Resentment grows one missed expectation at a time.
I’ve been in more than one relationship that started well but eventually turned into a resentment-filled mess. And much of it was because of the fact that we’re often socialized not to voice concerns out of fear of being “rude.”
By the time we actually talked about resentment, my resentment for my partner had blown up into full-on hatred. Looking back, I realize that I needed to just walk away or just talk to him about it.
But being on the receiving end of resentment isn’t all that fun, either. I’ve been there, too. I only wish that I had figured it out before it got out of hand. If you notice these signs, you may need to have a long talk with your spouse about partner resentment... or just find a new one altogether. After all, it’s hard to actually cure resentment once it sets in.
1. Your sex life grinded to a halt or it seems forced.
One of the most common signs that someone resents you is when they no longer show physical affection or want to sleep with you, and it makes sense if you think about it. No one wants to have sex with someone that they resent or outright hate. If your partner looks like they just want to “get it over with,” chances are that they either resent you, are cheating on you, or lost attraction to you.
2. They’ve been getting unusually quiet, and it’s not a “comfy” quiet.
Don’t get me wrong. Quiet moments can happen even with the loudest people, and they can be comfortable silences. A lot of people, particularly when it comes to loud extroverted types, will get dead silent when they are angry or resentful of the person they’re with.
3. They stopped asking you to do chores, or you regularly hear a very angry, “Never mind, I’ll do it.”
This is a really, really bad sign, and it’s a sign I constantly warn people about. If your partner used to constantly ask you to do something, then stopped asking you to do it, this often is a sign that they’ve come to resent you and no longer expect you to rise to the occasion. Or, worse still, it could be a sign that they no longer want to try to save the relationship and are working on an exit strategy.
4. Passive-aggressive behavior is increasingly common.
Does your partner now leave dirty dishes in the sink knowing that it’s a pet peeve? Did they just so happen to “forget” that it’s date night? More often than not, partners who resent their spouses will resort to passive-aggression rather than talk things out.
5. When you try to talk to them, they flip out at you.
If you resent someone, they tend to want to avoid anything to do with you. This includes talking to you, especially about hard subjects. If they immediately flip out and try to turn any wrongdoing they did onto you, then you already should have suspected that resentment may have crept in.
6. They regularly make disparaging remarks about you or something you enjoy.
If you’re with a partner who resents you being a high earner, then they will often make it known by making cutting “jokes” about your work. Similarly, people who just generally resent you will often go out of their way to say things that are hurtful just so that they feel like they “got one on you.”
7. They occasionally make "casual" jokes about hitting you or leaving you.
These jokes might seem like they're harmless, but the truth is that healthy relationships would never involve jokes like this. In fact, this type of "joke" is often indicative of what they really feel like doing. Should this happen with your spouse, you may want to talk to them about how they feel.
8. Your relationship has devolved into a "roommate" situation.
In partner resentment-free relationships, that icy roommate thing doesn't happen. This typically suggests that the person you're with has checked out emotionally and no longer is even trying to keep the spark alive. Or worse, this may mean that they literally just can't stand the idea of being with you and are trying to pretend you're a roommate.
9. If you were honest with yourself, you may have been a bad partner to them.
Were you the kind of partner that always left dishes in the sink, never cleaned up after themselves, and just always put your needs first regardless of how important it was to your partner? Even those little small actions that you do can have long-term consequences. If you have regularly put them down or just flat-out ignored their needs, then it shouldn't surprise you if they resent you after years of that kind of treatment.
10. Your partner has this aura of boiling anger being hidden away.
Resentful people are angry people. They're angry because they are just not happy with the way things are going and because they are disappointed with how life turned out. If you've noticed your partner getting an increasingly angry vibe, then there's a good chance that they may be resentful of you.
11. You've been experiencing awesome things, while your partner has been stagnating.
Whether we like it or not, it's possible to have a partner who resents our successes and it can happen to almost anyone. If you've been skyrocketing your career while your partner has gotten laid off, it's possible that he may be resenting your success. This isn't something with an easy fix, but you should consider talking to him about how he's been feeling.
12. They do things they know you hate or try to provoke you into arguing with them.
This is also known as "baiting," because they're basically baiting you for an argument. The reason that people who are resentful do this is because they want to have an excuse to yell at you without it seeming "out of the blue." This is also done by abusers who are trying to establish a certain power dynamic.
13. You can no longer get your partner to show empathy.
Back in the day, they would come running to you if they saw you crying. Nowadays, your complaints or tears are met with an eye roll, silence, or just walking away. At this point, this is a sign that you may want to just break it off with him. No one deserves to be with a partner that lacks empathy.