In continuation of part 1, here is part 2 of “Handling Your Resentments Better.”
Rather than broadcasting your resentment or stuffing your resentment, try accepting your partner for whom they are. Take some time to think about what you are resentful about. Is it something your partner can change? Is it something your partner can’t change? Is this even about your partner? Any way you slice it, be gentle with your partner if you are feeling negative towards them.
If your resentment is a need that you have of your partner, then make sure you feel calm and collected and start a gentle dialogue with your partner about this need. If that doesn’t go well, and you feel angry or out of control, consider getting some help from couples counseling or individual counseling. When we are angry and resentful, we do, feel and say things we wouldn’t do, feel or say if we were feeling calm and safe.
Be intentional with your resentment. If you notice you feel very angry towards your partner (and others) for things that they may not do well or be good at, take a pause. Slow down, breathe. Give yourself a helpful reminder that you love and appreciate your partner.
If you find yourself stuffing it, or if your partner thinks you are upset, that’s ok. You have a right to own your feelings, even if you feel hurt or confused or don’t want to talk about them. Try to take the opportunity your partner is giving you to voice your frustrations. Other people can provide good opportunities for expressing complaints or frustrations. Try to focus on expressing the feeling you have rather than what you think your partner did wrong. And if you make mistakes, that’s ok. Just make sure to go back and repair your relationship.
Repair your relationship when you fight. Repair when you are frustrated. Be very kind with your partner. Be very kind to your partner.
John Gottman, a leading relationship researcher and couples therapist, reports that the use of relationship repair skills is the distinction between masterful, long-term, highly satisfied couples and couples that report low level couple/marital satisfaction or couples that do not stay together. Masterful couples use good repair skills and temper their frustrations and resentments with great deliberateness and frequency.
Here’s John’s website: www.gottman.com
The good news is that all of us can learn and use good communication skills to the benefit of your relationship, your partner and yourself. All of us have the potential to have highly satisfying long-term, committed relationships. It is possible if you act with kindness towards others. And then it will feel easy and truthfully to always say, “I love my partner…warts and all!”