Resentment in relationships is almost impossible to fix. That’s why you need to try to avoid it in the first place.
At the basic core of resentment is non-communication, which makes it grow and grow in malignant ways.
Here are my tips to avoid resentment:
Acknowledge your feelings, even the crappy ones. Your feelings won’t go away. They just build up and make you less loving, caring, sweet, and attentive. When your feelings are hurt, say that your feelings are hurt right then and there. Don’t ignore your feelings.
Create mental lists. For every negative thing about your spouse, come up with five good things. Sometimes thinking about the good can temper our annoyances.
Be patient with your spouse’s peculiarities. Everybody has their peculiarities, including you. Maybe you need to be more patient and forgiving because after all, you want your spouse to be forgiving of your peculiarities.
Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes. When I was in private practice, I had couples defend each other’s point of view. For example, the spouse who said, “I’m really angry that you never clean the dishes,” had to defend the spouse who doesn’t do the dishes, and vice versa. It’s amazing how most people struggle against doing this exercise because it means accepting that there’s another side and that they are not absolutely right.
Know when to say no. It’s only natural to feel resentment when you’re trying to be all things to all people all of the time. Stop attempting to kiss everyone’s butt to make them like you.