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If you are anything like we were, when you first started to date, the two of you talked about everything and neither of you ever want the conversations to end. After a few years of marriage you might find that the quality of conversation you have with your spouse changes. Your conversations start to focus more on your every day events and the deeper, more meaningful things that you talked about early on in your relationship don't come up as often. There may be more quiet time between the two of you, when you used to talk for hours without stopping.
Making efforts to have more frequent, quality conversation with your spouse will help you continue to learn about each other, build on the great relationship that you already have and reconnect every day. You’ll also find that the more you talk it will become a habit that doesn’t require as much intentional thought to take your conversations deeper. Below are some tips that will help you turn a normal, every day conversation into a quality one that will benefit your relationship.
Tips for More Quality Conversation in Marriage
Spend more quality time together
The majority of the really good conversations that Joe and I have with each other happen when we are spending quality time together. This could be while we're on date night, while we're taking a late night walk, while we eat dinner at the kitchen table, or while we're cuddling late at night. When we were dating, we had a lot of quality conversations on the phone late at night, but in my experience, the best conversations take place in person! We still have good conversations when we’re wrangling our toddlers, getting ready for the day, or doing other things that distract us from giving our full attention to each other, but if you’re looking to build up a habit of quality conversation, you want to start with more quality time.
Whether it's our technology or things that are going on around us, it can be easy to get distracted when we are together. When we're doing something together that I know provides a great opportunity for quality conversation, I try to make sure my phone and computer aren't anywhere nearby so that I'm not even tempted to look at them. I keep my people watching to a minimum when we are out and about and focus all of my attention on my husband. There are obviously distractions that we can’t control, like two toddlers running around, but for the most part we have control over the things that get in the way of our good communication.
Listen to your spouse
It's hard to have a good, quality conversation if you're not giving your full attention to your spouse. Keeping eye contact, really listening to what they're saying to you, repeating things for clarification and not formulating your response until they are done talking are great ways to make sure you're attentive to what your spouse has to say and let them know that what they have to say is important to you. Too often I get caught up in holding onto a thought that I had while Joe was talking so that I can say it after he’s finished talking.
I love these conversation starter cards from The Dating Divas. The pack includes over 200 questions to start your discussion on a variety of topics. I keep a stack in my car, purse, bedside table and anywhere that we might find ourselves at the perfect time to connect with quality conversation.
Don’t let the conversation in your marriage become like that between business partners or only focused on the kids, finances and house tasks. Make an effort every day to connect with your spouse on a deeper level.
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography