What do you do when a past problem from years before stays alive in your marriage?
One of the daily challenges I see in my sessions is a person who is frequently reacting to a wrong that’s happened in their relationship years before.
The couple may find the wrong keeps coming up through conflict, disabling their connection.
As the person connects to that past, event you’ll notice the person having a complete physical and emotional response to the situation as if it was happening at that moment.
This thinking is powerful enough for the person to keep reliving the same problem over and over.
I remember talking to a couple about their challenges, and she told me 25 years before he had an affair and instantly started to cry.
She bought it up like it happened yesterday.
The husband rolled his eyes as the affair to him was in a different lifetime, and he couldn’t believe that was part of our session today.
She in contrast, was so identified with that time 25 years ago and the pain she experienced; she was reliving it all over again in that session.
There are many factors to uncover in that couple’s situation too big to cover in just one post.
The bigger picture is to help both people in that situation take responsibility, so their history stayed in their past and was not part of their future.
Just to focus on this lady.
The challenge she faced, she was far too identified with what happened 25 years before.
So the power and intensity of the problem remained through that identification; she essentially was keeping it alive.
She kept worrying if she was safe today and if that problem will happen again, this type of thinking is exhausting for both people.
I made her aware that she was living an experience that was not happening right now, so it was only present in her mind.
I then gave her some tools to interrupt and change her pattern so she could see his affair as a time that woke them up to their problems whenever she remembered the situation.
It’s not possible to forget these types of events, but it is possible to have a different emotional response when they are remembered.
It was a time to grow from rather than make her far less of who she was, which exhausted her.
I also gave her husband the necessary tools that would help him reassure her to the point she could see she was safe with him.
The combination of her understanding what she was doing to herself and how to change that combined with helping the husband create an emotionally safe energy around her is powerful.
That meant she could switch her focus away from her fears and towards what she wanted, emotions such as love, passion, fun.