They think back on something from the past and wonder if they should have known. Could they have avoided today’s problems?
It makes sense to me.
We rewind the past and surgically remove things that went wrong (and maybe people who did bad stuff) because sometimes the problems of today seem too difficult for us to fix.
Then we replace our husband or wife with a shiny version of “the one who got away” or some other guy/gal/non-binary human in the past who “would be a great lover” and “a wonderful listener.”
We rewrite our own history - filling in the details here and there with new people, new choices, and new adventures, and wonder about how it would have all turned out “if only.”
Unfortunately, we have no idea what that person from our past might really be like now.
Maybe we’ve found them on social media and have inserted ourselves (in fantasy or real life) but we still have no way of actually knowing what would have happened if things had been different all the way along.
Because when we change the story, the story changes.
It’s tempting to fantasize about the past. But what I’ve found is that we're often imagining the way someone else would have changed our lives.
What if a better question is how could we have changed our own lives and the lives of those around us right now?
Could we have been better listeners?
Could we have been better partners?
Could we have been better lovers?
Is it possible (even now) to create a better life without ever leaving town with that hot guy from the water polo team?
Sometimes (not always) the answer is yes.
Of course, some people are a whole lot easier to live with than others. Sometimes, it’s just a bad fit.
But I think we give up a lot of our power when we decide our partner is the only one who can make important changes to improve things in our relationship.
Hit me up and we’ll talk about all the possibilities.