Do You Want to Focus on Past Hurts or Present Hurts? (Part 4 of 4)
Spouses who live in the present are people who value confession. What do I mean by that? To confess is to align yourself with the realty of saying to your spouse “Oops I did it again.” To confess in the present is to agree and to admit, I have hurt you, what I did irritated you, and I agree with you, my bad, I blew it, I take ownership for what I did presently to hurt you. The sooner spouses can find a way presently to confess, to be vulnerable, and be transparent, without any shame, then the other spouse will recognize new patterns, and not hide so that honesty and transparency can emerge.
This means walking in the light and not in the darkness. Be real, be open and honest in the present so new patterns start to emerge. Healthy marriages do this. Be sad that you two have hurt each other presently and value quickly wanting to resolve the conflict. Come out of hiding and be present taking responsibility for how you have hurt your spouse. When one spouse feels sad, and not bad, then healing takes place. But if one spouse feels bad all the time and the other spouse reinforces this, then shame and bad will haunt and keep spouses stuck. But to move from bad to sad and be remorseful, and apologize, then you are building a better future. As a result, forgiveness can take place in the present to not be a judging spouse seeking justice but a forgiving spouse showing mercy forgiving one another over and over again.
Spouses who live in the present also resist this temptation to just say, “That is just the way it is or that is just the way I am.” Don’t give up by falsely concluding you can’t change your old ways. Began the process by choosing to want to change getting rid of the hurtful baggage. Don’t wait for the other spouse to do it first. It is tempting to conclude, if only the other person would change their ways or patterns first, then life would be better. But waiting on someone else to change may result in you waiting forever. Start with yourself, focus on the ways and patterns you contribute to living in the past and find ways to make some changes so that each spouse does want to not live in the past but want to live in the present for a better future. Each person needs to examine their own ways and patterns. When that happens, then the marriage can grow as both spouses are in the growth process of wanting to live in the present.
The fruit or benefit of living in the present is to then get excited about living just one day at a time. What a difference a marriage could be if both spouses are fighting to live just one day at a time for the purpose of enjoying one day at a time. Set a boundary about the past needing to be repeated in the present, and look for ways in the present to build new healthy emotional and corrective experiences. Become a spouse in the present that says, “No we are not doing this again.”
So take your spouse by the hand, sit down on the couch, and confess your faults quickly in the present moment, so old resentments and grudges do not carry on. Ask for forgiveness so you both cancel the debt of hurt and resentment. Put an end to the past, find a way to build closure, and look for ways to really want and desire life to be better just for today. Maybe that means the man turning off his favorite sport shows, the women setting aside the need to watch a new video on You Tube or chat with someone on Facebook. Really find a way to put your smartphones and your I Phones or tablets away and say to your spouse I want 30-60 minutes of your focused time and you have my undivided time and attention in order to live in the present, spending time in the present for the sake of not hiding or avoiding each other, but wanting to do things differently now to ensure a better future. And as you do this and this becomes a routine each day, then both spouses are stopping the accusations from the past and are moving forward wanting to accept one another now and into the future.