How to leave past relationships in the past...

United States
April 16, 2007 11:32am CST
I don't know about you, but everytime me and my husband argue, one of use has got to bring up a past relationship. I know of quite a few people where this is also true for them. Everyone always says, leave the past in the past, but few people do when it comes to disagreements in the relationship. It appears that such a tactic serves only one purpose, which is to incite jealousy in one's partner. Often this jealousy creates anger, which solves nothing and only serves to make the argument even more explosive. It would be nice if people could avoid arguments completely but that, of course is wishful thinking. If couples must argue they should at least stick to the issue at hand and leave past relationships in the past. Here are a few ways to solve disagreements in the present rather than bringing up the past. Unless you are arguing about a past event, past circumstances have no place in your disagreement. Even if you are arguing about something that happened in the past, ask yourself why. If a past event does affect your current relationship you need to talk about it openly, honestly and rationally. More than likely, past events that you are thinking about throwing into the argument have no relevancy to your current disagreement. If you find that to be the case, simply drop it. Let go of the past and live in the present. Don't bring up old flames that result in red-hot anger by saying things like, "You're more stubborn than Mark" or "Donna would have understood what I mean." When you do this you're asking for an argument. Mark or Donna has nothing to do with your situation now so leave them out of it. Everyone will be a lot better off if you do. If your partner is the one who wants to continue arguing, let him or her know that you refuse to argue any further and you wish to leave past events where they belong - in the past. If you can't talk rationally at the moment, extricate yourself from the argument. Take a walk. Go for a drive. It's hard to argue if there's no one to argue with. The majority of things that people argue about are totally irrelevant. They start out disagreeing about one thing and end up arguing over a barrage of past events. If you can take a moment to step back and look at the argument from an observer's point of view, you may be able to see how ridiculous it is and find the whole situation amusing. Once you do that, the whole disagreement may dissipate into thin air and leave you wondering how it ever got started in the first place. So to all of you who find yourself in an endless arguement about your past or always bringing up your lovers past, remember these simple tactics and you should see better days. Do you ever bring up your lovers past indiscretions, or do you keep things in the past. Or, does your lover bring up your past to start an arguement?
1 person likes this
16 responses
• United States
16 Apr 07
I don't bring up past lovers but I do bring up things in the past that made me mad. Which is really uncalled for. They are usually so far in the past that they really have nothing to do with what we are fighting about. But if I get frustrated, that is what I do. Something that I have been trying to correct. ;-D Also I just wanted to say that you write very well!
2 people like this
@Marie2473 (8519)
• Sweden
16 Apr 07
this is a very common behaviour. While fighting sometimes you get hurt and u waznna huirt back.u know that saying something good about your ex- will upset your present partner.. I try not to do it though, coz we hardly ever fight and my ex is a big a** so there is no use *lol*
2 people like this
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
17 Apr 07
Actually, after twenty years of marriage, the past is really in the past. Who can even remember past relationships at this point. However, if you are newly wed, then it is best to keep your disagreements pertinent to the subject matter. Bringing up any old business that has been unresolved is a hint that you probably need to get some counseling if only to learn how to develop better conflict resolution.
• Philippines
22 Apr 07
I always say the saying past is past... if he did marry you not knowing your past, it will occured everytime you have an argument but if he know, he has no right to bring the past or recall it. just letting you know that argument cant be totally take away from a husband and wife but you can lessen it.
@inovator (603)
• Philippines
17 Apr 07
just get busy...and dont think the happy moments with him coz thats the reason why you still remember him...but you cant erase him totally coz he is part of your life and a treasusre even he hurt you...but move on and live your life with full of faith....
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
17 Apr 07
I think it's unfair to bring up past relationships during arguments. However, I am guilty of bringing up old issues during an argument. The argument becomes an opportunity to vent out all of the frustrations and anger I've kept inside.
@magilives (261)
• Australia
17 Apr 07
How you were treated in the past affects who you are today. If you don't bring up the past, your partner has no idea why you feel the way you do and often after a heated argument they will remember that piece of info in their subconsious and it shouldn't come up again.
@lafavorito (2966)
• Philippines
17 Apr 07
Great topic you have here. Whenever my husband and I argue, it is me who often bring up the past, not past relationship but our past. Something that asks for a positive outcome like "last year you were more understanding and patient than now". We don't have anything against our past relationships and we often joke about them so we don't fight about them.
• Philippines
17 Apr 07
first of all, you should never compare. there's always a reason behind everything. a reason why you are with your current and reason why you left your past. past should not be argued because it happened already. it is actually non sense to talk about the past, especially the past relationships because you surely had let go of that already. it's like, not a part of your life anymore. your present is what really matters.
@jhoanee (598)
• Philippines
17 Apr 07
i think u help a lot of people in your post. i agree that when u are in a relationship and u have arguments with ur partner always put in mind that dont compare the past in ur present. if and only your arguments was concerned about the past then i guess it is proper that you two should talk about it openly and when it solved then drop the issue. just make sure both of you wont argue with the same issues again. for me past is past and there nothing we can do about it but definitely we can something for the present and also for the future.
@lucky_witch (2711)
• Philippines
17 Apr 07
We both avoid bringing the past back just to start arguments... of cvourse that would make anyone jealous and feel that he/she is being compared with the past bf/gf. We talk about the past when we are not in the mood to know each others past... but not to make each others jealous... I myself ask him about his past... because I want to know him better... I dont want to commit the same mistake that he's past gf did...to loose him. ANd on how to make things better for both of us.
• United States
16 Apr 07
i m not married but was involved in few relationship and i never bring X factor in my current relationship to get over the past relationship one should know that you are not in relationship and there was something because of that past relationship didnt work now as u r in new relationship there is no point in considering past relationship factor sometime you will make your partner uncomfortable and also you are risking yr current relationship for yr past relaion which you left becose something was not correct one should think in this manner and shoul make sure they r giving enough for current relationship
@arlene_27 (231)
• Philippines
16 Apr 07
I have seen this happened to my friends and even to my own (past) relationships. I guess this happens when there is little trust in the relationship or when one or both of the partners are struggling with a supposedly past yet unresolved issue.
@arlene_27 (231)
• Philippines
16 Apr 07
This is true. It has happened to me and I have seen it happened to my friends and their relationships, too -- we bring past relationships in present troubles and find ourselves in a messier fight than what is necessary to shake things up a bit for some friction. My guess is this happens when there is little room for doubt.
@raven9595 (101)
• United States
16 Apr 07
Ocassionaly she does, but it is only to get a reaction out of me. But you cannot ignore your past relationships - they helped make you who you are (for the better or worse) - thay can explain certian behavior or feelings. But once you recognize them you can put them into perspective and see if your just transposing fellings or your fellings are justified.
@msqtech (15226)
• United States
16 Apr 07
You tooo must make an aggreement about it. not to do it and not to cause arguments to escalate, You need a safe word for each of you to use to make note of the problems you are talking of. This recognition will make you both healthier people in your communication.