Our year in review (questions you can ask your spouse)

It’s that time of year when bloggers are doing their “Year in Review” blogs…. yet to add a twist to this concept of reviewing the year gone by as we prepare for the New Year, I want to encourage you and your spouse to set aside some time, when you will not be disturbed, and look at your year in review.

When couples live together for a while, they can sometimes begin to think that they “know” their spouse, and they “know” what he/she thinks and feels. Even if this year you two have faced infidelity, or are facing unfaithfulness right now, please do two things: 1) set aside time to ask your spouse these question, and then 2) really LISTEN to your spouse’s response. It is natural that in order to justify their affair, your spouse will magnify everything that’s wrong with you and the marriage (how could they possibly cheat if things were good?). But it’s also true that assuming you “know” what they think and feel will lead to disaster! Even if it is with a grain of salt, LISTEN as your spouse explains to you what life is like–in their world…in their thoughts…in their feelings–because there are TWO of you in this marriage (not just you and what you expect).

So first, read over the questions and organize your own answers honestly and thoroughly. Be transparent so that your spouse sees the True You…but also please don’t forget to be kind. Second, one of you answer all of the questions, one-at-a-time, out loud. While one of you is answering, the other should only listen or ask clarifying questions. Then switch roles and the second spouse answers all of the questions, one-at-a-time, out loud…and while he/she is answering, the other should only listen or ask clarifying questions

Here are the questions (from “Getting to Know Your Spouse Better” by Brent A. Barlow on the Family Dynamics Institute website) :

  • In our marriage, I feel loved when you …
  • In our marriage, I feel appreciated when you …
  • In our marriage, I am happiest when …
  • In our marriage, I am saddest when …
  • In our marriage, I am angriest when …
  • In our marriage, I would like more …
  • In our marriage, I would like less …
  • In our marriage, I feel awkward when …
  • In our marriage, I feel uneasy when …
  • In our marriage, I feel excited when …
  • In our marriage, I feel close to you when …
  • In our marriage, I feel distant from you when …
  • In our marriage, I feel most afraid when …
  • My greatest concern/fear about our marriage is …
  • What I like most about myself is …
  • What I dislike most about myself is …
  • The feelings that I have the most difficulty sharing with you are …
  • The feelings that I can share most easily with you are …
  • Our marriage could be greatly improved with just a little effort if we …
  • The one thing in our marriage that needs the most immediate attention is …
  • The best thing about our marriage is …

 

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