General Question

ronski's avatar

Do you think it's a good idea or a bad idea to get an outside perspective on problems you have in your relationships?

Asked by ronski (737points) December 26th, 2008

Some people never talk about their personal problems, while other people can’t stop talking about them. What do you do? Do you find that an outside perspective can be helpful or more damaging to your relationships?

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17 Answers

Jack79's avatar

Yes, an outside perspective is always good. The question is whether you actually follow the advice (most normal people don’t).

Darwin's avatar

Even if you don’t follow the advice given, it can be helpful to see how others view your relationship.

cdwccrn's avatar

I am careful not to discuss my husband in an unflattering manner to others. If I am that concerned about an issue in our relationship, I should be talking to him about it.

TheHaight's avatar

There are certain people you feel comfortable with pouring your feelings out and there are others that aren’t the right people. I tend to ask for advice from friends that are open-minded and not as biased.

I agree with Cdw. I can’t stand It when friends and co-workers constantly talk down on significant others..

CAQUE's avatar

the quality of our relationships reflect on our personal image and greatness. Complaining about the partner or mate we have chosen weakens our character and makes us the victim of our own actions. It says we are not capable of good judgment, or managing the storms, and their will be many. People change and sometimes they disappointment us, why, maybe our expectations were unrealistic, or we were hoping for instant change. If you are having problems in your relationship and you can’t seem to solve it amongst yourselves then you should find a third party, that is neutral, a marriage consultant or an expert in relationship issues that can help you see both sides of the coin. Unfortunately our emotions will rarely allow us to see more than one side of the coin.

nebule's avatar

I think you should seek the advice of respected friends. I always find that when something they say sits comfortably with me and rings true then its usually the best advice to follow and if you feel angry or unsettled or unsure its NOT the advice to follow.

Deep inside of us we really truely know the right and best thing to do is but sometimes we can’t find the answer or the key to the truth within us and need to reflection of someone else to help us see it.

madcapper's avatar

I am guessing you like an outside perspective? hence the question..

russellsouza's avatar

I agree with cdwccrn that painting your bf/gf/spouse in an unflattering light is not only disrespectful to that person because they can’t voice their view but is also counter-productive because it doesn’t help an outside party see the problem for what it really is. i think honestly asking advice of friends and family (or a therapist) can be really helpful, especially if I’m at fault but I’m too immersed in my own opinions to see it objectively.

90s_kid's avatar

I keep them in but then tell them at the wrong time. I don’t know what is wrong with me. :S

Judi's avatar

Depends on who you’re getting the perspective from. A best friend who resents the time they have lost with you is usually a bad idea.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I agree with TheHaight, anyone who talks down their partner, especially who criticize them in public, well those people aren’t any that I would respect. If my wife criticized me in front of others, which of course she is respectful enough to not ever do, she’d probably be looking for a new spouse.

wundayatta's avatar

I, too, hate judgemental talk about people’s partners. What I do respect is when people ask neutral questions about relationships problems without blaming their partner. I think it’s important that people do this, to learn from the experiences of others. It also helps us understand that we’re not the only one in this position. In fact, you tend to find out that everyone has been there and done that. It destroys your feeling of uniqueness, but it makes you feel better, because you’re not judging yourself so harshly, and that helps you solve the problem more effectively.

oasis's avatar

Interference,not a good thing.
Problems always sort themselves out in time.

Jeruba's avatar

For the first decade of our marriage, I took the very loyal view of cdwccrn and said nothing negative about my husband to anyone. One day he asked me, “Don’t you bitch about me to your friends?” I said no, not ever. He said, “I wish you would.” It was his opinion that I needed to get some of my minor gripes out of my system and maybe even air some of the bigger ones with other women instead of always making him listen to them in the name of Discussing Our Marriage. “They might even have some good advice for you,” he said.

It took me probably another five years to learn to do that—just to a few close, trusted friends, of course—and even to joke about some of his foibles the way my peers did. Part of what helped was the clear inference that he did bitch about me to his friends. And, after all, why not?

We’ve survived more than 30 years together now and seem likely to go the distance. I think things improved after I quit trying to talk to him about everything that bothered me. And for his part, he eventually learned to listen sympathetically instead of viewing every issue as a problem he had to solve with his bare hands.

When it came to the really big stuff, the stuff that put our marriage on the line, no one else’s advice would have done, and I didn’t want to hear it. We had to work through those things ourselves. But it does turn out to be a relief to crab lightly about my husband now and then to someone who knows I really love him and am just blowing off steam.

ronski's avatar

All of these, well almost all of these, are really insightful answers. Thank you. It is interesting that everyone automatically thought that I was referring to a significant other, when I just said problems in relationships, which is very general. What do you guys think about talking about problems with friends? Does the same go for that as well? What do you do to release negative energy if you don’t talk about your problems to friends or family?

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t think I would discuss friend problems with other friends. That sounds too risky all around. If I had problems with several friends, I would probably ask myself what the commonalities are and look for answers within myself. But the thing about friends is that they come and go in a way that relatives do not. If a relationship cools and dies, sometimes we never know why.

Problems with relatives (siblings, parents, children): yes, I would discuss them with close friends, especially those who might have similar concerns. I would also discuss those with my husband.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I am a huge believer in getting an outside perspective; I always always call friends and tell the whole story and get their view on it. I am one of those people who can give advice but I can’t ever give it to myself.

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