A good indicator of marital satisfaction is how a couple recalls their past. The way they recall their history tells a lot about the current status of the relationship. Happier couples recall the past with more warm and caring sentiments. Couples who are currently dissatisfied, often say they have trouble remembering or only offer information about the tough times.
Alyson and Rory had been married for 8 years and had two children together. They had not always argued about everything like they seem to lately. When asked about their past, Alyson tells of how she and Rory met when they were in college. While she tells the story, Rory offers snide remarks.
Alyson says, “I thought he was cute when I spotted him in math class so I found an excuse to start a conversation with him. I told him I needed help, but really I didn’t.” As she tells her story, Rory chimes in and says, “she still acts helpless all the time and still wants me to fix everything. Not much has changed.”
When asked about what they used to do while they were dating, Rory states he can’t remember. He says they probably went to the movies or something. Alyson is able to recall a few weekend trips they went on and how they used to go hiking in the mountains but she says she doesn’t remember any of the details.
When they were happier together, they used to recall how they spent hours just talking. They would stay up late while in college and would cook dinner together. They could recall how they decided to move in together and how much they enjoyed taking ski lessons, walking in the park, and looking at the stars.
Recalling your history in a more negative light can be a sign that you aren’t having a lot of positive feelings for your partner. If you can’t recall the activities you used to do together, how you spent your time and how you felt about one another, spend some time thinking about this. Try to recall the more positive aspects of your past history together. Having a negative view of the past can put a more negative view on the present and can cause the future to appear more grim.