Deadly Killer of Relationships: The Inability to Ask Your Partner Questions

Deadly Silence In a Relatioship

Inability to ask your partner questions or discuss issues.

When you are in a relationship, communication is essential. Part of learning about your partner is being able to talk to them about likes/dislikes, past relationship history, goals, and problems. This is part of building an emotionally and psychologically healthy relationship. Asking your partner questions helps you get to know your partner, establish trust, boundaries, intimacy; as well as learn about your partner’s communication style.
There are quite a few people who have a difficult time asking partners questions. Some believe “ignorance is bliss.” The inability to or refusal to ask your partner questions is a red flag. The red flag indicates overarching themes: 1) that you don’t know your partner, and your partner doesn’t know you, 2) abuse is involved, and 3) one or both partners have difficulty dealing with reality. Here are some problems that are symptomatic of the inability to ask our partners questions in the relationship.
1) Don’t know the person you are in relationship with: Part of getting to know a person is spending time with them and getting to know them by asking questions. If you aren’t asking them questions, that means that you don’t know that person, which means that you are in a relationship with a stranger. Being in a relationship with a stranger, is taking a huge risk because that means that you don’t really know anything about them beyond superficial information.
2) Trust:
Trust is another piece of foundation of the relationship which is also acquired by couple getting to know each other. When you trust someone completely, you are comfortable with sharing your most vulnerable secrets with that person and vice versa. Not being able to discuss vulnerabilities will cause you to doubt whether your partner is being truthful and loyal.
3) Inability to problem-solve: Part of discussing of learning how to address issues that arise in the relationship is being able to ask your partner questions about what went wrong, and how they would like to problem-solve the issue. Inability to address the issues that arise in relationships, causes them to increase exponentially. Avoidance or refusal to answer questions about problems that arise in the relationship, will ultimately lead to the destruction of the relationship.
4) Walking on eggshells: Inability to talk to our partner often causes feelings of distress. We become conditioned to feel as though “I can’t talk to my partner, or they will leave.” Thus a fear of rejection or failure develops. We think that our partner will leave us if we pose questions or indicate that there are problems. Thus, we sit silently, and agreeably as though things are okay, trying not to rock the boat.
5) Abuse:
Inability to ask questions in the relationship can be an indicator that we are not safe or abuse will occur if we try to do so. If our partners do not allow us to ask questions or become abusive when we try to inquire or problem-solve; this is psychological abuse. Inability to discuss problems because our partner has become volatile emotionally, physically, or verbally is a safety and security issue.
6) Emotional Instability: There are times when we find it difficult to explore issues or problems with our partners because we don’t know how to manage emotions. We could be afraid of our own or our partners, or a combination of both. Thus, we become fixated on avoiding emotions and discussions in our relationships because we aren’t sure how to handle them or what to do with them. For some, it’s easier to avoid, than to feel like we failed.
7) Living in a fantasy:
There are a lot of people who are focused on an end goal in a relationship, such as getting married, having children, or living happily ever after – or something along those lines. However, sometimes we get so caught up in what we want that we forget about the steps that are necessary to get there. For some, they believe if our relationship sounds, feels, or looks good – even if it’s only for the moment, then nothing else matters. They forget that real relationships take work. It’s just like when we were in grade school, and our teacher wanted to see how we solved our math problem, as opposed to just seeing the answer. We need to do all the work to effectively solve the problem was effectively addressed.

In a truly healthy relationship, you should be able to ask your partner questions and problem-solve. If this is an area with which you struggle, please contact me today to see how I can help you get back on track in your relationships.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog was written by Dr. Natalie Jones, PsyD, LPCC. The content of this blog is written for educational purposes, and should not be substituted for treatment with a licensed mental health professional.

Dear Valentine’s Day: I Hate You! How to Get Through Valentine’s Day As A Single Person

Dear Valentine’s Day: I Hate You! How to Get Through Valentine’s Day As A Single Person

You know the feeling…. When you walk in the store and you see the red heart shaped boxes of candy, the fluffy teddy bears, the roses, and the cards. It may as well be in big bold letters – it’s Valentine’s Day! Everyone appears to be happy with their significant other and has plans for a romantic evening or weekend getaway. Everyone is happy, smiling, and in love. Everyone, but you. You want to hide out in your house, and maybe you even have the evil thought of kicking the fluffy white teddy bear in Walgreens. All of these things are a reminder that you are single on Valentine’s Day.  The last thing you want to see is a happy smiling couple, because it’s a reminder that they are something that you are not – attached, booed up, a couple, in love, married, or maybe even happy. You have never even had a Valentine. While your initial impression of Valentine’s Day is one of misery and avoidance, there several things that you can do which will make February 14 more enjoyable, and help you get through Valentine’s Day while being single.

1. Show yourself some love. The best way that we can show up and be present on days like Valentine’s Day is to show ourselves some love. You are a worthy, lovable, and fantastic person. Who knows that better than you? Pampering and complimenting yourself should be a ritual that you engage in regularly. Engaging in hobbies that you love, doing something adventurous that you haven’t tried before, or going out with friends are just a few things that you can do to indulge yourself. If you want to kick things up a notch, go ahead and get yourself some candy and that fluffy teddy bear from Walgreen’s!

2. Show love to others in your life. Remember that even if you don’t have that special one, there are other people in your life that you can show a little love to in your life. Bringing your coworkers homemade cupcakes with fun little Valentine’s Day cards or going out for a fun lunch with your girlfriends are some ideas to show other’s in your life some appreciation.

3. Show gratitude for things that you do have. Showing gratitude is a great practice to engage in daily. Being appreciative for people and things in your life is a wonderful way to focus on the positive. You are less likely to focus on things that you don’t have if you regularly engage in focusing on the positive in your life.

4. Observe couples that are in love. It may be challenging to observe a happy couple, especially if you just got out of a relationship, or if you just find it difficult to be around happy loving couples. However, there is something to be learned from observing from watching couples that are happy and in love; especially if that’s what you want in your life. Take notice of how happy couples are talking to each other, touching each other, and interacting with each other. Make mental and physical notes of their interactions, the vibes that they give off, and how they respond to each other’s cues. Thus, when you find that special someone, you can make sure to incorporate these special touches in your life.

5. Reflect. Think about what love means to you. Do you have a clear understanding of what love is? It is such a small word with a big meaning. So many people use the word, but don’t have a clear understanding of what it means to them. Engage in thought on a deeper level and explore with yourself whether or not your ideas of love are present in your relationships, including the one that you have with yourself. If love is lacking, then I would encourage you to seek the support of a professional that can help you to explore and rediscover love.  

While these tips are not meant to be all inclusive, they are a great start to help you learn to enjoy all days – not just commercialized holidays like Valentine’s Day. If you need additional help and support rediscovering your inner happiness so that you can find love, please contact me to see how I can help.  

Disclaimer: This blog post is not a diagnostic tool, nor is it meant to be used in place of treatment with a licensed clinician. This blog is for educational and informational purposes.

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© 2017 Dr. Natalie Jones, LPCC, PsyD. | Clinical Psychologist

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10 Tips to Help You Get Back Into Dating After Leaving a Relationship Filled With Domestic Violence

Struggling with how to get back into dating after you leave a domestic violence relationship? Here are some suggestions that will help push forward, and find your happy place again.