Couples who receive marriage counseling learn many skills for making their marriage stronger and more resilient. One of those skills is the ability to keep looking and moving forward in your relationship rather than focusing on the past. For some people, taking that approach means learning to let go of regrets. We’ve all said or done things we wish we hadn’t or encountered life events that didn’t turn out as we had hoped, however spending mental and emotional energy continually rehashing the past is unproductive.
Getting a Fresh Start
Being consumed with regret makes it hard to achieve the healing you are looking for in marriage counseling. Here are some strategies you can use to drop that baggage and move forward without it:
- Take steps to right your wrongs. It’s not always possible to “fix” something you’ve done that affected your spouse, but acknowledging it and offering a sincere apology is a positive step that can help you and your partner start moving forward.
- Keep in mind what you’ve learned. Just about everywhere you find regret you’ll find some wisdom as well. Rather than focusing on what was lost, reflect on what you learned and how it will make you a wiser person going forward.
- Get back in sync with your values. We often regret actions that we feel are “out of character” for us. Taking some time to remind yourself who you are and how you want to behave, and re-committing to living by your principles can help you let go of your embarrassment and disappointment in yourself.
- Broaden your perspective. Focusing on a single isolated incident can cause it to appear larger than it truly was. You may regret shouting at your spouse—and it’s certainly not a behavior you want to repeat—but when held up to all the times you’ve told them you love them, the incident may not be as damaging as you thought.
- Practice patience. No matter what strategy or strategies you use to let go of regrets, the passage of time is an important component. Regret is a strong emotion. Recognize that even when you stop reinforcing it, some time will have to elapse before it fades away.
An Optimistic Outlook
Marriage counseling is a journey and the regrets that many people carry with them are very heavy. Take steps to let go of yours and you’ll find it much easier to heal your heart and your relationship. To learn about our marriage counseling services, contact us online at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area of Adams County including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.