You can’t keep holding old negative memories in your heart and mind, if you want to create new positive ones. When you do this, you keep hurting yourself, your partner, and your relationship. You have to let – it – go, whatever the “it” is.
Letting go of the past on a minute to minute basis is absolutely necessary for the immediate and long-term happiness of your relationship, whether your spouse cheated on you or let you down in some other way, big or small.
When you wipe the slate clean and start over, you don’t keep judging each other based on past mistakes and past hurts. Nothing makes it easier for you to start arguing than thoughts about past errors, pains, statements and accusations.
By just thinking and/or even talking about someone’s mistakes over and over again, you drag those negative memories and the old problems into the present moment which then affects how you perceive your current situation. How you perceive anything will affect how you feel about it, your spouse and your marriage. How you feel about the situation, your spouse and your marriage, then affects how you behave in that moment, and of course, the results you then get. Think of the unnecessary arguments and bickering that you do with your spouse, often it’s because we’re getting upset about things that they’ve done in the past and bringing that memory into the present moment. It’s not really fair, is it? Talk about not giving someone a break…or a clean slate!
Each moment in your marriage needs to come with a clean slate. If you struggle to take a clean slate approach in each moment, at the very least start each day with a clean slate approach. You must not underestimate the value of this or fool yourself into thinking that this is any harder than it is. It’s a choice. A loving approach.
The next time you feel yourself getting wound up about something your spouse has done, remember my words and take the clean slate approach. As you do, you will notice how much better you handle the situation in hand and avoid a disagreement and both feel relaxed instead of wound up.
When you take the clean slate approach you handle the imminent interaction with your spouse as you would with someone you are not so familiar with, just as you would have done with your spouse when you first started dating. You know those old habits of being more respectful, less nagging, more understanding, more encouraging, more light-hearted and loving in how you interact with them? These are the things that created that in-love feeling and the “never mind ’cause I’m just so into him/her” attitude in the early days. We let the way we react to our partner’s flaws change over time, and then we get a different outcome and wonder why. We change our habits as we get comfortable, even complacent, and forget that we should treat this person as we would have in the early days of the relationship.
There is no reason to abandon old traits that helped make the relationship happy and healthy. It’s just a habit we need to re-introduce into our relationship whilst simultaneously letting go of destructive relationship habits. It’s a choice and it’s in your control. Give your partner a clean slate, or you’ll struggle to create as many wonderful new memories as you could.