I’m not one who normally carries a grudge, but this time it seemed to jump on me, stick to my heart like slime and an ooze into the wrinkles in my scowling forehead. U-G-L-Y, very ugly. The lines on my face and the words from my mouth revealed the scars on my heart…and it was ugly.
I wasn’t sure how to deal with it since it hadn’t really been an issue before. I almost thought I was immune to the menacing grip of a grudge. How could childhood incest escape a heart of resentment, yet an argument with my husband could latch hold like a dog who wouldn’t let go of his chew toy.
Today’s guest blogger, Heidi McLauglin, shares a heartwarming yet practical story of the danger of resentment in a marraige and how to deal with it when it tries to show it’s ugly head.
The Resentment Box
By Heidi McLaughlin“
I call it a resentment box”, I told the beautiful, perplexed bride. I quickly
continued speaking as I had a mere seven minutes to say something profound,
inspirational and wise during my niece’s wedding ceremony. I saw my niece, Becky out of the corner of my eye; a vision of elegant, flowing champagne silk,sparkling with sequins and crystals from the top of her exquisite head, to her ballerina toes. There was a radiance about her that exuded fresh, untarnished love. She was marrying her prince charming.
Many of us sigh, put our hand to our chest and brush away a tear as we relive a
fantasy of being in a blissful love relationship. Then comes the reality of broken promises, unpaid bills, missed dinner dates, power struggles and feeling overlooked. Unmet expectations.
I read a shocking statistic that said most divorces are the result of resentment. I can see why; resentment is ugly. It is the re-sensing of offenses; bitter emotions played over and over in our mind until they poison our lives. Because of the hurt or indignation that we have suffered, we feel justified in hoarding this resentment. We hold on to it as it has power; like a missile to be used later. We don’t realize that in the meantime, it is actually slowly killing our marriage and our soul.
We all need a resentment box in our homes, and it needs to stay empty. Instead of throwing our unresolved hurt and anger into the box and allowing it to become a weapon of mass marriage destruction, we must grab our anger and hurt feelings before we even open the lid of the deadly box. Here’s how we can do it:
1. Choose to accept. It was time to recognize and accept that people are prone to be imperfect and make mistakes.
2. Confront. Sometimes there is a problem. Honest, loving conversations, allowing each person to reveal their feelings; brings healing.
3. Know that God is the source of love. We cannot expect other people in our lives to love us and be our savior.
4. Forgive. Now that you recognize the resentment, it is time to deal with it. The only way to heal from resentment is to forgive.
5. Guard. Ruthlessly guard your heart. Do not allow hurt feelings to linger,
Even as I write this I still nod in agreement; this was indeed the best wisdom I
could give to my beautiful, princess Becky. It’s the best wisdom for all of us.
Heidi McLaughlin is a Christian speaker and author. You can visit her website http://www.heartconnection.ca/
What about you…are you struggling with resentment in your marriage? Do you know someone who is? Perhaps you have some advice you could share with the rest of us. I’d love to hear from you.