If you are having thoughts like Why My Husband Hates Me, you are not alone. Many people struggle in their marriage and experience periods of highs and lows. Every married person, at one time or another, has felt frustrated, confused, and stuck. Here, we will dive into marriages experiencing high tension and discuss the signs and possible solutions to resolving these issues.
In the beginning
When we think back to first dates, courtship, holding hands, and our “I dos,” it’s hard to imagine things could devolve to the depths of contempt. In the beginning, our family and friends support us with sage advice and delicately warn us of the challenges ahead. We take this wisdom and forge ahead, anticipating our union will be different and unique.
Over the centuries, our expectations of marriage have changed. Initially, couples entered marriage to align family interests or maintain certain lineages. Later, people married for property or dowries.
Today, our expectations regarding partnership can best be described as vast and complex. In addition to modernization impacting our values, different cultures and religions also influence our experience of matrimony.
You are my everything
Nowadays we expect our partner to be our best friend, our romantic lover, our entertainment, our confidant, our cheerleader, and our teammate. Add children to the mix, and the pressure and expectations go up exponentially.
Drive the kids to soccer practice, attend teacher conferences, arrange playdates, and on, and on, it goes. Now add everyday life, including work, finances, meal prep, working out, and household chores, and it’s no surprise marriages are failing at an alarming rate. There are very few “villages” to support the weight of all these responsibilities.
What is Hate
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hate as both a noun and a verb. “An intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.” On the flip side of hate, is the word, apathy. They define apathy as, “a lack of interest or concern.”
If we take a moment and look at these two words, we can see that within the context of hate, there lies hope. Hate infers that someone still cares enough to want to make an impact, whether the desire for impact is subconscious or not.
Whereas if we find our spouse apathetic, it’s as though the game has already been lost. Most of us understand the logistics of making peace, we’ve been learning to mend relationships since our days in the schoolyard. Conversely, we all know by now, how very difficult it is to make someone care about us or like us. Hate, however ugly, is still grist for the mill, there is still something to work with here.
What does hate look like in a marriage?
There are many ways people express hate. They can express it verbally, physically, or through neglect. Below are five common scenarios of how “hatred” may be exhibited during marital discord.
Everyone argues at times, conflict is a part of every relationship at one time or another. Arguing can actually be considered a sign of health in a relationship. It signifies you care enough to voice your concerns and feel safe enough to share your opinions.
However, if you find yourself at a constant impasse, and your arguments never end in developing solutions, this could signify a larger problem.
Lack of Intimacy
Intimacy ebbs and flows in every marriage. Many factors can affect the frequency of intimacy such as health issues, stress, past infidelity, insecurities, a new baby, and more. Many people may be surprised to learn that the average American heterosexual married couple, has sex once per week.
If you are living in a marriage where you don’t experience any intimacy, or it is so infrequent, that you can’t remember the last time you had sex, this would be an issue worthy of exploration.
The Silent Treatment
Every couple at one time or another has demonstrated silent treatment. No one is perfect and sometimes, it’s ok to walk away and take a deep breath, or “sleep on it” and discuss things in the morning. Constant silent treatment, however, is not healthy and can feel very isolating.
Human beings are born to be social creatures, we do not function well in isolation. When our partner ignores us consistently by not speaking to us, by not making eye contact, or by pretending as though we don’t exist, it feels like a punishment. This is not a healthy way to show our discontent with someone, as nothing can be resolved if nothing, or no one, is being addressed.
Criticism and constructive feedback are two different forms of communication. On one hand, as a spouse, we serve to help one another evolve. Therefore, there will be times when we share our opinions, which may be considered less than flattering.
For instance, a husband might say to his wife, “I notice you are struggling to start this project, perhaps I can help you with a goal list or a timeline.” This would be considered constructive feedback.
The husband understands his wife is struggling with something. He is offering his help and a possible solution. Criticism would sound something like this, “I wish you would stop being so lazy and start that project already.”
Abuse is never acceptable. If you are being abused, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800)799-7233. There are several forms of abuse, the most common types of abuse in marriage are physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. No partner may harm you with physical violence. No partner may sexually abuse you. Just because you are married, your husband is not entitled to force himself sexually on you, this is called rape.
Spouses who constantly shout, berate, belittle, and use name-calling, are demonstrating emotional abuse. This type of abuse is extremely harmful despite not having physical wounds. Lastly, if your husband has absolute control of the finances, this can be considered a form of abuse and control. If any type of abuse is occurring in your home, both spouses are encouraged to seek help and support.
What it feels like to be hated
Living with a spouse who you believe hates you, can drudge up hurtful and agonizing emotions. Feeling misunderstood, unwanted, unseen, insecure, unattractive, unworthy, and unloved, are several examples of the painful feelings associated with hate.
When a person is preoccupied with all of these negative feelings, it can cause difficulty in everyday life. Spouses on the receiving end of hate might exhibit signs of high distractibility, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, irritability, exhaustion, appetite changes, and difficulty being present, to name a few.
There is help and there is a solution, the first step begins with taking a step back and evaluating the situation as objectively as possible.
Why is this happening, Why My Husband Hates Me?
Oftentimes, when people are acting out, they have unresolved issues and are taking their anger out on those closest to them. They may not even be aware of their behavior or how they are treating their spouse.
Sometimes their issue is completely personal and may have nothing to do with their partner. Work stress, financial stress, past trauma, insecurities, and health issues can all result in someone, a husband, acting angry and hateful.
With that said, it’s always a good idea to look at one’s own behavior and evaluate if perhaps you are unintentionally contributing to the conflict. Some questions to consider are:
When we argue, am I listening to his side of the story?
Can I see his point of view?
Am I fighting fairly or am I shouting and name calling?
Am I more concerned with being right or am I seeking a solution to our disagreement?
Is my husband always the one initiating intimacy?
Have I unintentionally rejected his attempts for affection?
Do I participate in our lovemaking or am I a passive recipient?
Do I refuse to listen to him and his feelings?
Am I contributing enough to our partnership, household, or income?
Do I criticize my husband?
Is he criticizing me or am I being overly sensitive?
Does he hate me or is it all in my head?
If you think your husband hates you, whether or not it’s true, your feelings are important and valid. The only way to understand how your husband feels about you is to address your concerns with him. Before you confront him the moment he walks through the door, there are a few suggestions about how to best communicate your feelings.
Pick a day and time when you know you can discuss everything thoroughly. Also, make sure the time you choose allows for time to decompress both before and after the discussion. If you have children, and you have childcare support, have the discussion when the kids are not at home. If you don’t have the luxury of childcare support, pick a time when you know they will be occupied and won’t be a distraction.
Once you have the day and time in mind, spend some time preparing yourself mentally for the discussion. Some self-care tips include journaling, going outside for a walk, or rehearsing what you want to say with a close friend.
When you talk with your husband, it’s important to use “I” language to communicate your feelings and give examples of how you believe he is expressing hatred. “I feel like you hate me when you criticize me about my appearance.” Try not to use absolute qualifier words such as: always, never, all, or none. These words can be defeating and bring up people’s defenses.
Instead of, “I feel unappreciated because you never thank me when I cook dinner.” Try saying something like this, “When I make dinner for you, I notice you sometimes forget to thank me and it would mean a lot to me if you would.”
I’ve tried talking to my husband, but nothing seems to work
When you have tried discussing your feelings with your husband and things don’t improve, the next best step is to get support. Maybe you have a pastor or a rabbi in your congregation you feel comfortable engaging. Or perhaps you want a specialist, like a Marriage and Family Therapist, to help the two of you communicate and come to a resolution.
For people who have never utilized a therapist, the prospect of hiring a therapist can seem intimidating. Even therapists who seek counseling from other therapists can feel hesitant and scared when choosing a new counselor.
Take comfort in knowing therapists are here to help, they are not in service to be nosy or to judge you. Therapists have been educated about: multicultural issues, sexual intimacy, LBGTQ issues, abuse, drug dependence, family dynamics, communication, and more. If they are a seasoned therapist, chances are they “have seen and heard it all”.
So don’t hesitate to reach out because you are embarrassed, or because you think your situation is too unique to solve. Therapists want to help and they offer an educated and objective viewpoint with the goal of resolving discord.
Online therapy can be a great solution for many people and for many reasons. Perhaps you live in a rural area or you feel more comfortable discussing issues in the comfort of your own home. There are many qualified therapists available online. Regain.us specializes in affordable relationship therapy, utilizing licensed therapists. They offer a one-week free trial to help you determine if therapy is right for you. (Feel free to read here our Regain therapy review)
If you think your husband hates you, please take care of yourself and address your concerns with him. If you cannot resolve these issues on your own and would like the support of a therapist, please seek help. Take comfort in knowing many issues can be resolved with the help of a licensed therapist.
In the end, it’s ok if your marriage doesn’t work out. Everyone deserves to feel loved and wanted and it’s everyone’s right to make the adjustments necessary to create a fulfilling life. Though introspective work can seem challenging, oftentimes the only way out is through.