Resentment? Whatís that? According to Readers Digest Family Thesaurus, resentment means bad feelings, anger, outraged spirit, crossness, bad temper, dungeon huff, ill will, rancor, bitterness, sourness, wounded pride, hurt feelings, displeasure, animosity.
Do any of these feelings sound familiar? Do you harbor any of these feelings about your spouse? Itís true, we do feel negative at times, and it is because we're hurting. We hurt because we allowed someone to hurt us. There is nothing wrong with you for having these feelings. Whatís wrong though, is when we harbor negative feelings inside of ourselves and don't do any thing about it. When we don't voice our feelings in a proper manner, or not at all, it will carry a negative affect on our self and those around us.
Examples of how not expressing our self properly will harbor resentment.
(1) A husband resents his wife for gaining weight. He pokes fun of her in front of their friends and sometimes won't make love to her. Because of his behavior, she thinks he doesn't love her anymore and she is hurt and resentful.
Jabbing fun at your spouse because they have gained weight is cruel and demeaning. They may lose weight for you, but eventually gain it all back because they didn't do it for themselves. Try and back off for a while-give your spouse a chance to decide what they want to do for them self.
(2) A wife is angry and resentful because her husband spends too much time with his buddies. When he finally does come home at night, she constantly nags at him about anything and everything and he ignores her and walks away feeling resentful.
Constantly complaining and nagging at your husband isn't going to bring him home any sooner. If youíre going to nag, donít say anything at all. Get your mind occupied with something other than the fact your husbands out with his buddies instead of home with you. When he does come home, let him see you doing something you enjoy for yourself and that you aren't going to let his behavior bother you anymore. In other words, ladies, donít let your husband think you have nothing else better to do with your time, then sit around and brood over him. Continue on with the evening and forget about it. Afterwards, you'll feel so good about yourself you wonít even feel resentful anymore!
Many issues like those above effect couples all the time. The goal here is to express how we feel about certain issues BEFORE they turn into resentment. Sometimes what happens between couples is they choose to hold onto the hurt rather than express themselves. Subconsciously we do this thinking we're actually hurting our spouse, like a form of getting them back. But in reality weíre only causing more of an emotional problem within our self. And we donít want that. A healthy, growing marriage relies on both couples feeling good about who they are. In that respect there is no room for that bad feeling called resentment.
We blame our spouse for our feelings of resentment, and spend a lot of energy trying to change them into something we think will make us feel better about ourselves. But unfortunately, often times we find ourselves unfulfilled and wallowing in even more resentment because of it. This is so detrimental to the marriage. These feelings can literally cause couples to think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but it is only a mirage, folks. The grass is not greener over there. In fact, your grass could be green again too, if only you would cultivate it better. Itís all up to you. We have choices, and weíre adults!
The bottom line is this, we cannot change our spouse, and we cannot expect our spouse to make us happy! Know it and believe it!
I have compiled a small list of issues that can and will turn into resentment in the home. These things are only the branches that have their roots from the tree of life. The branches are dying parts of the tree that if not attended to like a baby needs milk will eventual shrivel up and die. Take care of your marriage.
The wife says,
He spends too much money
Spends too much time at work
Spends too much time watching TV
Womanizes & has affairs
Abusive (mentally and Physically)
Unhelpful around the house and with the kids
The husbands says,
She spends too much time at work
Spends too much time with the kids
Nags and complains
Dresses better for others
Spends too much money
Cold and rigid
What you can do for yourself? These issues can be dealt with by proper communication and the willingness to forgive the wrongs of others.
(1) Be assertive, but kind and express your boundaries
(2) Forgive your spouse and let go of resentment you have towards them
(3) Communicate by listening more - ask questions.
(4) Express true feelings without being afraid that you won't be loved
(5) Stop focusing on how to change your mate, but focus on how you can change yourself
(6) Find and nurture the spiritual aspect of your character
Number six entails greater understanding into the nature and design of God. In my newly released book, Journey on the Roads Less Traveled, I explain the concepts associated with understanding the spiritual self and utilizing the spiritual tools that God gives us to nurture our self and spouse. For more information on this unique Christian book, please see my website.