RESENTMENT – How to handle resentment in the relationship

There are times that we might feel hurt, very disappointed, unjust, angry at each other in our relationship/marriage, and by not addressing these feelings can lead us to resentment.

Resentment in some degree can be described as bitterness, and resentment can be poisonous for the relationship. When resentment or bitterness is present in the relationship, it will take much more effort and energy to resolve it, rather than dealing with what causing you feeling straight away.


Part of the issues that resentment happens is fear of dealing with conflicts, where often people believe it is better to sweep the issues under the carpet rather than facing it. By doing so, slowly they will ‘stumble’ when they ‘walk on their carpet’.

If you have some resentment towards your partner, there are some steps that can help you to resolve your resentment:

  1. Make a shift of curiosity.

Rather than fuelling the hurt with assumptions, you can shift it by being curios about understanding what happen for your partner that make them saying or doing things that is hurt for you. Increasing your curiosity to understand can help your resentment subdued.

  1. Give a little heads-up

Give a short explanation of why you want to talk about your feeling, eg. “I feel resentful and I want to talk about it with you, because this marriage is important to me” or “I want to talk about something with you but can we promise to talk it in a calm way because it’s not an attack towards you”

  1. Use “I feel” statement

Using “You” statement often causes a defence from the other person because it will be received as you are pointing your finger to them. However, when you use “I” statement, they cannot stop you not to feel the way you feel and because they don’t feel attacked by you, most likely they will respond than react to you.

  1. Apply “ARE you?”

It is important that you are open to listening, let alone to understand, when you approach your partner, because without it, you won’t be able to respond well to what your partner says to you. 

  1. Negotiation

Often when we try to resolve an issue, we caught up with who is right and who is wrong, rather than negotiate or meeting in the middle to achieve a Win-Win situation. It is not about right and wrong, but it is more about what is good/healthy for your relationship that will help you achieve a Win-Win situation.

  1. “I am sorry”

For some, saying “I’m sorry” means “I lose”, where actually you will win when you say “I’m sorry” because it shows that you have a big heart and you win your partner and will save your relationship.

  1. “Two become one”

Remember that when your partner is hurting, actually you are hurting too. If your partner is unhappy because you “win” an argument, you will be unhappy too because you have to put up with their unhappiness. When you please your partner, you will be please too. If you make your partner happy, you will be happy too. You can try this and see what happen!

You will reap what you sow!