Tuesday, February 4 2014, 02:16 PM MST
Dr. Matt Woolley is here to tell us why reminiscing is actually good for your relationship.
Tip #1: Reminiscing about the "way we were" could bring out painful reminders about how unhappy you are if you're in an unsatisfactory relationship. However, you could break the vicious cycle by monitoring yourselves to make sure that you don't engage in invalidating, critical, or other negative behaviors. Agree ahead of time that you'll call "time out" if one partner starts to invalidate the other's memory or become excessively negative.
Tip #2: Get out some of your old photos or videos, and relive those positive events from your past using these as cues. Play music from that era, or even from the event itself such as the music you danced to at your wedding. As in Tip #1, put a moratorium on negative or destructive comments (e.g. "I never liked you in those pants, why did you wear them?").
Tip #3: Take a page from the happy couples' playbook and use laughter and pride in your joint coping ability when recalling things that didn't go as planned.
Tip #4: If the reminiscing is making you sad, ask yourself why. Is the pain you're feeling due to regret over the fact that you're so unhappy now? By allowing yourself to admit that you do feel sad that your relationship has lost its initial glow, you may be breaking down some of those defenses that have prevented you from seeking to restore that past intimacy.