How To Handle Resentment In a Relationship: 10 Steps

In this new article you’ll learn how to how to handle resentment in a relationship.

There are many reasons why you may feel resentment toward someone; they may have hurt you in the past, you may believe they took advantage of you, or you may be jealous of them because they possess some of the things you want. Holding on to resentment and hatred toward another person, however, can really start to consume you emotionally.

The good news is that if you are willing to put in the effort, you can begin to process these emotions in a way that is better for you, and you may even discover that you are able to accept the past and forgive the other person.

How To Handle Resentment In a Relationship:

1. Recognize and accept your feelings.

Instead of suppressing your emotions, give yourself permission to experience them. Give yourself permission to truly experience unpleasant feelings, such as rage, rejection, disappointment, jealousy, or pain.

Pushing these emotions away will only make them accumulate in you, which ultimately leads to bitterness. On the other hand, it’s simpler to release these emotions after you’ve let yourself feel them.

What emotions would you use to describe yourself? Try saying it out loud. For example, say, “I feel incredibly sad, upset, or angry because of what he said.”

Just recognize them for the moment without passing judgment or worrying about whether they are “correct” or “wrong.”

Be prepared for your feelings to emerge if you have suppressed them for a while as you begin to try to identify the source of your hostility. Be kind to yourself throughout the procedure!

2. Think about the source of your resentment.

What specifically did you feel like doing, and why? The reason for your hostility can sometimes be obvious, as in cases where the aggressor has openly hurt you in the past.

Sometimes it’s a bit more difficult to pinpoint the source of your annoyance; your anger may have been building up for some time, or you may feel jealous of someone because they have something you want. Before you begin to solve the problem, it is important to identify the source. To identify the source of the hostility, consider the following questions:

  • When did these resentful thoughts start?
  • Was the feeling triggered by a single event or a series of events?
  • Do you feel emotion toward a single person, such as your partner, or toward a group of people, such as your parents or family?

The main problem may be that you feel overwhelmed and unappreciated if you start hating your partner for never helping with the dishes.

There are times when the other person inadvertently triggers an anxiety or complex that you already have. If you sense anger toward your friend’s wonderful family, it’s possible you’re having problems because your connection with your parents is strained.

3. Create an action plan for the future.

Sometimes, how you react to a situation can make you feel even more resentful. For example, if someone made fun of you or didn’t take your side, you may feel that you should have asserted yourself. Create a strategy for how you will handle such circumstances in the future, rather than blaming yourself for what you failed to accomplish. In this way, not only will you prevent more resentment in the future, but by being proactive, you will also be able to let go of some of the emotions you currently feel.

If you feel you should have defended yourself, then practice how to do so the next time someone crosses the line.

If jealousy is the source of your resentment, focus on accepting what you think is missing in your life and make an effort to enjoy others instead of envying them.

SEE ALSO: How To Give Someone Space In a Relationship: 16 Ways

4. Stop all unfavorable thoughts.

When past events come to your mind again, stop thinking about them. It’s natural to constantly bring up past wounds in your mind because resentment is often based on past events.

If you notice this happening, remind yourself to focus on something else, such as what is happening now or what you can do to prevent this circumstance from occurring in the future. Changing your thought patterns (1) can be very difficult, especially in the heat of the moment, but persevere; it gets easier with experience.

When you become aware of these thoughts occurring, try to distract yourself by engaging in anything; consider making a call to a friend, going for a walk, or solving a challenging problem.

5. Publish your emotions.

To give vent to your frustration, write it down in a letter or notebook. You can really get to the heart of your anger through writing, which is a great way to organize your ideas. Write down your ideas as they come to you without worrying about arranging them in the right order. Write about the reasons why you hold a grudge against someone, how it affects you now, and any instances in your history that make those grudges particularly painful.

It may be helpful to try to see the incident from the other person’s point of view as you write; did she mean to hurt you, or did she just act insensitively? Or maybe you will find that this person was not at fault at all, but you still hold a grudge against him or her because of something from your past.

6. Express your feelings to someone.

Talk to a reliable friend or relative. Discuss your resentment in detail; tell them how you felt and why it still bothers you. Not only will you feel better after expressing your thoughts, but the conversation may also allow you to see things from a new perspective. You never know if the person you are talking to will be able to give you some insightful advice.

In the course of the conversation, for example, you may discover that you need to be more assertive in communicating demands wobbled by your partner, or your buddy may help you come up with a plan on how to advance at work and stop feeling jealous of your sister’s success.

SEE ALSO: How To Set Clear Boundaries With People: 23 Top Strategies

7. Discover healthy ways to release your feelings.

Engage in an activity or pastime that makes you feel better. Allowing yourself to experience emotions is very important, but it is also beneficial to let them go afterwards. That way, they won’t become dense and turn into long-term bitterness.

Fortunately, there are many different methods to release emotions. Don’t worry if it takes a bit of trial and error to discover what works for you; everyone has different coping mechanisms. Here are some suggestions:

  • Exercise by going for a walk, jogging, hiking, or engaging in a sport you enjoy.
  • Physical relaxation techniques include progressive relaxation, yoga, and conscious breathing.
  • Prayer or reflection
  • Social support (especially if your aversion is on a broader scale)

8. If the person can make a difference, talk to him about it.

When making your request, be concise and direct. If you let the other person know what you would like them to stop doing or what you would like them to start doing, it may help. Talk about your emotions using “I” statements, and then end with a clear, detailed description of what you want from them in the future.

You can comment if your partner spends more time with their friends than with you: “I miss feeling important and feel lonely.” “I definitely want to save one night a week for just the two of us.”

If someone doesn’t respect your boundaries, such as if your supervisor undermines you at work, you may need to practice talking about it more.

You will probably be able to get rid of some of your bitterness if the person starts treating you better after the conversation. If that doesn’t happen, it may be a good idea to keep your distance from that person in the future.

9. Have reasonable hopes for the other person.

Instead of seeing her as you would like her to be, try to see her as she is. Expectations from the people (2) in our lives are common. Unfortunately, however, individuals often fail to meet these standards, which can breed hostility.

If you see this happening, perhaps you need to adjust your perception of the other person. Consider whether you have an idealized image of what she should be like rather than accepting her as she is.

Recall the different ways your partner shows you that he or she cares instead of being unhappy about not getting a gift on your anniversary. Perhaps they always make sure your laundry is done and ready to go, or maybe they are always there to talk to.

Direct communication with the other person about your preferences can also be helpful, but practice patience, as any change, if any, may take time.

10. If the other person has done something that has offended you, forgive them.

As difficult as it may seem, you can do it. Your hostility will only get worse over time because holding a grudge inhibits you from moving on.

However, forgiveness enables you to let go of anger or other adverse emotions you have been holding on to. The only way to properly recover is to soften your heart toward the other person and let go of that resentment, which is not always easy.

Make a symbolic gesture to symbolize the person’s act of forgiveness, such as writing a letter and tearing it up. You can also say or think, “I forgive you,” turning toward the offender.

If the other person does not want to change, it is best to end the unhealthy relationship. Forgiveness does not obligate you to keep that person in your life.

Thank you for reading this article about how to handle resentment in a relationship and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here