My family likes to play the silly game called ‘Would You Rather’ around a campfire, while traveling on road trips or waiting for our food to be served at restaurants. My husband, Chad, and I even play it while sitting together in the hot tub. The game requires nothing but your imagination and can be as crazy as you’d like! We ask each other questions that are just plain weird or somewhat thought provoking such as:
Would you rather eat a stick of butter or a cup of mayonnaise?
Would you rather be trapped in a burning building or sinking ship?
Would you rather travel back in time to meet your ancestors or fast forward into the future and meet your great, great, great grandchildren?
Would you rather have the ability to be invisible or a mind-reader?
Would you rather be 8 feet tall or 3 feet tall?
I guess what makes the game so entertaining is that it’s a fun way to communicate while also learning something new about the other person. Chad and I have been married for 25 years and some of his answers still surprise me! That’s the cool thing about marriage… it is made up of two people who are continually growing therefore the relationship continues to grow too.
We are not the same people we were 25 years ago when we promised ‘to have and to hold’ each other. I had no idea at the ripe old age of nineteen how much I would change and grow as a person. My ‘45 year old self’ sees the world a little differently now based on my experiences, relationships and wisdom that simply comes from living life. Hopefully I’m a better person and the growth that I’ve experienced makes my relationship with my husband better too.
The one thing that has sustained our marriage through the growth process that has transpired in both of us is communication. No relationship can survive, much less thrive, without healthy communication. I’m not talking about the “Hey, how was your day” type – even though that is important – but opening up and expressing our needs to each other because, as we change and grow, so do our needs, wants and desires. I no longer need Chad to help around the house as I did when our kids were younger… and it looked like tornadoes routinely ripped through our living room leaving Legos and Nerf darts in their wake! I needed his help, and because the mess didn’t bother him like it did me, I needed to speak up and say so.
While it’s still nice to have him pitch in, my needs have changed to where I desire more positive support and affirmation as I share with him my goals and dreams for our future. I need him to listen as I bare my heart and then offer ideas on how to make these desires happen. I have learned that he is not a mind-reader and if I want our relationship to keep from growing cold then we need to have HOT communication – Honest, Open and Two-sided. It’s a skill that requires constant effort but anything worth having is worth working for. So, let me ask you…Would you rather have a stagnant, detached marriage or a marriage that is infused with continuous growth and connection? Communicating with your spouse about your needs can help take your marriage from “not” to “HOT”. Start with a simple question that begins with ‘Would you rather’ and see what happens!
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” ~Proverbs 16:24