"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

Getting Past Resentment?...

by T

My 10 year relationship started getting difficult 4 years ago when my partner became a drug addict. During this time I had our baby, I bought a house, and I pretty much did both these things unsupported by my (often verbally and physically abusive) partner. He's recently got treatment (but keeps relapsing), but my problem is my deep resentment for this man. I want to leave him, want my resentment to end...

QUESTION: Will I Ever Be Able To Get Over The Resentment I Feel?


Me and my significant other have been together for ten years. About 4 years ago he became a drug addict. About 3 years ago I became pregnant with our first child. He used drugs the entire time I was pregnant and continued to use after I had our baby.

He would take my car and be gone for hours, days, and shut off his phone; he would bring our baby with him to his druggie friends' houses, and would use while our baby was around.

He said our kid never saw him, but that's besides the point.

He was physically abusive at times and always emotionally and mentally abusive. He was lazy and refused to contribute around the house or with anything. He lost his jobs and I became the sole provider for our family. I had to buy a house on my own, 7 months pregnant, and pay all the bills that came along with that.

A little over a year ago he went to treatment and since then he has relapsed 4 times. He didn't continue to use after the relapses, but relapsed nonetheless.

Now, I have a lot of resentment towards him for being the way he was and treating me the way he did. Those years I will never get back and being pregnant was something that was supposed to be the best time of my life; instead it was filled with worry and misery, for the most part.

I cannot stand what he did and every day I see him I get filled with anger towards him.

I love him but at the same time, I cannot stand him.

And I feel awful about that, I feel like a mean person.

He apologizes every day for how he was but this anger doesn't leave. I don't know if I just need to end it with him or what to do. I am currently seeing a therapist as well to work on my issues, but I don't think I can keep living with the person that caused me so much pain.

And honestly, I feel like I have put enough time and effort into this relationship and I am not sure I am willing to put in more. That sounds heartless, but I am tired.


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Thank you for sharing your story, your relationship question, above, T.

I usually provide a quote - in this case a quote about resentment - by way of providing an 'answer', but in this case I'm not sure it would be that useful.

Instead, what comes to mind are the following questions:
  1. Why have you stayed with this man for so long?

  2. Why do you resist leaving this man, even now?

  3. Do you really resent this man, or could it be that you really resent yourself for not leaving?

These are just questions that came to my mind as I read your relationship problem.

I guess I'm left with wondering what it is you actually resent!...

Now I'm a big believer in people's ability to change - people always have this capacity, and it can happen any time. So I believe that your partner can become the man you want him to be, if he has not already done so.

What your partner cannot do, though, is change what happened in the past!

The ONLY solution that is going to work here, I'm afraid, is your forgiveness, and your letting go of resentment.

And if you feel too tired to do this, or even not willing to do this, then so be it.

Please take another look at the opening questions I ask.

And, whatever you do decide to do with this man - stay on in relationship, or leave - I highly recommend that you try and find peace of mind in yourself, that you find a way to let go of your resentments; they are causing YOU harm!

Thanks again for getting in touch, and here are 3 quotes about resentment that might speak to you:

"Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment."
-- Dale Carnegie

"Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."
-- Carrie Fisher

"Without forgiveness life is governed by... an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation."
-- Roberto Assagioli



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