Dear Dr. Romance:
I read your article "Attitude Adjustment" and some of the things you said really resonated. In recent years, I have found myself developing more and more resentment toward my wife (who thinks very differently than I do). I want to dissolve this resentment. I have no interest in divorce, and I am smart enough to know that I can't change her. What I want to do is find a way to think differently so that the things she does, doesn't do, says, and doesn't say don't bother me so much.
Good for you for wanting to get past your resentment and create a working relationship with your wife. Resentment comes from expectations that are based on fantasy of what your relationship should be, rather than discovering realistic ways of bridging your gaps. A big task of marriage is learning to accept each other as you are and work together to bring out the best in each other.
Yes, you can change the way you think about and react to your wife. I recommend you begin with the following articles: "Anger: Cleansing Squall or Hurricane?" gives you tools to understand your anger and change it into something more effective. "Attitude: From Negative to Gratitude"encourages you to transform your outlook and shows you how. "Learning Forgiveness" will help you let go of old resentment. With "Mirrors and Teachers" you can learn and grow from what irritates you, "Relationships 101: Do Opposites Attract?" helps you negotiate the differences that are common between partners and "Stop Reacting and Start Relating" gives you steps for changing dysfunctional patterns you have developed between you. Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences is full of exercises and guidelines for you to do singly and as a couple.
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