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Anyone get any advice on how to deal with this?

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brokensmile322 posted 3/18/2014 07:08 AM


I have realized that I had/have quite a bit of it regarding a few events that happened in our M pre A. My IC has said that resentment is anger that festers over a long period of time. When it is not resolved, it turns into resentment.

I really think this is why I started to distance myself in our M. And so began the spiral in our M that would make our M a 'petri dish' waiting for an A to happen.

At any rate, once you have resentment how do you get rid of it? It seems like a silly question, but I am struggling with it so much. Has anyone dealt with this and what advice were they given?

I am suspecting that there is something I have to do. I am just not sure what. I feel stuck. Any thoughts or ideas? I used to be so happy, go lucky.

sisoon posted 3/18/2014 09:59 AM

Well, it's anger, so the same things that work for anger basically work for resentment - writing, hitting something safe, screaming in a safe place, talking with people who did the things you're angry about....

Also, be sure to change yourself so that you don't let resentment build up again - decide and learn to raise issues when they arise - that's likely to be when they're smallest and easiest to resolve.

I know, I know...MUCH easier said than done....

obliquestrat posted 3/18/2014 10:07 AM

I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend checking out the book, "Radical Honesty."

You don't have to adopt it hook, line, and sinker, but the overriding premise is exposing and preventing resentment.

BtraydWife posted 3/18/2014 10:09 AM

I just hope you realize the spiral came from the things he did that made you want to distance yourself. Not from you distancing yourself. It's a slight difference in words but a bigger and important difference in cause/effect.

I think your hubby needs to deal with the things that have you angry. If he can't or won't-you won't get past them while the 2 of you are together.

If you aren't with him anymore then you have to work through them and release some energy. Being away from the one who did it helps when they can't or won't help you through it.

Something has to give. Usually it's the WS's attitude or their presence.

ItsaClimb posted 3/18/2014 10:14 AM

I'm keen to see what responses you get. This is something I have difficulty with too.

unfound posted 3/18/2014 10:56 AM

.. resentment is anger that festers over a long period of time. When it is not resolved, it turns into resentment.


dealing with pre A stuff (that has nothing to do with A stuff) has a place and time in healing after the A. I think it can be a tricky thing, as you're dealing with A crap while trying to deal with non A crap too. Still, it's really important when rebuilding the M.

I think there has to be some level of trust and a common goal between partners to start to address pre-A issues while still dealing with A issues. it's a delicate balance of what's goign on now, and how to "fix" what was wrong before in order to insure that the future has a strong foundation with no elephants in the room getting int he way.

Just like any other issue within a M, it needs to be addressed and resolved. Are you in MC? Is your partner responsive to talking about it, accepting and willing to show you they've changed or willing to take steps to resolve the issue? Have the changes already been made, but not addressed/acknowledged (sometimes just that helps...saying the words, being heard)? If it's b othering you now, likely it'll continue to fester until it's been, at the least, addressed. Once it's addressed, then the response you get will likely be telling as to how "all in" your spouse is to making sure there are no stones left unturned and a solid, healthy foundation to rebuild the M on.

For me, there were two kinds of resentments: ones that needed to be resolved as a couple, and ones that had been resolved but not acknowledged, so I still held onto (control, fear, ammunition, looking through A glasses, need of validation etc..). The first, WE had to work through. The second, WE had to acknowldge, but I had to work through by a lot of self examination that included not only knowing that they had nothing to do with the A, but believing it as well.

brokensmile322 posted 3/18/2014 11:23 AM

Thank you for your responses.

I had an IC session today. And we kind of dissected what has been going on for me.

My past resentments and present ones, although about specific incidents, all have a common theme. The underlying core is that my WH was not there for me emotionally. He just didn't support me when I was emotionally in need. My feelings weren't validated.

Some of why he doesn't validate my feelings is his own FOO. (His mother was emotionally crazy about things so the family tended to just let her vent and then discount whatever she said.) Some of it is that he is a solid left brain thinker. Every situation is viewed in a logical way. Therefore, if emotions are involved, he is useless because emotions are not logical. KWIM?

My FOO is that my feelings were never validated as a kid. Lol! Can you even imagine how we ended up together?

My resentment is about never having my feelings validated when I needed it. They were discounted. This is where my anger is coming from.

Something has to give. Usually it's the WS's attitude or their presence.

^^Sadly, I guess this is where I am.

Rebreather posted 3/18/2014 11:32 AM

I used the strategies offered in the book "How Can I Forgive You."

I also had a host of old resentments that were a bother to me. I knew I had to deal with them. I wrote all of these old hurts in a list and I gave them to my spouse. He then went through systematically and apologized for each and every one. Then, my job was to let them go, and I did. I basically wiped the slate clean. He worked on being a better partner and not repeating those actions, and I worked to not bring them into our present.

blakesteele posted 3/18/2014 16:02 PM

Radical honesty is a big key. This really starts with being radically honest with YOURSELF! And, for us, we lied to ourselves when we were children when we told ourselves we were "not hurt and were just fine".....and to prove this lie we developed coping skills, masking skills. They hid quite effectively the lies we told ourselves, lies that influenced us for decades. Truth is we were hurt and we did experience serious pain as children.....primarily due to destructive choices our respective fathers made, but also to the dynamics our respective moms were thrust into. Not blaming...just stating a truth. And this truth has only come to light post-DD. I mean we knew we didn't have healthy dads or witnessed healthy marriages, but we didn't accept that we were in pain because of this.

Resentment.......trace it back all the way......not just to your pre-A M.

I offer this up because, while my wife and I both did things that made us resent each other, many times resentment, and the mode to building it, was established during your formative years.

As crazy as it I operated, how my wife operated, within our M pre-A was really a process that was started before we even met.

Yes, we certainly influneced each other and did things to warrant resentment from our individual actions.....but the process by which we "allowed" resentment to build were well established BEFORE we met.

If either of us knew or desired or could or choose to be radically honest....healthy, constructive change would have occurred. We could have broken our cycles to avoid and deflect truthg, to minimize our own feelings.

We could have avoided mis-steps such as the following thoughts

"Key to a healthy marriage is to have no money struggles"--me

"Key to a healthy marriage is to have zero disagreements"--my wife.

We had such few ideas on what made a healthy marriage it was easy to have resentment when we full-filled those "requirements" and then wonder....."What the heck???? This should be better!".

Our expectations were such that once we hit our main goals of what a healthy marriage was we would be content. We weren't. Since we didn't really have the skills to face our most painful feelings we justified hiding from them with things like......

"In August we will reconnect because the kids will be in school."

"We are so much better than the other couples we know"

"We have regular sex."

The whole time we were lying to ourselves. Add to this our pride, other couples complimenting us, and the thought that we are doing so well....we, almost by default, thought it must be the other person....and resentment builds. It was subtle, just like our FOO issues. Subconciously this is going on. The ACTUAL resentment we can see, many times, is the tip of the iceburg.

Believe me....I am NOT suggesting we blame our parents. I dispise a victim mentality. I am suggesting we figure out just how deeply our FOO issues affect us. No sense in stopping short...doing so increases the odds that your cycles will NOT be broken. And this is too painful of a growth opportunity to waste by stopping short of full examination.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 4:37 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)]

blakesteele posted 3/18/2014 16:59 PM

I really think this is why I started to distance myself in our M.

What I have learned since DD is that the "distancing" in our relationship was more of a result of how we learned to do be very independent and not rely on others. Both of our childhoods taught us this.

For me, a better way to explain this is to say my coping skills started to loose their luster and the original fear started to shine through...and that made me interact less. NOTE: That "interaction" was not healthy bonding. That interaction was my coping skills building the facade of healthy intimacy....and my wifes too! Neither of us had the skills to do intimacy in heatlthy mature ways.

I have serious reservations if my wife and I did much "growing together" in our pre-A M.

We both had intimacy-limiting skills within us both well before we met. I think one reason that we were attracted to each other WAS this distant, independent attitudes.

I really think, after 10 years of marriage.....we were starting to get aware that we had issues. That the intimacy we thought we were grooming and nurturing was not really there....and it scared us both. were stronger than I was, more healthy than I was upon our respective DD's.

Most all of my posts to you revolve and are influenced by my very strong bias.

After reading all of my is highly likely I am completely wrong. That you were indeed bonding to mr brokensmile322 and then started to grow apart.

These are just my ideas which are fluid in nature but have jelled up considerably of late.

Keep the faith.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:08 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)]

blakesteele posted 3/18/2014 17:12 PM

The real kick in the pants?

Those coping skills we used to "protect us" from pain? They failed miserably.

We may not have had a super strong bond....but I assure you the pain I feel is worse than anything I could have imagined.

I suspect I felt pretty strong pain when I was 12, but was so ill-equipped to handle it I ignored it.

At 43 years old I could not lie to myself....though I tried for a couple of months after DD #1.

I just could not do it anymore.

And thats what is said about coping mechs.....they work GREAT, until they don't.

So my wife and I have to heal the wounds to our hearts we both inflicted while trying to figure out how to build real, mature intimacy.

It is tough work, but is healthy work too.

Keep the inspire me, and I thank you for that.


LA44 posted 3/18/2014 17:20 PM

My past resentments and present ones, although about specific incidents, all have a common theme. The underlying core is that my WH was not there for me emotionally. He just didn't support me when I was emotionally in need. My feelings weren't validated.

I lived in this state just prior to A and then while the A was going on. I felt like I was treading water - my head just above the surface. I felt like I was drowning every single day. And he was on mute.

Some of it is that he is a solid left brain thinker. Every situation is viewed in a logical way. Therefore, if emotions are involved, he is useless because emotions are not logical. KWIM?

Once again brokensmile, I see similarities between us. I was SOOOO resentful of our living situation pre-A. I was seething on the inside.

So, there is the FOO of the spouse and how they were raised - my H is left brain too. And in my case, I was raised "the good girl". Don't say anything that isn't "nice", "look the other way". I did this in our marriage. Things did not feel right to me but I thought it was just me. That I was the one with the problem. I actually felt bad that I was not a better wife! Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

Anyway..., with D-Day came an explosion of rage. All that resentment built up, plus the A - it all came out and it kept coming.

When I feel that resentment now, I bring it up. I say, "I need to talk to you about something - I am really trying to work this out." It might take a day or two or three but no longer then that. I say it. I don't scream it like last year at this time.

Heed Sisoon's advice.

decide and learn to raise issues when they arise - that's likely to be when they're smallest and easiest to resolve.

And truly, it is time for me to get the book Rebreather mentions by Janis A Spring.

blakesteele posted 3/18/2014 17:46 PM

Janis Spe

blakesteele posted 3/18/2014 17:46 PM

Janis Spring book is a must read. Helped so much.

rachelc posted 3/18/2014 18:02 PM

My past resentments and present ones, although about specific incidents, all have a common theme. The underlying core is that my WH was not there for me emotionally. He just didn't support me when I was emotionally in need. My feelings weren't validated.

my God, I could have written this. the thing is, I didn't say anything. I didn't even give him a chance to DO anything about it. And this rests solely on me.

When was he there for me emotionally - for about 2 months AFTER I revealed my affair. He is trying, as he can now. I just have to determine if this is enough for me.

I'm working really hard on this not being an issue for me. But all I can do is tell him about it. This takes care of about 90% of my resentments, just him knowing. And now there is just one big thing between us that he won't do and I have resentment - and its up to the person who can let this go for this marriage to be successful.

my point - talk, talk, talk!

brokensmile322 posted 3/19/2014 08:43 AM

Well we are in a terrible spiral right now.

Let me back up a bit…

My WH and I had a wonderful M. There were small issues, but things were always good and I would say very intimate.

We had small issues but they never seemed like big issues. One of those small issues was that, at times, my WH would not validate my feelings about things. He always played devils advocate. Always looked for logical reasons to 'why' something wasn't how I was seeing it or feeling it. It bothered me at the time, but truly it seemed like a small thing.

Sometimes I would say to him that I just needed him to be on my side. Sometimes I just wanted him to say "Yes, so and so is a real bitch." Instead, he would do things like point out why maybe this particular person was doing a certain thing, etc…
SOmetimes you just want the support not the rationale.

^^It turns out that this is a huge FOO issue for me and why it bothered me as much as it did. My feelings about everything were never considered. I was told my sister was fragile and if I was upset, I was to move along because my sister deserved pity.

My mother died in 2010. When she died, my father could not accept my mothers illness (she had alzheimers) and denied my mom was as bad as she was. He was leaving her alone by herself at times and just not accepting what was happening. I believe he is NPD. At any rate, I was pushing for her treatment and I found out just how much power a child has over a father who knows his rights. NONE. Basically, my father was able to treat my mom however he wanted, No calls to social services or the county for the department of aging helped. I was told that he was her guardian.

I had been the daughter that cooked for my parents several nights a week and who took my parents on vacation and to my kids events at school. My sister did nothing.

When this happened with my mom and I was pushing my dad to get treatment for my mom, he turned to my sister who did nothing. (She was the one who was the sibling I had tiptoe around) She bailed him out. When the county came to visit his home, my sister cleaned it up and made it look as if all was well. I crumpled to pieces.

During this time I was in a depression and my M was not as important. In fact, nothing really was.. And my left brained husband did not know how to offer support to me. He did not understand the intense FOO issues that this event kicked up for me. Neither did I while I was in the middle of it. But once again I felt not validated. Not by my family and not by my husband. My feelings were not important. And my sister, once again, was the savior, the golden child and she hadn't done anything for my parents for the past 10 years.

Then my WH's EA begins. I can start to see the budding relationship between him and COW. I express my displeasure. I tell him it bothers me that he speaks to her the way he speaks to me. He discounts my feelings and chooses to continue this friendship.

For him, the left brain thinker, nothing was going on and he was treating her the same exact way he would treat any other person he worked with and was friends with. Which may be fine, but the piece that was missing for me here is that it bothered me. The fact that it bothered me should have been enough. I didn't care what logical explanation he could muster… My feelings about her should have been enough for him to stop the friendship.

Fast forward a few months, and now my WH was hiding some of the things he was doing for work with the OW. Definitely an EA and sliding down the slope.

When dday happened, it was non validation all over again. EA's, by their nature alone, are hard to define. Add that to a man who is left brain and you can imagine that I spent a lot of time not being validated for what I believed to be happening and what he logically thought was happening.

So, yes, Blakesteele, I can trace it back to my childhood, but I do think our M was good at one point, for a large part of our M lives actually.

What happened for us was a perfect storm. My mom's passing, my dad's handling of it, my sister coming to the rescue, my WH not knowing how to deal with all this emotional stuff I was going through, the COW, my WH's handling of that….

FOO came out and hit the fan. And the problem was/is that I wasn't a child anymore. I couldn't do anything as a child when I wasn't validated, but as an adult I realized I had a voice. And I used it, like a pit bull to be heard and to be validated. I wasn't backing down.

On the flip side: My WH's mom was an emotional hot mess when he was growing up. She would lash out, freak out, lots of drama, etc… My left brained, logical thinking husband learned early on "That's mom. Let her vent. Don't respond because it is safer. And then move on."

^^This coping mechanism is what came out of him when the shit hit the fan. I was an emotional hot mess, so he reverted to stoicism.

When he DID have to respond he went for logic. Logic has no business dealing with emotions. And so you can see the spiral that began for us. His stoicism was translated by me as not caring, rugsweeping, not validating etc… My being bat shit crazy about being ignored was me being his mom and he reverted to "ignore and it shall pass."

We now know what was happening. Many months of therapy later. My WH still does not see it all. All of this is outside of his thinking. He is trying, but he is so emotionally stunted (counselors words) that he has a very hard time feeling this or getting it completely.

He now knows that the relationship with OW was not a good thing. He is getting that. What he doesn't get is the not validating thing is the underlying theme. And it is the source of my resentment.

We are stuck in this spiral. It is getting frustrating.

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