One of the most important things in any healthy relationship is open, honest and clear communication, respecting both yourself and the other person.
“The mistake people make around communication is that it took place.”
Another important factor in any relationship is to forgive and then forget about it. Now I’m not necessarily talking about forgiving and forgetting someone who’s lied, cheated, is mean to the neighbour cat, or stole money from the kid’s college fund. That is another topic entirely and could require the help of a professional.
I’m talking about the things that come along in any healthy relationship. You’re running late and forget to pick up the dry cleaning that has her favourite outfit for Saturday night. You forget about dinner with his boss who is in town and instead make plans with the girls for drinks and appies. The “honey do list” never seems to end and it’s the weekend and you just want to golf.
Quite recently many of our members asked us why people continually drudge things up from the past or why people want to rehash things they felt were already resolved. Most time people continue to bring things up from the past because in their mind it hasn’t been resolved.
First understand then be understood. This is a simple concept of allowing the other person to speak their mind and explain from their point of view. Once you understand how a situation made the other person feel you can then talk about how it looks from your perspective. Remain quiet while the other person is talking but interject where appropriate. Don’t assume you know how the other person is feeling or what they are going to say next. Allow them to tell you.
Everyone makes mistakes, has made some off handed comment in the heat of the moment, strikes out in a hurtful way or says something they really don’t mean. Most times we react in a defensive way or move into “attack” mode because we feel we’ve been wronged in some way. Before things get way out of control, look for clarification, make sure you understand exactly what happened and what part you might have played.
Once you’ve talked it thru you have to come to a place of letting it go and putting it behind you. But how do you know if everything has been resolved? You can ask some clarifying questions and gain consent from the other person.
“I’m sorry I made you feel that way. What can I do to make this better?”
“Can you forgive me and forget about this so we can move forward?”
When past arguments and misunderstandings are left unresolved they will rear their ugly head in the future. If you want to destroy your relationship, squash any hope of communication now or in the future one way to do that is to continue to drudge up things from the past.
When someone is continually reminded of the wrongs they have done or said eventually that person will give up ever trying to please you. It’s better to resolve arguments and disagreements at the time so you can both move on and feel good about it.
If you’ve had open, honest and clear communication with your significant other and feel whatever happened has been resolved but for some reason you find yourself continuing to bring things up from the past… maybe it’s time to tell yourself to just “Get over it”.