Feelings of resentment can definitely poison a relationship. Waking up next to someone and feeling annoyed by their presence because of something they’ve done is truly no way to live. Hence the importance of learning ways of overcoming resentment.
I need to find ways of letting go of resentment in my marriage…
The big question is – why do I resent my partner? What causes resentment in the first place?
Resentment is an unresolved hurt, and causes physical pain whenever you think of the event or situation that caused the hurt. You can also feel hurt by something your partner has NOT done when you thought they could have or should have.
In essence there is an expectation or a need that is unfulfilled from your point of view…
And you blame your partner for the hurt it causes.
While your irritability and anger may be justified, it is always possible (initially) that your partner is unaware of the effect that his/her behavior has on you. So the first action to take is to calmly let your partner know this. Speak about the impact their behavior has on you (rather than whether the behavior is bad or wrong).
Of course, your hurt and anger turns into resentment if you attempt to discuss this with your partner and he/she dismisses your concerns and feelings or continues to ignore them. You end up feeling disrespected and even more hurt than before.
Unless the hurt feelings are resolved, the resentment will hang around. And whilst you do not feel angry or upset 24/7, what you do find is that if there is a repeat of the behavior that caused the hurt, it acts like a trigger and you become irritated and angry faster and with more intensity than before. (Your partner is likely to say you are “over-reacting”!)
This helps to explain why you end up resenting your partner.
The pain gets worse over time. And you want him/her to stop the behavior so you can stop hurting, and overcome your resentment.
Eventually, it can be just the memory of the incident or the behavior that triggers your pain. This is why issues from the past get brought up in an argument. Because when you argue, you are worked up and hurting, and your brain is suddenly able to recall other times and situations when you have been hurt. So why not bring them up as well, to reinforce how hurt you are?
Do you agree you need some strategies to let go of resentment in your marriage?