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How do I deal with resentment?


hazelynut

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My boyfriend left a little over 4 weeks ago for a 2 month trip to southeast Asia. He's there basically in a TA/RA capacity, supervising a group of college freshmen who just finished their first year. The problem I've been having lately is the fact every time he says he misses me, a part of me just feels angry at him. Angry that he left for 2 months to essentially go on a vacation with a bunch of 18-19 year olds (he's 27); if this were for his career, or hell just to hang out with friends or family I'd get it. But I can't help feeling so freaking resentfully and angry that he left me for 2 months, after just moving in together, right when I'm taking my qualifiers and under the most stress I've been in a long time... to hang out with teenagers.

 

I know I'm not being entirely fair; he signed up for this thing before we even started dating. I suppose he could have turned it down, but his PI is supervising the trip so he figured it might as well go along (we are both graduate students). And I never told him not to go.

 

I know all this, and I've been trying to deal with the distance as best I can. But no matter what I do -- hang out with friends, spend more time in lab, drink, not drink, work out more, pick up new hobbies, visit family -- I can't get rid of this resentment. And I don't know if should just say it to him anyway to get it out of my system, even though it's unfair, or what. I just want to stop feeling this way. I love his man, he makes me feel so loved and I can't imagine him not being in my life. But I don't know how to stop feeling angry about this, and my worst fear is that I'll still feel like this even when he comes back.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, or someone just yell at me to stop being unreasonable...

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It would be a horse of different color if this was not on the books BEFORE he met you, but it was.

Or if it wasn't with his PI.

Or if you had said anything.

 

But none of that applies. So let it go or you are going to unleash on him when he gets back and he is going to be dumbfounded. It is 2 months...not.2 years.

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Agree with the others, you are going to have to take a deep breath and ask yourself why you are so resentful. Could it be you're feeling envy and mistaking that for resentment? Maybe a part of you wishes it were you there instead and this is simply a manifestation of your anxiety and the stress of qualifiers. if it really bothers you perhaps you could see a campus counselor to talk things through or to take a moment and ask yourself what it is you really fear by having him gone.

 

Also you may want to look back and make sure you haven't fallen into a bit of the trap that people do where you just assume the other person will know what you want/mean/need even if you don't voice it. It's fairly common in relationships, especially when you're younger but the fact remains communication that is aimed at improving a situation for both partners is still the key to heading anything like this off. People are not mind readers and the whole myth about how if someone loves you they should just know what you want and need is just that...a myth. You have to learn to voice what you want and to voice your feelings and be willing to hear another voice theirs and then I think you'll find moments like this become less and less.

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If you're getting this angry about the situation - which is actually OK, and won't last that long - I'm wondering if it's really about something/someone else. You are aware that it's unreasonable, but you are being true to yourself in that you're owning that anger.

 

Right... firstly, don't do or say anything to him. Really, don't. You'll regret it, and the repercussions, so badly.

 

What might be a useful bit of personal growth, though, is to think back to your childhood or other particularly vulnerable times of your life... did you ever feel abandoned or dismissed by someone/people who were important to you? Does this situation resemble an earlier one in any way? Can you think back to a time when you felt similarly, and recall what was going on?

 

It's just that your reaction to this does seem over the top - especially as he's going to be back in a few weeks time - and I suspect it belongs to a much younger version of yourself. Your feelings are legitimate. It's just that they probably don't belong in the here and now.

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Yes ,I would consider why you feel abandoned. I understand how you feel in a way. My husband is in the military. For five years he was only home every second weekend. He was posted away from us for those five years. Then when we joined him at his location he was off on course for five months and then was deployed for five months. I understand that it feels like you're being left alone. But they're doing something that they have to do to further their own goals. And in our case it is something that he had to do to further the goals of the family. Just remember to it is not a cake walk for them either because they are away from us. Sometimes I would have a tiny bit of resentment because it felt like I never had any time off. Most of it I had to work full time and be a full-time parent. Where as when he was done his day working all he had to worry about was himself. And often he got to go out with his friends where as I was home being mom. But I realized he missed us just as much. And he was the one away from his home and away from all his family and friends. And he was the one living in a room about the size of a broom closet.

 

You just have to try to understand on how much he is missing out too.

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Thanks for the insightful advice guys. I know my feelings on this aren't exactly mature. I wanted so badly to be fine with this, and before he left I thought I was fine -- and then it just hit me. And I'm angry at MYSELF for my own reaction. He deserves better than someone who gets upset just because he's gone for a couple of months. This isn't the person I thought I was or who I ever wanted to be.

 

As far as abandonment issues... it's not crazy to think that I might have those, but I don't know. I'm not exactly envious, I mean I am disappointed that I couldn't find the time to visit him while he's there, but we have stuff lined up in the near future so I'm pretty content, vacation-wise. But maybe I should talk to someone. It's not worth hurting him over my own issues.

 

Victoria.. technically it's not furthering his own goals. If anything it's slightly hurting them since he's having to delay his own qualifying exams a year. But I understand what you're saying. And if anything his PI is to blame, not my boyfriend. I know it's not his fault that this is the situation he was put in.

 

Anyway.. thank you all. I needed a swift kick in the rear-end, that's for sure.

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I was in an a almost similar situation, let me tell you any undue preasure will ruin this for you

If you trust him then you have nothing to worry about he had a life before you,he has that same life with u. My ex put an immense amount of preassure on me wjen I left for a bucks trip over in thailand, she knew she could trust me bit brought baggage from her past into our relationship. I called her eveeyday while over there to keep her from worrying and show shw was on the forefront of my mind.

But I wasnr enough, everyday she accused me of talking to giels and held resentment towards me. It made me abrehensibe to tell her when there were girls there and I felt it would upset her. I told her eventually and it riined an otherwise perfect relationship.

Let him be him, trust him if u think u can and remember "when we hold on to something too tight it will only want to fly away". I coulda married the girl and I assure u she wont ever find someone as loyal again but the small things we do matter the most

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