“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.

Comments

  1. Tom, GMP has broached a topic similar to this before.
    I tihnk it boild down to the inheriant double standard between women and mens rights. One is allowed to have an opinion and the other side is not allowed to have thier own. It is a constant battle in which one side “needs to be right”

    I will admit I have not read the HuffPo article yet. My comments may change after I give it a read.

    • Mark Neil says:

      Exactly. Tom failed to “to look at the ground in deference”. In today’s society, only the woman may express their discontent, ether via nagging or the silent treatment, relegating the man to the couch, writing in to a huffpo editor about hating or wanting to kill their husbands, etc

  2. DavidByron says:

    It’s much harder to take criticism from someone you fundamentally don’t see as on your “side”.

  3. I read the article on Huffington Post, it seems that the wife wants to leave her husband because she’s bored. She said that he’s a good husband and father, and he wouldn’t cheat on her. She’s just bored. The husband deserves better.

    • Okay, what?

      My husband isn’t responsible for entertaining me, I’m responsible for entertaining me. The problem is that these women are giving their husbands too much power over their emotional states and then resenting them for not being able to give them the right emotions.

      This is the same bizarre feeling I get when I read articles championing the burgeoning rate of divorce as ‘women not being satisfied with men who can’t satisfy their needs.’

      How is that independence? At it’s core it assumes that men _can_ satisfy women’s needs. It’s a profoundly dependant statement.

      Newsflash. Men can’t satisfy women’s needs. Men can’t make women happy. Men can’t entertain women.

      What men can do is provide companionship while _you_ satisfy your needs, find your happiness and learn to entertain yourself.

      • Word. I just came to this conclusion on my own about 10 minutes ago.

      • Yes, yes, and yes.

        I just wish I knew this decades ago. It could have saved me from throwing myself into a horrible, stupid, self-indulgent, pointless midlife crisis.

      • @typhon_uncensored: “My husband isn’t responsible for entertaining me, I’m responsible for entertaining me”

        Eh…
        While I theoretically agree with your point, people usually enter relationships and marry because their partner make them happy (or they hope s/he will). Why would anyone be in a relationship otherwise? To make the partner a favour? 😆
        Hence, while an “enlightened” person is independent and make him/herself happy, the vast majority turn to others to have their needs satisfied (and this is healthy, inasmuch it creates a bond between them).

        This doesn’t justify “hating” someone just because s/he is boring or disappointing, of course. That’s plain childish.
        Being bored or disappointed is a sign the relationship is not working, and BOTH partners have the responsibility to address the issue.

        “Living happily everafter”? Isn’t it a stroke of marketing genius? 😉

        • “While I theoretically agree with your point, people usually enter relationships and marry because their partner make them happy (or they hope s/he will). Why would anyone be in a relationship otherwise? To make the partner a favour? ”

          Make them _happier_.

          • @typhon_uncensored: “Make them _happier_.”

            Well, in theory – again – yes.
            In practice, many people is quite unhappy when lonely, so they see being in a couple/marriage as something making them _happy_ (as opposed to unhappy, sad, miserable, empty…).
            I know the “I’m happy by myself, but I’m happier with you” concept, and I try to practice it.
            Still, I don’t see many people around living it.

            You’re probably much more evolved than that :) but I was talking about the average Joe and Mary.
            An evolved person like you (and – I hope – me) would not even think about hating the way it’s talked here.

            • I’m reminded of something I heard many years ago from someone ,at the time, much older and wiser than me. It went something like “A woman marries a man thinking she’ll change him into her ‘ideal’ man. Meanwhile, a man marries a woman hoping she’ll never change. They usually both end up being dissapointted.

            • That expression comes from Oscar Wilde. For what it’s worth. :)

            • @ ValterV

              “I know the “I’m happy by myself, but I’m happier with you” concept, and I try to practice it.
              Still, I don’t see many people around living it.”

              To be fair while I’m not emotionally dependant on my husband (in that I expect him to ‘fix’ my emotions) I’d be devastated if he died. I think I could still manage to be happy, but it would be a hell of a lot harder.

      • I get a little tired of hearing, frankly, that an “enlightened” person is one who doesn’t depend on anyone else. I don’t think it’s true, and I say this as someone who is probably a poster child for the “independent woman”.

        I think we should cultivate the ability to be completely responsible for ourselves when necessary. Someone who is convinced that another person is responsible for making them happy and relinquishes their own “sovereign” identity is obviously not healthy. But neither is someone who’s incapable of depending on someone else or allowing someone else to depend on them. A marriage or long term relationship is, to me, an opportunity to go beyond “self,” and people seem to be losing that ability if not outright devaluing it.

        I’m wary of people who are easily bored, because I certainly don’t want to feel that I need to keep a partner constantly “entertained,” nor would I expect that from anyone else. I’m comfortable in my own skin and need someone else who is, too. But it’s not always clear what people mean when they say they are bored in a relationship. They might mean it in a pretty shallow sense as we’ve been talking about, but it also might mean that one partner wants more depth than the other, or is more “ambitious” about the relationship and what can be accomplished in it than the other, in which case the more ambitious partner is probably going to get bored if they continually are kicked back to the shallow end of the pool. It’s pretty likely they’ll start losing interest in sex, too, and then they’ve really set up a downward spiral.

        The woman in the HuffPo article sounded like she needed to get some perspective – it sounds like she has a good man who doesn’t deserve the vitriol she’s directing at him, at the very least. If anything, they may just not be compatible and no one should hate anyone for that.

    • The couples that I’ve known who say they’re bored, usually tell me the following: 1) their relationship lacks romance and/or 2) they have different energy levels (one is a homebody, the other person is a social butterfly and likes to go out and be with people.)

    • @Alex
      IA. Husband does deserve better. I think the wife needs to get a hobby or something and better herself before she blames her husband.
      Not an alcoholic…Not a cheat…Not an abuser…Good father…Oooo the horror!!!

      I have noticed that the nicest guys oft end up with the most ungrateful, selfish women. I don’t get it. :(

  4. i dont believe you says:

    First of all “hate” is a very strong word… then when the wife describes why she hates we get this…. “My hate comes from this feeling that I’m missing out on something else”. Okaaaay.
    Where are Hugo and Amanda to tear this woman a new one?

    • They would probably be silent on this one. Were they to respond, one way or another it WOULD be a man’s fault. They would find a way to excuse/justify her and blame her hatred of her husband on him, her father, the patriarchy, “rape culture”, the Guy Code, male privilege or some other common feminist male-blaming/anti-male talking point.

    • I’d be happy to tear her a new one. Saying you “hate” someone for the reasons she states is crazy.

  5. I think it all comes back to the way we socialize our little girls to romanticize the notion of Prince Charming riding in on a white horse, the kiss that seals true love forever, the magical, fairy tale wedding…

    I think women are socialized from a very early age to equate “love” with that feeling of excitement that some of my friends refer to as “NRE” or “New Relationship Energy”, and which I tend to refer to as “the infatuation stage”.

    And so when the relationship settles into a partnership more than a mutual “I want to bang your brains out at every opportunity”, I think more men settle in and start living life and more women think “I guess we’re not in love any more, I should leave him.”

    This is not to say that boredom doesn’t have ill effects on men, too. Members of both genders have affairs and long for what was. But it seems to me, from my experience, that when men have affairs, they’re trying to supplement, not replace, the current relationship, while when women have affairs, they’ve convinced themselves it’s time to leave and now they’re just waiting until they find the right situation to leave for.

    I’ve been left twice, both times when the relationship settled into the “steady but kinda boring” partnership phase that is the inevitable result of a mature relationship. The difference between both wives and me was that they decided that since there were no more stars in their eyes and flutters in their chest and “can’t wait to tear your clothes off the moment I get home every day” in the bedroom, that the relationship must be over, while I just enjoyed having a partner to share my life with.

    • IA with some of what you said.
      I think marriage is more romanticized than it should be. Women should realize that men will cheat. After awhile he’ll get bored and look for another woman, and it doesn’t matter what wife/gf does. Men feel entitled to have a harem of women/variety of women regardless of their relationship status. Men want to have the wife at home and the gfs on the side, but at the same time they dont want the wife to play around. Maybe it’s because they think like this:

      “when women have affairs, they’ve convinced themselves it’s time to leave and now they’re just waiting until they find the right situation to leave for.”

      I think more men settle in and start living life”
      Yes, men get VERY lazy in relationships. Not to say women don’t, but I think men are more guilty of it.

      • i don't believe you says:

        Umm. Marriage is not romanticized for men at all! Ever heard the expressions old lady, ball and chain, whipped?

      • I’m not so sure I agree with your characterization on the genders of cheaters. Clearly my circle of friends is not necessarily representative, but in my circle of friends, I know more women who have cheated than men.

        My point, though, is that it’s not just men who go out and cheat. I, for one, have never cheated on a spouse or girlfriend. I have in fact BEEN cheated on. So I’m a little bit annoyed at being lumped into the group you suggest “WILL” cheat, and having my cheating ex-wife lumped into the group you suggest “need to be prepared to be cheated on”.

      • Mark Neil says:

        Wow, that’s a pretty hateful view of men, to presume the thoughts and feelings of men, what they feel entitled to and what they want (and don’t want their wives to have). That’s a lot of negative generalizations you’re making, and I notice how one sided it is, you don’t in any way acknowledge women cheat.

        And like Liam, I know a lot more women who have cheated than men, and almost all of them did so to find a new partner before moving on from the old.

        • And like Liam, I know a lot more women who have cheated than men, and almost all of them did so to find a new partner before moving on from the old.

          And that makes it worse?

          to presume the thoughts and feelings of men, what they feel entitled to and what they want (and don’t want their wives to have).

          Because that’s what I see and what men admit to.

          • I didn’t say it makes it worse. But you persist in casting men as the great villain and women as the great victim even in the context of a discussion about trying to REDUCE the unequal treatment of the genders.

            You’re sexist and biased. More women cheat than men in both your experience and mine, and you’ve already said that “most men will cheat” as a condemnation of men. So if most men will cheat, and more women than men cheat, then clearly most WOMEN will cheat as well, which means that perhaps it’s not a gender based attribute but an attribute of human beings, and your separating it out to a gender thing is needless and bigoted.

            You’ve decided that when men and women do exactly the same behaviors, the men are doing so because they are evil and the women are doing so because it’s what men drive them to.

            You have, in my opinion, no credibility as long as you maintain this double standard.

      • Wow. Thats some fairly unmitigated gall you have there. I like how you write “men will cheat” as if it’s some foregone conclusion that happens 100% of the time. Citation most definitly needed. What color is the sky on the planet you live on?

        But hey, as long as we’re making hyperbolic statements with no need for proof, let me try this one:

        Men get lazy is relationships? Really? Who’s the one expected to plan every romantic encounter, (each having to be bigger and more amazing than the last?) who’s the one expectd to shower the other with gifts several times a year, who’s the one who has “take charge” or he loses his value as a person?

        Men may “get lazy” in relationshps, but women start out that way.

        • I think it’s hysterical when a woman suggests all men are the same. If it’s true, that ought to be good news for women — it makes women’s decisions much, much easier. I mean, if one is the same as the next, what’s the point in trying to find a good one? Pick the nearest one and save yourself a lot of time. Choose the first one who responds to your online ad. To do otherwise would be a complete waste of time. This should be a huge relief to women.

        • Mark Neil:

          And really how long do men spend being nice like that? A few months? Men are only nice like that until they start having regular sex then all that’s over.
          And yes from what I’ve seen most men will cheat.

          • From what I’ve seen it’s fairly equal levels of men and women cheating, both acting nice for a while until they do something….But my what a jaded view of men you have if you think most will cheat, would you agree most women just want to use men for money as well? (and no I don’t believe that) or are men the bad guy like usual and women are oh so perfect?

    • Mark Neil says:

      ” But it seems to me, from my experience, that when men have affairs, they’re trying to supplement, not replace, the current relationship, while when women have affairs, they’ve convinced themselves it’s time to leave and now they’re just waiting until they find the right situation to leave for.”

      I’ve thought this same thing for years.

      • So it’s better to cheat and toss people aside like men do??? Is it worse to cheat with someone you intend to have a relationship with???

        • It’s better not to cheat. Alice, you’ve already admitted more women cheat than men in your experience. *I* don’t cheat, never have, and yet I’ve been cheated on, and by your reasoning if I’d cheated on my ex-wife it’d have been because I was an evil man, but the fact that my ex-wife cheated on me is … because I’m an evil man?

          Until you get it out of your head that men are inherently evil and to blame for everything, you’re just fanning the flames and making things worse. I refuse to be cast in the role of second class citizen just because you are a bigot. I’ve spent my life trying to treat men and women equally, and I do not see any reason why I should accept any less in return.

        • “So it’s better to cheat and toss people aside like men do??? Is it worse to cheat with someone you intend to have a relationship with???”

          As Liam said, no judgement of which is “worst” was given. That is your own bias and bigotry being injected.

          And I think you have it backwards, a woman that cheats in order to find a replacement is the one tossing people aside (the one she cheated on then left), while a man who cheats to supplement is having a relationship with two people.

        • You’re attitude is disturbing, especially on a site for men. Why are you so bigoted and biased? Do you really think women don’t cheat in similar numbers to men? Do you think all these men are acting out of privilege and the “poor women”(TM) suffer oh so badly at the hands of men? There are far more men in pain than you could imagine, broken hearts and broken marriages. Both genders cheat.

    • Karen Bice says:

      I think for every Prince Charming book for children and adult romance books, there should be a statement of caution under the title: Warning: “These books have been proven harmful to humans, especially in how they relate to one another. The author and publisher are not liable for any harm caused by these books. We hope you enjoy our stories, but they are just stories, written by hyper-imaginative authors. Prince Charming is in reality just a human, a man, who like everyone else, takes a dump, vomits when he has the flu, resents pampering those who refuse to do for themselves, and likes to be talked to as any human does, with kindness and respect. Read our stories to pass the time, to unwind, to escape, but for God’s sake, nothing else. Read at your own risk. You have been warned.:

      • Prince charming is the guy next to his wife who’s in hospital, praying to gods even though he is an atheist just so the woman he loves is healthy. Someone who sticks by through good and bad, a best friend and a lover…You can flip the genders and that’s basically my idea of a great woman.

    • Good post Liam. I also enjoy “mature” relationships, and I agree that a lot of people (men and women) except that they’re going to be in the early, super-romantic stage all the time, and get bored when it’s not like that anymore. To me that’s when things are just getting started.

      But, I do think there’s such a thing as boredom in a relationship, not necessarily having anything to do with that. I’m not easily bored as an individual – I’m pretty endlessly curious about life and never at a loss for things to do or think about. But I can be bored with someone’s company if we just don’t match up well – if conversations always feel like a dead end because the other person won’t go any deeper than surface level, or doesn’t have a sense of humor, or is content with coloring inside the lines. I’m not a type A personality – in fact I’m very laid back in my everyday life – and I really don’t have extreme or outrageous tastes but I really crave being around people with whom I have a real mental and emotional rapport. If there isn’t that back and forth, it gets boring in a hurry. But luckily it’s fairly obvious within a pretty short time dating someone if that isn’t there, and if it is, it tends to last way beyond infatuation.

  6. Read the Huff post.

    So much to comment on but I will keep it simple in response to your question. Women get to vent their spleens and blame us. Because of the lingering effects of patriarchy, and despite the myriad changes in the workforce and world in the last three/four decades, we simply don’t have the same freedom.

    Am I bored in my marriage? All too often, you betcha! Do I wish I could get out and start over? Too often! Am I still in it after 12 years? Sure am. Is it just because of the kids? Mostly but not entirely. And that is the part I am still trying to sort through. Could I say this in a public forum and not get criticized? Nope?

    Anecdotally, my male friends are gettinc crucified inside of their marriages. Working their butts off, sometimes in more than one job, to support wives who claim whatever is lacking is the man’s fault, while they spend most of their days choosing how to spend the time between drop off and pick up. And lusting for/sleeping with other men in some occasions as well.

    Not sure what the answer is … but it ain’t fair

    • “Because of the lingering effects of patriarchy, and despite the myriad changes in the workforce and world in the last three/four decades, we simply don’t have the same freedom.”

      Why is it that men’s supposed ‘greater’ freedom then women only ever seems to amount to an rationale why they deserve less freedom then women?

  7. This Huff post is sort of ridiculous. Does this woman realize that maybe many husbands feel the exact same way about their wives from time to time? Duh! Husbands sometimes get frustrated with their wives. Wives sometimes get frustrated with their husbands. We’re not all perfect. It’s pretty sexist to suggest only wives can feel this way assuming that wives are always right and husbands are always wrong.

  8. Too many women have been given virtual carte blanche to ‘make’ men responsible for how they feel about them. I’ve had clients say similar things to me – “he makes me so mad,” “if he would just stop _____, then I wouldn’t _____,” or “he doesn’t pay attention to me,” (translation: I don’t always get my way).

    Women who have truly grown up own their own ‘stuff’ (I’m trying to keep this clean since it may be a ‘family show’ . . . LOL). They know no one – including their husbands – can MAKE them feel anything – positive or negative. Grown women know that every one – including their husbands – have their own feelings. One of the most consistent couples’ problems I see is the tendency to raise the volume and personal attacks while NOT raising the issues that are the foundation subjects you’re REALLY fighting about. End result – much, much, much bigger problems PLUS unnecessary anger, pain, and alienation. Keep telling your husband you hate him, you don’t need him, your life is better without him – don’t act surprised when he ups and accommodates you someday.

    • I agree with this. I also find it amusing that as my marriage was failing, my ex-wife would regularly berate me for not “working on” our marriage, and tell me how much work she was putting into it.

      But when she said I wasn’t “working on” the marriage, she was essentially saying she wasn’t getting her way, I wasn’t bending to her needs sufficiently. This may or may not have been true, but there was rarely recognition when I DID, only additional lists of ways in which I was not.

      But when she said SHE was “working on” the marriage, she meant that she was working on trying to set up ways in which it would be easier for me to give her her way. She was almost never “working on” the marriage in terms of fixing the things that I felt were most broken in the relationship.

      So, to sum up, my working on HER concerns was the only way I got credit for “working on” the marriage, her working on HER concerns was the way she got credit for “working on” the marriage, and my concerns were almost never addressed or worked on at all.

      • So, to summarize, you married a very childlike person. “It’s me, me, ME!” 😉
        I feel your pain, but I wonder… was she already that way when you did marry her?
        To my knowledge, people seldom “devolve” into becoming childish… usually either they already are and remain that way, or they grow.

        In cases like this, I wonder how many man married an already childlike woman, and why.
        Was it because they were blindly in love? Was it because she was overwhelmingly sexy? 😉

        Mind you, this is not to diminish your pain or justify her behaviour. Your situation stinks.
        But I sincerely would like to know how you (and men like you) arrived to that point. 😕

        • I don’t honestly know. Most of our mutual friends and family members were shocked at her behavior towards the end, and so I’m inclined to think that yes, she did in fact change for the worse.

          Either that, or she was just astoundingly good at hiding it initially.

          Either way, it came as a suprise to me.

          • @Liam Johnson: “’I’m inclined to think that yes, she did in fact change for the worse.”

            It may happen. Especially when people is not able to express their feelings/trouble, and their inner tension adds up. Then it explodes, eventually.
            Or, as you said, it might be she hid it before. I know some people is able to do that. 😐

            Marriages should pass a six month test drive, before the actual committing. 😉

  9. I understand your point, Tom, and I think this is why yours was slammed and hers was not:

    I’m just looking at the examples you’ve provided, here, but the difference is: the tone. Hers was non-judgmental and the author sided with the letterwriter. Your tone was the opposite: critical, a little accusatory, and made a broad generalization that ALL women don’t accept men for who they are (when many of us do, we don’t write letters because we don’t have problems). By criticizing so directly you’ve forced people to get defensive.

    Another tone of your example is that “women think differently.” You don’t clarify “from men.” By not clarifying you imply that they way men think is the standard and that women are the exception. Even though *I* know what you meant is “women think differently from men,” it’s not clear, and I can see how some women would find that irritating and get defensive.

    To be clear, my tone is not to slam you, either, it’s merely to point out the difference. Tone is so important and it is so easy to misinterpret over the internet. If you want people to react positively, you can’t attack them. Even if you don’t see it as an attack, they do. That’s the inconsistency.

    I don’t know if you’d call your tone “telling our stories in our own male vocabulary” but if you want women who have a problem listening to you in your tone (in other words, women who hate their husbands) to learn that they should meet you halfway… you have to talk to them in their vocabulary first. It’s almost a Catch-22 that way.

    I hope this helps.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      There are many men and women who don’t write letters to HuffPo and complain you are right. And many men and women who aren’t afraid of their spouse. Funny, that.
      All men are not afraid of all women. All women do not hate all husbands.
      There are lots of us in the world who really enjoy our mates, who they are, why they do what they do and so forth.

      I read the HuffPost piece and the dialogue between Cindy and Iris and I thought it was a great example of getting to the root of the matter. She doesn’t hate her husband. She hates how she feels in her middle aged life. She hates that she’s aging, that she’s bored, that dreams she may have had have gone to the wayside.

      It’s much easier to project our fear and hate on to the closest target rather than work on the self.

      Maybe the men in your piece Tom were doing similar things. Fear of their wife might mean they are dealing with something else. Their wives apparent dissatisfaction with them might actually be more indicative of stuff the wife is going through.

      Middle age sucks. It’s an existential mire of personal quicksand projected onto the people around you who you were once passionate about.

      I honestly don’t think much of this has much to do with gender other than the people involved are straight and so there are men and there are women. It’s not like gay and lesbian couples don’t go through exactly the same thing.

      Life is long, shit gets boring, passion wanes, mature decisions suck, pragmatic choices (instead of fiery passion, drive, adventure, and leaping before looking) are a pain the ass.

      Both people in a couple need to own their own stuff and not turn things in to a never ending cycle of blaming the other for their own boredom, while being afraid to confront the other person or the problem.

      But I suppose it’s always easier to have it be the fault of women that men feel bad, or the fault of men that women feel bad. I refuse to accept that as someone who is well aware of my own failings into middle age. I’d be completely off my rocker to blame my husband for my own issues as I age in a long term marriage.

      It’s up to us (he and I) to keep the adventure going and to push each other to live hard and strong.

      • Well said, Julie.

        • Julie Gillis says:

          Thanks. We all want chaos, passion and Dionysian freedom. We all give much of that up in a desire for family, homes, connection and the Apollonian ideal of intimacy. Both are killers. Pure lust, energy, drive, taking what is wanted, living “No Day But Today” is destructive. So too is control, tamping down dreams, limiting adventure.

          How often have we seen it in the media, or movies, or tv shows about mid life crises, existential departures from marriages. I think this is the 50% divorce rate right here. Because marriage, bills, mortgages, kids etc are passion killers. And passion/aggression is a stability destroyer.

          So how do we find ways to incorporate both powers into our lives? To take the Persephonic aspects of our light and dark selves and bring both to the forefront of the committed union?

          I don’t think this has anything to do with gender other than both sexes playing into stereotyped roles that women want home and family and men want passion and adventure. As we can see, this woman is bored to tears to the point of deciding to convince herself it’s her husband she hates instead of herself. She hates herself at the moment and what she’s chosen.

          We sell our kids this bill of goods that you have to get married and settle down and have kids and a dogs and all that. That the wedding is the climax of the narrative. No wonder women are bored and men are afraid. This is it? Lest I sound like a complete asshole here, coupling can be a wonderful thing. I have a husband and two kids and we both work hard (and are exhausted most of the time) to keep ourselves in love with ourselves so that we have amazing things to keep offering each other.

          I am aware I am a separate person. I am aware he is a separate person. Both of us need room to be who we are so that we can surprise each other and delight each other and fight with each other and challenge each other.

          This woman needs a job, or a major hobby or some mutual adventure with her spouse.

          • Anyway, as I tried to say, my marriage was in a somewhat similar situation several years ago. My wife seemed disenchanted and I really had no clue. Fast foward to present day. A couple of her co workers (all women) have had their husbands leave them for younger women. One had her husband remortgage the house, gamble it away, and now they live in a basement apartment. Another works 2 jobs while being treated for breast cancer(While her husband is ‘looking for work’). And her son , who she payed a fortune for college tuition, decides after 3 years that ‘it’s not for him’! Guess what, suddenly I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread! Who’da thunk it!

      • Tom Matlack says:

        “Maybe the men in your piece Tom were doing similar things.”

        Absolutely Julie. That was my whole point. That many men I know are very aware that their wives “hate” them but still want to be good husbands and frankly don’t know how.

        Of course there is a whole deeper level going on for the women in this piece and the men in my piece. I talk about that very specifically over and over again. That’s the whole point of GMP–to explore the deeper stuff of what it means to be a good husband and good man. But my very saying that men, or a group of men I know, may sense that they are not okay as they are in their wives eyes and are greatly pained and confused by that, caused a melt-down and mass exodus of feminists (not all but Hugo et al with a certain POV) that maintained that I had said something sacrilegious.

        My point is simply that women do the same thing, as per this HP column that so very many seemed to identify with about hating your husband. That doesn’t mean they really hate them or don’t want to find a way back to love but simply that they are really frustrated and confused.

        To quote myself one more time, “My unscientific theory is from a fundamental disconnect between men and women …”

        If a woman says that it’s understandable. If a man says that it’s nuclear war. That’s what I truly don’t think is fair.

        • “’My unscientific theory is from a fundamental disconnect between men and women …’

          If a woman says that it’s understandable. If a man says that it’s nuclear war. That’s what I truly don’t think is fair.”

          That there is a fundamental disconnect between men and women is the very premise of “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” a very popular book written by a man.

          It’s not what you said. It’s how you said it.

          • “It’s not what you said. It’s how you said it.”

            I’m getting the feeling that the ‘how you said it’ amounts to pointing out that this hurts men.

            I don’t necessarily agree that there is a fundamental disconnect between men and women; I believe society has socialized women to be too emotionally dependant on men and make up the difference in emotional aggression.

          • Dyana, I wonder. It may be that no matter how it is said, it is heard differently depending on who is saying it.

            Tom, I had the sense the question you were really asking was “am I [Tom Matlack] chopped liver? You can hear her, but not me?”

            There is male-pattern deafness. Then there is female-pattern deafness. A man making a relationship point would appear to be a case of speech in a frequency inaudible to many women. Or, maybe, Tom, more women read Huffington Post than GMP. Doesn’t mean this wasn’t a good idea.

      • She reiterated toward the end of the email exchange that she does, in fact, hate her husband. She explained her rationale, however irrational it is.

        So, what did she get? Sympathy and compassion, and reassurance that all women hate their husbands. That hating your husband is natural and normal. This advice is why women divorce 3x more often than men.

        Imagine a man writing the exact same thing: his wife is a good hands on mother, a good wife, and good provider. So much so that he doesn’t have to work. But, he lusts after other women and hates her. He would be slammed to the ground like a safety on a blitz, with no compassion or gentle coercion as women evidently get. Illustrating the difference is the fierce response and condemnation the man got who hated his wife’s breasts.

        She should just tell him how she feels so that he will at least know that the feelings are not mutual.

        • Julie Gillis says:

          Do you mean this line? “”My hate comes from this feeling that I’m missing out on something else.”

          I read that to mean that she’s reiterating she feels a lot of negative emotions, but has been shown or has realized that the cause of those emotions are actually the husband’s fault.

          She then says, “Yikes! Okay I admit I don’t have any really big problems. So what about this sense of just feeling bored?” Which to me indicated she’s owning her own shit and starting the process of figuring out what she needs to do to get a hold of herself.

          The writer also pushed her to acknowledge that there wasn’t any reason to hate him and that “hate” in this circumstance was probably unjustified, but an emotion of her own making at her life, not him.

          The writer points out that hate comes with the territory of love (not everyone would agree with this point and I found much of her answer distasteful for other reasons), but she says, “It takes grit and prolonged intimacy to love deeply and hate deeply and thus is the rhythm of family relationships”

          There are a number of comments deriding the advice, and calling Cindy a selfish whiner, in answer to your issue about whether a man would get worse treatment.

          Three things:

          1) articles like that (and Tom’s) get lots and lots of page views which is a great thing for advertisers. Tom’s may have garnered controversy, but in online media that’s a good thing.
          2) The majority of happy people don’t write in to columns like this for help. I rarely see advice columnists giving good advice. They aren’t therapists, and no one letter can encapsulate a good answer.
          3) If she truly doesn’t love her husband I too would suggest they part ways in order for each of them to find more compatible mates.

          • Do you mean this line? “”My hate comes from this feeling that I’m missing out on something else.”

            Yes.

            “I read that to mean that she’s reiterating she feels a lot of negative emotions. . .”

            Right, that’s what hate is. 

            ” Which to me indicated she’s owning her own shit and starting the process of figuring out what she needs to do to get a hold of herself.”

            Perhaps.  But, she never (to our knowledge) she never backs off on hating and blaming her husband for her boredom, just acknowledging that her life isn’t as terrible as that of other people.

            As a foundational concept, the writer tells her that all married women hate their husbands.  It’s a natural state, but you can live with that hate for decades, as others have done.  What a wonderful life to look forward to!  The foundation of her “advice” is divorce enabling, untrue, and illogical.

            “There are a number of comments deriding the advice, and calling Cindy a selfish whiner, in answer to your issue about whether a man would get worse treatment.”

            I doubt that her treatment comes anywhere close to the harsh and hateful comments directed to the husband complaining about his wife’s breasts – but I will check when I have time.

            “If she truly doesn’t love her husband I too would suggest they part ways in order for each of them to find more compatible mates.”

            I disagree.  If one is not going to bother to even try to work through tough times, what is the point of getting married?  Such persons should never get married, and whatever they do, never have children.  Their kids would just become collateral damage of their parents’ immaturity and selfishness.

            If she starts thinking about someone other than herself, she may be able to turn things around.  She owes it to their children, marriage vows, her husband, and herself to at least try.  She needs to (wo)man up, and stop being a selfish, ungrateful brat.  THAT’s the advice she needs.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              I can’t say for sure Eric, but my guess is that the advice columnist is using words too casually. If the woman truly hated her husband, she’d leave. Most people don’t hate their spouses. They feel bored sure, irritated at times, of course.

              As for living with hate for decades? That’s what I mean when I say she’s using words too casually. If you live with hate, actual hate, not just negative emotions like boredom or irritation, you’d burn yourself out. If she really believes that most marriages are filled with hate for decades well…

              I’d say she’s a crappy advice columnist.

              Working through tough times while loving someone, liking them and caring about the outcome of the relationship is a good thing and can be diffcult but I agree with you. If she truly has no love or compassion for her husband, no caring or kindness then I do think he’d be better off without her and to be able to raise their kids in an environment where he is requiring a level of treatment and respect that marriage should contain. For me personally if I knew my husband despised me but was staying in it out of some kind of duty, I think that’s a terrible example for kids. Kids can sense that kind of lie.

              I think the reason we have more comments here on posts is that more women read men’s columns than men read women’s columns. Maybe. Dunno. I still think the controversy serves the media outlet though. If there were no page views or commentary, there would be no ad revenue, yes?

              She does need that advice, Eric. I don’t think we are in disagreement there. I think the advice columnist isn’t much good and the women and her husband need to do some serious rediscovering of each other, and she needs to get a grip on what she wants out of herself. She’s got to live with herself for the rest of her life.

            • The advice-seeker is the one who said she hated her husband. I can tell you for a fact that there are married people who do hate their spouses, but stay with them for a variety of reasons. The writer even argued that all wives hate their husbands but some have found ways to stay married anyway.

              Of course the HuffPost is a glorified blog that most any schlub can contribute to. But, she clearly understands the connotation of using a word like hate. Her argument is that women can counterbalance the inevitable hatred that they all feel for their husbands with good feelings.

              “I’d say she’s a crappy advice columnist.”

              Agreed.

              “If she truly has no love or compassion for her husband, no caring or kindness then I do think he’d be better off without her and to be able to raise their kids in an environment where he is requiring a level of treatment and respect that marriage should contain.”

              Love can be rekindled. Not necessarily the pie-eyed romantic love but the deep, caring, selfless, principled love – which is what keeps people together over the long run.

              “For me personally if I knew my husband despised me but was staying in it out of some kind of duty, I think that’s a terrible example for kids. Kids can sense that kind of lie.”

              Speaking of use of words, “despise” goes beyond just “hate.”

              Kid appreciate when their parents sacrifice to do the right thing – even if that right thing is very hard. Kids want their parents to be together. To love one another, yes, but they at least to function as a family, even if all is not perfect.
              I know of couples who worked through really bad times but hung in and came out better on the other side. I always recommend against easily giving up on something of great value, such as a family.

              I think I said that she should tell him that she hates him. I don’t think she should, unless she is planning to divorce him. She married the man, and he doesn’t treat her badly. They still have sex; so, there is something there to work with. If she tells him that, it’s probably over. Some things are better left unsaid.

            • Read the HP post – have to wonder why she would marry a man if she did not like him or the qualities inherent in his personality. Also isn’t it possible to “hate” what person does but not the person. Even in that case what someone else does is not about you – you can’t fix the other person and they can’t fix you. Each individual has to “fix” their issues.

        • Liam Johnson says:

          Very good point, Eric! If you reverse the genders, most of the sympathetic women (and more than a few men) would slam the guy as a horrible and presumably abusive husband.

    • i don't believe you says:

      You mention tone and that’s great, but did you look at the titles? ” Help! I hate my husband” vs “Being a dude is a good thing.” I’d say Tom’s piece overall is “friendlier” than the huffpost one. Just sayin’

  10. Wow. And this is the “good men” blog. Seems to sum up nicely why women are fucked one way or another. Sorry guys, but women are exactly like men: that’s why we can procreate…together. Same species and everything. I’m not a ‘good woman” by nature; I’m a misanthrope: women annoy me as much as men, mostly because I can see beneath the mountain of socialisation that produces the apparent “differences” in behaviour, which are a complete and utter illusion, but a very lucrative one. I haven’t met any man where I haven’t met his female counterpart. I’ve known women that are highly sexed and those that dislike sex, same as men I’ve known. I’ve known women with hideously romantic notions of relationships, just as I’ve know men who have. I’ve know women who are simply practical in their relationships, the majority in my experience, just like men. I’ve seen relationships where men dominate and ones where women dominate. Get over it – relationships vary because people vary. And since when can’t husbands complain about wives? Both sexes do it and they do it constantly. The publishing industry is virtually predicated on it. This blog is just an excuse for a whining venting session, so obviously I want to join in

    The author is a self-pitiful fool. There is a glaring difference between the two articles. The HP blog is just a venting session that is acknowledging what everyone knows, just like most blogs. She was directing it to women because that was her target audience, it did not state that men did not feel this way too. You however were making a claim that there is some metaphysical difference between men and women, which is patently stupid. If a man decides to be a doormat that’s his choice. He can tart it up by kidding himself he’s acknowledging the wrongs of patriarchy, but that is no excuse for not standing your ground if the issue is serious enough. The thing is that the vast majority of issues in marriage are trivial and that’s when it becomes a matter of give and take – and that’s where the socialisation comes in. I’ve been married for 15 years; I know my husband likes to be the boss; I know I like to be the boss. We agree to disagree and give ourselves enough space that we don’t kill each other. It works.

    But before you start taking this whole husband oppression thing seriously, there is a fundamental and sobering difference that should be remembered. I happen to know that my husband is not going to break my jaw or black my eye, which is a bonus since I happen to physically like big men (disappointingly conventional, I know.) Take a pause boys: women actually have to consider that, even with all those wonderful aforementioned gains we’ve made, and they still don’t always have that choice about being a doormat. I do like the way men love to mention those “gains” btw, when they bitch about women, just to remind us how it was in the good old days before they benevolently bestowed those rights upon us. If you feel “guilty” about patriarchy, don’t use that as an excuse for feeling inhibited about expressing yourself toward women, it’s disingenuous. The subtext for men who use this argument is obvious.

    • @ Greta

      “’m a misanthrope: women annoy me as much as men, mostly because I can see beneath the mountain of socialisation that produces the apparent “differences” in behaviour, which are a complete and utter illusion, but a very lucrative one.”

      That’s really interesting because I identify some strong gendered effects in your own comments along the lines of women are victims/men can’t be victims.

      First a ‘women as victims’ framing:

      “And this is the “good men” blog. Seems to sum up nicely why women are fucked one way or another.”

      Then shaming for men who feel victimized or recognizing male victimization:

      “The author is a self-pitiful fool. […] If a man decides to be a doormat that’s his choice.”

      More focus on female victimization, or potential on female victimization:

      “Take a pause boys: women actually have to consider that, even with all those wonderful aforementioned gains we’ve made, and they still don’t always have that choice about being a doormat.”

      More vilifying of men who feel victimized:

      “I do like the way men love to mention those “gains” btw, when they bitch about women, just to remind us how it was in the good old days before they benevolently bestowed those rights upon us. If you feel “guilty” about patriarchy, don’t use that as an excuse for feeling inhibited about expressing yourself toward women, it’s disingenuous.”

      You seem to really like seeing women as victims and rather dislike seeing the possibility of men being victims. To be very honest that amounts to maintaining the oldest gender role there is.

      Men act/women are acted upon.

    • Tom Matlack says:

      Greta I don’t feel patriarchy since I had nothing to do with it. Just BTW if my wife and I ever got into a fist fight I am pretty confident she would kick my ass. Self-pity has nothing to do with my motivation here. I have never claimed to be anything but a fool though.

    • i don't believe you says:

      “Sorry guys, but women are exactly like men: that’s why we can procreate…together.”

      Umm, you have it backward. it is because we procreate…together… that we know that women are exactly NOT like men.

  11. What is the subtext Greta? Not so obvious to me. And I don’t feel guilty about patriarchy. Not at all. Doesn’t inhibit expression toward women.

    That said, trying to remedy the impact of patriarchy is what underlies what is undoubtedly, in most jurisdictions, women-slanted family law precedents. What keeps far too many marriages together is the fact that men get slammed financially for leaving them, almost regardless of the woman’s role in the breakup

  12. After reading the HuffPo article, it seems clear that there is really no reason for the wife to hate her husband. Her husband is a gentle man and a hands-on father who makes a good living, and that has enabled her to stay home with the kids. All this does not satisfies her and she feels that she is missing something better. She is really mentally screwed up.

  13. wellokaythen says:

    I think the “double standard” argument is a little overblown sometimes, but the double standard clearly exists. I can’t imagine that a man who says he hates his wife would get the same level of sympathy as a woman who says she hates her husband. I’m a married man, and I admit I would be more sympathetic to her complaint than his. I have every reason to be biased in the opposite direction, but I’m not. If I’m guilty of the double standard, I can only imagine other people are, too.

    Test your reactions to these two sentences:

    “I hate my wife.”

    “I hate my husband.”

    Do these sentences have the same effect, or does one sound more threatening or illegitimate than the other?

    I tend to think the corollary to the double standard is that it’s the man’s fault either way. If his wife isn’t satisfied, he’s doing something wrong, and if he’s not satisfied, he’s doing something wrong there, too.

    • @wellokaythen: “Test your reactions to these two sentences:
      “I hate my wife.”
      “I hate my husband.””

      You made me think…
      Although I totally believe in parity (and I live accordingly), I HAD a slightly different emotional reaction.
      Not because one gender has a right to hate and the other has not, of course.

      I think my different reaction comes from a difference in genders: since – on average – women are more emotional (or they express their emotions more openly), when a woman says “I hate” it can be no big deal; when a man says “I hate”, it usually IS a big deal. So when a man hates there’s a powerful, dangerous energy underneath, while when a woman hates often is not as dramatic.
      Or, at least, that’s my experience and perception.

      This doesn’t justify a double standard, of course.
      And it doesn’t answer Tom question: maybe, we have different reactions because in our culture we are used to men controlling their emotions, and women expressing them. So, when a woman does it, it’s business as usual; when a man does it, it startles us.
      It’s unfair, of course, but who ever said life’s fair? 😉

      • wellokaythen says:

        I have said “life is fair” on numerous occasions, every chance I get, in fact.

        This is my strategy to achieve a bit of fame. _I_ will be the one who says life is fair. That way no one can say “No one ever said life was fair.” Anyone who says this can be countered, “Actually, I just read someone on the internet say that life was fair.”

        There. I’m the one who finally said it.

  14. Tom it just seems that when a dude raises some issues and subjects it’s always nuclear meltdown – Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima and Dude!

  15. When I feel really grumpy toward my husband and start to dredge up past grievances against him in my head, I go to karate and train with 3 men …I am literally bathing in testosterone…no more whining or playing the blame game…it’s just me and them all focused on karate….for 2 hours a week, I am just a guy like them…they all use foul language (which would be unacceptable in yoga or Zumba class), scratch their parts, fart, brag about their wild night on Friday or Saturday, and strip down to their boxer shorts when they are changing out of their gi (karate uniform)….Suddenly, I realize if my husband were there, his “offenses” would be totally understandable and forgivable by the jury of guys there…if my karate buddies ever heard me complain about my husband, I’m sure they would tell me to give my hubby a break and that he is doing the best that he can (they would probably translate to him in guyspeak how to smooth things over and how not to do the bad behavior again in a brotherly manner)….

    I guess if you really love someone, then you will find a loving way to correct the bad behavior without making the offender feel really bad…or hated….When I am really angry, I text my husband very brief messages instead of arguing or yelling at him in person (yelling just makes him feel defensive and then he starts to shut off from me)….

  16. Well Tom,I cannot answer your question as to why it is different in the almost exact two cases.

    But I can say that you are on the right track by asking the right questions.
    I’m also smart enough to know none of the commentors have hit it on the head either.

    I advise to toss bleach upon it, set it out in the direct sunlight,and see what is left after a month or so.

    It may be off topic, or not, but:
    There are people who NEED to control the language and dialogue.

  17. pillowinhell says:

    My mother has always said that there should be mandatory testing before marriage licenses are granted. It seems that this womans husband would have really benefited from it. I’d suggest testing for emotional, financial ect maturity as well as a thorough understanding of how love and relationships work. I’ll agree that the Disney world view has seriously poisoned attitudes towards marriage. However, she’s an adult and should have realized that Disney is fantasy and nothing more.

    There have been a few posters upthread who’ve stated that this woman needs to own her own problems. I couldn’t agree more. I’d bet the family farm that she ditched other relationships due to boredom too.

    That advice columnist needs a swift kick. Its not normal to hate your spouse. It may be more common to dislike them, or really be angry with them, but usually that gets resolved or at least managed so both sides can live in peace. The “advice” that was given could easily be used as justification for whatever crap she’s dumping on the husband. Who else here is wondering about her husbands welfare? Hatred seems to be an excellent environment for emotional abuse. I hope he can get some help and support until his wife straightens out.

    I just checked out Stats Canada on domestic abuse. A woman hating her husband is not a good thing. He’s really at risk for being physically abused. Hatred doesn’t make for powerful dangerous energy in women? I wouldn’t be so sure about that.

  18. Richard Aubrey says:

    There’s an advice blog called, iirc, “Keeping Her Happy”. The proprietor’s view is that men and women have different emotional scales.
    Men’s scales run from scared/angry to neutral to ecstatic. Neutral being in the middle. Women’s scale runs from bored to ecstatic. When a wife is bored with her husband, says the blog, she’s going to be gone in one way or another.
    Not sure what I think about it., It might be interesting to look it over and see what you think.
    Advice is to stand up to her crap–she will shit test you regularly–and don’t let things get boring.

  19. Hmm. Tom, I don’t really see the two pieces as being mirrors of one another. The HuffPo article was not really anything to do with gender – there are plenty of men who feel the same way about their wives and could just as easily have written that article.

    Your point seemed to be that these types of drama in relationships are gender based, that there’s a fundamental difference between men and women and the way we think and approach relationships, and “the female view is always right,” and ask whether being a good man means becoming more like a woman.

    I missed the firestorm over your comments, and I don’t think you deserved to get so much crap for it as you apparently did (and I don’t think the HuffPo woman deserved as much sympathy as she got, either). But I think that men are possibly going through something that women have already been through in the feminist movement and, to some extent, are still going through – this notion that certain basic skills that we all need to reach our potential are exclusive to one gender.

    For women, what this meant (and sometimes still means) is that a woman who is assertive is being “masculine.” A woman “needs to be more like a man” to have a high powered career. Science or construction work or any number of fields aren’t “feminine”. Minorities have gone through the same BS, like black people being told that wanting to read books means they’re “acting white.” As if you give up some essential part of your identity as masculine or feminine or black – an identity you may wear with pride – by improving yourself.

    Now men are hearing a lot of the same BS as they work to shed the more toxic gender roles that have been assigned to them. They hear that being more empathetic and emotionally attentive is “more like a woman,” and of course a lot of women reinforce this. These are not seen as simply desirable qualities necessary to living a fulfilling life – they’re “female” qualities. Which means that men, therefore, are “bad” because they inherently suck at relationships and intimacy and caring for others. Ergo, the woman is always right, the female point of view is always the correct one in a relationship, it’s OK to hate your husband but not your wife. Just like women “inherently” suck at fixing things in the house or being emotionally independent or mathematics, and to improve in any of these areas would make them less “feminine.” Right.

    It’s ALL a load of crap that we can choose to reject. This doesn’t mean we have to reject the idea of men and women being different, or that we can’t embrace a masculine or feminine identity. It just means we reject certain accepted gender patterns as harmful and strive to break the mold.

  20. The Bad Man says:

    Nice life getting married and nagged huh?

    You just need to accept the impermanence of relationships and consider women like that to be past their best before date and put out on the curb.

  21. Kirsten (in MT) says:

    Can someone please clear up this inconsistency?

    No problem. Different individuals with different opinions responding to each article.

  22. I have news for those women: those feelings are probably mutual.

    I really don’t think this is a male vs female issue, I think it’s our current culture.

  23. I didn’t bother whining about my spouse – I moved out.

    Hate is not a gender thing – remember sharing house when a student?

    Too much familiarity breeds contempt.

    To all out there (yes, the two of you) who manage to live together and love together – power to ya!

  24. The Bad Man says:

    Can someone please clear up this inconsistency?
    You need to figure it out for yourself and come to your own conclusions. Perhaps your privilege is interfering with your understanding of the cause /s

  25. Tom:
    I have considered your question as to why the different responses in regards to the gender reversal for 3 days now.
    This is my answer,if you care to print it:
    No matter how good of a man you are,there is always another man out there with more money,more charisma,and ‘new.’

    This is the “Good Man” the women are looking for,the next bigger,better deal.
    The other good-men TM are not allowed to talk about this,as it would upset the power balance in the equation that lets one sex run roughshod over the other.
    My friend,the blinders have slipped a bit,the horse sees the crowd.
    Best not to look again lest the horse spook and run amok,like a free range
    (man.)

    • “No matter how good of a man you are,there is always another man out there with more money,more charisma,and ‘new.”

      Can’t the same be said about women. No matter how pretty you are, try to keep yourself in shape, be loving and doting on your husband – he’ll always be ready to toss you for a younger, hotter, more flexible, dumber, more high maintenance, pouty, bratty barely legal babe?

      Really, it goes both ways.

    • That is absurd. Women don’t want a different man from their husbands, they want their husbands to be better men.

  26. I work more than 40 hours a week, i cook, i clean and i pay for my husband to go to school. He wrecked his motorcycle a few years ago and got fired twice from the same job. We have been married 17 years. My husband talks to me like i am dirt. After doing all of the above, I happen to like sex but when I tell my husband and ask for affection with the climax of sex i am told and I quote:” do i have to climb on every time my wife asks!!!” He also cussed me out the other day just for asking for a ride to work. I get the priviledge of his company when he feels like it which is not even close to often. He says he is free white and over 21 if he wants to get drunk anytime its none of my business. He was tutoring a girl from college and went to her house behind my back more than once and still expects me to trust him. He makes out like i am the devil all the time. So if other women are living in this kind of hell i can see why the other website is so popular. To me what man would not want a woman who works to put food on the table and put them through school and does most to all of the house work and still wants to have a romp at the end of the day. What am i doing wrong and why can’t i be loved and adored?

    • @me
      Thing is there are probably fairly equal levels of men and women being treated like shit by their partners so that may help in realizing it’s just individuals that are bad, and not the gender. You probably aren’t doing anything wrong, but he could be wrong for you? Some people just do not deserve your love and you need someone much better than that hubby of yours, either he lifts his game or maybe it’s time to find someone else. Hope it improves for you.

    • Valter Viglietti says:

      @me, I’m sorry for your situation. I don’t know the details, but from your words it seems obvious your husband doesn’t care much for you. And from his attitude, I can’t see much room for improvement.

      @me: “What am i doing wrong and why can’t i be loved and adored?”
      Well, first thing you did wrong was chosing and marrying him. I’m not blaming you, but it’s important acknowledging the importance of your choices. Our life is mostly the product of our own choices.
      Awareness is empowering; denial is weakness.

      Of course you can be loved (“adored” sounds quite idealized, though 😉 ): you just have to choose a man who is right for you, and can appreciate your qualities.
      You could begin to talk with your husband and express your frustration; suggesting that you won’t accept that kind of behaviour much longer. Maybe he’ll change, maybe he won’t; just remember you cannot change other people, you can change only yourself.

    • I have only one question, with everything that you stated, why are you still wih him?

    • You’re with the wrong guy. Leave him.

      I agree with Archy. Jerks come in both genders. Any men being treated in a similarly crappy manner by their wives should leave too.

  27. I think in general that it’s become acceptable to treat your partner poorly, whatever gender that participants are. It’s become acceptable to be harsh and cruel and expect that you still get eat your cake. If culture and television spent more time portraying considerate behavior to your loved ones I think this would be less of a problem.

  28. wellokaythen says:

    Here goes my kneejerk reaction to the popularity of the article, but I think it’s actually a valid point anyway:

    I can’t help but wonder at the public reaction to an article if the genders were switched. Imagine the outrage if the letter circulating the internet said “I hate my wife” or “she disgusts me” or “sometimes I just want to kill her.” Would the advice columnists reassure him that such feelings are perfectly common and normal in a marriage? Somehow I doubt it. In that case such feelings would be taken as evidence of some sort of psychosis.

    What really frustrates me is that the woman complaining about how bored she is with her husband receives quite a bit of sympathy and her husband quite a bit of animosity as some sort of marital failure. But, if a husband complained about his wife in such a way, the sympathy and animosity would still be the same – he’s a bad husband and she’s a long-suffering wife.

  29. WornOutHusband says:

    I agree with LF. I don’t see any evidence that anyone is really happy married; except, maybe, gays because their obligation appears to be considerably less permanent. It’s like a religion. Nobody believes the pie-in-the-sky crap they spout about gods and nirvanas, but they continue to spread the propaganda because there is money in those hills. Obviously, there is not way to rationally imagine the universe is a friendly place for a short-lived species like ours when the overwhelming majority of that space is hostile to life.

    Likewise, no one is happier married than single or as a parent than without kids, but there is money in convincing the next generation of suckers that they will be happier “connected’ and “responsible.” Of course, once you are connected and responsible you become a more predictable, dependable taxpayer and employee. Society’s systems need that kind of drone worker, but the indentured individuals get nothing back in return for the commitment.

    Obviously, the “stay-at-home parent” gets a benefit, at the cost of that person’s independence and competence, but there is no upside for the person on the other side of that equation. Smart people avoid marriage. Seriously stupid people are serial-committers. The rest of us screw up once and can’t cost-benefit ourselves out of the mess we’ve created. So, we all wish for “help” and we all wish we could take back the stupid decision to fill out that contract with our spouse. Some of us are smart enough to stay out of that mess twice, but most have been indoctrinated with enough mental illness to keep making the same mistake hoping for a different outcome.

    • Love your post and truly agree about being sold a bill of goods to keep us slaves to the system. Oddly I do believe in god though. I’ve actually tried to convince myself he’s not real but I can’t. Go figure. Back to topic now. I often think of living alone and I first feel sad and scared but then when I realize I’m more concerned about what everyone will think when I’m a crazy old cat lady than I am about being alone I get excited. I start thinking how awesome it would be. I also wonder why we have miss knowing that they will one day face death and hardship. It’s the ultimate selfish act.

    • “Obviously, the “stay-at-home parent” gets a benefit, at the cost of that person’s independence and competence”

      Excuse me? WHAT benefit would that be?

  30. Sad and concussed says:

    Question to the guys out there: I am married to a man who says he loves me but then, during our 13 years together has never made me feel special. No honey moon, no gifts, no flowers ever! We have two beautiful sons and I have always worked and earned more than him. I have been saving for years and would love for us to buy our own Place but he always has some excuse. Last year he moved away from me and the kids to work abroad and although we talk every day, it is not the same. I kill myself working full time and taking care of the boys, and he does not have any compassion. My question is: can it be that he hates me and he does not want to be with me and he is just too afraid or weak to tell me? Can be that he has a lover? I just don’t understand how a man leaves a woman who is. Of necessarily bad looking and usually quite witty and to some degree sexy even. Thank God I am blessed with two sweet. Ours who love me so much, and the fact that I still feel attractive, but the truth is that I am terribly heart broken and feel very sad. I also would love to have someone love me back and maybe a massage flowers and more. But I am not sure what his deal is. We are suppose to reunite next month after nearly 3 months without seein each other, and I just wonder how he can go without sex for so long . I have to but isn’t it harder for men? Do you guys think he is cheating? Help

    • Do you do anything for him, special gifts, massages etc? He could be depressed which can appear to be a lack of interest in anything in life, there are a lot of variables so it’s best to just ask him instead of letting your mind think up the worst and worry about it. He could simply just be a man that likes stuff simple, no gifts, but without knowing him it’s hard to say.

    • Mark Neil says:

      My first questions would be, 1: as Archy asked, do you do anything to make him feel special? You expect it from him, do you reciprocate? 2: Why did you two get married in the first place? It doesn’t sound like there was much love in the relationship to begin with, so what prompted the proposal?

      • Valter Viglietti says:

        I tend to agree with Mark: it sounds like your couple never “sparked”. Maybe you married him in the hope the marriage would have made you loved… but perhaps it was more your assumption than reality.
        By any chance, did you marry because you were pregnant?
        (countless people did that, and then found they were a bad match)

  31. 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?

  32. 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

  33. “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.”)

  34. 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???

  35. 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.

  36. Why did you stay married?

  37. “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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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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