Can A Marriage Recover From Resentment?

couple holding hands. Representing a couple who has had resentments and in need of marriage counseling in huntsville Alabama


Are You Feeling The Stress Of Resentment In Your Marriage?

The best of marriages are full of love, respect and a unique balance of each partner’s wants and needs being met. But the best of marriages can also have moments of frustration, neglect and a lack of self-awareness. If you have experienced any of the latter, you are not alone.

What does resentment in marriage look like?

We need not fear the struggle of marriage. Rest assured, your marriage does not need to look like an instagram reel of picture perfect, neatly curated moments of unconditional love and limitless good humor. With this in mind, let’s create a clear picture of what resentment looks like in a marriage.

Like many emotional struggles, how resentment is expressed in marriage depends on the individual experiencing it. Just as some people are prone to yelling and literal finger-pointing when they are upset, others are prone to the quieting effects of avoidance and emotionally shutting down. With this in mind, resentment can show up in your marriage in many of the following ways:

●  Yelling and screaming

●  Name calling

●  Ridiculing a person

●  Lying

●  Verbal blaming and shaming

●  Silencing your wants and needs

●  Avoiding emotional intimacy

●  Breaking a commitments to self and others

●  Patronizing a person through tone

●  Telling a person how they should be or what they should do

●  Being sarcastic

What Is The Root Cause Of Resentment In Marriage?

In a nutshell, the root cause of resentment is that one (or both / more) partners’ wants and needs are not being met. This may be intentional, as in the case of emotional abuse or having a relationship with a narcissistic partner.

Or it may be unintentional, as can be the case of living with a partner who requires a high level of attention and time due to medical issues or a phase of life (e.g. during a doctorate program, during the postpartum period, etc).

In these circumstances, marriage and relationship counseling can be a necessary intervention to help unpack the power dynamics in the relationship. The team at Aspire Counseling knows that relationship conflicts are more common than we think. In fact, this particular conflict actually proves that you are two unique individuals with two unique voices. A partnership demands that both people show up with their voices clearly and with regard for the others.

How Do You Release Resentment?

Now that we have acknowledged that both you and your partner have wants and needs and that both of you must be able to clearly and respectfully voice your wants and needs, you are ready to begin to release resentment.

The first step in releasing resentment is to identify your wants and needs. Only you can do this work for yourself. For some people this will be easier than others. And it’s worth noting that women have traditionally been taught such self-sacrificing behavior that they are more likely to have unidentified and unexpressed wants and needs. As a result, they are especially prone to feeling resentment towards their partner.

For the time being, as you work to identify your wants and needs, don’t worry about what’s realistic or reasonable. Allow yourself to freely imagine what you want and need to make your life functional and joyful. Here are some questions you might consider to explore the wants and needs that have been ignored by you and unvoiced to your partner:

●  If no one would be inconvenienced, what would you do/want?

●  If no one would respond in anger, what would you do/want?

●  If no one would be disappointed, what would you do/want?

●  If you could not fail, what would you do/want?

●  Even if you did fail, what would you do/want?

It can feel scary to consider these questions! Aren’t we inviting selfishness and self-centered behavior? Not at all. We’re not assuming you will get everything on this list. We’re not giving you permission to demand it.

But from here we can consider, are you holding onto unrealistic expectations you can lower or let go of? Is your bar too low and have you avoided telling your partner you need more time, intimacy, support or autonomy?

We are inviting you to express the unexpressed. We are inviting you to acknowledge the invisible feelings that likely led to your resentment in the first place.

At Aspire Counseling & Consulting Services In Huntsville, AL

You are ready to give a voice to the resentment in your marriage and work through it in a way that is respectful and geared toward real change. Getting started is as easy as completing our

online form to request your first appointment. This easy first step takes less than 5 minutes and will help us match you with a therapist unique to your needs and goals.

Marriage counseling at Aspire Counseling supports men and women facing challenges with communication in their relationships. Through couples, group or individual counseling, the team at Aspire can help you make the changes you want to see in your life.

Getting started is as easy as completing our online form to request your first appointment. You need not fear the conflict in your marriage when you have the support and guidance of a skilled individual or couples therapist close to home.

About The Author:

Author Melissa Spaulding, CMHC is a licensed clinical mental health counselor and guest blogger in the field of mental health, counseling and therapy practices. Mrs. Spaulding is also the owner of Guided Wellness Counseling in beautiful St. George, Utah where her team specializes in women’s mental health and the journey of overcoming depression, anxiety and PTSD. In her free time, Mrs. Spaulding enjoys hiking in Zion National Park with her husband and two children. 


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Huntsville, AL 35806
(256) 212-0567

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