Do you still remember the fight you had with your spouse just moments before dinner guests arrived on February 9th, 2013? Can you recall exactly what your mate said when you mentioned that your anniversary had been forgotten? Do you feel like your partner is Smiley-Pants to everyone but you?
It’s ok. You don’t have to choose to bring it with you into 2014.
It’s true. You don’t.
Here are a few tips to let go of what you might be clinging onto and move ahead into the new year with a clean slate:
- Be present. Consider what you can do about things that happened almost a year ago: nothing, right? As hard as it is, let it GO. It’s holding you back to remember the hurtful moments, and if you mentioned at the time (see tip below if this not something you do), then the moment is OVER. Being bitter is just a waste of time. And I abhor when people waste their time fretting about bullshit.
- Take responsibility for your reactions. If something happens and you notice that you’re upset/angry/triggered/jealous (whatever), then feel free to share that, then also recognize that it is YOUR reaction to what has happened, and YOUR perception of events. No one else is responsible for your feelings except YOU.
- Ask for what you need. If you were home, watching TV and felt cold, you would probably ask for the heat to be turned up, right? Being in relationship should be no different. If you need to be listened to and hugged or left alone, then ask for it. If you’re feeling resentful and want to talk about your spouse’s behaviour (recognizing that we dislike behaviour and not the person doing it) and how it is impacting you, then open your communication hole and say something. It’s like we think everyone has ESP or something! I have news for you: no one knows what you want unless you ASK for it.
- Out with old, in with the new. Tonight, when you are celebrating the start of this shiny, bright year, do a small exercise I do with clients;
1. Celebrate what happened and do a quick inventory of the year – where did you travel? did you overcome some stress together like a job change or the loss of a parent? did you grow your family? did you try but fail at something together? You get the idea.
2. Acknowledge what you saw in each other – if you are proud of your wife for landing that great new job, TELL HER! If your husband ran his first half marathon, tell him how much you admired all his training and hard work! Crank up the calibre of your conversations!
3. Ask about low points and high points. Share what you learned from what you went through as A TEAM.
4. Forgive yourselves. Forgive each other. You are both only human, silly humans. you did the best you could with what you had, and you can only promise to do better. It’s amazing to me how many couples I work with who bring up long-ago hurts that could have been voiced and let go. Do this for yourselves and each other.
5. Let the past GO. As long as you carry it with you, it steals from the magic ahead. Commit to what you want to create together in the New Year; being intimate more often? Date Nights? Saving money? Taking more vacations? Having a lot more FUN? Make a juicy plan together and then make it happen. And commit to communicating with each other and rocking 2014, together.
Happy New Year, my darlings. I wish you killer conversations and big, brave love.