Do you know your spouse? I mean do you REALLY know your spouse? This question made me questioned how well I really knew my spouse. As I thought about it, I realized that I desired to, and should, know her better.
A stranger in my house?
My wife is not a complete stranger, but sometimes I realize how little I know about her (the more you learn the more you realize how much you didn’t know huh?). I would love to be able to complete her sentences (although she may not like it…wait, she probably says I already do!). I would love to be able to know really what she wants and expects of me, and not be dumbfounded. Is that even possible husbands? 😐
What can I do?
This led me to think of ways to get to really know my wife. What could I do, what can you do that will help us to really know our spouses?
I thought of some of the times when something about her was revealed that I didn’t know, good or bad. The situations when I really learn the most about who she really is. These are the times that enable both you and I to really know our spouses.
10 Ways to Really Know Your Spouse
- Read and discuss books (especially the bible) together. Read regularly and discuss what you read. Many times you will have a different perception or understanding of what you read. When you do you’ll begin to learn how he/she thinks and interprets the things around him/her.
- Do something new together. Find an activity that neither of you have much experience with. Take tennis lessons, karate, golf, salsa dancing, stepping, rock climbing, swimming, something. Just make sure both of you are newbies and can learn it together. You will be out of your comfort zones and probably looking a little silly, but your spouse is there looking silly at the same time. Witnessing your spouse when they are being stretched will teach you a lot about them.
- Ask questions and really listen. I think most people ask the question, “how was your day?“. But how many times do we really listen. If not careful, that can become almost a greeting, and not really a question that you care for the answer. So ask the question and really listen when you do. Take it deeper and ask more engaging questions about what they’ve said. You may have to guage the amount of questions you can ask, but no matter the number of questions, focus on really listening. You can learn a lot by listening to your spouse.
- Take notes. In school you take notes. Job training you take notes. In church some take notes. When it comes to your spouse, take notes. Study your spouse and record your findings. Yes, study your spouse like a test, like a book, like a skill your developing, and write it down! I recently began doing this and I record it in Evernote. I record gift ideas, likes/dislikes, sizes, insight, favorites, pics of keepsakes, etc. Your spouse is way more important than a test or training class.
- Date them regularly. Spending regular one-on-one time is something that I cannot emphasize enough. When my wife and I are consistent with Date Night I feel really connected to my wife. I feel like I do know what she wants and expects of me, and what she wants to say next. Besides getting to know your spouse better, it is just fun to hang out.
- Play games (board games, etc.). You will learn A LOT about your spouse doing this! I found out just how competitive my wife actually is (she will cheat to win), and she found out that I will deny ever getting beat by her when if I do! 😉 The true character of your spouse will definitely come out! Haha. It is also good to play games against other couples. You’ll learn how your spouse performs when pressured, and how he/she handles ups and downs.
- Pray together. Praying together is one of the most intimate times you can spend with your spouse. When you are in God’s presence there is no covering. Real concerns, real challenges, and real thankfulness will come out. You can learn what your wife thinks about him/herself, and sometimes about you too. But that is okay, because you really want to know your spouse. And you want to be transparent enough that he/she knows you.
- Spend many many years together. About half of marriages end in divorce, and probably more are still together, but separated. If you really want to know your spouse. Spend years and years together. That is the single best way to get to know somebody. Spend a lot of time with them.
- Go through something together (this is inevitable). We have gone through job loss, homeless and living with friends/family, being broke, family health issues, multiple disagreements, legal issues in business, etc. You name it and we probably experienced it. When you get in situations like that, character is revealed. Sometimes it is not what we want or like to see, but it does help you to know your spouse better. The key is go through it together. If you are in one corner, and your spouse in the other, then you won’t learn much. But together, you’ll learn a lot!
- Discuss and make plans to achieve your life goals. Find out what is really important to your spouse. What is he/she really passionate about? Then begin to plan together how you will achieve or obtain that. Knowing what is deep down inside and working with him/her to get it will bring you closer, and give you a greater understanding of what moves him/her.
If you really want to know your spouse, then begin to do some, if not all, of the things I listed. Knowing our spouse really well should be a goal of every married person. When married couples do that, then seeds for healthy marriages are planted and ready to harvest.