by Dr. David Hawkins – Marriage 911 Blogger
“How do I move beyond all the hurt that has happened in my marriage?” a woman asked recently. “I have so much hurt and can’t seem to see any hope in the future.
“Has anything changed for the good?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said slowly. “My husband has agreed to go to counseling and he is now attending church with me. But, it has taken years to get to this place of change.”
“Then,” I said, “your heart will not likely change suddenly. Rather, it will change as you make new history with your mate. Your heart will likely change as you make new memories and start to see your husband differently, one small step at a time.”
Her husband was sitting and listening to our discussion.
“You can see how this would be pretty discouraging for me to hear,” he said. “I’m different, but don’t know that she sees me any different than she has for years.”
“Possibly true,” I said. “It will take one new and wonderful experience layered on other new and wonderful experiences to create new memories. But can you see that one good experience on top of another creates a new history?”
Both nodded in agreement.
It is very easy to slip into seeing our mate through one lens, and that lens can be outdated. It takes being very intentional to recognize how we are viewing our mate and then intentionally try to see them through updated lenses.
What are some additional specific ways of writing a new history with our mate?
1. Become intentional about creating new, positive memories.
Don’t dwell on the past, though do ensure taking responsibility for wounds that have been created. Once you’ve owned these problems, set out to live into change. Determine to make new memories, live fully present with them, enjoying each other to the fullest.
2. Become intentional about rediscovering your mate.
Learning about anything takes an initial decision and intentionality. When we make a solid decision on anything, we set aside time, determine what we want to accomplish, set specific goals, and follow through. Talk to your mate about a decision to become best friends again. Rediscover the things you’ve enjoyed about your mate in the past.
3. Cultivate an inquisitiveness and curiosity about your mate.
Even if you don’t feel interested at the start, you can cultivate an interest in your mate. While you may sense they aren’t the same person you married, neither are you the same. These changes and differences can now be a source of interesting discovery. If you sense you don’t know them, don’t fret. In many ways this can make the experience all the more interesting.
4. Experiment with new experiences.
You have an opportunity to start your marriage all over again. You can determine that a new day begins today. You can map out new experiences, finding things about your mate you may have forgotten. You can have fun together and appreciate one another anew.
5. Give one another feedback on your experiences.
Learning to date again, and write a new history, is really a matter of trial and error. In the early days of dating, you gave each other consistent feedback on your experiences. You based future decisions on earlier ones. If something was exciting, you did it again. If it was less than exciting, you changed directions. The same applies today. You and your mate are fully capable of awakening your excitement for each other, but it will take trial and error, seeking experiences you both find pleasurable.
6. Be patient with the progress.
You cannot turn a ship around on a dime, nor can you change your marriage instantly. Take time, be patient, and note progress. Scripture reminds us, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:25)
Do you and your mate need to create a new history? We are here to help. Please go to our website, www.marriagerecoverycenter.com and discover more information about this, as well as, the free downloadable eBook, A Love Life of Your Dreams, including other free videos and articles.
Please send personal responses to me via email. Also read more about The Marriage Recovery Center on our website. You’ll find videos and podcasts on sexual addiction, emotionally destructive marriages, codependency, and affair-proofing your marriage.