My dear Jil, you’ve got to get rid of all those munched conversations on your phone. Love does not keep record of wrongs. In your case, you’re not only keeping record of wrongs, but evidence to be used in future prosecution of your boyfriend. And so when he says something in the future, you’ll go into that file drawer, pull out what he had said, annotated with date and time. If the reverse were the case, you won’t want to date such a man – a man who annotates texts for future reference and accusation. Nobody will want to date such a person – someone who files potential claims and evidence against you. That’s a sophisticated spirit of accusation and unforgiveness, the literal holding of grudges. At the back of your mind somewhere, you’re rummaging through those files as he’s talking. Some of those files are years old. You’re literally holding him up to conversations you had as far back as two years ago. You filed them away “just in case”. But just in case what? It’s accusatory.
You’ve built in potential turmoil into your relationship and you’ve branded your boyfriend even if you claim that’s not your intention. Worse you’ve branded yourself. Means one has to be careful what one texts you. You file texts away and can pull out a file anytime. It’s a spirit of meticulous accusation. That’s what those munches are. Means you held those conversations with a view. While your boyfriend was texting freely, you were responding with a view. You were responding with the view to bringing up evidence in the near future that will vindicate you before third parties. It’s either that or you’ve branded him “prone to forget what was said” – which is another euphemism for articulate accusation. It means you never forget, and you don’t want to forgive and forget. There’s a stubborn insistence on bringing faults to remembrance, a lack of forbearance. The ideals of love state that love does not keep a score of the sins of others. Love keeps no record of being wronged. The moment you keep a record of wrongs, you’re already in the wrong yourself. Once you start digitally archiving a record of wrongs, you’re already in the wrong yourself.
You see, that digital archive of evidence of wrong of others also constitutes digital evidence of your own wrongdoing. The very nature of humans means in a relationship once every while, you’ll offend each other. In a relationship, you’re bound to do something wrong, something irritable to your partner – something that needs forbearance. But when you set up yourself as the standard you’ll never see your own wrongdoing. You’re after all the standard. A tape measures everything except herself. But the ability of the tape to measure other things implies the measurement of the tape itself. And so the moment you set up yourself as the standard in a relationship you determine your own limitation. If a 6ft long tape is used to measure a 30ft long wall, we not only know the length of the wall but also the limitation of the tape. That your boyfriend doesn’t vocalise your limitations doesn’t mean you have no limitations. I’m sure there are things he wishes for that you’re not, things he wishes you’d do you don’t do. That may be his quiet pain. But because he loves you he makes a determination those things don’t matter, that every other thing you are is what matters. That we’re deeply loved is not the absence of faults in us, it’s proof of frailties, needfulness and shortcomings. That’s what love does – love swallows shortcomings, focuses on what really matters. In a manner of speaking, love is wilful ignorance. It’s a perseverance inoculation.
There’s just something so negative about keeping record of old conversations of disagreement in a relationship. It’s somehow reminiscent of the defunct Stasi secret police in East Germany. They had files upon files on people. Those files later became public record when the communist regime fell. You can imagine the anger and recrimination when people discovered their neighbours had been spying on them. There’s just something so negative about such filing. Delete all those munched conversations. You’ll feel a burden lift off you. When you imprison others with unforgiveness, you’re imprisoned too. Both the jailed and the jailer stay in the same prison. And no relationship will endure in happiness with a record of accusations. There’s something off-putting and adversarial about a partner who keeps record of wrongs. When you settle a quarrel, let it go. Forget it and move on. Or you’re going to need a lot of filing cabinets. One does not want to imagine what a relationship in which both parties are record-keeping wrongs will be like. That will be some relationship! There’ll be accusations and counter-accusations, both sides tendering evidence. Words that should have been forgotten are dredged up – including words spoken in anger that should never have been spoken.
The most damaging part is those record of wrongs erode trust and faith. And you graduate into an accuser. Accusations wear out the fabric of the soul, rends the garment of a relationship in tatters. Accusation is an adversarial equipment, a prosecutorial technology. In the normal course of life people run from the accuser. Should you give your boyfriend cause to run from you? Most times anyway we’re deflecting our own issues when we accuse others. And it’s worse when we presume the worst of others and expect them to defend themselves and prove their worth. You’re not going to get a lasting relationship doing that. It’s emotionally draining. Your boyfriend is going to be a sad man. Of course there are also men who do these things. They dredge up accusations with diaristic meticulousness. Either way, you have to drop evidentiary and prosecutorial munching. If you want a healthy relationship that is. You have to believe the best of your partner. It’s an expression of love and goodwill. Then he’s forced to rise to the occasion. Your faith in him becomes aspirational. I do hope you listen to counsel.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder | email@example.comThere’s something off-putting and adversarial about a partner who keeps record of wrongs. Click To Tweet