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What if you have a hard time with not bringing up past transgression in your relationship and you would like to make the relationship work but can’t seem to let go of the past?
As people we make mistakes. And those mistakes don’t stop when we get in our relationships. In fact, the relationship circumstance gives opportunity for a lot of amazing experiences, along with that opportunity there is room for human error, transgression of hurt and growth.
If you are unable to move forward in your relationship, and the past continues to be brought up in confrontation, you will have trouble enjoying your current moments and the relationship you chose to continue to be a part of. The hurtful experience stays with you even though you would like to move forward in the relationship. This makes sense because of our natural need to survive. Our bodies sense scenarios that have meant harm to us and an awareness response is created. It is worth being more intentional and thoughtful about what is going on. Let’s explore how this can happen.
ONE Develop security and seeing in your relationship. This is a self-policing endeavor, not a partner ‘convince the other’ experience. As a couple, you both have to do actions and create conversation that develops security in the relationship. This is felt most when we are able to acknowledge our own actions and the ways we have created hurt. It’s also done when we commit to the relationship with words and actions (actions are not negotiable). Don’t leave the fight up to one person to get through the pain of the past. Find ways to support the emotional experience, even when it’s not presented to you. Support, in this sense, is allowing, acknowledging, listening, seeing. Support is not blaming, revising, fixing.
two As a couple, create time and opportunity to be able to discuss situations that have been hurtful in your relationship. A useful trait of successful relationships is the ability to express frustration and hurt without blaming, insulting or defensiveness. The ability to see and allow your partner’s pain is an art. One of the reasons for rehashing past transgressions is that we don’t feel seen, in the same way we did when the transgression took place. So, if we are able to experience a process of security and being seen – our body is less likely to go into emergency mode and blurt out experiences that have been scary for us.
I put together 5 Ways to Reduce Arguments, a free brief self-study course. This course will help you to learn how to change your approach so that during arguments, you are not bringing up previous transgression.
3 Daily you have to train your mind to be focused on where you want to be, not where you’ve been. Your mind will automatically bring thoughts to you, even if you don’t want them, or if hurt and fear (fear of losing control, fear of abandonment) was involved. But, you can rewire your body and mind building a habit of gratitude daily. The deeper you get into gratitude the more impact it has on your response in moments that challenge you. The gratitude that sources this transformation is less about outside-in things (cars, house, tv, etc.) and more about inside-out things (connection, resilience, process, etc.). Train daily by keeping a daily gratitude journal.
four In some instances we bring up the past to win the argument. This is usually not a conscious experience but, in an honest conversation with yourself; what’s the reason for bringing up these topics? Some of it is feeling hurt, and then there’s the possibility that your partner will feel guilty, feel less than, realize that their mistake cannot be forgotten (or sometimes forgiven). We know this subconsciously and in times of challenge the best way to win is attempt to reduce our partner. The replacement interaction is to create conversations or arguments that deal with your current concern with the goal in mind of your personal growth as a partner in the relationship. Let go of trying to win the argument, focus on growing from the argument and seeing your partner’s battle.
FIVE When your mind has focus, it is less likely to wander and your actions will follow suit; with purpose and intention. Develop a vision for yourself and your relationship. Create a plan for how you will make that vision come true. And follow your plan with actions that match your vision. When you are able to fill your life up with this kind of purpose, you flood your life with direction you want to end up in. Because execution is the ultimate step, with practice, you’re mind will focus on the vision you set out.