Knowing Your Spouse

 Written By: Dewey Wilson, Ph.D.


Arguably, everyone of us has been asked how well we know a certain person. A few of the canned responses I have heard include things from “pretty good,” “fairly well,” “I have only met them once," “I wouldn't say were best friends," to “oh, we are just like brothers," or “I know them better than their blood relatives know them." So, have you ever really thought about what types of things a person must know about another individual in order to say they know them well? Is there some undisclosed list of minimal characteristics that helps qualify a person, or a tiered graph of attributes designed to determine a person’s knowledge of another? 

If there is such a list, one would think husbands and wives would have the majority of those attributes already checked off considering marriage is designed to be for life, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Because the majority of married couples today seem to be going Mach 10 with their pants on fire, managing jobs, trying to pay bills and raise their children, many of them seldom invest time to really learn more about the other. A good number of spouses profess to knowing their husband or wife well, yet when asked, many of these same individuals are unable to correctly recall things like the other’s birthplace, favorite color, favorite food, social security number or even their cellphone number! If this has any of you scratching your head, because you're wondering if you actually know the answers to these types of questions, most likely its time for you and your spouse to intentionally invest in getting to know each other more. Here are a few suggestions for how to begin:

1. Prepare your attitude. When asked, one of you most likely can correctly answer more questions about the other. That said, what you choose to say and how you choose to say it will often determine the success or failure of exercises like the one I am about to recommend. You might even think that asking each other the following questions is lame and silly. However, an open, light-hearted approach to participating in the following exercise with the objective of understanding your spouse better can result in taking your love for them to a level deeper than you have ever experienced.

2. Schedule somewhere between an hour and 90 minutes that is free of distractions. It could be after the children have gone to bed, or you might choose to go on a date after leaving the kids with a baby sitter. At any rate, it is important for there to be little or no distractions. 

3. Each of you make a list of 10 questions of things you don’t know about the other, but would like to. Feel free to choose from the following list, or come up with you own questions.

  • What is the name of the city where you were born? 

  • What was the most meaningful gift you ever received?

  • What color was your spouse’s first car? 

  • Where is your favorite vacation spot? 

  • What is your favorite dessert? 

  • What is your social security number? 

  • What is your earliest childhood memory? 

  • How many first cousins do you have?

  • What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

  • If money and location were no consideration and you could be/do anything (as in profession), what would it be?

  • What household duty do you dislike the most?

  • Do you know my cell number without looking at your phone?

  • Did you ever wear braces?

  • What do you consider your greatest weakness to be?

  • What does your perfect day look like?

  • If you could eat anything at all right now, what would you choose?

  • Who is your favorite fictional character ever?

  • Would you rather be rich or famous?

4. Take turns asking each other questions from your list. Instead of quickly moving on to the next question, consider asking follow up questions to learn even more regarding the topic you are on. 

Because life is happening all around us, its easy for spouses to not intentionally invest time getting to know each other. Truth is though, life is always going to be happening. The best way to prevent waking up one day and not recognizing the person you thought you married is to be intentional about spending quality time getting to know each other today.

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