Lately I’ve been feeling…disturbed. I haven’t been sleeping well, mostly because my sinuses have been absolutely brutal. But the other reason is because I’ve been irritable. I’ve been frustrated, anxious, and worried. When I hung out with my mom the other day, I found myself rattling off a number of things that was bothering me, and rambling on about something I didn’t even realize upset me so much: my husband. Don’t get me wrong; hubby is my best friend and partner in crime. I love him with all my heart. But I didn’t notice how many things he did or had done that was subconsciously tallying up in my head. My mom made it plain: I was beginning to resent my spouse.
Now hold the phone a bit. Was this really the root of all my problems? Definitely not, but it was causing a great deal of stress and strain without me noticing. I brought up a lot of different reasons, some that I had mentioned to him and others that I hadn’t. When my mom suggested I talk it out with him, I started feeling several emotions: guilt, disappointment, and dread. I hate arguing. As a Libra, I absolutely despise conflict. It can drive me nuts! I felt guilty that some of the things I was upset with bothered me at all. I was disappointed that I would have to mention some of the things for the second, third or fourth time. I was dreading having a conversation that could potentially go no where.
The weather made it no better. It was raining, and our plans to go out with some friends were cancelled. I was now stuck inside with someone I was silently resenting. Let me just say yesterday was not a good day. Instead of bringing the things up, I retreated and imploded. I kept to myself for a couple hours and just sulked. I do not recommend this. One thing my mom often reminds me: this is my husband, he’s not my boyfriend anymore. We’re a team and we vowed to stick together through thick and thin. There’s no better person to discuss your issues with than your spouse.
So how do you prevent feeling resentment towards your spouse? I wouldn’t call it a normal emotion, but it’s not uncommon. It’s definitely an emotion that if left untreated can destroy what you have built together. Here are some tips, that I’m learning to implement myself:
- Communicate early and often: Do not wait until you’re about to explode to bring things up to your spouse. I’ve done this several times. When you save up the things you’ve been wanting to say for a rainy day, and you let your spouse have it all at one time, you can overwhelm them. “You don’t do this, and I hate when you do that, but why do you insist on doing this when you know blah blah blah.” A laundry list of things is not a good idea. At the first sight of a problem, bring it up. Discuss potential issues before they become big problems. It’s not being a nag as long as you express how you’re feeling in a healthy, non-judgmental way.
- Don’t keep score: One of my favorite Bible verses is the end of 1 Corinthians 13:5: “[Love]…keeps no record of wrongs.” However at times I forget this. I was bringing up things to my mom that I told myself, and hubby, that I was over. Yet, here I was, having that contribute to the laundry list of things I was upset about. Don’t do that. If you and your spouse have an argument and you have resolved it, LET IT GO. Do not bring it up in future arguments. That’s a no no. Do not still allow it to upset you. If you said you’re over it, be over it.
- Don’t confide in others: Aside from hubby, my mom is my best friend. However, I shouldn’t have told her things that bother me about him without telling him first. I wouldn’t like it if he went to his best friend about problems he had with me without giving me a chance to fix them. When you have a problem with your spouse, the first person you should tell is your spouse. Otherwise, you’re opening the door for outside opinions before your loved one even knows there’s a problem.