Peter and I weathered a storm last year. It wasn’t one particular thing. It was years of being too busy to bring up the little things, and too tired to talk about our feelings, and too afraid of hurting or offending each other to bring up the hard topics. It all finally erupted last December.
I’m not going to share more details of the things we were fighting about or the hurts we inflicted upon one another, but I will say that part of our process of repair was asking each other questions. (I will also add that we asked these via email. It was only once we had each seen the responses and had time to pray and think and process them individually that we were ready to talk about it all face to face again.)
Questions That Helped Our Marriage
For any of you who are in a rough spot because of layers of built-up hurt or misunderstanding, here are three questions that might help:
- How can I love you better?
- If you could get me to understand something that I don’t seem to understand, what would that be?
- What do you need that you aren’t getting right now?
Asking those questions, and receiving the answers, opened up a new level of trust between us. We saw how we had hurt each other. We saw how we had operated out of our own insecurities and fears. We saw how we had withheld emotions and direct communication in the name of efficiency or even in the name of compassion.
Love, Trust, and Honest Conversation
It was as if a pile of little twigs, all the little insecurities, all the little things-not-said, built up for years and eventually became a dam that blocked the flow of communication altogether. Those questions broke through the dam and allowed love and trust and honest conversation to flow again.
So this Valentine’s Day, enjoy whatever celebration you have planned. (Or not. We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but we are big fans of a weekly date night.) But if you’re in a wounded place right now, you can also ask for a time of intentional repair in the near future. And maybe these questions will be the beginning of your healing too.
More with Amy Julia:
- The Most Important Thing We Do as a Married Couple
- God Enters Into the Messiness of a Broken World
- Two-Word Family Check-In
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