20 Questions to Start Meaningful Conversation:
- Name my two closest friends.
- What was I wearing when we first met?
- Name one of my hobbies.
- What stresses am I facing right now?
- Describe in detail what I did today, or yesterday.
- What is my fondest unrealized dream?
- What is one of my greatest fears or disaster scenarios?
- What is my favorite way to spend an evening?
- What is one of my favorite ways to be soothed?
- What is my favorite getaway place?
- What are some of the important events coming up in my life? How do I feel about them?
- What are some of my favorite ways to work out?
- Name one of my major rivals or “enemies.”
- What would I consider my ideal job?
- What medical problems do I worry about?
- What was my most embarrassing moment?
- Name one of my favorite novels/movies.
- What is my favorite restaurant?
The 5 A's
(1) Affection -- Give a morning hug or kiss to your spouse and each child that is brief, but meaningful! Family members can get SO busy they become like business associates arranging schedules and finances. So BE INTENTIONAL with your gaze and touch each morning before your loved one begins his or her day!
(2) Affirmation -- Share ONE thing each day with each family member that you admire about them. Did they make you laugh today? Did they make you proud? Did they help you out? Were they thoughtful toward you? SAY IT! Affirmation feels good and starts the day out right for everyone!
(3) Ask -- Ask each family member, "Is there anything I can do for you today?" You only get to ask for ONE thing (this is not a long list), so make it easy and age appropriate! Ask (nicely) if he or she could make a bed, put dishes away, run an errand, or help with paperwork/homework? You might not always be able to say, "yes," but your family members will feel loved when you serve them!
(4) Apology -- We often hurt those we love without realizing it! So the quickest way to make amends and restore fun back into your family relationships is to make apologies that are QUICK, DAILY and FAIR.Just ask, "Is there any way I hurt you today?" You respond by sharing ONE incident...and then release your forgiveness as quickly as they apologize! No "buts" or defending. Just apologize and forgive. It's fair when everyone shares!
(5) Amen -- Ask your family members how you can pray for them. Keep a short list of prayer requests. Be thrilled for them when God answers! Remember, prayer increases your love for others!
7 Principles for Making Marriage Work - John Gottmaman