When you got married, I bet you never – in a million years – would have imagined asking yourself, “What if my husband hates me?”
Of course not.
When people walk down the aisle, they expect that their spouse will love them, treat them well, be their best friend, and live happily ever after. Then, one day (like today), you find yourself looking for a solution to a problem you never imagined could exist.
But how did you get here?
What Leads to Resentment and Hatred in a Marriage?
How did it come to this? While it is different for every couple, there are some things that can lead to a lot of resentment (and even hate) in a marriage((Psychology Today: Can a Relationship Recover from Resentment?)). Let’s take a look at a few of them.
When someone gets married, a lot of people – especially men – think, “Ahhhh…I’m married! Now I don’t have to do any more work on this relationship!”
In other words, they get lazy.
When you are dating, it’s common for men to do the chasing. For some, it’s just biologically wired into them. However, once they think they “have you,” then all the effort seems to disappear.
But just because a lot of men get neglectful doesn’t mean you might not have neglected your husband, too. It could be in any area of your relationship – sex, love, attention, friendship…you name it. So, take a look at your actions to see if you have neglected him in any way.
When people get lazy and neglectful in a marriage, it’s frequently based in selfishness. And selfishness in a marriage does not work.
Relationships are a two-way street. One person cannot do all the giving, while the other person does all the taking. If that’s the case, then it creates a very unhealthy imbalance between the two people.
When one person is selfish, resentment grows on the other person’s part. No one likes to be a doormat and taken advantage of.
Cheating used to be kind of cut-and-dry. In other words, you were either cheating or you weren’t. However, in this technological age, there is a lot of gray area when it comes to cheating, and it is not just limited to physical cheating.
Sure, sexual cheating is on the top of most people’s lists when it comes to defining it. However, emotional infidelity((Women’s Health: Emotional Cheating Is Way Worse Than Physical—Here’s How To Spot It)) is just as devastating to a marriage as the physical kind, and sometimes even more so.
Cheating erodes trust, whether it is slowly over time, or if it happens as if a bomb is dropped. Either way, it has the potential to create long-term resentment and even hate.
Abuse also comes in many different forms. Yes, if someone hits you, that is definitely abuse. But you don’t need a black eye or a broken bone for something to count as abuse.
If someone is calling you names, criticizing you, or just telling you negative things about yourself, then that is abuse.
Abuse is something that will almost always lead to resentment and hatred in a marriage.
How to Tell If Your Spouse Hates You
Now that we know some of the factors that could lead to resentment and hate in a marriage, let’s look at some of the signs((The Oprah Magazine: Signs You Might Be in an Unhappy Relationship)) that might tell you that your spouse could possibly hate you.
1. You Fight All the Time
Conflict and disagreements aren’t always bad in a relationship. It’s not reasonable to expect two people to get along and agree on absolutely everything.
However, what is always bad is if you fight unfairly and frequently. For example, if one or both of you need to fight to win an argument and be “right,” then that is a very unhealthy way to be in a relationship. If fighting is the cornerstone of your marriage, then that is a sign that one (or both) of you might hate the other.
2. He Hardly Puts Any Effort Into the Marriage
This is closely related to neglect. If he’s not putting any effort into the marriage at all, then he’s neglecting you. It may or may not be because he “hates” you, but it could be.
He should be nice to you, maintain a friendship, be romantic, and be a good partner. But if you feel like he is just your roommate (and maybe not even a friendly one), then that is not a good sign. He might feel like giving up – or already has.
3. You Don’t Have Sex Very Often (If at All)
The difference between a friendship and a romantic relationship/marriage is physical intimacy. That might sound obvious, but, unfortunately, many people find themselves in loveless, sexless marriages.
So, if you can’t remember the last time the two of you touched each other than to hand them something in the kitchen, then the intimacy in your marriage is probably gone. When people are married to someone they don’t like very much anymore, then they will not feel like having sex with them.
4. He Takes You For Granted
In an ideal world, no one should take anyone for granted. However, it seems to happen all the time.
Sometimes, it’s just human nature. We get comfortable with the status quo and expect things to always be the same. However, if you think about it, anything or anyone can be taken away from us at the drop of a hat.
So, if you feel used and unappreciated, it could be a sign that he resents you, or maybe even hates you.
5. You Suspect He’s Cheating on You
When someone is feeling resentful toward their spouse, they are probably going to look elsewhere if they get the chance. Now, don’t get me wrong – I am not saying this is okay. In fact, it’s not. Turning outside the marriage does nothing to improve it and everything to destroy it.
But if your spouse has such resentment toward you, then it will make it easier for them to justify their cheating. If they don’t love you anymore, then they probably won’t feel as guilty as if they did.
6. He Is Mentally, Emotionally, and/or Physically Abusive
Abuse is NEVER okay. And I mean NEVER. I don’t care how horrible you were to someone, no one deserves to be abused.
However, it does happen. Usually, a mentally unbalanced person becomes an abuser. They became like that for a variety of reasons in their past that may or may not have anything to do with you. You could be part of the mix, but if you are getting abused, it could mean that, in addition to other things, he might resent you for something. But that still doesn’t make it alright.
What to Do If You Think Your Husband Hates You
If, after reading all of this, you still think that your spouse hates you, then there are a few things you can do. Keep in mind that coming back from the brink of hatred is not easy. It can be done, but it does require a lot of effort from both parties.
1. Figure out If You Want to Make It Work (or Not)
If you really feel that strongly that your husband hates you, then you need to have a good, long talk with yourself. Do you even want to stay? Why would you want to stay if there is nothing but hatred in the marriage? Get clear on what you want before you make any other decisions.
2. Talk to Him
You might not have had a real, honest, or healthy conversation with him for years. And maybe you have never really talked about the quality of your marriage. But if you have the desire to turn the marriage around, then you need to talk. It won’t be easy if he has so much resentment toward you, but you still need to do it.
3. Make a Plan
Once you have talked to him, then figure out a plan. Depending on how the conversation went, one of two things probably happened. Either he said he wants to try to work it out, or he doesn’t. If he doesn’t, then the decision is made for you. But if he does, then you need to get help.
4. Seek Counseling
Many people – especially men – think that going to a therapist is a sign of weakness. But it’s actually the opposite. Strong people seek help! So, try to get him to agree to go get professional assistance. It’s probably best for you to get both individual and couples counseling if you can afford to do so.
5. Divorce…If Necessary
Sometimes, a marriage just can’t be saved no matter how hard you try. It’s sad, but sometimes it’s better to just move on with your lives separately than it would be to live in a hatred-filled marriage. That way, you both can start a new life that includes love and happiness.
No one wants to be in a marriage full of hate. That’s not what is intended for the institution of marriage. So, I hope you will make the decision to put your happiness first because when you are happy, the rest of your life will be happy as well. It’s not selfish, it’s self-love, and that’s really where happiness and contentment start.
More Tips on Improving a Relationship
How to Improve Communication in Relationships and Increase Intimacy
15 Ways to Rebuild a Broken Relationship
How to Love Yourself and Improve Relationships