In a recent survey of my blog subscribers, I asked them to share the number one challenge they experienced in their love relationship.
I'm sure you can guess what the vast majority of the respondents said -- communication.
No matter how good your marriage or relationship might be, communication difficulties can erode your closeness and create misunderstandings and conflict that aren't necessary.
The most successful and lasting relationships require mindful communication before a conflict ever arises.
As uncomfortable or awkward as it might feel at first, meeting regularly with your spouse or partner to ask questions and learn more about each other safeguards your relationship from painful conflicts.
The deep conversations these questions foster also will create a new level of intimacy between you.
Questioning is a powerful tool for mutual understanding. I use probing questions as a personal coach to help clients uncover their deeper desires, needs, and fears.
A strong question prompts us to search within to uncover the answer, leading to profound moments of self-awareness and inner growth.
Within a love relationship, mutual questioning provides these same benefits, but also it allows each partner to participate in the awareness and growth of the other.
More important, by actively listening to your partner's responses without judgment or defensiveness, you understand more about his or her motivations, fears, pain, longings, and frustrations.
You offer each other a safe way to be open and authentic, ultimately drawing you closer together and strengthening the bond of love between you.
If you are new to mutual questioning in your relationship, you may not know what kind of questions to ask each other.
I recommend beginning with questions that relate to any issues or common conflicts you experience in your relationship. Of course those questions will be different for each couple.
So I've pulled some questions from my book, 201 Relationship Questions: The Couple's Guide to Building Trust and Emotional Intimacy, that are useful for enhancing any relationship.