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“He’s so perfect and is always right whenever we fight.”
Obviously, Jen was handling her problem with mockery as she always did best. She was huffing, walking to-and-fro, and scratching her elbows. She was fuming and angrier with herself than her boyfriend.
“What did you say when he argued with you?” Penny asked her, curious to know what her sister’s reaction was in such a situation. Jen had been with her boyfriend for years, but that was the first time she reacted this way in a conflict.
And their fight wasn’t even worth it.
“He just said he didn’t expect me to make a big deal out of it. I mean, seriously Penny, he completely disregarded the fact that I had to double-focus on my meeting because of the noise he was making with his friends. I didn’t know football deserves this much of a fuss.”
Being a football fan, Penny tried to keep the arguments she had to herself and try to understand her sister instead of going on a tangent.
“Did you try talking to him about it?”
“I kind of started screaming at him and his friends in the heat of the moment,” Jen sighed. “I couldn’t hold myself. I was so angry.”
“You could’ve talked to him after his friends left, you know? I don’t remember you ever fighting with him about this particular thing.”
“I honestly didn’t want to. He’ll extensively explain to me why he’s right and that I’m overreacting.”
“How do you know?”
“Because it happened before. It’ll keep happening, and I’m tired of it.”
While this is a completely fictional story, the essence still rings true to some people. Jen is experiencing resentment toward her boyfriend because he has a history of emotional bypassing and always arguing in favor of being right.
Where did that lead her? She kept everything in her heart, believing that the problem will disappear with each conflict they resolve. But eventually, her pent-up emotions got the best of her, and she released them at the slightest inconvenience.
And this is how resentment usually tends to grow.
Jen’s story is but a small example in the anthology of resentment origin stories.
According to WebMD, resentment is triggered by:
>> Relationships with people who insist on being right all the time
>> Being taken advantage of by another
>> Feeling put down
>> Unrealistic expectations of others
>> Not being heard
>> Interactions with people who are always late
And so, how is this reflected in the person feeling this resentment?
According to PsychCentral, the common signs of someone feeling resentment toward their partner are:
>> passive-aggressive words or actions, or an increase of sarcastic remarks
>> increased agitation directed toward your partner
>> feeling like you want to escape the relationship
>> reduced feelings of empathy
>> less interest in sex or intimacy
>> feelings of disgust or disappointment
>> frequently complaining to others about your mate
So, how can we avoid feeling resentment in a relationship? How can we avoid it altogether instead of trying to move past it?
The answer is simple: communication.
There are many articles out there promoting the importance of communication, and yet, some may fail to employ it when it is most needed.
Communication should occur with the positive and negative things. If I come to my partner, always complaining about the things he does, he will start getting frustrated and believing that I barely love anything about him. So, communication goes both ways.
When something happens and it bothers us, we should talk about it immediately. Building up negative emotions is bound to end with resentment.
Let it out before it eats you inside.
No two people know each other by heart upon meeting. Building a good and healthy relationship is a process and requires effort. Building a healthy relationship means being honest with each other. It means not hiding anything from our partner, especially things related to them.
You know why?
Because there is no room for resentment in a healthy relationship.