Signs Of Resentment In Relationships: How To Overcome It

Written by Harini Natarajan , Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner

Resentment in relationships is a recipe for disaster. It is poisonous to any relationship as it usually stems from unresolved anger and develops as snarky statements, emotional retreat, and disagreements over trivial things. It may even end up destroying the relationship. Resentment can be sparked by a variety of reasons. Read this to understand the causes of resentment and how to keep it from destroying your relationship.

What Causes Resentment In A Relationship?

What Causes Resentment In A Relationship?


When you are in a long-term relationship, it is common to experience rifts over various issues. While you may be able to resolve most of them, often, some issues may remain unresolved and give rise to a range of feelings inside you. This whirlwind of emotions can make you feel unrecognized and craving for your partner’s empathy. As a result, resentment may creep into your heart and the relationship. There are several factors over which you may develop resentment. They include:

  1. Always Insisting On Being Right: If you consistently insist that you are always the right one and your partner is wrong, it will lead them to believe that you are rigid and arrogant and do not consider their points of view. This may make them feel ignored and not valued, causing resentment.
  1. Mocking Your Partner: Passing thoughtless comments or mocking your partner may trigger resentful feelings in them. Over time, it is not hard to understand the signs that trigger your partner.
  1. Setting Unrealistic Expectations: This is one of the most common causes of resentment in any relationship. This usually happens when you expect something from your partner, which is not fulfilled. As a result, you feel dejected and unvalued.
  1. Not Being Heard: When was the last time you had a heart-to-heart with your partner? Can’t remember? Are you able to share your deepest feelings with them? Do you feel that they do not have time to listen to you? If yes, you may be growing apart instead of closer emotionally, which may cause resentment.
  1. Feeling Overpowered: Unbalanced relationship dynamics can often make you feel overpowered. Be it small household factors or major life decisions – if your partner overpowers you most of the time, you may feel resentment growing inside you.

Often, you may be unable to identify the growing resentment inside you. It manifests itself in various forms, and that is when you realize what you have been harboring in your heart. Here are a few signs that resentment is eating up your relationship.

Signs Of Resentment In Relationships

1. Arguments

Arguments in relationships are common. However, if you argue with your partner over almost everything, it might be triggered by the resentment. When issues are unresolved for longer, it is quite common that they will find a way into every argument you have. They will keep resurfacing, and you may end up blaming them for their actions.

2. Lack Of Physical Intimacy

Lack Of Physical Intimacy


You will feel emotionally distant from your partner when there is resentment in the relationship. As a result, there will be a lack of intimacy. You or your partner may feel a lack of attraction towards each other, which may fuel the fire and strain your relationship. If you think resentment is the reason affecting your intimacy, discuss with your partner and try to resolve the issue.

3. Criticism

Holding bitterness and resentment in a marriage can force either of you to voice your partner’s flaws and criticize them in an unforgiving way. You tend to point out flaws in your partner’s character or how they do things.

4. Retaliation



Anger and resentment towards your partner can hurt their feelings. In such cases, they may retaliate even under normal circumstances. For instance, when you poke them about something, they may retaliate by shouting at you or just going silent and completely ignoring you. They know what will hurt you the most and retaliate in that way. If things have been tense between you two for quite a few days now, try to break the ice by initiating a discussion.

5. Overthinking

If you often find yourself rethinking or reliving the moments when you disliked something that your partner did, it is a sure sign that you are holding resentment towards them. It indicates that you are stuck on the matter emotionally and find it hard to move on. Such overthinking can increase the negative feeling inside you.

6. Regret



Do you often regret the way you behaved with your partner? Do you blame yourself and wish you had acted in a better way? This feeling of regret is often caused by resentment. Anger and resentment often blind, you and you do not know how much your behavior may hurt your partner. You realize it afterward and feel disappointed in your behavior.

If you are worried about the growing resentment between you and your partner, do not panic. You can still salvage your relationship. If both of you are ready to work on your relationship, overcoming resentment and moving forward is possible. Here is how.

Can A Relationship Recover From Resentment? How To Deal With It

1. Communicate

This is the best way to address the resentment in your relationship. Talk to your partner openly about the issues and explain how you feel about it. Try to understand their perspective. This way, both of you can identify the issues and understand what caused them.

2. Accept Their Flaws

No one is perfect, and it is unfair to expect perfection from your partner all the time. A healthy relationship blooms where both partners accept each other with their flaws and do not want to mold them according to their idea of a “perfect partner.” Your partner may be forgetful or may act immature at times. Accept the flaws as a part of their character.

3. Forgive And Empathize

Forgive And Empathize


We feel resentful when we think we are wronged. So, forgiveness is crucial to let resentment go. Do not seek revenge and try to retaliate. This will prevent the issue from escalating further.

Empathize with your partner and understand why they behaved in a particular way. Put yourself in their shoes to get closer to understanding their true intentions. This will help you heal emotionally and forgive them.

4. Have Realistic Expectations

Be reasonable and set realistic expectations. Expecting your partner to take out time for you, text you, remember important dates and anniversaries is normal. However, they might have their work and other commitments and a few things may often slip out of their minds.

Moreover, as the relationship progresses, the initial enthusiasm of dating often fades, and your partner may not often meet your expectations. This does not mean they are not prioritizing you. In such cases, be rational and talk to your partner once to clear the air.

5. Focus On Their Positive Aspects

Instead of focusing on the negatives, divert your mind to the positive aspects of your partner. Often, your feelings about your partner are influenced by the thoughts of them passing through your head. When you think of their positive aspects and how they made a difference in your life, you will feel the negative feelings melting away.

6. Seek Help From A Counselor

Seek Help From A Counselor


If you are unable to sort the issues among yourself and communicate calmly and positively, visit a relationship counselor. They can help take the pressure off, listen to both of you, and create a positive environment where you can sit and discuss. A counselor can help both understand each other’s perspectives.

7. Work On Yourself

Other than working on your relationship, divert your attention towards yourself. Control your emotions and do not let them influence your judgment. Your emotional well-being is crucial before you understand your partner’s emotions. Try to be emotionally independent and your own source of happiness. In this way, your happiness will not depend on your partner’s emotional availability.

To Wrap Up

Resentment is among the most vicious emotions that can plague a relationship. It can stem from various factors, ranging from everyday activities to rarer occasions. When this happens, the feeling is bound to manifest through several signs and symptoms. At this point, the right thing to do is to take note of the situation and work on resolving the issues between you to free yourself of any resentment you are feeling. We hope that this article will help you understand the reasons behind your resentment and prevent them.

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