Resentment: Death By 1000 Cuts

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

— Carrie Fisher

Resentment in a marriage could be called death by 1000 cuts.  Few marriages fall apart because of one major issue… it’s usually the accumulation of many small resentments over time, dozens and hundreds of them, that just add up.

Several years ago, when Husband and I had just started living together, I was describing to an acquaintance how much I appreciated his attentiveness to small household-type details.  For example, he doesn’t leave his dirty socks and underwear lying around, and in fact, one evening when I happened to pick them up before he had a chance to, Husband said, “Hey, I’ll get that”.  My response was, “It’s okay, I’m heading towards the hamper anyway.”

My acquaintance commented: “Yeah, but I’ll bet he saw that look in your eyes that told him you were p*ssed off.”

I was taken aback for a moment, and then realized two things… a) had it been my first husband, that resentment would have been there, and b) she was saying more about her own relationship than she was about mine.  But with Husband, there’s no resentment about the little things that most couples squabble about.

Does that mean he’s perfect? Ha! Absolutely not.

Does that mean I don’t notice the annoying habits he has?  Of course I do. 

I notice that he often leaves me to do the dishes, and like most men doesn’t seem to realize that cleaning the counter and range are part of that job…. and after 4½ years he still doesn’t know where the fire engine red collander goes (which is in a different place than the cheap stainless collander). 

He can’t be trusted to wash my clothes, and when folding laundry will pair one of my black ribbed trouser socks with a plain one.  He snores.  Loudly.  He smokes like a chimney and our garage—which is now called The Clubhouse—reeks as a result.  He forgets to shave sometimes which makes his face really scratchy. 

But I also notice that if I lose my keys (a daily occurrence), he’ll hunt high and low for them, even though it isn’t his fault and even though it’s the 90-hundredth time it’s happened. 

He always helps bring in the groceries without being asked; he will eat anything I put in front of him even if he doesn’t like it or it’s vegan. 

He prefers to be a homebody, but if I want to go out (with friends, to a movie, a restaurant or whatever), he’ll go… and not gripe too much.  

He calls me several times a day (even if he’s in The Clubhouse and I’m just yards away inside) to tell me little things he’s just seen, heard or thought of.  He looks for movies we can watch on television together, and he remembers anniversaries.  He thinks of things my daughter would like.

He doesn’t complain when I forget to shave sometimes (okay, often) and my legs get really scratchy.

He is as excited by our love as I am.

Given all this… why in heaven’s name would I waste time on resentment?

 

 

Soul-Mate Marriages is saddened by the high rate of divorce in the U.S., with even fewer second marriages succeeding.  We recognize the reasons are complicated but believe the trend can be reversed with trust and hard work.

Neither of us is a relationship saint, but our marriage, the 2nd for both of us, has brought more joy, satisfaction, and peace than we could have imagined. 

We hope our insights will be helpful. 

 www.facebook.com/soulmatemarriage

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What’s LOVE Got To Do With It? Everything!

A column in today’s newspaper entitled “What’s LOVE Got To Do With It?” describes a survey by Prince & Associates, a firm that polled 1,134 people in the U.S. and determined that two-thirds would “marry an average-looking person they liked if they had money”… in the ballpark of $1.5 million.

Well, I’m happy to say that my husband is in the minority.

We were 7th grade sweethearts; a short-lived but sweet young romance, and broke up after a few months without any major—or even minor—scarring.

 Thirty-seven years later, while in the process of extricating ourselves from unhappy marriages, we serendipitously ran into each other on an airplane—I’d missed my flight and was rerouted onto his, and into the very last seat on the plane, directly behind John.

The connection was immediate, although it took us nearly 18 months of e-mailing and instant messaging to get our acts together; in part because I was CEO of an $8.5 million company and had significant real estate investments.

At first John was concerned, because despite a well-respected career as a civilian subcontractor for the Navy (he was known all over the world for his work), he didn’t think he could match my success.

Once we worked that out, our relationship was able to move to the next step… meaning he moved in with me.

The next hurdle was his belief that people would think he was only interested in me for the money. He wanted to marry me, but for some reason the timing wasn’t ever “right”.

A little over a year after he moved in, my business crashed and burned, a victim of treachery from within and politics from without.

Suddenly, I no longer had any money, and in fact my personal net worth was in the negative numbers. It will take me a very long time to dig out of the financial crater I’m in.

A year after the company imploded, John and I got married.

Although the loss of my company devastated me and our finances, the reality is that I know one thing beyond a shadow of any doubt. My husband loves me—and it’s not for the money.

Soul-Mate Marriages is saddened by the high rate of divorce in the U.S., with even fewer second marriages succeeding.  We recognize the reasons are complicated but believe the trend can be reversed with trust and hard work. 

Neither of us is a relationship saint, but our marriage, the 2nd for both of us, has brought more joy, satisfaction, and peace than we could have imagined. 

We hope our insights will be helpful.  http://www.facebook.com/soulmatemarriage.