What Is The Number One Reason For Divorce
Are you stressed out? Have you noticed that when you are resentful, you become more sensitive to life’s little issues? When you are stressed at work, do you come home and easily lose patience with your kids? Do you come home and resent your husband over some little things that he does?
Do you get angry at slow traffic or slow grocery lines? Would terms like “exasperated, nervous, irritated, or impatient” describe you?
If so, you are probably over-reacting. And the worst reaction of all is that of resentment. It sets you up for becoming increasingly sensitive to what you might otherwise take in stride. I know, times are tough. The problem is that most of us do not know how to pay attention without becoming upset by what we see. Early in life, we encountered unfairness and were dragged into bad situations, and we became upset. Trouble is: now we do not know how to deal with injustice or mean people without being upset.
Worse yet, we do not even know how to observe other people’s little imperfections without judging or resenting them. Early in life, someone was unfair with us, and we got upset. Someone teased us and we got upset. We were conditioned to become upset. And not knowing how not to be upset, we became resentful and judgmental toward others. But what then happened is that we learned to resent and judge others as a compensation for having been on the receiving end of injustice. We could hate someone for their wrong, and secretly gloat in a sense of superiority.
But later, when we became adults, we continued to have the habit of becoming upset and judging. So when our spouse turned out to be less than perfect, we began to secretly judge him. When he would not bow to our will or when we were disappointed by him, we reveled in judgment and hurt feelings.
And when someone smaller than you came along, like your kids for instance. It felt good to dump on them when they spilled some milk or did not pay attention. Now the shoe was on the other foot. As a child you were on the receiving end of some authority’s wrath and impatience, and now you could relieve yourself by taking it out on your kids. But this is totally unfair.
I can honestly tell you that the number one reason for marriage break ups and relationship problems is resentment. I know: most of us do not really want to be mean or impatient. We do not really want to judge our husband or yell at our kids. But we do not know how to stop ourselves. We get out of control, and then either blow up or else suppress and get a headache or tummy ache.
Some people even turn to pills or alcohol to try to control their upset. Others turn their judgment on themselves. In short, they end up hating themselves when they see that they have become just like those that were mean to them when they were a child.
Here at the Center For Common Sense Counseling we help people learn to stop over-reacting. We teach them about giving up resentment and about being patient with others. We help people to see that it is resentment that destabilizes them and makes them easily upset. And it is resentment that keeps reinforcing the upset.
Being upset is a way of life for us. It supports our ego. If we did not have something to be upset over, we would become bored and would not even have motivation to do anything.
Most of us are motivated by upset, irritation, or pressure. We even use upset as a spur to activity. We then use the energy of resentment and anger to get a lot done. And after we have been upset, and then fatigued and tense, we use it as an excuse to “unwind.” We look forward to our after-work drink, our marijuana, pleasure or party. We become thirstier and hungrier when we are upset. Pleasure feels better when it takes away pain.
But if you were not upset, nervous, or tense in the first place, you would not need relief. Unnecessary pleasure or releases would feel unnatural. Billions of dollars a year a made on people’s needs for pills, booze, drugs, vacations, and diversions. It’s big business. Not to mention all the doctor bills and hospital bills when our excessive upsets and unnatural forms of relief catch up to us physically. now you know: for most people, being upset, nervous irritated and angry, after which they seek pleasure and relief, is the only life they know. But I assure you: there is a way of living without being upset, that is full of joy and true purpose. It begins when you learn how to not resent and be impatient with others.
The second reason why we are upset all the time is this: Most of us think we have a right to be upset.We think we have the right to judge and the right to resent. Upset adds an edge to our judgment and resentment. When you resent someone in line ahead of you for being slow, you can then “feel” that judgment as irritation. When your kids want something when you are trying to “unwind” after work, you resent their demands, become impatient, and then feel the resentment.
When your husband does not meet your needs, you can secretly resent him and judge his weaknesses. You can feel the upset (or the headache), and then get another round of ego boost by resenting him for “causing” your discomfort. Then your ego can get yet another ego high by feeling like a martyr, giving your service to an unappreciative good for nothing husband. Since we think we have a right to resent and judge, and since we use our upset for our ego and for intensification of pleasure, most of us do not want to give it up. Our whole life is built on upset. Yes, you have the right to resent, but is that really the human and compassionate way of living. How do you feel when others exercise their right to be angry and resentful toward you?
For some of us, it is only when our upsets lead to health problems, headaches, ulcers, ruined relationships, or addictions, that we are stopped short in our tracks long enough to see the need to give it up our right to resent.Some people just will not give up what is killing them. They go on reveling in irritations and secret hostility, and then pay the piper. But there are some, and perhaps you are one of them, who do not like the way they are. They do not like their secret judgments. They see their anger and do not like it. They yearn to be kind and patient. They yearn to live the good life. But after years of over-reacting, they do not know how to stop reacting and being upset.
That is where someone like me can help. I know what you need. You need two things. First, how to be still. That is what our stillness meditation is for. It teaches you how to become still and re-find your center of dignity. When you re-find your own center of dignity, you will be able to flow from within; instead of reacting to externals and becoming upset.
Secondly, you need some basic training about life. You probably learned to become upset and emotional over things when you were a child. Chances are — your mother was emotional and you picked it up from her. Most likely your dad was weak or a nonfactor. Dads are supposed to represent calmness and self control, and demonstrate how to live life with patience and courage without suppressing on the one hand or being angry on the other.
Few people nowadays are there to stand for calmness and composure. Mostly everyone encourages us to get excited, party, be ambitious, yell at sports events, and so on. Maybe you had good parents, grandparents, a good teacher, coach, or minister who talked about self control, forgiveness, and taking things in stride. But you did not listen.
But now, years later, and suffering from your excesses, you are ready to listen. Just trying to deal with the symptoms (such as being angry and upset) of resentment is not enough, you must must learn how to nip it in the bud before it has a chance to fester and ruin your marriage.