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How to Tell if Your Partner Resents You, and What to Do

Resentment in a relationship can destroy positive feelings, respect, and warmth your partner otherwise felt toward you. Instead of being your cheerleader and biggest fan, they may start to hold you back from opportunities or activities you enjoy. Once a relationship turns competitive, it is in dark territory. Since resentment can be so detrimental to relationships, it is essential to develop an awareness of whether you are starting to feel resentful of your partner or detect if they are starting to feel resentment toward you. Often, resentment can creep up on people in an insidious way and quietly build until there’s an explosion, of sorts, and that is why it is so important to catch it early.

Some early signs your partner resents you:

  • They have the same or similar complaints repeatedly. If your partner notes that you are always staying late at work and they feel lonely, but nothing changes, resentment will likely start to simmer.
  • Sarcastic or snarky comments or backhanded compliments can be a telltale sign of resentment. If your partner’s otherwise playful teasing starts to take a nasty tone, you should consider that resentment is brewing. Similarly, they may start to put you down or chip away at your confidence with criticism.
  • You might notice that your ordinarily patient partner is starting to get frustrated more easily and take a less than loving tone with you.
  • Another way to detect resentment is with body language. You may find your partner rolling their eyes or crossing their arms but not acknowledging outright that they are upset.

If you notice any of these signs of resentment toward you, it’s important to not only work on it with your partner but give some serious thought to how your behavior also contributed to this resentment. It is often the case that without realizing it, you may be snubbing your partner repeatedly by blowing off plans, being late a lot, not hearing them when they are talking to you because your attention is focused elsewhere, or having an excessive connection to your phone or work. It is important to acknowledge the role you have played and take responsibility for it. Offer your partner a sincere apology and have an open conversation about how to make things better.