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How Can I Be Happy in My Marriage When There is So Much Build-up Resentment?

Updated: Jun 9, 2020


That red-hot fire that smolders within in a long-term relationship…

He forgot my birthday AGAIN… She always puts me down in front of the kids…He never takes out the garbage…She always compares me to past boyfriends in a way that makes me feel lacking…He won't take me out for dinner because of the expense…She is happier to go out with her friends at night than with me…He told his mother something which he didn't share with me…She calls me names… He never hugs me..

And because of all this resentment, which builds up over time, we don't communicate anymore, we don't go out, we certainly don't touch and generally live like two separate individuals in the same house at best, and two enemies at worst.

Can you get out of this cycle? Can you work passed the pain?


Top Three Marriage Coaching Tips for Working Past the Hurt:

1/ The Snowball Effect: Resentment is not created overnight. It is something which escalates; an aggregate of negative experiences, which cause you to become bitter, upset, annoyed and angry at your spouse and sad about the state of your marriage. This is known as the snowball effect. The combined effect of all the negative interactions which keeps growing and gathering speed as it shoots downhill in a scary way. To avoid this in marriage, pay attention not to allow things to pile up. Deal with situations as they come up. Don’t wait until it's too late….If you already have a snowball of anger towards your spouse, break it up into its component parts, and try to deal with each issue separately.

2/ Look at How Much you Love your Kids: One of the helpful skills in a marriage is to look at your relationship with your kids as an excellent paradigm for your relationship with your partner. Look how easily you forgive your kids, how you make excuses for their not-so-great behavior. But that same behavior from your spouse can make you go insane.

OK, sometimes you forgive the kids because they are young, but often, you excuse them because you love them so completely. You chose to love your partner, and you are daily re-choosing to love them, whereas your children were given to you. You never chose these specific kids. Psychologically, you are always still choosing your partner. But try to love them as you love your kids- deserving of a love without borders, without conditions.

3/ Stop Being an Accountant: The great late Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis zt"l used to say that we don't need divorce lawyers nowadays, we need accountants!! To tally up all the things that I did for you, and all the things that you didn't do for me. If we act in this manner, we will be truly miserable in our marriage; extremely resentful and constantly feeling that our life is unfair. What we must do is to throw away our calculators and just begin to give. A healthy relationship is when both parties give and give without expecting anything in return. If you both commit to this practice, you will be rewarded with happiness without boundaries!

The history of pain and resentment in a marriage is often very long. Jews especially are blessed with long memories. We cry and mourn a building which was destroyed 2000 years ago! We have rituals which commemorate events of nearly 6000 years! But when it comes to remembering grievances vividly, this makes for great challenge in a long-term relationship. Try to remember the good your spouse has done to you, and try to forget the not-so-good.


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