When the grass looks greener on the other side, people are inclined to take off running. But when it comes to relationships, if you’re holding a grudge about something someone else did that was wrong or hurtful, then getting over it is just as crucial as forgiving them. Whether that person is your ex-boyfriend or your sister, forgiving them means letting go of the negative feelings you have towards them. But sometimes, it’s not easy to get over the wrong done to you because you feel that person still has a part of your heart. Holding a grudge in a relationship could be just as damaging as if that person was still around, causing cause havoc in your life. So how do you let go without totally letting them go?
Why People Like Holding Grudges in Relationships
You aren’t validating your partner in the way they need.
If you’re holding a grudge, then you might find yourself not giving your partner the validation they crave because, in your mind, they haven’t proved to you that they deserve it. But when you validate someone correctly, sometimes all it takes is for them to open up about what’s bothering them so their feelings can be validated in return.
You keep trying to “fix” the problem.
Sometimes people will hold a grudge against someone because they think that there’s something wrong with them. In their mind, they see this person as broken or flawed, and the only way to deal with those flaws is to try to fix them. But no one who doesn’t want to be put back together in the right way can be fixed.
You’re trying to put the entire blame of the relationship on them.
It’s easy for people holding grudges to think that their partner is totally at fault for all the problems in their relationship. But there are two sides to every story, and even if your side seems more apparent, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a responsibility in the matter as well.
You still wish they would apologize.
In an ideal world, everyone who does something wrong to someone else feels bad about it and apologizes. But that’s not always how life works out because people aren’t always going to do what you want them to do just because doing so would make your life easier. So if your ex still isn’t saying sorry, then it’s time to let go of the fact that they might not ever apologize and move on with your life.
You think you wouldn’t be able to handle an apology right now.
The truth is that some people won’t apologize because they don’t feel there’s anything they did wrong or feel bad about the entire situation. But whatever the case may be, if your ex tried to apologize and it upset you instead of helping you let go of that grudge, then chances are it’s because right now isn’t a good time for you to hear an apology from them.
Your partner doesn’t feel the past was fully repaired.
When you’re holding a grudge in a relationship, then not only are you hurting yourself, but you’re also making it harder for your partner to feel that what happened in the past is truly resolved. In other words, every time they try to move forward and be close with you again, their insecurity about what happened in the past makes them step back.
You’re holding onto the idea that they would do it again.
There’s nothing worse than thinking that someone who hurt you once could hurt you again, but sometimes people feel like their partner did them wrong because something in their past suggests they will do the same thing again. But if your partner loves and respects you, then they’ll learn from their mistakes, and they’ll do everything to show you differently.
You’re obsessing over small things your partner does.
Everyone makes mistakes or does something that disappoints someone else, but if you tend to hold a grudge because of those minor issues, it could be because deep down, the reason you’re upset is that you feel like they don’t respect you enough. But when your partner does something that offends you, it’s important to communicate with them to learn how not to repeat this behavior in the future.
You want to control or revenge.
Sometimes people hold grudges because they think that if they do, they’ll feel like they’re in control of the situation. And if they don’t let go of the grudge, then holding onto it will be their way of getting revenge on that person who hurt them. But when you seek revenge, you only make things worse for yourself because not only do you still feel bad, but now there’s this added guilt of doing something wrong.
You take your partner’s moods personally.
When you’re holding a grudge, having to deal with your partner’s bad moods is even worse because instead of thinking that something might be wrong with them, you feel like they’re deliberately trying to get on your nerves.
You think they should see how to hurt you still are.
Hurt feelings are normal after a breakup, but when you’re holding onto a grudge, it’s like you’re not feeling hurt because your partner did something wrong, but that somehow is what gets to be expressed instead of sadness. So if you feel like someone made your life miserable, and yet they still get to move on and even be in a happy relationship, then you might want them to feel the same pain and misery that you’re feeling right now.
How to Get Over Holding Grudges in Relationships
Let it go.
The only way to truly let go of a grudge is by forgiving the person who hurt you, but since this can be hard for some people to do, give yourself time to heal first before letting it all go.
Keep your mind open.
Sometimes holding onto a grudge means closing yourself off to the idea of forgiving someone instead of thinking that you might be able to let go of it.
Forgive and forget.
When your partner did something wrong, it might be best for you to focus only on the forgiveness aspect and not necessarily how they can make things right again because if you do that, then chances are there won’t be enough room to let go of the grudge.
The moment you can love and respect yourself, then you’ll no longer feel like you’re letting someone else get away with wronging you because sometimes when we hold onto a grudge, it’s just us still holding on to our anger and sadness over what happened. But you deserve to be happy and loved, so if your partner is willing to give you these things, then hold onto that instead.
When someone did something terrible to you, it’s only natural that you feel like wanting revenge or seeking punishment for them, but there will always be better ways of getting even than holding a grudge.
Remember the good times.
When you hold onto a grudge, it’s like you’re letting one bad memory define your entire relationship with someone, but there were also good times between the two of you, so make sure to focus on these times too when moving on with your life.
FAQs About Holding Grudges in Relationships
What do I do if my partner is holding a grudge against me?
Before your partner can forgive you, they need to start by dealing with whatever has been making them feel so upset and angry.
How can I get over someone who won’t let go of the grudge?
When someone keeps holding onto a grudge, this just means that they’re not willing to move on with their life because of one mistake.
How do I stop myself from holding a grudge against my partner?
Before you can learn how to let go of a grudge, then you need to be able to identify exactly when it’s okay for the two of you to move on from whatever happened in the past.
If your partner did something that you can forgive, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to let go of the grudge and move on with your relationship.