When it’s time to stop asking questions in your marriage

Daryn Kagan and Trent Swanson on 10th wedding anniversary trip in San Sebastian, Spain

I knew the answer to the question.

     And, I knew it was best to not answer it.

     At least not 100% truthfully.

     This is a story about what I’ve learned about questions and marriage.

     I’ve made a 180-degree pivot in my views.

     Let me start by explaining that the foundation of our entire marriage is based on questions.

     Before Husband and I got married we went through a book of 289 questions prompting us to talk about everything from money to politics to family dynamics to pets.

     Oh, yeah. Pets. I’ve shared in previous columns how that one almost upended us. Thank goodness for pre-marital counseling and the “Pre-pup” we ironed out.

     Otherwise, I’m not here a decade later telling you what I’ve learned about questions in the last 10 years.

     Yes. 10 years.

Silver Run Falls, NC. July 14, 2012 Just us & our girls.

     This marriage was worth waiting for. We give much of the credit to those questions.

     “They didn’t do the questions,” we’ll often say when we hear about a mismatched marriage in distress.

     Which leads me to this week’s question.

The question I dreaded

     “Are you excited about our trip?” Husband asked the other day. He was talking about the latest international travel extravaganza he has put together using miles and points.

     If all goes according to plan, we should be in the northern reaches of Spain or France when you read this.

     “Yeah,” I half-heartedly squeaked out.

     This wasn’t a total lie, but not really the truth.

     I’m happy at home. Pre-trip stress has me not wanting to go anywhere.

     “You’re always happy and have a good time once we are on the trip,” Husband reminded me.

     This is true.

     It’s not unlike entertaining guests at our home.

     “Are you so excited our friends are coming to see us?” I could ask him in anticipation of one of my favorite things in the world—entertaining loved ones at our home.

     There is no way he could ever answer, “Yes,” and not be lying.

     If he answered truthfully with a “No,” I would point out that he always has a good time once folks arrive and enjoys their company.

Dinner at the marsh
Husband enjoys sharing the seafood bounty we harvest from right outside our marsh home.

     And so, this is how I arrive with my theory. The secret to starting a great marriage is asking all the questions.

The answer to a successful ongoing marriage is to stop asking questions.

Says me

     The answer to a successful ongoing marriage is to stop asking questions.

     At least the kind that will elicit what will surely be an unsatisfying answer for the asker.

     By the time you read this, I will no doubt be enjoying that anniversary trip.

As predicted, I had a fine time on our trip to Spain.
As predicted, I had a fine time on our trip to Spain.

     He just has to get me there. We both know this.

     A homebody and an introvert world traveler who never would seek out at guest to his home left to his own devices. How does this marriage ever work?

     We’re actually both very good for each other. I need to get out more. He needs people interaction more than he knows.

We work.

For and with each other.

We have often remarked to each other that we are both a narrow palate. Not a lot of people would delight and appreciate the other the way we do each other.

It only takes one.

Please remember that if you’re still waiting for your One to show up.

They are on their way. I promise. If I can sit here writing about this unlikely chapter of my life…10 years of marriage…then I know it can happen to anyone. Just remember when they do show up, you need to do the questions.

     Me, I’m officially signing up for another 10 years.     

No questions asked.

About that book with the questions…

This is the book we did with the questions. Goofy title. Great content. I actually recommend going through the questions first as a single person, long before you meet someone. That way you can answer truthfully and not feel pressured to bend your answer to what someone else pictures for their life and relationship.

“Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages.”



When it’s time to stop asking questions in your marriage

by Daryn time to read: 3 min