– What if I told you
there are four questions that you could ask your spouse that would deepen your
connection on a weekly basis. Hard to believe, right. Well I knew that not talking to each other wasn’t
working for Russ and I and thankfully the counselor came up with some really neat ideas that I want to pass along to you. If you’re looking forward to
this video give us a like, subscribe, and hit the notification bell for a new video every Wednesday. So what are these magical questions that deepen your connection? Let me tell you first why we
actually put them into place. I grew up running away from conflict so any sense of having
a hard conversation, I would just shutdown. Eventually the relationship
was going to shutdown. – I’m not going to get
married until I’m sure that nothing else good is
going to happen in my life. – This has been one of the best exercises especially for somebody like me who wasn’t used to communicating and didn’t know how to
communicate my feelings. – What we’ve got here is
failure to communicate. – One of the hardest things
I’ve had to learn in marriage because when there was conflict I typically in past
relationships just ran away. Not something I want to do in marriage. How do you deal with the
difficult conversations? Well the weekly check-in is
broken up into four parts. We used to only cover three
parts but stay ’til the end and I’ll tell you this fourth
question our counselor added that really made a difference for us and helped us really be encouraged. The first question is
to review our schedule. What does your schedule
look like for the week? Who are you meeting with? What do you have personally? What goals do you have? Do you have any dinners scheduled out? Then this way we can actually plan around each other’s schedule. – It’s like this new
schedule’s totally confusing. – Or make sure that if Russ
does have a business dinner that I’ll make time to go
out with my girlfriends or I’ll schedule some time to be working the same time he’s at a business dinner. If he has a big meeting I like to know because I put it on my calendar and I send him a text
right before the meeting letting him know that I’m praying for him. It just helps us know what
each other is going through during the week and
helps us stay connected even though we both live very busy lives. The second questions is hope and dreams. Now some people are like, “Hopes and dreams, why would
you talk about that every week? “How much can they change?” And I was kinda surprised. They do change a lot. And the way we came about
this was Russ had read a book, Dream Manager, and in this book
it’s mostly for businesses, for owners to really take
care of their employees and the way the Dream
Manager suggests you do that is by making them and helping them make their dreams come true. So Russ thought well
this is a good practice to do in our marriage. One morning he sat me down and he was like “Okay list out your ten
top hopes and dreams.” And I’m like, “Okay.” And I wasn’t even sure I had ten. So we started going through them and at the end he goes “Okay now go ahead and rank them.” And I’m like, “rank them.” And he goes, “Yes, if we can only do the
top one which would it be?” Now I had put things in there like maybe a new car, new house, but ironically my number one dream was for him to go do CrossFit
with me. (laughs) And that was probably
his nightmare of a dream. He had played football growing up and that was the last
thing he wanted to do was to do more cleans and squats but I really wanted to workout with him. So one of the important parts of the hope and dream is to execute on it. After I had mentioned this CrossFit dream he came with me and he’s an athlete so I’m thinking he doesn’t need
that much special attention but the coaches were spending
a lot of time with him and I finally turn around… And if you don’t know what CrossFit is, it’s a group exercise where we’re all doing the same movement yet Russ in the back there
is doing his own workout and I’m like look, the whole
point was to do this together. If you’re going to be
off there in the back doing your own workout then you’re fired, which was music to his ears. Obviously I didn’t want him to
be apart of a hope and dream of mine if it made him miserable. So that just didn’t align
with how he workouts so I had to let that one go. So move on to the second dream, right. But anyways back to the… List out your dreams even
if you don’t have ten. List out your top three and then rank ’em. So the CrossFit dream was my dream. So Russ’s dream was to own a
beach condo in South Florida and what was really
interesting is when we started to execute upon that dream, we did not have the finances
to but we went out and searched and looked and found the condo
we would actually purchase and find out how much
would need to be put down as a deposit, all of that. And when we ran the
numbers it wasn’t as big of a financial win as we
thought it was going to be. Doing this on a weekly basis
has shifted some of our dreams. It’s also helped us know
exactly what our partner is either hoping for, is struggling with. So it could be something as small as losing five pounds that week or wanting to purchase
some new camera equipment. Sharing those hopes and dreams every week keeps you in tune with each other’s heart and I just love love love the question of asking each other our hopes and dreams. Now this prepares you
for the third question because the third question is hard. – We get to choose who we let
into our weird little worlds. You’re not perfect sport, and
let me save you the suspense. This girl you met, she
isn’t perfect either. – And it requires you
to be emotionally safe. And you’re like emotionally
safe, I’ve never heard that. Neither had I. Emotionally safe means that you are not going to be defensive. You are not going to be critical. You are not going to show
contempt while they’re talking and you’re not going to stonewall them which hello, my middle
name was stonewaller. That basically means shutting
down on your partner. What does it look like? If I have something I
need to share with Russ he pretty much on that
third question asks me have I done anything to frustrate you? I have thought through
my response to make sure that I own as much
responsibility of it that I can. And so my response is, yes this particular
week when you came home, this happened and then this happened, and your response was very hurtful. And the whole time I’m sharing this story he is not cutting me off, he’s listening and then he repeats back
what he thinks he’s heard to make sure he didn’t
misinterpret something. Now I’m telling you guys,
as corny as that feels, we actually did this exercise at the Gottman Institute Training and I’m telling you it is powerful. I do acknowledge how formulaic it is but please please please try
this before you diss it away and we have a really special download that I will give you that Russ wrote up. So in case you think okay
men are not going to do this, I’ll have the link in
the description below. Again, the third question
is have I frustrated you? I share what Russ has frustrated me with. He listens, he repeats back
what he thinks he heard and then he does the most important thing that has really shifted
and changed our marriage. And this didn’t happen
until two years ago. He empathizes and this
whole time he always thought empathy was having my exact
feelings for a situation. When in fact empathy
is finding a situation in your own world that you
can relate to that person. So perfect example is I
could’ve been upset with him over something that I felt ignored by. He knows he didn’t ignore me or none of that had happened in his mind but he is believing that I truly was hurt, that my perspective was
that he was ignoring me and that simple difference
when discussing an argument has shifted everything for us because now I’m not as defensive. The minute he empathizes with “Wow I’m really sorry you got hurt. “I can see how that hurt you.” I relax, my defenses go down, I’m not ready for a verbal fight and then it actually helps
me take responsibility for my part so I can say, you know this is one of the
filters that I see through and it’s hard for me not
to think it’s happened. Okay next time what could I do differently that would help you not feel ignored? And I would give him a solution and if he says he can do it he’ll try. If he says he can’t then we’ll come up with
a different solution but here’s an important note ladies, I think we get tired of repeating the same thing over and over. The one thing I’ve learned
is it takes practice. It even takes practice for them
to implement something new. So the next time it happens and lets say he wasn’t able
to do the thing that I asked, I know that he really wants
to and that he really does try or maybe he forgot or he
was in another mindset but I’m a lot more
forgiving and more accepting because I know each time we both are going to
get better and better. That’s what it means in
being emotionally safe. It’s being able to receive
what is being said, being able to empathize and
also come up with a solution to prevent that from happening again but giving the grace when it doesn’t. Now the last question is
something we didn’t ask for years but the counselor said
you’re doing such a good job at checking in but as
much as you break apart what’s frustrating you guys, end this conversation with what’s working and pick it apart just as much
as you pick apart what’s bad. Now it’s easy, right. It’s so easy to pick apart what’s wrong. Try picking apart something
that’s gone right. It’s a really interesting conversation and we will take the
time to say, you know, thank you so much for washing my car. Okay, he says you’re welcome. End of story, right. But if you use that as
one of your last things to go through in this weekly check-in, thank you so much for washing my car. The fact that you knew
that that was something on my list I needed to get done, you knew I didn’t have time to do it, and I was picking up some
company from out of town and it was really important
to me to have my car clean and the fact that you went out of your way to do that, that meant the world to me. Now he has heard specifics on
why that meant so much to me and you leave this conversation
feeling encouraged. Now, I need to back up
to the third question. We both have grown so close from going through that third step. Now as a former… I like to think I’m a
former stonewaller right. From a former stonewaller’s perspective I never dreamed that we could feel closer after talking through an argument because it had never been modeled for me. And used to not know how to do it, but being in counseling for 17 years I have learned so much and my desire in putting
this stuff on YouTube because who wants to
put their marriage junk on the world wide web, is that it will help you prevent from making the
same mistakes we did. We stayed so quiet about
our frustrations for years and that resentment as you
know only increases over time. Take the download. Review it and take it step-by-step. And if you ever have any
questions always reach out to us. We’re here to support you. We want to see your marriage thrive. And leave us a comment if
you’ve done the weekly check-in and how it went. Thank you for watching. Give us a like if you like this video. Subscribe and hit the bell to be notified for our next video on Wednesdays. Thanks so much for watching, bye bye.

About the author


  1. Would you be willing to try a Weekly Check-In with your spouse? Thanks for watching!! Please let us know how we can best support you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *