Last night was rough. Work ran late, traffic was bad, dinner was overcooked, kids didn’t want to take their baths or go to bed, and then finally, after all of that, my husband and I sat down for our Wednesday night “check in” and we just stared at each other.
I set aside time at the end of my (hectic) day for what should have been an effortless (and rewarding) talk with my husband, and yet we both felt like it was another draining task that needed to be completed before we could finally get rest.
If this situation sounds familiar – you’re in luck! Checking in with your partner shouldn’t feel forced, but if you sometimes simply don’t have the energy to put into thinking of things to talk about, I’ve put together some conversation inspiration (and few things to keep in mind) for when it’s time to check in with your partner. Keep in mind every conversation doesn’t have to conclude with groundbreaking new insights or resolutions of big conflicts. ☺
Be silly! Laugh! Enjoy each other’s sense of humor.
- When was the last time you made your partner belly laugh?
- What does your partner do that makes you laugh?
- Talk about what fun things you enjoy doing together and apart.
- Ask your partner what gives them a case of the giggles. (We talked about this last night and I found out that for my husband, it’s when our 6 year old does impressions of our dog snoring! So funny!)
The future! Talk about hopes, dreams, goals, etc.
- What hopes and dreams does your partner have for themselves? Your relationship? Your family?
- Does your partner have a dream for the future you can start working towards together?
- Maybe, you find out you both have the same dream?
- What do you hope your future looks like? How is it similar or different than your partner’s?
Share appreciations (if your partner reciprocates, it can be sort of self-serving, but it is in an intentional way that is crucial for relationship health.)
- Share what you appreciate about your partner.
- Share appreciation for the daily tasks that your partner does for your family.
- Ask your partner what it feels like to be appreciated.
- Discuss forgiveness in your relationship.
- Talk about your sexual relationship.
- Discuss your results from the Couple Checkup.
- Share negative feelings with your partner.
- Talk about how you solve disagreements together.
- Consider your relationship with money and how that may be different than your partner’s.
- Go through the list of tasks you both do for your family in a day. Are you aware of everything your partner does?
- Talk about the part of the day you look forward to the most. What part of the day does your partner look forward to?
- Are there parts of your lifestyle you want to change or improve on? What does your partner think?
- If your partner doesn’t know much about your workday, talk to them about how you spend your eight hours at work. This might give you both a new level of understanding!
Keep in mind:
♥ Focus on the two of you (well, most of the time). It’s okay to mention the kids or others, but try to mainly check in about your relationship. You get the entire rest of the day to text, chat, or email each other about life, so try to make your check in time just for you and your partner.
♥ Evaluate over time. You might find you like the structure you’ve put in place to create the habit or you might find it is completely annoying and you’d prefer checking in to be more casual. Good news — you and your partner can do whatever works for your relationship. I would encourage you to try new things, but with time, evaluate what actually is helping.
If you’ve been following the “check in” series here on the blog you know making time to talk to your partner is healthy for your relationship. But no one wants to force this type of interaction. Don’t feel like you are failing if you need some guidance early on to make checking in a habit. Even I ran into a roadblock a couple weeks into this process. Checking in will strengthen your relationship, and if it’s not feeling natural already, it will!