My Wife Hates Me
It’s every man’s worst fear. But you’re probably here because your fear is being realized. “My wife hates me”…. those words have run through your head, and probably more than once. You’re sure she must hate you – you can tell by how she treats you.
At this point, you’re so heartbroken you don’t even know what to do. She won’t talk to you. And when he does, she’s condescending, abrupt, and downright mean. Perhaps she’s even left you, and you don’t know how to get her back.
Maybe this will help comfort you: you’re not the only husband to ever feel like his wife hates him. But believe it or not, you can change it. (Yes, I mean you).
When I thought my wife hated me
Maybe a more accurate way of saying it would be that I felt rejected by my wife. It’s not that I thought she hated me, rather it was as though she thought I wasn’t good enough, and I would never be good enough.
The first time she threw the word divorce out was in December of 2016. I was pretty shocked, but I knew it was nothing. But throughout 2017 every time we would argue the word would keep coming back. Divorce. I didn’t really think it was a possibility, but after six months or so of this happening, I was starting to believe that she actually wanted to leave me. I felt like I wasn’t enough for her to want to stay.
Turns out, she never wanted to leave me. She just didn’t see how our relationship could work, with us having different geographic career trajectories. She always loved me, she always want to stay.
Does she actually hate you?
You might be thinking this is a dumb question. “Of course my wife 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.
She doesn’t hate you, but she 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 your wife might hate you, there’s something in your past together that caused her pain. And you were part of what caused it. (Like this guy, who’s wife left him because he didn’t do his dishes).
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 her shoes. I had to really listen hard to what she was saying, and figure out why she was feeling the way she was feeling.
And even if I didn’t mean to, there’s something I did to cause her pain that was pushing her 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 she doesn’t hate you at all. And maybe she’s not even hurt. She could be frustrated, but that’s a normal part of marriage, and nothing to worry about.
If you’re feeling like your wife hates you, it could be because you’re insecure. Is it possible that you’re the least bit oversensitive to the way she 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 wife doesn’t compliment you on every little thing you do (for example) – and truthfully, it’s ok if she tells you that (hopefully, she 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 wife “hates” you
Now that we’ve established that your wife 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 wife how you feel – but do it nicely. Work on finding the root of the problem. You feel like she hates you – but why? Why is she acting the way she is? Did you do something that hurt her? Is there something in the past that’s unresolved? The only way to get answers to these questions is to say something.
Put yourself in her shoes.
Get some perspective on the issue by listening to how she’s feeling. Listen without interrupting, interjecting, explaining, etc. Remember – she is hurt, and needs your understanding.
The only way for you to really understand why she’s hurting is to listen and develop some empathy for her. Of course, you probably haven’t done anything on purpose to hurt her. Unfortunately, that fact is largely irrelevant.
Even if you did something to hurt her on accident or subconsciously, her 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 wife. That’s why this hurts so much. Because you love her, you should want to help her 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.
This is when it’s most important to turn inward toward your spouse.
When you run away, you do yourself the biggest disservice. You rob yourself and your wife 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.