“My husband misinterprets everything I say” – the story of thousands of spouses around us. I once fell in love with a guy whose emotional availability was the size of a peanut. I tried and tried to convince him to talk to me, share how he is feeling, or at least, make me a part of his life. All these vain attempts would eventually boomerang on me with the most inconsiderate response from him, “You could have told me earlier that you have so many problems with me. Relationships are supposed to be easy-going. You shouldn’t have to put so much effort to be with the person you love.”
As you may have already figured, that relationship didn’t pan out well for me. But I can imagine going through the same anguish in a marriage for days on end when your husband always deflects literally everything you say. Every conversation with him is another argument. Sometimes, it’s about him stealing your thunder. Sometimes, it’s the classic game of blame-shifting. Sometimes, it’s plain, old sexism.
Unless he crosses the limit of your patience threshold, seeking a divorce for this issue might be a bit over the top. “But my opinion doesn’t matter to my husband. Everything I say my husband says the opposite,” you may counter. Well, we get your point big time. So, what can you do to ameliorate your marriage? Be with us till the last pointer and you will see a silver lining somewhere around the corner, we promise!
“My Husband Misinterprets Everything I Say” – 17 Tips To Help You
Do you feel you can’t talk to your husband without him getting angry? Tell me if this sounds familiar – when you are in an argument, it seems you are talking to a wall. Because he is only putting forward the points that he wants to project on you without any relevance to your opinion whatsoever. Naturally, none of your spats ever reach a logical solution.
Irene, a sales manager from New Jersey, says, “My husband makes everything about him. The day my company offered me that big shot promotion, I was super proud of myself. I got home and broke the news to him. It took him exactly two and a half minutes to turn the conversation into how his promotion was actually worth something and mine was nothing but a consolation prize. Apparently, I got it because I am a woman.”
Irene was living under the shadow of a narcissistic husband. A giant superiority complex, gaslighting, turning down others’ points of view – these are all textbook signs of narcissism. If your husband is not as extreme as hers, then let’s try to find a solution to your concern about “My husband misinterprets everything I say”. Why do you think he does this? Clearly, there is a communication gap happening between the two of you. And once you spot where that stems from, dealing with the misunderstandings at hand will become easier. Meanwhile, let’s share some of our pearls of wisdom with you. These 17 tips will definitely help you make the best out of a “My opinion doesn’t matter to my husband” situation.
Related Reading: 7 Things To Do When You Fall Out Of Love With Your Husband
1. Disagreements are a part of life – accept that
When everything is changing in this world, this one fact remains constant. If you are in a relationship with another human being, there will be clashes, there will be bickering, and at times, it might turn a bit ugly. The sooner you make your peace with the reality, the better. After all, our opinions differ from our own parents in many cases.
So, when you are meeting another adult in your mid-twenties, you can’t expect their thoughts to completely align with yours. Relationships are no beds of roses until we work on them and make them sustainable. But if your husband always deflects what you say, it’s time you put your foot down and do something about it. Disagreements are healthy, but not if they are a constant habit.
2. Recognize your feelings and expectations, and state them clearly
Knowing yourself in and out is the first step you can take if you want him to understand you. Unless you’re clear in your head about how you want to be treated or what your type of love language is, you will keep him in a fog. Let me give you an instance.
Suppose, this one time you wanted him to pick you up at the airport. But you only texted “I can’t wait to see you” and expected him to make the move on his own. Can you see why such ambiguous statements become the culprit creating turmoil between two people? And then being annoyed about “My husband misinterprets everything I say” won’t help you make the situation any better.
3. Tell him how it makes you feel when he distorts your words
Let me share a glimpse of a chat with my friend Alice:
Alice: I am tired of fighting with Sam. Every sentence I say, he will manage to translate it into something insulting. Is it always my fault when we argue?
Me: Hey, don’t be so hard on yourself. I am sure you two will get past this phase. What was his reaction when you told him about this?
Alice: Well, I actually never had the guts to tell him. What if I hurt his feelings?
I was stunned to know that the idea of having an honest conversation makes my friend walk on eggshells around her husband. Hear me out, your troubles will increase by leaps and bounds until you are ready to face them and accept their existence. As adults, both of you are supposed to voice your concerns and not run your marriage based on assumptions of how the other will behave. If you feel “My husband makes everything about him”, care to sit him down for a conversation and point it out. How will your husband make amends for putting you in this misery unless he knows about it?
4. Ask him “Why?”
Is it because he hardly listens to what you are saying? Does he have some sort of deep-seated insecurity or self-esteem issue that he is trying to overpower by lashing at you? Or maybe it is just in his nature to feel offended and get upset quickly. Let’s get to the bottom of it.
Take a moment here before you jump to the conclusion, “My opinion doesn’t matter to my husband. I don’t think I can do this anymore.” If you could get out of the role of a vexed wife (a role that’s understandable in these circumstances) and become his best friend for a few hours, maybe he would open up about the things bothering him. And when he does, be an empathizer – validate his feelings. If this conversation goes as productive as we are expecting, half of your marital conflicts will be unraveled.
5. Politely call him out when he is distracted in a conversation
“My husband misinterprets everything I say” – that’s a probable issue if your husband is a highly self-absorbed person. Does he almost never pay attention while you are talking to him? He is either engaged on the phone or always preoccupied with work. If so, we can’t blame you for fretting about “Everything I say, my husband says the opposite.” You are not supposed to put up with this ignorance forever just because you are married to this man. Gently remind him to be mindful whenever you see him withdrawing from an important discussion.
Related Reading: 11 Signs You Are In A Codependent Marriage
6. Make him feel safe and cared for
If a person’s emotional needs were unfulfilled as a child, they often tend to build a coping mechanism where they give what they expect to receive in return. In relationships too, this person will love their partner in the same way they expect that love to be reciprocated (or the lack thereof). Now this partner, being completely oblivious to their complex childhood, may turn out to be a huge disappointment with their individual way of showing love.
This could be another reason that your husband tends to misunderstand you on many occasions. Perhaps you are both having a hard time decoding each other’s love language. Try to create a safe space in your marriage to untangle these secret emotions without any hesitation.
7. Try couple’s communication exercises
Can’t talk to your husband without him getting angry? Let’s hear from Lena, a 30-year-old homemaker, about how couple’s communication exercises helped her fine-tune the broken connection with her husband.
Lena says, “I used to tell my friends that my husband misinterprets everything I say. One of them suggested this tip to me. My partner and I took some time out every day to listen to our regular, mundane stories. We played this game where both of us wrote one thing we appreciate about the other person and stuck it on the refrigerator. It gave us a reason to smile at each other. On some nights, we would delve into deeper conversations. We acknowledged the pitfalls and apologized for all those times we hurt one another. Slowly, we rediscovered the love that was locked in the attic for a long time.”
You can also try gently stating your intent before a conversation. Or validate and trust the other’s intent before sharing what you had in mind. “Hey, what I’m about to tell you is just something I wish to share about me, and has no reflection on you. I love you and I’m just happy/sad to share with you that…” Or “I know your intent was not to hurt me at all, I know you love me. I just need to share how I felt about this…”
8. Quit the urge to win every fight
Which one seems more appealing to you – to defeat him by hook or by crook and lose your husband in the process, or do something to make your marriage stronger than ever? If you are on team ‘happy and healthy marriage’, overcoming an obstacle will hold more value than your stubborn ego. At least try taming the compulsive desire to verbally attack him to solely establish a point. Relationships don’t always work on the binaries of right and wrong. At times, patience is all you need to find a middle ground.
9. Don’t take an aggressive tone
Many of our readers have often made this statement, “Everything I say to my husband is wrong.” Now, that is one side of the story. Are we overlooking the factor that you might have taken a rude, harsh tone or passed a sarcastic comment or two to undermine him?
In that case, his natural instincts will drive him to do everything in his power to prove himself right. It could be one of the reasons that you can’t talk to your husband without him getting angry. If, at all, you both are losing temper or saying hurtful things in every conversation, it’s time to check the tone and pitch of your voice.
10. Pause in the middle of an argument
People say the most inappropriate words in the heat of the moment. Later, they only suffer the consequences, going through hours of shame and regret insulting their better half. There will be situations when you are trying to clarify something to your husband and he is refusing to catch your point. You are angry; you are driving each other crazy. Either one of you might end up throwing a nasty remark blowing the whole argument way out of proportion.
Rather than stonewalling each other for weeks after this, you should take a break before it hits rock bottom. Go outside, eat some frozen yogurt, and come back when you are calm and can think rationally. “Is it always my fault when we argue?” you may ask. No, probably not. And this is why you must find a way to reset the conversation by first calming down, for the sake of your marriage. It works better if ‘both’ of you take a pause and come back with a clearer frame of mind.
Related Reading: 17 Agonizing Signs Your Husband Doesn’t Love You Anymore
11. Break the blame-game chain
Evelyn, a high-school teacher in her mid-30s, complains, “My husband misinterprets everything I say. Everything I say, my husband says the opposite. I asked him to pick up our daughter from school because I was stuck at work. I told him it’s NOT my responsibility to take care of everything. He came back with, “Are you saying that I am a lousy father? Why can’t you ever take a day off to attend her ballet recitals like I do? Why is it always me who has to cancel the meetings?””
Evelyn keeps grumbling about his erratic behavior to her best friend. In a way, blame-shifting is the glue holding them together in this toxic marriage. Do I have to explain more or you can see why it’s important to break the pattern NOW and start being considerate about each other’s needs?
12. Arguments could be constructive if you try
“Everything I say to my husband is wrong, then what’s the point of talking to him? I haven’t spoken a word to him in the last four days,” one reader, who’s been going through marital issues since the last two years of her marriage, shared with us. You cannot talk-block the other person before entirely hearing them out. Even though you are trying to point at one of their shortcomings, do it in a way that they don’t feel worthless or threatened.
Remind him how you still love him and that he has many qualities to look for in a husband. It’s important to maintain a loving connection with him even while you argue with him. Hold hands, keep a gentle eye contact, listen, and speak with empathy while asserting your issue. Also, there are high chances of going off-topic in an argument and making it all about why he forgot your birthday three years back. Please, focus! Whenever you see the slightest possibility of a discussion turning into a fight, these pointers will help you get back on track.
13. Getting back at him is not the solution
“My husband misinterprets everything I say. What if I give him the taste of his own medicine? Maybe he’ll see the error of his ways then” – thoughts like this may come and go in your head. But have you imagined how it will create an unbearable cohabiting condition in your own home?
If he is bragging about a new car, you stay a step ahead and boast of the new apartment you booked for your parents. One confusion piles on another. Eventually, you will grow apart in the marriage so badly that it will be a hard task to recognize each other anymore. Trust me, an eye for an eye is not the right attitude to fix a broken marriage. Rather it will invite more hostility, more bitterness.
14. Stand your ground
“I don’t like loud voices. He starts yelling every time I make a mistake, I either shut down or leave. Is it always my fault when we argue?” asks Elijah, a writer from Chicago, Illinois. It’s not. Don’t get us wrong, Elijah. It’s not our intention to give you the impression that you are the one responsible to bring your marriage out of this muddle. Of course, we wanted to point out a few things you could change for the good of this relationship. But we certainly don’t suggest giving up your values, needs, and opinions to fit his parameters of an ‘ideal’ spouse. Never turn back from standing up for what you believe in, no matter where that leads your relationship trajectory. Just do it with empathy.
Related Reading: How To Leave A Marriage Peacefully – 9 Expert Tips To Help
15. Forgive and let go of a few
Speaking from personal experience, I know how exasperating it can get when a self-righteous man cannot keep himself out of a conversation that was supposed to be about YOU. So, when you say, “My husband makes everything about him”, I identify with you. However, can you or I really deny our human flaws? Your husband can’t either.
People fall for people and spend a lifetime together embracing all those relationship red flags. Because sometimes the green ones outnumber the reds. If you are adamant about tackling these marriage issues and sticking by his side through thick and thin, you have to make some place for mercy in your life. A couple of fights, a few misunderstandings can be waved off as long as they don’t develop into a pattern.
16. Consider professional guidance
More often than not, relationships suffer rough patches and two partners may fall short to find a way out of these vicious circles. The most practical step to take here is to go see a licensed marriage counselor. Either you can cry alone and let your marriage fall into the gutter with each passing day.
Or, you could choose to sit in a therapist’s office and ask, “My husband misinterprets everything I say. How do I make him realize my worth and get him to treat me better?” Just so you know, Bonobology is with you at all times. If it’s help you’re looking for, skilled and experienced counselors on our panel of experts are here for you.
17. Take care of yourself
When your husband always deflects your perspective on a matter, it can play havoc with your sanity. You are the only one to look after your mental health, and this journey is not going to be a walk in the park. There will be days that might overwhelm you with so much chaos and fill your mind with resentment. You should have a backup plan at hand to offer you the gratification and inner peace to further deal with this family drama. A hobby, spa therapy, learning a new skill, meditation, or walking in the woods – plunge into whatever makes you happy in this world without thinking twice.
Dear reader, we hope the next time you feel the anger flowing through you about “My husband misinterprets everything I say”, you will know the means to pacify yourself. Be patient, don’t let him get too deep under your skin, and communicate as explicitly as possible. We wish you some positive improvements and a better future with your darling husband.
There could be many reasons behind such behavior. Perhaps he is truly annoyed at your conduct sometimes. Or maybe, he is not mature enough to own up to his faults and needs a punching bag to release the sense of guilt.
It could either mean love has left your relationship or he is finished with you. Maybe he has met someone new and is picking a fight with you every now and then because all your flaws are highlighted to him now.
There is a possibility that it’s one of his characteristics, given that he is inherently narcissistic or misogynistic by nature. If he is treated rudely or dominated outside, at work maybe, he would try to channel that anger by being argumentative with you.