If you’re in a solid
relationship, it may seem as though nothing could put it on the
rocks. That could be because you’ve learned the secret of dealing
with painful memories. If, on the other hand, you’re fighting to
forget something that’s keeping you apart, this article may lend an
Here are three ways in which memories can play a key part in the
success or failure of a relationship.
1. Memories Can Heal or Multiply Loss: After a catastrophic loss—the
death of a child or the loss of your home, for example, how you
perceive the role each of you has played can have a huge impact on
your future relationship with your partner.
Here’s what a young mother reported about the days following her
child’s tragic death in an accident: when the haze of shock began to
clear, she became obsessed with the feeling that her husband could
have done something else to avoid the accident. In reality, his
vehicle was struck head-on by a drunk driver on a blind curve and
there was absolutely nothing he could have done to avoid the
Because the couple had only been together a short time before
marrying and the memories they shared of marriage and parenthood
were very brief, they might have separated following the tragedy.
Fortunately, a compassionate grief counselor was able to weave those
memories together for the young wife in a way that allowed her to
see her husband had always tried to care for and protect her and
truth of those memories broke through the blame she was
unfairly placing on her partner and she was able to
grieve with him instead of accusing him.
As you can see, the way you perceive painful episodes
can determine your relationship’s future. Drawing on
shared memories can help dispel false perceptions borne
out of pain. Sharing memories of happy times, even in
the midst of pain, can knit you more closely together.
You may not be able to change difficult life events, but
the power of shared memories can help heal the hurt.
2. Memories Make Relationships Timeless: Something many
of us fear is growing old and losing our mental
faculties. We’ve all known someone who struggled to
remember familiar faces, sometimes not even remembering
a beloved partner.
That’s one reason building a lifetime of memories as a
couple is so important. Even in the confusion of
dementia, strong memories can break through. A friend
recently shared the story of her parents, married sixty
years before being separated when advanced dementia
caused the wife to need more care.
Her husband visited each day, looking for signs of
recognition in his wife’s eyes. The sweetest moments of
their final days together came as his wife suddenly
remembered vignettes of holidays, their children or
their early marriage.
Sharing those times as though they were recent events
helped ease them through the wife’s last days. Having
that cache of strong memories to share made their
relationship truly timeless.
Great Memories Make Great Glue: In nearly every marriage
comes a time when one or both partners think of leaving.
Countless couples have reported that thinking about
years of special memories, and the prospect of starting
over with someone else, were the impetus for them to
Here’s how that might look in a real-life situation:
Emily and Mark were in the aftershock of Emily’s recent
affair with a coworker. Embarrassed and remorseful,
Emily was prepared to leave if Mark decided he couldn’t
forgive her indiscretion.
Mark, on the other hand was angry, hurt and struggling
to recover from his wife’s betrayal. Fortunately for
this couple, they’d shared years of happily married life
and have a large stock of good memories from which to
Being able to recall an intimate Caribbean cruise to the
Bahamas, Christmases surrounded by family, and hundreds
of other shared memories caused Mark to think again
about giving up on his marriage. He learned there’s real
power in a lifetime of journeys made together. They’ve
been together ever since, having invested the time to
rebuild their marriage and create more precious
Whether by the ravages of time or the loss of someone
special, all couples experience difficult days. Building
a storehouse of special memories can provide a base to
rebuild a damaged relationship into something even
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About the Author:
Publishers of www.A1-Discount-Cruises.com, Brian
A Schmidt and his wife Carol live in a small
community in Southwestern Ontario Canada.
Besides enjoying sharing their own cruise ship
vacation adventures, they love spending time
with three grown children, Danielle, Cory, and
Todd, their spouses and four grand-children.
Married for thirty-four years, Brian also enjoys
woodworking, gardening and renovating.