Your husband is worse than difficult: he treats you badly at home and in public. You can’t just leave your marriage, even if your husband is condescending and treats you like dirt. These tips for living in a difficult marriage are for wives who feel helpless, who need to gain strength and power.
I recently returned from a trip to Jamaica, where I spent several days lounging by the pool and gazing at the ocean. A family of five swooped in and took over the deck area next to us. The kids weren’t a problem – I enjoyed their energy! But the husband wasn’t just difficult, he was abusive. He called his wife names under his breath and spoke to her in a condescending, demeaning, patronizing manner. His whole attitude and tone of voice was sarcastic, mean, and rude. His wife seemed helpless to defend herself. She was passive, quiet, submissive, and helpless.
What do you do when you live with a difficult husband – a man you wish you never married? I’ll share a few ideas here…but the truth is that you need to look within yourself for the answers. The solution to your marriage problems isn’t here on the internet. It’s in you, in that still small voice that is telling you how to cope with a man who doesn’t respect or honor you, much less love you.
“My husband treats me like crap,” says Erika on When Your Husband Says He Hates You. “I have no where to go and no help or money. So I am stuck in this marriage and its starting to really get to me. My husband has lost my heart that I patched up for him, thinking he was the one who would fix it for me. I feel so much pain and try not to show it. When I say anything my husband freaks out tells me how ungrateful I am.”
Some wives aren’t just living with difficult husbands. They are in abusive marriages, and they think they have nowhere to go. But this is a lie! It’s a false belief.
The truth is that there IS somewhere to go, and help is out there.
When You’re Living With a Difficult Husband
The most important thing to remember is that you aren’t trapped. You may feel stuck, but you do have options. The options may not be appealing or easy, but it’s possible to leave a bad marriage and start over.
Allow yourself to dream of freedom
You can’t change your husband, but you can start planning a new life. Even if you think there’s no chance in the world this new life is a possibility for you, you can allow yourself to dream. The thing with dreams is that they start with seeds of an idea. Huge achievements and successes have to start somewhere…and they always start with a tiny seed of hope.
Yes, your husband is difficult. Perhaps he treats you like crap, like Erika’s husband. Maybe your husband isn’t as bad as he was before….or maybe he’s more abusive than he’s ever been.
Read How to Leave Your Husband if You Have No Money for ideas on starting over.
Consider seeking help – with or without your husband
The wife by the pool in Jamaica didn’t defend herself or snap at her husband – her response was to passively treat him kindly, gently, and as though he was actually being nice to her. That was her way of surviving her difficult marriage, of getting through the minutes, hours, and days with a jerk. Living passively with a difficult husband was easier for her than confronting him.
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Difficult men aren’t easy to confront. That’s why I suggest talking to a counselor or trusted friend about how to cope with a hard marriage. Taking some sort of action may help you move forward, even if it’s simply confiding in a friend. If you haven’t told anyone that you’re living in a difficult marriage, feel free to comment below. You’ll find that the more you talk about it, the easier it’ll get to open up.
Stay connected to people and activities that build you up
When was the last time you talked to your best friend, sister, mom, or favorite coworker? Who do you wish you could re-connect with? What activities make you feel happy, refreshed, energetic, and fulfilled? What about counseling – have you talked to a professional about your marriage? Do you exercise, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and love yourself? These may sound like useless or meaningless things to do, but they are so important. The healthier you are, the better your life will be.
If you stay connected to people who love and support you, you’re more likely to make healthy decisions for your life. When your husband treats you badly you begin to think you deserve it, that you’re worthless. This is another lie that will drive you into despair. You can break free, but you need to start taking steps – no matter how difficult it is.
Be honest about living with a husband who treats you badly
Tell the truth. Talk about your marriage with someone. Be honest with yourself, too. Do you really think your husband will change? Can you see yourself spending the rest of your life with a man who treats you badly?
Yes, it would be painful, heartbreaking, hard, and scary to leave him. Maybe it seems impossible. You’ll face financial struggles, social embarrassment, and problems with your children and other family members. But is this really how you want to spend the rest of your life? You can’t change a difficult husband who treats you badly.
May you find strength, courage and faith. I pray for resources and support to pop up in your life in unexpected ways, and for a river of life to pour into your spirit. May you turn your face upward to God, inward to the Holy Spirit, and outward to Jesus. May you be filled with everything you need to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below! Share how you’re doing, what you’re dealing with, and how it feels to live with a difficult husband who treats you so badly.
I read every comment, but don’t worry. I won’t give advice or tell you what to do. It’s your turn to talk.
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.