Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Resentments and Blame

I just tried to call one of the members in my OA group about this topic. Since I got an answering machine, I'm going to try to write about it a bit, maybe have a conversation with myself about it until such time as I can talk with a friendly, sober, clean individual.

Resentment... mine... toward my husband who is angry with me, resentful of the book, and blaming me for his unhappiness. He's not speaking to me since last evening. But he left me a note. Here's one thing it says: "Right now it seems like my part in your life is more of a distraction than a pleasure, and for that it's too bad "the book" has to be so all consuming, especially this month, and in the time we could have had before the October show. It's wearing me out feeling that disconnect with you... " So, he's resentful of me and the book, and I'm resentful that he's resentful. What a viscous circle.

The resentment builds when I think of some of my guest artists whose husbands help them with great enthusiasm and evident pride for their part in the book. This level of support is something I've never had from my husband. My work, whatever it is, just seems to get in the way of whatever it is he wants from me. Resentment. Yep, it's at a pretty high level right now.

Now thinking about OA and the spiritual foundation of the program and about how addiction is fueled by resentments. About clearing resentments away. I've never especially thought of myself as a resentful person previously. I let go of things pretty easily and I prefer the state of peace to the state of anger or resentment.

Because that's the way I am, Peaceful bird, I wrote my husband a reply saying I was sorry and had not anticipated the book and the deadlines would be so tough on us. I asked what he would like from me this month. I told him how much I appreciate his support so far with it (and by that I actually mean that he hasn't thrown any hissy fits about it until yesterday). He's still not talking to me.

More resentment. Thoughts of divorce. Angry and resentful thoughts toward him. Not good for book progress. Not good for me. Not good for getting a good night's sleep. Not good for him and not good for me. But how to end it? That I don't really know. Beyond eating humble pie, which is what I generally do (and have already done) to end these wars, what can I do to dump my own resentments????

Gratitude, maybe a little. But I'm in no mood for gratitude. Act as if... Hmmm... Yes, that's good wisdom. Act as if his resentments don't hurt me. Act as if he's fully supportive of me working on the book. Act as if our relationship is healthy and we are connected. Act as if I felt sure of his love for me. Act as if my love for him is as full and rich as ever it was. Act as if everything is OK. Act as if I can hear his blame and sarcasm and resentment and not take it personally, as if I can understand it and accept it as who he is right now and as the only way he knows to strike out at a world that doesn't seem to need or want him. Act as if my resentments drained away, leaving compassion and understanding and respect in their place. Maybe.... there's a little glimmer here now....

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Gratitude for today: raspberries, Lunnette, blogging, my parents, early writing mentors, comfortable shoes.


  1. This post makes me mad...at him..and sad for you because he cannot find joy in your work or support for you.

    Sad because you both don't seem to know or be able to achieve what makes you happy.

    Resentment is certainly a hard thing to deal with from both sides. I know about humble pie too, and I don't like it.

    I wish you peaceful mind, precious bird.

  2. You know I can relate. I just had a similar 'conversation' about my own husband with my therapist Actually the entire session was about this very topic. (she works with my husband too and we've had couple's therapy with her).

    Her advice. He's telling you how you make him feel. So don't make him wrong about that. You need to be able to tell him how you feel-but also don't be made to feel that you are wrong. She also would say you both need to listen and hear each other and let the other one know we really do hear what the other is saying. Then try to work on a compromise in some way. Straight from the therapist's mouth, almost.

  3. I'm sorry you are going through such a painful time. It's sad, because one would think this would be an exciting and fun time, with the book offer. But... this is reality, yes?

    PJ's therapist gave great advice. And in a perfect world, where BOTH parties took it and participated, it would work. But... I'd be willing to bet you will say that you've tried to talk to him before. And as you said, you just end up being the peace maker, and things don't really get resolved. That... I understand from personal experience. "The Book" isn't really the issue, as I'm sure you know... it just added pressure to an already strained situation.

    I hope you find a way to find real calm and peace, and that you both can find that love again that you had in the beginning. I'm sure that would be your first choice. I hope that is still possible.

    Blessings and peace to you.

  4. I am always amazed at how frank and honest you are in your posts. I understand that the process only works if you are honest but I can't imagine laying myself so bare.

    I am also always amazed by how often things you write echo what I am thinking/feeling. The last two days, I have been full of anger and resentment and wondering how to deal with it.

    When your husband is prepared to talk again, could the two of you agree a timetable that will allow you the time you need for the book and some quality time with him? Perhaps 2 hours a day when you garden with him or one day a week when you don't work on the book?

  5. I'm so sorry that he is not supporting you. I am impressed with the calmness of your response to him in the face of the overwhelming emotion. Are you still seeing someone together? If so, this seems like something to discuss. For me, resentment can build if I don't say anything. And fester.

  6. I can see where you are coming from. So hard to deal with these emotions huh? Struggling with resentments myself, thoughts of divorce... not being recognized in ones needs is hard on everyone.

    I wish for you to be able to stay true to yourself, find peace within and in what you love. Thinking about you and sending good thoughts your way.

  7. Just remember that often behind resentments is something called fear; and often behind anger is something called fear. Common denominator here? And often behind fear is lack of control and unmet expectations. Funny how when we let go of control and expectations, things often get better. The difficulty is keeping our side of the street clean in the process. -DB

  8. none of us are therapists but it just seems if your hubby felt love, felt he was a partner, yada yada, then he would support your efforts. Same with you...I think when we each are insecure it's hard to support our mates. Hope you can both work through this...if not, then you need to do what you both need to do. Life's too short to make each other unhappy.


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