The simple conversation that will keep your marriage alive

Today I’m going to be sharing with you another piece of expert advice from psychologist and marriage guru John Gottman.

Gottman’s extensive observational research on married couples has shown the most effective way that you can restore emotional intimacy with your spouse on a daily basis.

The answer sounds simple but is so important for the long-term health of your marital relationship.

The simple truth is that the most important conversation you need to have with your spouse each day is the one which starts with “How was your day?”

Having a daily conversation with your spouse in which you can offload any stress or worries you experienced during your day will prevent stress from outside of your relationship from affecting your marriage.

This conversation will enable you and your spouse to calm one other down, support one another and develop a closer connection.

However, these benefits don’t simply come from asking the question “How was your day?”

In order for this conversation to effectively reduce stress and strengthen emotional bonds between you, you and your spouse each need to follow the following guidelines:

1. Wait until a time where you are both able and wanting to talk.
For instance, you may want to tell each other about your day as soon as you both get home, or you may want to wait until dinner or until after you have put the kids to bed.

2. Talk about the things each of you are experiencing OUTSIDE of your relationship at the moment – not your relationship problems.
If you ask your spouse how their day was and they give a short response such as “Good thanks” or “It was alright”, try probing a little further to show you are truly interested in what is going on in their life.

Try being a little more specific. For instance, you could ask “How is everything going at work at the moment?” or “What did you do today?”

If your spouse again gives you a short answer, it may be a sign that they are not in ‘talk mode’ right now.

If this is the case, you could try to start up the conversation from a different angle a little later on, or make a comment about your day and see if they are willing to continue this line of conversation.

3. Spend at least 20 minutes having an in-depth discussion.
Take turns to talk, so the focus is kept on one person at a time for at least 10 minutes.

4. Actively listen to your spouse when they are talking. This means removing any distractions and focusing your full attention on your spouse.
Make eye contact with your spouse and show genuine interest in what they are saying through nods, agreements and further questions.

Giving your spouse your full attention when they are talking will make them feel incredibly valued and cared for.

5. When your spouse is telling you about any complaints from their day, show understanding before suggesting any solutions to him or her.
Sometimes advice is not what our loved ones are looking for when they tell us about a problem.

Empathize with your spouse and validate their emotions – express that you understand how your spouse is feeling right now and that they have every right to be feeling that way.

Listen to your spouse to try and work out if they are actually asking you for advice or simply just want to know that you care.

If you don’t know if your spouse is looking for advice, first show them your understanding and emotional support and then ask if there is anything you can do to help.

6. Take your spouse’s side – never side with the ‘opposition’ in a situation.
Taking the other party’s side over theirs when your spouse is telling you about a problem will only make your spouse feel hurt, angry, unsupported and rejected. This will also make them less likely to want to confide in you in future.

Instead, let your spouse know beyond a doubt that it is him or her that you are supporting and give the impression that you will ‘fight this problem together’.

Remember that your primary focus here is to be there for your spouse – not to be the judge of who is ‘right’ in the situation. So don’t show any judgment or criticism of your spouse’s perspective.

When it is YOU who has made a mistake, you will feel a lot better having your spouse take your side and support you, rather than criticize you for what you may have done wrong.

7. Lastly, show your spouse affection during or after your conversation.
Use affectionate words such as “I love you” and affectionate touch such as hugs, kisses, or an arm around them.

When you and your spouse make time to engage in these stress-reducing conversations every day, it will do wonders for your marriage.

Over time, it will reinforce to each of you that you are on each other’s side and that your spouse is the one you can turn to when something is stressing you out.

This can’t help but bring you closer together. It is the vital step towards restoring the emotional intimacy which may have been lacking in your marriage.

Sometimes the small acts are the ones which have the biggest impact.

Brooke Ryan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts
"The biggest benefit I have gained from “Save My Marriage Today” was perspective. There were so many lessons about how to look at what was happening in my life from a different angle. I needed clarity and hope and “Save My Marriage Today” gave me that. They used practical tips and things that I could really work on to be proactive in salvaging my relationship with my husband. The true examples from real people gave me insight that you can really survive an affair! This web site is different from many others in that the focus of the “advice” and help really reflects the name ---- “Save My Marriage Today.” Other web sites may not have that as a goal, but the salvation of my marriage was definitely what I was looking for."

-- Rhonda K. (Cottageville, SC)*
"Save My Marriage was very instrumental in helping my husband and myself understand each other by learning to communicate love words, to respect each others space, and to speak up when annoyed and not harbor anger. We were on the verge of divorce, thinking there was no way to repair the damage. Save My Marriage was a God send and we thank you so very much. After years of misgivings we are happy that we joined Save My Marriage and we worked it out and stayed together. We will celebrate our 27th anniversary this year!"

-- Fred and Maureen B.
(Putnam Valley, NY) *
"Since I began reading your Save My Marriage Today newsletters I am changed and I have also given him some newsletters to go through. He has also improved. Thanks so much for your advice and help! Our relationship has made some great breakthroughs and we are soon getting married! After reading your articles we are now in love again and we do as much as we can to create quality time for one another."

--Maureen M.
(Kakamega, Kenya)*
"Save My Marriage Today put it together for me, it made sense and got me to slow down, live in the moment and think about what is really important and how I can achieve it. The weekly bonus emails are great too because they remind me to stay focused and cover new topics I might not have thought about or realized. It takes work and it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever been through but with the right tools I know I can do it"

-- Brett P. (Longmount, CO)*
"Im glad I came across your Save My Marriage Today website. The situations and solutions presented are real, practical and simple to implement. Other websites painted a picture that marriage should be absolutely perfect and have no problems but we all know that's impossible to achieve. However your website has shown me that marriage needs work and a change in certain attitudes and behaviors, and after that things are not as complicated as we like to think. Thanks Save My Marriage Today for a wonderful website and for helping me get my marriage back on track!"

-- Elsa K.
(Nelspruit, South Africa) *
"I found the Save My Marriage Today articles to be very helpful and insightful, and there were times that I thought there was a spy in our home as the articles were so personally related.

We have gone from "I should divorce you" to "Maybe I will keep you around for another 30 years." Marriage is hard work and if you have the right tools and are willing to work with them, you can make it last forever. I think my wife and I are soulmates and I think I would be completely lost without her."

-- Robert and Joanne H.
(Powell River, BC, Canada) *
"My marriage is experiencing a tremendous transformation. I, on behalf of my wife am very grateful to "Save My Marriage Today" for practically saving ours. What makes "Save My Marriage Today"different from other sites is that it is very simple and practicable to even a layman's understanding."

-- Inemobong U.
(Akwa Ibom, Nigeria) *
"My relationship with my husband had been going downhill for far too long, and I purchased your book in a desperate bid to fix things. After reading your info I discovered that I had been guilty of a number of the things that you identified as being warning signs of a problem marriage. I've been following your methods for remedying the situation, and I have been staggered by the success. Our marriage is now well on its way to becoming better than it ever was before and I can see us being happily married forever now. My eternal thanks!

-- Mary Evans, (Seattle, WA) *
"I found the biggest benefit from Save My Marriage Today was that you are educators in life, love, and happiness and that someone out there is human and understands the demands of the common family in society today, including struggles with money, intimacy, and your life not just your marriage.

I have spent countless dollars trying to get help and was sadly disappointed in all until now with you.. Save My Marriage Today has been a blessing to our family and we all thank you."

-- Doug M. (Davie, Florida) *
"I've been married to my wife for 15 years now and I was at a total loss as to what was going wrong with our marriage. She just seemed to stop loving me. Thanks to your book, I've totally changed the way I approach the situation, it was not easy, but during the last three months, the turn around in our relationship has been simply amazing! And her friends are a lot more supportive of our marriage too... I am so grateful!"

-- Steven Kitchen, Edmonton, Canada*
Disclaimer: This information is not designed to replace the advice of a registered relationship counselor. While SaveMyMarriageToday endeavors to provide helpful and workable advice for dating and relationships, face-to-face consultations with a registered professional are still recommended. Information contained on this website is provided 'as is,' without warranty of any kind. The entire risk as to the results and the performance of the information is assumed by the user, and in no event shall SaveMyMarriageToday be liable for any consequential, incidental or direct damages suffered in the course of using the information on this website. The information and recommendations are intended as an informative guide only and do not guarantee any kind of success or permanent fix. Results may vary.

© 2020 All Rights Reserved. "SaveMyMarriageToday" are trademarks used by Unica Publications. By entering, you agree to our terms and conditions. By entering your email address you are also requesting and agreeing to subscribe to our free email newsletter. You must be 18 or older to enter.To contact support use the Contact Us link above.