Stay Newlywed Logo
Table of Contents

A couple looking at each other holding hands while they talk

How well do you know your spouse?

I went ahead and googled the question for you and the results weren’t too surprising. Plenty of sites are willing to give you a quiz that says “congrats you’re doing great” or the dreaded “you need work.”

Or you’ll find a “definitive” list of 200 questions like What would your spouse wear if they had to pick one outfit for an entire month? LOL. (As I’m writing this, I turned to ask Jake and his response was so perfect to his personality: “Whatever I’m wearing right now would be fine.”)

While the questions on these sites will definitely help you get to know your spouse's preferences, not many are really going to define who they are. And anything that says you’ve attained where you need to be, I can’t believe that they’ve ever been in a relationship.

Why should we understand each other on a deeper level?

I bet you have a lot of common interests with your spouse. Those things might even be how you met or realized that you really enjoyed each other’s company. Then when you got married and were thrown into life together, you were quickly faced with just how different you actually are. Sound familiar?

But how can someone that I have so much in common with be SO different from me!?

Don’t worry, this is a common realization. Just like the rest of us, those differences probably add tension, misunderstandings and roadblocks to your relationship. Most of us don’t need help adding more arguments to our marriages, right?

I want to encourage you that understanding your spouse’s nature can actually help you leverage your differences and create harmony in your relationship.

Choosing to learn more and more about your spouse can help you:

  • Become more patient when they react differently than you would
  • Understand how to speak their language
  • Foster respect by knowing you are understood without the expectation to act a certain way
  • Create deeper intimacy through the continual pursuit of each other
  • Resolve conflict quicker or even argue less
  • Support each other’s differences with your strengths
  • and more…the list of benefits could really go on and on

What is the key to understanding my spouse better?

Especially if you have been married for more than a couple years, you might be wondering what more there is to know.

If you read our post about the importance of self-improvement in marriage, then you’ll know that you are most likely not the same person you were a few years ago. We are always growing and changing, even when we don’t realize it. So if that’s true, then there is always something new we can be learning about our spouses.

It just takes effort.

The key to understanding your spouse is YOUR mindset.

How do you feel when you are truly seen? When your wants, needs and desires are recognized and understood? Awesome, right?! So apply that same thought process to your spouse. You want to approach this journey with the mindset of gaining understanding of who they are so you can build intimacy, trust and respect. says, “Part of building intimacy with another person is being open about your thoughts and feelings and never stopping asking good questions. The whole point of asking these questions is to try and build an understanding of where the other person is coming from and, more importantly, why they're coming from that perspective.”

There are two different approaches to getting to know someone

Who are you now?

This includes preferences, dreams, desires. All of these things are shaped by how we live our lives and the experiences we have had. These are the questions that will likely change over the course of your marriage.

Who are you by nature?

Generally our core nature won’t change throughout our lives, but can be masked by the baggage we carry. So while both types of questions are very important, one can take a little more work to uncover. You might see your true nature come out during projects, times of stress or arguments.

10 “Who are You Now” questions to get you started

  1. What stresses are you currently dealing with?
  2. Where do you envision us in 5 years, 10 years, etc?
  3. What quality do you value most in people?
  4. How are you working on self-improvement? Do you have personal goals you are working on?
  5. What do you like to do when you spend time with me? With other people?
  6. What is one thing you need to live your best life?
  7. What would you do with your money if you were Jeff Bezos rich?
  8. What is your next career move?
  9. How do you like to unwind?
  10. What are the top 3 things you love about yourself?

10 “What is Your Nature” questions to get you started

  1. Are you introverted or extroverted?
  2. What are you naturally good at? Examples: Ideas, Details, Action, Perfecting
  3. What is your priority in life? Examples: Happiness, Comfort, Results, Respect
  4. What frustrates you? Examples: When things get too serious, feeling unheard, feeling thwarted, feeling disrespected or embarrassed
  5. What is your communication style? (passive or direct)
  6. How do you process an argument? (quickly or do you need time to process?)
  7. What makes you feel most loved by me? By others?
  8. What overwhelms you? Examples: Taking on too much, worrying about details, burning out, overanalyzing
  9. What influences your decisions the most?
  10. Are you more logical or emotional?

The answers to all of these questions can help you understand your spouse’s motivation in life. For example, Jake is very direct in his communication. I used to believe that his directness was harsh and lacked empathy. It would trigger me to feel that he didn’t care how I was feeling in the moment. We’ve talked through it many times and he has added a little more empathy to his communication, but I’ve also learned that his directness is a form of care. If he didn’t care about my thoughts, he wouldn’t have made the decision to communicate with me at all.

If we hadn’t pursued understanding of each other, then I would probably be building up some resentment toward him simply from misunderstanding his motives.

Take a minute to make a plan of action: Where are you going to start and how?

A couple holding hands listening to each other speak

Don’t Forget These Things

Are you listening? Being a good listener is part of healthy communication. If you are taking the time to ask each other questions, make the effort to listen. One way to be a good listener? Don’t be thinking about your response while they are still talking. (I’m preaching to myself on that one! Haha. Anyone else?)

Dig a little deeper It’s not enough just to know that your spouse has a dream to start their own business someday. Dig a little deeper and ask questions to uncover more details about their goal! What kind of business? How long have you been thinking about this? Have you started working toward this goal? How can I support you?

Even opposites can be a good match Don’t get nervous if you find that you are drastically different from your spouse! Differences can spice up a marriage and bring a beautiful dynamic to your relationship rhythm. You may even find that some of those differences can be played to your benefit. Jake can sit and work on something with tunnel vision for hours. I like to move quickly through my to-do lists and not get too bogged down with the details. He supports our differences by making sure the details are managed so I can move onto my next item.

You don’t need to know everything today Is that good news to anyone else?! Understanding your spouse on a much deeper level is going to take some time, but you have a lifetime! Really.

Don’t stop pursuing the answers This isn’t going to be a one and done date night. We are constantly growing and that means the answers might change with time. So make an effort during your weekly connection points to press in and pursue a deeper understanding of your spouse.

Our Favorite Resources

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and we will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that we've linked to these products purely because we recommend them and they are from companies we trust. There is no additional cost to you.

If you are engaged, don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Marriage Prep Checklist. This is a FREE 10-page resource full of questions to talk to your partner about before marriage. It will help you find out if you are on the same page in the most argued about topics in marriage.

I think Jake and I can agree, our marriage and parenting have been greatly impacted by Carol Tuttle and her work on energy profiling. We read It’s Just My Nature and The Child Whisperer and they have transformed how we handle relationships for the better. We loved learning about our natures and identifying the core aspects of who we are that remain the same throughout our lives. We’ll do a full review of her programs soon, but until then, you can find out what type you are for free! She has a program for both men and women.

Of course, we find The Five Love Languages to be an invaluable way to understand each other. I crave words of affirmation and physical touch. Jake wants quality time and physical touch. If we put a lot of emphasis on giving each other gifts, neither of us would feel especially loved or seen.

What now?

Now that you understand why it can be so beneficial to know your spouse better, you must get your mindset focused. Make a plan to pursue each other on a regular basis! We like to have a weekly connection point where we can discuss anything that we need to. If you want to receive our weekly suggested topics, subscribe to our newsletter: The Connection Point.

Share This StoryFacebookTwittermail
CommunicationConflict ResolutionIntimacyMarriage AdviceTransparency
Read NextA heart made of yellow flower petals

The Power of Love Language Loving

You feel like you and your spouse speak two completely different languages. You think you’ve communicated your love clearly, but they don’t agree. What gives?

Arms stretched across a table with fingers clasped over each other

Pursuing Oneness: 10 Ways to Build Partnership in Your Marriage

What’s the trick to staying unified when the busyness of life pulls us in so many directions? Building a foundation of partnership in your marriage is key.

Tablet, coffee and journal sitting on table ready to use.

Upgrade Your Marriage Through Self Improvement

Have you ever considered that focusing on yourself could actually change your marriage? Here we talk about how personal growth can do just that.