Dealing With Resentment in Your Marriage

One of the most difficult issues to face in your marriage is the realization that one of you resents the other. This can be a devastating revelation, but it doesn’t mean you can’t overcome these intimacy-killing emotions.

Resentment tends to arise in marriage when one spouse is either knowingly or unknowingly taking advantage of the other–or taking the other for granted. Habitual poor behaviors or unhealthy patterns feed resentment. Some common issues that cause resentment between spouses include:

  • Habitual selfish behaviors
  • Being “married” to a job
  • Favoring one of your children over the other(s)
  • Spending too much time with one side of the family
  • Not being fully present at home or with the kids
  • Expecting too much out of your spouse (or vice versa)
  • Not carrying your weight at home or stepping up to responsibility
  • Failing to celebrate your spouse on holidays or special occasions

One or both spouses can contribute to this environment in a marriage; it’s important to pinpoint what’s happening, address it, and work together to find a solution. The good news is that it is possible to set things right and overcome the hard feelings between you.

Today, we’re sharing a few tips for how to tackle and deal with feelings of resentment–whether it’s resentment toward your spouse, or your spouse’s resentment toward you.

If you resent your spouse…

If you’re resentful of your spouse, chances are, you’ve been holding in some unpleasant feelings for a long time. The issue could be as simple as your spouse neglecting to take out the trash every day; on the other hand, it could be a more complicated issue like him or her spending all their free time with your in-laws.

First, write down everything you’re feeling. Writing can help you gain clarity in an upsetting situation, and it can help you drill down and pinpoint what’s going on inside you that’s causing you to feel such intense resentment. Most likely, you’re feeling the pile-on of many events over a long period of time–maybe even over the span of your entire marriage.

Through your writing, do some serious self-reflection to become more aware of the root of the problem. Is it something that happened in the past that you’ve been carrying around all these years? Is it a theme or pattern that has never resolved itself?

Next, explore whether there’s some positive perspective you can take from what you’re dealing with. Are you holding onto unrealistic expectations you can lower or let go of? Is there an alternative viewpoint you can take once you’ve pinpointed the source of your resentment? We know that while there are situations that don’t warrant simply taking a positive point of view, asking that question of yourself can be helpful as you move toward a solution. Remember, though, that positive perspective doesn’t give your spouse license to continue in their unhealthy patterns. You’ll still need to address the issue head-on.

The most difficult step in this process is approaching your spouse with the problem. Keep in mind that right now, your spouse isn’t feeling any pain. Whatever behaviors or patterns are creating this resentment in you, as long as they’re allowed to continue, you’ll be the one feeling all the pain. And nothing is going to change until you let your spouse know how you feel.

There are multiple ways to go about solving a resentment issue. You may be able to offer your spouse a positive solution or compromise that works for you both; for example, if your spouse wants to use vacation time to spend with his family, ask that he reserve a portion of that time for you. You might choose to set boundaries instead; for example, if your spouse is a workaholic, ask her not to answer the phone during dinner or date nights.

It’s important to note that you won’t experience a truly positive change if you make unreasonable demands. Can you meet in the middle to make things work more smoothly? Think about small adjustments your spouse can make to his or her habits that would make a big difference in your life.

If your spouse resents you…

When your spouse feels resentment toward you, you might not notice it in the beginning. But sooner or later, it’s going to become noticeable…and uncomfortable. While it’s easy to blame your spouse’s shifting attitude on them, what you may be perceiving could actually be a building resentment toward a habit or behavior you’re displaying.

If you think your spouse might resent you for some reason, try to dig deep as to why. You might not be able to pinpoint it right away–or even on your own. Sometimes it takes another perspective to be able to see your own flaws.

Approach your spouse with vulnerability and care, and ask them if there’s something you’re doing that is bothering them or if you’ve done something hurtful. It may be difficult for you to hear their answer, but be receptive to their answers. Don’t let yourself become defensive. Instead, listen to what your spouse has to say and echo it back to show your understanding.

Once you know what’s triggering your spouse’s resentment toward you, it’s time to act. Because you’re taking on an emotional burden your spouse has been carrying for a long time, it’s going to be painful. Change is difficult, but we promise you the results will be worth the effort.

Have you and your spouse overcome resentment in your marriage? Share how you did it in the comments section below.

73 Comments

  • Judy says:

    What do you do when your spouse doesn’t respond or actively put effort into the problems, even after many conversations and requests? He remeains indifferent to my feelings and the failure of our marriage of 25 years

    • Jacki says:

      I know and feel this same pain. I will be sharing this article with my husband in the upcoming days as I continue to pray that his eyes, heart, and mind will be opened to know and understand how he makes me feel and what I need and desire from him. Until that happens, I will continue to be the strength my family needs with the help of my Saviour.

      • Keiosha says:

        I’m in the same boat. I commend you for your strength and commitment to him in spite of his shortcomings. Continue to pray, that’s the only way I too get any peace.

        • Billy Alberts says:

          Please understand that you can’t change each other,YOU can help one another to change. HOW YOU MIGHT ASK THE ANSWER IS LEARN TO LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND NEVER TO ANSWER OR TO JUDGE

      • Thomas says:

        I love this. GOD BLESS YOU!

        • Andrew says:

          As a man going through this (wife resenting me for not listening) I can tell you that her words to me didn’t mean much. When I found out she was cheating (these actions) got me to change. Unfortunately for me it is too late and she is moving on but if you pack your bags and go for a day or two he will get the picture.

          • Catherine c says:

            My husband started being resentful towards me after he started working two jobs. We both work and take care of our children the best we can as he started making more money I couldn’t keep up with his salary and his spending habits. I do as much as I can being a working mother and taking care of everything at the home front. You name it I do it at home. I also go to school part time and work doubles during the winter months. So now he has expressed his resentment of me for not pulling my weight financially. However nothing has changed I don’t give less. I just can not buy the things or keep up financially with him anymore. So I make myself feel lesser than and I am hurting because he spends less and less time with me. He says he works this hard to make us happy. Honestly I am not the person to ask for anything nor do I care about materialistic things. I just want us to relax and be happy and he seems to be moving in a different lifestyle and now resentful of me. How can I deal with this?

          • Thando says:

            I am so tired. So tired mentally, emotionally and physically I’ll due to resentment in marriage. Worse when I speak about it he just looks at me and moves on as if my words mean nothing to him. Making difficult for me to talk and seek clarity of his behavior towards me. I am tired. I am in this now only becuase of my 5 year old daughter who loves her dad. Otherwise no I can’t do this any longer

      • Kay says:

        Amen. I feel your pain and I carry the same pain. Prayer is rye only way I get peace. Again when I look at my children I find comfort knowing they rely on me for unconditional love same way they rely on their father.

        • Fariha says:

          To you and Catherine c – I cant reply to her as she doesnt seem to have the reply button enabled- I totally feel your pain. Only thing is prayer does give one peace but it does this much, and God only helps those who help themselves. If you can turn your intentions to the betterment of the hereafter then it helps one to be brave, because it requires every ounce of bravery you have got to do what I will suggest.

          Ask your husband unequivocally to support you independently. And that your lifestyle should and will be a reflection of his salary and that you should have nothing to do with bringing income. Full stop.

          It will be helpful if you can bring in scripture or any authority he truly respects as that will make the process easier. Or you can convince an elder or his kin to talk to him and convince him instead of you. And then tell him you will respect him and enable him emotionally and physically and your children all the more when he does this.

          It is important to pray consistently while doing this and even if it does not work trust in Him that He WILL fix things for you and He decides to test you in His infinite wisdom then He will reward you amply in the hereafter. And do remember that- in the end -mankind suffers MUCH MORE through getting what they pray for, than THAT which they are deprived of.

          You need to move on girl, one way or the other. Stay blessed.

    • I have a similar problem. Every now and again I sit down with my wife, and we talk through about all the things that would make her happier. We agree a plan and then. . . .nothing happens. 6 weeks later we are back in the same spot it is like a cycle. I am not sure if she has a really bad memory, or just can’t be bothered to break the negative loops.

    • Taylor says:

      Do counseling and if they still can’t adapt to your request separate show them your serious and if they don’t change and it’s toxic leave them for good

    • Anna oxford says:

      I know I go through the same with my husband of 35years he doesn’t take my feelings seriously like he just doesn’t care and I just think he hates me or I need to keep apologizing and what for for bieng honest and straight forward to him

  • Shannon says:

    I don’t know how to begin to talk to my husband about the resentment I hold. Would you suggest a letter? How would I format said letter?

    • Anthony DeBerry says:

      Judy, talk to your husband as your feelings happen, don’t wait and let them build until you dump them on him in a book long letter. If your husband is anything like every other man, which I know he is, I’m sure he has tried asking what is going on, but you may not have the words or haven’t processed it to tell him right then, so you wait and let it build bigger and bigger. Once it finnally comes out, it is a freight train, unloading on him. The amount is overwhelming, hard to swallow, and probably builds even more resentment towards him because he doesn’t react the way you think he should. On the same hand his resentment build towards you for not being able to just talk about things as they come up. I experience this with my wife now and am so completely frustrated. I ask her what’s up, something wrong, she responds with nope, while still her brain is running rampant. I ask again and finnally quit asking because I have opened the line of conversation numerous times and she refused to speak about it. When she builds up enough and decides to unload, I don’t want to hear it, I try to get her to talk as it comes and she waits until it is overwhelming and I shut down. Men need it as it comes, not in Mass bulk, you will never get anywhere if you let it build. I try to explain this to my wife and it falls on deaf ears, I hope this gives you some insight from a male perspective, and wish you the best in your marriage.

  • John says:

    How would you approach resentment that’s been building in my heart? I’ve always wanted & imagined having children once I was married. During the time we were dating & engaged, although she wasn’t initially open to the idea, her heart & mind started to change. After marriage she wanted a couple of years to process it. It’s now been 4 years & the aspect of children has become a hard point of discussion, one of which my heart hasn’t changed on. I am worried that if we don’t have children, I’ll become resentful towards her. But I’m also concerned that if she concedes to have a child, she’ll end up resentful towards me. We’ve gone through marriage counseling & have been in prayer over this topic for a while now. Any advice you can offer would be a blessing.

    • J says:

      Having kids is a huge decision that will affect everyone your family knows. The last thing you want to do is give kids a home where their very existence causes resentment. Thank you for taking this to prayer.
      I recommend finding the root causes of why your spouse doesn’t want kids and why you feel so strongly that you want them. With careful counseling there may be a way to benefit both parties. Some points to consider are parenting classes, adoption or birthing, which parent could give up their career to initially stay home with the child if that is desired, financial burden of children. Also, do everything you can to make sure your marriage is rock-solid with or without kids, because each new family member changes your family dynamic and the adjustment can initially be very difficult.

    • Colerey says:

      There is no compromise in whether you want children or not. It’s best to discuss this before marriage. If you can’t agree, then move on to someone who wants the same as you definitely, not a maybe. Those ones who want children, really want children. Those who don’t, really don’t want children. For the most part, women are the ones who give up the most when they have children. They are ultimately the care taker and for some of us it’s just too much and don’t want the responsibility or the stress of it all. 50 percent + of most marriages end in divorce and here comes the nasty battle of child custody and all that’s involved for years to come. Who wants to deal with that?! So realistically it’s best to part ways. There’s no good in pressuring one another into getting what you want. It will definitely end in resentment either way. This comes off as negative but sometimes reality is.

    • J says:

      Children don’t deserve to be resented. Would you trust a resentful woman to take total care of your newborn, your non-verbal crawler, your terrible 2 toddler? There are women who are just like you. They want children but they are married to someone who is anti-children.

    • Rizwan says:

      If you want to keep the marriage yet really want children you could try something that might work. In our religion the principle is that if one of the partners wants something that is expected in marriage, ie children by any party, exclusive income via the husband, etc, than that is a right that the other cannot forego and has to respect the others need as part of wellwishing for the other. If you can adopt that principle in your marriage as part of fairness and taking care of the others well being, then both parties will be liable to make it work. That way they will feel fairly dealt with and not taken advantage of.

      Try discussing it with your partner and see what works.

  • Valerie says:

    Resentment begins somewhere between un-communicated expectations and marriage that doesn’t appear safe. Think about it: every marriage is a cross-cultural marriage in one respect or another and navigating that without intentionality and care can land both people in big trouble. For example, my husbands family interrupts all the time! There are so many of them, its the only way you get a word in edge-wise. My family on the other hand, interruptions are the height of bad form, yell before you interrupt. So us coming together and away from resentment had to come to a place of communicating our comfort levels, being honest when the other person messed up either in interrupting, or over-reacting when interrupted. This is a silly example, but the point is, men and women speak different languages, different things mean something different to them, like for example a razing joke. Then add in the cross cultural differences and that complicates everything. <– this is a paradigm shift that is needed before the work can really begin.

    In short, "My spouses perspective and my own differ, but it is just that…perspective(a point of view)." The moment moral strings are tied to that perspective and things get more black and white, the more marginalized both in the marriage can become.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO:
    – Stop making a moral judgement on everything your spouse does
    – Shift your paradigm toward 'this is my perspective, or this is my experience' in place of 'he is ignoring me or she is hurting me on purpose'
    – Create a safe place for your spouse to communicate his/her needs, hurts and even expectations
    – Start raising your hand when the hurt you have experienced from your spouse occurs…stop holding it it, its doing no one any good and it will only come out worse or sideways later.

  • Saved By Grace says:

    I don’t know how useful this blog is when no one responds to the heartfelt questions people ask here. It is not enough to write what people should know, but people are dying for a tool, a way, an example, some guidance. Please take the time to respond- Thanks.

    • Devlin says:

      I don’t respond because I’ve been married 36 years and learned it is far better to listen than to tell others what to do. Let me just say that I feel everyone’s pain. In my marriage thE resentment may be too much to overcome. I hung on until 2 of my 3 kids were married and now it’s time to get out. Before we were married my wife said, “People don’t change”. In 36 years she hasn’t and never will. Done hitting my head against the wall.

    • Rich says:

      Why does there need to be a response for a blog post to be useful? Does a book author need to respond to all questions from readers in order for a book to be useful? I don’t understand why the blog poster needs to respond for the blog to be useful.

  • Susan says:

    When it comes to the topic of resentment in relationship, we don’t come with a blank slate. Any question asked or answer offered is an iceberg: this much showing above the surface, and much, much more below the surface. Most of the responses I see here suggest personal experience with pain, frustration with not being heard or understood, and things along those lines. There are no small resentment issues from a female perspective, at least, because even small irritations (he didn’t rinse out the milk jug) trace into bigger patterns that mean “he doesn’t listen” or “he doesn’t value my contribution” on much, much larger scales. Now a small- scale irritation has turned into a relational identity crisis — and possibly before I’ve said a single word to my spouse! If I hold back until I know I’m not being unreasonable, I tend to start keeping records of just how often his choices irritate me, and I can build up a really good head of steam in no time flat. Did it just this morning in less than 30 minutes, in fact.
    In such circumstances, there are no easy answers. Simple or straight forward, possibly, but not easy. You have to work daily to communicate with someone who speaks a foreign language. Very often each of your heart’s concerns are getting lost in translation. So… using counseling techniques like a Talking Stick (person holding the stick, wooden spoon, etc.) gets to talk while the other listens. Then you trade. No talking while the other person had the spoon, only Active Listening. Me listening doesn’t mean just keeping my mouth shut while I think through all the answers I’m going to give my spouse when it’s my turn; it means I try to see things from his position while he’s talking. Another technique that’s helped us a lot is using a scale of 1-10. 1 means it barely matters; 10 means it’s life or death. “What should we watch on Netflix?” “We could watch X, but it’s up to you.” ” No, you choose. I like Y, butt that’s fine.” “Watching X is a 7 out of 10 for me.” “Y is only a 2 or 3 out of 10 for me, so let’s watch X.”
    If the resentment is an ongoing thing, then there ought to be an objective 3rd party. Whether 1 or both spouses see a trustworthy counselor, anything from family baggage to post abuse to unhealthy communication to unfair fighting patterns could be underlying the problem. So… not easy answers.

    • “Rinse out Milk Jug” – Why does that even bother you? I would just like to understand?

      For example if I cook a roast dinner for my wife an kids quite often my wife will sit down and points out that the gravy is too thin, or she has the “wrong” kind of fork. She then moves around the table (often loudly) pulling kids up on negative things they are doing, and soon the meal is ruined.

      Another example if I have a cup of tea and make a slight noise when drinking she goes mad, about how inconsiderate I am.

      Sanity check – Is this reasonable behaviour, or am I evil? I’m kidding I know I am not. But why does my wife do this?

      • Courty says:

        Probably because she is already resentful of you for many other reasons. I myself do this and I am full of resentment. So nothing he does is right and everything is irritating to me. Married for 15 years and all of our talks have fallen on deaf ears and nothing has changed. It’s not all bad but I can’t stop feeling resentful because in all the years of letting him know my feelings nothing has changed.

        • Rich says:

          Every day is painful in a resentful relationship. I feel for you (with you, actually, being in one myself, but on the receiving end of the resentment) At least you understand and admit that you are resentful. That’s a great first step. It looks like he’s not going to change. Regardless, that’s nothing you have control over anyway. You have really 3 choices, right? 1) Continue to be unhappy, 2) leave, or 3) Start focusing on the GOOD things in the relationship in place of the irritations, be grateful, and see things slowly improve.

  • Anne says:

    We need God in our marriage. Not to be selfish, not to put ourselves first. When we marry we are as one. What’s best for one is best for both. God comes first. What we watch on Netflix …, well does that really matter? Build up your spouse! Read the Bible. God and Jesus are our fullment. Not our spouse!!!

    • Lulu says:

      If God was the answer…everyone’s prayers would be answered. There are problems where faith is not enough…if a man or woman does not want to change, refuses to see his/her issues or has fallen out of Love you can not FORCE a marriage to work. Divorce sucks! But separate or take time for yourself. Figure out what you want, what you need. So many men and women stay in unhappy marriages and will remain unhappy until someone dies, becomes sick or what ever. Life is supposed to be lived to the fullest. Love doesn’t end because the marriage ends but God does not want us to be in a loveless marriage, an abusive marriage, a marriage with an alcoholic or drug addict, a spouse who neglects our needs who puts us down, etc. We all play a part in a failed relationship but if you have a spouse who refuses to recognize their part and does not want to work on the relationship…God can’t save him but maybe God is trying to save you so you can find a more God loving partner. I believe in God but I also believe we have the power to heal ourselves IF WE Choose to.

      • Stacey says:

        Amen to this! My husband uses the “you made a vow to me and God” line on me to invoke a guilt trip. We’ve been in marriage counseling however, He refuses to use the tools given to us to help communicate. His attitude is, I need to change in order for our marriage to work 🙄🙄
        Failure to take responsibility for his part in the breakdown of our marriage. So when I mention divorce, of course it’s met with the “you made a vow”.
        Ugh I give up

      • Jm says:

        You are speaking all the right words right at him and u don’t even know but his side.. thats coercion at its best .. ha.. u are enabling him .. for ur own selfish goals .. u aren’t helping him although He believes it to be true bc u are a manipulative in more ways than u can see in yourself. It shows vividly to others who get it.. just pondering

  • Anastasia says:

    Most often one spouse caters to their family and never visits the other. Sometimes after 40 years they do not know your sisters name. I always feel slighted and last. If a brother and spouse have the same disease the brother is different and gets more of the concern. Most of the time it does not change. You can not talk to spouse they are always checking in every half hour and God forbid if you interrupt. Prayer changes things keep the faith and God wii pay them. I have resentment.

  • Tom says:

    After reading all the post from women i would like offer a male”s petspective. My Spouse within the past year has been distant and we have not had any intimacy for last two years. Prior to that imtimacy has been a chore. Meaning only one was interested but ithe other wanted no parts. IT ISXSO BAD THAT WE WENT ON GET AWAY WEEKEND AND NO IMTIMACY NO TOUCHING NO NOTHING. IN FACT MY SPOUSE DRANK TOO MUCH AND GOT SICK…..i think it was on purpose because it was the lesser of two evils …i thought nothing of it at the time but giving the events since im sure it was avoid me at all costs right now i wish she would just leave…go be happy with someone else. The resementment is two fold. For years i chased took my eldset son around in pursuit of a potential baseball career which took me away many weekends. At times i asked her to come but wasnt interested because we had other kids. I ignored her i am not saying it was intentional but nonetheless it deosnt matter. The other is my eldest son is addicted to mariquana and had his stints in and out if court. I did all I could do to help him stay out of jail. Now he his in our home on house arrest which putting a scrain While I can not change the past i believe she will never let me off the mat. She doesnt want to do anything together…it hurts. I cant have marriage where there is no imtimacy i I too takeva job far from mybresident to helpnpay for the mound of

    • Bob says:

      Help!

      My wife says she wants a divorce, doesn’t want to talk about it, but finally admitted she feels a lot of resentment towards me…I think to the point of hating me.

      We mutually decided that I would give up my pursuit of “riches”, sell my start-up company, & begin raising our daughter. She’s a well compensated health professional with a very demanding job. 7 years & 3 children later, she feels she made a mistake & has “missed” their childhood. She now wants to reverse roles & be in total control of all aspects of child care. Ugh

    • Devlin says:

      This was in response to Tom. Theses reply’s seem to be out of sync.

  • My wife has confessed she resents me because I am so happy all the time. What do I do about that?

    I work full time, earning good money sending kids to good school. We live in a nice but small house.

    I make breakfast, and 80% of the time dinner too. Do most 75 % washing up, take out trash etc. I get told off for “interfering” if I try to help her with anything on the spot, and get shouted at for not helping if I stay out of the way . . . . .

    I often pick up jobs she should be doing because she makes such a fuss about everything, she often stomps around the house shouting at me and the kids because she can’t find a hair brush, or saucepan, or pair of scissors. . .the list is endless.

    She spends all day and most evenings at the gym or out with friends eating out for lunch every day . . . and she resents me. Should I give up?

    • Trying Hard says:

      I can relate to what you are saying and wish I could offer some sort of help. I often wonder if I should give up too. The hardest part is that she refers to our ‘charade’, but is unwilling to talk about it and do anything to address it. I’m playing the long game and working really hard to hear what she is saying and respond accordingly, but seriously, most of the time I have no real idea why she get’s so mad at me.

    • Lulu says:

      Was she always moody, judgy? If not when did it change and figure out what happened at that time.some women find being a wife….mom unfullfiling. My cousins wife discovered hiking, running and soon was never home. when she was home she wanted to be with friends, she was mean and resentful. Maybe she is dealing with some other deep issue. Talk to her calmly and be a good listener…no comments or advice just listen. Give her a few weeks and let her know you are there for her. After a month or so offer her a way out if she has not made an effort…trial separstion ask if she is willing to see a counselor if not then offer a divorce. Don’t stop being a good guy. Some strong, ego driven, independent women often looked down and have less respect for a “domestic” man…esp if they make the woman look bad…it’s a messed up mind set and NOT yr fault. She just does not like being domesticated. Good luck.

    • Jim V says:

      Sound a lot like what I am going through. Constantly being with friends and at the gym or crossfit. I tried weekends away, expensive gifts, etc. Nothing worked.

      She refuses to talk about anything else besides household admin or the kids.

      Yet she says she loves me, but there’s been no intimacy in our marriage for years now.

      No I just found out that she is having an affair. Seems that most times she wasn’t even at the gym.

      I haven’t confronted her yet and don’t know what to do. I can’t even just up and leave.

  • Some really nice stuff on this website, I really enjoy it.

  • Ryan says:

    My wife of 13 years told me the other day that she’s not in love me anymore. Her big thing is she resents me for thing things in the past. We have 3 kids, our first when we were just 18, had some bumps in the road for sure but I thought we had gotten over them. Now she’s bringing up this things again and is blaming that on our split. I’m asking her for marriage counseling and she won’t even consider, she just keeps saying she’s given up. Is there any chance to save our marriage? I know it’s very little information but she’s the love of my life and I don’t want to loose her.

  • GentleDee says:

    Nice Post.
    I was in a marriage for 12 years and it was very troubled. I get verbally abused every time and have been physically assualted with major police involvement. After 3 kids and fear for my life I felt unsafe and was so sad but had to make a decision to end it as he wasn’t acknowledging the fact that he had an issue. My husband was very outgoing and spent time a lot with friends, this has always been the way he was before I married him and I honestly didn’t mind and didn’t have any intention to change him. Through the marriage I realised that I was the one doing everything, kids, trash, cooking, kids activities, stayed in an unhappy job as he was always out of work and it became too much. He would complain whenever I asked for help, shouted at me and I got scared asking and was gradually getting weaker by the day as I worked my self for exhaustion every day . I always had two jobs, one full time and one part time and yet he would still. Call me useless. He nagged and complained endlessly and never said kind words to me, this brought me closer to my kids as I resented him, didn’t like being around him. I couldn’t help it but felt he was draining me so much. I was just wondering that if I hadn’t resented him maybe things would have been better but it wasn’t fun for me anymore. I love my kids to bit they are my life but my husband made everything hard for me because he wasn’t pulling his weight. I don’t think it will ever work again.

  • Bob says:

    Help!

    My wife says she wants a divorce, doesn’t want to talk about it, but finally admitted she feels a lot of resentment towards me…I think to the point of hating me.

    We mutually decided that I would give up my pursuit of “riches”, sell my start-up company, & begin raising our daughter. She’s a well compensated health professional with a very demanding job. 7 years & 3 children later, she feels she made a mistake & has “missed” their childhood. She now wants to reverse roles & be in total control of all aspects of child care. Ugh

    • Lulu says:

      I’m leaving my husband because after years (only been 3.5) over time he has resented me for not being an obedient wife & he will not fullfill my needs for affection/attention. He comes from Mormon faith, very traditional gender roles, I am a very independent person who is old fashion to an extent but feels men and women are equal and help one another. I told him clearly what my needs were in the beginning but he just did the minimal or nothing. Yet he has expectations he needs met. This is my first marriage, his 3rd (we are in late 40s-early fifties). We met in high school after 35 years met again. Should have been a fairytale ending but it’s not. He grew resentful and so did I. It can’t work because frankly he won’t change his ideology, his controlling behavior and I won’t change how I feel about equality (frankly i am miserable and I wont wadte another hour, day, week, month or year feeling shitty). I left because my mind is set, he wants me back but I left before and all he does is damage control. For the men out there if a woman is past hurt, past crying and just angry and wants to leave….it is too late. If she doesnt want to talk, work things out it is too late. She is beyond changing her mind. Let her go be happy and you find happiness too. The heart heals.

      • Amy says:

        Well said!

        • B says:

          After 14 years I decided to stop resenting . We have fine life and just ignored problems. I felt so alone. So resentful. I am sure wife feels similar – but talking is hard.

          I am doing things daily to change – and wish she would make a similar effort. There is something holding us apart and I don’t know what and she disagrees.

          But I can’t be a “fixer”. So I just love and pray she can stop the resentment of me as I have done of her.

  • Emma says:

    What can I do my husband don’t really talk to me and he never cares about anything I like to share. He doesn’t care about how my day was or about how his sons graduation was. He never asks anything about me or the kids. I just to ask him how was his day at work and his answer was “shirty” all the time so I kind of stoped asking

  • Dexter says:

    I see a lot of frustration and unanswered questions. Is any one monitoring this site??? Answers would be helpful

  • Chasity says:

    This hits home for me my husband and I have been together going on 15 years and married 10 years I was a second wife and also I was raising his 9 month old son by his previous marriage and 5 years in I got pregnant and in a sense pushed him to marry me I think he did it because it was the right thing to do but my wedding was less than minimal and all these years later I still hold resentment because I felt I deserved more not a dream wedding in a castle or anything but at the time I found out I was pregnant we were about to leave for a beach vacation and I begged him to let us get married there but he said he didnt want to ruin the vacation so I ended up at the justice of the peace 7 months pregnant I feel guilty for not being able to let this go and the resentment I hold is real how can I let this go I mean 15 years and still our wedding anniversary is not something I celebrate because it wasnt a day of celebration why do I still carry this around how can I let this go

  • Mel says:

    My husband told me he resents me, and I feel its on purpose because I told him I resent him. I consistently tell him what my issues are as they come and he never wants to hear them, flips the issue and blames me all the time. Tells me how he tries to do things to make our marriage work, but in reality he does the same thing over and over again. Every issue I have with him, he flips it and blames me for the issue later. I can never come to him and tell him how I feel because my feelings are dismissed and I am quite upset because we have been living in our new home for 2 yrs but together for 13, but I am about ready to go. The fact that he doesnt see why I react the way I do, after I told him, and the nerve of him to tell me he is unhappy because I am not bringing anything to the table or catering to his needs is crazy. I feel like I always put him first and am losing myself in the process because of it. Meanwhile he consistently does things I feel are disrespectful and when its done to him he doesn’t like it. I don’t want to be that person who has to show you how they feel by doing it back to you. That is not who I am as a person, nor do I have the energy for that.

    • Rich says:

      “The nerve of him to tell me he is unhappy…”

      Wait a minute….

      You just said, in the sentence right before, ” I can never come to him and tell him how I feel because my feelings are dismissed”

      Sounds like it goes both ways. You’re expecting him to validate your feelings (a totally reasonable expectation), but you totally dismiss his? That’s really unfair, don’t you think? Find a therapist to help you both listen to each other and understand each other’s feelings.

  • Jace Bowen says:

    This is a pretty great post. I’ve been thinking of starting a blog on this subject myself. Any tips or anything you would recommend me to avoid?

  • popper says:

    Nothing changes when you talk to them and they take your feelings and turn them into theirs and leave you feeling like you aren’t’ important enough to have those feelings so things stay as they are. Not good

  • Tara says:

    Mel, yours is the story of my life.

    • Stephanie says:

      Mel and Tara, your story is also my marriage story. I am about to leave as well.

      Each time I tried to talk him he will flip it and blame it on me. Our issues were never resolved for last 10 years as blaming is not communication.

      I told him if he doesn’t fix the blaming issue, he will still have the same issue with any other relationship he has with others.

  • Sally says:

    I tried to share my feeling with my husband because that’s what everyone says to do. That’s what all the therapists say to do. But when your spouse is just so unwilling to listen and then make the changes that are best for the relationship- there is just no hope left.

  • Justin Beek says:

    I have a question. I got caught lying to my wife. I’ve said ” I’m sorry. She has forgiven me for, but she hasn’t laid in bed with me for al most two weeks. Is he holding restaintment over me?

    • Rich says:

      She hasn’t forgiven you. Although forgiveness doesn’t mean saying “Oh, it’s ok.” Because lying is not ok. That said, you didn’t say what the lie was. There’s a big difference between a lie where you say “I’m coming straight home today honey” but you stop and get yourself a Krispy Kream on the way home as opposed to “I’m coming straight home today honey” but you stop by and spend time at a female friends house (you see where I’m going with this). Perfectly fine if she hasn’t forgiven you after 2 weeks for infidelity or some other big transgression that you lied about. So to answer your question, yes, she is resentful. She hasn’t forgiven you, even though she says she has. But if you’re lying about infidelity or something big, expecting forgiveness after 2 weeks is expecting WAY too much. Most people would take months, even years, if at all, to get over a breach of trust like that.

  • Paula says:

    I resent my husband significantly! Almost despise him. I moved in a home I hate (he built a home I told him I wouldn’t like) he listens to his parents as if they’re an authority. I hate it. I hate them and him. Now we have a child. And I wish I just divorced this narcissist!!!!

  • Chip Sykes says:

    My wife and I got married 6 years ago when we learned we were going to be having a baby. We had been dating a year or so when we were married, did not know each other well and our relationship went down hill quickly with stress of pregnancy snd dealing with new baby. I tried to divorce her a few times but she refused to cooperate and threatened to take our daughter away from me, so I stayed. I love my daughter more than anything on earth, being away from her pains me and I worry about how she would be if alone with her mother – which is largely why I stayed. Now we have a second baby who was just born and I am kicking myself for not leaving earlier. I know I will love this new child also, but I am tormented by the mother who does not appreciate or respect me – and I have tried very hard to make it work. We’ve seen several marriage counselors and therapists. We are just incompatible I fear.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Chip Sykes, hope you feel better. I want to leave my husband badly as I have lots of resentments built throughout the last 10 years towards him. Each time he lashed out his anger on me, I told him I am going to leave him as I feel threatened by his anger.
      He is emotionally unstable recently. If he tries to threaten me for keeping kids, I definitely leave him.

      After our marriage, he blocked his family from accessing me. It has been 10 years and they know nothing much about me. Recently, I brought up my fear towards him during therapy training, I realize that I should voice out our relationship issues and his anger problem to his family. First time ever after 10 years, I texted in his family group chat (invited by his sister during the pandemic), when he started to become crazy last night, and I found out that it worked. He suddenly behave after he saw my text in the group chat.

  • Blah says:

    Simple. A lot of problems can be avoided by remaining single. Learn to enjoy your own company. You can have full control of your life and your home environment. I would find nothing worse than being in a hostile environment that is supposed to be your inner sanctum at home. Marriage really is a very unnatural union that only a few master to make it work for them.

  • July says:

    This is the 16th years of my marriage. I get married at a very young age while i was still in college. I grew up in a broken home with no warmth or support from parents. I was struggling to survive. Life was hard and I met my husband at that time he was nice and kind , i felt safe and secure with him (not sure if love him ) He asked me to marry him shortly we knew each other (less than 3 months) and I said yes. After we get married, he was working at night and taking care of our one and half yr old child back then while supporting me through school. We both struggled , burnt out but we worked together and made it through such a difficult period time of our lives. I graduated with a professional degree and started working with a decent salary job, at that time it was already 7 yrs into our marriage. I had my second child the year after, my husband’s company closed down and he decided to stay home for a while. Thought he was taking a temporarily breaks from work, yet , year after year, until now he has no intention returning to work and wants to focus on the kids only. As time slipping through our fingers , I found it’s harder to communicate with him , either he never listened or he never cared what I say from small things to more serious agendas. He is poor at doing house chores, doesn’t really maintain our small house either, snoopy with hygiene and self care. Often stays up at night , reading news and/or watching TV. But I must say he is a very loving wonderful father to the children and he takes care of them. I have many disagreements with him toward the attitude of life and perspective of raising the kids, however, I am holding my neck because of the kids. All the financial burdens falls on me. I minded at beginning but latter I gave up as long as he maintains the house and takes good care of the kids. Now, I found myself angry and resenting my husband frequently even to the point of divorcing him. I fake my smile and pretend to be happy around the kids. I want to continue our marriage , yet he must change. He refused marriage counseling as I brought up during one of our arguments. I don’t know what to do anymore, i feel depressing and see no light at the end of tunnel .

  • Bernadette Bracken says:

    Hi my husband is very lazy and spends most of his days in the sofa watching tv, looking at his laptop at Facebook and also his phone for incoming messages. I have such resentment for him as I go out to work and keep the house going. He is retired now for about 8 years, he is divorced and his ex took everything so he has hardly anything left. Its driving me crazy and I know Im not always nice to him as it makes me so mad to see him like this. Now he is feeling resentment towards me as he is fed up with my comments but it gets the better of me and Im continually being negative in my head about him. A good day for me is one where I dont think about him at all.

  • Natali Garcia says:

    Together for 7 years and married for 3. I was so young and naïve, I did everting to help him out financially paid his bills and even use to give him money for almost 2 years be he was nice never mean cooked clean did laundry prepare lunch. it was great. 3 years into the relationship I found out that he had being cheating on me with more then 5 women one even became my friend I was so heart broken but at the time everything that came to light he had being the greatest boyfriend always taking care of my asking what I needed, sex was great and so I decided that I would stay and work it out he did a lot to change he was open about everything. Granted the damage had already being done I actually became negative no longer the bubbly attitude I became bitter. We coexist great now he pays for everything still cooks cleans and prepares food. Thought the whole relationship I have always being honest and if I have issues with him or something he is doing we have open communication. Well my issues is that my sex drive has always being high but I compromises also he never builds me up my confidence is none existent which his cheating did to me. We will only be imitate if I initiated always Oh and I have to give him a heads up. If I don’t he will come up with excuses which if I am honest don’t help with my confidence. Have had that conversation for better part of 2 years and nothing. I finally hit my limit not feeling wanted and feeling like I need to apologize just because I want my husband to love me. Last time he said no to intimacy next day I told him he needed to look for a marriage counselor I even went as far as to give him the phone number. Did he call? NO, he did after I prompted him. so now I am done told him I didn’t want him to touch me I told him I needed space and time to get my head straight. well now he is walking around the house sulking and asking me what I want and need and all I feel is just hate rage and resentment. I always compromised with him on everything but he cant do the same for me. Now I am just trying to find myself again I don’t need

    • Rich says:

      Wait….

      He DID call after you prompted him? And THEN you said “so now I am done told him I didn’t want him to touch me?” AFTER he called a counselor?

      You’ve been through a lot. It sounds awful. I feel for you. But if he makes the call that you asked him to make, you gotta say “thanks” not “I am done” if you really want to work things out. Don’t you think? Don’t say “I am done” until you’ve got divorce papers.

  • Lynne says:

    July, enjoy your financial freedom. Your husband needs a role: let him raise the kids. Dads often do a great job and you admitted he’s doing a good job. And let him keep house. Keep working. Keep working on your career. You have financial safety if and when you want to leave. But see if you can get him into marriage counselling to work on communication: for example, did you talk about your respective roles (you as breadwinner and he as homemaker) or did it just “happen”. perhaps you need to talk about these roles and whether you are both satisfied with them. Don’t resent him: he is giving you the freedom to pursue a career. Make the most of it!

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