So last week during girl’s night, you invited your friends over and started venting to them. It went a little something like, “I know my husband hates me but says he loves me…our marriage is completely on the rocks and I just don’t know what to do.” If you’ve found yourself feeling anything similar to that, you’ve come to the right place today. What to do if you think your husband hates you? We can try and help.
Marriages are not fairytales (though we wish they were!). The ‘till death do us apart’ vows sound great on paper and on the wedding day, but the tunes of reality can be rather discordant. When confusion and dilemmas set in, you are often left wondering what you should be doing next.
For a lot of women, the rose-tinted dreams crumble when they feel that the man they married and the man they are living with behave like two different entities. You may even start to feel like your husband secretly hates you or that he is just not into you anymore.
This essentially happens because the adjustment and compromises may make the first few years of marriage smooth but when the distance grows, the love vanishes and the fights begin. Then, a wife is often confronted with a shocking thought – ‘Why do I feel like my husband hates me?’
To help us dig even deeper, we have on board with us today, consultant psychologist Jaseena Backer (MS Psychology), who is a gender and relationship management expert who is going to guide us through these feelings. The suspicions in your mind may or may not be true, but the conflict is enough to destroy your peace and calm. As always, the first rule is – do not overreact. It is necessary to think it through well, find out the reasons behind the alleged hatred and negativity and then figure out what to do if you think your husband hates you.
How Can You Tell If Your Husband Hates You
One often wonders how marriages reach that point when a spouse begins to strongly dislike his partner! Do you think you might be living with a husband who hates you? Okay, ‘hate’ may be a strong word to use here but resentment in a marriage can easily grow if the problems in a marriage are not sorted right in the beginning.
The truth is, resentment in a relationship doesn’t happen overnight. It may take months, sometimes years to build, then, perhaps one (not so) fine day it explodes and from there on it’s a downhill journey.
But how do you know if your husband has zero feelings for you? Let’s try and analyze some of his signs and actions, and how they make you feel. This may help you understand the depth of the matter and motivate you to work toward a solution. After all, it’s better than living with a husband who hates you, and not knowing why will only spur further questions in your mind.
Related Reading: How To Deal With Resentment In Marriage? – Expert Tells You
1. He does not communicate
Your Emotion: My husband hates his life with me so much that we have stopped speaking
They say apathy can be worse than abuse. For Louisa, it began when her husband Erik suddenly started withdrawing after three years of marriage. He had always been a quiet man, but suddenly, he barely spoke to her, or shared his thoughts or feelings. It was as though they were two strangers sharing a home and Louisa began to wonder, “Why do I feel like my husband hates me?”
If your husband does not want to have anything to do with you, the first sign would be that of withdrawal. He may not be overtly angry or abusive, but the cold-shoulder treatment can leave you confused, and you will be left wondering if he has emotionally checked out of the marriage.
You don’t know where you are going wrong because he isn’t telling you. So it’s natural to suspect that your husband has had enough of you. ‘I think my husband hates me and that’s why he refuses to engage with me’ is what your brain would constantly tell you.
2. Your husband is neglectful
Your Emotion: My husband does not care anymore
Jaseena says, “When the husband cuts off communication, stops chatting with you and just stops giving you any family time, it is possible that he is being neglectful. A man who is neglecting his wife will also stop buying her gifts, taking her out or even doing basic things such as enquiring about her health or her job.”
Neglect or lack of attention is a sign of a relationship going awry. Every woman wants to be pampered and taken care of, but it hurts when you realize that your man has spent Saturday night playing poker with his pals when you were waiting at home with a special dinner. “What to do if my husband hates me?”, you’re left thinking on more than one occasion.
Does your husband ignore everything that you hold dear – from memories of your pre-marital dates at Central Park to the huge financial deal you cracked at work? Have the small gestures of romance all but disappeared? These are pure signs of neglect and could be a sign you’re living with a husband who hates you.
3. He is borderline abusive but holds back
Your Emotion: My husband hates me but won’t leave me
A lot of women are needy and passive, often not able to get back at husbands who can be emotionally abusive to them. They take solace in the fact that their marriage is intact even if it’s more of a drudgery than a meaningful partnership. Perhaps the thought of a cumbersome divorce scares them even.
Marriages are supposed to be equal but when one partner dominates the other completely, it can’t be strong at all. Your husband may show absolutely no support or care but he won’t walk out on you. But is that what you want? To be constantly left wondering, “What should I do if my husband hates his life with me?”
4. Your husband secretly hates you if he talks down to you
Your Emotion: My husband resents me
Derek and Tom had been married for five years, when Tom started noticing that every time Derek spoke to him, it was always in a condescending way. Even when they were around friends or family, Derek would make jokes about Tom’s inability to manage money, or how he could never remember to buy detergent on time. They were seemingly small barbs, but they left Tom worrying, “I think my husband hates me.”
Respect is one of the foundations of a strong marriage. But in a loveless partnership, you may find yourself being chided by your husband. Does he constantly put you down? Do your opinions or feelings never matter to him? These are strong signs of resentment.
He may or may not like you, but he definitely does not value you. Disagreements are part and parcel of every interaction, but if he considers you inferior and doesn’t hesitate to show who’s boss, it is very possible that your husband resents who you are.
Jaseena explains, “Talking down or being condescending is most definitely a sign of disrespect. It comes from a place of not valuing the other person enough. In some cases, it can even be a way of gaslighting and deliberately showing the partner that their contribution to the relationship is nothing and that they are basically foolish and unworthy.”
Related Reading: 11 Warning Signs Of A Toxic Relationship
5. Harsh words are often exchanged in a fight
Your Emotion: My husband told me he hates me
Couples fight all the time and that can be okay. The break-up and patch-up routine is quite common in long-term relationships. But what you need to watch out for is HOW you fight. Harsh words being exchanged during a relationship argument is common but does it get offensive and abusive? When living with a husband who hates you, it probably does.
Women often say, “My husband told me he hates me during our fight”, but they need to think if such words were used during the heat of a moment or if he says them way too often. Maybe then, it’s not just an expression of anger, but is coming from a place of genuine hatred.
6. Inexplicable behaviour and actions
Your Emotion: My husband hates me all of a sudden
A big sign of a marriage on the rocks is when you notice sudden changes in your husband’s behavior. From being a loving and caring man, your man suddenly acts strange and distant when he is with you. You might find it odd and perhaps even wonder, “What should I do if my husband hates me all of a sudden?”, but dig deep and the real reason will be right there.
A clandestine affair is one of the major reasons for an inexplicable change in attitude. On the other hand, if any of your words or behavior have hurt him, it can cause deep anger resulting in sudden outbursts during unexpected occasions.
“One of the signs that shows a man is not invested in a relationship anymore is when he starts taking interest in pursuits other than his family. Things such as spending longer hours at the workplace, not joining the family for meals, avoiding going out with the family, not going grocery shopping or to the movies, are some sudden changes in his behavior to watch out for. Basically, that feeling of togetherness that you had before won’t be there any longer. You know your husband acts like he hates you when he isn’t listening to the things you say to him any more”, explains Jaseena.
Related Reading: 9 Ways To Fix A Broken Marriage And Save It
7. When your husband hates you, your sex life becomes dull
Your Emotion: My husband does not find me attractive anymore
To love someone, you also need to like them. Your sex life might not be too rocking after years of marriage, but if the emotional and physical intimacy both are missing, then know that it’s not just the spark that has vanished from your sex life. There is something else too.
“My husband hates me, what do I do?,” lamented Rachel, who has been married to Hans for nearly 20 years, and could tell that their physical attraction was waning. Not only that, Hans didn’t seem to even like being around her any more. If she reached for his hand, he wouldn’t reciprocate. If she leaned against him, he would move away from her quickly.
Being married to someone you don’t like too much can put you off of sex. Sex then becomes just a chore and not an act of love, friendship, care and intimacy. Sexless marriages are often the result of one partner hating another.
8. He puts no effort in the marriage
Your Emotion: My husband hates his life with me
A relationship is hard work and you need to constantly nurture it to make it last long. Men, especially in traditional unequal marriages, tend to stop making any effort to take the relationship forward once they get the ring on the finger. That’s why you might be thinking that your husband secretly hates you.
There may have been a time when you both enjoyed doing things together, but now your husband barely notices what you do or what you want. It shows that he either takes it too lightly or he has become self-centered, with the marriage just being a small part of his life. He may, in fact, be disinterested in it.
What Should You Do If You Think Your Husband Hates You?
To save a marriage, you should want to keep it alive even if your husband acts like he hates you. It can be extremely painful if you are constantly living with self-pitying thoughts of ‘my husband hates me, but I love him’. Bottling up the confusion, depression and anger is not going to help.
First and foremost, address the issue at hand. Based on the above signs, make sure that your suspicions are not the reactions of an overthinking mind, but that you can say with certainty that your husband has stopped having any affection for you. If it is the latter, then it’s definitely worth making an effort to save your marriage even when your husband hates you.
Once you’ve ascertained that there is something seriously wrong with your marriage, and your husband’s feelings for you are in the negative, ask yourself if you want to continue. If yes, here are some ways to cope when living with a husband who hates you.
1. Talk positively to yourself
How to save your marriage when your husband hates you? There is nothing as good as open communication when it comes to sorting out relationship problems. Sure, it may be easier said than done, but if your mind is riddled with doubts and fears, you first need to strengthen your mind by watching your words and re-directing your thoughts.
Instead of constantly cribbing, “My husband hates me, what do I do?” or “My husband hates me all of a sudden and I am clueless”, try telling yourself, “I think my husband hates me, but I am determined to find why and how I can solve it”. Such an approach can make a world of difference to your life and to your marriage.
2. Communicate with your husband
This can be tricky, but it is extremely crucial. Unless you know what the trouble is in your marriage, you can’t fix it. First, learn to accept that things are not the same between you and your husband. Then take the step to draw him out of his shell.
Communication can be difficult if your husband is abusive or you are scared of him, but if it’s an equal relationship that has gone wrong then a heart-to-heart talk can at least open the closed doors of the heart. But be prepared to hear unpleasant things about yourself too if he decides to get candid. Keeping ego aside is very essential in this process if you really want to keep your love intact and find out what truly went wrong.
Jaseena suggests, “Don’t wait to communicate till the end. If you are convinced he hates you, you need to find out whether this is stemming from unhappiness with the relationship or some other kind of stress. Have an open conversation about what’s going on with him, and also express your own feelings to him well. Tell him about how you are feeling neglected in the relationship and see his reaction to that as well.”
3. Make a new start
So you are convinced that your husband hates you even if he hasn’t said as much in as many words? Absolutely convinced that, “My husband hates his life with me?” Well then, why not try to turn hatred to love again?
First and foremost, be aware of your feelings and sort them out. Do you really want this relationship to work out? Then, put in the effort that is needed.
Forget old issues and make a new start. Continuously wondering, ‘why do I feel my husband hates me’, is going to get you nowhere. Take charge and make plans to woo him back. Do small things like exchanging gifts, planning surprise dates or supporting him through a work crisis. Be patient throughout this process as well.
Related Reading: 50 Double Date Ideas That Are Fun
4. How to save your marriage when your husband hates you? Take a break from each other
Now, this might be a tightrope to walk. But if your husband has lost interest in you, the last thing you’d want is to drive him away further. Yet sometimes, that’s exactly what is needed in a relationship that is failing. Resentment creeps in relationships when partners get too used to each other and small habits begin to irritate.
Andy and Jessica had been fighting for months, and there seemed no way out, no common ground they could reach. Finally, Jessica decided to move out for a few weeks, to give them both some breathing space. The very air in their house seemed toxic and she felt it was necessary for them to have room to think.
To get away from the negativity, a short separation may work. It will give you and him, a much needed breathing space. Of course, you need to have that all-important conversation with him first and it needs to be a mature decision to take a break to figure out the next step.
Jaseena told us, “Taking a break from each other might mean moving into separate homes and using that time to reflect on the status of the relationship. But not doing anything corrective about the relationship, is not a step in the right direction. Even though both of you are away, your focus is still the relationship. You might even learn during this time that he doesn’t hate you after all and that you only made a rash assumption.”
5. Reinvent yourself and your own life
‘My husband hates me, what do I do?’ Well, if it’s that bad, go take a trip with your friends or try a new hobby! It is possible that these ugly feelings are only in your head because you haven’t been occupied enough lately or something else is bogging you down and making you assume the worst of everything. Yes, it is entirely possible that he doesn’t hate you and you just overthought it.
Once you start making yourself feel better, you might see that you were only having these thoughts because something was lacking in your own life. Whether it’s a girls’ night out or a pottery class or a sudden interest in the gym, go out there and be the best you can be.
6. If you are still convinced that your husband secretly hates you, then just accept it
Even if after all the communication exercises and the hairdos and the surprise dates, your heart still feels like it’s sinking, it might be time to accept that this relationship is over. It might be time to give your husband an ultimatum. Tell him that you are feeling lonely in this relationship and that he needs to mend his ways some way or the other.
Once you are convinced that you have done all that you possibly could, but still feel discarded, throw the ball back into his court. Give him some time to figure out what’s wrong or tell him that you may have to separate or end this. His reaction to that itself will tell you a great deal about what his intentions are further on.
7. Seek a divorce if there’s no other option
Let divorce be the last option after you’ve tried everything else. It is nearly always worthwhile to make a marriage work, but sometimes in life, there is no point in dragging on a dead relationship. When is it time to divorce? Perhaps the anger, hatred and dislike on the part of your husband has reached a point of no return. At least you’re not left constantly asking yourself, “What to do if my husband hates me?”, once you pull the plug.
Remember, if abuse of any kind (physical or emotional) is involved, you have every right to leave your marriage.
If, despite your best efforts, you cannot see a happy future for the two of you, it is better to gracefully exit from the same. Sure, it will be painful, especially if you don’t harbor negative feelings toward him. But it will be the best step for a happier and less stressful future.
The breakdown of a relationship can happen for varied reasons. Ideally, it is best to observe the signs early on and be aware of if it is going downhill. And if remedial steps cannot fix them then you must gather the courage to look ahead. What would you rather do? Fight and bring back your husband or walk away from it all? The choice is entirely yours.
You may feel like your husband hates you if he does not pay attention to your words anymore, if the passion is completely missing, he does not communicate his feelings, is rude and often tries to put you down, being sarcastic and mean. He gives you the silent treatment and often does not respond to your fears or concerns.
It will be most evident in his behavior and actions towards you. Disagreements and fights take place all the time in a relationship (sometimes it is healthy too!) but during the exchange of words, if he says things to deliberately put you down or disrespect you, know that there is a deep sense of anger management issues and resentment toward you.
A few angry words or a few rounds of the blame game thrown here and there do not indicate hatred. What does is the deliberate distancing, the utter lack of concern (when he may show a lot of care for others), the difference in his treatment of you and those whom he values, and the general lackadaisical attitude toward the relationship. If he does not value you, it is most likely that he hates something about you.