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Anxiety and jealousy sometimes manifest themselves in the form of questions that may seem like a partner is being put through some sort of prisoner of war interrogation.
Before you start getting out the hot needles and bright lights for the next interrogration session, think about the effect questions are having on your partner. Do you come away from such a conversation feeling better about your relationship? About yourself?
Asking questions is a perfectly normal part of interacting with a partner, but when they become accusations, or when you use questions to try to catch your partner doing something "wrong," it's natural for the other person to get defensive. In all too many cases, a partner who's not doing anything wrong may feel stressed and resentful enough to start cheating or leave the relationship -- thus making the questioner's worst fears come true.
Instead, first look at yourself. When you ask a question, do you really want to know the answer? Do you listen carefully, paying attention to your partner's feelings and unspoken messages as well as the words?
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|