Margie and Bill faced each other in two living room chairs. Four couples observed as this husband and wife demonstrated a process they share with each other every Saturday morning.
This particular evening was part of a six-week lesson and discussion with our church home fellowship group on building intimacy in marriage.
I glanced at the three-by-five card in my hand. Bill had passed out one to each person. "This is a personal exercise," he announced. "Each partner is responsible for his or her part." The headline read: "Three Questions to Ask Each Other Every Week."
- Is there anything that I need to apologize for? (i.e. Did I do anything that hurt you?)
- Is there anything you need from me that you're not getting?
- How can I be a better spouse?
I noticed my heart rate increase. There might be more here than I bargained for. Sure, I was open to a few tips. Charles and I had just celebrated 26 years of marriage and we could always use a refresher. Even so, a feeling of dread came over me. My husband and I were not the best at communicating about our own relationship. We were much better at evaluating other people's marriages!
I squirmed in my seat as I listened to Margie question Bill and then Bill ask the same of Margie. They were so honest. Not that I expected them to lie. Of course not. But could we do the same?
To Ask or Not to Ask
On the way home I asked Charles what he thought of the evening. "I don't think we need this process," he said. "We're talkers. We pretty much cover everything on a day-to-day basis."1