So what do you think the #1 relationship question most married people ask themselves at some time during their marriage?
Have you ever thought about it?
Even in happy marriages (ours included), this question rolls through almost everyone’s mind at some point.
If things aren’t going so well in your marriage, it comes up a lot more often and with more intensity and urgency.
Our take on this question may surprise you.
This is because even though many people think this question is one that shouldn’t be asked…we think that in many relationships asking yourself this question could actually help you make some radical shifts and spur you on to creating more of what you want in your relationship.
So what’s the question?
The #1 relationship question ever is…
“Should I stay or should I go?”
Several years ago we knew this was such an important question and that’s why we created our —Should You Stay or Should you Go? book and audio program— to help you make this important decision (if it’s one you’re living with)
If you’re in a good relationship, you probably flinched when you first read that we think this is the #1 relationship question.–and maybe you even denied that you’ve ever thought about it.
But we’re guessing that if you’re completely honest with yourself, you will admit that you have had that question roll though your mind at least once (we have), no mater how good your relationship is.
Why is this such a BIG question ALL the time?
Why are so many people thinking about whether to stay or go when they would be much better served to focus on questions that would be more empowering and help them create more of the love they really want?
…And finally, should we even be focusing on this question at all if we want our relationships and marriages to work out?
These are all things that certainly need addressed and it still makes us wonder why do people so often ask themselves this question about their relationship (especially if they know it’s not very relationship supporting.)
Here are some common reasons people ask themselves this question about their relationships…
1. They get Into the “Fight Loop” way too often
This is the loop that two people can get into where they incessantly irritate one another, those irritations turning into all-out fights– and it never seems to end.
Both people find themselves focusing on the irritations and fights to the exclusion of what might be “right” about their relationship.
2. Lying, cheating, infidelity
If there’s lying and cheating going on in the relationship–or even the suspicion of it–both people are usually asking themselves if they should stay or leave.
If they are trying to rebuild trust after it’s been shattered, both people are usually living with this question even if they truly want to get their relationship back on track.
3. Differences over finances
Trying to combine the different ways that two people handle their finances can be a huge source of disagreement and stress when they decide to become a “couple.”
Not only do we not understand why the other person acts in the ways they do around money but those issues cut to the very core of who we are and what we’re about.
These financial differences can make us question if we’re with the “right” person after all because of our preconceived beliefs, habits and judgments.
4. Differences about sex
These differences can range from how often to have sex and in what way to what’s exciting and pleasurable vs. what’s unacceptable and morally wrong.
Just as in financial matters, differences about sex are filled with judgments, beliefs and habits–about what’s right and what’s wrong.
5. Intense jealousy of a partner
When there’s intense jealousy, both people can question whether they want to stay in the relationship or go, especially when they see no way out of their current situation.
We talk about this in great detail in our “No More Jealousy” program available at but…
For the jealous person, the question can hinge on not feeling loved, respected or important to the partner.
For the person with a jealous partner, the question can come up because of the irritation and pain of constantly being accused and mistrusted.
6. Other life events not related to the relationship
Any number of other life events can trigger the question of whether to stay in a relationship or go.
These are too numerous to list but here are a few…
*Being fired from a job or laid off
*Unable to have a baby
*Death of a parent or child
*Losing life savings or retirement income
*Job changes and relocation
So we’ve listed quite a few reasons why a person might have this question in his or her mind…
Now the question for you is, what do you do with this question when it comes up in your mind?
If you’re like most people (unless you’re in a really bad relationship), you push it down, dismiss it, hide it and not pay attention to it.
Here’s where we have a different take on it–and how we challenge you to look at it differently too…
We challenge you to make this question a tool for exploration and take the judgment out of it.
Use it to consciously consider what would make you happy in this present moment.
Use it to move you toward what you want more of instead of what you don’t want.
If you’ve just had a misunderstanding with your partner and that misunderstanding has come up over and over again with no resolution…
And the idea flits through your mind that maybe this wouldn’t happen with another partner–even though you have no intention of leaving…
Instead of dismissing the thought and judging it wrong, take a moment and acknowledge that there’s something for you to take a look at and then consider what you want instead.
It might be that you are stubbornly holding onto being right (as is your partner).
And if you stopped being defensive and just listened to each other, you could understand each other better–and even reach some agreement.
Of course, your situation may be intolerable in many ways and you truly may need to consider if you need to leave this relationship for your health, well-being and happiness.
Whatever your situation, use this question to help you move more toward what you want instead of what you don’t.