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          The Five Tough Questions

          May 04, 2004

          These are five very difficult questions that you need to ask yourself to see where your relationship stands. Just how dark are your feelings about your relationship, and just how negatively do you think about yourself and your partner? Under no circumstances should you share these answers with your partner. We tend to over exaggerate our negative feelings when we get in disappointing situations, and we forget to emphasize our positive feelings. But for now, lets get it all out — and into a journal. Have the courage to be honest here, even if it is scary to admit certain things through your answers. The only thing worse than having a relationship in trouble is to have a relationship in trouble and be in denial about it. As is the case with so many problems, early and appropriate intervention can be the key to the ultimate outcome.

          1. Considering that at least one definition of love is that the security and well-being of your partner is as significant to you as your own security and well-being, then would you say that, based on results, you behave in a way that reflects that you are in love with your partner? Why?

          2. Using that same definition, is your partner in love with you? Why?

          3. Knowing what you now do about your relationship, would you still get involved with the same person if you had to do it all over again? Why?

          4. When comparing yourself to other people in relationships, do you feel that you have been cheated or have settled too cheap? Why?

          5. If you could break off your relationship or get a divorce from your partner right now without any inconvenience, legal costs, or embarrassment, without any undue hardship on your children (if you have any), would you do it? Why?

          By dealing with these issues, you’ve taken an important step in getting your relationship out of the ditch. By getting real about your relationship, yourself, and your partner, you have identified some dangerous and powerfully destructive forces in your life that you must now contend with. Are you in this relationship because you really want to be? Or are you in it today simply because you were in it yesterday? Spending your life with someone because it’s just easier not to change is no basis for a healthy relationship — and if you feel this way, then you’ve got some work to do. The truth may not be easy, but it’s the first, exciting step toward making that crucial U-turn that your relationship demands.

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