In healthy complaint #3 of how to complain without hurting your partner, we talked about how to describe the problem from your own perspective and style. In this post, we’ll look at why you should focus on the present.
Many people like to dig out all the histories when they complain to their partners. It becomes a habit that every time it triggers their memory about past.
This is a harmful habit to your relationship. No matter what the issue is, just focus on the present, focus on the issue in your hand right now. Don’t start the conversation with what your partner did since you met. Every time you bring up the past, you pour the same junk into your partner again. How much old junk can you take if you’re the one being complained about? And it also make your complain sounds like “You always…”. Remember the three things you should never say to your partner?
If your partner forgets about a special day you can talk to him or her like this:
“I can’t believe you just forget about this again. The first year we’ve been together you forgot about my birthday, and the second year you forgot about…How come you never can remember it?”
This complaint is absolutely leading to a fire. It’s digging out all the bad memories from history. There is a saying I particularly like form the movie “Kung Fu Panda”. It’s “Yesterday is history,Tomorrow is mystery,and Today is a gift,that is why we call it present.”
If there were issues you already passed in the past, don’t bring it up again. Focus on present. In this case, you can also talk to your partner like this:
“Honey, I know you’re extremely busy and you work really hard,because you want to move up in your company. I just want to remind you it’s our anniversary today. I feel really bad when you said you can’t come home on time.”
I don’t know what you feel about these two complaints. The first one usually will cause your partner to move into a defensive model. It makes your partner feel like you’re attacking him or her. About the second one, if my wife talks to me like that, I would feel extremely sorry and I want to do everything I can to make it up. That’s the difference it can make.
Live in the present, even when you’re angry. Don’t let the past influence your present. How often do we carry around past hurts, holding onto resentments when the only person we are really hurting is ourselves?
I’ll end this post by sharing a very inspiring story and I hope you get the message. The story is called Tow Monks and A Woman
A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.
The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.
Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his journey.
The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.
Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”
The older monk looked at him and replied, “Oh, are you still carrying her? I put her down four hours ago.”