365 Days of Fun in Marriage

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Dig Deep Where You Rarely Go

November8

Tip 192

Kick the Superficial Conversation Habit

from Clipart.com

We shared the importance of deeper levels of conversation on July 16 and explained what those levels are. To have deeper communication there really are other things in life to talk about other than TV, the weather, the Jones, relatives, sports, politics, and where are we going to eat.

It was so exciting last week to see Real Age Tips of the Day from Dr. Oz. The article titled “Dig Deeper, Get Happier talked about how happier people talk about deeper things in life instead of superficial conversation.

Researchers aren’t sure if some people are happier because they have more satisfying and meaningful conversations or if happier people are just more likely to dig deep when they converse.*

For conversation ideas we’re posting a list of questions that dig deep into your own personal attributes.  Why would we post questions? Some people honestly don’t know how to have a deeper level conversation with anyone, let alone his or her own spouse.

Plus, sometimes spouses want to say these things but don’t know how to bring the conversation up–now you can blame it on reading it here and reading it in Dr. Oz newsletter.

However, when you look at the questions, it’s easy to think, “What’s this got to do with having fun in marriage?” Check out that link above from Real Age Tips for a great explanation about this. Look over the questions below to see if you and your spouse ever talk about things like this.

Incidentally, these are only things we quickly came up with. There are hundreds of things to discuss which help bring about a better quality of relationship between two people—a quality relationship instead of just a superficial one. In order to honestly discuss things like these questions below, you have to drop the facades which too many people wear everyday.

And use eye contact when talking. When you constantly look somewhere else when talking, you give the impression that you don’t want that person to know the real you.

It shouldn’t have to be said, but I will anyway. The questions below aren’t meant to say that you must discuss each one. You should know if there are some subjects you definitely need to stay away from. And, of course, they aren’t meant to all be discussed in one afternoon. These are ideas!

Some of our suggestions to discuss in conversation (and some of these are yes/no answers instead of in-depth answers):

– Does it bother you that I sleep in a ratty T-shirt/pajamas/underwear/naked?

– Do you think we are honest with one another? Why do you think so or think not? Can you give some examples?

– Do you ever wish you were still single? What do you think your life would be like/different if you were still single?

-Do I keep my physical appearance as well as you would like? What do you like the best of how I keep myself up? What do you think I should try to do better at in keeping my physical appearance up?

-Do you ever get jealous of time I spend with my friends? How would you suggest I spend time with friends without cutting into our time together?

– Do I have any habits that you wish I would change? What are they?

– Has there ever been a time that I embarrassed you when we were around other people? When was it and what would you suggest that I should have done differently?

– If you could name one thing that I could change in myself to improve our relationship, what would it be?

– Is there anything about my personal hygiene that bothers you?

– Do you think I spend too much money? How do you think we should handle our money?

– Do you think I’m tied to my parents too much, even though they need my help more than our family does? What can you suggest to change on this that you think would work better?

– If you could change one thing about our marriage, what would it be and why?

– Do you like who I am in public? Does anything about me embarrass you?

– Do you think I ever power over you, neglect you when in public, or talk down to you in public? Can you give me some examples?

– If you had to describe our marriage in one word, what would it be?

(The one below is for remarried widows and widowers.)

– Since I’m your spouse now, how do you think it makes me feel for you to always talk about your deceased husband/wife?

Remember, the above list contains ideas to talk about. Suggestions. Sure, they are difficult questions. Don’t discuss a question if it is not appropriate for your situation.

~ Glenda (gj)
www.WhatWordsDoYouWear.com
www.GlendaSchoonmaker.com
www.BoogsPuddifer.com

*Eavesdropping on happiness: well-being is related to having less small talk and more substantive conversations. Mehl, M. R. et al., Psychological Science 2010 Apr 1;21(4):539-541.

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