Having a selfish husband is a real predicament. Just the other day, when I was traveling on public transport, I overheard a conversation between two women. While one said, “My husband is selfish in bed”, the other complained, “My partner makes big decisions without me”. As these two miserable women discussed the signs of an ungrateful husband, I could not help but sympathize with them.
Building healthy relationships entails an equitable give and take. But what if one partner only takes without ever offering anything in return? Life can become suffocating and frustrating, especially when you are tied in a marital knot! As always, the first step toward resolving a problem is to identify the red flags. And we’re here to help do just that with this rundown on the top signs of a selfish, ungrateful husband.
Why Do Men Become Selfish?
A selfish personality could be an inherent trait or the result of one’s life experiences, especially the ones that can be traced back to one’s childhood. There could be a number of reasons behind selfishness in marriage:
- Childhood experiences: Being the only child could mean he never learned the concept of ‘sharing’, be it food/books/toys/physical space. Or maybe he had siblings who were competitive or always picked on him. Or his parents were emotionally withholding or unavailable. As a result, he learned that he needed to focus on his own needs because no one else would. This learned behavior now manifests as him being an inconsiderate husband
- Birth of a child: When a couple has a child, it’s only natural for the woman’s attention to be focused on her newborn baby. This can leave the husband feeling left out. He constantly craves and demands attention and this can often translate into selfish behavior
- Work stress: Every marriage gets monotonous after a point. When the husband is under extreme stress at work, he starts expecting and demanding more at home. When he is unable to have his needs met, the disappointment eventually grows into resentment, which may present itself as a disregard for your feelings
- Male chauvinism: Some men have stereotypical mindsets due to their upbringing and cultural influences. They always want to have an upper hand in the relationship and are working toward tipping the power dynamics in their favor. They simply cannot tolerate their wives being ambitious or having flourishing careers. This gives rise to an inferiority complex that causes them to lash out
Top 15 Signs Of A Selfish Husband
Have you ever thought to yourself, “My partner makes big decisions without me” or “My husband only cares about himself”? These niggling feelings can not only lead to discontentment but also affect your self-esteem when your husband is not affectionate. Could these behavior patterns be indicators of your husband’s selfishness? Let’s take a look at the top signs of a self-centered husband to find out:
1. He doesn’t take interest in your interests
Natalie, a homemaker in her 30s, says, “My husband, Patrick, leads with the assumption that his career is more important and expects me to follow him around wherever his work takes him. Does he even care that I need to stay close to my friends and family? I hardly think so. Is my husband a narcissist or just selfish?”
Sounds relatable? Chances are, you’d be able to relate to these selfish husband signs:
- Doesn’t bother about your interests and dreams
- Isn’t a patient listener and rarely pays attention to you, all the while expecting you to listen to him
- Is only concerned about his needs and his well-being
Related Reading: 7 Fundamentals Of Commitment In A Marriage
2. He is always the boss
A selfish man exhibits the following red flags:
- Is dominating in the relationship and unwilling to compromise on even the smallest of issues
- Lashes out on minor inconveniences
- Wants the perfect food, perfect bed linen, the towels in place, and his wardrobe in order
This bossy attitude can make your partner come across as rude and inconsiderate toward you. If you find yourself living with the realization, “My husband is only nice when he wants something”, it’s one of the typical signs of a bad husband.
3. He decides for you
One of the signs of a selfish husband is that he tends to believe that you are not capable of taking charge. You won’t find him taking your opinion into consideration, no matter how big or small the decision at hand. For instance, if you’re going out on a dinner date, he’ll decide the place. Once you’re at the restaurant, he may go ahead and order for you. Even when buying gifts for his wife, an inconsiderate man will not consider her likes and dislikes.
4. A selfish husband never says sorry
Speaking on the importance of accountability, mindfulness coach Pooja Priyamvada previously told Bonobology, “Taking accountability in a healthy marriage means that you share your part of the responsibility to make that marriage work in a functional and healthy way.” However, a self-absorbed husband would avoid taking accountability in the following ways:
- He plays the victim or gets defensive whenever you highlight his flaws
- He never takes time to introspect/reflect on his selfish behavior
- He is not receptive to criticism and lashes out if you point out his mistakes
Are you the one who has to make up after every fight and disagreement no matter who is at fault? The voice in your head screaming “My husband is selfish” is absolutely on point. If you are eager to know how to teach a lesson to selfish husband, perhaps you should give him a taste of his own medicine. It’s high time you stop being apologetic about every minor clash and put an end to walking on eggshells around him.
5. He is ungrateful
Is there anything more heartbreaking and exhausting than living with an unappreciative husband? In every relationship, both partners demand (read: deserve) a little bit of gratitude and acknowledgment from their better halves. But if you have a selfish husband on your hands, he will likely be ungrateful as well.
No matter what you do to make your husband happy, he just doesn’t have it in him to express gratitude. You will never hear him thanking you for your romantic gestures. He thinks taking you for granted is his birthright. How to deal with a selfish husband? Well, you are going to have to learn to put your foot down and assert yourself. Without it, this pattern is not going to change.
6. He doesn’t reach out after a fight
A selfish person almost inevitably has certain narcissistic tendencies, which fuel their desire to always be on the winning side. Rebecca, one of our readers from Pasadena, shares with us, “Every discussion with my husband transforms into an argument in no time. And he has this magical power to manipulate me into believing that I am the one to blame for everything. There is no winning with him!”
Like Rebecca, many of us, unfortunately, may have a partner who is selfish in marriage. One strong indicator of this is his unwillingness to initiate a resolution after an argument. Chances are you will always have to be the one approaching him first after a fight in the hopes of making amends.
Related Reading: 7 Things To Do When You Fall Out Of Love With Your Husband
7. He always criticizes you
As a loving husband, your partner should be bringing out the best in you by encouraging you to be the best version of yourself. On the other hand, if your partner is always belittling you and making you feel worthless, there is emotional abuse in your marriage.
According to research based on the assessment of 132 married couples, constant criticism in marriage significantly predicted depressive symptoms in the spouse being criticized. Here are some examples of what a critical spouse would say:
- “You are so lazy; the house is such a mess!”
- “I told you how to do it, why couldn’t you just follow my instructions?”
- “Yes, you got that promotion but what’s the big deal?”
8. He can’t even do the bare minimum
A Reddit user wrote, “My husband makes everything about himself…He can’t help much with bills, but he can buy tons of things for his different hobbies. We’re 5 years in and I’m already burnt out. He won’t go to therapy. Ugh. I can only scream into the void for so long.”
A little admiration and words of affirmation like “You look beautiful today” can certainly go a long way in keeping a relationship fresh and alive. Sadly, when a man exhibits selfish behavior, it may not even occur to him to compliment you for who you are or what you bring to the relationship. Of course, thoughtful gestures like buying you a dress because he feels it will look good on you are out of the question.
9. No displays of affection
As they say, “A warm hug can make everything all right.” Cuddling with each other, holding hands, resting your head on your hubby’s shoulders, or looking into each other’s eyes are all very meaningful gestures that increase intimacy in a relationship. However, with a self-centered spouse, such displays of affection are few and far between.
10. He avoids communication
For a relationship to thrive, open communication is the key. Good communication in relationships doesn’t necessarily mean talking for hours on end. It is simply about being able to express your thoughts/worries/concerns honestly and openly to your spouse. One of the classic selfish husband signs is stunted communication where you feel like you can’t share your true thoughts and feelings with your life partner, and he lacks the ability to voice his without tensions soaring.
11. The sex is all about him
In the American Psychological Association (APA) dictionary, the definition of “selfishness” is listed as, “the tendency to act excessively or solely in a manner that benefits oneself, even if others are disadvantaged.” And this holds for every aspect of your relationship, including your dynamics in the bedroom.
If your husband is only focused on his needs in bed, there is no doubt that he is selfish. Does your husband demand intimacy like it’s his right? When you’re together, is the act all about him achieving the big O? Does he leave you high and dry once he is done? If yes, you’re right in thinking, “My husband always puts himself first and that’s very selfish of him.”
12. Doesn’t share the load
A Reddit user wrote, “My husband is a lazy father. There are worse, much worse, and he isn’t a deadbeat, and he loves his daughter a lot. But I do literally 90-95% of the parenting; I parent 24 hours a day and am lucky if he steps in for an hour here or there. I haven’t slept for longer than 3 hours in a row since she was born and I’m at the end of my rope.”
Related Reading: Sharing Household Chores And Responsibilities Equally In Marriage
Having to deal with a selfish husband during pregnancy, and also after that, can be the worst possible nightmare. But the signs of an uncaring husband inevitably extend to other aspects of your life as well. Here is what his behavior may look like:
- He doesn’t pick after himself
- He gets mad at you for not washing his clothes on time
- He expects you to do all the housework
- He doesn’t believe in sharing the load
13. No romantic dates
According to research, couples who carve out some quality time to engage with each other at least once a week were approximately 3.5 times more likely to report being “very happy” in their marriages compared to those who didn’t. If your man doesn’t make an effort to connect with you and also doesn’t reciprocate your attempts to strengthen the relationship, it could be one of the signs of an uncaring husband. Little thoughtful gestures such as getting you flowers and wine or cooking you dinner for a romantic evening at home are likely unheard of in your marriage, and that is a cause for concern.
14. He doesn’t compromise
A Reddit user wrote, “My husband is never home. The thing that gets me so angry is, I NEVER tell him he can’t golf or do any of his favorite activities. Mostly because he works hard all week, it’s not usually a big deal. But the ONE F**KING TIME I could have done something I love to do, he couldn’t sacrifice a second round of golf with his friends so I could play volleyball for 2 hours.”
If your husband typically does whatever he wants and you’re the one always sacrificing, it’s an unequal marriage. This can start to make you feel neglected in the relationship. It’s important that you find ways to take care of yourself. If his man cave is important, so is your need to stay positive.
15. He doesn’t check in
The most important thing in a partnership is checking in on each other from time to time to make sure both partners feel seen, heard, and cared for. Here are some examples:
- “How was your day?”
- “You worked so hard for that presentation. How did it go?”
- “I know you had a rough couple of weeks. How are you feeling?”
Related Reading: 21 Warning Signs Of A Controlling Husband
If your husband is never concerned about whether you’re in a good mood or not, chances are that he is self-absorbed.
How to deal with a selfish husband?
Wondering, “Should I leave my selfish husband?” Looking for tips on how to teach a lesson to selfish husband? Here are some ways to deal with the situation:
- Try journaling to make sense of your thoughts and understand what exactly you want from the relationship
- Use “I” statements to express your needs to your husband, so that he doesn’t feel that you’re blaming him or leveling accusations (For example, say “I feel disappointed that you don’t check on me” instead of saying “You hurt me by thinking just about yourself”)
- Start prioritizing your needs, work on doing away with people-pleasing tendencies, and start saying “no” to things you dislike
- Be kind (instead of lashing out) while expressing your needs. For example, try saying, “I would appreciate it if you share the load of domestic responsibilities” instead of “You are such a jerk! Can’t you see I am exhausted?”
- Unapologetically take a break from your routine to unwind and rejuvenate. From buying yourself self-care gifts to spending a day at the spa, do whatever you need to feel relaxed and unburdened
- If you feel unheard even after expressing your needs multiple times, seek professional help
- If nothing seems to be working, it’s time to reassess your marriage
- It can be exhausting and frustrating to live with a selfish spouse
- A selfish husband won’t make gestures like planning a dinner date or acknowledge any effort you make to keep your relationship fresh and alive
- Dealing with these red flags can take its toll on your emotional well-being, that’s way it’s important to prioritize self-care
- To deal with the situation, you can try taking stock of your expectations, communicating your needs to him, and going into therapy to work through your issues
Not every marriage is a smooth ride, but it is important that both people in the relationship make efforts to better their lives together. Dear couples, sit and communicate about your problems because your marriage and your love for each other are worth all the trouble! We wish you luck.
This article has been updated in March 2023.
First, give your marriage a fair chance. Discuss the issues clearly with your husband, go for couples counseling – do everything that is in your power. If the selfish behavior still continues, you may reconsider the future of this relationship. After all, you can’t neglect your own well-being.
Husbands can ignore their spouses for a host of reasons. To decipher why it is happening in your marriage, you need to analyze whether he has always been like this or it is a recent tendency. If he has started ignoring you lately but wasn’t always like this, it could be because he is too occupied with work or may have lost interest in you. The possibility of another romantic partner or infidelity cannot be ruled out either.