Know what question you actually want to be answered
Have a clear idea of the question you're trying to answer when having a hard discussion. Oftentimes the information you seek will not satisfy your needs, and a long, hard conversation will not accomplish anything productive. Here are some common questions and what they really mean, and perhaps a more productive way to think about it
- "Can I trust you?" is not a high quality question because you'll never have the answer. There is always more to do, more to say, something unsaid, something said improperly, etc. The better question, and the result of this line of questions is "What will I do now?"
- "You hurt me, can I hurt you back?". Yes, of course you can. You know this person very well, you know exactly how to hurt, but is it worth it? Does it accomplish your goal? If "yes", then you probably don't really want to be in the relationship.
- "Will you let me in?". Sure, you know each other well, but people change. Do you know, really know the other person's desires and motivations?
- "Can we get back on the right track?" This is a good question, but requires action. It requires good questions and honest answers. It requires two people who want to make it better, and commit to taking action.