If resentment is ruining your relationship, then it’s important to find ways to work through that resentment
Resentment is a strong negative emotion.
An emotion that you have when you recall an incident from the past involving your partner’s actions that caused you an emotional pain at the time and has never been resolved.
When you think about that incident or argument, you once again have a deep hurt that is experienced as anger or bitterness and because it’s not resolved you find it impossible to move past it.
This emotion is a stress response.
You might even recall the event so vividly that it almost feels as though it’s still happening.
This is because the emotion (stress response) that is generated in the body is real and the memory of the event being re-experienced is as if it were happening in the present tense.
BUT something that is imagined or remembered in your brain – but is not actually happening now – is in fact a fantasy.
In other words, resentments are fantasies that continue to cause us pain and make us suffer.
It is common for a person to dwell on resentments and continue his/her own suffering.
If you are feeling the pain of an old hurt, it is you and only you who is continuing the pain because you are the one that is thinking of it. And yes, it can be hard not to.
Long after the ‘sorrys’ have been said and the behaviour of your partner has changed, the memory of a past incident can keep the pain alive. But you are doing it to yourself, not your partner.
Some people think the only way to get over a resentment is for the incident not to have occurred in the first place.
But, the reality is it DID happen and that can never change. What needs to happen is for the resentment to be resolved.
When an upsetting event is resolved, it can be recalled to mind later without the body having the same strong emotion.
You might remember the incident well, and remember that you were angry and upset about it at the time, but your body does not feel that emotion now. This means that the matter has been resolved. Good. For your continued emotional health and well-being, this is how it should be.
If the event is not happening now, it is not present tense.
Trying to separate out past from present feelings can be quite difficult to do but if you can’t ‘get over it’ it will affect your relationships moving forward until you do!