When you can't forgive & forget

May 5, 2011 at 12:38 p.m. ET

Whether he forgot your anniversary, cheated, neglected to take out the trash or just didn’t notice your new hairstyle, moving past hurt and anger can be difficult. If you feel trapped by feelings of resentment and can’t forgive or forget, here are some strategies for moving forward.

Upset woman in bed

Cursive number 1Don't dwell.

If whatever angered you really wasn't all that significant, the best thing you can do is stop thinking about it. The more you dwell on the fact he didn't notice your new haircut for a whole week, the longer it will upset you. The only way you can move past something is by making an effort to do so.

Cursive number 2Talk it out.

Whatever has you upset should be talked about. The longer you keep your feelings bottled up, the more likely you are to explode and start a fight. Rather than just walking around seething with anger and suffering in silence, tell your partner how you feel and why you're so upset. He may not even realize he's done something to hurt you. It will help clear the air and make you feel less isolated. The more open you are about what's on your mind, the less power it has over your mood.

Cursive number 3Take a breather.

Give yourself a time out when you're feeling particularly angry or frustrated about something in your relationship. Whatever he did or neglected to do shouldn't be discussed when you're about to blow your top. Calm down and reassess the situation before figuring out a way deal with your feelings. Whether it's a few hours or a few days, some time and space can give you a new perspective and help you find a way to move past your anger.

Cursive number 4Seek outside help.

If you really can't (or won't) move past your spouse or partner's slip-up, you may need to seek outside help in the form of a marriage or couples' counselor. A third party can help you see things in a new way and ensure your partner gets a chance to explain his side -- which can be hard to allow in the throes of anger. If you want your relationship to work but can't find a path past your hurt or resentment, think about getting a professional involved.

Could you stay with a cheater? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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