When You Live With a Difficult Husband Who Treats You Badly

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.

Learn ways to become an emotional strong woman in your relationships.

Be honest about living with a husband who treats you badly

Living With a Difficult Husband Who Treats You BadlyTell 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.

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43 thoughts on “When You Live With a Difficult Husband Who Treats You Badly

  • Tami

    I have been married for 21 years. We are both believers and followers of Jesus. But we are so different. Our faith work it’s so different. We have been through nonstop travels in our marriage. My daughter has told me over and over again that I deserve better. That no man should treat his wife like he treats me. I haven’t been the best wife either. I was so hurt by him that eventually that hurt turned into anger and self-defense. I have disrespected him as well. We have completely different ideas on how to marriage should run. I always want to be home with the kids, but he believes that a woman should work as well. He doesn’t have much of an education, and this job doesn’t pay that well. But he does work hard. He just never took the time or the effort to better himself. He just always expected me to help bring home the money. I have one child of my own, and we had four kids together. So it was heartbreaking for me to leave them at home and go to work. We would work opposite shifts so the kids wouldn’t have to be in day care. But I suffered so much depression because of that. I would end up leaving jobs. So her finances of always been terrible. He blames me for this. I blame him for not stepping it up and getting a better job. The truth is if I would’ve known I marriage would’ve been like this I never would’ve married him. And the fact that my daughter tells me to leave him, that is very embarrassing. My daughter loves the Lord so much and I have taken her opinion to heart. I haven’t left him because he didn’t want to disappoint God, make God look bad, nor did I want my kids to be without a bother. I have spent the last 21 years praying and hoping for a change.

  • Briana Martinez

    I’m 25 years old and my husband is 32, I’ve been married for two years. I’m not happy in my marriage, my husband consently treats my like crap. He makes me feel like I’m useless even though I work, cook, and do all of the house work. I pay bills too but he always brings up how he pays more bills then I do. But for him I’m lazy and don’t do anything in the house when that’s all I do. He loves spending his time on his phone more then having a conversation with me. He gets upset when I ask him if could please put his phone down so we can talk about our day. I wonder why are we even married if he can’t even have a decent conversation with me? It’s to the point where I don’t even want to have sex with him because he only gives me hugs and kisses when he wants it… but never when we aren’t in bed, to me that makes me feel like he just uses me when he wants it. He never says anything sweet to me mostly calls me names like “fat”, “lazy”, and “boring”. The other day I saw a picture online of a old couple celebrating there 30th anniversary and I asked him “ can u see us like this in the future?” His respons was “I don’t know” there my heart crushed into pieces because even though there are times I want to call it quits I still like to picture us until “death do us apart” I don’t know what to do anymore.

  • Jennifer Stephens

    I have been with my husband for 14 yrs and I now stay in the spare room. He never says anything nice to me or to anyone else. I’m 63 yrs old and he’s 70 yrs old. He will be nice one day and then the next day he has rage. He will go off on me for about an hour and then come up and hug me and say he’s sorry. I’m over this behavior of his. I still care about him but the trust is gone. To be honest, I think he has symptoms of being bipolar. He always criticizes me but I don’t sit there and take it. I tell him he’s an asshole and I let him know exactly why he is treating me like he is. He’s mental but I still love him. I’m lonely too. I figure for all the crap I have put up with I deserve a vacation alone to Europe. I don’t even care if he’s here when I get back. We both still work full time and now I’m preparing my life without him because it’s called survival of the fetus. No one else is going to take care of me or my needs in this relationship so I’m planning for my well being presently and for the future. If my husband gets hurt by my actions then he is suffering the consequences of his actions. I moved into the spare room and now I’m saving money for an emergency fund. Basically for backup if he leaves. Like I said once you lose trust in your spouse anything can happen and I don’t want to be in dire straits if and when that time comes.

  • I'm just tired......

    I have been with my husband for 8 years married for 4. He used to treat me amazing until we got married. He slowly started with calling me terrible names during arguments and now he throws things ,screams at the top of his lungs , and calls me fat ass constantly when angry. We have 2 kids and I stay at home with them he complains about money constantly even though I spend nothing on myself ever and save us money monthly. I feel trapped like I’m stuck forever with his horrible abusive attitude and negativity.

    • Cinderella

      I am in a similar situation and I’m suffering a lot with his narcissistic behaviour, I’m also guessing he was also bipolar ☹️

  • Pavithra

    I am a House wife and I’m tolerating my husband for the past few years. He talks bad infront of people to me I’m not getting enough respect from him. Always I feel like leaving him and going but I cannot do that for the sake of kids. I’want my husbands love and consideration. How can I get it ? I’m done trying different methods but everything is unsuccessful

  • Loved by God

    Thank you for the insight. What’s especially hard is not knowing whether I contributed mostly to the situation I am in now or whether I was pushing the truth under the rug the whole time. Partly because when I sought reassurance I was being told it’s all in my head or we wouldn’t be together if he was no longer interested.

    At the moment I am going through being ignored and treated like I am not around and like I don’t matter. Anything I am against continues to happen or the things I communicate hurt me continue to be done. Plans are told to me and carried out whether I agree or not. When I don’t agree he turns to other females whether relatives or friends for acknowledgement and validation. This causes me to agree with almost everything he wants to do.
    When I don’t have money I am not respected and when I don’t look good also I get the cold shoulder.

    I have made numerous efforts and continue to look the way he wants and work many hours to make enough money but this has only temporarily solved the problem on the surface. I am seeing now that he never truly loved me at least this is what I think.

    I feel responsible because I was not the most expressive person in terms of thanking him for what he does for us and have not always been the touchy-feely type or rarely say flirtatious staff to him. When we were dating I was these things but he would push me away at times so I ended up putting a fence for fear of being rejected.

    We’ve been married for 18years now and few years ago he became distant and it’s happening even more now.
    He’s not one to agree to go for counseling and no room for me to express myself when I get upset or react negatively. I rarely react badly and always react passively and pray and not confront.

    Barely any love making and is now at times telling me he is tired or just pushes my hand away. The last trip when he returned he did not initiate any lovemaking which he usually does. He travels quite often.
    He obsess over possessions and acquiring material things and money.

    He’s also not engaged in our children’s need and will seldom acknowledge or compliment them. He does not feel remorseful when he hurts my feelings. He used to or at least I thought he did.

    I look to God for direction and will continue to. I feel I know what to do but also want to make sure that I am following the word of God.
    He’s always miserable when he’s home with us but pleasant when he’s away. Basically he wants to relocate back home to his roots where he feels important and respected.
    Bottom line I don’t feel loved and so far I partly blame myself.

    • Heather Perry

      I read your story and cried a lot. This is my relationship too. My husband is a narcissist. He is all about himself. No empathy toward me. I have no money and no where to go. My dad is in hospice and my mom has lung cancer. I’m staying as strong as I can but my looks have faded and I now have low self esteem. I’m so confused. He blames me for EVERYTHING. I don’t know what to do.

  • Renee

    I’m just so tired of being yelled at, made to feel less than because he pays more bills, and told I don’t do enough at home because “I’m home every night.” He drives a truck and is gone most of the week; I work 40 hours a week for a stressful insurance agency. I was told yesterday I was ungrateful because I hadn’t told him thank you for taking us to the beach. I never asked to go to the beach. He yelled at me the night before we left, on the way down there and on the way home about my driving. We had a screaming match when we got home because I had held it all inside for 4 days (I refused to start a conversation in front of our friends.) I’m just at a loss. Where did the nice caring man go that wanted to marry me and take care of me go?


    I am angry at my husband for just being himself, When we first got together I had been divorced 11 years and he had just split up with a drug addict wife, What I didnt know was he was feeding her the drugs, going and buying $150-$300 at any given day. He got his divorce and he was always so loving ,caring nice and kind. So we got married after a few short months of dating. A week or two into the marriage I found out that he was in debt $20,000 because he chose to buy drugs with bill money and borrow money to pay the bills. Ten months into the marriage his credit is building and mine is slowly going down because of all the medical bills I have. Anyway his main attention now is anyone walking around with breast or butt…so much so that his actions are so bad I cant ask my 34 year old daughter or my 11 year old grand daughter to even come to visit for fear of him sitting and staring at their breast. It has got so bad that I am ANGRY all the time

  • Carla

    I live with my boyfriend for 7 years and he treats our dog so much better than he has treated me I’m always a peace of trash to him no matter what I do for him. He had a car accident and was not able to walk now he can walk in just sh*t for him.

  • Prescilla

    I am married going to 7 years now my husband just got his pension money from on the 8th of August he has been spending his money for himself only he brought himself a car this month Wednesday I asked him for money for me and our kids needs he refused I just discovered today he was busy sending his mistress porn vodies telling her he is horny and when he goes back to work to have to do those styles on de videos it really hurt me because he treats me like dirt in public and bad mouths me to people I had made a decision I want to look for a nanny to come and take care of our kids so that I could go to work and stand on my own 2 feet he vowed to me that won’t happen as the person I was going to ask for a job is his friend he has a brokerage so he went to the friend to bad mouth me he wants me to stay at home with the kids at home but when he has money he becomes very rude he even told me the only thing I know is sex and drinking I asked him if the only thing I know is the 2 things you want say why did you marry me he said because they was something he wanted he just wanted to have kids with me and a South African citizenship. He is from Kenya he has never respected me the time he lost his job early this year I supported him until the friend hired him. Im a very broken woman I need courage to be a leave him but I don’t know where to start because I’m broke and don’t have a job

  • Mary

    I am married for 13years with four boys: 11,11,9,&5. My husband is very religious and on first contact you will call him a pure gentle man. A pastor even though we are Catholics. He loves public recognition and can sacrifice even me and boys to get it. When I am financially strong he is very loving and can stay upl night to make plans with me how the money will go. When he has money he becomes rude and shows no interest in my life or even the children. Monthly up keep is my busy and he doesn’t show any interest. I talked with a counselor who said I need to be more assertive. I tried been more assertive but ended up with developing high blood pressure. I wanted inner peace and I gently continued with been assertive but in areas that could cause him public embarrassment like school fees. I stopped supporting him in paying the fees. The school called him and that is how I became free from fees. As for feeding he doesn’t care so I had to endure feeding the boys but later convinced him to send three of them to boarding schools. So I’m left alone to fed myself and the youngest boy including him. I only feel the burden of feeding when the boys are on vacation. Though I occasionally make him buy things like some food stuff when I’m completely down financially. I actually stopped asking my parents for financial support. So when I don’t have I don’t have and if he wants the boys hungry then its his choice not mine. Its only in such condition he respond and I manage whatever he brings without quarreling. I can’t because I’m marriage cut short my life. Apart from the financial stress I have a major problem which is very difficult and I started a new approach though it still hurt me badly. He verbally abuses me at any slightest mistake I make. He doesn’t compliment me or even encourage me. He doesn’t discuss with me how he feels or listens to me how I feel. If I insist that he listens to me , he either does not respond or his response is one of these : is that all? Are you OK now? I have listen to you. It hurts that he doesn’t take time out to show me he loves me. Am even convinced now that he never loved me . He is so quick in condemning my actions or mistake . My new defence for my own happiness and peace of mind is this: the last time he condemn my mistake I responded to him calmly but with these words: if you know you can not take care of me when I’m emotionally down, medically sick, nor listen to my problems and helping me out financially then stop telling me my fault. If I can emotionally financially and psychologically care for myself then I don’t need you to tell me my mistakes. I’ll figure it out myself.
    But I still hurt badly. I have a great shape and he loves my body. He is physically attracted to me. Sometimes after sex I cry because I want to share my sex life with a man who loves me and support me. Whenever he sees me crying he will be silent. I’m confused!
    Let me draw your attention that is monthly income is thrice mine. We are in our own house that I supported him to build. My boys don’t have any health challenge that drains money. He is a self crush lover. He comes first before us.
    Am a well know leader in church modelling lots of youths and I had to take a subtle action to avoid destroying my ministry.
    Thanks. I feel slightly relieve just writing this down. Any advise is highly welcome.

  • Melanie

    I’ve been married to my husband for 10 years. We’ve been together for 20 years. Hes the only person I’ve ever been with. Over the course of our entire relationship hes been verbally and emotionally abusive. After so long I also started calling him names. We have 3 children ages 9, 7 and almost 3. About 2.5 years ago I found out that he was involved with a 19 year old girl sexually and emotionally. He was 33 at the time. To makes matters worse, I later found out he was on a dating site not only seeing the 19 year old but also several other people. In order to find out the truth I did things beyond belief. I put a tracker on his car, voice recorder in his car, hired a private detective…in other words I drove myself crazy. When I should have just let him go I begged for him to stay. I threatened him with the kids and our rental homes. I was completely and utterly distraught. And now it’s been going on and off for several years. I’m so codependent upon him in many ways. Financially I’m fine. But emotionally I’m not. His think lately is telling he he hates me on a regular basis, that these other people can run circles around me, that’s I’m garbage, that he doesnt want me, that he doesnt love me, which is obvious…but I still have trouble leaving. I’m going to schedule an appointment with a counselor this week bbecause I’m just so depressed. I just feel so jerked back and forth. For several months now I feel like the majority of what hes done has stopped. He has been spending a lot of time with the kids. As of January this year he stopped calling me things like you fat ugly bitch but now resorts to just telling me he hates me. We have gone a few vacations as a family and it goes well for a short time then ends up in a fight. Hes always criticizing me. Hes always sarcastic towards me. I just cant seem to break this cycle and I’m starting to completely lose me.

    • Terra Yowe

      Hello Melanie I’m so saddened when I read what u wrote about your life and relationship I to went thru that with my husband we been together 16 years met in high school he called me names but not like what u are going thru I went to a place in my area called hope and they helped me gain my self sanity back and learn how to cope with my husband if I was gonna continue to be with him my issue was we have kids and I didn’t want them growing up thinking it was okay for him to treat me this way I just wanted to pass on some support to u let u know u aren’t alone u both need some counseling at some point something went wrong but I am a firm believer that it will get better with time check out your area for marriage counseling and one for just u that women go to for advice it’s very helpful u will feel like a new u u will get stronger to where if he doesn’t wanna change your independent strengths will be so much to the point u could leave and not feel bad about it u wouldn’t be so needy to him always put yourself first u cannot have a successful marriage if it’s all about making him happy it goes both ways if he don’t wanna seek help for his issues than u get help for u that way y can learn to love u again so if u ever had to be on your own u would be able to I hope things get better for u and the kids I’m always an ear for listening u can reach out to me anytime sometimes women just need someone to listen and understand it will help u get thru the process…

  • Folakemi

    Hello Leah,

    Sorry to know of your story. I could understand how you feel. Please no matter what do not stop loving yourself. Focus on yourself, find and do things that make you happy. I am going through a nasty experience in my marriage too as my husband is seemingly a man-child. But it’s okay, I have been managing the situation well. I focus on things that give me joy and the people who are nice to me.

  • Terra

    Hello I’m a 35 year old mother of 3 and a wife to my husband of 16 years lately my husband has gotten a new job and it just seems like ever since he’s changed he comes home hes angry doesn’t associate with me or our kids hes mean sometimes he questions me like I’m doing wrong I’m a stay at home mom he doesn’t want me to work he likes me to be home and cook clean etc which I don’t mind I enjoy the housewife thing but lately I feel like he’s being unappreciative of me and he text me all day and tells me how much I’m missed but when he gets home he doesn’t show it I know he loves me cause he does show it but his affection and stuff is weird at times he is like stand offish and it hurts my feelings because I’m doing all I can above and beyond for this marriage and I feel like I’m getting nowhere I think about being better off alone than being here sometimes I’m lost and hurt at the same time am I over reacting or is this a cause for some concern cause I don’t know where to turn

  • Leah

    I need some advice immediately. I am 22 years old and just recently got married. In person he is a great guy, but we are LDR at the moment since he lives in another country, but typically acts very Americanized. However, how we spend time is gaming together since there is not much you can do online and we are working on the visa. I am a very competitive gamer and rage easily. I never call him a name and rage by making odd noises and pouting. He gets very made at that. This one day we were deciding to create a credit card for me to build up credit. We decided to play a game before registering for a credit card. In the game I trolled a little, but got banned for it and my husband mistook my trolling as raging. So he hung up and everything. So, I decide to get prepared to create my credit card by creating my social security account on their website so I can change my address. When I went to make an account it gave me questions about taking out loans, which I never did. I am 22 years old with a math learning disability, nor never had credit. So I checked none of the above for all the questions and it locked me out saying my information was not correct with those questions. So, I am freaking out. I have Major Depressive Disorder, PTSD and Anxiety, so my mind is so conflicted since I cannot call the social security place on weekends and am trying to call him and message him. He doesn’t answer due to him being mad at me over a game. A game, people. Remember this. So, I message him saying that my identity could be stolen and am freaking out. He says “That’s your problem”.
    I feel so alone. I have no one who helps me or supports me even though I am so young at age. My parents never taught me about life and used my mental disabilities as a blanket so they did not have to teach me adult things and I am here practically trying to learn on my own. My husband said he’d help me learn, but look at how he is being? We just got married and he is like this towards me. It’s causing my depression and anxiety to become worse.
    He makes my depression out to be some joke or something that is “cringe”. I am not really allowed to vent out my depression to him or cry, yet he doesn’t want me to take medicine, so I am so messed up in my mind even more than I was when I was taking medicine. I am so alone in my mind. I feel so out of place that I always just want to die. I have no one to support me. I trust no one since my husband put it in my mind that everyone will just screw me over and he hasn’t been wrong. Everyone whom I confided in has screwed me over. It feels like he is now screwing me over. I just cannot take it anymore. What do I even do?

  • Amanda

    My husband, on ocassion, usually when I work late, will drink until he passes out. He also, when he is drunk, goes to a webcam porn site where he can chat with the women on the site, which I feel is cheating. This has been going on for a few years. It can be several weeks or even months, between these incidents. There were many years before he started doing this, so it hasn’t been most of our time together. The last time it happened, I yelled and screamed and told him I hated him and wanted a divorce. He stayed at a hotel for a couple of days, then I went away for a few days for work. I became very depressed and couldn’t live with the idea of being apart. I went back to him, but we never talked about anything–our communication is not great. Well, it happened again tonight. I didn’t yell, just cleaned up and took care of the pets. We are going on a cruise in a couple of weeks. Financially, I can’t really be on my own. We have a big mortgage and other debt, plus he makes double what I do. I’m used to a certain life style, nothing too fancy. He knows how I feel, but doesn’t seem to want to change. We even tried marriage counseling, but neither of us liked the therapist. I feel like I should be strong and leave, but I had a nervous breakdown last time when I really contemplated divorce. I feel terrible, always anxious and often lonely.

  • Penny

    Ok my husband is not physically abusive although he has squeezed and walked me out of rooms but I have been through much trauma since an early age both parents passed by age 11 sister left me with her abusive husband age13 moved with another sister differant state (I’m American indian) all white community where I was picked on bullied to the point I felt unwanted and out of place no self esteem no confidence turned angry mean and got into many physical fights got pregnant at 17 married at 18 was physically n verbally abused cheated on and divorced by 21 but drilled it in my head Noone would ever treat me this way again turned to alcohol and used it to cope with everything ended up in lots of trouble over the years on my 3rd marriage found my friend dead my brother killed by train my sister froze in the Mountains homeless got into meth at 29 my son committed suicide at 19 I was 39 my dad also suicide when I was 9 I attempted it 3 times I believe most woman are home untrustworthy and sneaky and will sleep with your man and althought I never been alone n singel men will cheat and are sneaky at everything they do I don’t believe they are trustworthy and will cheat n lie while I’m being talked about and looked at like what a fool so I have major trust issues and make accusations about cheating almost every day and say I’m the only woman that has selfrespect morals,values,and the most honest loyal woman you will ever meet yet I don’t know how to stop self sabotage I love and show my love so genuinely and I want to feel loved the way I show love but what I call communication telling my husband what he don’t do anymore that he has cheated but I also have found many woman’s clothe hair strands pictures of scratches bite marKS audio of whispers and sex moans aND a husband that has no reaction or empathy for what I feel has happened and accused him of cheating and he doesn’t show me affection or compliment me won’t talk about what I feel and says he not arguing with me and is cold hearted never ever gives in gives me the silent treatment acts like he has no care but yet tells me he loves me but won’t fight for the marriage he says I belittle him with what I say about the things he no longer does I call it communication I understand I disrespect him by accusations and not trusting and believing what he says but I get no help and trying to figure out how all these females clothing under garments get in my home garage I can’t stop accusations cuz he makes me feel he has had affairs but says it is all in my head I need help and yet a frind thinks the same of his wife and he talks to him about their deal and agrees with what he says with item or assumptions he has of his wife he always says I will never leave and I don’t want to I made my vown through god this last time and want to believe he gave him to me for life but so much has happened it’s a toxuc relationship but I feel he is right I caused it all in my own head and I’m self inflciting from all my past but then I just want to leave so that I may find the man that understands me and helps me instead of keeping score and only emotion he shows is hid cold heart I just don’t know what to do
    Why do I stay with a man who doesn’t try and help me I know I should leave if it makes me so unhappy and he plays the victim nothing is ever his fault I think I allowed him to disrespect me so many times by letting him know I love him more than life and believing I’m always the reason our marriage is failing I believed him when he said I was crazy and I make most of this stuff up cuz I never caught him in the act I just want to know true happiness and trust and believe there is a friend and man that won’t deceive me we are unemployed I have no lisence and no money to leave and I feel like nothing ever gets better hard to change or work on me in this environment where he feels he done no wrong and doesn’t show me anything that might help us o write love notes prayers show him love and I get nothing so I die a little more everyday

    now what to do we are not working we are by no means even a little wealthy

  • Sandra

    I think my husband only values me as the mother of his 3 children and as his sexual partner. He makes a lot of sexual demands on me and sometimes due to being tired I can not do them and then he will sulk all day or more until I give him what he wants. He doesn’t really respect me. He tells me repeatedly to “be quiet” in a mean way when I have something to say. I have to do everything to please him. He is cold hearted and angry. He gets very angry with me over nothing much, often in front of the kids which really upsets them. They have asked before in tears if we would get divorced, and this broke my heart. I said to them that no, we wouldn’t. I have a voice and do have self esteem, I do not want to be told to be quiet again. He does not physically hurt me though. I work but I do not earn much, he is the main wage earner. I am from France and living in Britain and have no family nearby; he has his. I don’t know what to do. I thought I would try to stay in the marriage for another few years for the sake of the children, but I don’t know if I have the strength.

  • Diane

    My husband is completely contrary. Everything I say he says opposite. If a like A, he demands B. I work from home and he always interrupts my work demanding that I do something or go somewhere with him. I never get to go anywhere alone. He gets mad if I want to go somewhere by myself. So I don’t go. There is 10 years difference in our ages. I work and he’s retired. I am financing his retirement which is ok. He is 78 and cannot live on his social security. Otherwise I would leave him. If I don’t agree with him, he blows up. So, I usually just don’t say anything and suck it up. It’s not worth the fallout. I just don’t know how to live in this situation. Can you give me any suggestions?

  • Ariane

    I was in an emotionally abusive marriage once. In fairness, I had plenty of “red flags” prior to saying “I Do” so I have to accept some accountability. But, like most emotional abusers (or even physical abusers) they can dance in and out of the abuse, with short periods of respite. Still, as the years accelerate, the emotional abuse becomes more steady.
    I was horrible. The disdain, the words, the insults and derogatory remarks about your looks (“hey, I was only kidding, what’s a matter, can’t you take a joke”), the obnoxious treatment in front of other people, etc. Finally, the tipping point happened for me and he said one thing that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, for which I’m grateful for, for it gave me the absolute strength and clarity to simply get out and never look back.
    To women in emotionally abusive marriages, I know it’s hard … children, finances, lack of self-worth creeps in, but remember – it’s not you, it’s them. Love yourself and gain strength to do what you know you have to do. Life is short, if you’re going to spend it in a couple, spend it with someone who loves and actually “likes” you.

    • Kri

      I’ve been feeling lime this lately. I just want to leave but the kids. Even though I KNOW this isn’t a healthy environment to raise them in, I still stay. My oldest is starting to suffer from my husbands behavior. I can see signs of depression and anxiety. I just want to escape with them. My husband has told me he hates me, I’m a horrible mother (which I will NEVER forget despite I gave up MY career to stay home with the kids despite the fact I made more money than him), has called me crazy, and loves to insult me or embarrass me particularly in front of other people. He also told me I looked like a man when I asked to stop smoking dope when the kids were home. He loves to brag and boast about himself constantly to get people to feed his fragile ego. I woke up a while ago about who he really is; an emotionally damaged person. I wish I never married him. I actually dumped him because he was such as asswipe but of course, he changed. It was tenporary and I should have known that. I don’t know how he did it, but I think he always felt I had one foot out of the door so he did what he had to to keep me. Of course when we had our second child, he immediately started with the controlling behavior and the isolation. I was trapped and no one knew. He’d leave me with both kids while he went on photography trips (a hobby). Spent money we didn’t have, called me out of my name when I confronted him. Smokes dope and drank when he wanted to even though we have young children. He is my worst nightmare come true. My in laws condoned his bahavior because at least he wasn’t “cheating on me”. Thats the support I got. Well, I took control back, went back to school, networked in my profession, and now I have a excellent reputation in my field and a full time job I can work from home. He doesn’t like me, but I don’t even care at this point; I don’t like him either. All I care about are my kids.

  • Aydrien Bern

    I came to this page after an intense argument with my husband (thank you Google search). We’ve been married for almost 4 years now and our daughter is getting ready to turn 2. We rent a room from my grandma’s house, where we live with other renters, so it’s extremely embarrassing when my husband starts yelling at me (he blames his anger towards me on the fact that we can’t afford to live on our own). The thing is that he is angry at me because I want to work, or mostly, I have to work in order to pay the bills but then he gets angry at me when I don’t work because he doesn’t want to pay for babysitting. It’s just weird to me because I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. He will legit yell at me because I’ll remind him to move the car (for the streetsweeper) while I’m giving the baby a bath, he’ll tell me things like “are you f****** serious you can’t f****** do that s*** on your own you lazy b****”. He’ll yell at me if I ask him to watch the baby while I do his laundry or make the bed. Our baby is a handful so even if she’s with me while I do the laundry she’ll more than likely get into things that she shouldn’t which delays me from finishing any work so every once in awhile I do have to ask my husband to help me when she’s extra rowdy. When my husband has asked me to quit work to watch our daughter he’s gotten mad when I asked him for a couple of dollars for a bill I needed to pay. Because of that I don’t want to miss out on work especially if my bills will not be paid or my daughter’s necessities won’t get bought. Then when I do work, he says that I use work as a way to try to escape from him. Secretly, he’s correct, however, I need to work because if I can’t pay for my daughter’s necessities or pay my car note I know that no one else will help me. Honestly, I can never do anything right by him. I’m just crap to him. I came from a very abusive, misogynistic, sexist family,you’d think I’d be used to this treatment but I’m not. I can’t run to my family because to them “that’s the life of a woman”. I was born in the 1990’s and although I was born in the U.S. it seems like this “women are property” mindset isn’t really changing as drastically as people think and I really feel like I’m just meant to live life as a door mat. I don’t know what to do, I just want to runaway and take my daughter with me. I want to break the cycle. I want her to have a better life than I did, even if it means leaving all we know behind. But even then it’s not a guarantee that will be anymore safe on our own.

  • Mary

    It takes too much energy to fight with a noisy, my way or the highway type of man. He isn’t around 24/7 . Do what you think is best during the off hours that you aren’t together. Make you time. Remember, karma is a bi**h.

  • Sommer

    My husband is 20 years older than me. I’m 26 and he is 46. I met him when I was 21 and started dating him by 23. He is a very good looking man, looks younger than he is. He makes alot of money which I don’t care about, I love him. We ended up breaking up shortly after dating. I found out I was pregnant. I wasn’t sure if it was from a previous relationship with whom I had a son with, or him because we got together quickly after I left the father of my son. I let him know, and he drinks to excess often, so he immediately started calling me all kinds of horrible disgusting names, tells me “there are better hoes out there” and on and on. The next day he acts normal like nothing happened. When he went to work I packed my son and I up and moved in with my mom. We didn’t talk for almost a whole year. He was talking bad about me the whole time we didn’t talk, I found that out later. We end up getting back together once the DNA came back our daughter was his. Everything was great…. for a little bit. He isn’t physically abusive, but he can be very mean and makes me cry.. we have only been married a year and have my 4 yr old son, 2 yr old daughter, and now a 5 month old daughter. He tests my patience… I have anger issues and had a long history of child abuse physically, mentally, sexually, so I’ve been used to rage… we end up flipping out on eachother and it’s not healthy. I have been telling him for the past few weeks if this doesn’t change I want a divorce. This isn’t healthy for us or the children. Everytime we argue and I tell him this, he tried to say how sorry he is and how he doesn’t want to lose me our our family, but he won’t change… what do you think about this?

  • Abbi

    My husband and I have been in a difficult marriage for 10 years. He slept on the couch for 3 years. I have cheated on him the 2nd year we were married and told him the truth. I was on drugs and so was he when I made that mistake and now have been sober for 8 years. I wasn’t that person when I was high. In a good wife and would have never done that if I was sober. But truth is #1 to me so I told him the truth. That’s why he sloped on the couch. Now for the last 2 years he has yelled and screamed at me. Accusing me of false accusations. He can’t see that I’m a different person now. He has left me at the Laundromat and movie theater. Now I have hard feelings towards him I can’t seem to get over. He is nice to me for a couple of days then flips out on me.my 13year old son is not his and he has no biological children of his own. My son is angry with him cause he has witnessed how he treats me and now my son hold a grudge towards him and so do I. He doesn’t work cause he was in a motorcycle wreck before I meet him and shattered his foot. When I 1st meet him he did work but he was high and I think that that killed his physical pain. Now I get up early to get my son to school and go to work and do the laundry and and he stays home working on his bicycles. He hardly cleans the house. I come home after he picks me up from work and I make dinner. Then I get this attitude from him. I don’t deserve it and I have wanted to leave for a long time. I can’t even take myself to work cause he thinks in really not going to work in doing something else. I bring home a check so ya in not at work right?! If I take too long going to the store by myself it’s 20 questions when I get home. I found myself calling him when I arrive at the store then leave the store ect. So he doesn’t questions me later. Its irritating when he does that. But he questions me regardless of what I do.

  • Margot

    My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We have 5 kids together (& no more) . He is a drug addict. He was addicted to opiates, now Adderall and zanacs. Which he claims he is not addicted to them, that he uses them while in recovery. No one else knows of his problem but me. For years he has killed our finances bc he spent insane amounts of money on drugs. Now lately he does nothing but sleep, uses our money to buy Adderall and zanac, and talks to me like shit and blows up on me for nothing. He is full of anger. He can also be very destructive with our house and stuff. He does not hit, but he will get in my face and yell. He purposely tries to scare me. He blames everything on me and doesn’t want to ever hear or talk about what he does wrong. He’s just getting worse. I’ve tried twice now to get him to our church counselor and he won’t go. I just canot take it any more.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Lhalie,

    Growing up without a father is way better than growing up with an abusive man who treats his wife like garbage. Your daughter is watching you, and learning how a marriage works. Girls who watch their moms in relationships with abusive men do not learn how a healthy marriage works.

    While you’re deciding if you can live in a difficult marriage, consider the long-term effects on your daughter. Simply having a father in the house isn’t enough. Having a difficult, abusive man in the house is destructive and damaging.

    Yes, your family’s perspective of your husband will change if you tell the truth about how difficult your marriage is. Yes, it will be hard to leave. Yes, making huge life decisions is painful and scary!

    And yes, it will be worth it.

    I’ll keep you in my prayers. May you find peace and healing in your life. May you be strengthened and encouraged, and may you know the faith and peace that only God can bring.

    Take care of yourself. Talk to people who are supportive and kind. Take a deep breath, and know that if you take it one step at a time, you can get through anything.


  • Lhalie

    Im married for 5years. My husband treat me like garbage because of my past and it is way back 2010. Until now we argue at the same story even i told him everything. Sometimes i tell what he wants to hear even if i didn’t do it to finish the arguement. Im sick and tired of it. I want to leave him bur im thinking of my daughter. I dont want to grow my daughter without a father. I want to tell to someone what i’ve been through im afraid it will damage his image especially to my family.

  • Alisha

    I am actually very blessed right now because I thought I had the worst husband in the world. I have been married since 3 months and we have had many fights and I was thinking about separation. My husband is controlling, he wants me to do stuff his way, he is doing PhD and I am doing BSE. He is 6 years older than me and sometimes acts like I am 8 years old. He criticizes me most of the time and I feel helpless sometimes. He is taking care of me financially and often very nice to me, but sometimes he feels like a stranger to me. I am going to put work in my marriage now because I am so sad to read the painful stories above. Nobody deserves to be treated like this, my prayers go out to all of you.

  • victoria

    me and my husband has been together for 4 and half years. we have been separate for 1 year. before we separat we had 2 boys together. in that year of separation i got pregnant again with him. but we was not living together. when i was 8 and half months pregnant i got a messages from his ex girlfriend her sending me a pictures of her and my husband. i did not say anything to her. but because i was high pregnant. i was hurt. i called my family and they come in rush because they did not want anything to happen to my baby and me. after somedays my husband contacted me. and said he is sorry and i did forgive him. but now he treat me the way he want. he insort me in any ways. im thinking oof a divorce but i dont know how to leave him because of the kids, im not happy in this marriage.please help

  • Katherine Gross

    I am married to a man who is older than me. He has several physical illnesses, so I know he doesn’t feel well. He is drawing social security and working a part time job, which is not much money. I am a nurse and working 2 jobs to try to make ends meet. I have a piece of property in another town that he bought and put in my name because he was haggling with the IRS at that time. Due to financial issues, I have told him that I can’t pay the taxes on it any longer and that he needed to take care of it. He has had his son pay them in the past, but recently the son has not paid it and I keep getting overdue statements. I am paying all of our bills and simply don’t have the money to pay these taxes. I never wanted that property and felt pressured by him. The hoa fees are also overdue. Tonight I tried discussing all of this with him and he got furious and wouldn’t even talk to me. He just keeps saying I told you I would take care of it, but I’ve heard that until I’m blue in the face. He treats me awful. Talks to me like I am a dog. I feel that if my name is on that property, I have a right to discuss it if past due notices are coming. I am getting to quitclaim this property to him, because Im done!

  • Teema

    Mine is so different and it hurts me to my bone marrow. My husband is 20 years older than me,
    I married him because i thought i won’t worry about him cheating, he would not shout or treat me badly and because i would get financially most thing i need because of his age and his position in life, but guess what? to my greatest surprise, everything i wished for turned out to be a nightmare. the only thing i don’t see with him is that he does not cheat.
    He shouts at me like i’m one of his Kids
    He treats me like dirt
    I need weeks to get the lowest financial help that i feel like a beggar.
    He never compliments me no matter how much i ask for it.
    He is a king at home while i’m a slave
    In fact every minute i spend with him is a time i never want to remember. All i see n look forward to is a life without him. I have a girl with him and another baby on the way.
    I ‘m pained every day.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear bigmamacat,

    It sounds like you’re under a lot of stress, and you feel helpless and powerless. I am so sorry to hear that your partner is mean and abusive – I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to live with him.

    I don’t know what I can do to help, other than to encourage you to call the domestic violence helpline and talk to the counsellors there. I suspect that the only way to get away from your partner is to sacrifice your house. It’s not fair, it sucks, it’s not what you imagined…but I fear it’s the only way to save your life.

    Call the domestic violence helpline, and talk to a counsellor about your situation. And, start thinking that you may have to do something radical to make a radical change in your life.

    What do you think?

    Blessings – I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers –


  • bigmamacat

    I’m not married but my boyfriend lives with me and we’ve been living together for about 6 years. He treats me badly, he drinks excessively, flies into rages, is verbally and physically abusive, basically because he’s angry about his life, his missed opportunities, his drama with his kids and their mother, etc. I desperately want this relationship to end. I’ve called the police on him, we argue all the time, he won’t leave my house, he expects me to raise his kids because their mother doesn’t, and now he expects me to fight with her, which I think is his job to do. The issue is between them not with me. I carry the financial burden for him, his baby mama and their kids, because they both barely work or keep jobs, and I just can’t watch his kids go without since they’re in my house most of the time. I don’t know what to do! I’m not strong enough to stand up to him, he out argues me, and says such nasty and vile things to me it leaves me speechless and in tears. He’s a big strong guy, 6-4, and I’m not physically able to fight him! I’m not a fighter, I’m non-confrontational. But all this drama has me so stressed out I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, I walk on eggshells around him, I don’t do the things I like to do because I get accused of all kinds of stuff. I am willing to leave my own house just to get away from them. I’m looking for examples of what I can do to end this! I’m not looking to “deal” with it or “cope” with it or to change him. I just need a way out, or I may come to the point where I would consider leaving this earth rather than deal with all of this… please help

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear jc,

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers! It sounds like you’re living in a difficult marriage, but you want to make it work.

    Have you tried Christian marriage counseling?


  • jc

    thanks for articles like this it makes me realize the things that i know but, is too numb to think about. it’s hard to love someone when they treat you so bad but, one thing i noticed now compared to my past relationship. 1. i am contented with being married no matter how bad he treats me and i don’t even know if the bad treatment should be overpowered with the good traits he has and half the time he treats me good. there are times when i just think about all the good things he did to me and it covers up the bad things he does or say. it’s extreme that he’s a good and a bad person at the same time. He needs counseling for his issues and addiction and at the same time he thrives to be closer to God. i could also say that we’re the same when it comes to trying to do something about our issues. the only difference is that he wants out (divorce) and i don’t. i want to stay in the marriage because we have two kids and it’s both our 2nd marriage. i don’t want to start with someone else again with a different baggage that i don’t know about and adjust and it’s just too hard with kids. it’s so discombobulating and has been a roller coaster ride emotion since we have been together physically. he never says i love you for 2 years now and never initiated intimacy but, responds when i start it out. there was even times he doesn’t want it and just rejects me. all he does is reject me and hurt my feelings but, seems like he doesn’t even know about it…like nothing happened but, if it’s me who says something bad or offensive to him, he’s on the rage…it’s really hard but, guess what? i even am planning to take him to the movies tomorrow and treat him to dinner not because he treats me bad but, because i love him and i wouldn’t want to be with someone else or don’t wanna do these things with someone else. nothing is enough for me to tell the whole story about me and my husbands difficult life together and we both know that we shouldn’t even be fighting when it’s not worth fighting for but, we do…arggghh. it’s hard, really hard but, GOD will make a way where there seems to be no way…

  • theresa

    Please help my husband didn’t even say happy birthday. He wont talk to me. How can I get him to talk to me before he leaves me? Difficult marriage.

    • Ri

      I lived common law with a guy for about a year and he is a drunk on weekends. He smokes drugs and lime on the whole weekend while He ensured I was at home 24 hours. It was just work and home. Wen I asked him to spend quality time on a weekend he would always be in the bar liming wit friends. Wen we moved in together I was told that his ex left him and went wit one of his brothers. He started to accuse me wit his brothers wen they spoke 2 words to me. He didn’t want me to talk to his family or friends. Wen I visited my family or spent time with them he called me whore. Some months after I got pregnant and wen he drank on weekends he would often tell me to have an abortion or the child is not his own and he is not the first to pay maintenance into court. Every weekend every holiday, wen we went on two months vacation together he was drinking and he was very verbally abusive to me. I’m five months pregnant and I moved back home a month ago thinking he would change but he hasn’t. I think I’ll move on have my baby and be happy.