There’s a scene in “Frida” when Kahlo talks with her father, Guillermo, about love.
At some point, she asks him, “What do you think matters most for a good marriage?” Her father replies, “A short memory.”
I think I was 15 the first time I watched “Frida,” and to be honest, I didn’t quite grasp what her father was hinting at.
As a huge Kahlo fan, I’ve obviously watched this movie many times. The last time I watched it, though, Guillermo’s words kept ringing in my ears. I’m not sure if that scene is based on a real conversation that happened between Kahlo and her father, but it was interesting regardless.
Relationships aren’t easy—and they’re not supposed to be. Fights, misunderstandings, and disagreements happen all the time. And this is normal; and good; and a necessity. Two strange people are getting to know each other and learning to live together—so, naturally, there will be moments of friction along the way.
For me, I think this is great. In any healthy relationship, a quarrel is an opportunity to improve the bond. Every time we fought, my partner and I, I thought it was the end—I thought we weren’t going to work. Looking back now, every single disagreement led to a deeper understanding of ourselves, each other, and the partnership. If it wasn’t for these little conflicts, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
But there is something that is more important than the fight itself: the post-fight.
I have to admit that I suck at post-fights. Even after working through the problem and learning from it, I can’t easily get past fights—I need time to move on and let go. The main problem? My memory.
My partner, on the other hand, ends our misunderstandings with a little humor and can perfectly wake up the next morning laughing and cuddling with me. As Kahlo’s father puts it, my partner has a short memory.
With time, I’ve learned that having a short memory is essential to keeping the relationship happy. Fights happen, but this is not the main issue. Mentally holding on to disagreements is what truly damages the relationship. So moving past what triggered the fight sets the stage for compassion, kindness, and forgiveness.
It is easy to feel anger or guilt, but it’s not easy to replace them with feelings that are based on love. Next time you fight with your partner, remember what Guillermo Kahlo had to say about it.
Remember that a short memory is sometimes more important than being right.