Resentment in a relationship or marriage has the ability to grow to something very cruel. This can then begin to affect your personal feelings and outlook that can create ripples all through your life. It can affect your relationship with others, your work and how people perceive you. Resentment can make even the happiest go lucky people become bitter and twisted.
When resentment becomes part of your relationship and marriage, it must be dealt with swiftly to avoid the above consequences.
Only recently, I have learnt what resentment can do to people. I am in a de-facto relationship where three different family dynamics exist. My partner was previously married and we met after his divorce, I went into this relationship knowing he had children to this previous relationship. But it wasn’t an easy road to happy stepfamilies. In fact it was one wrought with bitterness and resentment that nearly caused us to call it a day. We fought constantly, all the kids felt my anger and soon I began blaming others for my woes.
After a little relationship counseling, our lives separately and together have improved immensely. Over the past nine years, this is what I have learned.
~Nobody is more important than you~
Have you lost you? Did you used to love performing certain activities and tasks, but the bitterness in your relationship has made you put aside those things? Well stop it now, go and re-find that person you were and do those things you loved to do. Sacrificing things you love to prove a point and because you believe it adds fuel to your fire, is not doing you any good.
Do the things that make you happy, do something that will make you happy. I used to be a great believer and follower of many Pagan beliefs, which have decreased over the years. Now I will take my shoes off and appreciate Mother Earth more and I leave food and flowers out for the Fairies. I don’t care if my step-kids think I’m mad, they’ll eventually love me for these quirks.
~Don’t sweat the small stuff~
My partner has some extremely annoying habits that drive me insane. I have learned to accept him for what he is; he’s only human after all. I’m sure I have, actually I know that I have habits that annoy him just as much.
But although he has some really really annoying habits, he also has some great qualities. This is what I now think of when he displays one of the old habits that make me cringe.
~Remember why you fell in love~
What attracted you to one another in the first place? I know life happens and things happen through marriages and relationships, this is all part of living, learning and growing together. When you can no longer find the reasons why you were attracted to each other in the first place, then maybe something needs to be done about that. Go and re-find each other, fall in love all over again.
~Have some Time together~
This is so important to any relationship. When kid’s and careers come along, money issues and life circumstances change, some of us tend to become tunnel visioned and focus on these things. As a couple, you must take some time together regularly, catch up on getting to know one another and having some quality time to communicate and relate.
This is my biggest problem. After an argument or situation that doesn’t go to my liking, I think and rethink the episode. Soon I’m holding conversations in my head, at times verbalizing them and find myself getting angrier. It becomes a festering sore, pus oozing into my thoughts, my actions and my resentment grows. I have learned to communicate my issues, listen to replies and shrug when I cannot change the result.
When thoughts of bitterness or moments or disagreeing are not resolved, I need to do something to divert my attention. I’ll turn some music up loud or take my kids for a long walk so my thoughts are filled with other things.
Divert the thoughts so you can live, sleep and perform things normally.
~Consider how you feel~
When I used to resent my partner for his previous relationship and resulting children, which soon led to resentment of this and that, I would consider how it made me feel. It’s not nice at all. Tightness in your stomach and throat, tears and crying brimming and aches and pains, worst of all feelings of wanting to be sick.
What is this doing to your health? Is it normal to feel like this? No, it certainly is not. Resentment can build so much that it affects your eating and sleeping. No one should live their lives like this; the feelings of hatred and bitterness don’t make you or your body healthy. So quit it!
Arguments are natural to human relationships and marriages. They are a sign we care and that we feel, they are a sign that we need to voice our grievances and that an issue is prevalent. It is when they are unresolved or a continuous part of your life that they lead to resentment and bitterness. Nobody likes to be unhappy, so resolve this resentment in your relationship and move on. Consult a professional if you are unable to resolve it yourself, an outsider looking in can re-open the communication channels and make your partner see how you feel.