It’s devastating to think your husband hates you. It’s even worse to hear him say the words “I hate you.” I don’t know exactly how bad things are in your marriage, but I know you are not alone! Read through the comments below. You’ll find hope for your future. You’ll feel encouragement – because as painful and difficult as it is to feel trapped in a hateful marriage, you can find your way through it. These ideas will give you hope and encouragement if you’re married to a husband who calls you names and treats you like dirt.
If you’re scared of your husband read 5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship. I don’t know if you need to leave your marriage, or if you and your husband can find the root of the hatred and start to heal it. Either way, trying to understand why your husband is angry and hostile will help you figure out what step to take next. Even more important is learning how to respond without resorting to his anger and hostility.
Unfortunately, there are no simple answers or quick fixes when someone you love says they hate you. But take heart! There is an end in sight. It won’t be easy to find your way through this, and you’ll have to make sacrifices. You may even have to ask your children, family, friends and even strangers for help. Take all the help you can get – and remember that you do not have to live trapped in a hostile marriage. You do not have to take on the identity as the wife whose husband says he hates her.
You can be free. Even if you stay married to your husband for the rest of your life, you can be free from his hatred and bitterness.
How to Respond to a Hateful Husband
Here is a bit of advice from Sherry, in response to How Do You Help an Unhappy Husband? Her husband told her all the time how much he hated her, and she left him. She knows how you feel – and she walked from her abusive marriage.
“You have only one life to live,” Sherry says. “Don’t look back one day when you’re old and gray and full of regret. My heart hurts for you because I know how hard it is when your husband says he hates you, but believe me you can feel joy and happiness in your heart again.”
Believe it or not, you really do get to choose how you will live from today onwards. You can choose to live with a husband who hates you, or you can find ways to start untangling yourself and breaking free.
1. Be honest with yourself and others
“I am 23, and have been married to my husband since I was 15,” says Dee on What to Do When Your Husband Constantly Puts You Down. “I started dating him at age 14. Since age 14, I have been physically, verbally and emotionally abused. I have three children with him ages 8, 7, and 6. He is physically and verbally abusive to them also. He has never been any support for me as I am the only person in the home that works: I pay all of the bills, and come home daily to be verbally abused. I am often called b**ch, wh**e, s**t, and any other name you can think of: I am constantly accused of seeing other men. My husband is a monster and the worst person in the world. Please help me, with any advice to get out of this life with him!!!!”
If you feel stuck in a marriage with a hateful husband, you may start to believe there is something wrong with you. You may also think you can’t leave for so many reasons: money, shelter, kids, guilt, shame, fear and insecurity. And the truth is that it will be hard to leave. Starting over is never easy – especially when you feel helpless and hopeless. Your husband has been verbally abusing you for years; of course you feel helpless and hopeless!
Your first step out from under the thumb of a husband who says he hates you? Be honest with yourself. Tell others the truth about your marriage.
2. Reach out and accept the help that is waiting
It’s important to get personal, individual advice. Talk to someone on the phone or in person. You might even consider an online counseling program or therapy group. Your marriage and situation is unique, which means you need individualized support and advice. And it’s up to you to find the right type of guidance. Search for organizations, hotlines and groups for women who married to men who are hateful and abusive. Search for domestic violence helplines in your area. When you are ready to get away from a husband who says he hates you, you will reach out for help.
If you haven’t called for help yet, try not to feel bad or guilty. Some women beat themselves up for not getting help sooner or trying to leave a hate-filled marriage before it got so bad. Go easy on yourself; calling for help and being honest about your husband is difficult. For example, my friend’s husband recently left her and the kids. She she can’t bring herself to call a divorce lawyer. He told her six months ago that he wants a divorce but she’s been avoiding making any calls.
Does your husband want out of your marriage? Read When Your Husband Wants a Divorce But Won’t Leave.
3. Know that everyone will benefit when you get healthy and happy
“Your kids cannot be happy if you’re not happy,” says Sherry. “Plain and simple – you should leave for your kids’ sake. It won’t be easy at first but I can assure you that with a lot of love and patience, you and your kids will be ok. I separated from my kids father 13 years ago and my son asked me why his dad was leaving, and not me! I was broken, but today I’m my son’s queen – he loves me and shows it every day! I am a happy woman. My daughter says she would have loved to grow up with her dad, but understands that we could have never been happy together…”
One way to start getting in-person help is by talking to your friends, family, and coworkers. I know it can be really difficult to open up to people, but it’s an important first step. You’ll gain clarity and insight. And, you’ll be surprised at how many women have been in the same situation you’re in today! They will help you through this.
4. Learn why your husband hates you (because it is not about you)
In Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, Lundy Bancroft describes nine abusive personality types and how to tell if a hateful husband can change, is changing, or ever will change. Learn what can be fixed when a husband hates his wife, and what can’t. If your husband says he hates you need to learn how to leave your marriage safely.
When you’re under the thumb of a hateful husband, keep reminding yourself that you will get through this stage of your life. Accept all the help you can get. Decide if you should stay in the marriage and learn how to be free emotionally, or if you should leave your husband.
One day, when you are happy and healthy and healed, you will reach out and help other women living with men who are filled with hate, rage, and violence. For now, accept all the help you can get!
How will you break free from a husband who hates and controls you? Feel free to share your thoughts – big and little – below.