The One Important Question Every Single Person Should Ask Their Spouse

It's an excellent litmus test for your relationship.

Couple arguing on couch fizkes | Getty Images

"It’s important to me," I said. 

"It’s silly," said my husband.

"Birthdays and holidays were a big deal in my house growing up," I said. "They were reminders of just how much you were loved."

"It’s ridiculous," he said. "You make too big a deal. We didn’t do this in my house growing up."

"Fine," I said. "On your birthday we don’t have to do anything but on my birthday I want to celebrate it. I’m tired of you ruining every celebration to get your point across. I will respect what you want on your birthday and you can respect what I want on my birthday."


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I spent a lot of time attempting to convey my feelings to my husband. It didn’t phase him. He could hear me say the same thing over and over again and still ignore me. To be fair, looking back, I should have walked out of the door.

Repeating myself was sheer stupidity. But people do this in relationships every day.

As if it will really work.

The more it happened, the unhappier I became. I’m not sure my husband noticed. At least not for many years. Because he not only didn’t care, but it became background noise to him. And then it just evolved into arguments.


Once that happened, my husband had only one agenda: He wanted to win.

It was part immaturity, part control, and part disrespectfulness, among other things.

And right then and there, a destructively miserable cycle was born.

It became routine for me to cry on my birthday, Mother’s Day, and other holidays.

It wasn’t just these occasions. There were many things my husband wouldn’t take the time to listen to me about. It could have been my worries, my stress, my hopes, my dreams or almost anything.

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Over time, sadly one clear message was sent.

I didn’t feel loved.

Intellectually, I knew my husband loved me. But he didn’t make me feel loved


What happens when you don’t feel loved? You feel lonely. You feel completely isolated. You feel sad. You feel frustrated. You begin to feel bad about yourself. Because love gives us strength. Love sustains us.

I had never in my life felt this way. I grew up in a family of ridiculous love. I once wrote and described it as the "Type of love that so generously pours into you it can’t help but spill over into the others that you meet."

RELATED: Why You Don't Feel Loved (Even When You Are)

Instead of feeling frustrated, overtalking, and arguing with our spouses…

We should ask them one important question.

We should ask each other this question.

"Do I make you feel loved?"


The answer will be a telling litmus test for your relationship.

I know how I would have answered this question. I would have told my husband no. You don’t make me feel at all loved. Not even a little bit. You make me feel ignored. You make me feel like I’m an obligation. You make me feel terrible. 

I would have followed with … Do I intellectually know you love me? Yes. But that’s an empty love. There’s no connection to it. There’s no human intimacy or emotion fueling it. It’s a requirement of marriage. It’s not a thriving indicator of it.


It’s such a simple question.

It’s unbelievable we never seem to think to ask it.

RELATED: 6 Deeply Meaningful Ways To Make Sure Your Wife Feels Loved

Colleen Sheehy Orme is a national relationship columnist, journalist, and former business columnist. She writes about love, life, relationships, family, parenting, divorce, and narcissism.