Does your past really affect your efforts in saving the marriage? How?
Holding on to past hurts and problems is never a good idea. This is because no matter how noble your purpose is to leave everything in the past and to start anew, you won’t be able to stop yourself from carrying these problems with you to your present, and hinder your attempts at saving the marriage.
For couples who are saving the marriage after infidelity, it is one of the problems that they usually deal with. This is why counselors and therapists emphasize the importance of dealing with all the problems you’ve had as a couple while healing the marriage, to avoid any chance of them coming up again in the future.
These issues and problems could come back either in the same form, like communication problems for example or trust issues that began when the affair was discovered, or in other ways but with similar themes. Holding on to these things could make saving the marriage more difficult than it already is. It also does not necessarily have to happen with the same person. If you and your spouse get separated or divorced after infidelity, these unresolved issues could follow you into your new relationship with another person.
Healing yourself is the first step in stopping these past issues from hurting your present and saving the marriage. Begin by making yourself aware of the things that trigger you to feel these resentments. Try to pinpoint what events lead you to become reminded of these past issues or problems.
Where does the negativity come from? Why do you feel this way? What were the instances in the past that differ from your situation now? What or who was involved? Make yourself aware of the differences of the past and the present situations. Clearly defining the differences between the two will be a huge step in saving the marriage. By knowing what triggers your feelings of pain or resentment, you will be able to anticipate when they will happen and why, and be able to stop them from happening.
The most important part of this healing process is forgiveness. Forgiving the person who was the cause or the source of these issues is vital. You will never be able to move on from your past if you do not forgive him or her. Accept that he or she was a part of your life and that the experiences you shared helped make you the person you are today. You also have to forgive yourself. You can’t go on if you continue to blame yourself for whatever reason.
When you have done these and have completely let go of your mistakes in the past, you will be able to move on from these past hurts and issues, go forward with your life and continue on the journey of saving the marriage.