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  • Writer's pictureJamie Ratowski, LMFT

How to Identify, Repair, & Avoid Resentment in Your Relationship



Resentment has been described as an underlying feeling of negativity or a lingering unhappiness without a clear and immediate/direct cause. Resentment in a relationship isn't always the easiest to spot. It takes time to develop and we don't always recognize it as it is happening until things are bad enough/unavoidable. 


Resentment isn't exactly abnormal, as all couples go through turmoil, but it is an uncomfortable feeling that can strain a relationship if not identified, repaired, and avoided in the future. Prolonged resentment can even be described as toxic and the catalyst to a relationship's demise if not addressed properly. 


How To Identify Resentment:


A vital step in repairing resentment and avoiding future problems is to understand what it feels and looks like in a relationship. Resentment happens when we harbor frustrations, angers, and struggles from your relationship/toward your partner that go unspoken or unresolved. 


Identifying resentment could be done by addressing any of these recurring feelings you may be experiencing and stop ignoring them. Self-reflecting on your emotions is a great place to start. Taking a step back and assessing the ins-and-outs of your relationship and its patterns is also helpful to spot some rough spots that may have gone unaddressed overtime. 


Are you finding yourself feeling low, wanting to avoid your partner, mad but don't know the reason, picking fights, or withdrawing from your partner? If so, these may be signs that resentment is present in your relationship and some work needs to be done. By taking these actions you are one step closer to working on repairing resentment and strengthening your relationship. 


How To Repair Resentment:


Resentment isn't the beginning of the problem. Resentment is caused by underlying issues that go unresolved over time. These types of issues are common in relationships but can turn into deeper problems if they recur without healthy solutions. Being able to know what some of the problems are that may be contributing to feelings of resentment is an important process in repairing resentment


Common Causes of Resentment:


  • Poor Communication 

  • Recurring Fights/Disagreements

  • Needs Not Being Met

  • Disrespect

  • Breaking Boundaries 

  • Assumptions

  • Trauma

  • Trust Betrayal

  • Infidelity  


Once you are able to pin-point some of these problems that may be present in your relationship you can take adequate steps to communicate and explore resolutions to these conflicts. Making sure you are practicing healthy communication and listening skills is essential in repairing the damage these problems can/have caused. Feeling heard, working together, and exploring solutions is essential in repairing resentment. 


Time and effort are two key ingredients in the repair process. Your effort to make the changes needed to fix these problems paired with patience and consistency with these changes overtime is what helps you chip away at the resentment. Once this happens you are able to build stronger feelings of trust, respect, and support with/from your partner. Therapy with a mental health counselor or couples therapist can be an extremely useful tool during this step to help you communicate your feelings of hurt, identify the changes that need to happen, and assure you are on the right path at repairing any resentment. 


How To Avoid Resentment:


Lastly, avoiding resentment is the ideal goal for your relationship. Identifying some of the previously discussed causes and working together to navigate your day to day conflicts as they happen in present time is going to be the best advice to avoid resentment. Developing healthy conflict resolution skills with the use of open, honest, and vulnerable communication can help you navigate any struggles together. 


Assure you are turning toward your partner to manage problems, deepen connection, and work together to build a foundation that is secure. Apologizing, taking accountability, minimizing blame and criticism, and making an effort to change bad patterns are also key components in avoiding resentment. 


Relationships are difficult and going through some speed bumps along the way is completely normal and to be expected. The problems turn into resentment with the inability to effectively set healthy boundaries, communicate wants, needs, and expectations, and work through complications together. 


If you prioritize strengthening these healthy relationship skills, primarily good communication, boundaries, and fulfillment of wants and needs, resentment doesn't have to become a barrier to overcome in your relationship. But don't fret, if you and your partner are dealing with resentment there is help and there are ways to overcome it and work towards the healthy relationship you deserve.


Get Relationship Support Today:


I work with both individuals and couples to help support their relationships. I have extensive experience focusing on areas such as attachment styles, communication, conflict resolution, intimacy, and trust building. My main goal and priority in therapy is to help those who desire it to foster secure, happy, and healthy relationships. Asking for help is a positive thing and relationships are hard. Therapy is an amazing resource to help those overcome challenges in their lives that can be impacting their relationship. 


If you or someone you know may need any form of relationship support, please don't hesitate to contact Bayview Therapy today at 954-391-5305 for a complimentary phone consultation to discuss your therapy needs. Ask to speak with Jamie Ratowski, LMFT.


I offer counseling for adults and couples at our beautiful office located in Plantation, Florida that can accommodate all your relationship needs. I also accommodate most online therapy requests through a secure telehealth platform.


For more information about my approach or my services, visit my bio here

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