This is a super quick post to address a simple but particularly infuriating issue. If you are in the process of healing and restoration with a significant other there are inevitably moments where that other can’t see progress. Some conversations just feel like nothing has been accomplished and zero forward momentum can be found. When that happens, and the hopelessness sets in, some men will try to manufacture a sense of hope and progress by comparing what they are doing now to what they could be doing wrong now or what they used to do wrong in the past.
Examples of what not to say-
- I used to lust after almost every woman I saw (but now I’m not)
- I could be looking at porn every day when I’m at work (but I don’t)
- If I wanted to sleep with my assistant I could (but I’m not)
- I could lie and completely get away with it (but I’m not)
- I could still be deleting texts from my phone and you’d never know (but I’m not)
- If I wanted to get around the internet filter I could (but I don’t)
- I used to flirt with women at church all the time (but I’m not now)
Hopefully you get the point. It’s never helpful to measure today’s progress against what you aren’t doing or could be doing that is worse. We talked about this a little bit in the Measuring Up blog post here. It is neither comforting nor reassuring to for a wife/significant other to hear how bad things could be or used to be, as a way of seeing progress in the present.
Practically, when you feel hopelessness because progress seems elusive, focus on the future rather than the past. Invite the person you’re wooing back to you to hang on and watch another day. To give you another week. To reassess on Friday. Whatever the timeline, give them something to cling to, rather than something to try to throw as far as they can see.