If you are the Offending Partner, remembering and applying these self-talks that have helped hundreds of other offending partners:
You are seeking forgiveness and have vowed to change but your partner isn’t responding quickly enough for you.
Couple in automobile. Husband pulled maneuver that wife thought was unsafe. She pleaded for him to stop doing it, but he continued insisting it was safe and he was in the right. He was technically right in that there was no accident, but he did not take into account the fear and anxiety his driving behavior was causing in his wife. He was focused only on the driving issue like a laser beam, instead of also being considerate of the emotional reaction of those in the car.
Jim and Mary had been married 20 years most of which had been spent with Mary seeing Jim as a project to work on. Jim had deep resentment but buried it, saying nothing but “yes, dear”. Mary criticized almost everything he did-and was right most of the time. But in the process she lost the love of her husband over “being right” about many things that didn’t matter anyhow.
Most partners know what they do that causes resentment in the relationship, but they often continue to do it – but expect a different result. For instance, Mary complained to Jim for 10 years that she resented the fact that he didn’t help her enough with house chores and child care. In therapy, I asked Jim why he simply didn’t help out more. He answered that he did do his share, as he saw it. Truth is, when she complained, his self talk was something like “once the storm blows over I can continue to watch my basketball game – she’ll get over it.”
almost all the time in a marriage. You do not want to live in a marriage of deep resentment because resentment can turn to contempt which is a death-knell for relationships. In many marriages, it blocks sexuality, it prevents intimacy and closeness and it leads to estrangement from each other.