Memory Gaps: Inaccuracies in Memory and Its Impact on Marriage

Legal Adviser February 17, 2017
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Old Woman from Denver with Memory GapIt’s natural for spouses to argue. In fact, it could be considered part of a healthy relationship — that is, if both sides are willing to work through the issue. When partners recount the same event but tell different versions of it and refuse to see eye to eye, however, it could lead to the loss of trust between married couples.

It may feel difficult for some spouses to exit a relationship that doesn’t seem to be working out, but they have the option to consult an experienced family law attorney for advice on the matter. If spouses want to try to overcome the rift that memory gaps might have caused in the relationship, maintaining a positive outlook is key.

Memory Changes Over Time

Memories aren’t constant and predictable; they change over time. It is not like a video that replays itself in the same way during a playback. In fact, it is more like an improvisational play that changes with every performance. For example, a spouse may unconsciously alter their previous memories by conforming with another person’s views or to reflect updated information.

Memories are Shaped by a Spouse’s Emotions

A person’s outlook says a lot about the details of a memory and the dynamics of their relationship. In a study conducted on 56 couples, researchers found that negatively talking about past events in a relationship heightens the risk of divorce. On the other hand, exaggerating positive feelings can help spouses recall memories more fondly. Satisfied partners can describe previous misunderstandings without any hard feelings.

The Importance of Belief and Memory Perseverance

People have a natural attachment to their memories. What happens when someone challenges it with contrary information, though? When couples argue about each other’s recall, it ends up feeling more like an attack on the person. Positive conversations that take both points of view into account, on the other hand, can help couples set aside their differences and work towards filling in the gaps in their flawed memories.

A person’s feelings continue to shape how they see their memories. As long as spouses maintain a positive outlook towards their relationship, then they can recall the past a lot more pleasantly.

Category: Expert's Vision
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