DEALING WITH RESENTMENT

Last week, we I, I’m using “I” here because you people abandoned me last week, not even one comment, is it good laidis??? I forgive you sha ๐Ÿ™‚  Ehen as I was saying, I established last week that it is possible, even normal to have some sort of bitterness/resentment and maybe a teeny weeny hatred one kain feeling towards oneโ€™s former significant other aka “EX” without suffering from a case  of โ€œI want him backโ€ syndrome.

It was hard sampling peopleโ€™s opinions as my social media hiatus includes messaging apps and text messaging is not as fun and cheap as one would imagine(4 naira per text Airtel, the Lord is looking at you oh). So I will be talking from a personal point of view (as always) and a lengthy conversation with Ms C who pulled through last-minute with her personal tips.

Iโ€™ll try and make this as gender-neutral as possible but please remember, I am a woman talking about her experiences with men, so not all the tips will be applicable when gender is reversed…

So what do you do when you feel bitterness/hatred/anger towards your former significant other?

  1. Remember the good times you had together. Bitterness or not, this person at some point in my life was a source of joy, laughter, and downright silliness. So I take a minute to ponder on those memories until I feel the anger/resentment fade away. Now, this method can be a two-edged sword as dwelling on the good times might incite a mini โ€œthunder fire youโ€ moment but please push past it and remember the good times, even if it was one moment in your time together, for that moment, they were a good person to you, so focus on that instead.
  2. Embrace the feeling. I know, I just said fight the feeling with thinking good-timey thoughts and now Iโ€™m asking you to dwell on the bitterness, anger or hatred you feel towards them. Why am I like this you ask? Well, dwelling on it means you can objectively (after a while sha) dissect where the feeling is coming from, what triggers it, what intensifies it and more importantly, what makes it go away. With this part(what triggers it) mine is photos, letters, text messages etc. My recent bout of resentment was powered by pictures and videos I forgot to delete off my iCloud(rookie mistake) and Ms C also thinks so too, here’s what she said, “erase anything that reminds you of the guy, dash out stuff given to you by him, delete pictures or move them to a drive that you may not want to access”. I believe you can’t do any of these if you don’t take time to feel and analyse what you are going through, so trust me when I say you should embrace it.
  3. Forgive them. I know I mentioned that sometimes this bitterness crops up even when you are certain you will never let them back into your life but sometimes, this resentment stems from not truly forgiving them. Yes, you don’t want to get back together with them but have you forgiven them for the hurt, pain, shame or whatever it is they caused you? Trust me, the forgiveness is more for you than them.  “I am from a family where we were taught to love our neighbour as ourselves, so irrespective of your shortcomings, well, you will still be loved as you would do to yourself. This is the basis as to why this resentment did not translate to outright hatred. Finding a place in your heart to forgive him so that you can be free yourself (the Holy Spirit is an amazing comforter, I listened to soul uplifting songs)”.- Ms C
  4. Remember you are a part of each otherโ€™s life story.  Yes, I know it feels one kain seeing someone you planned a life with doing said things with someone else, let me not lie e can pain. Personal confession: seeing my former significant otherโ€™s new partner chilling on the bedsheet I bought made me see red and then some other colours from the colour wheel but now I just see it as one of lifeโ€™s beautiful wonders.  You were in each otherโ€™s life however long or short for a particular reason, I learnt a lot about myself with my previous relationships and many times, I catch myself giving thanks for the way certain things panned out as I discovered a great deal about myself; what I do and do not want in a partner, what I would do differently if particular situations arise again.
  5. Not all frogs become princes. I am sure a lot of us are familiar with the saying you sometimes kiss a few frogs before you meet your prince. Yes, you thought you would both grow together and build your โ€œempire together but that didnโ€™t work out, your own frog did not become a prince, e dey happen, move on, and maybe stop hoping frogs will turn into princes and save your lipstick.
  6. Forgive yourself. Like I mentioned last week, I am the queen of Blamesville. I subconsciously heap the blame on myself without objectively separating where I went wrong and where they did as well. This step is essential because if you donโ€™t forgive yourself, them showing up with their village high priest, church members and family in tow begging for your forgiveness for their part in the demise of the relationship will not give you the freedom you deserve and sometimes are oblivious of.
  7. Remember, not everything good is meant for you. Now the relationship might have ended amicably when you both realized that even though you are good together, you are not meant for each other. This is one difficult and sometimes hard fact to understand and fully implement. Yes, you may have seemed compatible, good together, even on that #RelationshipGoals vibe but when you objectively analyzed it, you didn’t see yourselves getting past a certain stage and so it all ended. So when the hatred cum bitterness rears its head, stare it in the face and say โ€œYeah I know we were good together but it was not meant to be and it is okayโ€.
  8. Talk to someone about it. You know I’m an advocate of talking about your feelings so this one is a big one. Ms C shared this with me “Share your experience and seek help from someone that understands (not a churchy churchy person)”. I’ll go further and say find someone who may have gone through the same experience you have and discuss your feelings with them, trust me, what you’re feeling is not as isolated as you think, they will, in turn, share their tips with you and help.  
  9. Mind your life’s business. Most times we get this feeling when we try to peep into their fence, does it look as green as the Instagram filter portrays? Is he really happy? What did he see in her? Let me just get closure and message him one more time. My dear sister, biko mind your business well, in the words of James Bay โ€œJust let it be, be you and let him be himโ€. Donโ€™t go poking in their business in the name of friendship, asking for quick favors, rekindling business acquaintance etc. Just let them be, drink water, moisturize your skin and mind your life’s business.

I’ll end this miniseries with an excerpt from a romance novel(yes judge me) I recently readHarbouring resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It was so apt to the post that I knew I had to share, so please don’t poison yourself with resentment, when it comes up, quickly drink the “antidotes” stated above and live your best life.

That’s it beautiful people, you know the drill, let’s discuss your thoughts and experiences in the comment section, I am very keen to learn more tips on handling this experience.

 

 

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28 thoughts on “DEALING WITH RESENTMENT

    1. Of course it’s not easy to execute but I like to think it makes it a tad easier knowing that one has various ways to deal with these feelings when/if they crop up.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  1. Good Tips. For Christians, the Holy Spirit does indeed a good job for comforting one’s ailing soul. For others, I yoga does help to exhale and rejuvenate your mind. It purges you from all level of toxicity to experience zen.

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    1. Thanks for the yoga tip Amaka, my friend keeps telling me to start yoga-ing but my fatness and the media’s potrayal of it as the “thin” people sontin has been deterring me. Recently discovered a few plus sized yogis so I think I’ll hop on it soon.

      Oh and yes the Holy Spirit does a very good job!

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  2. Well said, I thankfully have no resentment for my ex. Only the occasional safe levels of jealousy that shez now with someone else and I don’t even want anybody yet. But I bear her no ill will as she was amazing with me for five years. Good writing style… Weh Done Ma

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    1. I knew I was missing a particular keyword: jealousy!!!! I like your definition “safe levels” which is essential to note will add to my day to day vocabulary :p

      Thank you very much and weh done to you too sah!

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    1. Hello anonymous, plenty people o,thankfully it’s all new and stored in a vault with the Lord until it is urgently required.

      Yes this option can be used but I personally think “fucking the pain away” does not provide a lasting solution. Moreover, rebound “tings” almost never end well as one person’s sexual therapeutic methods might cause the other party to feel resentment at being used, irrespective of what was agreed upon, thereby fostering this vicious cycle of hurt.

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  3. It is always good to define the terms of a relationship. Is it with commitment? Is it without commitment? Is it with commitment yet open? Is it a Friends-with-benefit only relationship? So whatever the terms were will decide on the level of impact the end of the relationship brings to any of the two parties involved.
    Another tip is to have it at the back of your mind that shit happens- expect the worst from people until they prove themselves by showing you the best.
    You will be fine.
    Shalom

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  4. Getting over the pain of a bad relationship is never easy. Even when I finally felt more in control of my feelings, the pain from my past would still spill over into my present. I would constantly compare my new partner to my ex who had torn my heart apart. Even though I had moved on from that relationship, I was too afraid to fully trust my new partner for fear of being backstabbed again. I feared reliving that gut-wrenching pain I felt the last time I was cheated on. The thought of it happening again made my heart race. Iโ€™d lose my appetite and feel sick to my stomach. I would feel like I was having a full-blown panic attack. And the worst part about it was that I had no real reason to distrust my current partner. He was honest, loving, and he truly cared about me. I was feeding off of bitterness from my past.
    I refused to let go of resentment.
    Not until I realized I had to move on and forgive my ex was I able to change my future and have a fulfilling relationship.Yes, time plays a huge role here. it is never that easy, so great points here.

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    1. As someone diagnosed with clinical anxiety and panic disorder, I super feel you. Rebuilding that trust and trying not to transfer fear or agression is really a struggle but I’m glad that you overcame.

      Yes, time and an understanding partner makes it all easier in the end.

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  5. Some of us may be afraid to let go of our anger because, in a strange way, it keeps us connected to the person who has hurt us; which is why so many couples are legally divorced, but not emotionally divorced.
    So,when we let go of our anger and suffering (which does not necessarily include forgiveness) and begin to allow joy into our lives, an odd thing may happen: We may temporarily experience anxiety and a sense of โ€œhomesicknessโ€ with every move forward, because with each step taken on our own behalf, we are taking emotional leave from a relationship that was officially terminated long ago. Whatโ€™s clear from this blogpost is that nothing is served by ruminating about the terrible things your ex did to you, and making yourself miserable in the process, while the person who has harmed you may be having a fabulous day at the beach.

    Ciao.

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    1. Thanks for sharing this Love Doctor. My version of your last sentence is Rated 18 ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ So, I will just agree with you and say no need to feel terrible about an ex at all.

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  6. nice points here. however, i come from a very puritanical family and as such i tend to be seen as uptight and much of a snob. one of the points mentioned here is to be open and talk it over with someone. how do i go about talking it over with this someone without the fear of being judged? any idea?

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    1. Thanks for sharing this Ogor’s place. One thing life has taught me is that some of the best confidant can be found in the weirdest ways.
      Your relationship with the person will let you know how open you can be with them.
      Here are some questions I ask myself and I think it can be useful to you too.
      1. Can they be constructive in their criticism?
      2. Do they genuinely look out for you?
      3. Can you be your true self with them?
      4. Are they kind to people atounf them, even those they are not that close to?
      I believe these will help narrow down who to talk to.

      Also be ready to be judged, I’m using it because as humans we are prone to doing this but l the positive bit here is a good friend will judge you i.e. call you out on your not so good decisions but will also
      offer solutions to remedy the situation while reassuring you of their continued loyalty or presence.

      Finally,take baby steps. You can start off with the usual ” my friend” line to sample their opinion before delving into full disclosure.

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  7. Hi Timiebix, I know most love advice gurus will hate me for saying this, but there is something extremely beneficial about being angry with your ex, instead of sad and depressed about your breakup.
    The point Iโ€™m trying to make is this: first, being angry gives you a special kind of adrenaline rush that increases your energy. Itโ€™s better and more potent than having many cups of coffeeโ€ฆ(((smiles)))
    Then secondly,being able to meet and mingle is a lot easier when youโ€™re angry instead of sad, moping at home and feeling miserableโ€ฆ(((winks)))
    Finally, guess what happens when you are assaulted with poignant reminders of your ex? It makes it almost impossible to get over him. Being sad makes it so difficult to truly feel like youโ€™ve moved on. But when you embrace your anger, you find it easier to ignore the poignant reminders of your past. You move toward the future. Plus, the only path through any emotional block is through experiencing it, accepting it and moving on. If you never deal with your anger, you can never move past it. By accepting it and processing it, you make it much easier to move on.
    Best wishes as you forge ahead. (((hugs)))

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    1. I believe parts of this theory too but when that anger fades what are you left with?

      The end of a relationship most times is likened to grief and with grief, one will have to go through the stages of grief to fully heal, so after the propelling anger what next?

      Also you can feel resentment without being sad or mopey. Most of my anger is usually directed at myself for not shinning eye and that sometimes leads to sadness.

      And yes you’re so right, we accept, deal and move on then we repeat the cycle until we are truly healed.

      P.S I’m not a love guru oh before they come for me ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you so much for your contribution.

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  8. “By letting go of your anger you move one step towards healing yourself”

    This is so perfect.

    It’s true we tend to forget the other person’s journey when we dissect out feelings.

    Thank you for your contribution Haybee ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  9. I guess it is also worthy to realize that your ex is a person on his own journey, just like you are. We are all trying our best to be happy and your ex is no exception. Now is the time to focus on what matters: you. You tried your best with your ex and you may feel angry, but now is the time to let go and focus on healing yourself. By letting go of your anger,you move one step towards healing yourself and thatโ€™s what is important right now.

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  10. Say this aloud repeatedly: โ€œI cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can control what goes on inside. I forgive my ex, and am determined to gain insights on how to wisely avoid love situations like this one in my future.โ€ The Grace of God will make this breakup a testimony that led to your breakthrough in Jesus Name, Amen

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  11. learn to accept that he wanted to be with someone else but wasnโ€™t fair enough or smart enough to end things with you in a civilized manner. Itโ€™s perfectly fine to fall in love with someone else while youโ€™re in a relationship. It can happen to anybody. Resenting someone means that you still have some kind of a relationship with that person. And who wantโ€™s to be in a hate fueled toxic relationship? Not worth the energy.
    Sorry, I am about to start writing a fucking novel hereโ€ฆ
    I canโ€™t tell you how to stop being angry at someone this instant. It takes some time and a lot of rationalization.

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