“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” — St. Augustine
We all want a marriage that stands the test of time, after all, why would we marry in the first place. Unfortunately, as time passes many relationships flunk this test. Surprisingly, it is the women who initiate two-thirds of all divorces, according to a study by the American Sociological Association.
We all wonder why, what and how – but the day one wakes up to the notion that divorce is imminent is not a day anyone wants to experience. Why then does it become necessary to seek out legal counsel and not marriage counseling? When does the repair of a relationship become nearly impossible and for what reason?
We hear women say, “it was too little – too late,” but is it? It most certainly can be if we let resentment seep into our relationships; this ugly emotion is a tough one to navigate. It provokes intense anger, and bitterness putting both parties on the defense which often leads to withdrawal and lack of vulnerability, making resolutions nearly impossible!
I said “nearly impossible” because with hard work there is always hope for those who wish to save their relationship. So how do you get rid of “resentment”, the marriage killer? Here are a few suggestions to prevent bitterness from destroying your relationship:
- Stop compiling a list of all the past mistakes your relationship has endured.
- Stop dissecting and focusing on past failures, we all make them, use them to learn and don’t let them destroy your future.
- Stop disconnecting with your partner.
- Stop blaming your partner for your unhappiness.
- Start practicing vulnerability when expressing thoughts, wishes, desires, and disappointments. Be honest and be vulnerable.
- Start taking responsibility for your part in conflicts and past disappointments.
- Start listening to each other, with empathy! Hear their pain, feel their pain and feel the anger slip away.
- Start spending quality, fun time with each other; connect physically, hug more, take walks and practice stepping away from life’s everyday stressors.
What we all crave is a connection with our loved one; when this slips away so does our desire to be together. But divorce doesn’t have to be the answer. Rebuilding the connection you once had is possible once you remove resentment and anger, and learn to reconnect and communicate. Empathy and forgiveness are essential in every relationship. When practiced this brings both parties together to a place of mutual understanding, love, and trust.
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