Resentment is one of the most common struggles in marriages, and truthfully, it sneaks in and causes trouble sometimes before you realize what it’s done. If you’re feeling resentment towards your spouse, whether it’s from unmet expectations, broken promises, or even just a sense of unfairness or inequality in the relationship, I want you to find restoration. If you carry this emotion, it will not only damage your relationship with your spouse, but it will affect you as a person. I’ve been there, and truly as Jesse and I learned to communicate regularly and in a healthier way, it changed so much for us both.
Here are five practical ways to overcome resentment and bitterness and rediscover the love that brought you and your spouse together in the first place. It’s not easy, but with time, patience, and a willingness to work through your feelings, it’s possible to find your way back to a strong, healthy, and holy connection.
Focus on the positives
What we focus on is what we see. If we are only noticing all the things our spouse does that we dislike or feel are wrong, that’s what we will see more of. If we look for the good in them, we will see more good. The enemy wants to magnify the negative so be aware and ready to rebuke that. Pray that God helps you look at and love your husband the way He does. We are all God’s children, and when we step back and see that we are all broken sinners, we are able to find more grace for our spouses.
I mess up a lot. We are all human. I hope and pray that Jesse doesn’t cling to my mistakes but clings to my heart and who I am. Holding onto grudges and anger will keep you stuck in the past and prevent you from moving forward. Practice forgiveness by acknowledging the hurt, letting go of the resentment, and choosing to move forward. We can’t expect forgiveness if we aren’t willing to give the same.
Communicate openly and honestly
You can’t get mad at someone for not meeting your expectations if you haven’t communicated them. Communicate without attacking your spouse or placing blame. Pray before addressing the problem with your spouse. Timing can make a difference to so many sure you are in the optimal environment and in a healthy mood. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak through you so you can effectively express how you feel and why you feel that way. Remember needs aren’t demands. Listen to your spouse’s perspective too, and work together to find a solution.
Make an action plan
What do you feel that you need in order to be able to move forward? The more clear you are on what you need, the easier it will be to express them to your spouse. I was always told, “Don’t bring me a problem until you’ve thought about a solution.”
Celebrate your wins
I believe that the Holy Spirit can change hearts, and I believe that we can learn how to do anything important to us, but it isn’t going to happen overnight. You both will make mistakes along the way, and you might need to course-correct many times. But never forget to express gratitude and appreciate what you’re doing every step of the way. Focusing on the positives will diminish the power of the negatives.
Seek outside help
Sometimes, it can be difficult to overcome resentment on your own. If you’re feeling stuck, consider seeking outside help from a Christian therapist or counselor. A professional can help you work through your feelings and provide guidance on how to move forward in a healthy way.
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