Mark Goulston, M.D.
Heal relationship wounds
In this Twoology video, relationship expert, Mark Goulston, M.D., shares an example of how to effectively communicate with your spouse to heal old wounds and frustrations. When considering something your partner does that drives you crazy, ask yourself if they really need to stop doing it, or if you just need to be more forgiving. Don’t dwell on unimportant matters. Try to err on the side of being more tolerant and more forgiving.Focus on encouraging positive behavior in the future, rather than dwelling on their negative habits that annoy or irritate you.
What can we do to heal old wounds and frustrations? Things that used to merely annoy you about your spouse now drive you crazy. What can you do? You know, there’s a sad fact about human nature that gets played out in relationships, which is that all of us have an unforgiving streak in our personality. The key to happiness is managing that unforgiving streak so that it doesn’t take over your personality. When an unforgiving streak becomes all of you, the result of that is bitterness. You know people like that. You’re related to some of them, and most of you who are related to them have said, “I will never want to grow up to be that person.”
One of the things that you can do is accept the fact that everyone has a tendency to have an unforgiving streak. How well you manage that will determine your happiness. One of the things to motivate you is to think of the people you know that are unforgiving, and they’re often people that you said you would never want to be like. And so, if you keep that in mind, that can often help you stop being annoyed, stop being unforgiving, or feeling crazy about some of the things that really bother you about your spouse.
Instead of bringing up something from the past that they just did, say to them in a calm moment, “You know, going forward is something that I would really appreciate your doing.” Or, “Something that I would really appreciate you not doing would be to refrain from doing such and such or maybe to do this other thing instead. Because, if that were to happen, I would feel much better about you, and then, I wouldn’t get into some of those moods and snits that I sometimes get into.” What can we do to heal old wounds and frustrations?
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