10 Subtle Signs Your Partner Secretly Resents You

Resentment is a tricky emotion to describe, given its layers and complexity. Often involving bitterness and indignation, resentment happens when someone perceives that another person has done them some kind of injustice. It can be a combination of anger, disappointment, disgust, and even fear. If your partner resents you in secret, they won’t admit it to you. But luckily, there are a few ways to tell. Here are some subtle signs that your partner secretly resents you.

  1. They refuse to support you. If you resent someone, it’s difficult to support them. It’s hard to be happy for them and want the best for them when you’re holding built-up anger towards them. So if your partner refuses to support you and help you achieve your goals, it could be because they are holding some secret resentment. Especially if they resent you over something to do with your job, they’re unlikely to want to see you succeed at work, let alone help you get there.
  2. They make passive-aggressive comments. Passive-aggressive comments are one of the most obvious signs that your partner secretly resents you. Passive-aggressive comments are designed to let someone know that you’re angry without directly needing to confront them. If they call out this type of comment, you could then gaslight them, claiming that they’re overreacting or taking it too seriously. Your partner making snide comments frequently suggests that they have an issue with you that they’re not airing.
  3. They don’t share things with you. Happy partners share things with each other. They share their happy moments and their tougher moments too. But if your partner secretly resents you, they’re less likely to want to share anything with you. They’re more likely to keep their guard up around you and refrain from letting you in. That goes for the good times and the bad times. No matter how much they want to, they’ll refuse to let you in on the good times. And they also won’t seek your support during the harder ones.
  4. They struggle to be happy for you. In the same way that a resentful partner probably won’t support you, they also won’t be happy for you. They are resentful because they perceive that you’ve wronged them in some way, which means that they don’t want to see you rewarded for that. Naturally, this is a really unhealthy place for a couple to be in. The happiest couples have each other’s best interests at heart.
  5. They compete with you. Sometimes, partners who resent you will try to compete with you. This happens specifically when they resent you because they feel inferior to you, for whatever reason. Maybe you’re doing better at work. Maybe you have a better relationship with your family. It could be down to anything. Resentment that’s fuelled by envy can often lead to competition.
  6. They’re less interested in getting physical with you. Some people will maintain the physical side of their relationship, no matter what’s going on emotionally. But it can also be the case where a resentful partner is less interested in getting into bed with you. Again, all that anger that they’re secretly harboring might mean that the last thing they want to do is be intimate with you.
  7. They snap at you easily. Snapping easily is a sign of concealed anger. Although a person might seem to go from zero to 100 really quickly, they’re probably already feeling frustrated on the inside for a while before they finally explode. So if your partner often snaps at you, seemingly out of nowhere, it could be because they resent you.
  8. They make hurtful “jokes.” Jokes can be a powerful way to reveal your true feelings without being held accountable. If your partner constantly makes “jokes” that hurt your feelings, it’s possible that they’re really insults merely disguised as jokes. They could be purposely trying to hurt your feelings in response to their anger, without wanting to have a direct argument.
  9. They take pleasure in your suffering. Sadly, one of the signs of resentment is schadenfreude. Literally translating to “damage-joy”, this is when someone takes pleasure in the misfortune or suffering of someone else. It’s common to feel like this about someone you resent, so naturally, it happens when a person resents their significant other. That’s not to say that they hope you get seriously hurt or even die. It could be as insignificant as feeling satisfaction after hearing that you had a bad day.
  10. They no longer make an effort to impress you. When you resent someone, it’s common to stop caring about winning their approval. If your partner resents you, they may suddenly decide that you’re not worth impressing anymore and may stop putting all effort into your relationship.


Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including Hotsprings.co and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.