Letting Go of Resentment for Couples
Over time, negative relationship habits can create resentment. The more this resentment builds up, the harder it is to overcome it and get back to a healthy, happy relationship. Resentment leads to anger, frustration, and distance between partners, which ultimately leads to divorce.
Before you can start to improve your relationship, you must first recognize that you’re feeling resentment and experiencing distance.
Signs You’re Feeling Resentment:
You’re Quiet More Often Than You Used to Be
Being comfortably quiet with your partner is a sign of a healthy relationship, yet when the silence becomes uncomfortable, there’s a problem. Do you find yourself holding back and not verbalizing things you used to for fear of backlash or starting an argument? If you find yourself frequently biting your tongue to avoid a conversation, chances are you’re feeling resentful about it.
You Stop Asking for Help
If you used to ask your partner for help around the house however now find yourself saying “Never mind, I’ll do it myself,” it’s clear you no longer expect support from your partner. You’ve learned that you are not able to depend on your partner when you need help so you’re separating yourself from them and learning to go it alone. This can also be a sign that you’re planning to leave the relationship, even if you’re not consciously planning it yet. You’re becoming more self-sufficient.
You’ve Become Passive-Aggressive
If you find yourself intentionally doing or saying things you know irritate your partner, there are some underlying resentment issues. “Forgetting” date night, not calling when they expect to hear from you, feeding their pet peeves, and starting conversations you know will lead to disagreements are all unhealthy relationship habits.
Your Sex Life Has Become Non-Existent
A very common sign of resentment is no longer showing your partner affection, of any kind. This includes hugs, kisses, and holding hands as well. If the idea of being touched by your partner turns you off or you just want to “get it over with,” you need to take a good look at your relationship.
You’ve Become Short-Tempered
If you find yourself losing control over the little things or placing blame on your partner for things you did, resentment is building up. Think about your temper. Have you always been a calm person, even in an argument? If so and you now find yourself blowing up over the smallest things, it’s time to take a reality check. What’s causing that change?
You’re Relationship Has Turned into a Roommate Situation
Feeling more like roommates than a couple usually means you’ve checked out emotionally and no longer have a desire to be in the relationship. Do you still feel connected to your partner or have you completely lost interest?
You’ve Become Stagnant in Your Life While Your Partner Experiences Success
This is a common cause for resentment. If nothing new is happening in your life, it’s become mundane, and your partner is enjoying success after success, it can weigh heavy on the relationship. You may be feeling jealous, which can lead to emotional outcomes.
You Provoke Arguments
Are you looking for an excuse to yell at your partner? Blame them for something? Burst their bubble of happiness? If so, provoking arguments is a sure sign of underlying resentment. When was the last time you had an argument? If you can think of at least two or three times within the last week, something other than what you fought about is going on.
You No Longer Feel Empathy
When your partner has a bad day and comes crying on your shoulder, are you there for them or are you just fed up? Eye rolls, silence, and simply walking away are all signs that you don’t really care about their feelings.
Do you notice yourself in any of the above signs? If so and you have a desire to get your relationship back on track, read on. Let’s talk about how to prevent resentment and how to recover from it when it starts destroying your relationship.
Keeping resentment from creeping into your relationship is important to maintain a healthy connection with your partner.
Acknowledge How You Feel
If something is bothering you, speak up. Don’t hold it in and let it eat away at you. Find a gentle, yet productive, way to communicate your feelings, irritations, fears, jealousies, and issues before they start to get the better of your relationship.
Every argument has two sides, take responsibility for your part. If you find yourself picking a fight with your partner, ask yourself “why.” It’s important to get to the underlying issue and acknowledge your own fault in the conflict.
When you know you’ve done something wrong, be big enough to apologize. This will allow you to be vulnerable and promote forgiveness so that you can let it go and move on. Don’t justify your behavior by shifting blame. Instead, take responsibility for your own actions and the part you played in the conflict.
Don’t Allow Your Wounds to Fester
This will only create more resentment. Take some time to think about how you can approach the topic in a manner that won’t be argumentative, then speak to your partner about what’s bothering you. Listen openly to their response and try to see things from their point of view. Once it’s discussed and you’ve heard each other out, don’t hold on to it any longer.
Accept That Your Partner is Human
This doesn’t mean accepting hurtful behavior, however it can mean accepting that the behavior was not intentional and maybe your partner doesn’t realize they hurt you. This is another great opportunity to talk things out. Let your partner know how what they did affected you and allow them the opportunity to explain and apologize.
Learn to be More Forgiving
Practice being a more forgiving person in all areas of your life. Avoid holding a grudge, it will drain you and cause you to get lost in a victim mentality. We all have our imperfections.
These actions will help keep your relationship on track so that resentment can’t get the better of you.
Let Go and Forgive
If you’ve found yourself in a place of resentment, the only way to salvage your relationship is to let go and forgive.
- Be open and receptive to forgiving your partner and accepting forgiveness yourself.
- Make a conscious decision to forgive – holding onto anger and resentment will wear you down.
- Learn to think before you speak – before starting an argument, ask yourself what’s really bothering you so that you can address the issue at hand.
- Take responsibility – there is blame on both sides.
- Don’t throw your partner’s past back in their face – this is a sign that you didn’t truly forgive and you’re continuing to let the anger and resentment get the best of you.
- Be patient – coming back from a place of resentment is a long journey.
- Make a commitment to talking things out when an issue arises instead of letting it fester.
If you’re having trouble moving on, it may be time to seek professional help with a coach. Talking to a professional is a sign that you’re both willing to change and get past your resentment for a happier, healthier relationship. Call today for a FREE exploratory session and see how the horses I can help heal some of these old wounds!