When I was engaged, my fiancé and I participated in marriage counseling. During one session, the married couple serving as our counselors became sidetracked. They forgot about us and began talking about a sod truck that was coming the next day and where the grass needed to be planted in their yard. As an engaged couple, we found this both humorous and romantic. We longed to completely live life together, and the thought of discussing everyday activities that pertained to our family was charming and picturesque. After that night, we coined the phrase “talking sod,” meaning the discussion of mundane details in ordinary married life.
Now, a few years removed, talking sod has lost its appeal and is all too commonplace. When my wife and I talk over dinner, before bed, or on the phone, it’s about the kids, what bills need to be paid, and if the van needs an oil change. Lost are the introspective questions, the true discussions between two hearts beating as one. As a man, my natural setting tends to be set on talking sod. What needs to be accomplished? What can I do? How should this be handled? Yet my wife finds life in a very different kind of communication, discussions that breathe life into her weary heart. She needs to connect on a deeper level. And that’s hard for me to do.
When we get a break from our kids, my mind goes blank and I struggle to think of anything to ask. Cue the evening crickets—chirp, chirp, chirp. My wife and I have discovered that a doorway to deeper and more meaningful discussions is to be prepared. In fact, we’ve turned it into a game. After spending some time on the Internet and asking friends for insight, I’ve written down dozens of questions in a small notebook. Each inquiry is numbered. Thus, when my wife and I share a moment at the local Starbucks, I pull out the notebook and my wife picks a number.
We then take turns answering the question; and more often than not, our conversation takes on a life of its own and we move beyond talking sod. Below are a handful of questions to help you get started, and may you soon find your way beyond talking sod to connecting with your wife on a deeper level, again.
- What are some of your happiest memories from married life so far?
- What things are important or essential in creating a romantic evening?
- In what ways do you think God is honored by our marriage?
- How can I consistently pray for you?
- What traits do you hope our kids get from you? From me?
- When do you feel beautiful?
- Is there anything we need to talk about?
- What do you love about each of our children?
- What attributes would you most like me to develop?
- What attributes would you like me to change?
- How is our sex life?