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Resentment In A Relationship – Definition, Causes, Effects, And Everything Else

Resentment In A Relationship – Definition, Causes, Effects, And Everything Else

Updated on Sep 15, 2023

Resentment In A Relationship - Definition, Causes, Effects, And Everything Else

Perhaps you’re curious whether there’s resentment in a relationship. You must be so disturbed about your partner’s actions that you can’t even share the same space anymore. 

While resentment is natural in relationships, things can go downhill at any moment. So, it’s not a bright idea to sit idle in the current circumstances. 

So, c’mon, learn more about this stifling feeling here…

What is resentment in a relationship?

Resentment in a relationship is a feeling of bitterness and anger for your partner. It usually stems from their past actions that felt unjust towards you.

It can be due to a variety of reasons that make you feel undervalued or offended. But the result is always an ill will or displeasure you feel towards them. 

Let us take a look at what might cause resentment between you and your partner…

What are some causes of resentment in a relationship?

You can become resentful of your partner for a lot of reasons, but sometimes it is just your own perception of being neglected that can lead to resentment. Take a look at the common causes…

1. Unmet needs

If your partner doesn’t meet your most basic needs, it will instill a bad feeling about this relationship in you. 

Further, you might not have been vocal about your needs. And the issue might be due to a communication gap between you.

2. Grudges

It is annoying when your partner rehashes a fight from ages ago and quotes them in every new disagreement. This is a common cause of resentment.

3. Trauma

Your own trauma from past relationships or your childhood might influence your feelings and cause resentment toward your partner. For instance, you may be traumatized by people raising their voices and your partner screams a lot.

4. Passive aggression

Passive aggressive behavior leads to drawn-out fights where no solution is reached. This can be draining on a person and cause them to resent the other.

Though negative feelings for your partner harm your relationship, it might feel quite good for you. Read on to see how…

How does resentment in a relationship help you?

Resentment is not healthy for serious long-term relationships. But some people feel comfortable with it because of certain “benefits” from it. 

Keep reading to find out…

  • You feel protected as you don’t have to show vulnerability or get hurt again.
  • It shields you from looking into your own self.
  • It develops a sense of self-control, self-worth, and power. 
  • It is easy to blame your partner for everything and avoid taking steps to improve the situation
  • You get to avoid trying to fix deeper things. 
  • You don’t have to face conflict or have difficult conversations. 

These are some good sides, but it is inherently bad for a relationship and for you, scroll to find out how…

And what are its consequences?

When one partner has such negative feelings about another, you won’t experience joy in that bond. So, let’s know about some consequences of it…

1. Increased fights

When you feel resentful towards your partner, every little thing they say will tick you off. So, fights will occur without rhyme or reason.

2. Anxiety about their presence

If you feel intense resentment for them, you will hate being with them. So, when they walk into the room, you will feel anxious about staying there. Their mere presence will stress you. 

3. Complete loss of love

Resentment eats away at the foundation of a relationship. So you might experience a complete loss of love for them.

4. Mental health issues

Prolonged ill feelings will cause mental health issues due to high stress levels in your body. You might feel like there is nowhere to run to and, as a result, withdraw within yourself.

5. Break up

The final consequence of negative feelings is the end of the relationship. It becomes unsustainable for both partners to stick with something that drains the life out of them.

Do you think there is resentment in your relationship but not certain. Take a look at these signs…

What are some signs of resentment in a relationship?

Every relationship with resentment shows signs of hurt, anger, fear, and avoidance. These are some of the signs that such a relationship might have…

1. You lack sympathy towards each other

Resentment makes us harsh towards the object of that feeling. So if either of you is hurt, the other won’t feel any sympathy if there’s resentment.

2. You both complain about each other to everyone

People who are quite done with each other will feel the need to constantly complain about their partner to anyone willing to listen. 

You might tell passing strangers and acquaintances about the latest mistake of your partner. If this rings a bell, you’re resentful. 

3. You’re not interested in sex

If there is no love left and it’s only resentment, there’s no interest in intimacy either. Such negative feelings will make your partner’s touch feel repulsive to you.

4. There’s a visible distance between both partners

If there’s resentment, it will be visible to others that you both don’t gel well anymore. So there might be questions about your relationship from other people.

Now, if you find these signs of resentment in your relationship, let’s find out how to overcome this situation…

How to overcome resentment in a relationship?

If there’s a lot of resentment in your heart, it will be pretty tough to let go of it. However, you might end up losing your relationship if you don’t try to get rid of it.

So try the following steps…

1. Communicate with your partner

Have honest and difficult conversations with your partner to establish the lost communication. 

Approach this with an open mind and an honest heart. But be careful of how you choose your words because your goal is to solve this problem, not accuse them.

2. Try to be empathetic

Empathy can help you understand some things from your partner’s perspective. So, try to put yourself in their shoes. Rethink the action that hurt you from their perspective.

Check if it was a misunderstanding and resolve it in that case.

3. Introspect about the cause of these feelings

Sometimes, resentment can be a result of your misperception. So, try reflecting upon the cause of your feelings and see whether it is truly their fault.

4. Seek professional help

Professional help can come in the form of many types of therapy suited to your needs. So, visit a mental health professional to talk about these feelings and see what they recommend.

5. Forgive and move on

This is easier said than done, but it is the main solution that will save your relationship. So truly try to forgive your partner for whatever they did. Resentment is a bitter poison to take revenge on them, so spit it out before it kills you.

On the other hand, if your relationship doesn’t show signs of resentment, strive on the path of prevention rather than cure…

How to prevent resentment in a relationship?

Even if resentment isn’t there in your relationship now, it might drop in at any moment. After all, it is human nature to feel resentful after being hurt deeply. So, it’s better to be prepared and follow certain steps to avoid it altogether!

1. Have realistic expectations

Real-life relationships are not the same as in the movies. So tone down your expectations a bit. Some days, you and your partner will be too tired to take care of each other or just feel off. So, have realistic expectations to prevent disappointments.

2. Communicate well with each other

As always, communication is the key to preventing negativity and avoiding misunderstandings. Effective communication will also help in setting real expectations and boundaries and in understanding each other’s needs.

3. Treat relationship issues as they occur

Do not procrastinate in dealing with relationship issues. Otherwise, these will pile up and become impossible to deal with at once. If anything seems like a possible problem, talk it out within that week.

4. Learn how to compromise

A relationship is a give and take. You cannot always take from your partner without giving them some leeway to relax and be themselves. So, learn how to compromise on negotiable things and choose your battles.

Now, if you’re still feeling a little off or have more questions, let’s move on to a little Q&A about all things resentment… 


Resentment is not easy to understand or resolve. Since it has a lot of complicated emotions involved, people usually have questions about its impact on relationships. So, let’s find the answer to the most common questions…

1. Can you love someone that you resent?

Yes, you can love someone that you resent. After all, resentment stems from the love you feel for them. But you will experience mixed feelings and might become stressed about this. So, sort it out ASAP.

2. Will resentment lead you to cheating?

Yes and no. 

It might lead to cheating or not – because infidelity is a personal choice that depends on the person’s values. However, resentment does not justify cheating.

3. What common mistakes do people commit while dealing with resentment in a relationship?

People do not focus on self-care when dealing with resentment. So they end up holding on to it. They also hesitate to forgive and forget and move on with the relationship.

4. Can a relationship turn healthy even after experiencing resentment?

Yes, it certainly can, but both partners have to work hard on it. Effective communication and setting some measures to maintain happiness will help them overcome this.

5. When should couples seek professional help to deal with resentment in a relationship?

You should seek professional help when resentment interferes with your daily life. When your thoughts are entirely overtaken by this, it is time to go to a therapist.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

If either of you is resentful towards the other, it’s a disturbing time for you. But do not worry, it is not impossible to overcome such negative feelings.

Remember to put your own health first, as resentment leads to excess stress. Learn to forgive and heal from this.

But if you still can’t fix the issue and the relationship turns toxic, consider leaving, for better days await you!

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