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

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.