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When the Talking Gets Tough

I’m an extrovert. I love to talk. But some people run into brick walls at the end of the day. They drag themselves into the house each night, and dread what’s coming: their spouse asking, “How was your day?” Their mind goes blank, or they groan at the thought of having to explain everything that happened at work.

Most couples need more than a simple reminder to talk more, they need a plan. So, here are a couple of practical ideas you and your spouse can put into practice tonight.

Work out a “neutral time” with each other. This is a period of time after you both get home where neither of you will engage in deep conversation. That could be 30 minutes, an hour – whatever you both agree to. It’ll give both of you a chance to change clothes, unwind from a busy day at work, and get into a better frame of mind to talk.

After that neutral time, set aside at least 15-20 minutes, where the two of you can talk with no interruptions from phones or televisions. Chat in your living room or go for a walk in the neighborhood. But make it a point to focus on one another.

And don’t worry that structure will make your time together too stiff or calculated. Good structure simply gets conversation off to a great start. After a while, you may discover that you’ve slipped into a rhythm where you don’t need any structure at all.

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