Marriage Coach Karen Gosling can help you work through your unresolved hurt feelings in your relationship.
John came to counselling where he reported that his wife, Pam, was frequently irritated with him and was often snappy or angry, “even though I try hard to do what she asks.” He wanted to understand if this was resentment? What are some signs she is resentful? How will I know?
I explained to John that there can be many reasons why Pam resents him. However, resentments, or unresolved hurt feelings, usually start with anger about something that you have done, for example, flirted with another person or left laundry across the bedroom floor.
OR it may be something that you don’t do when she asks you to, such as helping out with the children or cooking.
The resentment causes her pain whenever she thinks about that event or situation.
So basically, Pam has an expectation or a need that is unfulfilled from her point of view…
…And she blames John for the hurt it causes her.
I said to John that this helps to explain why Pam may resent you. The pain gets worse over time. And she wants you to stop the things you are doing or have done, so she can stop hurting and start working through her unresolved hurt feelings.
The big question is – what causes unresolved hurt feelings in the first place?
Resentment is an unresolved hurt about something that has happened and causes physical pain whenever you think about it.
I shared with John 7 common behaviors that may indicate there are unresolved hurt feelings in his marriage:
Withholding Sex … knowing it will upset or hurt your partner.
Lack of Affection … just not feeling inclined to be warm or responsive.
Increased Number and Intensity of Fights … about even the smallest thing.
Sadness … as if you are dealing with loss and grief of something (and you are!).
Feelings of Helplessness and Hopelessness … and not knowing what to do about it.
Reluctance to Celebrate Milestones … being unable to raise the energy or interest.
Withdrawal from the Relationship … which may be interpreted as being sulky or indifferent.
I explained to John that all the feelings of resentment are negative, and result in stress and sadness. Pam won’t like feeling them, so he could perhaps encourage Pam to talk about her feelings in the safety of a counselling session in an effort to deal with them. I added that unless Pam’s hurt feelings are resolved, the resentments toward John will hang around.
John acknowledged that counselling had helped him understand how hurts arose and hoped that he and Pam together could deal with her built up resentments.
If resentments are ruining your marriage, then it’s critical to resolve them soon.
Unresolved hurt feelings are what I call low intensity ongoing warfare. They lead to resentments – strong negative emotions that you experience when you remember an incident from the past that really hurt, that have never been resolved. They are a major reason why couples become disconnected as their long-term effect is to break down trust between a couple.
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.
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, but more than likely, everyone else has moved on and you are the only one dwelling on it.
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.
Ongoing hurts can destroy your marriage. It can even leave you feeling allergic to your partner. And if we ignore the hurts as a way of asking to be loved, then we will produce precisely the opposite effect of what we seek: to be loved and to feel good about ourselves. If we spend much of our time feeling lousy, unloved, devalued, inadequate and inept, we are on the wrong side of the tracks. So what can you do to reset this negative pattern?
Marriage Counselling helps you implement a set of steps in your life so that unresolved hurt feelings can be placed into the ‘resolved’ basket, instead of leaving them in the ‘too hard’ category. You heal emotionally and your body doesn’t always feel those strong emotions. This means that the resentment has been resolved and you have moved forward on SAVING YOUR MARRIAGE.
Book Now For Your Initial Marriage Counselling Session With Me
In this initial session you will start to understand the cause of the unresolved hurt feelings in your relationship, and learn a pathway forward. In addition I will give you strategies that you can use to start reconnecting immediately with each other.
For example, I’ll show you how to:
- Take responsibility for your own feelings and pain
- Stop bringing up things from the past, and
- Speak so your partner doesn’t get defensive.
The solutions I will outline will give you the hope you need to overcome your issues and make your relationship work.
Click the link below.
I look forward to you joining me,