Can Resentments Harm Relationships?

Resentment is the feeling that you’re being neglected, treated unfairly, or not getting the respect or appreciation you deserve. It’s been compared to drinking poison but waiting for the other person to die. It eats at you, sometimes for years on end, but the only one who suffers is you.

Here are 5 important tips to help you avoid one of the most toxic elements in any relationship we call resentment:

1. Ask, instead of assuming

We’re all busy, juggling many things at once, so much so that we take what’s important for granted, especially with those who are closest to us. Sometimes life gets in the way of us feeling cared for and loved, even to the point of living with personal integrity. 

We ignore what’s bothering us because it’s easier, hoping it’ll go away on its own or magically disappear into thin air. Yet ignoring issues like this doesn’t make them go away, it makes them grow until they’re too big to handle. That’s when the state of your relationship really starts to feel the weight of these problems. 

And you know it’s there, but you don’t know what to do about it. Many times, we don’t bring up certain issues because we’re afraid to confront our loved ones and shy away from conflicts. But by doing this, you’re pushing away your partner without actually realizing it and this is one way that resentment builds up.

2. Be part of the solution, not the problem

Putting blame won’t get you anywhere; in fact, most times it just makes things that much worse. Instead, work at overcoming your anger and hatred so you can reach an agreement. Showing empathy is a big part of this process, especially after an argument because it tells your partner that you understand how they feel and why they did so-and-so. Empathy really goes a long way.

woman touching her hair near trees
Be the solution….

3. Give each other some space

Early in your relationship, you can’t imagine going an hour without texting each other or hearing each others’ voices, let alone a whole day. But as you mature into the relationship, it’s wise to find something you enjoy doing on your own. 

This maintains your sense of self, while giving you something to chat about, so it’s a win-win. Taking some “me” time and distancing yourself could be something you do once a week, or once a month, the point is to make yourself a priority during that time so you came back into the relationship with fresh eyes and a sense of longing.

4. Don’t let small things grow and fester

man holding telephone screaming

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if your partner just apologized when appropriate? Life would be so simple and lovely, and a romance movie. But it’s not always like that. It’s normal to have arguments, big and small. 

Feeling anger and hurt on occasion is also alright. But don’t sit on these feelings, waiting for that perfect moment to let it all out. You and your partner should be each other’s supporter and shoulder to lean on through troubled times. Remember, you’re on the same team.

5. Communicate

Talking and listening requires a bit of vulnerability, which can be difficult at times, especially if you harbor feelings of mistrust or resentment. But there’s no way around it, opening up is crucial in a healthy relationship.

Talk honestly with your partner and ask to be really listened to. And it’s important to listen without judgment when it’s your turn to be attentive to your partner. Practicing these confidence-boosting techniques will bring you and your loved one closer together. 

It’ll also help break any barriers either one of you had put up as a defense mechanism because, let’s be honest, we have to be on our guards every time we leave the house, at work, at the mall, on the street. So why do we make it even harder on ourselves and keep our guard up even at home, with our partner?

Relationships need work and constant care. That’s where people make the mistake of forgetting about the small details of everyday life. We just say or do something without thinking it through. 

But the truth is it does matter and over time, some of these things linger and fester into something ugly that brings out the bad in everything, and ultimately suffocates any good relationship. Resolving issues before they get out of hand is the key to avoiding resentment and enjoying a happy, healthy relationship.


5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationship with your Significant Other

Looking for ways to feel connected to your partner? We asked the experts and rounded up five simple ways to improve your relationship with your significant other.

We all know how hard relationships can be. Even couples who always seem to look picture perfect go through their fair share of ups and downs.

The good news is that there are ways to fix any issue or problem you’re facing as a couple. Read the following tips to help you build a strong, romantic relationship that’s built on communication, trust, and love.

Be Supportive

Ask your partner about their day. Listen and pay attention. Showing support doesn’t only have to be only during big work projects and promotions. It’s everyday signs of caring and empathy.

Being supportive of your significant other means showing compassion and understanding.

The important thing to remember is that you have to be intentional and proactive in your actions. Making an effort is now easier than ever, thanks to technology. Why not send your significant other an emoji or a text just to check in? Even better, call them up for a few minutes to chat and see how they’re day is going. These little things help build a relationship and make your partner feel validated.

man and woman kissing near green leafed tree

Enjoy the Little Moments

A relationship is a work in progress. You need to focus more on the small moments that give your relationship meaning and value.

You don’t need big gestures like in the movies. All you need to build a strong, loving relationship is to kiss each other before heading out to work or giving each other a hug before going to bed. It’s the consistency and frequency of those little moments that really matter in the end.

Dr. Kristie Overstreet, a relationship expert and certified sex therapist, says, “A healthy relationship is one based in trust and security. [This is why] small gestures are a great way to keep these two things strong.”

Spice Things Up

Picture this: you eat the same meal every day. After a while, it becomes humdrum and unexciting. It’s the same way with your sex life. Trying new things in the bedroom will add a new dimension to your intimacy and bring you closer together.

Alternatively, spicing things up doesn’t have to only be in the bedroom. Variety is the backbone of any strong relationship.

Why not plan a dinner date or an impromptu lunch at your partner’s favorite restaurant? One fun rule to live by is the 2 x 2 x 2 rule. Go out for at least two hours every two weeks. Then, every two months, get away somewhere for the weekend. And every two years, go away for an entire week.

Feeling that each one of you is making time for the year is the root of any romance. Prioritizing time for one another means you’re not just an afterthought.

assorted candies

Be Appreciative

Whether you’ve been in a relationship for six months or 10 years, relationships get comfortable after a while. While this is a good thing, it can make you take your partner’s nice acts of kindness for granted.

These acts of kindness are how your partners show their love and appreciation for you. So, it’s only natural that you return those same affections with a simple ‘thank you.’

Learn to Communicate

Work, responsibilities, money, and kids all take their toll on relationships. They’re some of the main reasons why communication between couples takes a back seat to everything else.

One way to help ease communication into your lives is to have a daily check-in session. This is where you talk with your significant other about just normal, ordinary, everyday stuff.

But, in the long run, these meaningful topics are what help deepen your intimacy and connection.

When communication lines are open between you and your partner, it helps prevent small issues from snowballing into bigger problems. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to argue over every little thing. It just means that you get into the habit of calling out issues with each other in a calm, understanding way. You can casually bring it up in one of your daily check-ins.

Over time, this can become a habit where you effectively nip things in the bud before they get out of head.