top of page

New Year's Resolutions for Your Relationship

It's that time of year when people start analyzing themselves and make vows to start anew. New Years resolutions can range anywhere from new diet and health regimens to financial and job-related successes. How many of you think of your significant other in your goals when starting a new plan for success? I found a list on the web from Couples Connection that outlined some possible steps to take in your relationship when thinking of your New Years resolutions. If you are in a committed relationship, it makes a lot of sense to see your goals as a team effort- our healthy relationships bring us secure emotional attachment, a sense of comfort and well-being, and helps us to meet many other of our primary emotional needs. When things aren't going so well, the distress can be a huge burden. Although I really did like the list, I would like to address the first statement more in depth as I feel it needs more explanation. The following italicized paragraph as well as the full article can be found here:

  1. Let go of the past

The beginning of a new year is a good opportunity to put past arguments to bed. Your relationship will never move forward if you revisit the same old squabbles time and time again; instead of resolving the issue you’ll only build further resentments.

If your partner has made a mistake and apologized then accept their apology and look at ways of building trust in your relationship to reassure each other it won’t be repeated.

Yes, letting go of the past is easier said than done. If letting go of the past for you is letting go of an minor incident or one that occurred before your relationship started (i.e., your partner's past before you were a couple) the above advice may make a lot of sense. However, if it was a major relationship injury that occurred while you were together (an affair, lying, drug or alcohol abuse, etc.) this may be harder to move past, with good reason. The real problem may lie deeper than the actions- when you or your partner turns outside of the relationship for comfort instead of towards you, the attachment bond is weakened. Trust may need to be rebuilt. Safety in the relationship is compromised. Research shows that for one person in the relationship to emotionally move past such an incident, they need to truly see that their partner empathizes with the distress or pain they have been though. They need to see that their partner understands them, that they have remorse, and can build confidence that the injury will not reoccur. This cannot happen unless there are discussions and a reconnection with their significant other.

Relationships take work, and just "stuffing" problems away will only make them erupt somewhere else later down the line. Although some conversations may be difficult to have, they are often the ones that really need to be addressed. Take in account your approach to a tender topic; a "squabble" or pointing fingers is not a healthy way to address an injury- try openly sharing your feelings and your need for reconnection to your significant other. Reframing your emotions in a vulnerable way is a much softer approach that is more likely to be met with openness.

bottom of page