Is it okay to discuss your relationship problems with friends or family?

Where do you cross the line of over-sharing? This is one question every person who’s ever been in a relationship asks – who to go to when something is not right? Is there even a correct person for such a situation?

First, it depends entirely on the type of relationship issue you are discussing. You classify arguments like who doesn’t put the toilet seat down into the ‘trivial’ category and no matter how much it irritates you, it’s something that should stay within the confines of a relationship. Here’s why.

When you start complaining about every tiny mistake or fight that your partner has committed, you add to the ‘unhappy in marriage’ impression for yourself and the person you’re talking to – be it your closest friend or your elder sister.

For bigger issues, like abuse — physical, mental, psychological or cheating — discuss the red flags with others. These are issues that require a second opinion, especially if you aren’t sure how to deal with it. It’s best not to bottle up your thoughts, no matter how problematic your partner seems to come across. You could choose to do this before or after you’ve had a thorough discussion with your partner to understand what his viewpoint on the issue is.

For example, does he habitually threaten violence? Do you believe his action was a momentary loss of control, it won’t happen again, and his apology is sincere? In cases like this, ask for professional counselling if you feel that it will help you talk to your partner.

They say that everyone deserves a second chance but that is really your call. When your partner pushes against your limits consistently, there’s a huge problem.

When it comes to trust issues, it’s always better to take a beat, listen to your partner with a cool head, and examine where your own feelings lie. Follow your own script, not what is ‘expected’ and don’t worry about ‘what will people say’. It’s your life.

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