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Thread: How to Deal with Resentment?

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    Angry How to Deal with Resentment?

    Hi Folks,
    I guess I wasn't sure where this post should sit, so please forgive me if it's in the wrong place - I'm new to the site and this is my 2nd post bar introducing myself!

    By way of a quick background, I have been separated from my husband now for 3 years (my choice). Things slowly fell apart over a period of 5 years due to a lack of trust (addiction issues) which eventually left to him spending a period of time in prison. To me, the addiction wasn't an issue and I resolved to support him as much as possible; however what eventually broke things were his attitude. I guess it would be fair to say he could be extremely selfish; coupled with denial of things that had happened in the past (including physical and verbal abuse) which I desperately needed him to be honest and remorseful about if we were to truly move forward. Unfortunately, he felt that it was enough to eventually admit that it all happened, but that I should just get over it. So much more I could write a saga; but you get the picture.

    My worry is this: I thought I had dealt and accepted the past, for my own sake and because we have a child who I am determined will never see or hear me diss her dad. We have always been civil to each other and help each other out where possible; although we have had our moments; usually in relation to financial arrangements as his attitude towards money is less than healthy in my opinion - but for some reason, for the past number of months I have been experiencing massive resentment toward him. Also for the past few months I have been feeling massively depressed, allbeit well hidden (I have a really demanding job which helps/isn't helpful, depending upon daily stress level ).

    I don't understand why...it's not like I still have feelings for him or anything like that...and we've both moved on...but I am soooo angry!!! I feel so cheated by all the lies he told and I'm blaming him for everything, which I know isn't entirely fair.

    The divorce is coming up very soon now as he's engaged again. I have also moved on and am in another relationship with a man who is wonderful and treats myself and my child like gold dust. But I thought all of the past stuff had been resolved long ago, hence the moving on.

    Please help; I don't want to carry all this bitterness and anger; for my own sake and because I really don't want my kid picking up on it - why has it appeared now out of the blue? x

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    Hey there,

    Thank you for joining theLoveLogic. I read your story and in my opinion, it comes down to you not being happy with what you allowed yourself to tolerate when you were with your ex husband. We can't blame others for what they do to us but we can blame ourselves for allowing them to treat us the way they did especially if it was negative. If we don't allow ourselves to create boundaries and stick to them people can and will run all over you. The past is the past. I hope you can learn to accept the past but learn from it. It's never easy but I know time can be your friend. The important thing is to realize what you learned from it. Congrats on your new relationship and I hope you and your daughter can move forward and receive the love you both deserve.


    Take care,


    SuperDave71
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." -Aristotle

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    Hey there, StarryEyedSister, and welcome to our forum.

    I've been in your place as far as resentment goes (albeit a completely different situation). Even when I was out of the relationship and had moved on and was happy, I'd still find myself getting really angry about the past. Did you ever allow yourself to feel this resentment before, or have you been working so hard to leave it all behind you that you haven't really had a chance to truly feel angry about the situation? If it's the latter, then it sounds like it's all catching up to you - perhaps the upcoming closure you're looking forward to you has made you reflect a little, and dragged these emotions up with it. Have you been able to vent these feelings before at all? Or is this the first time they've really cropped up?

    If you haven't really given yourself the time to feel these things before, then don't worry - you had to feel this at some point. Given what it sounds like you've been through, I can't blame you. I think it's great that you're determined not to let your little one hear you say negative things about her father - so many parents wouldn't have such consideration and love for their children to do so. But at the same time, you still need to let yourself be angry, if you haven't already, though you certainly don't have to be angry in front of her. But you DO need to get those feelings out of you somehow so that they don't just sit there and rot. Venting in a journal was probably the most helpful and "cleansing" thing that I did, and I always try to recommend that to people who are neck-high in feelings and have no idea what to do with all of them. And, of course, you're always welcome to vent to us here on the forum without judgment.

    And, I agree with SuperDave - I think a lot of the resentment we feel toward someone who's hurt us (repeatedly) is greatly mixed in with how angry we are with ourselves for allowing it to happen to us for so long. I am personally notorious for this. But at the same time, using a journal allows you not only to get these thoughts and feelings out of your system, but the act of putting it in writing forces you to work them out logically.

    Your ex is now engaged again and your divorce is about to be finalized...to me, this upsurge of resentment doesn't really seem "out of the blue." While you have kept busy and productive and found love again with someone (I am very happy for you, by the way), these are still major changes, and with any major change comes upheaval of some kind, even if it's only temporary. Always when you give yourself closure on something, some residual feelings are going to come to the surface when you do so. This is perfectly okay, and very normal. My advice is to identify all of it (the good, the bad, and the ugly), work it out until it all makes sense, get it out of yourself, and put it away when you're finished. You have to go through it before you're completely free from it, you know?

    Post here any time you feel you need to - we are always here to help!
    "Are tangerines really just oranges that didn't want it enough?" - Random Greeting Card

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    Hi there,

    I can't really add too much to the great advice given to you by Dave & Kel, but I'll just add this:

    As we all know, there are several emotions we go through when we break up with someone (whether we are the dumpee or dumper). The key here is that these emotions are often never experienced in the same order, nor the same time frame by different people. Some people feel everything, one after another, in exact succession as expected and 'by the book'. Others may not feel one or more of those emotions for many weeks or months, there is no hard and fast rules. Even though your break up wasn't too recent, and even though you're both with other people, it sounds like you are just going through one of the stages of your break up, hopefully the final stage to being 'done' with it.

    Try not to beat yourself up about it, or worry, just try to accept it for what it is, and let it go,....it will go of it's own accord in time.
    -Peace
    Dan

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    Thank you all so much for the feedback. I really needed it to make me think and explore this a bit further - to avoid getting caught in the emotion as opposed to the cause and starting to work towards an acceptance; if that makes sense.

    Kel; Dave - you are both spot on. Dave, I am extremely angry with myself for putting up with extreme behaviour for so very long - I suppose also I'm sad that I didn't have the self-respect to even stop and consider how the whole situation was affecting me. The entire focus was on him at all times because he needed 'help' or 'support' or 'acceptance'.

    Kel, what you said about allowing myself to feel this resentment before? I absolutely haven't. I have always swallowed any resentment in favour of being reasonable and civil and 'nice'. This was a pattern throughout the relationship because things seemed to lurch from crisis to crisis and I was in a role where I felt I had to look after him; defend him and often just be there because ultimately even his own family disowned him. It didn't help that when I tried to communicate how I was feeling towards the end, I was accused by my ex of 'living in the past' and that I 'only ever focussed on the bad stuff'. I feel that this was extremely unfair as I literally spent years in a daze of shock; and even now I can only remember trauma after trauma. In all honesty, there was no time to really 'feel' anything so it was all shut off. If I had allowed myself to consider how I felt or the impacts of what was happening, never mind feel any emotion, I now know that it would have been completely overwhelming and I probably wouldn't have been able to cope with what I did.

    Anyway, in summary, I suppose I feel really guilty and like a bad person for feeling such resentment. In the darker moments I feel like he's skipping merrily on without a care in the world in spite of causing such pain in the past and it seems ridiculously unfair. Of course, he should indeed be condemned to a lifetime of absolute misery in retribution!!! Lol! Oh, it sounds so childish and I know it hasn't been like that for him, I'm sure.

    I guess that's why it now feels like it's a 'sudden' thing; up till now I've been able to swallow resentment to deal with any contact required. Dan, I'm working through what you said though, and I'm trying to let the questions go and just accept that this is where I am.

    Jeez...I need to buy myself a really big journal, methinks! Lol!

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    Ah, don't be so hard on yourself - you're HUMAN!

    And you are NOT a bad person for feeling this resentment - you're NORMAL. If I were in your place, I'd be livid too. If someone spends years using you, taking advantage of you, constantly putting you last, and never apologizing for it or even trying to make amends, then of course you're angry! To accuse you of "living in the past" like that is a manipulation tactic - don't fall for it. Ugh, I hate it when people use that tactic - it's a classic avoidance mechanism people use to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions...and it's very common behavior for addicts. If he still does this and refuses to discuss things openly with you, that does not bode well for him.

    I repeat: you are NOT doing anything wrong by feeling this. Allow yourself to feel it until you don't need to anymore, because YOU need to heal from this and become whole again too. And maybe find a good sized punching bag to work out your frustration physically along with your gigantic journal.
    "Are tangerines really just oranges that didn't want it enough?" - Random Greeting Card

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    Yup, completely human

    I remember being a pathetic idiot begging my ex not to finish with me. I cringe now at the way I behaved. I also became extremely angry and resentful that she had played me and I fell for it. The anger helped me let go, she wasn't worth my tears or sadness. It didn't stop the tears or sadness, but it certainly helped me not to dwell on anything and to stop myself from wallowing in self pity. I was so angry at myself, since I've always considered myself to be a really good judge of character, and am very cynical by nature, so to be completely taken in by this woman made me beyond furious with myself.
    -Peace
    Dan

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    Folks, I've taken some time to just sit with this. And when it threatened to get overwhelming, I 'packed it away' for a while and got on with other things (either fun or work...or fun work??? ). I also decided to be kind to myself and relax, doing some things I enjoy; or just allowing myself time to do nothing!

    I've noticed this week that things seem much easier. I'm not saying it's all gone; and I've no doubt the resentment will boil up again - but I know now I'm in control; I'm dealing with it my own way and it won't consume me.

    I just wanted to say thanks for your help and advice on this one. It really helped to sound it out. And more importantly, it really helped to be told I'm not being pathetic! So thank you.

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    Glad you are feeling better!


    Chris

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    Stick with it hon, each week it will get easier and easier until you don't even think about it anymore.

    Sound off as much and as frequently as you need to,....that's what we're here for
    -Peace
    Dan

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    Hey folks, I'm afraid I'm back and angry again! Just needed to sound off.

    Well, today is the day of my first divorce hearing. Which I guess would be enough to make me angry in itself, cos ultimately I'm sitting thinking, what an absolute waste of five years (and more).

    However the insult to the injury was my exes attitude a few weeks ago - to avoid gory detail which really doesn't matter, basically he had lied on the legal forms and I changed the incorrect stuff before I signed it. Cue an evening of attitude and accusation from him via text; everything from what was my problem; his fiancee's ex had signed no problem and wishes them all the best, to accusing me of deliberately trying to hold things up. Which really angered me, because I hate the fact that I have any link to him and no-one could want things ended legally more quickly than me. It turns out he's remarrying in a month and a half and has left the divorce to the last minute in spite of my telling him to get on with it a year ago.

    Ugggghhh, I don't know why I expect anything other than complete selfishness from this guy given that his entire history points to consistent self obsession. But he is totally winding me up - even refers to 'my divorce' like it's all about him. And much as I love our daughter to death, it makes me feel helpless to know there's always going to be something in common and even a divorce can't end all contact. I even hate the fact that he sometimes texts me after calling our daughter to make sure she's ok cos he 'sounded sad on the phone'. Is it unreasonable of me to view this as controlling behaviour? Would it be unreasonable of me to say if he thinks she's sad, to call her back and ask her and stop texting me? Cos the reply i usually get is that she's just a child and I'm her mother, more or less implying that I have a responsibility to communicate with him as though everything's fine?

    I absolutely hate who he is; I hate everything about him - and during the accusatory text incident, I told him straight for the first time that I don't trust him at all and never will. How can I trust a compulsive gambler and a compulsive liar who likes to remind me during such exchanges what a great guy he is, as though the facts of the past are somehow my fantasy or my problem? This is a guy who admits that he was violent toward me in a blase fashion, then states that isn't the type of guys he really is therefore I just need to get over it.

    I really need to remove the emotion to deal with these things, but I have a feeling that's partly my problem - I'm great at switching things off and being logical when I need to, but it usually means I'm bottling up how I really want to react...

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    Im not sure. I resent mine too but we still live together. Yikes! He seems to get uglier every day.

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