couples

The 6 signs that deep down your partner seriously resents you.

Resentment – that feeling you’ve been treated unfairly by someone else – is something most of us have felt at some point.

Why does she always choose the restaurant?

Why does he speak to me like that?

Why do they always get their way?

Sound familiar? That’s resentment talking. We’ve all been there, resenting friends or family for perceived indiscretions against us; which is why we know it’s never really about that one moment.

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According to relationship mentor, psychologist and matchmaker, Yvonne Allen, resentment, especially in romantic relationships, can be a problem because whilst you may think you’re bickering about one thing, ongoing resentment from the other person is the real issue.

“Many people in relationships are unaware that their partner is feeling resentful towards them,” Allen, who’s been helping people with relationships for more than 40 years, says.

“However, if not addressed it usually manifests in signs which are likely to result in unpleasant behaviour, frustration and even fights.”

So why is resentment so common in romantic relationships, where people have chosen to be together? Allen says a number of factors can be involved.

“Resentment can build up for any number of reasons.

“Earning more than your partner, or your career being more interesting and rewarding can cause unexpected friction.

“If someone is feeling inferior, insecure or lacking the self confidence in themselves, it is likely that they will lash out because they feel threatened.”

So, how can we tell if we’re fighting with our partner about the air conditioning temperature, or whether they’re digging their heels in because they secretly resent us for other things?

Allen says there are six signs that will tell you.

1. Bickering and arguing increases.

“If your relationship has been a happy one and then for some unknown reason things change and your partner starts to become argumentative, then this can be a sign,” she says.

“If they start picking fights or arguing over small things that seem irrelevant or minuscule, there is clearly a reason for the underlying anger.”

2. Affection is being withheld.

“Your partner is no longer showing the signs of affection,” Allen says.

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“Perhaps they used to leave post it notes around, gave you little hugs, called you to tell you they love you, left little gifts around the home for you – and now this has stopped.

“This may mean they are holding back their affection because they feel resentful.”

3. They mock you.

“A resentful partner may say or do things in a joking way towards you which are hurtful,” Allen warns.

“While they say they are joking, the jokes or snide comments contain undertones of real resentment or jealousy.

“If the jokes or snide comments continue even after you have tried to talk with them about it and let them know how much it hurts, then there is an issue.”

4. They’re no longer on your team.

“If your partner seems to get some sense of satisfaction when uncomfortable or disappointing things happen to you, this is another big sign,” Allen says.

“If they blame you, or fail to support you when you are experiencing challenges, difficulties or setbacks, this may be because they are holding a grudge towards you.”

5. Your sex life evaporates.

“If you have had a mutually rewarding sex life with your partner and then things start to go south, this may be a sign that they are feeling resentment.

“They may withhold sexual intimacy to punish you or make you feel unloved or no longer appealing.”

6. Being passive aggressive becomes the aim of the game.

“[This happens when] your partner becomes passive aggressive towards you by regularly resisting requests to do or become involved in something by procrastinating, expressing sullenness, or acting stubborn,” Allen advises.

“While your partner may be saying the right things, their behaviour does not match their words.”

If you’ve identified your partner is secretly resenting you, what can you do about it? Allen suggests asking yourself if you can identify the cause and address it, whether you need help to do so, and whether it’s an issue that can realistically be resolved.

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“These are difficult questions, but they are questions that must be addressed as no one wants to be in an unhappy relationship,” she says.

“The only way to move forward is to deal with the issues together.”

The next time your partner picks a fight about something that doesn’t make sense to you, or behaves uncharacteristically, ask yourself what the real issue could be – and whether it could be secret resentment acting out.

If you’re the one doing the resenting, don’t forget the saying, “resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” It will build and fester and ultimately hurt you more than the other person.

So, the next time you want to pick a fight about who needs the phone charger more, stop and think about what’s really bothering you.

It just might save your relationship.

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