In the real sense, young marriages and even older marriages are expected to experience fallouts and misunderstandings so that both parties can pick lessons pertaining to them and become better partners in the relationship. This is the primary reason why partners should be open to settling conflicts to avoid holding grudges in a relationship.
When I got married, My wife and I used to have conflicts, things like this are bound to happen in an early marriage because we are from different backgrounds with different mindsets.
But the core problem was not that we were having conflicts, the core problem was how I handled the post-conflict. I usually told my wife that “If I was angry, she should let be for a while”. I could hold a grudge for between 5 – 10 days before I was ready to speak to my wife again and probably resolve issues.
Most times I preferred to sweep issues under the carpet as if they never happened. Truly, that is not healthy for Marriage. Over time you will notice your marriage will start drifting apart. The effects were long-standing anger and bitterness, being unable to enjoy the present, the feeling that your marriage is purposeless.
Another common effects of holding grudges in marriage is anxiety and depression. You will be the one suffering from the situation while the other person might be unaware. I found out that, holding onto grudges increased my stress levels, grudges can also cause other health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.
Let us discuss why people keep holding on to anger and bitterness in their relationships.
Unresolved issues: When it comes to settling conflicts the right way, it involves both parties trying to understand each other’s point without pointing out who wins the argument. If you try to always have your way in every conflict by claiming you are right, there will be various unresolved issues that will affect the relationship.
The intention of both parties in a relationship should be to understand each other better so that respect, true love, and security will abound in the relationship. Hence, if you want your partner to stop holding a grudge, it is important to resolve issues amicably by understanding and validating each other’s standpoint.
Unrealistic expectations: Some partners set high standards for their spouse in marriage, which is often difficult to meet. When their partners do not deliver as expected, they become disappointed, bitter, and angry. This can set the motion for holding grudges in relationships.
Selfishness: If your partner is going through a difficult time, and you make their situation all about yourself instead of them, they can feel hurt and begin to hold grudges. It is important for partners in a relationship to be sensitive to the emotions and needs of each other by lending a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.
Assumptions: If a conflict is unsettled in a relationship, both parties might start holding onto resentment. This act gives room for assumptions which causes further problems in the relationship.
The feeling of being left out: If your partner has various personal activities where they do not carry you along or even give you information, you might feel left out and begin to harbour a grudge.
How to let go of a grudge with your spouse.
It is expedient to mention that grudge is not a one-off growth; it takes time. If you are thinking of letting go of grudges, here are some steps to help you achieve this.
Acknowledge the pain
One fact you shouldn’t fail to realise is you were hurt, and that is the primary reason why you are holding grudges. If you are thinking of how to not hold a grudge, you need to come into the self-actualisation that your pain/hurt was real, and you have to deal with it. The act of telling yourself the truth plays a pivotal role in helping your journey to forgiveness easier.
Realise that keeping grudges is tantamount to self-harm
Another way on how to get over a grudge is to realise that even though you were incredibly hurt, you are doing yourself a disservice by holding onto it.
There is a chance that the person you are holding a grudge against and holding in anger effects might be living their life to the fullest. They might not be aware that they hurt you until you let them know.
As mentioned earlier in this piece, keeping grudges affects your health. Realising this gives you the fortitude to start making attempts to let go of grudges.
Recognise that forgiveness is a gift to yourself
When you are taking steps to forgive someone, you need to know that it is a gift to yourself. You will be releasing yourself from every emotional and mental attachment with that person. One way to recognise this emotional and mental attachment is how the rate of your heartbeat increases when you see them.
Hence, to avoid this and other damaging effects, realise that you are doing yourself a favour by forgiving those who hurt you instead of them.
Check out this video that discusses how you can practice forgiveness in the relationship and apply some practical tools to be happy in love:
When issues are not confronted, grudges begin to take form. If you don’t want to take the bold step to forgive, you can consider communicating with them. If it is your partner, you need to communicate to provide proper clarification on any pending situation.
You should also consider if your feelings are worth bottling up or talking about. If they are worth bottling up, you can forgive them silently and move on with your life. However, if you feel you want your partner to learn a lesson or two, you can communicate with them.
Stop dwelling on the situation
When you decide to forgive, you need to stop dwelling on the issue responsible for your grudges.
Therefore, you need to keep going forward without looking back. Also, be careful not to think about the situation or discuss it casually with friends. If you keep dwelling on the situation, it will be difficult for you to let go.
Instead of not forgiving whoever hurt you, take a cue from that situation that you can always become a better version of yourself by letting go of resentment and anger. It is important to realize that in every negative situation, there is a positive side.
Your fallout with your partner or any of your relationships will teach you crucial lessons to prevent you from getting hurt next time.