Fish Bowl Conversations

Fish bowl conversations - AdobeStock_61090691Do you have good conversations with each other as husband and wife? How well do you connect in your “talk time” together? Do you even make it a point to have meaningful talk times together?

The goal here is to get the two of you talking to each other. This may not be as easy as it seems. Often I have sent couples home with the assignment to “Talk to each other.” They come back the next week saying something like, “We tried, but every time we would sit down to talk one of us would say, ‘Okay, what do you want to talk about?’ and the other would say ‘I don’t know, what do you want to talk about?’ and on and on. We couldn’t seem to come up with a starting point.” They often ended up frustrated, and the conversations stopped before it ever got started.

Getting Started with Conversations

The most difficult part of talking often is simply getting started. You will find a list of 100 Conversation Starters below. One of the best ways to use this list is to cut the topics apart and put them in a fish bowl. When you have set aside time to talk, or when you just happen to have a little extra time, one of you draws a topic out of the fish bowl and the discussion begins.

Both of you address the topic before drawing out the next one. The assignment is a fun way not only to get the conversations going, but also to learn some things about your souse you may never have known before. The more you know about a person, the more intimate the relationship becomes. Feel free to add in some topics of your own as well.

Marriage Missions Editors Note:

Here’s a suggestion: You can use the following questions for conversations in your 22 Minute Date Nights:

  • Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years?
  • If money were no issue where would you travel?
  • Suppose the house caught on fire, all your family were safe and you could save 5 things. What would you save?
  • If you inherited $100,000, what would you do with it?
  • What would be the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  • Please tell me, what is your biggest regret?
  • What was your most embarrassing moment?
  • Describe a perfect evening.
  • How would you define love?
  • Tell me about a special childhood memory.
  • What was your favorite Christmas? Why?
  • What did your parents teach you about marriage?
  • Share a sad memory with me.
  • What things are you looking forward to this week, month, and year?
  • What do you like most about your job?
  • Tell me about your talents.
  • Tell me something you are afraid of.
  • How would you like to spend a day alone?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Why?

More Questions for More Great Conversations:

  • What do you like best about yourself?
  • What do you like best about me? Why?
  • Plan the perfect date.
  • What is one of your favorite memories about us?
  • Is there a favorite memory you remember most about our dating?
  • What do you remember most about our wedding or honeymoon?
  • Is there something I could do to please you more sexually?
  • If you could be any animal, what would you be? Why?
  • How would you like to see the household responsibilities divided?
  • What do you think heaven will be like?
  • Tell me about your salvation experience.
  • Tell me about a spiritual high point in your life.
  • What is the best advice you ever received?
  • If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
  • How can I show you that I love you?
  • Tell me about a time when God answered a prayer.
  • What makes you laugh?

Additional Questions:

  • Tell me your favorite joke.
  • What was your favorite grade in school? Why?
  • How often would you like to make love?
  • Is there a difference between making love and sex? Explain.
  • Share a fantasy with me.
  • What advice would you give a friend about to get married?
  • Would you rather vacation in the mountains, at the ocean, or a big city? Why?
  • What was your favorite fairy tale?
  • What kind of movies do you enjoy?
  • Would you rather spend a quiet evening with just the two of us; with another couple; or at a gathering of several couples? Why?
  • Would you rather be smart, beautiful, or famous? Explain.
  • When was the last time you cried?
  • If there had never been original sin, what do you think the world would be like?
  • After salvation, what do you pray for most for our children?
  • If you could have picked anyone in the world to be your parents, who would you have picked?
  • Where would you like to live?
  • What do we want to teach our children about marriage?

Additional Questions to Ask:

  • Do you think we fight fair?
  • How could we improve our conflict resolution skills?
  • What would you consider to be your top five priorities in life?
  • What do you think my top five priorities are?
  • Describe what are you feeling right now.
  • What are you thinking about right now?
  • What does intimacy mean?
  • Are there strengths you see in me?
  • What expectations did you have coming into marriage?
  • Which marital expectations were met; which were not?
  • What would we do if TV were out of order for one week?
  • How did you decide on your career?
  • What is the best part of our relationship currently?
  • What is romance?
  • Do you see me as a better giver or receiver? Explain.
  • What is your favorite recreational activity?
  • Is there something we have never done together that you’d like us to try?
  • What size box does the “perfect gift” come in? What would be inside?

Even More Questions for Your Conversations Together:

  • List five of your “favorites.”
  • Describe your dream house.
  • If for one day you could be anyone who ever lived, who would you choose?
  • What’s your most memorable childhood experience?
  • Would you rather travel by car, plane, boat, or train? Why?
  • What question would you like to ask God once you are in heaven?
  • What one experience would you like to be sure to have before you die?
  • What’s the craziest thing you have ever done in public?
  • If you could choose any career what would you be?
  • How can I make love to you without intercourse?
  • If you could spend a day with anyone who ever lived, who would you choose? Why?
  • Who would you like to visit once in heaven?

Even More Questions:

  • What “impossible” experience would you like to have?
  • What is a recreational activity that you have never tried but would like to?
  • Tell me two things you “want” from me and two things you “need” from me.
  • If you could have lived in any time period, which would you have picked?
  • Who has been the biggest positive influence in your life? Explain.
  • Tell me about your first date.
  • Where is the most adventurous place you would consider making love?
  • What was the happiest time of your life?
  • If you were a writer what would you write?
  • If you could trade lives with someone for a week, who would you trade with, and why?
  • What is the hardest thing for you to understand about the opposite sex?
  • What is your favorite movie and why?
  • Is there anything you worry about? If so, what?
  • Name three things I used to do for you that you enjoyed that I have not done for a while.

This article is adapted from the book, Discovering the Treasure of Marriage, by Debbie L. Cherry, PhD, published by Life Journey. Unfortunately, this book is no longer being printed.

Additionally to Help You Have More Conversations:

Below are several links that lead you to additional questions that can help you in having great conversations between you and your spouse. This will give you several opportunities to have fishbowl types of conversations together:

25 FUN QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR SPOUSE

CONVERSATION STARTERS FOR MARRIED COUPLES

And then you can use:

• 36 CONVERSATIONS THAT WILL TURN YOUR SPOUSE ON

Print Post

Filed under: Communication Tools

Leave a Reply to Julia from United States Cancel reply

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.

Comments

9 responses to “Fish Bowl Conversations

  1. (USA)  What happens when my husband responds to the questions with “I don’t know”? That is the answer to most of the questions I’ve been asking lately.

  2. (CANADA) My husband only wants to talk about what he is interested in, and then he does not want to be asked questions about anything including those things he is interested in. If he starts it, then that is fine, otherwise, no. If I talk about something he will harbour it and sometime later say that I am obsessive about it, if I mention some subject that is important to me more than once. I only want to learn to remember not to talk to him, or share anything of importance with him, not at all. If I could only remember not to want to share with him. Any ideas? Because this is not a good feeling.

  3. I tried initiating meaningful conversation with my husband once, his response was “Is this conversation necessary?” I never tried again.

  4. I love this list and would love to be able to ask these questions with my husband. BUT, how do you get answers from someone who thinks this list is just a way to pry into his private thoughts? My hubby started a HUGE fight because I asked him “what he thinks is a romantic say”. At first I thought he was joking with me, but after a few minutes when the fight turned very ugly I finally realized he was not playing with me… he was so angry he threatened separation. He has refuses to talk about this fight, just keeps saying, “if I was smart I would let it go”.

    I was blown away by his response, and I still am. I feel like a part of our marriage was damaged, just by asking that stupid question. It’s been a month now, things are better but I feel like something broke inside my heart. I feel a distance from him and it’s killing me. How do I fix this? Please tell me how a stupid question can cause such a huge upheaval in my marriage.

    1. Unfortunately if he was willing to talk separation there is a deeper issue that was already there. Don’t you think? And if you do not have the right to have simple conversations about things in your marriage, do you think that you will be able to continue to thrive and be healthy? I guess the honest question for you is: Do I want to spend my life like this or do I think this can be repaired?

      I truly hope you guys can work on it and succeed! Please know that you matter and that your happiness and opinions matter just as much as his. Hopefully he will come around. It took me 7 years before I realized that I just had to leave. For me it was the best decision I have ever made. And I am now in a happy and in an emotionally healthy relationship. I worked on myself and my healing before moving on. You got this!

    2. I’m sorry to hear this experience went so badly for You. Somehow this question must’ve hit a nerve in him. I have been in a non-communicative marriage and it’s certainly not fun. I would ask you to give this up to the Lord in prayer. Ask for your husband’s heart to be softened so that you may both be closer. I wish you well. God Bless!

  5. Thank you for your website, it helps to know I’m not alone. Our 34th wedding anniversary just passed and as I reflect…The Lord has used my marriage and especially my husband to call me into His Loving Arms! I love my husband very much but since coming to Christ a few years ago, my mother-in-law’s passing (lived with us for more than 20years) and much unforgiveness and blaming for past hurts, its been difficult. Being the first born again in my family, there was a lot of work and praying to do but most of all, I wanted my husband saved. Yet, Wisdom kept working on me. Breaking the chains of unforgiveness, guilt, pride, and lately anger (in my case, rooted in fear of rejection). This is what the born again wife of an unbeliever has been experiencing so just imagine what your husband is dealing with!

    Question: How do you love a porcupine? Answer: From a distance. I too have heard, “stop trying to get in my head” from my husband as I tried to “talk”. I have learned and its part of the “submission”, when to be quiet in the physical world but CRY OUT TO THE LORD in prayer. We MUST PRAY for your husbands and our marriages BEFORE CONFRONTING A PROBLEM(trying to get him to talk) and CONTINUOUSLY because there is HOPE. His name is Jesus and we should follow His clues and stop trying to do things our way. (Is.55:10) A book that helped me very much is The Power of a Praying® Wife

    Hope this helps and may God bless every one of my sisters in Christ with the desire and passion to fervently pray for their husbands and their marriages in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen

  6. So what if you dont like the answer and get into an argument? How should you change your thinking to prevent this argument?