To say married life has its rough parts is to make light of the real issues you face with your spouse.
And when you hate your husband, it’s much harder to see a silver lining to any of it.
If you’re a woman thinking, “I hate my spouse,” chances are good you feel a lack of emotional connection with him, which undermines everything else.
So, what can you do about it?
Is Hating Your Husband Normal?
If you’re here thinking, “I despise my husband,” you should know, first of all, that you’re not alone—and, second of all, that it doesn’t necessarily spell the doom of your marriage.
It’s not unusual to feel both love and hatred for someone. Both are strong emotions, which you only feel for someone important to you. It doesn’t mean your relationships issues will be an easy fix, but there’s reason to hope for better times ahead.
Once you stop caring at all — once you get to the point where hate just feels “so extra” — then you have problems.
Before you decide what to do about your relationship (or lack thereof), it makes sense to get to the real issue behind what you’re feeling.
Only then can you know whether your marriage is worth fighting for.
Why Do I Hate My Husband So Much?
If you feel actual hatred for your husband, it’s worth looking deeper to see what lies behind that. Which of the following sound familiar?
- There’s no emotional intimacy in your marriage.
- There’s no sexual attraction or interest.
- You spend little, if any, time together and have grown apart.
- He’s never bothered to know you on more than a superficial level.
- He protects his ego more fiercely than he protects you.
- He’s emotionally or physically abusive to you.
You don’t have to produce evidence that any of these statements are true; for now, it’s enough that they feel true of your marriage. Once you acknowledge that, you can look deeper to understand why you feel the way you do.
But first, let’s lighten the emotional load on your shoulders.
I Hate My Husband: 7 Things to Do When You Hate Your Husband and Don’t Know How to Handle It
Feeling overwhelmed with negative thoughts toward your husband makes it harder even to consider working on your relationship.
If you lighten your load of oppressive, negative emotions, it gets easier to see your situation more clearly.
Any of the following tips can help with that.
1. Take it to therapy.
Everyone needs a therapist, and that’s become more obvious since COVID19 changed the landscape. If your insurance covers it, or you’ve got room in your budget for at least one monthly appointment, find a good therapist to talk to regularly.
Bring up your relationship concerns, be honest about how you’re feeling, and allow them to help you get to what’s behind it. If abuse is part of the equation, learn more about your options and whether or not you should leave the marriage.
2. Write about it.
We know how writing can help you make sense of your thoughts. Journaling is one way to do this — which we highly recommend. You can even treat yourself to a new lockable journal just for this purpose. Or use a secure online journal to record your thoughts.
Ditch the filter and write what you’re thinking without filtering.
3. Identify the needs not being met.
Be honest about what’s missing in your relationship.
- What do you admire most about other people’s marriages?
- What have you tried to cultivate with your husband but have yet to see developing?
- What do you feel you need from him that no one else can give you?
Ask yourself if it’s still possible for your husband or your marriage to meet those needs.
4. Write him a letter.
Another way to write about it is to draft a letter to your husband about what you’re feeling.
You don’t have to show him the letter (unless you want to), but let everything out. Put it all in there and then put it down and get some distance from it.
When you come back to it, try to put yourself in his place as you read it.
5. Take some time away from each other.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is just away from each other for a bit, whether that’s a few hours, a day, a weekend, or longer. Even better if you’ve got someone who can spend that time with you, helping you sort out what you’re feeling.
If you don’t have someone to spend that time with, use it to enjoy your own company. Do some things you’ve put off because you haven’t had the time to yourself.
6. Get out for some exercise.
Go for a walk — or a hike — or a swim. Do something that gets your blood pumping and gives you an outlet for all that nervous or angry energy. If you have a gym you like, make time for a workout. Spend some time in nature, if possible.
Or just get away from what’s familiar and do something to challenge yourself physically. But give yourself the gift of movement. Think of it as part of your daily self-care.
7. Get clear on what you want.
You might have already alluded to this in your journal or a letter to your husband. But it’s important to spell out what you want — from this marriage and from your life.
What unmet desires have been nagging at you? What would you like to do — alone or with him — to address those wants?
Once you know that, you can take the next opportunity to ask him what he wants.
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How Do I Stop Hating My Husband?
So, now that you know what you can do to deal with the negative feelings you have toward your husband, how exactly do you go about changing those feelings?
According to marriage expert John Gottman, feelings of contempt and resentment toward your spouse can kill emotional intimacy and ultimately damage the relationship beyond repair.
Here are some tried-and-true ideas to try:
- Do something together you both enjoy. Think of something you’ve both enjoyed together in the past, and consider inviting your husband to revisit that. Focus on creating new memories while you’re at it.
- Commit to a regular “date night.” Make date nights a regular thing for the two of you. Talk to your husband about it and let him know you’d like to go out with him and have some fun. Set a date and time and ensure you’re both committed to it.
- Take on a new project together. Sometimes, depending on the activity, you might want to invite others over, but if you typically enjoy one-on-one project time, that probably won’t be necessary. Play it by ear.
- Spice things up. Try a new couple’s game or app designed to lead you both closer together, emotionally and physically. Or try some role-playing and see where it leads.
- Do a daily head/heart check with each other. Just remember not to use this time to say anything negative about your spouse. or you’ll both come to dread and avoid this. The goal is to empathize with and support each other as you check in.
- Consider the alternative. Thoughtfully consider divorce or separation to see what that might look like for the two of you. The more clearly you can see it, the easier it is to see what you both want — an end to your marriage or a renaissance.
- Go to couple’s counseling. If you’re committed to improving your marriage, a couple’s therapist can help you take consistent steps in that direction. You’ll also get to know each other better than ever.
Now that you know what to do when you hate your husband, what points stood out for you? And what will you do differently this week?