Why do I resent my husband for not working. What should I do?

My Questions and Answers | | Expert Author , Psychologist
Updated On: May 3, 2024
I resent my husband for not working

My unemployed husband does nothing all day and I am starting to lose respect for him. It is causing major problems in our marriage. My husband can’t keep a job. I am losing my patience with him and now have a short fuse when it comes to him. The house is supposed to be our shared responsibility but it feels like it is on my shoulders alone now. I find myself wanting to spend less and less time with him and when we do, it just ends in a fight. What can I do about my husband not working?


It can be very stressful to handle the finances of a house on your own in the current economy. Not only that, but if you don’t get any help around the house with chores, bills and other responsibilities, it can get mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting for you to deal with. It may even lead to burn out sooner than later. In such a situation, it’s natural for you to be upset with your husband, because there is so much resentment. It is hard to want to spend time with someone who is not being considerate to your needs.

Related Reading: My Husband Resents My Success And Is Jealous

Here’s what you can do to cope with your situation:

  1. Be kind to yourself.
    Practice giving yourself some grace and avoid pressuring yourself into more work. You’re dealing with a lot, so it is natural for you to be exhausted and irritable currently. It doesn’t help if you judge yourself for having these emotionally reactive responses.
  2. Find healthy outlets for your frustration.
    It is important to have an outlet of frustration and anger which doesn’t hurt you or others involved. This could be in the form of journaling, or relying on your support system, physical exercise, etc. If you don’t have an outlet for your emotions, you will end up being short with your husband, which hinders communication, and adds stress for you.
  3. Open and honest communication.
    Speak to your husband about what is bothering you. Try to avoid placing blame on anyone, as this is a sensitive time and the discussion should be handled with care. The two of you can address each others’ concerns and come up with other ways your husband can help you out. It would also help if the two of you could build a new routine, both for yourself and your husband, where you reassign responsibilities.
  4. Financial planning.
    Considering the fact that you have lost an income source, it is crucial that you and your husband sit together and revise your finances and expenditure, so that you don’t end up overspending and creating further stressors in your life.
  5. Encourage your husband to explore new opportunities.
    I know extending empathy would be difficult in this situation, however, your husband is also going through a stressful period due to his unemployment. Chances are that his self-esteem has taken a hit. In such times, support and a kind word from you can help boost his morale so that he can keep trying new opportunities of employment.
  6. Manage expectations.
    It’s important to maintain realistic expectations about how soon your husband will find employment, and how financially rewarding it would be. Also consider that if your husband is ignoring your concerns despite communicating, then it shows he is not in a place to care for your needs. If that is the case for you, prioritize yourself first.

Related Reading: How To Deal With Resentment In Marriage

Remember that navigating unemployment is a process, and it’s important to approach it as a team. By maintaining open communication, supporting each other emotionally, and working together on practical solutions, you can strengthen your relationship and overcome the challenges of unemployment.


1. How do I stop resenting my unemployed husband?

Resentment often arises out of unmet needs. Here’s how you can manage your resentment towards your husband:
1. Communicate your needs to him
2. Listen to his perspective and empathize
3. Set realistic expectations according to your circumstances
4. Don’t overlook the positives about your husband. What are the things he is doing to help make this easier on both of you?
5. Practice being kind to yourself and allow your emotions to exist without judgment.

2. How do you deal with a husband who is not working?

It can be stressful to deal with a husband who is not working out of his choice, and adds a lot of strain on you, and the marriage. You can try communicating with him openly, and trying to understand why he is choosing to not work. It is important you express your needs and concerns as well. However, if this also brings about no change, then it is time to realize that your husband is aware of the pain this is causing for you but is still unwilling to change

3. What happens when you lose respect for your husband?

Respect is the foundation of any relationship. Love without respect can turn abusive, for both or either parties. When you lose respect for your husband, you begin to dislike him and devalue his opinions and feelings. This can create a toxic home environment for both of you which may eventually lead to separation

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