During deployment, I’m mortified that hubby and I will drift apart emotionally.
This fear bubbles to the surface when we get on the phone, and neither of us has anything to say. It feels like I’ve been punched in the stomach by a bowling ball.
The scratchy buzz of the computer mic and the soft hum of the baby monitor are the only sounds, except the awkward “well” and “um.”
Then he says, “ok well I guess I’d better get going…”
When life gets in the way of a good conversation
Early in our relationship this rarely occurred. We had plenty to catch up on, talking and laughing as long as we could keep the phone line on the ship. Adam was land-based after that, and his squadron had regular wifi access. We FaceTimed regularly during deployments.
Last deployment, he left for seven months when we had a two-week old baby.
I spent my days caring for a newborn, consumed in the tasks of mothering (trying to figure out what the heck I was doing!). I slept when I could and had little outside stimulation.
When we talked, our daughter dominated the conversation, which was great (she was an adorable infant of course.) But at the end of a long day, I didn’t have the energy to think of much to talk about beyond that.
I desperately wanted to be on the phone with him and keep our relationship growing strong, but I had little to contribute.
I’ve collected a list of my favorite conversation starters for the times we all draw a blank. Use these when you’re stuck and you’ll have a steady stream of ideas for interesting conversations. Plus, you can springboard off these and create your own questions.
34 Conversation Starters That Will Make Your Relationship Stronger
- Where do you want to live when we retire?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- What are your goals for this year?
- What are your goals for before deployment ends?
- What was your proudest moment?
- Who do you consider as a role model?
- What is your favorite childhood memory?
- Describe your dream vacation.
- Do you see yourself as an optimist, pessimist or realist, and why?
- What do you pray about?
- What’s something you always wanted to do as a child but never got to do?
- What board game do you hate the most?
- Describe the worst haircut you’ve ever had.
- What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
- What is one thing you want to be remembered for?
- On a scale from 1-10 what’s the highest level of pain you’ve ever been in?
- What fashion trend do you wish would go away?
- What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
- Describe yourself in 3 words.
- Describe me in 3 words.
- What are two weaknesses you have?
- How has your place in the birth order in your family impacted you as a person?
- What are two things on your bucket list?
- What is your biggest success?
- What is your biggest regret?
- How would you spend your 100th birthday?
- What is your favorite family tradition?
- What foods/drinks would you pack your ideal picnic basket?
- Name three things we have in common.
- What in your life do you feel most grateful for?
- Tell me your life story in four minutes, with as much detail as possible.
- What is one thing I don’t know about you?
- What is one thing you want to do different from your parents?
- What is the greatest strength of our relationship?
But do they work?
We’re not going through a deployment right now, but I’ll be using these conversation starters next time he has to go (I’m currently in denial). In the mean time, date night is an awesome place to use these ideas.
The other night we got a babysitter and went out to dinner at a yummy grilled cheese bistro. While waiting for our table, with the aroma of cheesy goodness wafting past our noses, I pulled out this list.
The questions sparked a fascinating conversation and I learned some new things about my hubby of 6 1/2 years– I consider that a win!
Enjoy using them and I’d love to hear how they work for you.
Check out my other deployment relationship resources: