Thank you for your response.

Wow...your biblical analogy is dead-on in a really yucky way, I think.

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Hit me close to home because that truly is what I was like in my focus...and I hear you are committed to not doing such an unhealthy and damaging thing as to create and maintain resentment anymore.

And I heard you realize you'd had this affair with resentment before you even met your H. You realize it was a modeled behavior which you took to be the way to live, and now, you're rethinking it.

Sounds like you're taking healthy actions for a healthy life and marriage. Once you pry your focus off H, of course.

I say this because when you vent to friends...you are regurgitating your damaging perspective...you are doing what you did before in a sneakier way...with the idea you're protecting your marriage instead of growing yourself and your half of the marriage. Believe me, there are more levels of self-deception, because this belief (that we sacrifice to earn love) goes deep within us...and prohibits us from a close relationship with God, and along the same model, our spouses.

So...consider the desire to vent as the signal you want to catch yourself stewing, dwelling, focusing on what you cannot control. Humans will feel intense injury, frustration and anger when they do this--not really what was done to them. It's our own DJs feeding the resentment mill, keeping us running on that treadmill when we really did say we were worn out.

So state to your friends and your spouse, "Here's what I caught myself doing. Here's what I really want. Here's my goal, restated, what I really want." Increase your intimacy and you'll increase your self-focus on what is within your control--because it's the same as what you're responsible for.

Pray for clarity and God will provide. True humility comes from acting intimately with your spouse and yourself. They become your ally, your helpmate, the one there for you...not to fix you (you're not broken), not to cure or control...they can't...their presence, listening, hearing your own stuff...that's an act of love.

Can't earn it or punish it out of someone. They choose. Every moment. So do you. Realize this and your need to vent drops away...when he does, focus on your response...what did you promise you would do? He AO's...do you stay present? Are you clear with what your boundaries are? Or focused on his LBs?

That's where marriage cleans it's slate and becomes what it wasn't before...you KNOW he's responsible for his stuff...it's inherent...do not focus there...focus on yours...and use your commitment to O&H to reinforce to your brain that self-deception (DJs), resentment, entitlement and lack of respect are no longer what you really want.

I know that's not what you want...not what you want to experience in your marriage, either. Thank you for beginning with yourself...be gentle and firm, respectful of yourself...this is new...you're going to go back from habit to DJing/AOing/SDing your own self...in really subtle ways. Look at your permissions to react and revoke them...they weren't who God made you, anyway.

LA