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How do you handle differences in recollections

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sicktomy posted 6/11/2013 07:55 AM

This is my first post that is not on the waywar side because this is more of a relationship issue but it has made is worse since my affair. Please note that my BS will likely read this and might even comment as she is a member here.
This is not a new issue but definately it's bigger since I betrayed my wife. I am curious how other people handle these things.
Throughout our relationship there are many instances of us not remembering the conversation the same way. Sometimes I am fuzzy about details and she is 100% sure so take her word for it. Other times it's the opposite. The problem is when we both think we remember exactly what happened or what was discussed but our stories don't match. Example: we discuss something a few times in a light hearted sort of way (my opinion) but a few months later it comes back that I am unwilling to do something and that she has to beg for me to do something. The problem seems to be me not realizing how a important an issue is and her not realizing I didn't understand.
Another example would be me remembering I said or did something and her not and accusing me of not telling her something.
I know my wife likely has many other examples of me doing the exact same thing to her so this isn't about blame.
Is this a normal part of every relationship, what can we do? We have set guildlines to keeping our marriage safe and one of them is "tell the other partner or needs clearly" but even with that stuff can slip through.
Is this a normal part of every relationship?

Nailinmyforehead posted 6/11/2013 08:01 AM

My wife and I run into the same thing. We both try to stop and think how important these details are in the big R picture. After we realize this, oftentimes we will still disagree about what the detail was, but we try to remember we are on the same team and trying to heal.

mrcpu posted 6/11/2013 08:29 AM

Sounds like my marriage. The thing that has concerned me is when I have evidence, pictures, emails etc and she had denied it. For example years ago she got mad at me and smashed my laptop. I have pictures and yet she denies that she did it.

knightsbff posted 6/11/2013 08:35 AM

My BH and I have often remembered things differerently throughout our marriage. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree. We both feel it's more important for us to be on the same team than for either of us to be "right".
ETA: Post dday being right is much less important to me so I'm likely to concede unless I'm very sure and it's important for us.

[This message edited by knightsbff at 8:38 AM, June 11th (Tuesday)]

Tred posted 6/11/2013 09:04 AM

I think that is pretty normal. How's the old saying go? You can either be right or you can be married? Something like that.

sisoon posted 6/11/2013 13:42 PM

I think it's typical for different people to remember different things about an event they both experienced.

IMO, the best you can do is to do your best reconstructing your own memories in the light of your partner's memories.It goes both ways, since the different memories indicate uncertainty about what really happened.

Of course, if one or both parties is lying about their memories, all bets are off.

Rebreather posted 6/11/2013 14:13 PM

Well, this can be a really easy issue or utterly massive. First, it comes down to communication styles. As you move toward healing, you both will have to address how you communicate to one another. I think this is an area for MC.

How we have chosen to handle this, is first, my husband dealt with his conflict avoidance. This caused him to agree to do things or make arrangements with me that he sorta never really had any intention of carring out. So, that fixed things mightily.

Additionally, we made an agreement that we both came to our conversations with good intent. Neither of us had any desire to harm the other, so we enter into disagreements with that belief, instead of another, such as "that asshole meant to do this!" This helps diffuse disagreements because they don't become power struggles, they become opportunties to figut out where the disconnect is and how to fix it.

In order to make your communications effective, it is likely you will both need to dig down and figure out the root causes. Miscommunication and disagreements happen - we are human. My husband and I can say or hear the exact same sentence and get totally different meanings. It doesn't mean one of us is right and the other is wrong. It means we are different, and treating one another with respect while we figure out where the wire got crossed is critical to finding an effective solution.

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