Overcoming Resentment and Rebuilding Trust in Marriage

Marriage is a lifelong journey between two people. In marriage, you and your partner continuously grow, change, and evolve. It is a beautiful thing, but it can be challenging. One of the most challenging issues within a marriage is realizing that resentment lives in your union. Dr. Wyatt Fisher defines resentment in marriage as the culmination of negative feelings you have toward your partner from unresolved conflicts, offenses, and unmet needs. Left unattended, resentment usually gets worse with time instead of better and creates significant barriers to intimacy on all levels.  



How Does Resentment Affect My Marriage?

Resentment presents itself when one spouse takes advantage of or takes the other for granted. Whether done intentionally or unintentionally, it will feed the feeling of resentment.


Resentment is one of the most overlooked issues of a marriage because it does not have simply one cause. It often begins small and may seem unimportant at the time. But, if these minor incidents go unresolved, you start to walk around heavy-hearted and full of grievances. That build-up of emotions creates a wall that will block the opportunity for connection and intimacy between you and your spouse.


Resentment in marriage has many emotional faces. 

  • Feeling let down or betrayed by your partner
  • Not feeling mentally, physically, or emotionally safe in your relationship
  • Obsessing over past hurts and hardships
  • Finding it difficult to trust or be vulnerable with your spouse
  • Feeling rejected sexually or as if you are unwanted by your partner
  • Lack of physical touch or everyday affection
  • Actively attempting to hurt your partner’s feelings or constant fault finding
  • Being overly critical and judgemental of your spouse frequently
  • Fantasizing about leaving the relationship: “The grass is greener on the other side” syndrome. 
  • Defensiveness, stonewalling, emotionally withdrawn, overly distant


If left unattended, resentment can cause a marriage to erode slowly. Resenting your spouse damages the beauty of marriage. Often divorce seems like the only option because staying together begins to feel hopeless. 


Can My Marriage Recover From Resentment?

One of the best ways to overcome resentment in your marriage is by learning how to communicate effectively. Communicating with your spouse in a safe environment allows you to open up and discuss your feelings honestly. Recovering from resentment in your marriage takes shared responsibility and dedication to doing the work. 

To successfully move forward from resentment in your marriage, there are a few steps to take:

  1. Understand your grievances so they are clear: Communicating with your spouse before understanding your emotions can harm the healing process. It is essential to identify what you resent about your spouse and why. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is it that is bothering you?
  • How does this particular grievance make you feel?
  • Have you ever expressed this feeling to your partner?
  1. . Communicate your needs effectively: Now that you understand what bothers you, it is time to communicate with your spouse. Remember that most conversations that begin with criticism or blame end in an argument. When discussing your grievances with your spouse, please focus on your feelings and not solely on their actions. Avoid definitive statements like “you never” or “you always.” Remember that resentment breeds resentment. Your partner may feel hurt that you are feeling this way and not know how to communicate. If you notice your partner becoming defensive, empathize and reassure them. Continue to express that these are your grievances, and it is not an attack on them. 
  2. Try to understand their perspective: Unless your partner is narcissistic, many situations that cause resentment happen unintentionally. It is usually a triggered situation. Never be afraid to show curiosity. Please do not assume why things are happening the way that they are. Ask your partner what’s going on. 
  3. Make an action plan to restore connection: We know that change does not happen overnight. Put in place some steps to achieve the goal of relinquishing the resentment. It is not always an easy task, so encourage your spouse as they are trying to make those necessary changes. Communicate with them how the changes are making you feel.

Begin Marriage or Relationship Counseling Huntsville, Al

A woman smiles while sitting across from a person with a clipboard. This represents the support a counselor for teens in Huntsville, AL can offer with therapy for teenagers in Huntsville, AL. Learn more about therapy for adolescents in Huntsville, AL today.

If you decide that you are interested in finding an experienced counselor to assist you and your marriage or relationship, Aspire Counseling & Consulting Services is a great place to start. Invest in your marriage. Our team of therapists would be happy to offer support from our Huntsville, AL-based practice. Start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:
  1. Start interventions to support the growth and intimacy of your relationship.

Other Services Offered With Aspire Counseling

Counseling for couples isn’t the only service offered at our Huntsville, AL-based practice. Our team is happy to offer multiple services in support of your mental health. Other services offered include individual counseling, anger management therapy, anger management classes, therapy for teenagers and adolescents, and depression therapy. We also offer support with continuing education, overcoming eating disorders, and offer online clinical supervision for social workers. Please feel free to visit our blog or FAQ for more helpful info! If you need more information about our rates, accepted insurance, and services or are ready to begin counseling services, please do not hesitate to call or visit our blog for more information.


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Huntsville, AL 35806

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