Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Letting the Past Pass

If you go digging in a graveyard, you’re bound to unearth a skeleton or two. That was what came to mind last night as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling trying to turn off the images in my mind that have gnawed away at me ever since I insisted on hearing the details of M’s past relationships.

“Why do you want to know?” he asked me. “I need to know,” I insisted. But did I?

Regardless of whether or not I did, much to my eventual dismay, he willingly complied, and much to his, in true girl fashion, I proceeded to get teary-eyed and poorly feign indifference.

“Nan, what’s wrong?” he asked, as though he didn’t already have an idea as to why I’d become so quiet. “Nothing,” I lied in a tone barely louder than a whisper, “I’m fine.” That was it. The charade was over. And I wondered how many arguments have begun with those same seemingly affirmative words.

It was the beginning of a long night and three long days after in which I tried everything imaginable to avoid picturing my boyfriend gallivanting about with the women of his past. Like an insufferable and unending melodramatic soap opera which I could not turn off in my mind, I witnessed again and again far too many compromising situations -- and in the end all that was compromised was my newfound happiness. Sadly, I had brought it upon myself. M had given me what I wanted against his better judgment and I had successfully turned it around on him, and for three days all we did was tear up one another’s pasts until we were both so weary of it that it seemed like there was nothing left to say.

And it got me thinking… Why do we feel the need to dig around in the pasts of those we love when we know that in the end, all we’ll get is dirty? Why do we find it so difficult to allow ourselves to be happy in the moment or feel the need to cultivate evidence to justify our deepest fears? (We only end up blaming ourselves for overlooking them down the line should they come to pass.) We insist on playing Russian Roulette with our hearts and ultimately kill our joy. Why can't we get past our own childish curiosity when we know the details will only drag us down? In essence, why are we so often unable to let the past be past us?

Fortunately, M and I soon tired from our inquisitions and agreed to put this all behind us – where it rightfully belonged. As I lay in his arms and listened to him breathe, I realized that it did not matter who he’d held before. All that mattered was here and now. The rest was history. It always had been. The only way it would affect the present or the future would be if we let it. Now I acknowledged that and decided against it. And my joy returned.


Kc said...

Hi Nunzia. I wanted to thank you for the visit and the comment.

There’s always a price to pay but I hope being closer to one you love is worth the pain. May God bless you both. ;-)

Lisa said...


lisa said...

may i link you?

bezbabe said...

so true. who hasn't been there and done that and wondered why?

malini said...

Hey,Thanx for dropping by.Kinda got what u meant.Some people find it harder to let go than hold on and im not sure where i stand. But thats life, the confusion and memories and all.No one is perfect and i realise that when u love some1 so much, the min something happens to break it up, things start going haywire and memories of the past haunt us. Nice blog by de way.Tk care and hope things turn out great for ya. : )

Jonathan said...

It's a bad habit everyone tends to have in a relationship, to want to know all about their love's past relationships. If we can find out, we feel like we've solved a little more of the mystery, and we know them even more deeply. Our fallacy in doing this lies with the motive - if we really care about the person and want to know them, we will want to know who they are and not who they were. However, we always chase down the past so that we can torture ourselves with it. It's hard not to. But who we are in the present must be careful not to become a "who we were" in the past, someone we'll have to tell future lovers about regretfully.

God instructs us, "do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold I will do something new" (Is 43:18) if you are a new creation in Him, then look to a hopeful future! Paul said "forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phi 3:13b-14).

Be encouraged, sister. You're not alone in this struggle. We all go through it; most of us can relate. Don't give up! It doesn't mean your boyfriend doesn't love who you are now, and you should love him for who he is now :)

Nunzia said...

Thank you so much for that. I was actually trying to find those exact two verses and couldn't for the life of me remember where they were. All of your inights have been really great guys. Thank you!

meesterjoneser said...

You have excellent insight into you and your partner's emotions, and have successfully gotton over a huge hurdle.

Congratulations also on being a fine writer, you've touched my heart.

My wife and I call such excursions into other's pasts "museum tours" and vowed long ago not to go there.

Best wishes,

Phantom Driver
Proud Father of an American Soldier

Nightcrawler said...

I agree with PD's museum tours comment. My wife and I have been on plenty of those tours and each time, I wonder why we do it. Sometimes it's okay, it just depends on whether or not you can truly stomach those thoughts. It took me a long time to get over my jealousy. Hopefully, you've put yours behind you.

Nightcrawler said...

Hey, do you ever listen to WRVA (1140 AM)? I get that station at night and I listen to it all the time. Especially on the weekends when they have Mike McConnell on or during the week when Michael Savage is on.

They have a webcast where you can listen to Rush too!

crossblade said...

God bless you Nunzia!!
have a great weekend....
I havent been in a realationship so I guess I better learn from you rather than commenting :)
please pray for me
praying for you too
God bless you and M!!!

Samurai Sam said...

Beautiful post, nunzia! My wife and I went through a few similar episodes when we were first together and it really didn't benefit our relationship. I wish we'd had your wisdom; it would have spared us some very "heated" discussions and a lot of hurt feelings.

Thanks for visiting A Beginner's Mind as well!

Damian said...

Should just let the past stay in the past - like i heard a quote about the best way to be happy is to have a bad memory.

meesterjoneser said...

Damian, yup. Bad memory works for me. That way, you're always making new friends, too.


Gayle said...

Hi Nunzia: Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting there!

Your writing on this post is very beautiful and touching. And your conclusion is excellent. Why dig into what happened before you two even met? I, quite frankly, never asked because I didn't want to know. Since I met my husband of 45 years in high school, there wouldn't have been too much there to ask about anyway. Err, not necessarily true, but that's what I told myself back then! :)

Continue writing... you are good!

Jonathan said...

this post is a real blessing and helpful resource. You see, as a single person, I can come to these comments and see the common advice of several married people who have dealt with this issue. This is so helpful!