Lee Hoon-yo and Kim Bong-geum from South Korea celebrated one of the world's longest marriages when they celebrated their 82nd wedding anniversary. On their anniversary, the couple was given special gifts, including 182 roses … and hearing aids.
After more than eight decades of marriage they were getting hearing aids! Guess they still wanted to be sure they wouldn't miss a word. Can you imagine the number of conversations this couple had? In all that time, they must have touched on every conceivable topic a husband and wife could discuss.
But this amazing marriage got us thinking. Were Lee and Kim aware of the private dialogue they engaged in daily? Few couples are. Yet it's the most important discussion you ever have. Its words linger longer, are felt more deeply, and determine the closeness or distance you feel.
We're talking about the conversation you have with yourself—your relational self-talk.
The surprising things you say to yourself
Each of us holds an unending internal dialogue, which colors every experience in marriage. Self-talk occurs without prior reflection or reasoning. Our brain instantly sees it as plausible and valid, even when it's not. While these thoughts are rarely noticed, they continually shape our attitudes, actions, and outlook.
Imagine you slip a microchip into a computer and it tabulates everything you've thought about your spouse and your marriage.1