Albert Einstein is attributed with defining insanity as follows – Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Actress Carrie Fisher suggests that “resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” I agree with each and I see the two dynamics present within bitter marriages over and over.
Husband wants wife to be affectionate and pressures her for intamacy. Wife remains angry over past injustices she attributes to husband and witholds her affection. Husband complains. Wife withdraws. Husband complains loudly. Wife ignores. Husband loses patience and commits some poor behavior, thus giving wife something else to be angry and resentful over….
They each go on and on, repeating their same behaviors, hoping for a different result. They hold onto their anger and resentment and hope that the other person will change, go away, divorce them, or die. Neither one will do anything differently and they both resent the other for not doing anything differently.
If you find yourself in an unsatisfying relationship or arrangement with someone, you are the only one who has the power to make it different and you do that by deciding to do things differently yourself. To try the same things over and over, expecting different results, is insanity. To sit and brew and hold resent against your partner, just waiting for them to change, is poisonous to you and will produce no results except your own illness and misery.