It was about 31 years ago that Dan and I sat in pre-marital counseling with our pastor, Ed. He gave us two questions to ask each other on a regular basis. The first question has been lost to us, as is everything else that was covered in that pre-marital work (oops!). But the second question stuck:
What are you looking forward to?
Ed said that this was something he and his wife had asked each other regularly over the years and he swore by it! And it made a strong impression on the two of us.
We have loved this question over the years. It has led us into conversations about our hopes and delights; like trips, or friends visiting, or big milestones that may be approaching. But this question has also taken us into deep dives when what we were looked forward to was the passing of something hard or dreadful; “I looking forward to this year being over” or “I can’t wait until I’m through this busy season” or “I’m looking forward to not being so bothered by our kid’s moodiness”.
“What are you looking forward to?” is a wonderful opener for a different kind of conversation, taking us to layers that “how was your day” doesn’t. And, as I’m sure many of you can attest, sometimes you need a little help with a good opener.
So, to all of you, I gift you this question. And I’ll add more to it:
- What would you like to be looking forward to?
- What can we plan that would serve as something great ahead?
- What is blocking you having things to look forward to?
- How can I be a partner to you in making these things happen?
I hope you’ll adopt this wonderful question into your marriage toolbox…(or your friend toolbox!). It has served us well and I believe that it will add something wonderful to yours.
Please share the questions that you have helped your marriage in the comments below.