Being in an unhappy marriage can cause a mixture of negative emotions. It can be incredibly painful, lonely, confusing, and frustrating. Sharing a home and a life with someone that feels like a stranger or that doesn’t pull their weight in the relationship can lead to feeling rejection and resentment. Once resentment takes over, it can sour your whole mood and get in the way of feeling and being your best. To clear away resentment and be in a lighter mood, try these 4 things:
I don’t need to tell you how unpleasant it is to be drowning in anger and pain. Feeling this way can make it impossible to show up as your best self for you and everyone around you. It's common that in a family, if the wife is feeling awful, her children and other loved ones feel it too. You don’t deserve to feel miserable. Thankfully, there is a lot you can do to heal yourself, starting with nurturing your body, heart, and soul. Some women like to go for a long walk, get together with a girlfriend, drive to the beach, or splurge on a massage. These things may sound trivial or even superficial, but whatever it takes to get your focus back on your experience, and make you feel lighter, even if just for a bit- do it!
Look at Him with Fresh Eyes
After possibly years of negative experiences and feelings in your marriage, it can be really difficult to see anything good about your husband. Sometimes taking a fresh look at him as if you were a stranger can bring surprises. Observe how he is in public. How does he act when he’s out and about? Is he kind to strangers? Is he liked and respected at work or does he have friends? Does he contribute anything good to the world? My guess is there is something good there, or you wouldn’t have married him in the first place.
So, Why Did You Marry Him?
Write down all of the reasons you can think of for why you decided to say “I do” to your husband. While it's true that people change over the years, the purest essence of who they are doesn’t. What if when you first married he was tender, generous, and loving but today he is critical, distant, and cold? This is probably the result of years of conflict and distance, but nonetheless he is still the same man you married years ago. He may act differently, but he still has the ability to be the man you once married. This means there is hope because those qualities you once loved about him are still there and can be brought out again.
What is he doing right?
I know you probably have a very long list of things he is doing wrong or isn’t doing at all. I know because I did too. All I could see was how he was failing me. I want to invite you to grab your pen and paper again and make a list of anything at all he is doing right. Does he go to work, take out the trash, or put gas in the tank? Keep a sharp eye for anything you can add over the next few days. This won’t melt away years of resentment or fix any problems just yet, but it is a baby step towards mounting the first bricks of the bridge towards reconnecting with your husband.
This one is for the bold and the brave: Let your husband know a couple of the things you wrote down. Tell him you notice and appreciate his efforts. No matter how silly it might feel to thank him for taking out the trash (or whatever you wrote down), having a humble and grateful heart is never silly.
You might not feel ready for this, or you might think you never will be. That’s okay. I invite you to journal on these thoughts for a few weeks and see if you start to see your husband in a different light. I will bet some of that resentment may begin to shift.
Feel free to share some of the good things about your husband that come to mind in the comments. I’d love to hear!
Sign up and get your Free Copy of the 5 Mistakes Wives Make. Also, you can join the private Facebook group: From Lonely to Lovebirds to get inspiration and encouragement as you become empowered in your marriage. I’d love to have you in the community!
I’m standing for you!