History does not belong in a relationship that is present
My friend, Jack Rafferty, the famous Man-Woman Coach, used to say "do not clean the clean" referring of course to relationship. What he meant by that was once you have gotten angry, argued, and "effectively deal with" something that happened that hurt your feelings, be done with it. Do not keep bringing it up like dirty laundry. Once you have forgiven someone for something, it's history. . The conflict, resistance to new concepts, stored resentment and revenge for old hurts, that happens in most relationships relating back to those three words "effectively deal with", which unfortunately in most cases, is not what happens.
For most couples, the barometer for intimate relationships is sex. If your sex life is hot and exciting and fun, chances are you have a pretty clean relationship. When there is trouble in the bedroom, usually it's an indication that there are a lot of cobwebs and dirt stuck in the corners of your intimate relationship and that you or your partner have shut down some avenues of communication.
What do I mean?
Let's say your partner does not show up for a date with you. You manage to get through the evening and get home to find him / her home, relaxing, having absolutely forgotten that he / she was to have met you somewhere. You get into a heated argument about his / her lack of consideration and a lot of I'm sorry's are exchanged.
Was that effectively dealing with the situation? Hardly.
The resentment still exists on both sides. What do I mean both sides? Well, this is my theory. The person who did not show up was already carrying resentment and unconsciously, carried out revenge in a passive aggressive manner by missing the appointment. The person who got stuck up never got satisfaction in the resolution and now carries his / her own resentment, which will surface again at another time. This couple does not have a clean relationship.
Payback goes on in every relationship at some time or another. It is comparable to the accumulation of junk in your house. Just as spring cleaning gets rid of dust bunnies under the bed and cobwebs behind the bookcases, periodic cleansing sessions in your relationships will restore freshness and vitality to your love. Few couples understand this or know what to do about it. Some religious organizations have retreats for married couples where they do some of the work I am about to suggest, however, the catastrophic divorce rate in our country indicates that very little of this kind of work is attempted or completed by married couples. Even highly enlightened, aware couples require some nudging to maintain the level of squeaky clean communication that I am referring to.
Here is a suggestion for a process that can be used to clean house.
Relationship Spring Cleaning.
- Reserve a weekend where the two of you can be alone and undisturbed for 48 hours.
- You can