Decide To Deal With Resentment
ACKNOWLEDGE the issue causing resentment
REMEMBER skills that work for you
EXECUTE a plan to forgive, or ask forgiveness

All resentments are not created equal: Three types of resentment

Type 1: Blatant/Latent

Resentment due to underlying power struggle between you both. Whatever ths issue us that causes the resentment isn’t what is really going on; underneath  what is going on is a struggle for dominance in the relationship. While there are many patterns of interaction in relationships, a very common one is one in which the resentment is between a “Blatant” and a “Latent”. This creates a power differential between the two partners which can lead to years of resentment.

Blatants are the much harder partner to convince to change anything in the marriage. Often blatants are the men, but not always by any means. Blatant equals grandiosity and they often see themselves as above the rules. In a relationship with no real power, Blatants are falsely empowered. Their self-esteem, is TOO HIGH. They rarely feel shame because they feel grandiose which is the opposite of shame.

Often Blatants traumatize those around him, but feel no real shame about it. It is the Latent who feel the shame, telling themselves that somehow they have done something to deserve whatever they get. Blatant often do not understand why their wives are so resentment toward them.

Latents, on the other hand, see themselves as “one down” with little real power in relationships. Having spent a lifetime of accommodating, pleasing, enabling and putting up with the Blatant. Often, generating a mountain of resentment and even hatred if it lasts long enough or is intense enough.

To feel less resentment, a Latent partner needs to feel more empowered in the relationship. This often means learning to stand up to (what she perceives) as her Blatant partner,

Type 2: Trauma induced

Things that are triggered because of your personal history of trauma. Partners often trigger each other without knowing they are doing it. Classic example is that of Fred and Sally who are known in the field as a high conflict couple because they are constantly but unknowingly pissing each other off which soon causes deep resentment in both. Fred is-shall we say-a very neat person who needs everything to be exactly in order. No loose strings in Fred’s world. Sally is a fun-loving woman who sees no need to put the dirty dish in the sink immediately-” let’s enjoy the show-I’ll put the dirty dish away later.” He gets up in the morning to a kitchen counter that is full of crumbs because she snacked last night but did not clean up.Turns out that Fred cannot help himself. He tells himself that Sally is purposely trying to piss him off, so he retaliates by completely ignoring her for three days at a time. This triggers deep feelings of lonliness and abandonment in her because she had a very emotionally distant father who died when she was 12 years old. She has a deep need to know she is loved despite her shortcomings.

Healthy marriage partners bounce back from things that their partner does to kick in anxiety, anger, abandonment from childhood (or sometimes from previous relationships)But sometimes they need help. In a loving relationship you should know these things about your partner and try to not re-traumatize them. And you should stop PURPOSELY irritating your partner to get revenge or to even the score.


Type 3: Built up resentments.

Simple, ongoing irritations which continually make you angry and your partner does not change.A common such resentment is a wife who used to be very sexual with her husband–until the children came. Now its like one excuse after the other to avoid sex. Some of my male patients report that they have waited two or three years for it to happen again and have tried everything- but to no avail. Even worse is when the husband perceives that she DOESNT CARE any more about his sexual needs. If he expresses need, she says “I don’t care- its not my problem- I’m too tired…go take care of yourself.”

Another very common irritation is that of working women who resent that their husbands don’t do more around the house in terms of chores.



Consistently “overtalk” them…..make everything about themselves…….

Putting them down in front of the children…….being dismissive about concerns partner has…talking to partner in disrespectful way….always needing to be right..or to have the last word…..trying to change partner in ways they don’t want to change…..disparaging accomplishments of partner……prioritizing children over partner…..remaining more emotionally connected to family of origin than to new family……violating boundary agreements by talking “out of school” about intimate things to other people….