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What to Do When Your Husband Constantly Puts You Down

Critical Husbands

If your husband constantly criticizes you, start looking for a way out.

Nothing in your wedding vows gives your husband permission to put you down, constantly criticize you, and treat you like dirt.

A reader says her husband constantly tells her he’s more educated, smarter, and has a better family. He screams at her in public, criticizes her in front of her  children, and uses bad language.

She says:


“Every day he finds something he’s not happy about with me.  When I go to the gym and try to look my best it makes him very unhappy. I think my kids do not respect me. They talk back, do whatever they want especially in public places. I’m AFRAID it will get worse. He screams at them and calls them stupid, idiot or a loser.  It’s impossible to make him a loving and caring father. I have to force him to do things like read a night time story once in a while. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 7 years. I used to work, I used to go to school and I miss my independence. My only hope things will change when I go back to work and I start to bring home a paycheck. Is it possible that a paycheck can return his respect for me? Or should I get smart, find a job and start a new life?”

I think she already knows the answer to her question, but she’s scared. And that’s understandable! Leaving your husband – even if he constantly puts you down – is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Especially if you have kids, and you haven’t been in the workforce for years.

When Your Husband Constantly Puts You Down…

Don’t expect him to change

Getting a job that nets you a paycheck probably won’t change your husband…but it will change you. If you find a job that allows you to tap into your strengths and skills, you may find a glimmer of who you were before he started attacking you.

And, a job will help you get money to leave your husband. Often, finances are the biggest obstacle to leaving a marriage. That…and fear. Maybe fear’s bigger because it’s possible to leave a man when you have nothing. You stay with family, friends, or even in a shelter. There are ways to walk away, if you’re willing to start from scratch. It’s painful and hard, but in the long run it’s better than staying where you are.

Back to the question: I sincerely doubt your husband won’t suddenly start to respect you once you go to work. In fact, the reverse may happen: he may be just as threatened by you working as he is by you going to the gym and looking your best! He is insecure, afraid, and angry.

I don’t what made your husband who he is, but you getting a job won’t undo his insecurities, fears, and anger.

Connect with who you are

If your husband constantly puts you down, you’ve lost who you are as a woman. You’ve forgotten how strong, resilient, healthy, and smart you are! You have lost touch with your inner self.

And it’s not all your husband’s fault. You’ve allowed him to chip away at your self-esteem, and you’re continuing to give him power.


The beauty of accepting some of the responsibility for your marriage is that it gives you the power to get back on track. I think a good place to start is to find your self-identity and reconnect with yourself.

Once you reconnect with who you are – the most beautiful, strong, healthy parts of YOU – you will find the courage to figure out what you need to do when your husband constantly puts you down.

What will your first step be? 


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For more thoughts on difficult relationships, read Is Your Marriage Normal? 5 Signs You’re Expecting Too Much.

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3 thoughts on “What to Do When Your Husband Constantly Puts You Down”

  1. Try finding free counseling through a women’s shelter to help you sort out everything and to help regain a sense of self. Seek God by reading the bible and watch ministries on healing like Andrew Wommacks “You already got it” on you tube or Caroline Waltons teachings through RTC ministries. Talk to a social worker about your situation and see if there is a way you can see a doctor even without yOUR HUSBANDS insurance. A doctor can sign a letter of disability to help with finances get you away from your husband . There are also online jobs you could do at home, But I encourage you to also believe in God’s power to heal. I have personally have known people that had their spine eaten away by parasites but were healed by the power of God. Read books and read articles on positive thinking. Joel Osteen has a lot of free articles and youtube videos. Start a gratitude journal and try not to dwell on the negative. Speak posititve declarations vour life everyday. Try getting the book pain free or do yoga stretches to help strengthen your back. If you have back problems do to weight research healthy diets, not fad diets. One of my favorites is the body ecology diet.

  2. what if you can’t work…? what if you are in terrible pain on a daily basis…? what if your back is so bad that you can’t sit, stand, or lie for more than a few minutes at a time…? what if because of this pain you have been out of the workforce for almost 20 years…? what if it’s this spine condition you have that your spouse is putting you down about…? what if he won’t even put you on his health insurance because he says ‘you don’t deserve insurance unless you work’…? what if you handle everything on the domestic front, but your spouse says that it isn’t ‘real work’…? what if you have no family and no friends and are all alone in life except for the spouse that puts you down…? what if decades of chronic unrelenting pain has so degraded your face that people shudder and shrink from you when you go in public…? what if you can’t get on disability because you have never had health insurance, and haven’t seen a doctor since you were a kid, thus having no medical records to base a disability case on…? what if your spouse tells you his money is his, and you have no actual money of your own…? what if this destitution causes you to look and feel unkempt and ragged…? what if the story he’s telling to his co-workers, friends, and family paints you as some kind of mentally ill person who chooses all these things for themselves…? what if he tells you that he ‘doesn’t want to be with a cripple’ whenever you ask to see a doctor about your back…? what if he refuses to ever acknowledge your back problems, even though he’s seen you writhe in agony for nearly 2 decades…?
    I could go on and on and on… it’s what have to deal with every day… it feels hopeless…

  3. I don’t know where to start! When my husband and I married I believed he had 1 child and after I had our daughter 2 times papers came to our door for child support for 2 older children I had no idea about. So you can imagine the problems it caused in our marriage! Since then I haven’t trusted him but have been here threw alot trying to help him. Which I feel like his mother cause the one he had never finished raising him and feel that’s what he was looking for is a mother. Now it’s been 13 yrs and im tired feeling I haven’t gotten what I need and want from a man. We both have had affairs,mine he knows nothing about and I know it wasn’t right but I’ve for a long time long in the way and a burden you see I haven’t worked for a couple of years but some side jobs but I’ve never been lazy. I feel no compassion from him. Its almost as if he has to force himself to be that way and that’s even with our daughter. That’s another thing he when home constantly is on her about life lessons and what she should be doing everything is lecturing her and she’s nine. My family and friends have on so many occasions helped helped us financially,day-care and with so much its to much to even tell on here. He has ounce again confused me. He tells me one day how wonderful I am and then one little thing can happen and he’ll do of and say mean things putting me down! I’m not sure what to do? I wanna leave, I don’t believe it will ever change and im exhausted and don’t want my daughter growing up thinking this is ok for a man to treat a women, slamming doors,screaming, kicking coffee table and putting me down and then ignoring me for days and her at times. It makes me so sad and it’s manipulative. I walk on egg shells and if I try and talk to him about it he replies you have no idea how it is to be treated bad and gives examples of other men that are worse. Which is dismissing my feelings. I don’t have a job am waiting on disability and have no where to go???? Feeling confused!