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 The Silent Killer in Marriage: Why Holding Grudges is Destructive

I had a conversation recently where the lady was sharing with me how much pain she was in because of something her partner did years ago. She went on to explain how she still held a grudge against him and how it was affecting their relationship even after all these years.


She said that every time they argued, she would bring up this past incident and use it as ammunition. It didn't matter what the argument was about; she would always find a way to bring up this past hurt and use it against her partner.


This is a common scenario in many marriages. We hold on to past hurts, anger, and resentment towards our partners and use them as weapons in arguments. However, what we fail to realize is that holding grudges can be extremely destructive to any relationship, especially marriage.

Marriage is a sacred covenant, a union forged in love and sealed with promises of commitment and devotion. Yet, despite the vows spoken and the love shared, marriages are not immune to conflict and disagreement. In the ebb and flow of life together, hurtful words, unmet expectations, and unresolved issues can take root, casting a shadow over the once-bright flame of love.

One of the most insidious threats to marital bliss is the harboring of grudges. These silent killers lurk beneath the surface, poisoning the well of trust, intimacy, and connection that sustains a healthy marriage.

Have you ever been hurt so badly that you felt you would never be able to overcome the hurt inflicted on you? If so, then this is a blog post you need to read.

In this blog post, we'll explore the destructive nature of holding grudges in marriage, the profound impact it can have on the well-being of both partners and what you need to do to let go.

The Anatomy of Grudges:

Grudges are like weeds that take root in the fertile soil of resentment and bitterness. They begin as small seeds of hurt or disappointment, often stemming from unmet expectations or perceived slights. Left unchecked, these seeds can grow into deep-rooted grievances, poisoning the atmosphere of your marriage and sowing discord between you and your spouse. (place scripture) (Ephesians 4:26–27)


At first glance, holding a grudge may seem like a harmless coping mechanism—a way to protect yourself from further pain or disappointment. However, the truth is far more sinister. By clinging to past hurts and grievances, you're allowing the poison of resentment to seep into the very fabric of your relationship, corroding trust, communication, and emotional intimacy.

The Destructive Impact of Grudges:

The consequences of holding grudges in marriage are far-reaching and devastating. Here are just a few examples of how these silent killers can wreak havoc on your relationship:

  1. Erosion of Trust: Trust is the cornerstone of a healthy marriage. When you hold a grudge against your spouse, you're essentially questioning their integrity and character. This erosion of trust can create a rift between you, leading to feelings of betrayal and insecurity.

  2. Breakdown of Communication: Effective communication is essential for resolving conflicts and strengthening emotional bonds. However, holding grudges can hinder honest and open communication, as resentment and bitterness cloud your judgment and prevent you from truly listening to your spouse.

  3. Diminished Intimacy: Intimacy thrives on vulnerability, trust, and emotional connection. When you're holding onto past hurts, it's nearly impossible to fully open your heart to your spouse. This lack of intimacy can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, further driving a wedge between you and your partner.

  4. Impact on Emotional Well-Being: The emotional toll of holding grudges is immense. It breeds feelings of anger, bitterness, and sadness, which can take a significant toll on your mental and emotional well-being. Left unchecked, these negative emotions can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression.

  5. Stunted Growth: Holding grudges stifles personal and relational growth. Instead of addressing underlying issues and finding solutions, you become trapped in a cycle of blame and resentment. This stagnation prevents both partners from growing and evolving in their relationship, leading to feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction.

The Path to Healing and Forgiveness:

Despite the destructive nature of grudges, there is hope for healing and reconciliation in your marriage. The path to forgiveness begins with a willingness to let go of past hurts and embrace the possibility of a brighter future together. Isaiah 43:18–19 (NIV) “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making my way into the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Here are a few steps you can take to begin the journey toward healing:

  1. Acknowledge Your Feelings: Before you can begin the process of forgiveness, it's essential to acknowledge and validate your feelings of hurt and anger. Allow yourself to feel these emotions fully, without judgment or self-condemnation.

  2. Communicate openly. Take the time to sit down with your spouse and express how you're feeling. Be honest and vulnerable, sharing your thoughts and emotions calmly and respectfully. If you can't do this, then maybe you might need a mentor or someone you both respect to sit in with you while you have this conversation.

  3. Practice empathy: Try to see the situation from your spouse's perspective. Understand that they may have had their reasons for their actions or words, even if you don't agree with them. Listen for the intent behind the words, not just the words. We are all guilty of not listening. This is a great time to practice this skill.

  4. Pray: It may sound like a cliche but prayer does work wonders. The act of prayer will bring about a transformative process that enables you to confront and release feelings of resentment, paving the way for emotional healing, inner peace, and the ability to forgive.

  5. Choose Forgiveness: Forgiveness is a choice—a conscious decision to release the grip of resentment and extend grace to your spouse. It's not about condoning their actions or minimizing your pain; rather, it's about freeing yourself from the burden of bitterness and moving forward with love and compassion.

  6. Seek Support: Don't hesitate to seek support from trusted friends, family members, or a professional counselor. Talking to someone impartial can provide valuable insight and perspective, helping you navigate the complexities of forgiveness and reconciliation.


Holding grudges in marriage is a dangerous game—one that can have far-reaching and devastating consequences. By clinging to past hurts and grievances, you're allowing resentment to poison the very essence of your relationship, eroding trust, communication, and intimacy. However, it's never too late to break free from the cycle of bitterness and embrace the transformative power of forgiveness.

Remember, forgiveness is not a one-time event but a journey—a process of letting go, healing, and moving forward together. By choosing to release the grip of resentment and extend grace to your spouse, you can pave the way for healing, restoration, and renewed intimacy in your marriage.

Are you ready to let go of past hurts and embrace the freedom that comes from forgiveness? The journey may be challenging, but the rewards are immeasurable. Take the first step today and reclaim the love and intimacy that's rightfully yours in marriage. If you need help along the way, don't hesitate to book a discovery call with me. Remember, with forgiveness comes true healing and a brighter future ahead. Colossians 3:12-13: “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive

So let go of grudges, choose forgiveness, and watch as love and intimacy bloom in your marriage once more.

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