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Intimacy Advice Article

Resentment: What to Do About This Marriage-Killer

By Susie and Otto Collins

Angela feels a mixture of guilt and irritation as she rolls over (and toward the wall) in bed. Her husband, Mike, was dropping hints about wanting to make love with her and Angela made it clear to him that she's just not in the mood.

Unfortunately, lately Angela is not in the mood for sex with her husband quite frequently. She would like to be more intimate and passionate with him more often, but there's this one thing that seems
to be standing in the way...

Angela's resentment.

She resents the fact that Mike's mother is now living with them, putting a strain on their budget and Angela's time.

She resents that she comes home after a long day at work to an empty dinner table, a cluttered house, mounds of dirty laundry and Mike's expectations that she will do it all.

Angela resents that Mike rarely helps out at home and rarely shows her appreciation for what she does.

All of this resentment has built up over the years causing her to regularly snap at and criticize Mike. Now, that resentment has spilled over into their intimate lives as well.

It's true. Resentment is a marriage- and an intimacy-killer.

When you carry around anger, irritation or bitterness because of something your spouse said or did or even due to a situation that's arisen in your relationship, it shows.

No matter how hard you try to hide resentment or pretend that it's not there, it will come through.

It might come through in sarcastic comments, "jokes" and also in your willingness (or unwillingness) to be intimate and sexual with your mate.

A certain holding back and closing down inevitably goes along with resentment. After all, it's nearly impossible to open your heart fully to your partner when you are feeling angry and bitter about him
or her.

Recognize resentment for what it is.

A first step to reversing the damage resentment causes to you and your marriage is to acknowledge that that's how you feel. Recognize resentment for what it is-- this is slightly different for everyone.

Recognize what's at the bottom of your resentment, but do not use this inner inquiry as an excuse to solidify your anger toward your partner.

This isn't about you re-affirming to yourself how wrong your spouse was to say or do ____, for example.

Your partner may have made a big mistake that hurt you, but continuing to rehash what was happened
won't help you have the kind of marriage you want.

If you are to move past this resentment, you need to acknowledge your feelings without getting further stuck in events of the past.

Resolve what needs to be resolved.

After you take even a little bit of time to get to know your resentment, you can look for issues that may be unresolved between you and your partner that are fueling your bitter feelings.

Have you and your mate "agreed to disagree" about something but that's just not working for you?

Perhaps there is an arrangement that you two made about home chores, finances, child care, sex or some
other issue and that arrangement is not okay with you after all.

Maybe you and your partner had an argument long ago and you just haven't been able to fully let go of hurtful words that were said.

It could be that your spouse had an affair or lied to you in the past and, even though he or she has changed, you are having a difficult time moving on from that betrayal.

It might not make logical sense to you or it might be crystal clear, what's most important is for you to understand what specific things in your relationship (past or present) need to be addressed and, hopefully, resolved.

There's no guarantee that you and your spouse will be able to easily find a solution that you both will be happier with, but try anyway.

Sometimes, the act of communicating with one another about the issue can bring some ease to each of you.

You can actually move close together even if you don't find the "perfect answer" to the challenge facing you if you both stay open and honest.

Let it go.

If you truly want to nurture connection and spark intimacy in your marriage, letting go of resentment is absolutely going to have to happen.

We know, it's not often as simple as "just let it go," but that's what we're suggesting you do.

By all means, get clearer about what your resentment is about and how it manifests for you. And, most definitely, try to come to some resolution with your mate about the issue that's at the root of your resentment.

Ultimately, however, it's up to you to make the choice to stop carrying around the anger and bitterness.

It's your decision to forgive your partner and yourself and to begin to move forward to the kind of future and intimacy you desire.
Men! Find out how to Light Up Your Woman by clicking here to check out Otto Collins' new FREE report.


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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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