Marriage can be the greatest blessing in life, but that doesn't mean it won't have its fair share of challenges. As time goes by, you two are growing and changing together. While these changes take place, it's important to keep an open line of communication so that you two can grow even closer over time, rather than more distant.
Here are 9 questions you and your spouse should be asking each other on a regular basis to keep your relationship strong:
1. Where do you see us five years from now?
This question is relevant no matter what stage of life you're at right now. A happily married couple always plans and talks about their future together. They have things to look forward to together, and they can start working now to be where they would like to be in the years to come.
2. Are you happy with the size of our family?
Maybe you're thinking of having another baby, while your sweetheart is perfectly content with the one child you two have already. Be honest with each other about how many children you want or would like to have in the future. The more comfortable you are talking about it, the less likely either of you are to be thrown off by any surprise expectations or desires.
Marriage is not about how happy your partner can make you, it's about how happy you can make your partner. In an ideal marriage, your spouse would be in the same mindset, so you two can both be lifting each other up. Speak honestly with each other about what would make you happy and strengthen your relationship even more.
4. Is there something you wish we did together?
It's perfectly healthy for a husband and wife to have their own hobbies and interests outside of their relationship, but sometimes, your honey might wish you were there with them to enjoy something.
My dad runs marathons, but my mom isn't a fan of running. Usually he'll go through his training regimes on his own, but occasionally, when my parents want to spend time together, she'll ride her bike alongside him while he runs.
You don't have to enjoy everything your sweetheart enjoys. But sometimes they would love to have your company and support.
5. What do we need to cut out of our lives to be happier?
Maybe you two are spending too much time watching Netflix and not enough time really getting to know each other. Or maybe you two are too busy constantly being on-the-go, and would like to spend more time settling down, snuggling up and watching Netflix together. Whatever it is, talk openly and honestly with each other to see how you can be happier together.
6. Are you satisfied?
When life gets crazy and your little family of two becomes three, then four, and so on, you and your sweetheart barely have the energy or time to have sex. But physical intimacy is an important part of a marriage, and it's important to make time to share that bond together. If one of you is unhappy or unsatisfied, talk about solutions to make sure you both are happy.
7. How can I help you on your bad days?
When your love is carrying a raincloud around with them, it can be hard knowing how to help them feel better. Sometimes they just want to be left alone, sometimes they want to snuggle up with you. Talk about it now so that when that day rolls around, you'll know what to do- and they'll love and appreciate you for your support.
8. What about our finances has been a problem for you?
Maybe it bothers your spouse how much of a penny pincher you are. Maybe it bothers you how often your spouse splurges. Whatever it is, talk about it and find ways to compromise. Find ways to make your financial situation ideal for the both of you. Decide on what kinds of things you want to save up for- a new home, an Alaskan cruise or maybe retirement. Plan out a budget- how much can you each spend before having to talk about it with each other?
Finances have the potential to cause a lot of marital distress, so if you two are on the same page about how and where to spend or save your money, you're more likely to have a healthier, happier marriage.
9. What are your deepest dreams and desires for us?
Whether that's short-term or more long-term, share your dreams and desires with each other and work toward your common goals. If you two are working to make the other as happy as you can, you'll end up with ultimate relationship goals.
The happiest marriages consist of true love and selfless acts. When you two are devoted to each other, you can answer these questions honestly and grow even closer. You'll be able to tackle whatever rough patches come your way and end up even stronger for it.
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.