Asking questions about a relationship can be healthy, even though it feels painful and confusing. These three considerations will help you get through the “I’m questioning my relationship” phase. Recently, two readers have asked very similar questions. They’re both facing relationship issues that are testing their love, but not destroying their commitment to their boyfriends.
“My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and seven months,” says Kayla on What to Do When You’re Confused About Your Relationship. “We recently got engaged, and we moved in with his grandparents until we save enough money for our own space. But ever since we moved in, I have been feeling confused about our relationship. We don’t spend much together because of his job and grandparents. I understand his job, but his grandparents still move around well and everything. They are in the middle of us, we have no privacy can barely talk to each other because they call him. Is it normal for me to confused? I have been questioning our relationship because of this.”
Yes, questioning your relationship is normal – especially when you’re facing a new situation as an engaged couple! Below are three things to think about when you’re wondering if you’re meant to be with your boyfriend…or even your husband.
The most important thing to remember is that no relationship is consistently full of connection, physical and emotional intimacy, and heartfelt discussions that make you feel close to your partner. No matter how wonderful your relationship is, you will go through stages of disconnection and even pain.
But, how do you know if this stage of your relationship means that you shouldn’t be together?
3 Things to Consider When You’re Questioning Your Relationship
The beauty of this stage of love is that when you get through it, your relationship will be stronger and healthier than it’s ever been! Every painful growth spurt makes the roots of your relationship dig further deeper into the soil of a strong love that will withstand the test of time.
1. Have you made time to reconnect as a couple?
My husband recently returned after a month away for work, which I briefly describe in When You Miss Your Husband’s Presence in Your Life. He’s been back for a week, and we haven’t really found our equilibrium yet. He’s exhausted from his physical and mental labor in the field – he was living in a camp in the Yukon with a bunch of other guys for a month! Outhouse, camp cook, hard physical work every day, late nights, early mornings…it wasn’t a walk in the park.
And now we’re on a road trip to visit our parents, so we haven’t had much time to reconnect. I realized last night that I haven’t told him the truth, which is “I really miss talking to you. Can we make time to go away and just talk?”
The reason marriage counselors encourage date nights for married couples is because kids, jobs, responsibilities, health issues, family commitments, etc get in the way. We need to make a specific effort to talk to our spouse, to share why we’re questioning our relationships, and to make a point of reconnecting.
2. Are you speaking your mind?
If you haven’t shared your relationship questions with your boyfriend or husband yet, take time to think about how you feel.
What do you need from him? It took me a week to figure out that I really need to talk to my husband. We’ve been taking care of house responsibilities and practical discussions about our road trip, but I haven’t told him what I need. “I’m not questioning our relationship,” I’d tell him – because after 11 years of marriage, I’m definitely not wondering if we should be married! “I just miss you and want us to reconnect again.”
Think about what you want to say to your boyfriend or husband. Take time to get clear on your feelings. The more clear you are on how you feel, the easier it’ll be for you to share what you need and want.
3. Do you have a realistic perspective of a committed relationship?
All healthy, committed relationships go through periods of disconnect and loneliness. It’s just part of being human, being a couple, and facing new situations together.
As far as I can tell from Kayla’s comment, she’s going through a totally normal stage of her relationship. She and her fiance are dealing with a brand new situation, and they don’t have time to talk and date the way they did before. Her fiance has strong family ties and is committed to her, and to his grandparents. The way he is treating them is an indication of how he will treat her and her family members.
When they have kids, they’ll be dealing with this exact same problem. They won’t have time for each other, they’ll be consumed with other commitments and responsibilities. But, they’ll have this time of living with his grandparents to draw on. They’ll know they can get through the discomfort and pain of having children intrude on their marriage because they’ll have survived the experience of living with his family before they got married!
There is a huge difference between questioning your relationship because he isn’t the right man for you, and questioning your relationship because you’re going through a rocky stage of love.
3 last tips…
- Be honest with your boyfriend about your relationship questions. If you tried to make to reconnect with your boyfriend and you feel like you have a realistic perspective of what to expect from him, maybe it’s time to say “I’m questioning our relationship.”
- Read How to Handle Your Boyfriend’s Lack of Effort. Remember that nobody can be 100% emotionally available and physically there for you all the time! A man can’t fulfill all your needs. That’s why you need God.
- Talk to someone you trust. An article or blog post can never give you the guidance and support you need if you’re seriously questioning your relationship. Talk to someone objective and wise, who can help you figure out if you’re dealing with “normal” relationship issues, or if you need to seriously consider your commitment to your boyfriend or husband.
While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of what it feels like to question a relationship with the man you love.