Asking difficult relationship questions really puts a relationship to the test. Good communication is a large part of a healthy relationship, but miscommunication between couples sometimes make a bad situation worse. Tough questions raise the stress level of your partner and can put them on the defensive, causing them to give unsatisfactory answers to your relationship questions. There might not be anything wrong in their mind, but a misspoken word could sow the seeds of doubt in both your minds.
So let's talk about the subject of “difficult relationship questions”. You need to be able to communicate and understand your partner, but there are appropriate times and places for the questions you have to ask. Good communication is often a matter of timing. And there are certain relationship questions that's it's better never to ask. So let's go over the tough relationship questions, the question that should remain unasked and the difficult relationship questions you should be asking yourself.
First off, I'll divide the relationship questions between “serious” or lifetime relationship questions and those of the “just dating” couple, and in addition ladies, you might want to read the review for havetherelationshipyouwant.com.
Difficult Relationship Questions – Dating
These difficult relationship questions aren't quite as long term as they are for the “serious couple” or a man and woman considering marriage. But if you're dating someone and considering intimate relations, there might be some questions arise that are difficult to ask. Here's an overview of some of those questions and when (or if) those questions should be asked.
Some questions are better left unasked. When I touch on “loaded” relationship questions, I'll point out if it's best you avoid these questions altogether.
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Are You Attracted to Other People?
This is a loaded question, because there's really no right answer. It's human to be attracted to more than one person. If you tell your partner “no”, they'll probably believe you're lying to them (and they'll probably be right). If you answer “yes”, you're in for a world of trouble.
The person asking this question is looking for affirmation. The girlfriend who asks this question probably wants to be told you think of no one but her. The boyfriend who asks this question is probably the jealous type. In either case, they likely are wanting an unrealistic answer to their question. It puts you in the position of doing the smart thing and lying, or being truthful — and in this case hurtful.
If you're thinking about asking this question to your new boyfriend, ask yourself why. You want your partner to have a healthy libido, don't you? Would you want to be with the kind of person who never thinks about the opposite sex? It's one thing being attracted to someone you're not in a relationship with; it's another to act on that attraction.
Why do you spend time with your friends instead of me?
This the question a possessive person asks. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants the two of you to spend every waking moment together, that's a sign of insecurity. This person needs constant affirmation of your “love” for you. You'll be asked to prove your love by either taking your girlfriend/boyfriend along with your friends, or be asked to stop going out with your friends altogether.
Either of these is an unhealthy situation. A relationship should be healthy and open enough that the two of you can spend time away from one another without distrust and anxiety. A guy needs to be with the guys every once in a while. A woman needs female friends to bond with, too. To ditch your friends and spend all your time with one person makes you a lot less well-rounded and a lot less interesting.
Don't be controlled and don't be controlling. If you let your partner control your every action, they are going to have less respect for you. And if you let this person set the ground rules — that is, every decision has to be okayed with him or her — you are setting yourself up to play the fool in love. Stand up for yourself, be your own person and let your partner understand you need time with your friends.
Ultimately, if you're not doing anything “wrong”, it doesn't hurt for your boyfriend or girlfriend to have a little healthy jealousy of your time. If you don't want to be separated, you probably are a little anxious about your partner's wandering eyes.
What about your past relationships?
Avoid asking your girlfriend about her past boyfriends. If your girlfriend asks about your ex-girlfriends, don't fall into the trap. Very little good can come from the discussion.
A lot of people seem to have a need to know about their lover's past lovers. This is almost always a bad idea. Seldom will both halves of a romantic relationship approach this subject in a mature enough fashion that something positive will come out of it. Even if you avoid any of the mines in this emotional minefield, the best the two of you can do is agree you're lucky to be out of those relationships.
Relationships end and they usually end badly. As much as we like to talk about “amicable splits”, there's usually going to be tension and hard feelings (on at least one side) in a breakup. That's the way life goes. Talking about it is likely to drudge up bad memories. Frankly, if it doesn't, your partner is likely to feel threatened, since that means you've got an ex out there you apparently broke up with on good terms.
You have to ask yourself why your partner is asking this question. And if you are the one feeling the need to pose this relationship question, you might level with yourself about your own motives. From the practical side, you also might calculate the odds you'll get the answer you want.
Sure, curiosity exists about your girlfriend's or boyfriend's past relationships. It's natural for a person to compare themselves against their partner's past boyfriend or girlfriend. You don't want to go down that road. The natural next question is “What were they like in bed?”, which raises the threat level even more.
On a related note, watch out if your partner voluntarily starts talking about their ex. That's a pretty good sign there's still feelings there.
How many sex partners have you had?
Here's another loaded question. This is one you're unlikely to get a truthful answer to, anyway. If you're asking, then you have a reason to ask. Are you feeling insecure? Do you want your partner to compare and contrast? Are you concerned about STDs? The third scenario is sensible concern, but you have to broach the subject carefully to avoid offending your partner.
If that's your reason for asking about your new partner's old partners, then try to bring up the question in as diplomatic fashion as possible. You might mention your own health status in regard to sexually transmitted diseases. This gives your partner an opening to reveal their relevant sexual history. If that doesn't do the trick and you're still concerned, then you might need to be more direct. Your health is more important than your partner's feelings, and a reasonable lover should understand that.
Remember that truthfulness and good communication is important. Be as direct and truthful as you can be, while remaining cognizant of your partner's feelings.
If you do end up asking about past relationships, keep in mind that your partner is likely to have changed as they got older. People mature. Immaturity and inexperience might have caused them to make really bad choices in the past. That doesn't mean they are the same person today. Just think about your own past relationships and think about how much you've grown emotionally since you first started dating.
Difficult Relationship Questions Avoid
These should be common sense, but I wanted to include them anyway. Asking these questions makes you appear to be shallow and superficial or more interested in money than love. These are answers you usually can get close to through general observation. If the relationship proceeds to another level, questions about money are more appropriate.
- How much do you weigh?
- How much money do you make?
- What is your net worth?
Difficult Relationship Questions – Marriage
If you are considering spending your life with your relationship partner, there are several questions you need to learn the answers to. The last thing you want is to be married a few years before you learn the two of you are incompatible. Many of these questions will have to do with lifestyle choices or raising children. It's best to know what's on your partner's mind before you plan the wedding, because sometimes these difficult relationship questions become irreconcilable differences.
Do you want children?
This is probably the #1 most important answer you need when considering marriage. Some people don't want children. Other might only want an only child, while still others want to raise a large family. If two people in a marriage can't answer this relationship question along the same lines, this is going to cause a lot of angst, arguments and heartbreak in the years to come. It is essential that a couple considering marriage understand one another on this question.
Both partners need to be honest when answering this relationship concern. It's only natural for a romantic relationship to eventually transform into a familiar relationship after marriage. If you consider a fulfilling life have 2.3 kids, but your partner isn't interested, do not go into the marriage assuming you are going to change his or her mind. You may end up feeling unfulfilled, which will put a tremendous strain on the marriage. Even if you convince him or her to have children, then your partner's heart might not be into it the way it should, with all kinds of unintended consequences.
Now, most married people want children. A more subtle conflict is between the one partner who wants a small family (maybe 1 child) and the other partner who wants a large family. This, too, will create conflicts and hard feelings. It's best you get on the page from Day 1, once the two of you decide you want to make your future together. Ask this difficult relationship question and make sure the two of you understand one another. If he or she disagree, then make sure your partner knows how important this is to you. Do not leave this an open question.
How do you want to raise the children?
This is almost as important as the question above. This is often where the question of faith or religion becomes important in a marriage. If the two of you are of different faiths, or one of you is more religious than the other, there is likely to be a discussion of which belief system the children will be raised in. If the two of you disagree, than the two of you should have an open, honest discussion until this difficult question is resolved.
There are other, less profound child-raising issues to discuss, too. For instance, do you want to raise a family in the city, in the suburbs, in a small town or rural setting. This involves not only what kind of childhood your children will have, but also whether you'll be in a fulfilling setting for yourself.
Also, you'll want to discuss what kind of home you want to make. Do you want to rent or own?
How will we handle the finances?
The statistics show that most marriages fail because of finances. Whatever problems already exist in a relationship, money troubles make those problems bigger. A couple should figure out how you go about paying bills, saving for college or retirement and planning your daily budget. If the two of you have wildly different views on handling your money, this will be a growing problem as your start to raise a family.
Be honest and forthcoming when discussing money. This is one of the biggest differences between a dating couple and a married couple. If you have always been financially sound, but your partner maxes out his or her credits cards, then common bank accounts are going to be a major problem. This might be a stress you aren't used to, and one you're less likely to put up with as the years go by. So gets agreement on this difficult relationship question before you proceed to the altar.
Difficult Relationship Questions for Yourself
If you think your relationship is in trouble, here are some tough relationship questions you might ask yourself. This is the time to be truthful in sorting through your emotions and your mental state. If you're having troubles with your partner, you need to evaluate whether the “difficult relationship” is worth continuing.
Is this relationship worth the trouble of maintaining it?
Some romances are like roller coaster rides. Certain people thrive in these situations, with the couple bickering and arguing constantly. That's generally an unhealthy relationship. At the very least, it's high maintenance, and it might be distracting you from enjoying life the way you should.
Don't spend all your time maintaining your romance. If you seem to spend all your time fretting over the latest twist, that's time the two of you could be enjoying each other's company. If all the two of you do is fight, then you need to get out of the relationship.
If the relationship is a marriage, you have to ask yourself if the two of you are simply going through a rough stretch. All marriages have one every once in a while. It's hard living with other people. In a marriage, you should be less willing to ditch the relationship. Eventually, though, if things don't improve, you'll need to ask yourself if the marriage relationship isn't holding the two of you back.
Is this a person I would be attracted to if we met for the first time today?
A lot of people stay in a relationship out of habit. Emotional attachment or sentimentality blur the person's judgment. Familiarity and comfort becomes more important than compatibility. Sentimentality, familiarity and comfort are important in a long term relationship, of course, but those factors do not always go hand in hand with compatibility and attraction.
Have your needs changed since you got in this relationship? Has your partner changed? Are you no longer attracted to your boyfriend or girlfriend? These things happen. If there's no longer a mutual attraction, then it's hard to build a healthy relationship around a shared past. Otherwise, try as you might, you're likely to drift out of the relationship.
Is this someone I want to spend the rest of my life with?
People in a non-serious dating relationship don't need to ask this question. But if you're in a serious relationship, this is a basic question. If you answer “no”, you need to get out of the relationship. If you have doubts, then you need to “search your heart” and decide why you have those doubts.
Does my boyfriend/girlfriend make me feel good about myself?
Evaluate whether your partner is supportive. You don't want to be with a person who is constantly undermining your self-esteem. You don't want to stay in a relationship that is constantly negative, or that makes you feel bad about yourself.
Some people, unfortunately, try to control their partner by destroying their self-confidence. Negative comments and snide remarks become a way of life. Perhaps the person baits you into arguments, or does what he/she can to make you feel uncomfortable, ashamed or inadequate.
If that's the case, this is not a person you want to spend time with. This person is likely covering deep-seated insecurities by probing your insecurities. This person is trying to control you and does not have your best interests in mind. Get out of this difficult relationship.
Do we bring out the bad in one another?
Certain personalities are ill-suited to one another. Two otherwise normal, healthy individuals might have a basic personality clash. These people can't be in the same room with each other without annoying each other.
Maybe something has happened in your relationship that overshadows all the good in the relationship. If it gets to a point where you bring out the worst in each other, it's time to recognize that and get out of the bad relationship.
Do the two of us have common values?
This questions might reflect personal, religious or moral values. If the guy is a Catholic and the girl is an atheist, this could have long term consequences for a relationship. If one partner believes a relationship should be “open” and the other believes in monogamy, this will just as surely cause trouble.
Not every value clash is quite as dramatic. For instance, the two of you might have very different ideas on raising children. Maybe one of you believes in corporal punishment and the other is dead set against it. If so, maybe the two of you shouldn't be raising the same children.
Even more subtly, maybe one of you believes in having a close family and wants their parents and brothers and sisters stopping in every hour of the day. Then imagine the other wasn't in a very close-knit family and sees the in-laws as a constant source of annoyance. Very different family values could place a large strain on the relationship.
Is my partner dependable?
In the end, you need to be able to depend on your partner. If this is the person you plan on spending the rest of your life with, you'll need to be able to trust this person implicitly. You need to be comfortable in this person's company to live a healthy, happy life. If you aren't comfortable in “being yourself” with your boyfriend or girlfriend, it's just not going to work.
Difficult Relationship Answers
All of this might seem like gloom and doom, but these are tough relationship questions that have to be asked if you're having trouble. Good relationships are built on good communications and common understanding. But understanding yourself is important when evaluating your relationship.
When you know your own mind, you'll know what you want and need in a difficult relationship. Be honest with yourself and you can be honest with your partner. Ask yourself the difficult relationship questions and answer them honestly. Then you can make decisions based on what you learn about your partner, yourself and your relationship.
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