Many couples know on some level that there is a problem in their relationship that is not being discussed. Between work, family obligations, hobbies, and children, you and your partner may brush some issues under the rug and chalk it up to a lack of time. However, letting issues within your marriage fester can only mean more difficulties in the future. Consider the following questions to see just how severe an underlying problem really is.
Answer “yes” or “no” to the following statements.
- My spouse and I have very severe communication problems.
- I have very little faith that we are going to be able to resolve our problems.
- The problems we have run very deep.
- Things have gotten so complex that I’m not sure there is a solution.
- Each of our problems has caused us a great deal of pain.
- I doubt whether we can reconcile our differences.
- It’s going to be very hard for us to ever forgive one another for some of the hurt we have suffered.
- There is a great deal of intensity to our problems.
- We stand very little chance of ever having really good times together.
- There is very little respect in this relationship.
- I am not sure that we love each other.
- Our problems are multi-layered and difficult to resolve.
- I have a sense of despair about our future together.
- Sometimes, I feel bitter about how things have gotten between us.
- When it comes down to it, I am not sure I have very much hope.
- Talking things over with my partner only seems to make them worse.
- At this point, I don’t bother talking about my problems with my partner.
- I’d rather work out our marital problems alone.
- Our conversations about our problems never go anywhere.
- Talking about our problems only gets them more muddled.
If you answered “yes” to five or more of these questions, you have a very negative view of your marital difficulties. As long as you maintain this view of our marriage, the problems will only continue. Consider seeking professional help from a marriage counselor to aid you and your partner in working through the issues in a respectful way with positive communication patterns.
(Source: Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by John Gottman, Ph.D)
For a free phone consult, call Dr. Fibus at 818.395.2831.