Make sure you know where you stand, before it's too late.
If we're not careful, we can turn even a loving relationship into a toxic one, just by cruising along and assuming everything is fine.
It can be hard to tell when your relationship has crossed the line from healthy to unhealthy.
Next thing you know, your partner is miserable and you you find yourself shocked, blind-sided. After all, you thought everything was fine!
But did you ever stop to ask them the questions they need to hear, so you can find out how they feel?
And simply asking someone, "Do you love me?" or "Are you happy?" will not get the job done.
No, you need to get deeper.
In our latest Expert video, Senior VP of YourTango Experts, Melanie Gorman, asked a group of big-name Experts what questions a couple who wants to test the health of their relationship should be asking.
Here is the 8 question "quiz" you can ask your partner (and yourself!) to know if your relationship is healthy:
1. "Do you feel like you get to be your real self around me?"
Relationships are when two people love each other and want to be with each other.
But if you and your partner feel like you can't be yourself, it can't be real love because they can't know the real you.
And ask yourself, "Am I being my real self in this relationship?"
2. "Is there anything you feel like you have to hide from me?"
If you or your partner feel like they have to walk on eggshells around the other, that's not good.
After all, a good relationship is all about honesty and if you have to start hiding things from your significant other, there's something wrong.
3. "Who is the person you go to for comfort, celebration or anything exciting in your life?"
Your partner should be your rock, and you should be theirs.
They should be whose shoulder you cry on and the one to dry your tears.
The one to fight for you and defend you. Your partner should be the one to make you laugh until you cry, and the one who takes your breath away.
Your partner should be the first person you want to tell whenever anything happens to you be it good or bad.
If you are not that for them, you should find out why so you can become their rock, and their true home.
4. "Do you put the relationship first?"
This is perhaps obvious.
But there are people who, because of their past and their culture, have learned to put themselves first.
Are you one of those people? Is your partner?
5. "What do you love about this relationship?"
Sometimes we marry our partner because we love them, and sometimes because we love how we feel when we are with them.
There's a difference between like and love, it's important to know which you feel in order for the marriage to really have a chance.
6. "Do you know what I really need and like? Do I know what you need and like?"
Everyone has a love language that they speak, and what you need to feel loved might not be what your partner needs.
Very often we don't think about the things that make their day but take a moment and see if you really know your partner as well as you think you do.
And if you don't, that's ok: learn it now!
7. "Do I know who you truly are? Do you know who I am?"
While it might seem like this has nothing to do with the health of your relationship, it's actually the most important thing.
Losing your sense of identity in your relationship can actually do more harm than good.
You need to know who you are and how your past might affect your relationships (because it usually does in some way).
And you need to know whether you understand your partner's unique identity, too.
That way when something bothers you, for example, you'll understand why and be able to work on it without feeling resentment towards your partner.
And ask yourself, "Who am I, really?" If you don't know, how can your partner?
8. "Is there more?"
This one is simple, but it may be the most important one. Say it with love. Be inviting. Make it an opportunity for your partner to hear and see that you REALLY want to understand how they feel.
You don't have to wait for the "relationship check-in quiz" to ask this one. Bring it out, with a loving touch or kind smile, any time your partner is talking about their feelings.
These three words may be the key to building TRUE, lasting intimacy.
If you haven't been asking these questions, know that it's not too late — so don't feel like your relationship is doomed.
Even if you or your partner answered the questions in a way you weren't expecting, that's ok.
As long as you both are aware of the work that has to be done, and are willing to get some guidance, there is no reason your relationship can't go back to being perfectly happy, now that you truly understand each other.