3 Questions That Changed My Marriage

These 3 questions that changed my marriage and family can make a difference in your relationships too. It’s only 3 questions and it’s worth asking.

These 3 questions that changed my marriage and family can make a difference in your relationships too. It's only 3 questions and it's worth asking.

A few years ago we posted an amazing Reese’s Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cookie Pie  which we just reposted this week and in the post I talked about 3 questions that changed our marriage. Wellll, the recipe did awesome (hooray for you all loving that combo as much as us), but the part that totally shocked us was that in our getting personal we got gobs of emails about how couples, families and even singles were adopting these questions into their personal lives and their relationships were being strengthened. I. Love. That.  And, thank you for all of your love, we love ya right back.

Whenever Cade gets home from work I’ve found myself in the habit of asking, “How was your day?” to which he replies, “good, how was yours” or “pretty good, how about you?”, or there’s always, “meh, kinda long.” Well, that was a lame-o exchange. Haha, why do we even ask each other just to same the same ol’ thing? I started to feel like it was a little silly, and then I noticed it that my daughter and I do it after school too! Where’s the love? Where’s the real conversation and sharing?!

So, I decided to try  an experiment. And then I forgot. Because that’s what happens to moms sometimes. We get a really good idea, generally in the shower because that’s where the best thinking happens, and then we get out and forget it.

2 weeks later I finally remembered and put it into action. Within 1 week we were having the best week ever and this experiment has totally changed our marriage and family.

carrian and cade ohsweetbasil.com

I started asking my husband and children 3 questions every day and it has changed our lives. Remember, these things are going to take time for your family to adjust to, but it will happen!

3 Questions That Changed My Marriage

1. What do you have going on today and how can I help?

This one definitely was lame at first, but here’s what we learned. First, my husband and I always talk about the week and what’s coming up and we do this with our kids too, but as the week goes on we forget things or new things come up. By daily asking about the day we all know exactly what kind of load everyone is carrying and what to expect from everyone. It also gives us more opportunities to serve each other. If the family knows Cade has an important meeting and I have few recipes to photograph it’s amazing how quickly they take charge of other things to help out. Plus we can be mindful of each other. A child may be acting out after school  but when we realize it’s probably because she had that big test and is just worn out it’s much easier to handle the situation.

2. When did you feel worried, stressed or scared today?

I clued in pretty quickly in my marriage that my husband is willing to carry the world on his shoulders and not burden anyone, aka ask for help or talk about it. He doesn’t mean to, he’s just always done his own thing and carried his own feelings so that no one has to know they are hurting him or stressing him out. My daughter on the other hand needs to talk things out and be heard. What Cade didn’t realize was that he needed to as well. So when things weren’t going well I started asking the above question and it’s interesting how most days involve a moment of stress or worry and that acknowledging it and letting someone else listen really lifts the load. It opens up communication and bonding. Now we ask every day and we try to be very honest.

3.  When did you feel loved today? – The MOST IMPORTANT question-

This one can be awkward! I know, it totally shouldn’t, but go ahead and ask and the response from your spouse may be a little goofy or passive, “uh when you kissed me?” Don’t worry, keep asking and give it time. Everyone needs to feel loved and if they aren’t they need someone to step up and do the job. Here’s the perfect example. Cade was a bit grouchy the other night. Kind of snippity with the kids and impatient. I could have snapped back, but instead when he went upstairs to change I followed, slipped in front of him while he was picking out a shirt and asked, looking him in the eyes with my arms around him, “when did you feel loved today?” He immediately said, “right now. I’ve just been so stressed about such and such and it’s been a long day. ” The rest of the evening was so peaceful, fun and we all felt a little more love for one another.

Why Do We Treat Strangers Better Than Our Spouse?

Often we can take out underlying issues on others around us, almost always those we love most and wouldn’t want to hurt if we were really thinking through things. Why do we sometimes treat friends better than our spouse? I believe it’s because we stop asking the real questions and don’t wait to hear the answers.

These 3 little questions have strengthened our family and marriage. They are so simple but they make a world of a difference. Sometimes, we just need our spouse to see us again.

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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25 comments on “3 Questions That Changed My Marriage”

  1. I’ve heard the second two before and always thought they felt silly to ask, but I love the first one!

  2. These are great! We spent a few months in marriage counseling because when we argued, it was like we couldn’t get in the right mentality to actually resolve anything. We’re both pretty thick-headed and stubborn. And sure, we went over things to prevent arguing in counseling but oh my gosh, so many steps, so much info, way to easy to forget “in the moment.” I’m writing these down and posting them in my house until they become second nature. Thank you!! With our first baby on the way, it’s been even crazier and more stressful than lately. How is it that people who love each other so much are so good at arguing?! I love this!

    • Hi Holly,
      Marriage and kids definitely teach you a lot about relationships. It’s easy to forget that each person comes with their own experiences, traditions, weaknesses etc and these questions kind of help put everyone back on the same page again. Have you heard of the love dare or the proper care and feeding of husbands? Obviously it takes two, but I’m curious to read those and see how I could personally make our marriage even better. Can’t wait to hear how this all goes for you and congratulations on your first! It all can be so wonderful so keep on fighting for each other! xoxo!!!

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  4. Going to take a stab at this. Wish me luck. My life has become overwhelmingly stressful and i feel like maybe my husband is getting too much of the backlash on it all. My 8 year old neice is fighting brain cancer. My parents and sister and brother in law all out of town for her treatment and although this whole thing has taught me so much and I’m blessed with great family and friends, id be lying if I said it wasn’t effecting my marriage. So many other factors are adding to this stress.Hoping I can turn a corner.

    • Amy, I’m not sure why this comment didn’t show up for us until now, but I’d love to hear how things are going. You are so right, life leads to distraction and stress and in the midst of that we forget to nurture the relationships that will ultimately carry us through. Thinking of you tonight.

  5. Wow! What great suggestions! I plan to put them into practice in my own family!! Thanks! Caroline

  6. Thanks for this post – it couldn’t be more timely as I’m getting married in 6 days! I have been thinking about how to make communication easier because like your husband, my fiance keeps a lot of the stresses/worries inside – sometimes it’s like pulling teeth. I love the first question – much better than the “how was your day” same dialogue each day. I’m going to try to put these to good use.

  7. This was beautiful! I am not married yet but my parents have a marriage ministry that I help out in. This blog made me tear up and thank you so much for sharing! I reposted it on our Facebook page because it was so awesome!


  9. Carrian, this is a great post! I also love that you did this as it’s own post! I had to come check it out. I do something similar with my husband and kids. But I usually forget to ask my husband daily how I can help him. So thank you so much for that reminder of just how important that is.

  10. This post made me reflect on how I can take my relationships for granted sometimes…I think I feel that for those that are closer to me, where the relationship is so solid that I don’t need to put much effort on the little things that happen during the day. Wrong!

  11. love this and love the two of you! xoxo

  12. These are wonderful questions, Carrian! I can’t believe how many times a day I say “how was your day?” to my kids and husband and I always get the lame “fine” back in response. I can’t wait to adopt these questions into my routine. It’s especially important since I have a pre-teen that I’m hoping will continue to talk to me daily! Thank you for sharing this – pinning now and will be using! xo!

  13. Thanks so much for sharing Carrian, I loved reading this and clicked right over when I saw the title. Though not married yet, I find my fiancé and I just whizzing through conversations starting with “how was your day?” -conversations neither of us are really present in. I love your suggested questions and will absolutely put them into practice. It will help us to concentrate more on real, in-depth conversations!

    • right? It’s so easy to get caught up in saying the same things, but one reason marriages fail is because communication actually gets worse since we don’t care to really listen like we should. And hooray for the big day! It’s comin!!!