The Hard Questions for an Authentic Life is useful for any couple in a committed relationship, but is particularly valuable for couples who are considering marriage or looking to plan for the future. According to Piver, this book is ideal for any couple looking to connect "emotionally, spiritually, physically, intellectually." Beyond this, The Hard Questions is an excellent tool for promoting personal growth and understanding. The questions detailed in this book not only give new insight and understanding into your partner and your relationship, but also encourage individual reflection.
While the foundation of The Hard Questions is simple - "You speak. You are heard. He speaks. He is heard. And on it goes." - putting this mantra into practice can often prove to be very difficult. Piver provides a simple step-by-step guide that aims to help couples incorporate this principle into their actions and discussions.
The focus of the book is on encouraging couples to create an open dialogue in which they can discuss all facets of their lives and their futures. Piver asks the reader to consider a series of "hard questions" that explore each person's beliefs, biases, opinions, and expectations. The questions range from the delightful (What is my wildest fantasy about our home?) to the practical (Who does long-range financial planning? How is life insurance secured? Who are the beneficiaries?)
Throughout her book, Piver stresses that these questions - and the relationship in general - must be approached from a place of honesty, love, and support. The purpose of the questions is not to test whether you and your partner are compatible, but to encourage communication and discussion that will help build the foundation for an open, honest, and lasting relationship.
Overall, I was charmed and delighted by The Hard Questions. While it tackles some of the most important - and uncomfortable - relationship issues, at just over 100 pages it's hardly intimidating. Its simple format and clear objective can help add clarity and direction to difficult discussions. Piver's own experiences and reservations add humanity and accessibility. A valuable, enjoyable, and thought-provoking read.