Holding a grudge hurts your marriage and keeps you in a death grip — Part One of Releasing Resentment series

GRAY LOG

Someone did you wrong and hurt you deeply. Someone neglected you and didn’t provide the care you needed.  Someone just never does enough for you.

And you bear Someone a grudge.

Resentment and anger makes you feel powerful but it’s an intoxicatingly toxic illusion. Like drinking poison and expecting your someone to die, holding onto your grudge only puts you in the grip of death. It keeps you a prisoner and your someone may not even have a clue that you’re offended or hurting.

Yet you replay the scene of the offense in your mind over and over slowly killing yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually and relationally. And if you’re married and the grudge you hold is against your husband be warned that your radioactive resentments will spill over and contaminate your children. Gripping a grudge against anyone creates a negative environment in which to raise your babies.

So why keep holding on to your indignation?

Your anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment and grudge, while understandable, are weak attempts at gaining control of a situation or person or fixing a past situation. You can’t control or change anyone but yourself. And no amount of time wasted rehashing what happened will make it different. And it certainly won’t make your life better.

What you choose to think about enlarges in your mind all consuming and when the topic is negative there’s no place for you to go except down into the dungeon of self-pitying, nit-picking grumbling which makes no one happy. Especially you. And maybe you feel your anger rising right now knowing how terribly you’ve been hurt by what your someone did to you in the past.

I am truly so very sorry that your were hurt, abused, neglected, abandoned, lied to, cheated on, swindled, betrayed, disrespected or ignored.

I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of those unwanted gifts. It stings for a long time and leaves you asking, “Why would this someone I trusted treat me this way?” It can make it more difficult to trust others and with hurt and fear swirling your anger festers.

GRAY GREEN WATERS

But I also know how freeing it is to let go of a grudge. How beneficial it is to release and get on with your life. And this is where your real power lies — to live minus the chains that bind you to another keeping you trapped.

And there’s only one way out and that’s by choosing to forgive and then remembering to forget by thinking on something much more excellent than your grudge.

It’s often not easy to forgive the someone who wrecked you but you must be brave and choose life over death so you can live fully receiving the full monty of love, peace and joy that God intends for you. Because when resentments smolder in the background of long ago seemingly insignificant situations in the present moment flare with incendiary destructiveness, impeding the forward motion of your life and leading to relational disunity and marital breakups with those who usually have nothing to do with your original hurt.

Maybe you bear a grudge against your dad, mom, a sibling or an ex. Your unsuspecting husband makes an innocent comment or some decision that reminds you of something someone once said or did and you blow your top. Your spouse bears you no ill will whatsoever but you lash out mean and angry at him because of pain-filled anger from your past.

Letting go of yesterday’s traumas will help usher in the loveliest gifts of the present filling your life with goodness overflowing.

GRAY CABIN

Now forgiving doesn’t mean pretending it didn’t happen or downplaying the seriousness of the offense and may even include taking legal action when necessary. Forgiving looses the noose around your own neck as you choose to walk in obedience to God leaving justice in His merciful hands, trusting that God makes all things right in His way and time.

Submitting to God by forgiving others, remembering how much He forgives you, is a gift to yourself that blesses His heart.

Bringing freedom and dreams coming true…

Sheila Signature Reduced

Watch for Part Two of
Releasing Resentment 
when I’ll share 7 practical tips to help you find freedom and gain more joy in life.

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17 thoughts on “Holding a grudge hurts your marriage and keeps you in a death grip — Part One of Releasing Resentment series

  1. “And this is where your real power lies — to live minus the chains that bind you to another keeping you trapped.”

    Excellent truth, Sheila. Holding a grudge hurts everyone and helps no one. Freedom lies in release. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s always worth it!

  2. I needed this reminder today, Sheila. When there is a new hurt by someone who has hurt me in the past, it tends to bring up the old ones. What I need is to give them all to God, then forgive and treat others with the love, kindness and forgiveness God has shown me. These words are so true, “Forgiving looses the noose around your own neck as you choose to walk in obedience to God leaving justice in His merciful hands, trusting that God makes all things right in His way and time.” How could I not forgive when He has done so much for me in forgiving all my sins!

  3. Sheila, This is such a good thought: “Letting go of yesterday’s traumas will help usher in the loveliest gifts of the present filling your life with goodness overflowing.” Thanks for sharing with us today at #RaRaLinkup!

  4. It’s a fine line between forgiving and protecting yourself by not forgetting. I can gauge where I am in the process pretty well by reflecting on where my focus is. When I see that person, have I moved on from the hurt or is it the first thing that comes to mind? Great words of wisdom here. Thank you. Joining you over at the #FindStability link-up.

  5. You know I always love a good post on forgiveness, Sheila! In fact, I had a painful blow happen to me just yesterday in a wounded relationship (not with Gary, btw!). It is a relationship that I worked on and surrendered to the Lord over and over–we’re talking many, many years. And when this occurred yesterday I did all the things that you’ve mentioned and it truly made a difference. I am still a little “sore” but God is applying the balm. I’ll be feeling better in no time! Thanks for you continued effort to help wives who struggle. Your wisdom is always so refreshing and helpful, my friend! Say “hi” to Michael for me!

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I so agree that holding on to a grudge makes it worse. I like what you said about empathizing with the other person. I also like it that you said forgiving doesn’t mean pretending it didn’t happen. Open communication, forgiveness, love and understanding have helped us stay together for 32 years. God has been good. Kathi

  7. Sheila, I know that this series will be an incredible blessing to so many people! Your words matter and they are needed, sweet friend! May GOD continually bless you that you may continually be a blessing to others! Peace and many many blessings to you, Love! Love you! *HUGS* 🙂