A lot of us in relationships try and get what we want to make ourselves feel comfortable. Sometimes our mates do things that make us uncomfortable and then we tell them what we like and don’t like. This is very common.
But when we get into difficulty with our partner and they don’t do what we like, we might fall into a pattern of telling that they are lazy, stupid, mean, unkind and more. We might start to label them. And this labeling can have a devastating effect.
Sometimes we get so mad at the person we are in a relationship with that the only thing that can come out of our mouths is the worst thing we can ever say to another human. This happens when we are terribly wounded, they just can’t see that we are in pain, and they are not understanding us. We feel it’s so important that they just understand us, that we have to crush them with all our might.
Yeah, I have been there. It is never nice. It is always the worst thing we can do to people we love. And it is so hard to take back all the terrible things that we have said too. It is so hard to make things right again.
I know this as well. In my past I have destroyed many friendships and relationships with my anger and my crushing. I have even sworn at my mother. Yeah. I did that.
Many times, in relationships one partner will say something to their mate about how their habits are the right way to do things because that is the way they grew up. This is very common.
All of us are taught how to be humans by the training we received when we were little. If we grew up putting our clothes in the hamper when dirty, then this is the habit we will bring into our relationship.
If we grew up laying our clothes on chairs or on the floor as a child, and this habit is still with us, then we will do the same thing in our relationship.
Most of us, by the time we choose a mate, have spent our lives figuring out how to be ourselves. Often it takes a while to just know who we are and what we will do when we need something or have to do something.
These are very unique and individual skills, and we all know that we are not the same as anyone else on the planet. So, when we meet our mate, we are pretty sure we know who we are, and we are probably comfortable about some of our ways too.
I was talking to a potential client for couples counseling when she asked me if I would be giving her a prescription to follow in order to get better.
I was stunned for a moment and I think in all my years of counseling I have never been asked this. But I do know there is absolutely no way to understand a couple without meeting them, and I don’t have any idea what would be helpful for them, because there is no one size fits all plan for couples.
Letting go of resentment in marriage and other relationships is a complicated process. It is not like having a new thought which magically negates the resentment. No, it takes understanding of what is going on, and it takes work to ease out of it.
And all of us have felt or used resentment at some time or another. And that’s because resentment can happen to us so easily. When we get our feelings hurt, especially by the person we love, we get really wounded.
If we are not able to let our pain out and get healed, well then we put a wall around our heart and protect it so we won’t get hurt again. This starts out to be just a slight cover over the pain, but if we continue to get hurt without healing then we build up a thick concrete wall between our heart and the one we love.
When you get into misunderstandings or disagreements with your mate, what do you do? All of us have a reaction, and that is normal. People will not always understand each other even if they love each other dearly. And when the misunderstandings occur, most of us get our feelings hurt.
Sometimes those hurt feelings cause us to either pull our hurt feelings inside ourselves and say nothing. Other times, we do the opposite and lash out at those who hurt our feelings. This combination of systems plays out often in relationships.
All of us in relationships get our feelings hurt. I know I do. It happened again last night. I worked late and then came home. My husband had prepared dinner and had been waiting.
I felt the pressure but sometimes things can’t be helped. I had some details of my work to continue as I sat down at the table, texting and completing my duties. I was involved with tasks on my phone.
And while this was happening, something was also happening with my husband. He got very, very silent and stopped being there. He was of course sitting there eating, but I could not feel him anymore. I just left.
Resentment in relationships is all too familiar to us. It’s when our anger towards someone gets so hard it turns into a wall of everything we don’t like about that person. That’s what we normally refer to as “resentment.”
We treat resentment like it is the most important thing we can feel. We hold on to it so tightly that we hope the one we are using it against can feel it too. Resentment is like a cold brick wall. It’s so strong and solid, the person it’s directed towards would have to be dead not to feel it.
That’s what resentment feels like. We notice it. We feel it. But what underlies it is even more interesting to me. I read this recently: resentment in relationships stems from self-pity.