There’s something to be said for being comfortable enough with your spouse that you don’t mind sitting in companionable silence. It doesn’t feel awkward. Neither of you feels obligated to fill the space. You’re content just being together.
On the flip side, your spouse is also the person with whom you talk to the most. You enjoy both serious and silly conversations about everything under the sun… or at least you used to. Lately, it seems like your exchanges have become more mundane than meaningful, more stale than stimulating. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Over time, as you settle into the routines and obligations of daily life, the quality of your conversations can take a hit. While this isn’t a problem on occasion, it can gradually have a negative effect on how connected you feel to each other. The good news is you can avoid this path! Let’s explore 8 tips to revitalize your conversations.
1. Try something new together.
Sharing new experiences gets the endorphins flowing – as well as the conversation. Whether it’s sharing your opinions on a new restaurant or sharing laughs over your beginners’ attempts at ballroom dancing, venturing outside the familiar presents opportunities to discuss new things.
2. Use a guide.
It could be our Discussion Guide for Couples, which covers 14 topics, including conflict, expectations, personality, commitment, and so much more. Each section contains contextual insights, conversation starters, and practical steps to apply in your relationship right away. Of course, there are many other great resources out there that can provide you with the level of structure/prompting you’re looking for. Try one out on your next date night!
3. Set some rules.
If you have kids, it becomes second nature to talk about them all the time. If you want to stretch your conversational muscles further, make a rule that you can’t talk about the kids for a certain amount of time. It might be harder than you think, but in turn it’ll hopefully get you digging deeper into your conversation arsenal and talking about things that normally wouldn’t come up.
4. Consume the same content.
Read the same book or find a new TV series to get into together. Set aside time to discuss your thoughts after each chapter or episode. Content that is marriage or relationship-related can also be a great way to ease into conversations about your own relationship.
5. Address the elephant.
Sometimes there’s a deeper reason why the conversation has stalled… and it might come in the form of an unaddressed issue that needs to be resolved. You might both be harboring emotions that make it hard to feel at ease with each other, and that’s going to impede authentic discussion. Don’t let this go on too long! It can be uncomfortable dealing with issues head on, but your relationship will thank you in the long run.
6. Get your brains working.
Learning together – whether it’s via an educational podcast or documentary, or diving into an internet rabbit hole on a niche subject – can cultivate stimulating dialogue as your share your thoughts, reactions, and opinions on the topic. You might even learn something new about each other in the process!
7. Stop scrolling.
One of the biggest barriers to good conversation with your spouse is the constant presence of phones and devices. Scrolling steals away precious time that you could be conversing and connecting. Luckily, this problem is easy to solve. Put the phones away for few hours each day and focus on talking to each other instead.
8. Allocate your energy wisely.
Depending on your personality, job, the type of day you’ve had, etc., you might be running on empty when the opportunity for conversation with your spouse rolls around. Get to know when you’re in need of a recharge and what you need to do that, whether it’s 20 minutes alone or just some low-effort small talk to decompress. Communicate with each other about your energy and capacity for conversation, especially if it’s low. It’s normal to be burnt out on occasion, but if it’s happening consistently, you might consider what other adjustments you can make.
Not every conversation you have with your spouse is going to be earth-shatteringly significant or meaningful. That being said, if all you ever talk about are surface level or logistical things, you’re going to have trouble maintaining intimacy and connection over the course of your marriage. Hopefully these tips can help you keep your conversational spark alive.