4 Kinds of Talk You Need in a Marriage

How to Talk to Your Husband: 4 Kinds of Talks every Marriage Needs

It’s Top 10 Tuesday! And while I normally post a “top 10” list with a bunch of ideas that you can pick from, I thought today I’d just do 4, since I received this wonderful post from Emily Wierenga about how to talk to your husband. Here’s Emily:

We’re skipping church this once, because we’ve been gone all weekend and the Sabbath is about rest.

We’re watching it instead, online, Pastor Mark Hughes’ Church of the Rock, and we’re watching a sermon on marriage on separate couches, while our boys climb all over us. Trent and I look at each other across the room and sigh, roll our eyes and there’s a splash of sunlight on the floor, falling from the sky. Just a splash but it’s enough to make the room feel warmer.

Marriage is hard with kids, and it’s hard without kids too. It’s just plain hard. Not because of anything except that you are two sinful people with different ways of communicating, different ways of seeing and perceiving the world and suddenly you’re apparently one body and not only that, you’re expected to raise two very impressionable young children while being consistently “on the same page”.

And you try to have date night which basically means sitting on the couch with your feet up watching something funny because you can’t handle serious after the kind of day you had and suddenly the boys are yelling at you from bed because they want more water or another song or they’re suddenly hungry.

And you do that thing where you look at each other and even though you’re side by side you feel miles apart.

“Who are you?” you ask, not only to the person in front of you but to the person that you are, because you forget. You forget what makes you laugh. You forget what you used to do when you had free time, you forget what romance is because you’re so tired when you fall into bed it’s all you can do turn out the light before you’re snoring.

But I want more.

I know, my kids are two and four and we’re both neck deep in our careers and yet, I don’t want to lose “us” before the kids are out of the house and suddenly we don’t know what to talk about anymore.

But more than that, I want to have the kind of marriage that makes my kids want to get married.

I want the kind of marriage that makes my kids want to get married.

They say that your eyes should light up every time your kids walks into the room. Heck, I think we should aim just as high when our spouse walks into the room.

But it’s not just about the eyes lighting up. It’s about talking to your other half–really, truly talking. According to Pastor Mark Hughes of Church of the Rock–the program we were watching on separate couches while our boys tugged on our hair and flipped across our laps, there are 4 kinds of talk that will save a marriage.

Small Talk:

You know, the kind in which you discuss the weather, the day, How was work honey, Did you get the mail like I asked you to, Why didn’t you get the mail like I asked you to?! Yeah,  that kind of talk.

Sweet Talk:

Trent and I call each other Babes, but that’s about the extent of our sweet talk, so we realized we needed to work on that. So I told him one night that I liked his butt. He told me he liked mine too. It’s a start.

Serious Talk:

This is when you discuss a heightened version of Small talk, concerning more crucial topics, like health, finances, relationships, careers. People often think they’re having an intimate talk if it’s about something serious, but in fact, it’s not. Yet it’s still important to do.

Soul Talk:

This is the most intimate version of communication. This is where you ask each other a “soul” question, like “What are you afraid of?” or “If you could accomplish one thing with your life, what would it be?”

So Trent and I have started soul-talking. Because we’ve realized we’ve been living mostly off of small talk, serious talk and a crush on each other’s butts. But our marriage was feeling flat because there was no soul.

You gotta have soul.

So set aside one night a week where you ask each other a question. Put the kids to bed early, pop some corn, pour each other a glass of bubbly and sit out on the deck.

It’s worth it to one day have the kind of marriage that makes our kids say, “Hey–I want one of those!”


Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of four books including A Promise in Pieces. She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

A Promise in Pieces:

It’s been more than 50 years since Clara cared for injured WWII soldiers in the Women’s Army Corp. Fifty years since she promised to deliver a dying soldier’s last wish. And 50 years since that soldier’s young widow gave her the baby quilt—a grief-ridden gift that would provide hope to countless newborns in the years to come. On her way to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Clara decides it’s time to share her story. But when the trip doesn’t go as planned, Clara wonders if anyone will learn the great significance of the quilt—and the promise stitched inside it.

Purchase Emily Wierenga’s debut novel now, and get a second Quilts of Love book when you send in your receipt to fiction@abingdonpress.com.


  1. I loved reading the post,I have been married for a year and now only I clearly understood the talks in marriage,thank u Emily

  2. Hi e:) great to see you here and I loved hearing this side of you:) I read to my hubby what you wrote under ‘sweet talk’ and it made us both smile:) We’ve been working on all of this especially the sweet talk and connecting at the soul level…what a blessing it all is. This Great Adventure in the journey together…Home:)
    Abby recently posted…Five Minutes on Glory ‘Glue’ #FMFPartyMy Profile

  3. Loved reading this! With an almost 1 year old, I think all the time about how I don’t know who I am anymore, let alone my hubby sitting next to me. I will work on these!

    Kelly Davis recently posted…You’re A Hoot!My Profile

  4. Great post! I know my husband and I need to work on the Soul talk a lot, but the serious talk a little. Having had a child go through a bone marrow transplant in the last year meant our serious talk really improved, but some areas are still difficult.
    Liberty Speidel (@LibertySpeidel) recently posted…Major Announcement!My Profile

  5. I really enjoy your blog. I appreciated the 4 S talks for a healthy marriage, however, I would like to add a fifth one – Silly Talk. This is different than Sweet or Small Talk. Silly Talk is about giggles, laughter, and lightening the load.

  6. I am more to the introverted side and while soul talk comes easy for me, it is the small talk at which I am not at all good. The sad thing is, without the small talk, people don’t get to know me well enough to feel comfortable engaging in the soul talk. I know we are talking about mates here, but I am the type that likes to dig deep with people, and since I am not a small talker, I don’t gossip about the soul talk when it happens. Everyone needs someone to talk to who can who can keep secrets.
    Dan recently posted…“Look Away! I’m Hideous.”: Part 6My Profile

    • That’s actually an interesting point. I know other people like that, too. I’ll have to ponder that one for a while.

      • While you’re pondering it, a very good source about introversion and its disregard in western culture that is a very pleasant read is the book Quiet by Susan Cain. An interesting companion read is The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. Both your daughters need to read Quite for a better understanding of their differing personalities. Both books are not at all textbook like and easy reads. If you know an introvert who feels on the outside a good deal of the time they MUST read quiet. They are not broken, wrong, odd, or anti-social. They are just different and a minority. Like extroverts, they are probably not exclusively one way or the other, but a mix with one being predominant over the other.
        Dan recently posted…“Look Away! I’m Hideous.”: Part 6My Profile

  7. keturah simpson says:

    Thanks for such a lovely post… it was lokie readibg a page from ‘My Life’ book.

    I’m looking at my marriage in new ways now as we are in our 13th year of marriage. Somedays, it can feel hum drum and I wonder if my teenager and preteen see that too…
    I find this post very insightful.
    Thanks for the share…

  8. I love this suggestion and it may sound odd, but do you have advice on beginning topics? Communication is my weakest area and I would love some suggestions to get started.

  9. Laurie: go to – google (or other search engine) look for 77 questions, One Extraordinary Marriage. Good topics to get started.
    Jim recently posted…FROM THE GARDENMy Profile

  10. I read your article,I must say its a blessing.You have really helped to boost my r-ship with my husband.My husband nd I have been married for 7yrs nw and recently we discovered we are loosing touch of the love we once had but immediately I stumbled on this article I began to separate a lot of things. By God’s grace we re coming back to what we used to have.

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