Resentment is oftentimes the fruit of unresolved issues.
When two people in a relationship have their usual flow of communication stifled, you can be confident in the fact that resentment is lurking nearby.
So what is resentment, and how can you identify in yourself while in your relationship?
Resentment, in the simplest definition, can be seen as the negative emotional reaction to being mistreated.
Resentment is mostly latent, a buildup of unsettlement to another’s misdeeds.
This simply means that it can hide the reactions one might have towards the misbehavior or mistreatment of another for long periods of time.
In a relationship, it is very unhealthy for there to be resentment as it can be a melting point for the companionship that is between the couple.
Your partner could probably be encouraging you to be resentful by doing things that not only trigger you but make it impossible for you to be expressive about your opinion or feelings.
There are common behaviors that your partner can do that will trigger resentment, and some of them are:
- Your partner constantly refusing to change their opinions or decision on a matter regardless of how you feel about their stance
- Your partner taking advantage of your love
- Your partner setting unrealistic expectations for you
- Your partner projecting their past trauma on you
- You feeling put down by your partner
- Your partner not hearing you
- Your partner not respecting your boundaries
These are a few examples of situations and behaviors that can trigger resentment.
When situations like this happen and are not dealt with immediately, you will discover that resentment can sneak up on you without you even being aware of it.
So, how do you know you are harboring resentment towards your partner?
What signs and patterns can you watch out for, or have you begun to notice from yourself that reveals a resenting feeling?
Let’s explore some of them here.
10 Subtle Signs You Resent Your Partner:
1. You can’t stop thinking about what happened:
Are you constantly replaying the events of that quarrel that happened between you and your partner from the night before?
Or any other incident where your partner did not respect your boundaries?
Is the anger and pain welling up again inside of you when negative thoughts from the past come to mind?
These are possible pointers that there’s been a gap in communication in resolving that past conflict.
There’s still a part of you attached to the past that is rehashing that issue, and even when it seems to be fully resolved, it will keep reoccurring in your mind and affecting your mood.
2. You start to avoid your partner:
When the negative emotions start to worry you, you can begin to avoid your partner in a bid to not feel sad, disappointed, angry, or upset.
This avoidance may be subtle, like not initiating conversations, or more overt, like avoiding spending any time with them.
You won’t realize how, instead of clearing the air, you automatically stop being in the same spaces with your loved one or avoiding conversations on the phone because resentment is making you do so.
It’s a natural response to protecting yourself from bad situations instead of facing them and dealing with them.
But this can only make matters worse in the long run.
3. You insist on revenge or karma:
Sometimes, resentment can put you in the position of desiring for your partner to “pay” for what they did to you, mistake or not.
You may be hoping that they will suffer in the same way you did, even if it doesn’t undo what has been done.
Because you want them to be aware or feel what you’re feeling, you can unconsciously plot a retaliation on your partner.
This can even be in the little things like saying hurtful words back to them or mirroring their bad habits like uncontrollable sarcasm, leaving the door open, and so on.
4. Physical intimacy is no longer your thing:
If you notice that you begin to get irritated by the touch of your loved one, it’s okay to find out why.
Many times, you will find resentment lurking around the corner.
Your subconscious mind can cause a reluctance to physical closeness due to the fear of feeling trapped as if you still need to “pay” for what happened.
You previously enjoyed the touch of your partner, but all of a sudden, those resentful thoughts are subtly painting thoughts toward him, and you cannot help but flinch away when he comes near you.
5. You are being passive-aggressive towards your loved one:
Passive-aggressive behavior is carrying out an action that may appear harmless, neutral, or maybe even accidental, but the negative emotion is hidden in the action or speech.
A classic example would be “ghosting” your partner or giving them the silent treatment and acting like all is okay when, in truth, you are not speaking to that person because of resentment.
You may find yourself saying one thing and doing another or giving false promises as a way to cope with the hurt you feel inside.
You might be scared to confront your feelings head-on and instead are projecting them onto your partner in an indirect manner.
6. There is tension between you and your partner:
Picture yourself blowing a balloon till its plastic skin is spread thin.
You start to protect it from hands, pins, and anything from touching it because you are afraid it might burst and make a loud sound.
Tension in a relationship can feel like that blown balloon, and if communications don’t happen soon enough, you can rest assured knowing that any form of pressure on the relationship can cause both individuals to “burst,” which will lead to a lot of hurt.
7. You and your partner are constantly arguing:
At this point, you’ve thrown understanding and compromise through the window and ensure that you react to every single thing your partner does, whether wrong or right.
You always see it in a negative light.
As you keep addressing everything, it doesn’t help to deal with the resentment but rather make it grow into something worse: hate.
Soon, you may find yourself in a situation where things have spiraled out of control and the relationship is nothing but pure chaos.
8. You criticize their every move:
This is usually what leads to the arguments.
You continuously voice out your partner’s wrongs and give no room for them to even self-reflect and recognize their flaws.
You don’t acknowledge their mistakes and make it seem like it’s a habit.
At this point, it sounds like your mind is made to put up with the misdeeds instead of being hopeful that they can get better and encouraging them.
This will only lead to more fights and resentment that can potentially ruin the relationship.
9. The need to be defensive around your partner:
Similar to consistently criticizing your partner’s behavior, you constantly feel attacked by your partner.
You feel like you have to defend yourself in almost every conversation.
This only creates a hostile environment of negative energy and will take away from having meaningful conversations that could help in understanding each other and building trust.
Defensiveness pops up because instead of being aware of your partner’s feelings while they communicate to you, you are more aware of how you are beginning to feel during the course of conversation, that you react terribly or harshly to the conversation.
This can lead to a defensive response that could ultimately damage the relationship.
10. You start to feel regretful:
When thoughts from the past come up in your mind, there’s a deep regret that follows, making you rethink your decision to be with your partner in the first place.
This feeling of regret can be quite damaging to the relationship, as it leads to mistrust and a lack of understanding.
You start to wish things panned out differently during the course of the relationship and feel terrible about how impossible it is to go back and change events.
The feelings of regret can create a deep sense of sadness and hurt that can be damaging to the relationship.
There is a common pattern to all these signs, and it’s that they are a result of bad communication.
Feelings are like energy that is fed from thoughts.
Thoughts of resentment are born from gaps in communication, those little questions you don’t have the answer to about your relationship.
Being here means you want to deal with the nagging feeling of resentment and go head-on in addressing those issues, having those hard conversations, and communicating effectively.
However, it is possible that communicating at the stage of resentment can prove to be harder than the initial point of injury.
Seeing a qualified counselor guide two lovers to the point of effective communication can prove to be a game-changer in removing resentment completely from the relationship.