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I Hate My Wife – Why a Husband Would Resent His Spouse

Written by Rossana Snee
Rossana is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She aspires to motivate, to inspire, and to awaken your best self!
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It’s hard to imagine while standing at the altar—watching your beautiful bride walk down the aisle—that one day, instead of a queen, there’ll be a witch in her place. What can possibly happen that turns your queen into a witch? Love into resentment? And makes you say “I hate my wife?”

Resenting and hating your wife doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual process spanning months and years.

If you are the “hated” spouse, what might you notice to let you know that something is amiss? Well, you might notice your spouse being less talkative, less playful, less affectionate, etc. Something just won’t feel right. Those ill at ease feelings can be subtle signs of resentment weaving its way through the fabric of your marriage.

There are a host of reasons why this can happen. In this article, I will enumerate a few of the common behaviors that can cause you to hate your wife and cause hatred to sprout in a relationship.

Where Does “I Hate My Wife” Come From?

1. Contributing More Than Your Wife

I currently have a client who claims to hate his wife. “Mike” believes she is lazy—that she doesn’t lift a finger to help with the household or their two young children. No matter how many times he asks her to help out, she refuses, saying, “I’m busy and besides, it’s not that bad!” He started to hate his wife, and the resentment he feels is so deep that he is thinking of divorcing her.

In relationships, it’s important to have balance. Both partners need to talk to each other, discuss how to manage the house, the bills, the children, etc., preferably before the marriage takes place so that there aren’t any surprises. All the responsibility cannot fall on one partner. In the case above, Mike bears the burden of keeping his home clean and organized. And because it feels like too much after a long day at work, he lets it go. Then, the house looks even worse, and his resentment grows stronger.

Talk to your wife. Address the problem. There could be other reasons for the “laziness.”

For example, in the article What Should You Do if Your Wife Lazy, Sylvia Smith states,[1]


“There is always a reason why someone is not being productive. Your wife may be going through something that she is not willing to talk about. Initiate the conversation and openly discuss the matter. Tell her what you think about her attitude and ask her about her possible problems.”

2. Being Treated Like a Child

I’ve heard multiple women say, “Seriously, it’s like I have three kids!” The third one to whom they are referring is their husband. Imagine being thought of as the third child.

In the article, Why Treating Your Partner Like a Child Can Destroy Your Relationship, Sheri Stritof said,[2]

“Putting yourself in the role of ‘parent’ and your partner in the role of ‘child’ is demeaning and can actually be counterproductive. Your partner might come to resent you for taking on a controlling role in your relationship. This can cause serious damage to your marriage.”

I’ve talked to many spouses who feel emasculated because their wives treat them like children—talk to them like they’re incapable and inadequate. This does not create warm and fuzzy feelings in any man. In fact, it creates the opposite.

Ladies, the man to whom you are married may have faults, but he is still a man. There are ways to discuss things without being condescending or treating your spouse like a 5-year-old. Continuing in that manner will only cause your husband’s behavior to worsen and a huge chasm to develop in the marriage.

3. Their Spouses Are Overspenders

Another critical issue that causes a husband to hate his wife is when he tries to save money for a rainy day, and his wife spends it faster than he can bring home the paycheck. Many relationships have broken up over money.

Imagine saving money to hire a painter to repair wood damage or to purchase a new work computer, only to find out that the money has already been spent. What husband wouldn’t feel resentful?


So, what can you do? Well, according to Casey Slide,[3]

“If you were able to get your spouse to see the error of his or her ways, that was at least half of the battle. Now, you need to help control the spending. One way to do this is by allowing the both of you to only spend a certain amount of money each pay period. I recommend using the envelope budgeting system because it utilizes cash to hold you accountable to staying on budget. Once you have spent your cash, you are out of money.”

Money issues and their management are an imperative topic for discussion. Both partners need to be on the same page here.

4. Sex! What Sex?

When first dating, women may start out being sexy and amorous. She fills her man’s needs and acts like she enjoys it, but somewhere along the way—after 2 children, a full workload, and Pilates—there is no energy left for sex.

According to the article Sexual Rejection’s Effect On A Marriage,[4]

“I know you don’t want your spouse to feel ‘unloved and unwanted,’ but I’m here to tell you that if you are consistently rejecting him/her for sex, those are things your spouse almost certainly feels. And, unfortunately, that is how sexual refusal and sexual rejection affect a marriage. It’s very bad and will most likely create distance and resentment over time.”

Lack of sex causes a husband to hate his wife, especially for men with a normal sexual appetite. After all, they were used to having sex regularly, and now they feel they have to beg for it—and don’t even get it.

Sex is part of what creates intimacy in a marriage. If all the energy is spent elsewhere, it will leave the door open for an affair. For men, sex is a way to emotionally connect with their partners. It’s their way of creating a loving bond. If his wife refuses him sex, he feels rejected—like he’s not man enough. He may lose confidence in his abilities and could leave an opening for a husband to hate his wife.

5. Dirty Fighters

Couples argue. It’s part of all relationships. After all, you’re dealing with two separate entities with different backgrounds and perspectives. But there’s a way to fight that can end in resolution instead of hurt feelings.

Issues of concern need to be addressed, but it’s how they’re addressed that makes a difference. One thing I’ve heard repeatedly that creates a downward spiral during an argument is character assassination.


For instance, a sock is left on the floor, and the following attack is launched: “You’re a slacker, a filthy slob!” Or your husband is relaxing after work and you say, “You are a lazy SOB couch potato!” And on and on. You can be upset with messy behavior, but there is no need to get into name-calling.

That’s dirty fighting! It is possible to fight and do it fairly. Also, avoid using words like, “you always . . .,” “you never . . .” Absolutes are rarely ever the case, anyway.

You’re there to solve a problem, not to try, convict, and sentence your husband.

6. Talking to Friends and Family Behind Your Back

In marriages, disagreements ensue, and fights happen. One thing that can cause a husband to hate his wife and feel betrayed is when the wife turns around and airs all the dirty laundry to her family and friends. When this happens, the husband feels betrayed, like he can’t trust his wife to not divulge the goings-on of their marriage. He knows that at the next dinner with the in-laws, they’re going to be looking at him with blame and animosity.

I’ve seen it time and time again. Husband and wife have a doozy of a fight. She tells everyone how bad hubby is. Then, they make up. Unfortunately, her friends and family continue to see him as the monster she painted.

It’s important to keep your life private. Your spouse doesn’t want to feel like everything he does is under a microscope for everyone to judge and criticize.

“Consider the consequences of sharing sensitive information with your friends and family without your partner’s consent,” says Kelsey Borresen.[5]


Be careful what you say. If you don’t have to say anything, then don’t.

7. Not Being Appreciated Enough

A husband may start to hate his wife because he feels unappreciated. They work long hours, fix things around the house, and even make dinner some nights. But still, their wives nag at them, pushing them to do more and more, not appreciating what they already do.

In his article, What to Do When My Spouse Feels Unappreciated, Chris Ownby says,[6]

“It’s been shown that being actively grateful (that is, actively showing your appreciation) is linked to higher levels of joy, optimism, and other positive emotions, and feeling less lonely. Feeling valued and appreciated by your spouse has been found to be a major indicator (the number one indicator in one study) of a happy, healthy marriage.”

Nurture your marriage. Compliment all the little things that your husband does. Do things for him.

Men often feel that fixing things around the house is a sign of love. His wife, however, may not see it that way. She may instead, be expecting diamonds, flowers, or chocolate-covered strawberries! Love is demonstrated in many different ways.

Learn each other’s love language and learn to appreciate the little things your husband does for you!

8. Withholding Sex as Punishment

Getting upset with your honey is a normal thing. Arguments happen in every relationship. But is punishing your husband the best way to fix things? No, it isn’t. More often than not, the punishment is withholding sex! The relationship is not going to get better by exacting punitive behavior. Things can usually be ironed out, but never by using cruel means as punishment.

“Attempting to use sex as a weapon in relationships is always a bad idea. The drawbacks are plentiful; it drives your partner away, creates fights, causes tension, takes the fun out of a relationship, and you literally stop being attentive to each other’s needs,” states Corrine Barraclough.[7]

If you want to make things better, talk about the real problem. It’s not always what you think it is. Seek marriage counseling, if necessary. It will go a long way to helping you sort things out.


9. Spending Too Much Time on the Phone/Posting Private Information

In today’s world, owning a smartphone and being constantly on social media can, in essence, be like having a lover—the thing that drives couples apart.

I worked with a man whose wife was always on social media. She would spend hours on her phone, talk about all her “friends;” refer to things they’d said like they were gospel, etc. She ignored her husband most of the time, and when he would say something, she would respond, “You’re making a big deal out of nothing.” She was closed to hearing how he was feeling. Eventually, they broke up.

In her article, My Wife Is Addicted to Her Phone-What to do, Rachael Pace says,[8]

“According to experts, people who value quality time in their relationships can feel rejected or even abandoned if their significant other is always on the phone.”

Not only can being constantly on the phone cause trouble, but it can also further complicate things if private and disparaging information is shared. Talk to your real-life partner. Put the phone away at dinner, and respect each other’s privacy.

10. Trying to Change Your Spouse

Oftentimes, people marry with the mistaken notion that their partner is going to change—they’re going to quit smoking, become organized, and stop eating junk food. And if they don’t stop on their own, you—with your persuasive prowess—will make it happen.

“Putting yourself on a mission to change your spouse is highly disrespectful to them and to your relationship. There are many habits that are healthy to break such as smoking or overeating but trying to change your partner’s personality isn’t one of them,” states Rachael Pace.[9]


You really can’t change anyone, no matter how hard you try. What you see while you’re dating is what you’ll get when you’re married. There may some minor improvements, but they don’t come from being forced.

Talk with each other about things that might be tweaked, but don’t try to transform your spouse into someone they’re not.

11. Making Critical Decisions Without Discussing It First

An acquaintance I knew bought an entire living room set without discussing it with her husband beforehand. The furniture just arrived one day. Because their financial situation was so tenuous, she did not want to say anything to her husband, fearing that he would say no. In fact, he would have said exactly that because buying that furniture was living beyond their means.

You can imagine her husband’s resentment when he got home after a long day, only to find a newly furnished room worth several thousand dollars.

Making such big decisions without your partner’s knowledge isn’t a true partnership.

“Don’t be afraid to communicate honestly with your spouse as you go through the decision-making process together. Not speaking up about your feelings, or not getting actively involved in decision-making, may lead you to resent your spouse for making all the decisions (or for making a major decision that was important to you),” states Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott.[10]

Final Thoughts

Relationships don’t have to sink. Knowledge is power. Having access to this information may prevent animosity from mushrooming in your relationship.


Watch your behavior. Are you doing or saying anything with malfeasance? Are you nagging to get what you want? There are ways to make your relationship stronger instead of weaker.

Talking to each other, for starters—but not at each other, in attack mode. If you both compromise, address each other with love and respect. There’s little chance for a husband to hate his wife and for resentment to seep in.

Here’re more tips to help with your marriage:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com


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