These inquiries come from both men and women, as the pain of past hurts hits both equally. The request is always the same…how do I let go of the past and move the good part of my relationship?
When I get these email requests, I always respond with “yes, indeed, I can help you.” I know I can help because I have helped men and women fully let go and move to greatness in their relationship or marriage hundreds of times, using the strategies I am about to share with you.
In all honesty, forgiving someone is the easy part, but forgetting a betrayal or pain brought on is the hard part. Our mind and body repeats the pain over and over and when you are actually in union with the quote/unquote perpetrator. We get into a trauma of it all and lose our way along the way.
To help you begin to let go, let’s look at the 3 reasons you hold on to the past:
Typical Reason #1:
You are afraid you will be hurt again. This is when it is imperative for the hurt-er to become transparent.
Typical Reason #2:
You are afraid that you are a fool for staying. Continuing in a marriage after a betrayal takes pure bravery. Some people may look at you are a weak person, but I urge my clients to know that staying is where the real power lies. Side: I never tell couples to stay on a continual, emotionally abusive relationship.
Typical Reason #3:
You are stuck in a mental trap of trying to figure out how the betrayal went right under your nose. You think about past words or actions that you could have picked up on. You may even repetitively think about what you could have done differently so that it would not have happened in the first place.
When I coach clients to let go of past hurts, I work with them to directly change these beliefs and get unstuck. We work on changing the belief that it is their fault, so that they can let go of the preoccupation with figuring this out.
Then we do one more thing to solidify the letting go process. This is the thing I want to share with you, as it makes a huge difference in being able to let go.
How to finally let go:
So long as you keep thinking about it…looking at them won’t be any better for you. Continuing to think about the hurt in your relationship puts your past front and center in your mind, preoccupying your emotional and mental energy. There is simply no way to let go while your past is hijacking your future. Your future needs to go back to being in its proper place, in front of you, so that it can pull you forward.
One direct and effective way to work on this is to intentionally create a future to look forward to. To start this process, reflect on the following question:
“What do I want now, that would bring me joy, that I can reasonably see myself creating?”
In answering the question, be careful, because creating a fairytale future that you can’t buy into will do you no good.
Create yourself a future with your spouse that you can reasonably see yourself having, requiring effort and some risk on your part. Allow this question about the future to gradually preoccupy more and more of your time and mental energy, crowding out the time you spend thinking about the hurt. Think repeatedly about the “joy” part of the question…you are creating a future that will bring you joy.
At some point the momentum of the future-building process in your relationship will take over and you won’t have to work at it so much. You will be moving forward and creating a life that brings you joy as you go.
Hope this has helped,
Have a happy Tuesday 🙂