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

Five Losing Strategies for the Offending Partner

Losing Strategy #1

Defend, rationalize or deny what you did, arguing to your partner that what you did  shouldn’t have impacted your partner the way that it did.

Losing Strategy #2

Continue to do things now that upset your parter and re-activate old resentments because you are stubborn or you think it is ridiculous for your partner to have resentment over your behavior in the first place.

Example:

40 year old Joshua was in marital therapy because his wife was ready to leave him. Single for 4o years, he was very used to making life decisions based on “Me” instead of “us.” So, thinking in a “me” frame, he constantly made plans without including or coordinating with his wife. He saw the problem as his new wife being a “control freak” who wanted to take away all his freedom. Even though she had let go of many resentments for his past behavior, he keopt doing it which re-activated her resentment.

Losing Strategy #3

Be rigid and uncompromising when solving conflicts with your partner, with your goal of “winning’ every disagreement. Always need to be right!

Losing Strategy #4

Never apologize, or show weakness or vulnerability when dealing with your partner out of fear they will lose respect for you or you will lose control over them.

Example:

I once was seeing a professional couple married 25 years. Nancy was a supervising nurse; Jim was a CEO of a large company, a no-nonsense guy who expected everybody to instantly do what he wanted. He always  had a scowl on his face.  Nancy’s biggest complaint was that he NEVER showed affection, empathy  or understanding toward her.

He spent almost all of his energy protecting himself from any show of weakness. That is, he could not put himself in any position of vulnerability. He was Captain Kirk always making sure the Force Fields were up to protect him.

I thought I had a pretty good rapport with him and had earned a certain degree of trust, so I privately asked him if he loved his wife, even though they were in almost constant conflict. He said “yes.”

I now figured that I had the key to re-activating their marriage. So simple! They will see me as the greatest marital therapist in the world once I pulled off my brilliant intervention.

Bringing them back together I enthusiastically suggested that Jim tell his wife that he loved her (to get the marital repair ball rolling), since many times she wasn’t sure because of their constant fighting, arguing and conflict. His answer incredibly was a flat  “no”. His wife looked at me knowingly through her peripheral vision.

What? I said, never having had that response in 40 years of practice. Why not?

“Because if I tell her I love her that will give her power and influence over me and I won’t be seen a in charge in more.”

According to famed therapist Terry Real, men like Jim don’t fear intimacy as one might speculate.  To the contrary, they want to be close to someone, just as woman do. What men like Jim really fear is subjugation. They fear being dominated. Do you think maybe Jim instantly created anothe rlayer o fresentment in Jim by his not willing to say the words : “I love you” in marital therapy?

If your partner expresses resentment, attack back, blame them for the problem, and justify what you did as a reaction to what they did. Continue doing things now to activate her old resentment in some way andnot caring about doing that. this is like knowling hyou rpartner is terrified of snakes, but bringing home a snake as a present for your child while telling your protesting partner to “get over it”.

Losing Strategy #5

Be overly controlling to make sure partner remains loyal to you. Insist on doing things your way even though you know your partner will develop resentment around it… without negotiating things with him/her first. When criticized, crawl into a shell like a turtle until things blow over.