Hey friends! I have a guest post today that I’m really excited to share with you. You all know how passionate I am about marriage, and I’m a big proponent of celebrating your anniversary. I connected with Hannah through Facebook, and she is releasing a great resource for couples in residency to grow in their marriage. Whether you’re married to a medical professional or not, these questions are great to ask in any marriage!
Anniversary Questions to Strengthen Your Marriage
by Hannah Pye
Adding two simple questions to your anniversary traditions is a great way to take stock of the past year of your marriage and set you up for success in the year to come.
My husband and I have been married for 10 years. In the early years of our marriage, we started asking each other the same questions at every anniversary celebration. As the years have gone by, we have wavered in our consistency of asking these questions, but their usefulness never diminishes. Open-ended in nature, the following questions allow honest and constructive discussion about where you marriage is succeeding and what in your relationship could use some extra attention.
My husband and I love to eat, so we like to ask these questions over dinner. You might prefer to get cozy on the couch or have this discussion on a hike. Get comfy as a couple and get started!
- What have I done well as your spouse this year?
- What could I do in the coming year to be a better spouse to you?
When asking these questions of your spouse, be patient. Give him or her time to think before responding. Use active listening skills (eye contact, don’t interrupt, respond when necessary) to show your spouse that you are paying attention to what they have to say. Listen graciously and accept praise humble and constructive criticism well. You might choose to take mental notes or you may wish to actually write down what your spouse says so you can implement the changes over the next 12 months.
When answering these questions for your spouse, be kind. Consider the impact of your words on your marriage before responding. Be honest but loving and tactful when discussing potential areas of improvement. Any criticism of your spouse should be constructive and spoken as someone who knows they also aren’t a perfect spouse. Additionally, I recommend only mentioning in your discussion things your spouse can actually change. For instance, I would stay away from requesting changes in appearance and focus on changes of character.
If you are having a hard time answering these questions, consider reframing the discussion in the following ways:
- Support: How have I done a good job supporting you? How can I be more supporting?
- Connection: In what ways do you feel we have connected well? How do you feel we can connect better?
- Listening: How do you feel I have listened to you well in our marriage? How could I improve my listening skills?
- Service: In what ways have I served you well? What could I do or change to serve you better?
The success of these questions rests in the knowledge that no marriage is perfect and there is always room for improvement, whether you have been married for 3 years or 3 decades.
Hannah is a wife, mother, and nurse who has been married to her best friend for 10 years. Hannah has been alongside her physician husband through medical school, residency, and attending life and has been blessed by the way their relationship has grown and strengthened over the course of his medical career. Building and maintaining string marriages is Hannah’s passion, and she wants to help you do this as well through the online course she has developed alongside Brent Lacey, MD from Scope of Practice.
Residency-Proof Your Marriage is a course designed to fit into the medical lifestyle no matter what stage of training or career you are in. Learn more at https://the-scope-of-practice-academy.teachable.com/p/residency-proof-your-marriage