Any guy can periodically have the thought, "my wife hates me." After all, we all do things now and then that upset our partners. Our mistakes, or our partner's negative reaction to them, are not unusual or abnormal. However, in most cases the hate is only temporary and often not even really hate as much as just angry, upset, or disappointed.
There is another much smaller group of guys though who almost daily think, "my wife hates me," and have strong reasons to believe this is really true. When she tells you she hates you over and over it's hard not to start to believe it. If any number of things can provoke this response, or if it simple comes out of nowhere and for no apparent reason, it's hard not to believe it could be really true.
This is the case for several guys I am currently counseling. In fact, at any given time there are a handful of guys with marriage problems I'm treating who's wives really do seem to hate them.
What My Wife Hates Me Looks Like
I want to know why every time me & my wife argue she tells me how much she hates me cuz I got her pregnant & she always bring up my past relationship I had." -Eduardo
It's not surprising that one situation where this feeling often arises is when a man has cheated and his wife hates him for what he's done to her and their marriage. I often hear guys in this situation say something like, "She says I've ruined our marriage." What usually follows is something like, "and she hates me for it."
Another not so unusual circumstance is when sex or any kind of physical touch is rejected. Ethan recently told me, "She hates me touching her." For many men this is especially challenging to deal with because sex is really an important part of a relationship for most men.
Sometimes it doesn't even have anything to do with the man. Terrence was recently told by his wife that "our marriage is over" if he went to a barbeque that his sister was going to be at. His wife hates his sister because of some things in the past and her anger gets directed at him. She hates him though too. "She says she finds me revolting," he has said to me, and she has told him, "I go to bed to avoid being with you."
Here's another husband who believes his wife hates him:
My wife wants to move out. She says I never let her breathe over the years 16 together. I have been too controlling and never let her be her own person, which I admit fully. I never have been the one for change. I've always thought and been scared of it and have to be pushed. We have a lovely house that was left to me that she says that doesn't feel like her home. It's not hers she says, it's yours, but no matter what I say she thinks the same. She says she don't love me anymore. I've chipped away at that. She resents me so much and probably hates me. We haven't been intimate for 6 months." -Grant
If you can relate to Grant you're probably asking yourself...
What Causes Her to Hate You SO Much?
Okay, so you think, "my wife hates me," but why? Is the problem you or is it her? That's a tough question - it's probably a little bit of both. Obviously, a guy who's cheated has a lot of responsibility to bear. But in most situations it's a lot most complicated than that.
Most husbands who believe my wife hates me have been told often enough many of the reasons that they've got a pretty good idea as to why. What's often so confusing for them is why hate? Angry, dislike, or not feeling it for you, those are feelings they can much better understand.
An important element is how long this feeling has existed. It's understandable to have an immediate reaction of very strong dislike toward your partner, and even for it to last for some time, like in the instance of cheating. However, when it goes on and on and on with no end in sight, it becomes a much bigger problem. Lasting hate feeds resentment, bitterness, and even depression.
My wife says she hates me because she's given up everything she ever had that made her happy to be with me." -Leo
For many men who think my wife hates me the problem is much more complicated than just what they've done wrong to trigger this feeling. Sometimes old wounds get reopened from past hurts and the pain from those situations gets piled on making the current hurt even worse and more intense. Personal insecurities can come into the mix and add to the depth of feeling. Mental health challenges, like depression or anxiety or personality characteristics, can add even more complexity to the problem.
I don't know how to put everything into words. I know that I feel like my wife hates me and refuses to forgive me for anything I have ever done. I stayed with her throughout the pregnancy, delivery, and 8 months after. The hardest thing I ever did was to give up that little girl. A little girl is all I have ever wanted. I really feel terrible that this woman thought so little of me that she felt it was better for the child for me not to be in her life. This decision haunts me to this day. I would honestly love to know that she is doing well and is happy. However my wife has given an ultimatum on the subject. This is one of the reasons she hates everything about me." -Dean
Wrapping your head around the fact that your wife hates you is really hard, even if you can understand some of the reasons. The intensity and consistency of it being vented at you can be so demoralizing. Often there's no one to talk to who can really understand or even believe it, so still loving your wife but also feeling all alone in your marriage is another outcome that adds to the challenge of it.
Hopefully, reading the stories of these other men will be reassuring that you're not the only one thinking, "my wife hates me." It is possible to change it too. Terrence, for instance, is learning in our counseling how to respond differently to his wife and has seen changes in how she treats him as a result.
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