Going into marriage, you knew the romantic feelings between you would be stronger at some times than others.
You didn’t expect his romantic feelings toward you to die completely, much less give way to indifference or hostility.
Maybe you don’t feel it every time he’s around.
More and more, though, he leaves you with a heaviness on your heart and a growing conviction: “My husband hates me.”
You’re confused and hurt.
Part of you still hopes you’re reading too much into his behavior. But if you’re reading this post, the red flags described below can help clear the fog.
Why do I feel like my husband hates me?
You want to know how to tell if your husband hates you. It’s obvious your relationship has changed. But what exactly makes you feel that he resents you? And why would he?
Resentment is refusing to let go of your anger toward someone over something they said or did that hurt or offended you or someone you care about.
- Giving you the silent treatment
- Resorting to passive-aggressive behavior
- Keeping a list of all your sins against him
- Harping on your flaws or mistakes whenever you disagree
While these are all strong indicators that your husband is angry with you, the signs you’ll see below are more about general behavior for husbands who no longer love or feel any attraction toward their wives — whatever their reasons may be.
17 Signs Your Husband Hates You
When your husband hates you — or is no longer in love with you — he’ll let you know in various ways. The following list of behaviors can help you identify his telltale signs and understand them better.
1. He avoids you — or avoids being alone with you.
You’re in the same place, but he seems allergic to your company. He keeps finding something (or someone) else to occupy his time and attention. And when you finally corner him with a question or comment, he seems anxious to get away.
You used to gravitate toward each other. Now, it seems you have the opposite effect on him.
2. He blames you for the problems in your relationship.
Whenever you try to talk about a problem in your relationship, he reframes it to blame you for it. As far as he can tell, you seem determined to find issues where there are none.
Or if you see a problem, it’s of your own making. He gaslights you and makes you doubt your perspective on the relationship. He makes you feel as though you’re the one ruining everything. And you shouldn’t be surprised if he gets fed up enough to leave you.
This is a go-to response for toxic narcissists.
3. He doesn’t work on the relationship.
He has zero interest in working on the relationship to make it better. Because strengthening your connection just isn’t a priority for him.
Or he might be avoiding the issue out of fear that you’ll point out everything he’s doing wrong and put all the blame on him. He might feel there’s no point in working on a relationship that no longer makes either of you happy.
If he’s already given up on having a close and satisfying relationship with you, he won’t see the work as anything but a waste of energy.
4. He refuses even to consider counseling.
Why should he air his feelings about you to someone who might judge him for every perceived failure as a husband? Why subject himself to that if he doesn’t see a benefit to counseling?
He may have such negative feelings about you that he doesn’t see counseling as worthwhile.
And if he’s counting on the therapist taking your side, he won’t see one. Nor is he likely to want to spend an hour each week arguing about your relationship.
5. He never has time for you (even when he’s home).
Whenever you want to do something together or just talk, he has other things to do.
If you press him to schedule a time for you two to talk privately, he resists being pinned down or being made to sacrifice a chunk of his precious free time. He may see it only as a chance for you to vent or to talk about things that don’t interest him.
If you can at least persuade him to commit to 15 minutes, it’s a start. Prepare a shortlist of things to talk about but don’t expect to cover everything.
6. He spends less time at home.
He spends more and more of his time away from home lately. Aside from his job, he goes out for activities, classes, volunteer opportunities, or just to hang out with friends or family. Maybe his friends have gotten on his case for spending so much time with you.
Or maybe he just prefers to spend time away from home. He may associate the home environment with stress (arguments, tension, criticism) rather than love or security.
7. He makes disrespectful comments to your face — and behind your back.
It’s one thing if he disagrees with you. That much happens even in happy marriages. But if he’s insulting you to your face and then repeating those insults when he talks about you to other people, there’s a problem. Here are some examples of disrespectful comments:
- “You’re pathetic! I don’t know why I bother with you.”
- “This food is disgusting. Haven’t you learned anything about cooking?”
- “No one expects you to say anything smart. Focus on being useful.”
He clearly doesn’t mind speaking disrespectfully to you or making you look bad to other people. But you’re afraid of how he’d react if you tried talking to him the same way.
8. He’s no longer interested in intimacy.
He used to look you up and down and sigh with a dreamy smile on his face. Now he doesn’t seem to want to make eye contact with you.
You can’t remember the last time he asked if you were in the mood. The last time you tried to surprise him with some new lingerie, he barely noticed. And when he finds you in bed, he shows zero interest in getting cozy with you.
He’s more interested in other things.
9. He’s not even interested in showing or receiving affection.
He always made time for long, lingering hugs, but the last time you asked him for one, he gave you a quick squeeze with a few perfunctory pats on the back.
And that’s when he’s not in too much of a hurry to touch you.
Even worse, when you reached out to take his hand the other day, he actually recoiled from your touch. In public, he stands further apart from you than he used to. And forget about PDA.
10. He doesn’t miss you when you’re gone, and he’s indifferent to your absence.
You’ve been gone from home longer than ever, and you’re looking forward to seeing your husband. But when you walk in the door, he doesn’t react.
When he looks at you, it’s with more irritation than welcome.
You thought he’d be relieved to see you, just as you would be if he were unusually late. But he seems to enjoy his own company more than yours. Your presence is an interruption.
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11. Every conversation with him turns sour.
Ask a benign question, and he answers with a snide comment or a defensive counter-question. Every time you try to talk to him about something, he either turns it into a fight or brushes you off and walks away.
You used to talk to each other about anything, but now you’re lucky if you can get him to listen to a complete sentence before he reacts.
You can’t reach him anymore. And he shows no signs of wanting you to.
12. He’d rather be alone or with his friends than spend time with you.
Give him a choice between spending time with you or going out with friends — or spending the day alone — and he’ll pick option B or C.
You don’t have much in common anymore, other than your shared address and a few other domestic details. And he feels a need now for a separate identity as an individual than he does for a stronger relationship with you.
13. He’s not involved in your life.
Whatever you do with your time is none of his concern, and he’s not interested in hearing about it. He doesn’t want to hear about how your day went or to talk about his.
He doesn’t want to join you for any social function related to your job or something you enjoy. He just doesn’t want any part of it.
He’d rather do his own thing and leave you out of that, too.
14. When you ask him to do something, he refuses or doesn’t follow through.
He no longer sees value in doing things for you. Maybe he’s afraid you’ll criticize his results. Or perhaps he’s just found more rewarding ways to spend his time.
Even when he doesn’t refuse, he often forgets to do what you’ve asked. Or he’ll start and get distracted and won’t follow through. It’s just not a priority for him to do the thing you’ve asked of him. But let someone else ask him to do the same, and he’s Mr. Efficiency.
15. He doesn’t try to impress you or get your attention.
He used to go to flattering extremes to impress you or just to get your attention. He went out of his way to make you feel as though you, more than anyone, dominated his thoughts.
And now, he couldn’t be bothered. He doesn’t make an effort to surprise you or to make you smile. He barely shows appreciation for the things you do (if he does at all).
Your attention is no longer something he wants.
16. He forgets your birthdays and anniversaries and doesn’t seem to care.
He didn’t bother to remember your last birthday, let alone celebrate it with you. And the previous anniversary was just another day to him. It wasn’t worth the hassle of going out together or even making a special dinner.
It wasn’t worth any hassle. And he doesn’t seem to care that his indifference to these special days hurts you. Your feelings are just not something he thinks about anymore.
Because you aren’t.
17. You each do your separate things, and he prefers it that way.
He’s more than okay with the idea of taking separate vacations. He likes different things, anyway. And the last time you did something “fun” together, you didn’t get along very well.
Maybe he wonders, “ What would we even talk about? What would we do together when we don’t even like the same activities?” You see the questions in his face and feel like saying, “I just want you there.” But he’d probably just roll his eyes.
How do you deal with a husband that hates you?
Now that you’re more familiar with the signs, there’s more than one possible reaction to what you’ve just read:
- “That’s it. That’s exactly how it is between us right now. My husband hates me.”
- “That’s somewhat how it is, but our situation isn’t quite that bad. He can be sweet sometimes.”
- “That’s a gross exaggeration of how he’s acting. Now, I doubt he hates me, and I think we could work things out.”
So, here are your options:
For #1: Insist on couples counseling appointments, and set them up. If he refuses or finds excuses not to show up, decide whether or not to show your seriousness with divorce or separation papers. Why stay in a loveless marriage with someone who doesn’t even like you?
For #2: Insist on couples counseling or at least an hour each week of private, uninterrupted conversations on what each of you can do to rebuild your relationship.
Look into resources that can help. If he refuses or finds excuses to break two or more of your weekly conversation dates each month (without a good reason), consider a more drastic step. You may need counseling by yourself to determine what that step should be.
For #3: Insist on couples counseling or weekly, uninterrupted conversation dates. Go out, if you can, or do something to remind each other of how much fun you used to have together.
If the love is still strong, he’ll want to work with you on strengthening your connection. And you won’t have to do anything drastic.
Are you seeing signs your husband hates you?
Notice how couples counseling is a good idea for all three scenarios. Aside from that, if you can both find therapists for one-on-one conversations, so much the better.
Everyone needs a good therapist. Life has a way of messing with our heads, and a good therapist can help us sort things out and change our perspective on for the better. Therapy can save your life as well as your marriage.
If your husband has no interest in making the relationship better, the marriage has nowhere left to go. May your life beyond it bring you more joy and more loving relationships.