29 August 2016

Marriage Monday: 5 Simple Questions that Will Change Your Marriage - Question 1

"Marriage Monday and Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University."

That is always my same answer as the two most helpful things we've done for our marriage. They both get us talking about topics that we probably wouldn't bring up in normal conversation. They both also guide us through specific discussions in advance that help us avoid fights later.

About two months into our marriage, I stumbled upon an amazing blog called Today's Letters. In one post, Emily outlined her weekly questions that she does with her husband. I quickly emailed them to my husband and said how amazing it would be for us to do them. To my excitement, he was on board to give it a try! After the first time, we were hooked. We named our discussion time "Marriage Monday" and have been doing it ever since!

I asked my husband today why he loves doing Marriage Monday and why he thinks other people could get a lot out of making it a regular part of their week. He said the questions specifically get you to dig a layer deeper than normal conversation. They force you to get into the "meta" of your marriage, not just talking about you and your spouse, but about your coupleness, which is so important to do in order to maintain a strong relationship. He pointed out that in a normal marriage, sometimes days, weeks, or even months could go by without you and your spouse dealing with an issue, a conflict, a big decision, or discussing your vision for the future. And he has heard of couples going 10-20 years without talking about sex with each other. They will have sex, which is intimate, but they won't talk about the sex they have, because talking about it can feel even more intimate. As a result, many frustrations and hang ups remain surrounding their intimacy, and they miss out on communicating with each other and improving their sex life. Wow, that is deep! I'm glad I asked him for his thoughts!

So to kick off this five week blog series, I am going to review question #1 of Marriage Monday. Your assignment for this first week is only to do this one question with your spouse at some point this week. You can pick whatever day works best for you! The original blogger, Emily, does Tuesdays because that is what worked for her and her husband. We do Mondays because we like starting off our week with the questions and Monday nights are the least likely to be busy for us, which is key in being able to keep up with it. You could do "Together Tuesdays", "Wedded Wednesdays," or pick any day of the week and give it a fun name!

Let's dive in. Question #1 is "How did you feel loved this past week?"

This question is so simple, yet so amazing. You get to tell your spouse how he or she "won" this past week. So much in marriage is often focused on the negative. This question switches the focus to look for the positive, bring it to the surface, and praise the effort! This is what Paul encourages his readers to do in his letter to the Philippians. He says, "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things" (Phil 4:8). 

Telling your spouse how they successfully made you feel loved in a tangible way is a great way to kick off the conversation. It's especially good to start off strong, both feeling loved, as you dive into some tough discussion topics.

One of my favorite parts of doing this question is that, over time, I've been able to discover my husband's love languages. I highly recommend the book: The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. The main premise is everyone feels loved in different ways. Some through physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, or through receiving gifts. The book is great to help you discover how you primarily experience love and to make sure the way you are communicating love to your spouse in the way her or she actually receives it. I do think love languages can shift over time or during certain seasons, so this Marriage Monday question enables me to get a constantly updated glimpse of how my husband has felt loved that week. Sometimes I think I know exactly what he will say and then I'm shocked at how seemingly insignificant of a gesture I did that made him feel so loved. The great thing is that I already did it, so it was easy or natural to do, so it's something I can put on my radar to do again that coming week, ensuring he will yet again feel loved!

This week, set aside a day and time to do this one question. It's just one so far. You can do it! Let me know how it goes and also please comment to share if you find a fun name for your weekly questions night! Once you've tried this one, read the next post for question #2. If you are curious about the remaining questions and can't wait, take a peek at Emily's original post here.

***This post may contain affiliate links, but only for items I have personally benefited from and have been recommending for years. These links will help self-fund this site and bring more marriage tips your way!***

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