“Love is not a contract between two narcissists. It’s more than that. It is a construction which obliges the participants to go beyond narcissism. For love to last, you have to reinvent yourself. How can we feel empathy and how can we act with empathy towards partners who hold it against us?
How to Overcome Anger & Resentment in Marriage
1. Say and talk with “I statement” feeling terms, not “you.”
Here is an example of how to express dissatisfaction with the actions of another spouse: “I feel resentful that the business account is still open. I want to understand if I can help you in any way to close the account because I will feel really relieved and relaxed when it is closed. “
2. Count to ten before speaking.
This will help you choose your words more carefully and not say something you will regret.
3. Implement the I-Thou.
“Catch” the feelings of the other, trying to feel them yourself. Surprisingly, it diminishes the experience of these feelings. This is powerful because it is truly the only way for one person to have an impact on the experience of another with feelings of anger in relationships.
4. Practice active listening.
Confirm that you actually understand what they want to say, and affirm your partner’s feelings.
5. Connect physically.
For one, hug and have sex. For many women, this can mean a bit of forgery until you do, if the situation is being resolved but is not there yet. For most men, sex actually serves to ease resentment because it is a form of connection in its own right.
Even if you are not both in the same emotional place during the resolution process, the physical connection can help. In fact, some marriage counselors suggest that if the marriage is going down, have sex at least once a day. The scheduled connection could put things in a different light and help resolve the resentment.
6. Meet on a bridge.
This can be metaphorical and also realistic. In order to channel resentment towards empathy, the “bridge of understanding” will have to be removed. Incorporate the idea that “we both have to be on this bridge.” We really can’t see how our partner feels before we go out on the bridge. The more steps you take, the more you can see the “bump” in the middle of this bridge, where you both meet to understand each other. In order to update this place of mutual understanding, one idea is to literally go to a nearby bridge. Bring a blanket and a light picnic snack, go to the bridge and discuss things. The relaxing setting and the fresh air can lend themselves to opening, while taking things less seriously. The bridge has the advantage of serving as an effective means to reconnect.
7. Engage in daily empathy actions.
Empathy is not necessarily the default sentiment and needs some retraining to become a course peer. Routine empathy can be updated by checking with our partners how they are feeling, looking them in the eyes and regularly giving the benefit of the doubt. Once empathy becomes an intrinsic behavior, resentment often becomes a thing of the past.