I’m into my 8th year marriage and things are still progressing upwards. We try to make ourselves more interesting for the other person. DH is a highly left brained person, so he’s into logic, figures, finance. For me, I’m a central brained, so I’m alot more ‘colourful’ and adventurous type. Though we are very different, we have very common similarities – we dun like idle talking (talking for the sake of talking, I think generally men dun like women to idle-talk), family-committed, independent, hates crowded places etc etc.
We find common topics to talk about – our marriage, our progression in life/career/investments, buddhism, fortune-telling, children, where our retirement place will be in (and all sorts of things that we love to discuss). You will need to know which topics both of you are comfortable to talk about.
For my marriage to DH, I am the one to look up for information on how to improve (the marriage), and we will discuss my findings (this is a huge topic to even talk about) and tune my findings to the relevance of our marriage. All chidren-related stuff (health, tonics, education, well-being) are my call too. Fortune-telling (I read alot in this topic) so that becomes his topic of interest too when he is looking to investments/career switch/luck level etc.
For him, his roles are generally into info-search for housing, investments, house maintenance, home finances. So we balance up and match ourselves to each other to make it more wholesome.
One place you might want to start is Marriage Builders or look up books (like The Language of Love, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus). From Marriage Builders, we have also done up a questionnaire that reveals our priorities in a marriage (the beauty of such marriage sites, it does not promote putting children as the first priority). Such questionnaires might be simple (to fill) but you will be shocked to see how it reveals your spouse’s priorities in the marriage. At least for me, I was to see how much he (or men generally) places priorities in a healthy sexual life. We then discussed on these differences and for me, I will match up to his emotional needs and him to mine.
You should think of topics to talk about (except complaining about daily chores/ how to discipline children), or sign up for courses together. Sometimes, it’s good to leave your children out and concentrate only on your husband. Suggest going for movies, KTV, breakfast dates (we do that very often without the children).
If you read about Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, there might be a chapter that is relevant on why your hubby doesn’t like to talk? This theory comes from the stone-age days where men hunt and women take care of the children/household. And men after a day’s hunt, comes back cave (home) and fire-gaze (now more modern, called watch TV/newspaper) as a form of de-stress for them. Men while fire-gazing DO NOT like to be spoken to. If you notice, you might find it very common for men to just sit down and stare/flick on the remote controls. It’s their way of communication and by leaving each-other alone, it’s a respect of privacy. In another chapter, it also states that all men and women have a x number of words per day. And men usually talk alot lesser, bec their ‘words-per-day’ limit is many times lower than women. With this in mind, the authors encourage the wives to start talking to their husbands in the early portion of the day when the ‘words-per-day’ is reset. At the same time, wives get to use up their ‘word’ limit too. So by the time husbands come back home (after work) to fire-gaze, wives will leave them alone and not be too invasive into the husband’s de-stress moments.
Other than the theory part, we talk alot about our past, our courtship, jokes that we share. He does nice things for me to keep me sane from the daily child-minding business, like bringing the children to school, playing and bathing with them. We still talk about children, but we’ve learnt that we should NOT make that a huge portion of our conversation.