Imagine you meet a friend from your youth whom you’ve lost touch with. It’s been years since you saw each other. Sure, it’s a nice surprise and you’re both pleased to meet.
But it feels a bit awkward, after so much time. It’s not the same anymore. There’s little to say aside from the usual “Do you have any kids?” or “Where do you work?”
The same thing happens to so many married couples. One day, they wake up and realize that the person lying next to them is a complete stranger.
Well, there’s no substance to talk about.
When You Start Missing the Dots
If you start missing the dots in your spouse’s life, chances are you’ll end up living with a long lost friend someday. The dots are those everyday details that make our life interesting.
Don’t let that happen.
How to Keep Up With Your Spouse’s Life in Just Minutes a Day
You want to know about your spouse’s most pressing issues and successes. Know about their dreams and desires, as well as their current challenges and fears.
Your spouse will appreciate it.
How can you do that?
It’s almost embarrassingly simple, but many couples still don’t do it.
Personally, I prefer to talk with my wife about how the day went while we’re taking our daily walk. If we don’t have the time for a walk, I join my wife in preparing dinner. We catch up while one cooks, and the other one chops the veggies.
Other times, we wait until the kids get to bed. We take each other’s feet in our hands and inquire about each other’s day. This is an especially effective stress reliever because you can vent out, but at the same time you’re being listened to and touched by the person you love.
During the summer, my wife and I go out to sit on the porch. We enjoy the warm summer evening, get a glass of wine, and talk. Sometimes it’s just 10 minutes or so, albeit intentional ones.
A Very Special Love Ritual
The easiest way to keep up with your loved one’s life is to simply ask them about it—but do so deliberately and regularly. Therefore, the key is to develop a habit, and a very special one. That’s why we call it a love ritual.
Here’s how it can work for you too.
- Every day, carve out 10-15 minutes of intentional time for your “Honey how was your day?” conversation.
- Follow up on something your spouse confided to you before. This will show them that you were actively listening the last time you talked. It shows them that what they are saying is important to you. That’s very connecting.
- Show curiosity about what’s happening in your partner’s life. Ask them “How did you feel about so-and-so?”
- Weave in some praise and admiration. “I really liked how you…today.”, “I love when you…”,”I admire how you handled….yesterday”,“I liked your dress today.” They will just adore you for that, as it just feels so good.
- Avoid unsolicited advice. “Poor dear” is better than an “I know the solution, dear.” Many of us tend to jump at offering a solution as soon as we hear about a problem from our spouse. Don’t do this. It’s highly probable that your partner just wants to be heard. Furthermore, you probably don’t know all the details anyway. So just shut up and listen, and offer advice only when you are specifically asked. There will be plenty of time later on to offer your support.
- Show that you are on the same team. Even if you think your spouse is wrong, don’t side with the other person (especially not your spouse’s boss!) Instead, give the emotional support your loved one needs at that moment and support them. Even if you don’t agree with what your spouse has done or said, you might want to say “I understand. That must have been difficult for you,” and not “How could you do this!?” You may have a chance later to say more, if necessary.
Happy couples know each other’s deepest secrets, fears, and daily challenges as well as their dreams and desires.
Would you like waking up next to that person every day?
If so, start with you! Show your love by example and not by words alone.