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 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 1
Dredging up old hurts during argumentsPage 1 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
On another thread, a poster asks for help understanding why, in an argument, partners dredge up things that happened long before to justify the way they're feeling now. The comment asks women to explain why women do this but since I believe BOTH genders are given to this kind of behavior and reasoning, I think it should be responded to without pretending this is a trait exclusive to one gender.

So... have you ever used things long forgiven (or at least, obstensibly forgiven), to justify your expectations and/or disappointments to strengthen your position in an argument with your S/O? Is there a reasonable period of time for an "offence" to have been committed to the graveyard and never exhumed again? Does the past error lose its flavor while the person who was to have forgiven it now becomes culpable for not being able to forgive and forget?

Let's help him out.
 iTsMeJuLi
Joined: 10/27/2008
Msg: 2
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 3:08:04 PM
I dated a guy who when we had a disagreement would bring up previous disagreements that had nothing to do with the current situation. He'd also quote me word for word on what I had said months ago about something or other. He believed that whatever I'd said was cast in stone. I don't remember any particulars, but I do know it sure was annoying. He's now an ex and I barely talk to him. He's one of those people who always has to win a disagreement rather than compromise or see my point of view.
I don't like to have arguments. I can have a disagreement but as soon as its discussed and/or resolved its over never to be raised again. Unless of course the same thing happens again.
I have a guy friend and sometimes we get into heated discussions. Neither of us likes to argue so we'll each go to our corners to diffuse. We both drop it and return to our friendship. Whatever our differences were are remembered and respected but never brought up again. Lessons learned on both sides.
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 3
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Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 3:12:18 PM
I have done it. But when the same problem crops up again and again and your partner refuses to acknowledge a pattern, it always good to have a little Ammo. My Ex husband could never accept that; until he was willing to change he would have to repeat the same life lessons over until he learned from them. Even now, after our divorce he is far worse off than when were married, because he consistantly makes the same mistakes only I am not there to catch him anymore.
 Alabamamam
Joined: 4/8/2008
Msg: 4
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 3:12:45 PM
Yes I did and quite a few times. Why? Some things do have cumulative effect on you. You may choose to ingnore them but over a long period of time it becomes very frustrating. You can't go and discuss with a person every single think that you are not comfortable and dislike or disagree. Of course for major stuff it is is yes. But there some little ones that you may choose to ingnore in order not to argue all the time.
You use those examples when you try to produce a constractive argument or demonstrait irrational patterns in someones' behavior.
 Capitano_Blaugh
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 5
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 3:13:55 PM
I've been on the receiving end.

When my ex left, I couldn't believe some of the stuff that she brought up to justify why she fell in love with the new guy.

...pretty sure I had that deer in the headlights look on my face at the time.....

 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 6
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 3:19:35 PM

While both men and women are sometimes guilty of the practice... women are much more likely to keep nagging about something that happned more than a year before.

Guys tend to deal with problems and then get over it.


It's a good thing we don't have to give an authority for our opinions here on POF. Most of us couldn't come up with anything but one or two experiences of our own to cite as our reasons for believing that one gender does something more than the other.

I know a number of guys who are atrocious naggers who do anything BUT "deal with problems and get over them"...

Let's not turn this into a gender war folks. The purpose of the question is really to explore someone's reasoning behind using previous similar incidents to substantiate why they are upset over the same thing?

For instance, how "old" is an "old" experience? I knew someone who thought that "yesterday" or "last week" was in the "past". Matters that were important remained unresolved and kept rearing their heads despite his attempts to put everything in a box labelled "the past". As a result, nothing got dealt with...

That's where I'm hoping this will go rather than the old "My Mama can beat up yer Mama" stuff...
 nexthyme
Joined: 9/12/2007
Msg: 7
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Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 3:22:22 PM
Fred that is a very broad sweeping statement, and I wonder where you get your percentages to make a quote like that.

I say this because I have dealt with men who drag up crap from years and years AND YEARS back, just to rehash it all over again. One particular person seemed to take personal pleasure in dragging this verbal exchanges out for hours and hours on end.

My ex never dealt with anything, and would avoid any discussion, however then again he was an alcoholic, so it was really an excuse to run off and drink. THUS I was guilty of nagging about crap that never got taken care of.

I think the problem with some men and women, is that men will believe that something is resolved, but in reality the woman has kept quiet (in an attempt to not nag, and keep the peace), until she can't stand it any more, then she throws everything including the emotional kitchen sink. That is perhaps why some men think women are guilty of this more.


For instance, how "old" is an "old" experience? I knew someone who thought that "yesterday" or "last week" was in the "past". Matters that were important remained unresolved and kept rearing their heads despite his attempts to put everything in a box labelled "the past". As a result, nothing got dealt with...
My point exactly, sometimes people don't realize they aren't resolving issues, and so they keep coming back up. Then you get the person who says ohh geez, wtf, where did that come from...Hmmmm years of not actually dealing with something important to the other person perhaps?

My SO, has no problem in saying what is bothering him about something I have done or said, and vice versa, thus there is no prolonged nag sessions by either of us, because both of us are able to say our piece, then make sure both sides feel like they have been heard.

If past issues are brought up, then eyebrows are raised, because these issues were handled before, therefore there is no reason to bring it to a current issue. USUALLY.

Sometimes it is to make a point of, this is still happening, and I thought we handled it before.

ANYWAY, despite Fred thinking women do this more, I think it just depends on the situation, and person. If a person has some one that is bringing up things from the past a LOT, perhaps it is time to exam whether that person avoids discussing things that are important to the other person. It is a matter of respect, and can be a matter of whether a relationships survives or not...

 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 8
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Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 3:24:02 PM
I would say that when that happens it's because it has never been resolved and has been festering away inside. Rather than use it to attack someone, while they use it to attack you for bringing it up again...talk about it, get it out, and do something to fix the problem. Sure it's a bad way to fight, but it's there, deal with it.
 TimothyPaul001
Joined: 7/29/2007
Msg: 9
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 3:35:13 PM
Hi Silken Fire,

Men and women bring past things up during an argument because some things make such an impression we never truly get over them. We go on after they happen, but we still carry them, and in the heat of the moment the good feelings we had toward the other person are forgotten. And when that happens, there's nothing to keep past hurts buried.

Sincerely,


Timothy
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 10
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 3:37:12 PM
While both men and women are sometimes guilty of the practice... women are much more likely to keep nagging about something that happned more than a year before.

Guys tend to deal with problems and then get over it.

At least we know you're straight. Deluded, but...

It's dirty pool, but apparently if they're bringing up something (and when I say "they" I mean men bwahahahaha), it's because that original conflict was never resolved to their satisfaction.


I'm one of those guys that thinks women are guilty of it more often than men.

I bet I know why.
 Levi501s
Joined: 6/26/2007
Msg: 11
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 3:39:09 PM
I think it's good to forgive, but don't forget!

That's how people find themselves in abusive situations.

If I notice a trend, you bet, I'll bring it up for discussion. If we can't work it out, it's better, IMO, to leave the relationship.

What bothers me, may not bother another guy. Visa versa for her.

We all deserve to be happy and good communication is an integral key, to me.

just a few thoughts
 ~Hello~
Joined: 7/30/2008
Msg: 12
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 4:00:28 PM

It is extremely wrong to use "old news" as a weapon in a war of words.


"human nature"?? lmao

Sorry, but this is Not "human" nature, nor is it the "nature" of males Or females. It is the nature of Some people to have Huge control issues. This 'old news' in an argument or 'anything' to "Win" (ahem) the argument is nothing more than that persons inability to "win" said argument on the facts or on their knowledge of supposed facts.

Ignorance is Ignorance, whether it is Ignorance as in Stupid or Ignorance as in Rude.

I've known people who need to be "in charge". It isn't about whether or not they're actually "right", it isn't about resolution or working toward the betterment of the "relationship" it's a very ignorant (as in Rude) power trip. Those who resort to these tactics are the same sort who raise their voices and use body language to gain "Conrol" = I don't "play" that game.

First I don't like to argue - esp with someone who I'm supposed to be in a relationship with! Sheesh .. Furthermore, the "Way" a person behaves during a heated discussion or disagreement speaks Volumes about them. I'd much prefer to associate with or have relationship with people who are capable of Adult Discussions.

Men and women are equally Capable of being jerks - No gender has the monopoly on That! Thankfully we are all also capable of being pretty frikkin decent .. I'm going to that thread now ..


A.S.is
 webweebil
Joined: 9/4/2008
Msg: 13
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Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 4:10:38 PM
I like to stick with issues. I like to resolve issues and move on. I have a real problem staying in any relationship where someone's need to "win" takes eclipses the issue at hand and old transgressions are brought up. It makes me want to bolt more than anything, just to get away from the craziness. My first husband did that. I struggled and twisted my mind around to see his "logic," but realized it had no logic other than to throw me off the topic. He was an alcoholic, so that could explain it. The only people I can remotely abide nowadays are those who are consciously intending to improve themselves and grow, which is what my goal is.

If someone had a REAL problem and brought it up, even if it were years later, for resolution, I would do my best to see the problem put to rest. I would gladly be of service in any effort to move ahead with greater clarity about myself and the other person. I am not perfect, but I consciously strive to be free of toxic thinking and behaviors. Even if it's not flattering to hear, if someone has a problem with something I did, I am able to listen and think about the merits of what they have to say. If they have another agenda (i.e., one-upsmanship, jealousy, projection), I can pick it up very easily (always could read intent - it's a gift) and will point that out to them if I'm so inclined, or just move on.
 aprilwhyapril
Joined: 10/22/2008
Msg: 14
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 4:34:21 PM
People, you all need to refresh yourselves on Men/Mars and Women/Venus. It's all right in there. Some people tend to build up resentment and just like traffic accidents the issue never seems to be where you think it is. It seems that all the posters to this thread have had issues with communication, open and consistent, in past relationships. When you don't get your partner to open up and release their issues with you about you that you perhaps caused then you're apt to get them back magnified later on. In relationships, you need to take care about what you say and do constantly and listen not just to the spoken but also the unspoken, the body language screams the hurt that is caused. People come to relationships with their own issues, it's important to recognize when you've caused something to be dredged up whether you were the cause or just the catalyst. Body language tells it all. Talk talk talk and listen listen really listen and you will avoid flare-ups down the road.

Hope that helps. It pays to educate yourself. Read those relationship books written preferrably by folks with the PhD's next to their name. You will be amazed at how much you will grow.
 Capitano_Blaugh
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 15
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 4:54:15 PM

Hope that helps. It pays to educate yourself. Read those relationship books written preferrably by folks with the PhD's next to their name. You will be amazed at how much you will grow.


No, no, no, silly wabbit.....

People should only pay attention to me when it comes to dating, love and relationship stuff.

The world would be a MUCH funner place and everyone would get naked WAY sooner. Rubbing body parts is good..... thinking is bad.

.... not only that, but I don't charge anyone, though I really should..



 msflis
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 16
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 5:00:44 PM
^^^ Because...we would be amazed at how much you will grow?

--Ms. Flis
 webweebil
Joined: 9/4/2008
Msg: 17
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Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 5:07:35 PM
Agreed about the Ph.D. "experts." Information that comes from the guy on the street or whoever is still information. It is my God-given ability to discern its usefulness. It will be a cold day in hell when I transfer my critical thinking abilities over to any outside authority.
 bucsgirl
Joined: 5/13/2006
Msg: 18
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Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 5:47:44 PM
From going to marriage counseling one thing I did learn is that it's good to have "rules" (I know can't think of a better word) for arguing/discussing/problem solving.

I know how it sounds, but my ex did this constantly. Funny thing (got a belly laugh out of the counselor) he couldn't remember what day to take out the trash, my birthday, our wedding anniversary, but he had impeccable memory for everything and anything he ever thought I did "wrong".

Disagreements, differences in opinion, lifestyle/habits, it's an opportunity to hone your problem solving skills and figure out a new method of coping that is acceptable to both. If it's a tug of war or power struggle, then nothing productive happens.

People revisit the past when it's been handled to punish, try to make you feel bad/IE make them feel better. It's destructive behavior, accomplishes nothing and is a relationship killer.

Even though I am nearly Mary Poppins (cough) without the umbrella and that dreadful jacket, I do own my behavior, my words and am grown-up enough to take responsibility and do what I can to make amends and...ultimately....move forward.

Those that continuously display this behavior are not "fit" to be in a healthy, nurturing relationship.

Those that understand and implement the graciousness act of forgiveness are deserving of a better person. Forgiveness requires the selfless willingness to write off the "wrong" and erase the "you owe me/need to make it up to me" slate clean.
 aprilwhyapril
Joined: 10/22/2008
Msg: 19
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 6:33:37 PM
I just don't agree with that. People do not intend on hurting their SO. But those that continue to propagate the myth have a self-fulfilling prophecy on their hands and never ending circle that is very difficult to break out of. Forgiveness doesn't solve anything just puts a bandaid on it, makes it look pretty on the surface. Why are people so afraid to go deeper and open themselves to each other? In a word, fear of facing their deepest fears and selves. Too bad, there's a lot of living to do if only you took that first hard step and put some real work into yourselves.
 ~Hello~
Joined: 7/30/2008
Msg: 20
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 9:41:38 PM

It will be a cold day in hell when I transfer my critical thinking abilities over to any outside authority.
Absolutely, I mean when we have POF to do that critical thinking!!! lol .. sorry .. couldn't resist.


Forgiveness doesn't solve anything just puts a bandaid on it, makes it look pretty on the surface.
What??!! Forgiveness most certainly does solve many things! It is Not a bandaid nor does it make anything look pretty. Geez. Forgiveness is something the forgiver does for their own self. It is not intended to "wipe" any slate clean, it does not suggest that 'we' forget what happened. Forgiveness is All about choosing to let go of those negative feelings and resentments that Only serve to harm the person feeling them.

aprilwhyapril you are like so many who assume forgiveness has something to do with the person being forgiven. It doesn't, well rarely anyway. You should read some of those books you're talking about.. they address the subject quite well actually.

Otherwise, I have to agree with those who are 'suggesting' a little common sense might help. You said:
Too bad, there's a lot of living to do if only you took that first hard step and put some real work into yourselves.
.. gawd I hope you are doing that "mirroring" thing and not pointing proverbial fingers just because people have differing opinions than you. It's ok .. I forgive you cuz I know you don't mean me .. and besides I'm crashing soon and I want to sleep.

OT - I am honest and I value my friendship/relationships enough to speak my truth . . even when it isn't 'pretty'. Anything less than Mutual open honest communication is at best an acquaintance - definitely Not a friend.

A.S.is
 nocatchyname
Joined: 1/15/2007
Msg: 23
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 10:06:01 PM
I laugh because bringing up old "forgiven" issues in current arguments is very immature, imo. Very low, and shows a person's inability to get over the past. So we all screw up, and sometimes they are repeat screw ups, nobody said humans were perfect.

If it ever happened to me again, I'd laugh and walk away from the argument because it will have become null and void, because I know that, no matter how it ends, it will always be remember. Why bother with b/s like that?
 beniandthejets
Joined: 1/10/2008
Msg: 24
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 10:12:59 PM
I have found that when something old is brought up in an argument, it wasn't resolved in the first place. Just because it was addressed, doesn't mean it is managed. I feel that if a SO does something to you, you need to move on from it or move on from the relationship. It is not fair to the other person or yourself. Get out or get over it.
 Larissan04
Joined: 4/28/2004
Msg: 25
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 10:17:54 PM
i for one NEVER do this. i think people do this when they haven't fully dealt with thier issues at the moment when the problem came to light. this leads to resentment. i typically get really mad, maybe yell about it, deal with it with my partner, then it's done. when it's done i never bring it up again.

i think we live in a society that feels that any expressions of anger are negative. however, anger in my opinion is often the correct response to an event. that doesnt' mean that a person should resort to any kind of verbal abuse, i.e., name calling, or attacking a person's character. what it does mean is that if someone does something that is a breach of your agreements with one another, or a breach of one's responsbilities etc, then anger is often the correct response. you have a right to be angry AT THE BEHAVIOR and you have to address it. being angry about something doesn't mean that you are a bad person, and supressing your feelings and letting them pent up inside is really unhealthy.

i'd even go so far as to say that people who hold thier feelings inside are being passive aggressive. they are pretending it's "okay" when it's not. And yes, women do this all the time...

lar
 transcend
Joined: 1/13/2007
Msg: 26
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Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/11/2008 10:28:17 PM
sometimes the desire to win overwhelms the intent to fight fairly and a single thing becomes anything then everything and its an adrenal fired pain party for two.

Its why loving an adrenaline junkie never leads to enlightenment but if you survive the first stages of the argument .. you will find yourself engaged to depths and degrees you might not have seen otherwise and the make up sex might even seem to be worth it

its a pity that people forget every other path to their deepest passions
the positive has so much more potential without leaving the taste of residual resentments
 CompletelyDone
Joined: 8/12/2007
Msg: 28
Dredging up old hurts during arguments
Posted: 11/12/2008 12:32:31 AM
I see that the majority feel it's really wrong to bring up old issues during an argument and I would tend to agree with that... On the other hand, I see traces of "the past" in almost every thread on these forums... Isn't that the goldurndest strangest thing???

I've found what is to me, some really interesting commentary:


Another reason to not divulge too much about one's past relationship squabbles, number of lovers, variety of positions, etc.


I agree... People talk too darn much! What starts out as a simple exchange of information becomes bullets later on. Not good!


My Ex husband could never accept that; until he was willing to change he would have to repeat the same life lessons over until he learned from them.


And his partner could not accept that he was not willing to learn those lessons? The problem here is that what he won't learn, everybody does time for... Again, not good!


...pretty sure I had that deer in the headlights look on my face at the time.....


Deer that get caught in the headlights are usually about to do something really stupid... like getting hit by a truck... Just sayin' Cap...


I think the problem with some men and women, is that men will believe that something is resolved, but in reality the woman has kept quiet (in an attempt to not nag, and keep the peace), until she can't stand it any more, then she throws everything including the emotional kitchen sink. That is perhaps why some men think women are guilty of this more.


Well said NT... Some people are so good at NOT resolving any problems that the only option is for their partner to pack up and get out. Unfortunately, some of us don't give up as easily or as quickly as we should. Cuz like it or not, that's the alternative...


Rather than use it to attack someone, while they use it to attack you for bringing it up again...


This brought to mind that one of the ways people neatly avoid resolving an issue is to smokescreen it with the pretence that something has been resolved when they know very well it has not been. Some people are great with using smokescreens like this instead of just saying, "Look... I am NEVER going to change so deal with it."


and in the heat of the moment the good feelings we had toward the other person are forgotten. And when that happens, there's nothing to keep past hurts buried.


Except the knowledge that the relationship is headed for the deadzone perhaps? I think that's the exact moment when who we really are shows itself and we can only hope it's in a good way.


It's dirty pool, but apparently if they're bringing up something (and when I say "they" I mean men bwahahahaha), it's because that original conflict was never resolved to their satisfaction.


I agree Cassago. It's cool if both people are equally determined to resolve problems as they arise but more often than not, people try to kick the problems under the table. One of the ways of doing that is to say, "this is yesterday's news and I'm headed for the bar to catch up on today's news." There it sits... like a festering boil... ugh!


I've known people who need to be "in charge". It isn't about whether or not they're actually "right", it isn't about resolution or working toward the betterment of the "relationship" it's a very ignorant (as in Rude) power trip.


No doubt but who's the one in charge? The person who successfully avoids the problem one more time or the person who keeps bringing it up? Things are not always as straightforward as they appear.


My first husband did that. I struggled and twisted my mind around to see his "logic," but realized it had no logic other than to throw me off the topic. He was an alcoholic, so that could explain it.


The sane never understand the insane. This is the "smokescreen" I was referring to earlier. The old "keep 'er off balance and make her doubt her perceptions" trick... A necessary manipulation in the minds of most alcoholics who need it to pad their denial. Glad you got out WW!


Silken -- as I said in that other thread, so too here...24 hours for both parties involved. One full day's worth is plenty of time to speak up on a topic of concern or bewilderment, and anything beyond 24 hours is now a dead issue. Stockpiling "ammo" as some have said, is how children deal with these situations, not adults. You can't say it in 24 hours, then it wasn't worth the discussion...don't think it'll be worth discussing later.


Whew BDJ... a 24 hour window of opportunity can be a toughie for a partner who has to stop to examine whether or not her feelings about whatever is going on even belongs to your relationship or perhaps is signalling that she's still got an issue she didn't know she had. I can take that long just to get to the bottom of what the problem really is! I'm scratching my head over this one because while I see where you're going with that line of thought, I think that relationship issues are so easily masked by previous experiences and emotions that your partner better have her ducks in a row to be with you. That's not much room for thinking in my view...

You answer AprilWhyApril with "common sense" but I've gotta tell you, I've got a whole lot more of that than money and I still don't think 24 hours is a reasonable expectation.

Okay.. that's enuff out of me for tonight... I'm enjoying the rather thought-provoking responses and thought I'd offer some feedback from my rather tenuous place on the perch. Thanks for your contributions so far....

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