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Couples Therapy for Resentment

A committed relationship has positive and negative features, and it is well established that couples experience changes in their happiness over time. Still, resentment can build in even the most committed relationship and become toxic.

Resentment in couples is a complex and common issue that can arise in any romantic relationship. Are you feeling your partner is taking advantage of you or you are being treated unfairly? Do you feel unheard or unappreciated? Feeling your partner is being dismissive or not listening to you or feeling you have to walk on eggshells or that the relationship is one-sided? If one partner consistently feels their needs, desire and opinions are not valued it can lead to resentment.

Resentment often stems from unmet expectations, unresolved conflicts, and a buildup of negative emotions over time. Feelings of frustration, resentment, irritation and disappointment surrounding a relationship cause tension. The result is communication breakdown.

  • Decreased emotional or physical intimacy as resentment grows
  • Passive-aggressive behavior such as sarcasm, snide remarks or withholding affection
  • Partners avoid spending time together
  • Frequent arguments
  • Negative comparisons with other couples
  • Emotional distancing that can lead to loneliness

Resentment is a challenging emotion that can erode the foundation of a relationship. It takes dedication to communicating, addressing the issues, tolerating the discomfort, and staying positive. Couples can learn to compromise or negotiate to resolve their differences, survive resentment, and rebuild their connection.

The first step is acknowledging the presence of resentment and openly discussing it with your partner, avoiding blame and accusations and agreeing to seek professional help. A neutral third party such as Dr. Susan Pazak can provide insights, tools, and techniques to help both partners address the root causes of resentment.

Couples therapy can be very effective for identifying, addressing and resolving resentment in a relationship. Dr. Susan Pazak will provide a neutral and safe environment for both partners to express their feelings, identify underlying issues, and ensure conversations are production and nonconfrontational. Ultimately, the goal is to address and prevent resentment and rebuild emotional intimacy, vulnerability and affection.

She will help the couple set goals for therapy and guide the parties to work towards finding constructive solutions. One key is keeping expectations realistic. Another is learning to compromise. She can teach the parties effective communication skills, and if disagreements persist, she can act as a mediator, helping to guide the conversation and keep it productive.

It’s important to note that not all relationships will be able to survive resentment, especially if both or either of the partners are unwilling to address the issue or make necessary changes. If despite your best efforts, the resentment persists and the relationship remains toxic or damaging, it might be healthier for both individuals to consider other options, such as separation or divorce. Ultimately, the decision should be based on what is best for the well-being and happiness of both partners.

Schedule a couples therapy session

Dr. Susan Pazak is a qualified and experienced therapist with vast experience in working with couples dealing with resentment. She has a profound understanding of relationships and what makes for a healthy one. She works hard to develop rapport with both parties, so they feel comfortable with her which is essential to the success of couples therapy for infidelity. Schedule an in-person therapy session at Dr. Pazak’s Laguna Niguel office in Orange County or schedule a virtual therapy session.


At a Glance

Dr. Susan Pazak, MD

  • Bachelors, Masters and PhD in Clinical Psychology
  • Voted best psychologist in Laguna Niguel 3 years
  • Studied marital & sexual satisfaction in couples
  • Learn more

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