Most of us are aware that the honeymoon phase in relationships doesn’t last forever. The good news? It doesn’t have to! You and your spouse can enjoy life together in a loving relationship without experiencing the blinding enamor felt in the honeymoon phase.
The goal of this article is to explain why keeping a sense of curiosity within your marriage is so important. Let’s dive into what we mean by curiosity in marriage and keeping your spouse curious, why it’s so beneficial, and how to start cultivating more interest and spontaneity for each other today.
What Does it Mean to Keep Curiosity in My Marriage?
Whether you’ve been together for a few years or a few decades, you and your spouse probably share a strong sense of familiarity with each other. This kind of deep-rooted connection is a valuable byproduct of long-term pair bonding that is almost uniquely human.
But left unexamined, “familiarity” can sometimes take on a shade of tedium, especially when compared to the sparks-flying, butterflies-in-the-stomach, stars-in-the-eyes kind of excitement you experienced at the beginning of your relationship. When you think you know your spouse better than anyone else (and maybe you genuinely do!), it’s tempting to simply make assumptions about their needs, actions, and intentions, or to overlook all the ways they show up for you and your family.
Our suggestion? Start looking at each other more often through the lens of curiosity. By curiosity, we mean the desire to keep learning about your spouse and seeing them as a unique and interesting person.
Feeling curious about each other helps us relax within our shared familiarity but still allows space for novelty, newness, and fun as a couple. Consider it a recipe for mature love that keeps you both young at heart!
How a Sense of Curiosity Helps Your Relationship
When you and your spouse are genuinely curious about each other, you are able to:
- Ward off the natural tendency to take each other for granted
- Hone your ability to recognize when the other is feeling “off”
- Encourage lifelong learning, growth, and development as individuals and as a couple
- Create a sense of trust and safety within the marriage
- Deepen your connection by sharing your deepest thoughts, feelings, fears, and desires
- Help each other truly feel seen, heard, listened to, and understood
- Mitigate conflict that often arises from one or both of you making assumptions about the other person’s action or inaction
- Notice the “small things” that—in the end—will very likely be the things you look back on with the greatest sense of love and appreciation
Cultivating Curiosity: 3 Ideas From Our Marriage Counselors
- Listen more, listen better. The best way to do this? Start to notice when you’re NOT listening—for example, when your partner is talking but you’re looking at your phone, thinking about something else, or waiting to interject your own thoughts, perspective, or advice. Let this self-awareness prompt you to pause, quiet your mind and mouth, look into your spouse’s eyes, and just listen. By doing this regularly, you should automatically become more curious about what’s on their mind, and naturally inclined to ask even more questions that will invite them to keep sharing.
- Treat your alone time as sacred (because it is). No matter how busy you and your family are, it is so important to spend time just the two of you. Whether it’s five minutes chatting in bed each morning, or a scheduled date night every week, these private moments are irreplaceable opportunities to discuss everything from your biggest goals to your mundane daily moments—all of which helps you build the trust you need to be honest and vulnerable with each other.
- Consider therapy. Couples therapy provides a safe and structured container in which you can explore each other’s minds and hearts, while developing tools and strategies that can strengthen your communication and connection.
Are You Ready for a Stronger, Healthier, And More Fulfilling Marriage?
Contact The Marriage Restoration Project now to schedule an appointment today or book a free 30 minute clarity call with Rabbi Shlomo to learn more about how you can experience a more fulfilling relationship by attending an Imago relationship therapy retreat at one of our locations across the United States. Want to get away? Consider attending a destination marriage retreat in Belize or Costa Rica!