Resentments, The Big Hold Up
How Long Are You Going To Be Really Pissed?
Harlan Jacobsen Copyright 2003

Resentment is the "number one" offender.

Have you been wronged? Life has just not been fair?

Resentment hangs up newly divorced for months, sometimes, even for years, more than just about anything else.

You are going to be instructed in this article to list on a sheet of paper, all people, institutions, or principles with whom you are still angry or have resentments.

FIRST...Lets define it......What is a resentment?

Webster's Dictionary defines "resentment" as "indignation or ill-will felt as a result of a real or imagined offense."

Webster's then refers the reader to the word "anger" ......and gives other examples of this thought or feeling, which includes rage, fury, wrath, resentment, and indignation.

These words denote varying degrees of displeasure from anger (strong, intense, and explosive) to the longer lasting resentment ill-will and suppressed anger generated by a sense of being wronged by another or being wrong).

From this resentment, stem all forms of bitterness, for you have been not only mentally and physically ill, you have been spiritually sick about the whole matter.

When the "resentment" malady is overcome, you will straighten out mentally and physically.

In dealing with these resentments, you need to set them all down on paper.

Doing this exercise on paper is an important part of the step to move on that we are explaining here.
To cheat and not do the "on paper" exercise is to cheat no one but yourself and your moving on to a new life.

You list on this sheet of paper, not only your STBX (soon to be ex) other people involved in your divorce, institutions or principles with whom you are still angry AND all those from the past you still cling to.

Do not concern yourself with whether you should or should not have the anger or resentment, just make the list.


    Former Wife, or/ husband, boyfriends, girlfriends, mother, father, siblings, offspring, grandchildren, yourself, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, bosses, fellow workers, employees, business partners, lovers, neighbors, cops, judges, teachers, classmates, attorneys, celebrities, landlords, preachers, God, politicians, counselors.

    Government, schools, businesses, hospitals, prisons, workplaces, religions, churches, cultures, marriage, organizations, societies.

    Religions, laws, beliefs, practices, codes, doctrines.

If you can remember the resentment, you should write it down, even though you think that you are over it.

Go back through your life; "thoroughness and honesty" are of utmost importance.

A review of PEOPLE, INSTITUTIONS and PRINCIPLES will bring up a long list, not just your stbx. and not just the people, institutions and principles involved in your divorce.

Include way, back, long before your divorce.

Sure you are sore. You are "burned up."

Lets face are really, really pissed .

On your grudge list, you set opposite each name all your injuries attributed to them.

Is it your self esteem, your security, your ambitions, your sex relations, which have been interfered with?

You work with four columns:

The first column will be the person, place or thing in which you have a resentment against.

The second column will be for why you have the resentment. What injury or hurt did they do to you?

The third column is for entering what was affected as a result of the resentment. you have done thus far. What have you lost or what has been threatened.

Is it now apparent that these resentments have led you to unhappiness and futility?

Have you indeed, squandered away many hours reliving these events?

Are you still very angry over these injustices to you?

Do you realize that your new life is frozen in time if you continue to harbor such feelings?

Do you now realize the power over your life that you have given this hate, anger, and resentment?
    Is it worth it?

Putting out of our minds the wrongs others have done, we look now for your own mistakes.

The fourth column is for entering in what your part in the deal was, fill in the answers to the questions:

    What was my part in this event and how was I at fault?

    Where did I go wrong?

The first thing you will see that becomes apparent is that this world and its people are often quite wrong.

To conclude that others were wrong is as far as most of us ever get.

The usual outcome is that you will figure out that people will likely continue to wrong you, that you will continue to be on the short end of more injustices and you will therefore continue to stay pissed.

Sometimes it turns to remorse and then you will even be sore at yourself.

And the more you fight and try to have your own way, the worse matters get.

As in war, the victor only seemed to win. Our moments of triumph will be short lived.

It eventually will become plain to you, that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness.

Turning back now to the list, for it holds the key to the future.

You are prepared to look for it from an entirely different angle.

You began to see that the world and its people have really dominated and controlled you thru your resentment.

In that state, the wrong doing of others, fancied or real, has the power to actually ruin your new second chance for a great new life.

How can you escape these clutches that hold you back?

You see now that these resentments must be mastered, but how?

You can not wish them away any more than you can wish away your divorce.
    This is your new course,

You realize now that the people who wronged you were perhaps a mixed up mess with their own very serious problems.

Though you did not like their symptoms and the way they distribute them to you, you understand their imperfections and hereby forgive them.

Realizing that they, like yourself were far, far from perfect and likely will remain so.

To the precise extent that you have permitted these resentment to continue, do you squander the hours, the very hours that your life is made of and that might have been exceptionally worth while.

But with the newly singled, like yourself, experiencing what is often 100% in charge of their own life for the first time, this business of resentment is infinitely grave.

You will find now, that it is crucial, to ever gaining full control of your new life.

For when continuing the harboring of such feeling you shut yourself off from the sunlight of growth and this second chance at a great new life.

By forgiving them and letting go of these resentments and anger, you free yourself to move on to a great new life and leave them to their self imposed prison of mediocrity.

"Forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done.
Forgiving means abandoning your right to pay back the perpetrator in his own coin,...but...... ..... it is a loss.....

Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu, Anglican archbishop of Johannesburg, and Nobel laureate

The article was inspired by, derived and modified from Alcoholic Anonymous dreaded Step Four in the AA Big Book which is on overcoming resentment

Related Series: Adjusting To Single Life; Divorce, Tragedy or Opportunity, click here

Back to Series List                               Next Article


Tell Your Divorced Or Widowed Friends About This Article And Site, Send Them This Page Or If They Do Not Have A PC, Print Out The Article For Them
Resentments, The Big Hold Up
Send this article to a friend
Read over 300 "Life Changing" recovery articles, click here

Top of Page ||  Divorce Recovery 101 Index