His Christmas Wish … Please Forget

   Written by on December 23, 2014 at 2:45 pm

The survey said  … men have a short attention span.  This week ..  the survey says … women never forget.  A survey found the number one complaint from husbands is that “my wife never forgets anything, whenever we start to argue about something she brings up stuff from the beginning of time.”  A great mind refers to this as the 100-year memory problem.

gowinThis scene plays out in the counseling room weekly.  John looks like he would rather be just about anywhere else.  When asked what he thinks about coming to counseling he responds.  “Well, this will just be an hour of listening to Jane replay and discuss in detail everything I have ever done wrong.  If we ever try to have a conversation about something, all she does is start back at the beginning of time to list all the mistakes, she thinks, I have ever made.  She just does not know how to move on.”

Like all marriages, your spouse has done or said something that has hurt you or you wish he had done differently.  Have you forgiven him but you still keep the reminder card  in your mental database so you can pull it out at will: “well what about the time when you….”  Women seem to have a harder time letting go than men.

Boys’ upbringing reinforces the concept of forgetting.  If you need an example, watch a football game between “arch” rivals.  The players do their best for four quarters to annihilate the other team.  Now watch the end of the game, those same players cross the field and hug their friends.  Yes, the same players, who just minutes ago were trying to destroy each other.

How many movies have you seen about women not being able to forget?  A great example is the movie You Again.  Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver play two characters that were best friends in high school until they fought, of course, over a boy.  Now years later they still can’t forget.  The movie shows a funny interaction between the two adult women and two 20-something girls, all four have the same lack of ability to forgive and forget.

Not being able to forget is the source of countless comic routines but your husband does not think it is funny.  So for the sake of building a healthy, lasting marriage, let’s look at a few suggestions on how to forget.

First, you have to forgive.  When you have an issue, talk about it and come to resolution.  Don’t spring the issue on him when you are angry.  Find a time, not during the football game, when you both can talk.  It  may be best to wait until you’ve settled down and can talk calmly.  It is better to take some time to clear your head than to allow your emotions to take you somewhere you don’t want to go.

Always limit your discussion to the current issue.  Ok, so now you both are ready to talk.  Don’t pull out your reminder cards and start listing all prior offenses.  The point of the conversation should be the current issue.  Remember you have forgiven and forgotten about the reminder card issues.  If a repeat issue is the problem, still limit the discussion to that issue only.  Sweetheart, can we talk about where you put your dirty clothes.  That is one subject of discussion; don’t include throwing the ball in the house, wiping the dog with your best towel after hunting, or putting a glass on the wood coffee table without a coaster.  Remember the six-minute attention span.

Put your marriage first.  Is your major goal to prove you are right?  Have you taken your eyes off the goal of a happy marriage?  Is how to squeeze the toothpaste, which way the toilet paper should roll and where the dirty sock should go that important?  Ask yourself; is your relationship more important than the dispute?  Growing, together as one, does take work, compromise, and forgiveness.

This Christmas, give your husband the gift of FORGETTING; it is the gift he asks from Santa.

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.  Proverbs 17:9 

Cheryl Gowin, and Dennis Gowin, Hope for Tomorrow Counseling Center.  Contact us with your feedback, comments, issues, or questions at 434-808-2637.  

About Cheryl & Dennis Gowin

Cheryl Gowin, Counselor and Dennis Gowin, Director of Discovery Counseling Center. Contact us with your feedback, comments, issues or questions at 434-808-2426 or dgowin@discoverycounseling.org.

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