Remember when you were dating? You would stay up late talking about everything under the sun and moon for hours on end. Conversation with your spouse might have diminished or changed since marriage, but communication is still key to a successful relationship.
Here are six conversations every couple should have each month to keep their relationship happy and healthy:
1. "How are we doing on our budget?"
Finances are the strongest disagreement topics that cause divorce. Don't let your budgeting be a problem in your relationship. Set a detailed budget for the both of you and stick to it. Once you've set aside the money for your rent, mortgage, bills, groceries, etc., set aside a little for some fun to have together and/or individually.
Monthly budgets need revisiting every month to see how well you are sticking to the budget. Also, because they are susceptible to change due to emergencies and the like. You will feel at ease when both of you know exactly where your money is going each month.
2. "What's your schedule like?"
Working around two adult's schedules is tricky, especially once you add kids into the equation. Spending time together is crucial in a healthy relationship. Over-scheduling yourself leaves no room for your significant other. Get out your planners and coordinate schedules. Know what is going on throughout your sweetheart's month and plan a date or two. Melanie Schilling, psychologist and relationship expert, told The Huffington Post Australia that dates are critical in a relationship.
This requires an open and honest discussion where you both refrain from any judgment. Your partner won't know what you want or expect if you don't tell each other. Whether you are newlyweds or have been married for decades, talk about your likes, dislikes, what works and what doesn't. Intimacy discussions lead to more pleasure for both of you, bringing you closer together as a couple.
4. "What do I do regularly that makes you happy?"
Validating conversations help you understand what you are doing well and what your husband likes. They are also instructive on what doesn't make your significant other as happy as you thought. For example, he might love it when you get takeout because it means he gets to spend more time with you instead of you slaving over a home-cooked meal that takes all evening to prepare. Encourage him to share his thoughts of what you do that bring joy and then do the same.
5. "Is there anything that has bothered you this month?"
Discuss this topic carefully. You don't want to hurt or offend each other, but tension can build when you sweep things under the rug simply because it's a trivial matter you don't have time to discuss. This could be something your significant other has done or something at work.
No matter the situation, sensitively approach each other about specific concerns. Don't point fingers and blame each other, but use this as an opportunity to come closer together and understand one another. There are probably things your honey didn't know they were doing.
Remember, marriage is about sacrifice and compromise so chose to not be offended as both of you try to understand each other's' struggles. Discussing things you'd like to work on individually and together is healthy and can strengthen your relationship.
Setting and accomplishing goals as a couple is a great way to spend time together. It's also a good reminder to work as a team. Checking up on your short-term and long-term goals will help you push each other, support each other and grow together.
Never forget to dream. Dreaming together is a fun pastime that can provide you with hours of conversation. Discuss dreams you want to accomplish - as a couple and individually. When you stop dreaming, you stop progressing and no one wants a stagnant relationship.
Talk about the big things and the little things. Bring back some of the excitement you had when your relationship was new, and you were discovering things about each other for the first time.
Kristina Tieken is a staff writer for FamilyShare, public relations specialist with a love for the fine arts, food and exercise. She enjoys watching movies and spending time with her husband and family.