The following are excerpts from my popular article What is the Number One Cause of Divorce
Are you stressed out? Have you noticed that when you are resentful, you become more sensitive to life's little issues? When you are stressed at work, do you come home and easily lose patience with your kids? Do you come home and resent your husband over some little things that he does?
Do you get angry at slow traffic or slow grocery lines? Would terms like "exasperated, nervous, irritated, or impatient" describe you?
If so, you are probably over-reacting. And the worst reaction of all is that of resentment. It sets you up for becoming increasingly sensitive to what you might otherwise take in stride. . . . . . . . . . . .
I can honestly tell you that the number one reason for marriage break ups and relationship problems is resentment.
I understand why people become resentful. When things aren't going well or when others don't seem to understand us or our needs, that's when we need love, patience and understanding the most.
We don't have it within because we are already destabilized and not in our center. So we look for love and understanding from others. And when they don't have it: we become resentful.
What I have discovered in my 21 years of writing and talking to people about resentment is this: when things aren't going right, we look to change things on the outside.
And of course our most frequent first choice is to try to change the our partner. But you have found that this doesn't work. Whether it is your partner, your child, or your parent--trying to change another person makes things worse. Either people resist our manipulations and rebel; or else they fall for our manipulations and become weak and dependent.
So here is the answer. Instead of looking to the outside for love, or looking to the outside to try to change someone, I have found that it is most helpful to first look at two things: one, our resentment; and two, our over-reactions that destabilize us in the first place.
Another thing--resentment ushers in a cascade of emotions, like anger, frustration, unhappiness, and bitterness. It can also lead to suppression and repression, guilt, and feeling trapped. Then there are the physical symptoms that are contributed to by resentment.
Bottom line: a lot of times when we don't like ourselves--it is actually resentment that is the initiating factor. Sooooooo, if you could just let go of the resentment . . . .
If you could learn to stand back and observe others without resentment or upset--understanding, patience and compassion could enter the picture. Secondly, you would begin to see clearly (when the emotional fog has cleared) what is really going on. So you could make better, calmer, and reasonable decisions. . . . . .Read the whole article