“Help! I hate my husband.”

One of the most popular HuffPo posts over the weekend was about how many wives hate their husbands, written by Iris Krasnow who has published a book on the same topic. I didn’t find it directly but saw that it was featured at the top of my Google News feed as one of the most trafficked stories on the internet.  It starts:

“Help! I hate my husband.”

This is how a letter starts in my Inbox today. It’s from a 41-year-old woman named Cindy in Dallas who has been married for 12 years. I get hate mail like this using slightly different language several times a week. Substitute the word “hate” for “loathe”, “despise”, “can’t stand” and occasionally, “wanna kill”.

I always tell these women the same thing: You are definitely not alone. Plenty of wives feel this way. Plenty of wives think about divorce at least once a month, if not more, and manage to stay married for decades. My conclusions about the see-saw between hate and love come not as a psychologist or as a minister who counsels her flock. I am an author of five relationship books, including The Secret Lives of Wives, to whom women tend to tell all, about joy and sorrow and cheating and lying, about hot sex and no sex – and lots of dish in between.

Any woman married for longer than six months, if she is honest, knows the eggshell thin line that separates loving from loathing The deeper the love, the deeper the potential to hate. Any wife who is honest knows the compulsion to throw things, to hiss, to swear, to sit in the driveway in your bathrobe, engine running, sobbing.

Now you might recall that here at GMP there was a nuclear meltdown just before the holidays over a piece I wrote entitled “Being a Dude is a Good Thing” in which I said, among other things:

One close friend jokes, “When speaking to my wife I always make sure to look at the ground in deference. And I make sure not to make any sudden movements.” I’ve watched him. He loves his wife.

He’s a very competent human being. But with her he’s decided the only way to survive is to submit. The female view is the right view. The male view just gets you into trouble.

So where does the blame come from?

My unscientific theory is from a fundamental disconnect between men and women at the micro level. Men know women are different. They think differently, they express emotion differently, they are motivated by different things, they think about sex differently, and they use a very different vocabulary.

Why can’t women accept men for who they really are? Is a good man more like a woman or more truly masculine?

Does anyone else see these two pieces of mirrors of one another?  I was actually asking, not telling, whether or not men should attempt to be more like women to get along.  But I was acknowledging that what I see in my extremely limited sample of experience is that a lot of guys seem to feel that their wives hate them.  And I got slammed for saying it out loud.

But a woman writes a book and a HuffPo blog about how women are coming out of the woodwork because they hate their husbands (and she has the answers to how to deal with the man in your life even if his manhood drives you nuts) and she’s the most popular thing the internet has ever seen.

Can someone please clear up this inconsistency?

About Tom Matlack

Thomas Matlack is a venture capitalist.


  1. Brennan Peters says:

    If we’re acknowledging that men and women are different, communicate differently, experience emotions differently, etc– then isn’t, “How come women can say this about men, but men can’t say this about women?” a flawed question to begin with??

    To me, it’s sort of an apples and oranges comparison, I guess, especially given that one of those groups is in a sphere that wields the bulk of privileges and controls many institutions in our society.

    I’m commenting on the “rightness” or “wrongness” of a spouse sometimes hating their spouse, regardless of gender. I just don’t think this is a good for the goose/good for the gander scenario.

    • Mark Neil says:

      ” isn’t, … a flawed question to begin with??”

      No. Because, while men and woman may communicate differently, that does not mean they should be held to different standards. And if you want to argue it should, then this argument needs to apply to all aspects of gender debate, including military and emergency worker admission requirements, pay for construction, mining and oil rig type work, etc. But your falling back on patriarchy theory to defend your double standard would suggest this would not be acceptable to you.

      “To me, it’s sort of an apples and oranges comparison,”

      It always is for feminists defending a double standard.

      “especially given that one of those groups is in a sphere that wields the bulk of privileges and controls many institutions in our society.”

      “I just don’t think this is a good for the goose/good for the gander scenario.”

      Can you defend your position without falling back on the gospil of patriarchy theory (and it is just a theory), which, whether true in the past or not is a matter of debate, does not exist in any way in our modern western society. Women may not be the bulk of the CEO’s, but even those CEO’s must pander to feminist political correctness. Not to mention men can be feminists too, such as Obama and Biden, leading to women’s interests dominating our political discussions and policies. And of course, there is family, where, again, women dominate, and equality remains a long way off.

      I’m curious why you feel it is justified for women to treat their husbands worst than vice versa? Aren’t men deserving of the same respect extended to women? Or are you one of those female chauvinists who believe it is acceptable that men should be feared and despised as default until they prove themselves otherwise, while women should be respected and revered until they prove otherwise?

      • Lolabunny says:

        “whether true in the past or not is a matter of debate (Patriarchy)”

        Guys. You need to make the education in America get better. Right now. How could someone even question what Patriarchy is and means and how most societies in this world did (and many, actually most, still do) indulge in it?

  2. Where is it written that marriage is a cake walk? That once you have the rings on the fingers that everything is done with and it all falls together without a hitch? For better and for worse?

    I’ve been married 38 years and am still madly in love with my wife. IMO, it was to our benefit that we married early (age 20) in that we did grow and mature together. We came out of the gate with the same beliefs and values so that was a non-issue. Of course we didn’t base our relationship on sex, it was based in “love.” Nonetheless, there were and continue to be some struggles.

    I read somewhere, something about the frog syndrome. Where woman get married to their prince and later turn them into frogs. “He’s not the man I married” or is it he’s not the man you wanted or hoped to turn him into?

    These are guys you fall in love with …. What changed? Or did it change? That cool “bad guy” is still the same guy you fell in love with (supposedly) … so I have to wonder if he’s the problem?

    In the past 38 years, my wife and I have had a lot of ups and downs. We work together to keep things together. It takes a lot of hard work but it seems a lot of people today see marriage as disposable and it’s no big deal to break up ….

    More later … Have to get to work

  3. “Help! I am a person who wallows in feelings of hatred.” This would have been a more accurate title. There is nothing “gendered” (there is nothing specific to the sex of the person) about this character flaw. (PS: Please join the anti-newspeak revolution by helping to excise the discredited notion of “gender” which we have been sold by the social engineers. Nouns have gender. The male sex and the female sex are sexes, not “genders.”)

  4. BeMerryNotMarried says:

    This is my absolute first time ever posting a comment on any website but felt compelled to whole-heartedly agree with “WornOutHusband”. He so eloquently and truthfully speaks of the industry of marriage and the system in place to keep people unhappy and indebted (both financially & emotionally). I currently live with the most argumentative individual probably on the whole planet and every day I think about living alone with our young daughter. I can’t stand him. He is a good father but the day to day bickering is too much. The notion of ‘total happiness’ in our culture in terms of marriage and relationships is overrated and unattainable. The human condition is struggle, love, suffer…. I get it, relationships take work, but the day to day with this guy is becoming unbearable….Anyone else have this problem???

  5. I think the word hate is a very strong word. Before I was married I never used the word hate. Well I’ve been married 45 years and the word hate is now in my vocabulary. My husband only married me to see what it was like, and after a few days he hated marriage, what it stood for and the gross disgusting sex that followed. He decided he would move to the basement and live down there. He wanted nothing to do with me. All he wanted was don’t talk to him and leave him alone. So that is exactly what I’ve done. Were still married but only on paper where ever that may be. I burned what ever paper work I have.

  6. Why did you stay married?

  7. “After a few days” means you could have easily annullled the marriage.

    • Agreed. And you’d think if the husband only got married to see what it was like, he’d be more than willing to annul it after such a short time. I see the same thing in this story that I see in a lot of feminist theory (don’t know if Amy is feminist, only noting a similarity), and that is the assumption of men’s motives/intent, always hostile to women or entirely self serving, in order to explain an outcome that was undesirable to the woman/women, and absolves the of any responsibility in that outcome. Of course, we only have her side of the story, so we can’t be certain of how much is fiction, how much is projection and how much is truth.

  8. I realize this is only my part of the story and I don’t know his thoughts or feelings. The reason being is he won’t talk to me, he just avoids me and walks away if I say some thing. Some one said I should of had the marriage annulled and he or she is right but I was the stupid one and didn’t. I thought that things would get better! I just didn’t have enough money to venture out on my own, and my parents didn’t want me back. I wish this was all ficton but its not. What bothers me the most is I’ve been a failure to my self, that is one thing that is my fault and I will live with it till I die. I can’t blame any one except ME.

    • Amy

      It takes two to have a relationship. Your husband’ is responsible for his behaviour. Not you. You are responsible for you. I don’t know where you live, but there are places to go to help you find somewhere to live and provide emotional support.

      You don’t have to stay in a relationship which is making you ill.

      You can look after you, but not all alone, please reach out to one of the many women’s help services in your country. You have the internet; you have the greatest source of information available to humans at any time in history.

  9. Okay, well im not a very good wife i bicker and am happy with our son and pregnant with our second, untill he gets home then i hate him; im not sure why. Phycological i guess, im willing to change but im not sure what he feels he loves me i know, where is this hate coming from? We have been togeather for 5 years. We met hichhiking and were togeather 6 months before figuring out that we didnt want to be bums forever or so we thought. Maybe its societys influience that keep us angry because of all the stress it had to offer. I just wish i knew how to solve this i love him woth all my heart i just feel im an evil person sometimes and he says he feels the same sometimes. I told him im not sure where its all coming from. Idk haha maybe you will know or maybe im screwed, i just didnt want to be that nagging bitch and here i am and hes out to get me some how ; which i know hes not. Maybe i dont feel loved. I question these things alot and try to change but maybe im screwed up phycologically or something

    • First off, don’t think of yourself as screwed up as it makes it far harder to get better. Think of it more like having a cold, not a permanent or chronic injury, something which can be beaten. If you’re worried I’d advise counseling, that may help understand why you feel the need to “nag” and be a “bitch” (in your words). Sometimes it’s just unresolved stress n anxiety, sounds a bit like maybe you’re not an overly trusting person? Take me for example, I sometimes get quite sensitive cuz I’ve had a lot of abuse and so close friends sometimes make me wonder if they really care or are just using me since I’ve had a few do it already.

  10. This sounds sick and dysfunctional. If you hate your spouse then do the two of you a favor and leave. you cannot have a healthy relationship of any sort with hatred as an underlying emotion.
    The viewpoint espoused “Any woman married for longer than six months, if she is honest, knows the eggshell thin line that separates loving from loathing ” is reflective of an unhealthy (and in my opinion mentally ill) attitude. If this was written by a man it would immediately be tagged as misogynous viewpoint.

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