Picture this. Your spouse finally gets in bed for your caressing embrace after a long day at work and seeking your care and affection collapses onto you. And being the caring, affectionate (and very, very possessive and doubting) partner that you are, you begin to ask them how their day was. Day after day, after day; you pester them with the same old boring quip that is apparently supposed to justify your care for them.
What does experience say
But look upon the past and it is evident that the interest scale in response to your apparently “engaging” question was clearly downward sloping. And who is to say, you thought you were doing your job and accomplishing your role in your marriage by doing a good deed and fulfilling your role as a caring spouse. But unknowingly, somewhere down the road, psychology took over and the repetitiveness of your dry question lead to empty emotions. Dry questions leading to drier, monotone answers is a reality we all know way too well. To expect long, detailed and interest based engaging answers, questions need to resemble more than just habitual ramblings that sound like our anthem rather than intimate conversations.
So why does the spark die so quickly and so increasingly when such questions are asked. Researchers in the psychoanalytical field claim that anything given in constant doses begins to lose its potency over time as our brain get desensitized to it and considering it boring and habitual. In fact, humans have a biologically stemmed emotional conceptualization segment in the brain which causes us to grow desensitized very quickly and effectively to things, no matter how attached or wanting we are to begin with. THis only means that change becomes a strong tool for change in the status quo to help us become more coping to extending the maturity of our love inside the marriage, before it hits its saturation point.
How our conversations normally go
How couple conversations go normally are subject to massive criticism from all quarters owing to the monotony and repetitiveness. The daily recap often ensues when the spouse heads in the door and instantly knows and prepares for the barrage of questions which present an onslaught of the daily routine. The spouse exchange is thus, left nothing but a ritual. “How was the day?”, she asks, only to get a response of “fine, and you?”. Despite being at the highest levels of meh, this situation leaves us asking for more, but never willing to try for more.
The expert’s interpretations
If the married couple is really stuck in this rut, it really seems that to break the endless loop of repetitive questions, we must identify the problems. Many relationship experts believe that changing the questions or mixing them up with more intricate ones that require and in depth or engaging responses.So essentially all of us, all along have been asking the wrong questions and expecting the right, touchy answers and that just can’t happen. As a relationship expert puts it, “if you want to avoid getting throw away answers, avoid asking throw away questions.”
How to be more connecting
The major challenge faced by spouses when constructing new questions is how they cannot engage with their special other effectively enough to bridge right into their thought processes and emotions. Some questions, however, are specially made to tap into the brain’s emotion centre and ensure the healthy outflow of emotions to help better gauge and interpret your spouse’s feelings so you both grow closer. Some of these questions specifically ask direct aspects of questions. For eg: ‘How was your day?’ turns into shorter and concise questions like ‘what was the best part of your day?’ or ‘What drained you today?’. These questions include the added benefit of bypassing the need for a starter reponse that many of us are reluctant to engage in.
Questions that hold true meaning and affection
Upon intensive research many spouses fail to find what the exact deliverance of these questions should be like, and often end up splurging thousands on an outsourced therapist to identify what exactly caused the flame of marriage and intimacy to die down on things as trivial as the liveliness of conversations. But upon any kind of hit and trial experimentation, these same couples would realize that the key to engaging is asking questions that attain the quality of conveniencing the other spouse and accommodating their brain and heart to truly open up to their feelings without bogging them down, rather providing them an alternative to express themselves in a way that allows them to lessen the load of their emotional burdens. Some of the questions and their effects follow.
“Did you listen to anything interesting today?”
While this seems simple on the face of it, music and radio are still some of the most valid, happening and widespread mediums around and it is proven that music being the strongest of all intimate attachments helps engage your partner in an enthralling conversation about eclectic music. Whether it was the billboard top 100, a new Taylor Swift hit or some rap where shades are being thrown around, people tend to get very passionate about the music world and your spouse should be no exception. Engage in a question about music and his or her day may become better straight off the bat.
“If you could do any part of today over again, what would it be?”
Sounds like another one of the would you rather questions, but this one is so so much more relieving emotionally as it immediately but discreetly allows your spouse to unload their stressful events of the day. The moment they tell you about the aspect of their day that they could change, you can straight away recognize what made their day bad and try to solve it then and there or for next time so that you potentially stop their day from being ruined beyond measure. It surely is the embodiment of being in true love.
“What app did you open most today?”
Sounds silly, but asking your spouse the app they used most can be a very useful (and tricky!) insight into their lives. Whether it is twitter, tinder (hopefully not!) or a trending game (that you can join in as well!), can help you adjudge their current trend and mood in life so you can not only assist his aspirations or promote what he has to offer but also get competitive to add some spice to your marriage and make it intimately fun.
“How can I make your day easier in 5 minutes?”
Perhaps the easiest way to fulfill your spouse’s needs is to ask them this question. Because of the curtness of the question, you immediately bank on the realization that a) you get to conveniently fulfill a minor but nagging need in a quick time and b) get appreciated for asking while minimizing effort and time spent. This is a much better alternative to how I can help you because of the fact that it feels less imposing on both parties.
“What did you do to take care of yourself today?”
Another way of asking what did you do today, this easy question focuses on self care and helps you identify the gaps that you can fill to make your spouse’s life better and reducing their worries so they have more ease around you. Another benefit of this question phrasing is how you can adjudge by your spouse’s self care about how happy they are in life. Happier people tend to care more about themselves than people suffering from depression etc. Get ready to be to the rescue!
“When did you feel appreciated today?”
Asking your spouse about when and how they felt appreciated is a proxy method of asking about their accomplishment on that particular day. Being asked repetitively about how your day was leads you to believe that it won’t matter how your day was as the question never changes. But a question focusing on your accomplishments aims to let you boast all you want in front of your special other as the marriage blooms from milestone to milestone.
“If you could guarantee one thing for tomorrow, what would it be?”
When we ask very long term and far fetched questions about your spouses career ambition, there is not much you can expect other than fame, fortune and wealth. And boring questions ensure boring answers as expected. Try breaking the long term questions into much shorter Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time specific (SMART) goals so that they can seem plausible and keep your relationship on the go, forward.
“What made you laugh today?”
Some of the biggest qualms in married couples is that as times change so does their preference in humor and the spouse’s never seem to figure out what it is as it changes and so as the laugh decrease, so does the marriage intimacy. To keep the spark alive, it is vital to ensure that you keep up to date with their humor and an indirect, discreet but smart way is through this question which directly decodes their sense of humor. Just pick off their interests and focus on giving them more of it to keep them showing those pearly whites and chuckles to help make up your day as well.
“Did you give anyone side-eye today? What did they do to deserve it?”
It is pivotal that you get this through your head that your spouse hates some people for good reason or bad and wants you to condone their hate with them. So pull out the swear jar, and prepare to lash out on all their unholy enemies for this question is the gateway to expend all the hate.
“When did you feel loved today?”
A special way to pry information out of your spouse, this question allows you to get them to reveal unknowingly all the other places and ways they have to make them feel special and depending on your demeanour, alter than to your will.
“When did you feel lonely?”
Lonesome spouses are often the most hurt and you should ask this special question to pry them out of their shell and allow them to reveal what and when makes them feel alone. The best part is, what gaps they have of solitude can be filled with your presence and love.
“What did I do today that made you feel appreciated?”
Ever feel like you need to validate yourself as well but feel like you lack the will to wait for them to say it? Ask your spouse this question and get some immediate thought provoking appreciation that helps you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Score!
Bonus: And some do-nots when asking questions:
Often we lose track of progress and may ask a question which can become an instigator to conflict if taken the wrong way. But the worst part is perhaps that these can be taken the wrong way all too easily and can bank on being make or break according to the mood of your spouse or the perfect delivery. So steer clear of these and try to improvise in other ways than these as these are as volatile as marriage questions get. Some of these include ‘where have you been all day, don’t you think it will be better to do it this way, when will you do the chores and isn’t it your turn to do (the dishes, vacuum etc). Your spouse is an adult now and the last thing (s)he needs is you being like their mother and taking you to a ride back to stressful teens after a bad day at work.