Resentment is Toxic to Your Marriage – Ryan Couples Therapy | Tacoma, WA

Resentment is Toxic to Your Marriage

Practice #7: How to Reclaim Your Life and Strengthen Your Marriage.

Resentment is a toxic emotion. And it is especially toxic to your marriage. It is defined as: a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury

This definition clearly highlights why the feeling of resentment can be toxic to your marriage. If we are feeling “persistent ill will” toward our partner, we are blocked from feeling love, from feeling compassion, from empathy, from generosity.

And yet, we can unknowingly, plant seeds for resentment through our actions and the choices we make in our marriage.

Today I want to talk to you about one of the major contributing factors to growing the seeds of resentment in your marriage: hiding or giving up your true self.

When we spend all our time, energy, and focus on valuing our partner more than we value ourselves, resentment sneaks in. No one can avoid this.

Right now, you may be telling yourself that you could NEVER feel resentment toward your partner. But when we sacrifice, martyr, and abandon ourselves consistently, eventually resentment takes over.

And resentment is an insidious and toxic emotion. It contracts us and causes us to close in on ourselves. It takes up so much space that we are not free to love and give with an open heart.

Resentment causes us to become stingy. We become hyper-vigilant about how much we are deprived; how much we give, but get nothing in return.  We develop a “tit-for-tat” mentality.

Resentment blocks all the good and loving energy required to create and sustain an intimate relationship.

It prevents us from giving from an authentic and generous heart.

It leads us to experience overwhelming, dominating feelings of obligation and “persistent ill will”.

It results in a sense of deep isolation.

Resentment brings us an important message, should we choose to listen.

It tells us that we have silently agreed to hide our true nature. To hide or ignore or minimize the very life force of our soul. The stuff that makes us unique and full of vibrant energy.

Resentment develops because we have stopped honoring our true self.

Our suffering is a result of allowing others to be the sole focus on our attention. And now we have lost our connection to ourselves.

The antidote to resentment is found when we take small, but crucial, steps  to reclaim our authenticity and honor our true nature.

Honoring ourselves includes:

  1. Stopping all the ways you silence your voice, betray yourself, de-value yourself, and hide yourself.
  2. Starting to express your wants, your desires, and the voice that reveals who you truly are. Starting to live from your heart and soul.

Resentment begins to decrease when we honor our own life as much as our partner’s.

Essentially, resentment is healed when we love ourselves.

Once we can acknowledge how we have betrayed ourselves, it will be very helpful if we can recognize the grief and anger that comes with this new awareness.

Once aware of the grief and anger, we can begin to take the steps necessary to release and heal from these painful emotions. Then we can move forward with a kind and loving heart.

If this feels familiar to you, please know that you are not alone.

Tara Brach says, “How you live today, is how you live your life.”

Today is the day to begin to reclaim your life.

You can heal from your resentment. You don’t have to live with a stingy and small heart.

Plant the seeds to grow a loving, generous, overflowing heart. A heart that is fully loving toward yourself as well as toward your partner.

Practice #6 in Series  |  Practice #8 in Series  

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Jane Ryan

Jane Ryan, M.A., LMFT, is a Licensed Couple and Family Therapist with twenty years of clinical experience and a speciality in helping couples navigate the challenges of intimate relationships. Jane also has a sub-specialty of helping couples navigate the relational and sexual effects of breast cancer.