The Silent Marriage :: My Husband and I Officially Have Nothing to Talk About


Woman lays in bed with her arm over her eyes feeling listless and tired.My husband and I have been together for half our lives, and we officially have nothing to talk about.

We have fallen victim to the “silent marriage.” It wasn’t always this way, though.

In the beginning, there was the initial thrill of learning everything about each other. We met in college and spent as much time together as we could. Even with mismatched personalities (he’s an introvert; I’m an extrovert), we worked well together from day one and fell in love — quickly becoming best friends.

Fast forward to now. Married, job changes, relocations, and one fiery red-headed toddler later, we sometimes fall into what can be considered a “silent marriage.”

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After all these years, a comfort has crept in, and it feels like there is nothing new to learn. I know everything about him, and he knows everything about me. For years, I have asked my husband the same two questions at the end of every workday:

  • How was your day today? (Occasionally, I mix it up with “Did anything interesting happen at work today?”)
  • What did you have for lunch today? (Even this one I have a good idea of the answer.)

I mean, do these even meet the minimum standard of genuine curiosity? No way! Plus, these are questions I can only ask five days a week. That leaves me at a legitimate loss for conversation starters by the weekend!

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The real dilemma here is we have shifted our focus from each other to parenting. This is not a terrible thing, but I do have an ever-present fear that we will look at each other one day and think, “Who the heck are you, and when did you start losing all your hair?”

Woman covers her partner's eyes with her hands. After a recent trip we took together, I couldn’t shake the idea of our “silent marriage.” I realized that I could either let this unease fester well into our empty nester era, or I could take responsibility (as the extrovert, of course) to make some changes.

And that’s what I did. I made changes, looked inward, and forced conversation and intimacy out of my husband. Here’s how I am combatting the “silent marriage”:

1. Be Intentional

Those two words are simple, but they take a ton of effort. I started being more intentional in the way I spoke to Mark. I came up with different questions to ask and prompts to probe a bit more:

  • Let’s each name three things that we really admire about the other person.
  • Tell me something that could change at your job that would make you happier, more passionate about what you do, or more fulfilled.
  • What are some things on your bucket list?
  • What are the five things that you are most thankful for right now?
  • What is something you are glad that you’ll never have to do again? (Hint: high school!)
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As with everything, make sure to avoid things that will annoy or frustrate you. Do not ask questions about what changes you would make in each other. Rather, focus on positive things that can further your intimacy in an upbeat way.

Also, prepare yourself for limited engagement sometimes. There are days that I am so drained that I cannot do anything deep or intimate. Give your spouse the grace to have these days, too.

2. Take Advantage of Time Alone

We visited my hometown recently when one of our favorite bands was in town playing a show. With puppy dog eyes, we asked my parents to babysit for one night so we could go on a date to the concert. They were happy to spend alone time with our son, and we were just as excited to spend time alone having fun.

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3. Focus on Shared Interests

There isn’t a laundry list of things that we share in common, but we exploit the things we do enjoy. Concerts, movies, paddle boarding, geocaching, Survivor (Yes, we still watch Survivor!), being outdoors, and taking road trips are all things that we loved doing when we were dating. As the planner in the relationship, I keep tabs on local happenings, and jump at the chance to spend time together doing one of these activities that we both love.

4. Take Time Away Alone or Together

Spending time with our core group of friends is a great way for us to reconnect. We plan time with friends alone, or on double dates. Surrounding ourselves with the people we love the most and who are in our same life stage breathes life into our relationship, as well as into the life of our son.

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5. Silent Communion Can Exist

I have come to realize that being married to an extreme introvert will have a healthy dose of silent communion, or mystical connection if I may (I prefer this term coined by Mary Morrissey). I just need to make sure I can tap into communication with him in a way that he best receives and reciprocates. I also need to accept that the simple act of being together is a healthy form of intimacy and connection.

6. Always Have Something to Look Forward To

Someone gave me this advice long ago, and I have made it my life motto ever since. We live in a great city with tons of things to do. There are parks, concerts, sporting events, water activities, movies, plays, and museums at our fingertips. Moreover, Dallas is smack dab in the middle of our great state, so road trips are accessible (and cheaper) vacation options. It is easy for us to make sure we always have something on the horizon, something we can plan around, and something we can talk about until it finally happens.

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  1. Kudos to you for being so upbeat and having a happy and fulfilling life! I pray that your marriage will always be wonderful, that you’ll always be surrounded by faithful and loving friends and family and that you’ll always live in an amazing place where there are millions of things to do and see every day! Next stop: Heaven! God bless you.


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