My Husband Hates Me
It’s every wife’s worst fear. But you’re probably here because your fear is being realized. “My husband hates me”….those words have run through your head, and you’re sure he must hate you based on how he treats you.
At this point, you’re so heartbroken you don’t even know what to do. He won’t talk to you. And when he does, he condescending, abrupt, and downright mean.
Maybe this will help comfort you: you’re not the only wife to ever feel like her husband hates her. I’ve been there too. Along with so many other women. But believe it or not, you can change it. (Yes, I mean you).
When I thought my husband hated me
Let me show you that I know how you’re feeling by telling you a story. I once thought my husband hated me too. But I was wrong. Here’s the story.
It’s a challenge for every couple to learn how to physically live together. This was true of Mike and I too. I am fairly anxiety prone, and one of the ways I manage it is by having a tidy home. Mike doesn’t have that idiosyncrasy, and so it had been a place for major misunderstanding in our marriage.
As a woman who works full-time, I struggle with managing my job, relationships, and responsibilities at home. I needed Mike’s help. Over the years though, after feeling like I had to beg and plead for his support, I was at my wits end.
I truly didn’t think we could get past this because I felt completely alienated. I felt like I had to manage the entire marriage alone, and at times felt sure that my marriage was over.
This led me to distance myself from my spouse. I had serious doubts about our marriage, and I voiced them. But then the tables turned.
Mike was deeply hurt by my doubts and the things I said about our marriage not working out. He felt like I didn’t love him at all. He thought I hated him too.
Because of this, he began to lash out. I felt like he was blaming me for everything. It took a long time to figure this out. But I had to go back to the roots of the issue, and figure why he was acting so awful.
Does he actually hate you?
You might be thinking this is a dumb question. “Of course my husband hates me – that’s why I’m here.”
OK – I get what you’re saying. But what I’m getting at is that “hate” might not be the right word. Maybe it’s not hatred, but it’s something else.
He doesn’t hate you, but he is hurt
Underneath hatred is hurt. I’m mean, think about it – what reason would anyone have to hate someone close to them if there wasn’t something in their past that hurt them?
When someone is hurt, they sometimes feel aggression, sadness, resentment, all wrapped up in a little ball. And, even worse, sometimes they don’t really know how to label it, or how to deal with it.
Let me be very clear: if you think you husband might hate you, there’s something in your past together that caused him pain. And you were part of what caused it.
I know that might sound harsh. But, I had to come to that realization too. I had to spend some time reflecting, and really putting myself in his shoes. I had to really listen hard to what he was saying, and figure out why he was feeling that way.
And even if I didn’t mean to, there’s something I did to cause him pain that was pushing him away.
There’s no sense in beating yourself up about this. I just makes things worse. We all make mistakes – even big ones (I speak from experience). All that matters now is learning how to move forward.
Maybe you’re insecure
Here’s another possibility – maybe he doesn’t hate you at all. And maybe he’s not even hurt. He could be frustrated, but that’s a normal part of marriage, and nothing to worry about.
If you’re feeling like your husband hates you, it could be because you’re insecure. Is it possible that you’re the least bit oversensitive to the way he says things? Could it be that you have some issues of self-worth that need work?
For instance, if your husband made a comment about not liking a meal you made, it may have hurt your feelings. And that’s ok – this makes sense. But if it’s made you feel like he hates you, you may be dealing with a bigger issue.
The best thing for you to do in this instance is to build confidence in yourself. It’s ok if your husband doesn’t like every meal you make (for example) – and truthfully, it’s ok if he tells you that (hopefully, he does it nicely).
Building confidence in yourself will help you know how to deal with constructive criticism, without internalizing it as hatred or a personal attack.
What to do if your husband “hates” you
Now that we’ve established that your husband probably doesn’t hate you, let’s focus on remedying the situation.
Talk it out.
If you know the Happy Marriage Makers content well from our live show in our Marriage Support Group, you know that solving every marriage problem starts with communication. It’s a weak area for a lot of us, but you can turn communication into a strength with practice.
Tell your husband how you feel – but do it nicely. Work on finding the root of the problem. You feel like he hates you – but why? Why is he acting the way he is? Did you do something that hurt him? Is there something in the past that’s resolved? The only way to get answers to these questions is to say something.
Put yourself in his shoes.
Get some perspective on the issue by listening to how he’s feeling. Listen without interrupting, interjecting, explaining, etc. Remember – he is hurt, and needs your understanding.
The only way for you to really understand why he’s hurting is to listen and develop some empathy for him. Of course, you probably haven’t done anything on purpose to hurt him. Unfortunately, that fact is largely irrelevant.
Even if you did something to hurt him on accident or subconsciously, his reasons and feelings are still valid.
Remember that you’re on the same team.
It’s really easy to get defensive when you feel like someone hates you, or is blatantly attacking you. This is a natural response we all have when we feel we need protection.
However, this can cause a divide between husband and wife. Rather, it can widen the divide that’s already there. This puts your marriage at risk. Remember, you’re trying to solve the problem – not create a new one.
You love your husband. That’s why this hurts so much. Because you love him, you should want to help him feel better, be happier, and love you more.
Keep in mind that sometimes things get worse before they get better. You have to wade through deep, treacherous waters to get to the other side. But it’s worth the work it requires.
Commit to fixing things.
Commitment is easy….until it’s not.– Katie Sullivan
It’s easy to feel committed to your marriage when everything is going well. You enjoy each other’s company, you have great conversation, and you feel intimately connected. There’s no doubt in your mind that this is the person you want to spend everyday of your life with.
But when marriage gets hard – well, then it’s another story. You feel like you hate each other, but you still love each other (it’s weird, I know). You feel completely alone even though there’s someone constantly near you. You want to run the other direction and never look back. That’s when it’s hard to commit – you want to run away to save yourself from the grief, heartache, and trauma.
But when you run away, you do yourself the biggest disservice. You rob yourself and your husband of the joy of conquering challenge together – of feeling powerful together. And through these challenges, your love grows like you wouldn’t believe.
Committing to doing what it takes to save your marriage is the biggest favor you will ever do yourself.