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Why You Shouldn't Bring Up The Past During a Fight

Jun 01, 2015 02:48PM ● Published by Savannah Ludwig

Have you ever been in the middle of a heated argument with your partner and brought up something from the past? Has it ever actually helped the situation in any way at all? Chances are that your answer to the second question is going to be a big, resounding, "no." If your goal is to stop fighting and to make up, then there are many good reasons why you might want to avoid dredging up past fights and past mistakes.

It Doesn't Do Anything to Lower Tensions

Few people resemble the calm, logical, thinking human beings they are when in the middle of a fight. Emotions are running high and the tendency to overreact and take things the wrong way is even higher. Even in the unlikely event that you have a very good reason for bringing up your partner's past mistakes, doing so in the middle of an unrelated fight is not a good idea. Your partner will only get upset that you're bringing up what they thought was a settled issue.

You're Probably Only Doing It Out of Spite

Chances are that you don't actually have a good reason to bring up the past in the first place, and that you are only doing it to hurt your partner and make them feel extra guilty for what they'd done this time. Don't sink to that level. It's hard to be the bigger person, but, if no one is willing to do it, then how will you ever stop fighting? Show some restraint and your partner will be more likely to do the same for you.

Are You Ready to Have YOUR Past Mistakes Brought Up?

If you absolutely must bring up the past, then be prepared deal with what is likely going to be a list of your own failures. Two can play at the blame game, and your partner will have no shortage of material to fire back your way if you're the first to cross that line. If you think it's unfair to hear about a mistake you made two years ago because of something that you did today, then you need to remember that it's unfair to do it to your partner as well.

It Won't Resolve the Current Problem

Finally, the number one reason for why you don't want to bring up the past while fighting with your partner is that doing so will do nothing to resolve your current fight. Get your head out of the past and focus on the here and now.

If your partner did something to upset you, then you have every right to focus on the issue at hand and demand an apology. If you're to blame, then it's your responsibility to apologize instead of rationalizing your actions by thinking about "that bad thing they did that one time."

Is There Ever a Good Time to Bring Up the Past?

Not bringing up the past during a fight doesn't mean that you should let your partner make the same mistakes over and over. Sure, if your partner forgot to run a very important errand, then you shouldn't bring up the time last month when they came home late without calling.

But, if they are always hurting you and refusing to change, then you need to stand up for yourself and demand to be treated better. Don't let them get away with disregarding your feelings just because you don't want to be seen as too high maintenance. Leave one-time mistakes in the past where they belong, but make sure you address recurring issues before they get too far out of hand.


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