Is Bringing Up The Past Ever A Good Idea?
So in yesterday's Quick Question, I asked my friends on social media: Is there a statute of limitations on past issues that were never dealt with in your relationship? If so, how old of an issue is it reasonable to bring up?
Here's what some folks had to say about it:
[quote cite="Shai"]A week tops. Anything outside of that is irrelevant and not an issue. People only need a few days to collect their thoughts and after that there should be a conversation held addressing both parties personal feelings on the situation.[/quote]
[quote cite="Nicole"]I don't believe there is a statue of limitation on an issue. If it's something that either partner has been harboring, no matter how long ago it happened it needs to be discussed. But that is an evident sign that communication within the relationship may not be affective if one half of the two people involved in that relationship feels as though they cannot communicate how they feel.[/quote]
[quote cite="Woody"]Imperative. Can't grow with weeds in ur garden. I learned a long time ago as strong as the heart can be, one clog can set a heart attack. Unresolved issues manifest. So if it comes up, theres reason and even more concern to address.[/quote]
[quote cite="Nicole's Fiancé"]Some people continue to bring up past issues because they don't know how to let go of the hurt. They feel more comfortable living in the hurt rather than being vulnerable to the person that has hurt them.[/quote]
If the past issue is one that has been discussed, resolved and moved away from, it should be viewed as a victory for you and your mate and therefore shouldn't be brought up in the context of using it against each other. It should be brought up as a reminder of how strong you've become by overcoming these challenges together.
If the past issue is one that remains unresolved, yet still affects the relationship today, it should continue to be addressed until you find a solution that benefits your relationship.
I believe the biggest challenge most couples face is WHEN you choose to bring it up. What I find many couples do is bringing it up during an argument or at a time when they can use it to make their partner feel bad.
[quote cite="Nicole's Fiancé"]It's easier holding onto on to the hurt (or old issue) because the hurt or old issue gives you a power of some sorts over the person that has hurt you, while being able to admit that you were hurt and can't find a way around that hurt leaves you more open and vulnerable.[/quote]
This approach is not only unfair, but is a sure fire way to make that issue a point of resentment for you both.
The thing is, the quality of communication in your relationship will reflect the quality of your relationship as a whole. Do you feel safe being vulnerable with your partner? Can you discuss touchy topics without getting defensive or aggressive with each other?
If not, this might be the reason some of those issues remain unresolved in the first place. Like Woody mentioned in his response, the weeds in your garden will continue to hinder the rest of your relationship from growing in a healthy way if they're not taken care of early on.
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