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Dealing with Resentments in Marriage- Letting go of Bitterness

One of the most difficult issues to face in your marriage is realizing that one of you resents the other. This can be a devastating revelation, but it doesn’t mean you can’t overcome these intimacy-killing emotions.

Resentment is hurt, disappointment, anger, or any other negative emotion that persists over a period of time. It usually doesn’t go away on its own – instead, it accumulates and grows bigger.

As this resentment continues, the people in the relationship find it more difficult to express love and empathy to one another. The reason for this is because of the unheard and neglected pain they are carrying around.

Because of this, resentment is the most toxic emotion of all in any relationship, especially marriage.

Resentment tends to arise in a marriage when one spouse is either knowingly or unknowingly taking advantage of the other–or taking the other for granted. Habitual poor behaviors or unhealthy patterns feed resentment.

Resentment is bitter anger at having been mistreated.

Synonyms to resentment:

Bitterness, Indignation, ill-feeling, ill will, hurt, anger, rage, fury, irritation, grudge, wrath, and malice. Etc 

I like how Malachy McCourt said it “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”.

Bitterness is like a virus. 

Heb 12:15

Resentment does not reflect your character but the state of mind. 

The upside of resentment is that the bag you carry may help reduce anxiety. for instance, if you will close enough to be hurt by that person

Causes of Resentment of Resentments in Relationships. 

1 Lack of Attention. 

2. Lack of appreciation

3. Lack of mutual respect for one another

4. Having unreserved issues – “Let’s bury it under the carpet.”

5. Someone abused you, either physically or emotionally.

6. Inability to change from bad omen, attitude, or behavior which your partner may have complained about

It can creep in when if you are still struggling with resentment from your past relationship. 

Negative Effects of Resentment 

1. Loss of relationship

2. Inability to keep friends

3. It could lead to sickness

4. Could lead to an untimely death/suicide 

5. Loss of opportunities

Why It is difficult to let go of Resentment 

1. Most times, we use it as a defense to protect ourselves from our hurt

2. Sometimes, resentment is an imprint of our family background, experience. We keep as a SPECIAL package.

3. It has taken over us and has held us in a spiritual stronghold (burglary)

How Can you break out of Resentment?

1. Acknowledge your resentment, and if you can, remember what lead to your bitterness.

2. You need help (both of the mentors and that of the holy spirit).

3. Make prayers of forgiveness and repentance and ask God for direction.

4. Take action – it’s always easier to start from your close relationship.

5. Be accountable for your partner/spouse, friend, or mentor.

6. Desire the fruit of the Holy Spirit, like joy, love, patience, etc.

7. Become an extension of healing to those struggling with the same situation, and God will give you victory.

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