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They've turned their backs on constructive communication

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In marriage, there are many things that can make a person feel resentful of their spouse — a lack of intimacy, condescending remarks, feeling unappreciated, uneven contributions to the household, and a host of other issues. Resentment is often dubbed a silent but deadly martial assassin as it’s usually a pitstop on the pathway to divorce. However, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. There are healthy ways to work through these strong emotions that will keep the relationship intact and perhaps even help to strengthen it.

Let it out

The best thing to do to keep resentment from festering is to have open and honest dialogue. What is happening (or not happening) to make you unhappy? While the conversation may be uncomfortable, failure to speak up could have cancerous effects on a union down the line.

Build empathy

While you may be having things that you are struggling with, it’s important to pause and acknowledge what your partner may be dealing with as well as it will help to build empathy and could possibly minimize feelings of resentment.

“Attunement is important and having compassion for your partner,” Dr. Keisha Downey told Madame Noire. “Attunement is what helps that connection.”

Seek therapy

“Coming into therapy is also an option,” said Dr. Downey. “Sometimes sitting down with a counselor can help to get both parties to see the other’s perspective and develop compassion for one another. Once that happens, things begin to work themselves out.”

Take accountability

It’s easy to harbor feelings of resentment when you see yourself as the victim in all situations. Instead, consider the role that you have played in the decline of the relationship, take accountability, and apologize.

Date

Dating your spouse is essential to a healthy relationship. Date night provides couples with much-needed alone time needed to improve intimacy, communication, and overall marital satisfaction.

Start over

While there’s no magic wand that allows us to go back in time, LCSW Nancy Coller recommends that couples press the figurative restart button when resentment sets in.

“I recommend making a deal to officially press the restart button on your relationship. You can ritualize/celebrate this relationship restart date as perhaps a new anniversary — the day you committed to begin again without the poisons of the past,” Coller explained in an essay for Psychology Today. “It’s important that you mark this restart date in some tangible way that makes it real and sacred.”

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