Has it ever happened to you where you look at your partner and just go, ugh! That, my friend, is the sound of resentment. It’s when you randomly don’t like something about the other person even though it may be the most irrelevant thing.
Now, don’t get us wrong. Resentment isn’t irrelevant, nor are your feelings at that moment. While it may seem illogical to feel that way about your spouse, but resentment usually stems from bottled-up anger.
Your spouse forgot your birthday, they barely contribute to household chores, they do not pay the bills on time, or simply don’t treat you as an equal in the relationship. There are plenty of reasons that may seem inconsequential but just keep filling up inside you.
It’s then that you start loathing the person you once loved. As small as it may seem, resentment is enough to break marriages. It is the silent killer of relationships that no one wants to talk about.
And it’s not just with your spouse. Do you have a friend who’s never there when you need them? They never took your calls on time, and always prioritise others? You’ve drifted apart over time and don’t prefer meeting either and that’s because of resentment. That’s how it works.
But instead of keeping it all in and compromising your relationship, it’s advisable to work on it with your partner. And that’s what the experts suggest too. And to help you deal with resentment, here are five ways you can avoid the feeling overpowering your relationship.
Silent Killer Of Relationships And How To Mend Things
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1. Regroup your thoughts
One of the most effective ways to avoid building up resentful thoughts is to remove yourself from that situation. Sometimes the smallest of things can act as a trigger that may lead to an unwarranted fight.
Eventually, it’s an overload of emotions that may come out at possibly the worst moment.
That’s why take a break and regroup your thoughts if you feel the situation isn’t in your favour. Even in a fight, tell your partner you need to take a break and spend some time alone to reflect.
Even better, distract yourself using a video, a shower or something that soothes you.
Once you’re back to a more sound mind, it’ll help you assess the situation with a more level-headed perspective. Ask yourself, are they always behaving like this or is this a one-off occasion?
You’ll be able to find the correct answer and not let emotions take control of your thoughts. This will also remind you that your relationship is much bigger than what’s stressing you out and adding to the resentment. You won’t even realise. Exactly why it’s the silent killer of relationships.
2. Figure out what you are feeling
It’s also necessary to figure out where you are in a relationship and what you are feeling like. Experts suggest that it helps writing down what you feel like as “quickly and precisely” as possible instead of just fighting it out with your partner.
For instance, has your partner been barely contributing to the household chores during the pandemic? This, despite the fact that both of you are professionals working from home. But it suddenly becomes your job to take care of the house and kids.
Write down what bothers you about this situation. Is it the extra hours that you have to put in or the fact that no one appreciates the same and simple ask for more?
Once you are able to articulate your feelings either verbally or on paper, it becomes clearer as to what you want to say. You then go to your partner and discuss the points that bother you.
The idea is to not pick a fight and maybe let your partner know this beforehand. Instead, it’s about two mature adults finding the time to hear each other out. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that we take for granted.
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3. Vent it out when necessary
As much as you’d like to articulate, sometimes a piece of paper just won’t cut it. If you are the overarching, emotional kind, maybe venting it out to a confidant might just do the trick.
Some relationship professionals suggest ranting it all out to a friend on voice mail. A good friend who is okay to listen to your emotional state and won’t judge you for it is the way to go. The last thing you’d want is someone using your personal problems against you.
But finding a good friend, colleague or relative is the perfect way to vent it out. Of course, this is a two-way street and you need to be emotionally available for your friend too, no matter how big or small their issue might be.
When you calm down, you can always go back and speak to your friend or listen to yourself venting and it will just help you get perspective. Finding a person who genuinely cares for you and your partner is the key here. Only then will this arrangement work.
They will be able to give you the right perspective from your and your partner’s side. Once you get a more neutral perspective on the situation, you will be in a better position to go back and resolve issues with your spouse.
4. Take a seat, it’ll help you calm down
Many relationship experts suggest that you sit down in stressful situations. During a fight, the body goes into fight or flight mode, which may get physical if there are temperament issues between you and your partner.
Instead, when you sit down, your body slows down and it helps you clear your head. In fact, try to take deep breaths through your mouth while seated to further calm yourself down.
This will stop the production of stress hormones like cortisol in your body, which add to you getting fired up during an argument.
It’s also a good principle to follow when you feel like posting something unpleasant on social media. Nothing ever really gets deleted from the internet and you do not want to be in a position that leaves you vulnerable later.
Of course, this is not to say that you don’t acknowledge your emotions. They are as important and necessary to function. However, it’s also important that your emotions come out and get validated the right way.
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5. Practice gratitude
More couples have been witnessing fights during the pandemic. And a lot of it has to do with partners spending more time in the presence of each other.
Not all that time will be pleasant but that doesn’t mean you end up resenting each other. So, make it a point to go easy on yourself and then your partner from time to time. And sometimes, it makes more sense to adopt a non-judgemental view of your own fight. It helps to disconnect for a moment and have a third-person perspective on the situation.
Recognising your own and your partner’s feelings can help you see the bigger picture. It also helps you understand what you value in the relationship and be grateful for the same.
It will also help you diffuse a toxic situation that may go out of hand if left unchecked.
Resentment is a silent killer of relationships. If you allow it, it can overpower all the good things about your relationship and leave you with only the bad memories. Most couples realise this in hindsight. If your relationship is worth saving, please make the effort.
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