What is it like when things don’t go the way you think they should between you and your partner? Are you too often irritated and fuming due to your partner’s seeming inconsiderate, insensitive, or selfish behavior? Or perhaps, your lack of boundaries has left you feeling drained and unappreciated by the one you lean on most? As a marriage counselor, I see it all the time.
If you’re like most people, such internal turmoil created by interactions with your spouse inevitably leads to disappointment and frustration with your relationship. And if you sense your partner doesn’t recognize your upset, is slow to repair the damage between you, or defends their actions a your expense things can get very tense. As you feel more and more mistreated or misunderstood, you likely feel less positive about your connection.
Is there a name for that persistent, recurring tension? Yes, the term is resentment. And in a committed relationship, it can become a very real threat to the good things that brought you together.
So, what can a couple do? Is there any way to overcome feelings of resentment with marriage counseling? To get back to the open, closeness that kept your relationship safe and moving forward?
Why Marriage Counseling Matters When You Recognize Resentment is an Issue
It is crucial to realize what resentment is. Essentially, it is a result of stifled, ineffective communication. Resentment is a weed that takes root in the silence between partners. Do you and your spouse struggle to communicate through difficulty? Is it hard to stay vulnerable through periods when one or both of you feel unfairly judged or taken advantage of? It is then that the relational weeds of resentment quietly crowd out trust, closeness, and mutual appreciation.
A marriage counselor can help you identify the emotions and poor communication patterns that unresolved resentment is fueling. Marriage counseling can also clarify and safely explore your relationship. Particularly if you and your spouse are confused about ongoing negativity between you.
Resentment can persist when it feels easier to give up on talking and focus on your careers, housework, or internet memes to keep the peace between you. Working with a counselor improves awareness, helping you notice emotions as they arise. This helps interrupt the cycle of frustration, blame, and resentment that gets in your way.
How Marriage Counseling Helps You Root Out Resentment
Resentment has a way of hiding the depth of your connection. It winds its way through your perceptions and interactions quite stealthily. It grows quietly, intruding negatively in your thoughts, highlighting unacknowledged needs.
For example, resentment could have started with disappointment in your partner’s tendency to work through dinner without calling to say they were late. Their subsequent rescheduling of your date night might have left you feeling further dismissed. And now, their recent habit of falling asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow may be feeding a persistent view of the relationship as lonely and emotionally lopsided. Or worse, that your partner is generally unconcerned about quality time with you.
If all of that is unexpressed, a mental filter of negativity and unproductive assumptions can overtake the goodwill and appreciation between you. So, by the time you voice your displeasure, the resentment is talking, and one or both of you feel attacked, and destructive patterns like criticism and defensiveness can make matters worse.
Fortunately, a qualified marriage counselor can help you battle resentment on two fronts:
Generally, we hold on to resentment because it’s easier than having a tough conversation. We can feel justified and right in our own minds without out considering the whole picture. A marriage counselor can help you notice what’s going on when resentment flares. After all, communicating compassionately for clarity and connection isn’t easy or necessarily quick. Sometimes the issues are deep or complicated. They require vulnerability, humility, and a willingness to let things go. It isn’t weak or wrong to need some help with that.
To deal with resentment means dismantling your wall of arbored slights and admitting to yourself and your partner that you feel unheard, unimportant, or uncared for. It feels risky. Yet, the connection you crave could be worth a few sessions with an objective third party. Especially if it means you can create a safe, supportive space for you to consciously prioritize the productive engagement and communication you’ve missed.
In marriage counseling, you’ll likely be more mindfully aware, intentionally less distracted, and continually encouraged to listen, validate, and empathize. You’ll also be encouraged to resist ruminating over your partner’s behavior. Instead, you will tune into your own body and behavior and learn to recognize the moments when it takes both of you to resolve the silence between you honestly and proactively.
Taking responsibility is an ever-effective way of stopping the damage caused by resentment and disconnect. After all, resentment results from feeling discounted or dismissed. When partners take responsibility for their actions, it communicates that you understand how your partner feels. It reveals that you count their feelings as valuable enough to address, even if you are at fault. What matters most is not whether you are right, justified in your actions, or deserve something more from them or the situation. Your willingness to open up, take responsibility. and offer solutions from a sincere, loving place simply restores trust. Your partner can lower their defenses and the cycle of blame, attack, defend, and resent is interrupted.
Of course, this is not always easy to initiate on your own at first. When resentments go deep or have festered, shifting from each other’s faults and missteps to your own feels like “losing.” Marriage counseling can help shift that thought pattern, providing more avenues to rebuild respect and prevent further disconnect.
Your marriage counselor can also help you remain focused and aware of which communication skills are strong and which need work. As you remain committed to taking responsibility, you can feel increasingly safe to put each other’s needs above the need to be blameless or critical. As a team, you can learn to become more compassionately curious. You get better at sharing relationship expectations and healthy boundaries. Often, all it takes is some dedicated support to help you become less prone to negative assumptions or avoidance. As a result, you are more apt to express appreciation and forgiveness. Trusting that your needs are valued, you are more likely to remain responsive and cooperative as you grow together.
Don’t Wait… Rid Yourselves of Resentment with Expert Marriage Counseling Soon
Sometimes, couples just get stuck. The connection you long for can be reconstructed and maintained by continuing to value each other deeply and believe that what you know about each other matters.
The resentment that has complicated your connection and threatened your love, does not have to control your relationship anymore. You have the power to change the dynamic between you. Reach out to a marriage counselor who understands that you are committed to restoring safety and appreciation in your marriage. Marriage counseling will allow you time and space to practice and apply communication skills so that you start turning things around.
READY TO RID YOUR RELATIONSHIP OF RESENTMENT WITH MARRIAGE COUNSELING THERAPY IN MIAMI, FL?
If resentment has crept into your relationship, don’t let it fester any longer. Take the courageous step towards healing by seeking marriage counseling. At Relationship Experts, unlock the tools to communicate openly, understand each other’s perspectives, and rebuild the foundation of trust and love. Your relationship deserves a chance to flourish, and counseling can guide you both toward a brighter, more harmonious future together. Follow these three simple steps to get started:
- Schedule a free consultation or call our office at 305-507-9955 to ask about scheduling an appointment for marriage counseling.
- Meet with a skilled marriage counselor for your first session.
- Start valuing your relationship!
OTHER SERVICES PROVIDED BY RELATIONSHIP EXPERTS
At Relationship Experts, our team of qualified therapists provides a wide range of supportive services. You and your partner never have to navigate your relationship struggles alone. Our Miami, FL-based counseling office retains many online services throughout Florida. As we help you interrupt resentment in Marriage Counseling, our offerings also include a comprehensive Infidelity Recovery Program and Communication Counseling. If you prefer, we also offer online therapy sessions for couples looking to work on their relationship anywhere they choose. Please read more about relationships on our blog for more couples-oriented encouragement!