we are overwhelmed. We barely have time to talk at all, much less have a real meaningful conversation.
Finally, we have “The Date”
We know it is the right thing to do. So we get a babysitter. We make reservation at a nice (but not too expensive) restaurant that will hopefully be quiet enough so at least we can hear each other.
But then what do we talk about? How busy we are. About work. About the kids. About what commitments we have made for next week.
Before the evening is over and we have to go home to “rescue” the babysitter, all we have experienced is a longer (albeit at least quieter) conversation about the same things we try and talk about all the time.
The evening may have made us feel better about “us,” but there was no real chance to move toward the intimacy that we long for.
How can our conversation be different?
If you have experienced these dates (that are not really dates) over and over again, then you realize that what you are doing just isn’t working.
For anything to change, we need to be purposeful about our conversation. It may seem a little too structured at first. But the questions below can provide a springboard into meaningful, heart-felt conversations that will result in true connection and intimacy.
Be prepared for taking some risks, however. We may be surprised, disappointed, happy, sad, angry about our spouse’s answers. But at least we are taking the journey into knowing and being known.
Before you get to the questions below, describe three character qualities that you admire or love about your spouse.
Here are the questions:
When was the last time that you and I had fun together? What was it that you enjoyed so much?
If there is one thing about me that you would want me to never change, what is that?
What is one thing about me that bugs you or irritates you?
What is one thing that has surprised you about me that you did not expect?
What is one thing about our marriage that has surprised you that you did not expect?
What is one thing that I say or do that makes you feel the most treasured? (for husband to ask) Why?
What is one thing that I say or do that makes you feel the most honored? (for wife to ask) Why?
What is one thing that I have never done for you (or done only once) that you wish that I would do (or do again)?
If you allowed yourself to dream big, where would you like to see us in 10 yrs.? (Could be ministry, location, vocation, etc) It is fun to dream together!
Do I honor you when we are with other people? How could I do this better?
If you had to name the number one passion in your life right now, what would it be? (A purpose, ministry, outreach, career goal, hobby, etc.) Is there a way I could help you have more time or energy to devote to your passion?
If you have any other suggestions for questions, please let me know and I can add them to my list.
LET THE DATES BEGIN . . . . . .
After working as a Chemical Engineer for 36 years, Steve Fox took early retirement so that he could focus his full-time attention on helping others to discover how to improve or repair their marriages as well as other family relationships. Steve also helps others begin to “dream” about what will help them become fulfilled in their career and life.
Steve earned an MA in Counseling from LSU and is now a National Certified Counselor and Counselor Intern with Crossroads. He has worked with couples on a ministry basis for over 20 years and has a counseling focus with couples, families, career coaching, and addiction counseling with families.
Steve’s complete bio can be found here.