Get to Know Your Spouse: Questions to Ask

He rushed in from work, worn from a long 12 hour day. Kids met him at the door, one asking for help with math homework, the other for basketball pointers. Our youngest held onto his leg with a death grip. We quickly kissed and I worked to get dinner on the table, knowing we’d have to shorten our family devotion, so we could make it to community group on time.

Our eyes locked with a long glance over the math book , one that said, “I want to connect with you.”

We both knew we had Mercy House reports to finish once the kids were in bed.

It’s a typical day at our house.

There’s a lot of talking in our house, just not so much with each other or privately.

I think that’s why we both push everything aside to make date nights possible. But let’s face it, connecting once a month isn’t enough. We make a habit of taking time (sometimes it’s over the phone or under the covers in the middle of the night) to ask each other questions.

I’ve been married to this guy for 17 years. We renewed our wedding vows six years ago during this difficult season and exchanged these rings. His has a special inscription on it. I’ve always known it was important to him. The other day he took off his ring while working out and called me frantically because he couldn’t find it.

I asked him, “What would you do if you couldn’t find it?” He said that’s not an option. And then he said, “it’s the most important physical possession I own. It represents so much to me.”

I had no idea.

But discovering this small bit of information made me feel closer to him. I tucked it in my heart and I’ve thought about it more than once.

Marriage takes work and communication. If you don’t ask, they won’t tell you what’s happening in their heart.

P. S. I searched the house while he was at work and found the ring in his pocket. Sheer joy returning it to him.

I’m wrapping up this little marriage series–for now. Thanks for sharing your hearts and being committed to love your spouse better. 

_______________________________________________________

15 days of marriage in review:

I Respect Him, He Loves Me

{Dear Mr. Welch}: On Writing Love Letters

100 Ways to Make Your Marriage Rock (pinned over 20,000 times on Pinterest and brought a dose of controversy)

Old Married People

Fun Ways to Say I Love You

{Dear Mrs. Welch} What I Love About You

The Key to a Good Marriage {Free Printable} 

A Marriage Redeemed [Our Story]

Getting Along: Marriage

200+ Date Nights

Getting Along: Marriage {Giveaway}

UPDATE:  Congratulations, Lauren Plummer (comment 73), you have been selected as the winner!

I love my husband. Always.

But every once in awhile, there are *moments* when I don’t like him.

Yikes. Can I be that honest?

I’ve always said the line between crazy wild love and a crazy wild anger are close.

Here’s the deal: you are probably a robot if you get along with everyone living in your home 100% of the time. It’s just not possible to agree on everything, every day of the year.

But it’s how you get along that’s key.

I’ll give you a for instance: my youngest was playing with my phone a few months ago and accidentally (or either she’s got a wicked sense of humor and she’s just way more techy than me) changed my husband’s ringtone to the “Alien” ring, which sounds a lot like, um, aliens are invading.

The next time I was searching for my phone in my own house (a weekly occurrence) I asked my hubby to call it. When he heard his Alien ringtone, he was slightly offended. I quickly explained and we laughed about it, but I didn’t change my ringtone. What can I say? I’m a simple girl and it had a ring to it (drumbeat).

He casually asked me to change it. I told him no, and I might have said, “Baby, your out of this world.”

(I’m on a roll).

So, a couple of days later, he changed my ringtone to a song he thought was romantic. And I guess it was a little, except HE CHANGED MY RINGTONE. This irritated me. Why? Who knows. But I changed it back.

And we continued this ridiculous back and forth for awhile.

The point? I have no idea.

Oh yes, the point is we could have made this a huge battle. I believe when marriages end for “irreconciable differences” it’s often probably about ringtones. After 17 years of marriage, we are still learning to pick our battles and  not make everything a war.

The bottom line: we are in this for the long haul and getting along takes two. It really all goes back to forgiveness for the little stuff and the big. And usually when I’m irritated or angry at my husband, it’s an issue with me.  If I step back from the situation and look at the big picture, I know my husband loves me deeply and the little battles shouldn’t become wars.

P.S. His ringtone is now a motorcycle revving up. He will be so proud.

One little way I’ve tried to get along with my hubby in the every day stuff is by thanking him for the small things he does. I married a great guy and I tend to take him for granted. So, when he fills up my van with gas or brings me a sweet tea, I’m trying to show him my gratitude more.

I saw this on Pinterest and created my own variety. It’s next to our bed. It’s fun to wake up and see a little note to each other occasionally.

You can make one too!

You just need :

  • pretty frame
  • a piece of scrapbook paper
  •  a dry erase pen (write on top of the glass and it just wipes right off!)
  • velcro (optional) I attached velcro to my pen and to the back of the frame to keep up with the marker.

I created one for a lucky reader today. Just leave a tip for how you get along and I’ll draw a random comment and send you a romantic framed message board and pen.

The Key to a Good Marriage {Free Printable}

If I could go back and talk to the young wide-eyed girl who thought she knew it all, this is what I’d say:

Dear 22 year old me,

You are about to get married. You don’t have a clue. He’s going to be your soul mate. He’s going to disappoint you. Ultimately, he’s going to teach you how to love.

There are going to be some bumps along the way . There will even be a mountain or two. You will survive. You don’t need more money or more stuff. You need to live every day without regret, love hard, risk more, laugh until it hurts and for pete’s sake, stop cutting your hair so short.

Most of all, be a forgiver.  Because you keep the Great Forgiver pretty busy.

Love,

39 year old me

It’s the best marriage advice I can offer-whether you’re just starting out in your marriage journey or you’ve grown old together: forgive as you’ve been forgiven.

You won’t regret it.


Enjoy this {free} 8×10 Print vdayprintable

[Dear Mrs. Welch]: What I Love About You

We are writing love letters to each other this month. He’s good with words, y’all. I cried a bucket when he read this to me, hot breath on my cheek:

Dear Kristen,

I have spoken about this many times and yet it resonates deeply in my soul.

What I love about you is that you are genuine and authentic. Seriously.  It may not be romantic, but you don’t have a high pitched, fake voice that you use when you run into a friend that you haven’t seen in a long time.

You don’t act one way in front of someone and then say malicious things about them when they are gone.

You are not perfect and you are not afraid to admit it.

You serve. You work. You love. You live. Authentic.  Real. True.

What I love about you is that you live your faith.  The good and the bad.  I have personally watched you take great risks in your faith over the past seventeen years.

I’ve seen you in the bath tub reading your Bible.

I’ve watched you go out of your way to minister to other women when I knew you didn’t have the time or energy.

I experienced the very thick, real, genuine love and forgiveness of Christ when I confessed my secret sin.

I’ve wept with you as you prayed over marriages of close friends that were crumbling.

I’ve watched you pick up a little girl, bring her to our home everyday after school and love on her because her now single mother has to work late to make ends meet.

What I love about you is that you serve selflessly.  Myself, our children, friends, Mercy House, Compassion, and our church.

But what I love the most about you is that you are mine.

Love, Mr. Welch

I am my beloved’s and his desire is for me. (Song of Solomon 7:10 ESV)

Old Married People {Giveaway}

UPDATE:  Congratulations to Jennifer H. (82), Alicia’s Homemaking (100), Emily E. (105), Lisa (191) and Kate N. (204)!  You have been randomly selected as the giveaway winners.

I remember when my parents were our age.

Forty-one. Thirty-nine.

I thought they were so old.

What did I know?

When my husband smiles, his eyes crinkle. I see his father.

I have my mother’s hands.

Both our parents inching towards their golden anniversary. Fifty years.

It’s a mantle we wear proudly.

He still closes the door behind me in the closet and kisses my neck.

But his socks are still on the floor.

I love that guy anyway.

He sips coffee, tea for me. We write love notes. We grow old together.

For the Mr & Mrs in  your life, DaySpring is giving away FIVE sets of the following to FIVE of my readers today:

[Each set includes: Mr. & Mrs. Mugs, Mr. & Mrs. Memo Pads, I Love You With All My Heart-Sticky Note Set, Mr. Love Notes]

Leave an answer to this question as your entry: How long have you been a Mr & Mrs? 

This giveaway will end on Thursday.

100 Ways to Make Your Marriage Rock


  1. Write him letters
  2. Go on regular date nights
  3. Write his name on lipstick on the bathroom mirror
  4. Revitalize the romance with intimate dates
  5. Pray together
  6. Hide notes in secret places
  7. Go to bed at the same time
  8. Listen to music together-share earbuds
  9. Send him on a scavenger hunt in the house
  10. Buy him gifts he will love
  11. Hide a treat in his glovebox or desk at work
  12. Read the Bible together
  13. Wear shirts that tell the world you love your spouse
  14. Praise your spouse to other people
  15. Let them overhear you
  16. Read a marriage devotional
  17. Porn-proof your home
  18. Be best friends
  19. Sleep in his t-shirts
  20. Look to him to make the big decisions (see comment section for my opinion on #20, #21)
  21. Let her make the small ones
  22. Don’t nag him
  23. Put down the seat, pick up your socks for her
  24. Renew your vows privately with whispers and memories
  25. Renew them publicly with cake and bubbly
  26. Fight naked
  27. Tell him you like him
  28. Receive his compliments
  29. Pick your battles
  30. Show her you love her and tell him you respect him
  31. Go away together at least once a year
  32. Frame your wedding vows
  33. Her: Read For Women Only
  34. Hang pictures of the two of you around your house
  35. Kiss in front of your kids
  36. Make his favorite dessert
  37. Have pictures of just the two of you made
  38. Make sex a priority
  39. Spend time apart occasionally
  40. Learn to enjoy something he loves
  41. Surprise each other
  42. Meet him at the door
  43. Dreamstorm
  44. Text each other from across the room
  45. Be accountable to each other
  46. Set reminders on your phone to remember him/her throughout the week
  47. Call him right now and tell him you appreciate him
  48. Be affectionate
  49. Him: Read For Men Only
  50. Leave work and come home early
  51. Wash, vacuum her car. Keep it full of gas.
  52. Give each other romantic coupons
  53. Engage every day in meaningful conversation
  54. Compliment each other
  55. Touch your spouse several times throughout the day
  56. Take one day a month to make your spouse your total focus
  57. Let each other sleep in
  58. Be spontaneous!
  59. Argue fair: avoid these words “you always” and “you never”
  60. Kiss every day
  61. Find tangible ways to serve your mate without complaining
  62. Forgive quickly
  63. Be honest.
  64. But not hurtful
  65. Get on the same page: plan your budget together
  66. Look your best as often as you can
  67. Guard your marriage
  68. Get out of debt (and stay out)
  69. Laugh together
  70. Have a date night in
  71. When your together-BE TOGETHER (take a break from phones, technology, etc)
  72. Talk about your favorite memories together
  73. Tell him he’s sexy just because
  74. Tell her she’s pretty, especially when she’s not feeling it
  75. Make him breakfast in bed
  76. Do her chores for her
  77. Get a couple’s massage or host your own privately
  78. Read a book out loud together
  79. Dance together-soft music (alone) or rocking music with the kids
  80. Bring her/him a favorite drink during the middle of the day
  81. Exercise together-hikes, bike riding, etc
  82. Choose not to be annoyed by an irritating behavior/disappointment
  83. Tell him a secret he doesn’t know about you
  84. Thank your spouse just because, often
  85. Sit on the same side of a booth at a restaurant
  86. Lay in bed together and stare into each other eyes, without talking
  87. Learn something new together-take an art class, cooking lessons, etc
  88. Leave a sweet comment on the Facebook wall
  89. Teach your kids about marriage
  90. Stop what you’re doing, look them in the eye and listen to their answer
  91. Create art together
  92. Support each other’s goals
  93. Know when to talk and when to hush
  94. Consider counseling (even if there’s not conflict)
  95. Doodle his name
  96. Bring her flowers (even when she says they are too expensive)
  97. Wear something he loves
  98. Share furniture-sit in his lap
  99. Fight for your marriage
  100. Remember your spouse rocks-even when they don’t

Does your spouse rock?  Do you have the shirt to prove it? Get yours here.

{Dear Mr. Welch}: On Love Letters

Dear Mr. Welch,

I think about the yellowing stack of letters tied with a shoestring hidden from our children and nosey people, the letters that still bring a red blush to my cheeks.

Remember our hot words on cool paper? We were so young, so far apart from each other, but words brought us together. Words created all of this (wide-arm gesturing over the piles of laundry and floating dust bunnies). We fell deeply, madly in love over letters scratched out while my first grade class was at recess.

It was the season I went from Ms. Clark to Mrs. Welch over the Christmas break, now more than 17 years ago.

It’s always been easier for me to use words, written, typed, unspoken. And then whispered later.

I’m so glad we’re taking the time to write letters to each other. I find it very attractive to discover you hunched over with pen in hand.

There’s just something about a letter. You’ve made that a special, treasured gift in our home and I thank you for it. I look forward to that crawling red blush again.

Love,

Mrs. Welch

My hubby and I are writing love letters.  You should join in, too. It’s one of the best ways to celebrate hot monogamy!

Ideas for Writing Your Spouse Love Letters:

  • Set up a special email account that’s just for the two of you
  • Send her the emails or just keep them in draft and show her on an anniversary
  • Use special stationary that’s just for your love letters
  • Give him/her a special box to store the letters in
  • Be positive in your letters
  • Make the delivery fun and creative (scavenger hunt, stamp and mail them, put an ad in the classified section, etc)
  • You don’t have to write all the time, but make the time you write about special

Need more ideas? Here are 28 Creative Love Letter Ideas. Do you write to your spouse?