Your wedding invitations were covered with some corny cliché like, “Today I marry my best friend.” And, you probably really believed it too.
So did everyone else because you were that inseparable couple that everyone envied. Along the way, something went wrong. Today your home is more like a war zone than a honeymoon retreat and you are consumed with one thought, “I hate my husband.”
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No marriage is perfect.
Each one gets bumps and bruises over the years. If these bruises are cared for, your relationship will become stronger. But, if they aren’t tended, those bruises can fester and grow until they crowd out the love that was once there eventually turning it into a toxic relationship.
Feelings of disappointment, frustration, resentment and even hatred can destroy what started out as a beautiful relationship. If you think you hate your husband you need to take a look at the reasons and then formulate a plan to turn it around if you want to save your marriage.
I Think I Hate My Husband. How Did This Happen?
Hating your husband usually isn’t something that happened overnight.
It probably took months or years to build. And it didn’t come out of nowhere. Issues from trivial to traumatic will form the root of your hatred. To start on the road to recovery you’ll need to take a hard, honest look at what’s really going on.
Every relationship is a one-of-a-kind creation. While there are several common problems that can build into hatred, your reasons for hating your husband are uniquely yours. While there may be one main reason, it’s likely that there are several factors that roll into one big mess.
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Financial stress: There’s a reason this one is sitting at the top of the list. It’s one of the most common and most difficult to navigate of all marital issues. With the stress of an expensive wedding, financial woes can start from day one and only get worse when you throw in a mortgage, retirement savings and paying for college for the next generation.
But, it’s not just the big-ticket items that lead to discord. Squabbles over everything from the grocery budget to money spent on beers out with the guys can build up until they explode.
Mismatched sexual desires: You’re tired and he’s frisky. You’re in the mood and he wants to watch football.
Even couples that get it right everything else right can find themselves on different pages in the bedroom. It doesn’t take long for this to snowball. Pretty soon you both feel stressed about sex, which just compounds the issue. Before you know it frustration is spilling out into every area of your life together until you resent and hate your husband.
Learn more in our post about the surprising science of sexual desire.
You married him expecting change: There are many reasons why people get married, but regardless of the reason, you shouldn’t enter into a marriage expecting your partner to change. People do change, of course, and often for the better. You and your husband may be able to help one another grow, but you shouldn’t look at him as a project who needs to change to suit you. If you couldn’t actually live with the man you married, he might become the husband you hate.
Acceptance not only helps your marriage be more successful, it’s important for enacting personal change from your spouse .
Inconsiderate behavior: Back when you were newlyweds it was all compliments and loving gestures. Fast forward to snide remarks and inconsiderate behavior that has taken over. Whether he consistently forgets to call when he is going to be late or leaves his dirty dishes sitting around, it all adds up to making you feel overlooked and unloved.
Unequal workloads: Once upon a time, male and female roles within a marriage were clearly defined with the husband earning a paycheck and the wife caring for the home and children. Today, roles blend and merge and everyone needs to pitch in to make the family function. Resentment can build up if one partner feels they are carrying an unfair portion of the weight.
He stopped romancing you: Remember your dating days when he’d show up with flowers and the early days of marriage when he would call mid-day just to remind you that he loves you? In the chaos of building careers, raising children and juggling commitments, romance often gets put on the back burner. But, everyone needs to feel cherished and adored in order to make it through both the ho-hum and truly difficult days that are a natural part of marriage.
If your husband is interested in learning how to make you feel loved again, encourage him to learn about the 5 love languages.
Cheating: Many women name unfaithfulness as one of the unforgivable acts within a marriage. Cheating isn’t limited to physical intimacy (by the way physical intimacy is what the Bad Girls Bible is all about). Emotional cheating can also break the vows you made to each other and can quickly cause you to hate your husband.
Remember that women cheat for similar reasons.
Gambling, drugs, alcohol, or other addictions: Dealing with someone and their compulsive behaviors is an easy way for negative feelings to develop. Your husband might be putting you and your family at risk. He may be spending money on addictions or become dangerous when he’s under the influence. If you’re struggling with addiction and your husband doesn’t want to enable you, you might come to resent him.
Fortunately, there are programs and therapies to help deal with these compulsions as well as support groups. However, the person with the addiction will have to want change and work toward it. If your husband refuses, your marriage might not survive.
If Your Husband Is Abusive Or Dangerous
One reason why you might hate your husband is that he’s emotionally or physically abusive. He may hurt, manipulate, or otherwise mistreat you to the point of abuse. It’s only natural that you would harbor negative feelings to your husband in these cases. What’s more, you may feel conflicted if you still feel a fondness for your husband.
You’re not alone or wrong if you’re in this situation. There are an estimated 5.3 million incidents of intimate partner violence in the USA every year .
If this is the case, you might be here because you’re seeking resources to help cope with or escape your situation. However, this is often easier said than done even when you know it’s the right thing to do.
You might be worried about your safety or that of your children. You may need to carefully plan how you can leave or even leave without time to plan because your lie is in danger. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Their website also offers information and advice for finding your path to safety. They also have a list of resources for victims and survivors.
The National Center Against Domestic Violence has a list of other hotlines, including those to help teens, children, and people of color.
You deserve to be safe and have a relationship with someone who values and respects you and does not mistreat you, and there is help available.
How Do I Recover From Hating My Husband?
Once you understand the reasons you hate your husband you can start to work on the relationship and form a plan to regain your love. Don’t assume there will be a quick fix. It took time for attraction to grow into love and time for resentment to transform into hatred.
Likewise, it will take time to repair the relationship. Along the way, there will be set backs, confused emotions and frustrations. If you truly hope to repair your relationship and stop hating your husband, you will have to make a commitment to hard work.
Decide to be happy: One of the most powerful ways you can change your relationship is to simply decide to be happy. Yes, this does sound a bit like hippie-happy-clappy bullcrap, but it truly is a decision that you should spend your time focusing on.
By making a decision to be happy you take your focus off the things that are wrong and put it on the things that are right. This shift in perspective frees you to see his side of the situation and to choose to act differently. No matter what else you do to turn your relationship around deciding to be happy is the essential first step.
Act like you love him: Surely you’ve heard the phrase, “fake it ‘til you make it.”
The cliché doesn’t just get tossed around because it rhymes (though that doesn’t hurt). It actually works. Acting like you adore your husband may promote real feelings of love. So, put on a show, tell him you love him, do sweet things for him, and brag about him to everyone else. Pretty soon you might find you aren’t pretending anymore. Not only that, but your man may start to notice how well you treat him too.
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See a therapist: Whether it’s as a referee, a mediator or a relationship advisor, sometimes a professional set of eyes on the relationship is called for. A therapist can help you dig up the root causes of your problems and find new solutions.
You or your husband might be hesitant to seek a therapist or counselor, but it might provide you a safe place to discuss your issues and help you learn the skills to enact necessary change in your marriage so you won’t hate your husband anymore . Therapy can teach you to communicate better, resolve conflict, state your needs, and set boundaries.
Therapy sessions can have long lasting positive results for some couples, years after the sessions have ended .
Obviously, couples therapy is the best bet for solving the issues between the two of you but, if he won’t go with you, start the process on your own. One-on-one therapy can help you sort out your emotions and identify your options.
Consider your own issues: Sometimes people think that they are unhappy with their marriages or even hate their husbands, but they’re really projecting. They need to deal with their own issues, which might mean coming to terms with unrealistic expectations, seeking help for anxiety or depression, or determining why you always self-sabotage. Therapy can be helpful to identify and deal with your issues and to repair your relationship if that’s what you desire.
When it comes to depression specifically, your positive feelings may become dull, and you may not feel like you love your husband anymore. This apathy doesn’t mean you hate him, however, and it doesn’t have to be permanent.
Talk about it: The cliché, “there are two sides to every story,” isn’t just a trite expression. Neither of you can know what the other is thinking and feeling if you aren’t communicating. Of course, you shouldn’t come out and say, “I hate my husband,” when you first meet a therapist but you can initiate a calm conversation about the underlying issues.
From work stress and financial concerns, there may be reasons for actions and behaviors that you are unaware of. It may take many conversations over the course of months, but communication may be the path from hating your husband to recovering the lost loving feelings.
Compromise: The first step in moving beyond hating your husband might be a step towards the middle.
Relationships are all about give and take, so even if you don’t feel you are in the wrong it’s a good idea to find a way to compromise. If he isn’t on board, make the first move yourself. Once he sees you working toward a solution, he may be inspired to do the same.
An important thing to do is to consider your partner’s point of view. It’s easy to blame someone else for the issues in your relationship, but consider how your husband might think and how what you do makes him think. Putting yourself in his shoes and practicing empathy might help you be a better wife.
Counseling can help you address common issues like a lack of empathy towards your spouse, sweating the small stuff and understanding the difference between truly listening to your partner as opposed to simply waiting for them to finish so you can respond .
Spend more time together: Remember when you were a kid and hid under your bed to avoid getting it trouble? While running away seems like an easy way out of a situation in which you hate your husband, avoiding him won’t fix anything. Sadly, trial separations are a popular answer when things start to get bad.
But, in reality with more space between you and your husband, you may find it harder to fix things. So you may want to try committing to spending more time together. Schedule a weekly date night, without friends or kids, to focus on the two of you. You can occasionally use this time to talk about your relationship, but more often it should be a time for fun and laughter so that you can remember the reason you got married in the first place.
Put the past behind you: Remember that time he broke your favorite wine glass, or didn’t do the dishes when it was his turn? So does he, because you remind him over and over again.
It’s rarely possible to forgive and forget completely, but dredging up past wrongs, which is sometimes known as keeping score, allows old wounds to fester. Instead, discuss the issue once and then move on. There are enough problems today without piling them on top of yesterday’s troubles. Letting go of baggage from the old hurts and arguments frees up room for healing…even though it’s not exactly the easiest thing to do.
Give it time: Sometimes negative feelings about your husband can pass with time, especially if they’re related to big life changes or even physical changes. Giving birth, for example, can lead to post-partum depression, which may manifest as feelings of anger and hatred toward your husband. New medications for mental health issues may not take well. Moving, new jobs, large projects at work, and aging parents can all contribute to stress that takes a toll on your and your marriage. But when things settle down, you may find yourself becoming reacquainted with that loving feeling again.
You can even hate your partner in the moment but still love him overall .
Regardless, don’t rush into actions if you’re not absolutely sure that you hate your husband and want to end your marriage.
Start over: If you look back at the honeymoon phase and wonder where all that happiness went, it may be time to reclaim it. Everyone needs a fresh start once in awhile, even if it is only symbolic. You can even use some of these tips to help him fall in love with you all over again.
When you remember the good times, also remember to practice gratefulness. Gratitude is important in successful relationships .
To recall the bliss of your newlywed days, try renewing your vows and restarting your marriage from scratch. You don’t need another fancy ceremony, just a simple recommitment to your vows to remind you of happy times and the promises you have made to each other. However, it is helpful to have at least one witness.
Making your recommitment public holds you both accountable for sticking to your vows and following through on creating fresh happiness.
When You Should End Things
If, even after trying several of the strategies for repairing your marriage, you still find yourself plagued with the thought of hating your husband, it may be time to consider the worst-case scenario.
Once hate begins to grow within a marriage, it can become impossible to turn around. Sadly, some marriages were never meant to be and were destined to break down over time. Whatever the situation, it may be best to consider divorce. Ending a marriage in which you truly hate your husband allows you both to heal and possibly even move on to healthier, happier relationships.
Feeling hatred toward someone you once loved enough to make a lifelong commitment to is a terrible feeling that will slowly eat away at you. And, sadly sometimes the only thing you can do for your mental health is to end things.
You may never again be the same inseparable couple that all your friends were jealous of. But, with a lot of hard work, dedication and time, you might find a way to restore the love that has slipped away. If you are able to turn your relationship around after hating your husband you may even find that your relationship is stronger in some ways because of surviving the test.
However, you might decide that the relationship isn’t worth saving or that you can’t love him again. In those cases, it is best to dissolve the marriage. No matter the ending, the first step to moving on with your life is to admit, “I hate my husband but I want to fix it”.
Realizing that you hate your husband and potentially that you want to end your marriage can be overwhelming. The following resources can provide you with additional information and help.
- Dr. Christine Carter discusses how unrealistic expectations lead to resentment and hate in this article on Psychology Today.
- Jennifer Legra discusses her battle with post-partum depression and how it affected the way she felt toward her husband.
- TheBump offers advice for women struggling with PDD.
- Psych Central also tackles this subject.
- Even the Wall Street Journal has advice when you’ve fallen out of love with your husband.
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ #1 – Can I ever learn to love my husband if I hate him now?
Maybe. If you loved him at one point, you may be able to return to those loving feelings, but it will require a willingness to change your feelings and to work through the issues that have led you to the point where you hate your husband. For some people, it’s too difficult to change those routines or it’s been too long to get back those loving feelings.
FAQ #2 – Could I hate my husband because I just had a baby?
Yes! Some women experience post-partum depression, sometimes called post-natal depression. It’s not uncommon for women to experience post-partum depression (PPD) after the hormonal and physical changes that occur during pregnancy and labor . PDD can make you feel unlike yourself, and it can manifest as anxiety. sadness. and a difficulty getting through your day like other depressions. But it might also take the form of feeling anger and hating your husband — and even your baby.
If you’re feeling imbalanced after having a baby, contact your doctor to discuss whether post-partum depression might be the cause and to determine a treatment plan if this is the case.
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