Sometimes when you are knee-deep in a relationship or a marriage, you lose sight of one another.
By Nicole Merritt
Sometimes, when you are knee-deep in a relationship or a marriage, years in, you lose sight of one another. You lose sight of what originally drew you to your partner. You forget which of their qualities were once endearing to you. You fail so see past the flaws which have now become your pet-peeves, and you stop looking at — and listening to — them as you once did.
To avoid this easy-to-fall-into trap so many long-term relationships succumb to, it’s been intriguing, informative and fun to ask my husband the same set of questions a few times every year.
If you’ve read my article on “Why Families Should Implement Quarterly Check-Ins,” you know I am an advocate for families improving internal communication through “periodic performance reviews.”
Marriages need these same sort of “wellness checks” on a regular basis in order to maintain emotional intimacy. Asking each other provide an opportunity for feedback and growth as a couple.
Though the questions you ask each other should not always remain the same, it is vital to a relationship’s survival and success that couples ask and answers questions like these from time to time in order to ensure that both of you are aware of one another’s changing (or constant) perspectives on life and on your partnership.
Below you will find a list of the twenty questions that I asked my husband, along with his completely candid and honest answers, some of which made me laugh, some of which made me think, and some of which made me smile.
Here you go …
Twenty questions for couples to ask and answer honestly in order to keep their relationship strong and healthy:
1. What was the first thing you noticed about me?
Your short skirt.
2. What is the first thing you notice about me now when you see me in the morning?
I don’t really notice anything.
3. What was your favorite thing about my appearance early in our relationship?
Your short skirt.
4. What is your favorite thing about my appearance now?
Your pretty face.
5. What impresses you about me?
Your drive and ability to do it all.
6. What do you think my three main flaws are?
Inability to adapt. Over-plan and can’t go with the flow. Over-sensitivity.
7. If you could change one thing about me, what would that be?
Keeping the bathroom and car more clean.
8. What is something you would never change about me?
9. Have I surprised you in any way throughout our relationship?
Being such a good mom and wearing that skirt in beginning.
10. What has been your favorite stage of our relationship up until now and why?
Now. I mean we had a lot of fun before the kids came, but now is fun too.
11. What stage has been the hardest?
Adapting to the financial responsibilities and the kids.
12. If you could go anywhere with me on vacation, where would we go, what would we do and why?
We would travel around Europe and look at all the sites because it would be a fun experience for everybody. We could get some culture.
13. Do you think I have changed since we first met? If so, for the better or worse, and in what ways?
Yes. For the better. You are more mature.
14. Did you ever expect your life would turn out like this? If not, what did you expect?
No. I expected to be a bachelor forever.
15. If you weren’t my husband and the father to our three children, what would you like to be doing?
I’d probably be traveling and finding ways to make money while traveling.
16. Do you feel that our marriage holds you back from anything?
17. Is marriage harder or easier than you thought? In what ways?
I don’t think I ever thought it was going to be hard or easy. But, it’s hard.
18. Is parenthood harder or easier than you thought?
Easier. Hard at times, but overall easier and better than I thought. Except when the baby screams all the time.
19. Are you afraid of aging and how that will affect our relationship?
I’m afraid of aging, but not afraid of how it will affect our relationship.
20 Is there anything I can do to make you feel more satisfied and happy with your life?
His answer was not appropriate and therefore was not included.
Take a few minutes, tonight or one day this week, to sit down with your partner, have some coffee or a drink and ask them these 20 questions.
Don’t like my questions? Then come up with twenty of your own. The point is to ask questions and check in with your partner.
If you want to sustain your relationship or marriage and you want it to remain healthy, you have to care about it enough to take the time to check in with your partner.
This article was originally published at Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.