An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1

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Photo by Mike Klemme
A tradition unlike any other?
Photo by Mike Klemme

Dear Shitty Husband,

Yep. You.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s one of, or some combination of, the following:

  1. I’m not a shitty husband! I work 50-hour-plus weeks to pay for our house, and our cars, and our vacations, and her jewelry, and the kids’ activities. I love my wife and family!
  2. I’m not a shitty husband! I would do ANYTHING for my wife.
  3. I’m not a shitty husband! I fix things around the house that need fixed. I mow the lawn, and walk the dog, and take out the trash, and help change diapers, and run the kids to their little league games.
  4. I’m not a shitty husband! I always make sure she has an orgasm when we have sex once a week!
  5. I’m not a shitty husband! I don’t drink excessively, I’m drug-free, I work out, I don’t hit her, I don’t call her names and I don’t cheat!

And listen. I get it. You really truly don’t believe you’re a shitty husband. And I commend you for all of the good things you do, and applaud you for all the sacrifices you make on behalf of your wife and/or family.

But guess what?

Shut up. You’re an asshole and a shitty husband.

I don’t know everything there is to know about marriage. I might not even know a lot. But I know one VERY important thing: I’m an asshole. And I was a shitty husband.

On Easter Sunday of this year, my wife took her ring off after nine years of marriage and informed me she was leaving.

It hurt. It took my breath away. It frightened me.

But I wasn’t shocked.

Because we (husbands) have an awful lot more control than we think we do.

And all of us—male and female—need to accept more responsibility than we do for our circumstances.

And that’s what I’m going to do now. Accept some responsibility.

As of this writing, I don’t have much of an audience. But what little audience I have has read me talk about how my wife ended our nine-year marriage by leaving me the day after Easter.

But the question on the table today is: Had I been the husband I was supposed to be during the beginning and middle years of our marriage, would we ever have gotten to the point where my wife was looking elsewhere for inner peace and happiness?

She most definitely sucks for ending our relationship the way she did. She doesn’t get a free pass for that.

But this is where I have to take responsibility—at least part of it—for the position in which I find myself.

I was NOT a perfect husband.

I’m not even sure I was a good husband.

I loved her. I was kind to her. I wanted to make her happy and win her approval. I wanted to take care of her and provide for her. I went to work every day for her. She gave me purpose. I wanted to be with her forever.

But I was an asshole. A selfish one. And while I truly believe I redeemed myself during the final two years of our marriage, when I was growing and she was withdrawing, I was a shitty husband for the seven years prior.

…..

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My new book released on March 22, 2022. It is, aside from becoming a father, the highlight of my life. I don’t think it sucks. Hopefully you won’t think so either. I took the lessons of my divorce shared throughout this blog, combined it with some new stories, some coaching client stories, and the ideas I try to share in my coaching calls, and tried to make the book I would have needed to understand how my behavior was inadvertently destroying my marriage and to develop meaningful relationship skills. If you believe in what I’m doing here and want to support the mission, you ordering this book would be the best thing I could ever ask for. And someday, if you like it, maybe tell a friend. Thank you so much. Order “This is How Your Marriage Ends: A Hopeful Approach to Saving Relationships”.

…..

Watching The Masters

I didn’t know it at the time, but four years ago, a defining moment in my life happened during the Sunday final round of The Masters golf tournament—generally considered to be the most-popular golf tournament of the year by American golf fans.

Living in Ohio, that general time period around Easter and The Masters is when you can count on the weather to break and really give you some beautiful days.

My ex-wife absolutely loves being outside. She grew up in the country, and sitting inside on a beautiful day is not her idea of a good time.

So, inevitably, it was gorgeous outside during the final round of The Masters. Our son was not quite a year old. And my wife wanted us, as a family, to go enjoy the weather together.

Go hike in the nearby national park.

Go to the zoo.

Go to a metro park trail.

Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

I think so.

But on that particular Sunday, without the benefit of failed-marriage hindsight? It sounded perfectly unreasonable.

It went something like this:

Me: “Babe. I’d really just like to watch my favorite golf tournament. This only happens once a year.”

Wife: “I can’t believe you want to sit inside on a such a beautiful day. You don’t want to go do something nice as a family?”

Me: “I don’t want to sit inside on a beautiful day—I kind of wish it was raining—and of course I want to do fun things together, but again, this golf tournament happens just one weekend a year. And that happens to be today. I’d like to watch it. I’m sorry.”

This all hit me a few months ago during the 2013 Masters. It was on TV at my house. But nobody was home. She’d already left. My son was gone. I was there. I was awake. But I wasn’t home.

I’m tempted to look up who even won the damn golf tournament this year. Because I truly can’t remember. Maybe Justin Rose or Adam Scott. But honestly, who cares?

I chose The Masters over a perfect Sunday afternoon with my wife and son.

And guess what, Guy Who Thinks That Sounds Perfectly Acceptable?

You’re an asshole. And a shitty husband. Just like me.

I committed marriage’s worst crime, after all the obvious stuff like cheating, and abuse, and the like.

I left my wife alone in our marriage.

It looks a lot like that Masters Sunday four years ago.

It’s what it looks like when she stays home on a Friday night to take care of the kids and do chores and watch “Desperate Housewives” alone on the couch while you’re out with the boys.

It’s what it looks like when she invites you to bed during Monday Night Football, but you’re too busy monitoring your fantasy football team to join her.

It’s what it looks like when she asks you to join her for a family function at the in-laws, and you decline so you can watch a movie at home alone, or sit around playing video games, or playing golf, or playing poker.

It’s what it looks like when you go to a party and you spend all of your time drinking and laughing with your friends, and never once squeezing her hand, or whispering in her ear how gorgeous she looks, or making eye contact from across the room and mouthing the words “I love you.”

It’s what it looks like when you leave the hospital to get a good night’s sleep the day your son was born even though your wife is begging you to stay.

It’s what it looks like when you don’t acknowledge all of the many things she carries every day so that you don’t have to—managing schedules, and the household, and buying gifts for birthdays and weddings and graduations, and keeping the house clean, and a million other things I’m STILL too fucking dense to recognize even though I’m still picking up the pieces in my now-empty home.

The hardest lesson I’ve ever learned is that you can have all of the good intentions in the world. You can be kind. And charming. And willing to sacrifice.

And it can STILL break.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I’ve heard that proverb my entire life and I never really knew what it meant until now.

You know, it’s funny. I could have just DVR’d the fucking Masters.

And you can too.

We’re broken people. We’re shitty husbands.

But gentlemen—we don’t have to be.

You May Also Want to Read:

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 2

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 3

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 5

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 6

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 7

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 8

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 9

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 11

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 12

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 13

504 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1”

  1. Pingback: An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 2 | Must Be This Tall To Ride

    1. If she is not happy with all that shit then we should fucking leave them. Supply them with a good life and all they want is a cuddle or a whisper across the room. Fuck that. Take all the good shit away including holidays, jewellery, cars etc and they would moan all their friends have that and we don’t. It’s a no win situation. To much is not good enough. Not enough is not good enough. To sober is not good enough. To drunk is not good enough. We can’t win and it’s not about winning. It’s about learning to live with each other. It’s give and take. But it can’t work if it’s all take and no give. What is 5 hours a week playi g golf. Nothing. Really. One round at the weekend. Clears the head. No phones. No kids. No moaning. No hassle. No judgement. Just golf.
      Hopefully when I’m in my grave I will be truly happy because in this life I’m not

      1. This may not make sense to you. And you may think I’m full of shit. And to be sure, I’m occasionally full of shit… but…

        I think we live in a world where everyone asks “whats in it for me?” Everyone wants to know what the other person will do for them.

        And we wonder why everyone is miserable and feels shitty all the time.

        I propose a new way. You give all you have to give. Dedicate yourself (“you” being anyone–not you, specifically, sir) to making marriage about making your partner’s life the best it can be.

        This, of course, must be true in reverse too. For it to work, your wife would have to be willing to do the same.

        Both people, giving more to the other than they take for themselves.

        Almost no one does this and almost everyone is getting divorced or often wants to.

        So I’m starting to think my way is worth trying.

        No. Its not easy. Its hard. Really hard. Everything worth doing in life is.

        I’m convinced this is how people wake up in the morning not feeling angry and miserable all the time.

        Give more than you take.

        Thanks for taking time to comment.

    2. Wow.

      Okay, I hear you that you could have been more attentive to your wife. And if every single day was like the day you described when you chose to watch the Masters, then, sure, you were very selfish and it was all about you.

      But it doesn’t sound that way. It sounds like you were human, you had some of your own interests, some interests outside of her (like a night out with the guys), and that is perfectly normal, and also healthy. Any psychologist would recommend that.

      The example that you give was that you wanted to watch a tournament that is on once a year, and she wanted to go out and enjoy the nice day. You now feel like you were a jerk, that you should have put her needs first. But what about your needs? Because if she truly cared for your needs/wants, she would have said to herself, “This is important to him. While I don’t like it and would rather us to be doing something else, I recognize that it’s only once a year and I know that there will be many more nice, sunny days. I’ll tell him to enjoy his Master’s, but I’ll ask him now if the next nice, sunny day we could all go out and do something.”

      Both people need to care for the others needs and desires. A loving wife wouldn’t have felt right about walking around a zoo all day with you when she knows there’s an important event on for you. Imagine the reverse: What if you wanted to do a movie marathon (or something) and it was on a particular day that she had something she was really looking forward to going on. Maybe the tour de france, maybe a movie was coming out that night that she had been talking about for weeks and she so wanted to go opening night, etc.. And you said, but you can do that tomorrow. You can wait. You can record the tour de France or whatever. I want to do this instead. You would have felt guilty about taking her away from that for something you could do any day. And SHE should have felt guilty for asking you to skip the Master’s because it was a nice day out.

      It sounds like she was the selfish one in the relationship. It sounds like she didn’t want to see that about herself, but deep down she knew she was selfish toward you and so she projected that onto you, calling you selfish. She ultimately succeeded in convincing herself that you were the selfish one, and she convinced you of that too.

      It sounds as well like you spent the last two years of your marriage trying to live up to her idea of what a “good” husband is. You tried to make things about her, to never put your needs or desires first. That’s not a good marriage.

      I think she didn’t care about you like she should have. I think she felt that she lacked something for you, but she didn’t want to be responsible for the marriage ending, so she made an impossible list for you, and when you failed to live up to these expectations, she left you, and she succeeded in blaming YOU for the end of the marriage. “If you would have just done these things, we would have been fine.” The central problem was her, it was her not loving you.

      Maybe she doesn’t love well, or maybe she just didn’t have those feelings for you. I don’t know. Either way, she likely seemed loving at first, but it’s easy to be loving in the beginning, almost everyone is.

      And if the issue was what she said it was, then why would she have left you when you spent two years working toward her requirements and made genuine improvements? She wouldn’t have. She would have been appreciative and it would have made you two closer, not further apart.

      One reason a lot of marriages fail is because people (one or both partners) expect to have a marriage that resembles the beginning phase of their relationship. Easy, fun, spontaneous, romantic, feeling “courted.” This is not possible for anyone to be like this forever. Other things require attention–work, children, caring for aging parents, moving, etc.. Romantic times, like holidays, anniversaries, random date nights, or what have you–yes, that should be expected and both partners should try to make this happen. But all the time, neither partner can be this way, nor should they be expected to be. I’m not sure what the underlying issue in your marriage was, but this is just an example of a very common dynamic that leads to divorce.

      It sounds to me like you could have been a better husband. But it also sounds like you were a pretty good husband! One many women would feel lucky to have. And if you needed to be more frequently attentive, then fair enough, you could have worked toward that (oh wait, you did!). But really, Having a small child or children in general is a busy phase of one’s life, and marriages tend to suffer during this time, with both partners not being as attentive to one another as they could be. And if the man is the breadwinner, than it is even harder for him to be attentive, because he has more of a full plate.

      Well, those my thoughts. I obviously don’t know you or your ex, but from what you described, the above seems abundantly clear. I could be wrong. I think it would be helpful for you to explore this though. You certainly do not want to be in a relationship next in which you are putting the woman on a pedestal and she is also putting herself consistently before you. Not only will it not be good for you (and you deserve better than this), it also won’t be good for your son to witness, and have as a model. The wife should not be top dog. The husband should not be top dog. It should be a give and take. And the example that you described was very much her needs above yours, not matter that her desired event was a more frequently occurring, and spontaneous, thing, and your desired event was a planned event and one that only occurs once a year. You were not an asshole for choosing to watch the Master’s over going out for a family day that day. Once a year + important to you = you should have done it. I think it’s more plausible that she was a bitch for trying to take that from you, for guilting you over it, and for putting her thing over yours, when hers was clearly less relevant.

      And I think if you saw a therapist or a psychologist, they would be able to get you to see that you blame yourself too much, that you have a pattern toward insecurity and self-depricating feelings. That you are too hard on yourself an that you tend to chose to be with people who are also too hard on you.

      I’m a woman, and this is clear as day to me. I’m not a shitty husband who is trying to say “no dude, it was all her,” so that I can feel better about being shitty to my wife. And as a woman, I would feel like a total jerk if I had done what she did that day.

      1. I hope you’ll forgive me for taking so long to write back. I was out of town for a week and neglecting blog comments.

        There’s a lot here. A pretty thorough psychoanalysis based on 800 or so words.

        I don’t want to get defensive because you’re probably mostly right, but I do want to clarify my position on unselfishness in marriage.

        I don’t think one person should give everything to the other without getting anything in return.

        I think one person should give everything while the other does the same. Not meeting halfway all the time. Constantly trying to go all the way to the other.

        And yeah. Give and take. Honest communication. Compromise.

        I never wanted to admit that I could marry someone who didn’t actually love me the way I imagine a man or woman should love the person they agree to marry. I think you might be the first person to say she might have trouble loving in general, or with me, specifically. Maybe so.

        I felt a lot of guilt and like a huge failure when my marriage ended. When I wrote this, I was feeling all those feelings very strongly.

        Today, it’s nearly 20 months later.

        I’m feeling a little better about things. And sure. I’m prone to taking on more than my fair share, and self doubt and deprecation.

        But I won’t be making the mistake of putting myself in a relationship where I’m somehow being mistreated or taken advantage of.

        I’d just as soon stay single.

        Thank you for writing such a thoughtful comment, Eleonora.

        I’ll be thinking about this one for a long time.

  2. Pingback: An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 3 | Must Be This Tall To Ride

  3. Um, you do sound like you were kind of a dick. Looks like you’ve learned and hopefully will carry those lessons into your next relationship. Hopefully.

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  9. I wish I could somehow share this post with hubby, perhaps it’ll open his eyes. But I’m afraid it’s too late for him, for our marriage. Hubby’s a good man with a big heart, but he’s probably one of the “shittiest” hubby’s out there 🙁 #feelingsad

  10. Pingback: An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1 | TheEmpressRegnant

    1. So many of us are. Hopefully, he has a good heart and cares about yours.

      Because then he’ll fight for you. Every day.

      Then, hope remains. And very little is more important than hope.

      Wishing you well. 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading.

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  15. You were a shitty husband. I’ll give you that. But I argue that it takes two people. There was a level of communication that seemed to be missed on BOTH ends. I watched my parents get divorced growing up. And that sucked. I argue that they were both very shitty spouses and in turn very shitty parents.

    You are taking accountability. It is very obvious that you are learning, you are growing, you are trying to be better. And that is the most beautiful thing that you could be doing. Thank you.

    1. Shitty, indeed!

      You know how us Ohio boys can be.

      I want to be clear about something though… all the bad stuff I listed in here that husbands do… I didn’t do all those things. I was just giving examples.

      If I didn’t specifically say I did it, there’s a good chance I didn’t.

      I was shitty, but not super-duper shitty.

      (I’m totally defensive, fyi) 🙂

      1. Yes, I know Ohio boys pretty well. Often shitty.

        And no worries, no calling out or judgement on specific examples from the blog. But all in all, the remorse that you conveyed and your ability to look at a situation now and learn from it, proves 1) you were shitty. 2) you are much less shitty now. 3) you strive to be not-so-shitty which in turn provides hope for us Ohio gals that at some point some Ohio guys won’t be so shitty.

        -C

  16. Reading this post has just made me realize the moment when it started to go bad for my wife and I. After all this time, it took me this post to realize that I (even though I never would have wanted to admit it) was also a shitty husband.

    Thanks, and I love the post.

    1. Now, take it easy in yourself. Self abuse is my job.

      I don’t want you to feel shitty.

      I just want EVERYBODY, husbands and wives, to accept responsibility for their choices, actions, and roles in breaking up marriages.

  17. This is amazing. I’m literally sitting here crying. I’ve been married 15 years this year and if you would have asked me if we would have made it this time last year, the answer would have been NO WAY. This was us. He had left me alone in our marriage for so long, the day came when I no longer cared. I wasn’t a perfect wife by any means either. Finally, one day I told him I wanted out…told him every miserable, lousy thing he’d ever done. It took me telling him I wanted a divorce and laying out every time he left me to deal with things on my own for him to see his end of it. We’re fighting our way back but it’s not easy. 14 years of hurt feelings is a lot to work through. I wish everybody…man or woman…could read your letters. Would do a lot of good. Keep going!

    1. I’m so happy to hear you’re fighting the good fight. The grass isn’t greener out here. It’s just not. Thank you for choosing love and forgiveness. Changes the world.

      1. I’ve finished reading all 5 of your letters. They are definitely right on the money. I can remember not so long ago thinking that nothing could be worse than staying married. I won’t lie, our kids are probably the biggest reason that I stayed…but the change in him is huge…and if we can just keep taking baby steps, we’ll get there eventually. I hope you find your happily ever after 🙂 You deserve it

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  22. I don't believe it

    I honestly don’t have any words. Men can feel this way, I am so broken. None of my needs are ever met, we can never discuss any problem. I wish I had tje oppertunity to buy presents for any function, we never go anywhere, nowhere, I guess I’m not good enough.

    1. 🙁

      You’re good enough.

      I’m so sorry you’re hurting, and that you feel unloved and uncared for.

      Somewhere lies the truth.

      And I hope there’s love and peace there. Amongst the truth. It will take sacrifice and communications to find it.

      And, above all, love. The real kind. Not the “feelings” kind.

      And I pray you can get to that place.

      Sending you good thoughts and prayers.

  23. Reblogged this on sunandsalsa and commented:
    I know we’re not all perfect, I’m certainly not. I know in hindsight there are a lot of things we’d wish we would have done differently, and it’s easy for me to say there are things my brother-in-law could have done differently or even should do differently now. It is nice to read honest words from someone who can admit they did wrong…this is a good time to learn from someone else’s mistake before we make too many of our own.

  24. Vol 1-5 … Amazing blog and right on point… I believe all Wives and Husbands should read Vol 1-5 and I believe if you are mature enough to read it and learn from it then it could really help your marriage. Some people just are not there yet…

    1. Thank you, Cara. I really appreciate that. It’s a subject that has become very important to me. Clearly, I have some updating to do, link-wise. There are Vol. 6 & 7 installments as well, if you care.

      Really appreciate you reading.

  25. Pingback: An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 6 | Must Be This Tall To Ride

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  27. Thank you, Matt, for being brave enough to write about Shitty Husbands. I am really praying for a second husband, one who realizes the errors of his ways, and is careful with our marriage.
    Kathy, divorced after 27 years to a S. H.

    1. I’m so sorry.

      27 years.

      I can’t imagine. You have at least one extra prayer headed your way too. And for whatever man is out there with whom you will eventually cross paths with.

      I wish you many blessings along the path.

      Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

  28. Pingback: One Year Later, Vol. 2 | Must Be This Tall To Ride

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  30. I really appreciate this post. While I’m not anywhere near thinking it’s over or ever going to leave my husband there are times where I just feel like crap about where I come in his list of priorities. I think if you asked him he would feel like you used to saying “well I bought her flowers for our anniversary, and I go to work, and I made her something to eat the other night when she wasn’t feeling well.” Which I admit are all wonderful actions and I truly and greatly appreciate that he does actually care about me, but every single Friday night he goes out with the guys and is out until 3/4am and sleeps in until noon/1pm on Saturday and I get that he likes the release after a long week at work and generally I don’t care, but sometimes, sometimes it would be nice to get my husband to myself on a Friday, because it’s the start of the weekend and it’d be fun to share it together and also because I really like waking up with him on Saturday at say 8am and doing stupid boring married things like taking a walk or getting coffee or going to Home Depot or just sitting on the couch watching tv or ahem…doing it. I’ve explained this to him calmly, nicely and imploringly asking what about one Friday a month? How about one Friday every two months? And he tells me no and seems to have no remorse or guilt about it either, I’ve asked him if he realizes how it sounds and he says he knows it sounds bad, but his Fridays are just that important to him and that “here’s what’ll happen: what if say this Friday my folks are in town and we have to see them so I don’t get to go out and what if the weekend before that I stayed in w/you so I didn’t go out then. Then, that’s two Fridays in a row I haven’t gone out and that doesn’t feel right. I need to be out show my face.” And I’ve even asked couldn’t you go out Satruday instead on those weekends and it’s a no. I’m always more than welcome to go out with him and sometimes I do when I want to be together or feel like letting lose, but it’s hard losing a Saturday to being hungover when you work all week so I don’t do it all that often. Today is Friday, I’m leaving Monday night for 6 days to visit my parents. I asked him if he goes out tonight could he maybe just come home early like midnight so we can do something tomorrow, and he said he’ll see, which really just means no. When I pressed him on it, he said “please just let me see”. So I just told him him that I didn’t give a sh*t and to do whatever the hell he wanted. Because you know, how does that make me feel? And this is the first thing I’ve ever read that really hits the nail on the head. Women’s blogs can be so bitchy and just wanting to complain and totally lacking a man’s POV. Honestly most of the time if he wants to do guy stuff like watch the Masters I can deal, which makes it all that much harder I guess the few times I do care. I mean I’m a wife who when her husband wants to watch football by hooking a tv up in the backyard brings him out a poncho when it starts raining and keeps his cooler full of beer. I mean so you know. Anyway, apparently I needed to vent. I do wish/wonder if there is a way I could show this to my husband without him frekaking out. 1. I wouldn’t want him to feel like I’m threatening him with regards to the stories about how your wife left you and 2. He gets defensive with stuff like this and usually tells me I’m trying to make him feel bad and say that he’s not a good husband. Anyway, thanks for the post.

  31. Pingback: An open letter to shitty wives. A response to Matt’s letter. | Escape from womanhood

  32. Its true the worst crime you can commit in any relationship is to leave the other alone. Its terrible having someone when they aren’t there for you.

  33. You sound like a prince compared to the one I married! I’m finally getting out after 16 years before I start cheating or worse.

  34. I just can’t do this anymore and I’m sick of the “I’m sorry Flowers”. This breaks my heart.

  35. Everyone read the 5 Love Languages- figure out what is your language, what is your partners and things can change– its just the way we communicate

  36. I have been married for 3 years.
    I sleep alone and I wake up alone, without my husband. He chooses not to reside with me and create a life with me. I have delivered him breakfast and dinners. I’ve picked up his laundry to wash so he doesn’t have to go to the laundromat. I’ve supported his son, emotionally and when he was I trouble. I married an asshole and shitty husband. He comes to help every once in awhile, but has spoken those words in anger, “Do not ask me for help when you need it, because I will not answer”. I have helped him rise up when he was down, and have stood beside him when he had been dragged through mud with his ex wife. I went through mud with him. He buys me gifts every now and then, but the best gift would be to just wake up beside him and have my arm wrapped around him each night as we fall asleep together. The best gift would be to greet him each evening as he walked through the door, and hop into his arms and be happy he made it home. The best gift would be for him to come home to a hot meal at our kitchen table when he’s had a long rough day at work. I’ve come to realize, I married an asshole and a shitty husband, and there is not a thing I can do to make things any better. I finally have become strong enough to leave. But the 6 years I put into it, I’ll never get those years back.

  37. yes i know that God counts their tears.
    I’m a big shit of a husband. my wife tells me regularly.
    when i come home from work i am completely pumped up to be a good husband…
    then i mess it up
    so back to being a shitty husband literally within miniutes
    repeat
    20 years
    daily

  38. Pingback: Marriage: A Global Epic Fail | Must Be This Tall To Ride

  39. Thank you for writing this. I hope more men read it. Marriage is not simply cohabitation. Being a husband is not simply being a provider. We shouldn’t give people credit for the sins they don’t commit (I didn’t cheat, I didn’t abuse her, etc.). That is the minimum of what we should expect.
    But the most distressing part of all this is how it affects children.
    Once you have children, it is not about you anymore.
    If a woman told her kid, hey, it’s a nice day outside but you know what? I’m too tired to play with you so I’m going to put my feet up, drink some beers, and watch some sports instead…in fact, I’ll just order you some pizza and soda for dinner and you can go watch cartoons all day…what kind of mother would she be? Everyone would be outraged, right? And yet this is what fathers do ALL THE FUCKING TIME.
    I think your wife made a mistake leaving you because the divorce will have a more lasting negative impact than the few years of you being a dick, which apparently could have been fixed had she been more patient. Nevertheless, I feel her pain.
    Make sure you take better care of your kid from now on than you did your marriage. You might have fucked up your marriage but you don’t have to fuck up your kid.

        1. We get along pretty well, she and I. We have mutual interest in our child’s life being the best it can possibly be.

          Things are good.

          Thank you so much for your kind words. That’s really what all these posts are about.

          Some people will NEVER make it. But many? I think many divorces really can and should be avoided. And I think many of the ideas discussed here can be part of the solution if people are willing to think about and talk about them.

          Thank you again for being part of it.

  40. “I think many divorces really can and should be avoided.”

    That’s pretty much my mantra. My own marriage has gone through hell, and is hanging on my a thread at this point. And I think you have captured the sentiment perfectly when you say it’s all about selfishness. For a marriage to succeed I think you have to understand the difference between “me” and “we”. You still have to be an individual, but you can’t let that override the marriage.

    Great advice in here.

    1. Thank you for validating it. It was written a long time ago. I think a lot of the other “Open Letter” posts I wrote as part of that little series offer more useful ideas about relationships and marriage, but that was the post that really got me thinking about how much better I could have been. I’ve done a lot of growing and soul searching since then.

      I’m better for having done so.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Appreciate it very much.

  41. December 31st of this past year I told my husband that I didnt think I was in love with him anymore because of basically everything you wrote. 2 kids, military family, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted help, I wanted him to be there (be THERE and be present, ya know?) and he walked away. He changed bank accounts, sent me an email telling me our marriage was over and hasn’t spoken to me or the kids for 10 weeks. And I’m the idiot that deep down keeps praying he will see the light and stop this path to destroy our marriage. He says I changed him and he wants himself back, he’s getting himself back and I hate the person he is. I wish he would have consented to counseling.

    I had my own part to play, but I can tell you that I did everything in our marriage, and I was exhausted and burnt out and he didn’t give a damn unless it was about him.

  42. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant….wish my husband would read these.
    Maybe this would open his eyes because my years of begging, pleading, and crying don’t seem to do anything.
    The part that hit deepest with me it the turning of the corner in Volume 4….just turned that corner last week. We’ll see what this next road has to offer….thanks again.
    You are a saint for using your ache to help others. I hope you find love and peace in marriage someday.

  43. If I may add one thing, which is what I think will push me out the door, even after taking him back after his affairs…

    Leaving your wife alone looks like when your sisters bully her for not handling her depression well over your cheating… How you stay quiet when they insult her or make crude jokes about her in front of you, or how they slander her and tear her to pieces while you say nothing to defend her, even though you know it’s wrong and that it hurts her to the bone…

  44. Wow. Your marriage is a complete replica of mine except I haven’t walked out yet and you sound a bit more attentive than my husband. I wish he would read your blog and consider it, but he probably wouldn’t cause he’s an asshole.

  45. I’m sorry your marriage fell apart, and I respect what you’re doing with the open letters.
    However, understand that not all husbands are shitty…I found myself disagreeing with your choices fairly quickly while reading, and I can see how you ended up where you are now. I wish you luck in your future endeavors.

    As a child from a failed marriage myself, make sure you double and triple your efforts to spend time with your son, and never say anything negative about his mother…not saying you do, but it can slip…and kids never forget.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. Just so it’s clear, I did not do all of those things listed in this post. The “bad husband” things. They were just examples.

      What I did do wrong were some less-obvious things that I believe MOST men do thoughtlessly because it’s just the way they’ve always done things and it’s the same where their dad and all their buddies do it.

      And I think if they fully understood what goes on inside their spouses’ minds and hearts when those things happen, they’d work to fix it.

      And then, way more people would stay married.

      It’s almost never some major event that caused a marriage to die (even infidelity). Usually it’s a series of small moments driving a wedge of resentment between two people until one or both break.

      These little moments so hard to stop because they seem so minuscule and insignificant at the time.

      And they pile up. Day after day after day.

      Then the levee breaks.

      Then many people drown.

      The key is to help people understand how big those little things are.

      Maybe I’m not. But I’ll keep trying.

  46. I understand the good intentions and appreciate your willingness to improve yourself and admit fault, but there is something about this article that makes me cringe: It reminds me of my ex-husband. I would ask him to stop leaving beer bottle tops around the house, and instead of agreeing to make an effort, he would jump straight to “I’m a shitty husband. I know I’m an asshole”. So instead of focusing at the issue – my frustrations with constantly finding bottle tops all over our home, I would find myself consoling him and reassuring him. It made me afraid to confront him about anything.

    You aren’t a “shitty husband” for being human. And labeling yourself as one isn’t making anybody feel better; unless your wife really hated you that much and wants you to have a low self esteem. Wishing you the best as you recover and heal and reconcile.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Laura.

      This isn’t a very good post. And it was written while drinking beer, feeling emotionally broken nearly two years ago.

      Things are different now. Inside me. And I agree with you in many respects.

      It makes ME cringe that so many people see this post. This is the one getting shared and read all the time and it’s not a very good example (writing-quality-wise or content-wise) of what I’d like to do.

      It’s a title that’s a little click-baity and if it gets husbands to rethink their behavior a little, then so be it.

      There are a lot of important points about marriage peppered throughout close to 500,000 words on this blog. I’m afraid there aren’t any in this post.

      Thank you for the encouragement!

  47. Pingback: Why I Wrote “An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands” | Must Be This Tall To Ride

  48. I appreciate the honesty in this. I definitely sympathize with your ex and wish my husband could read this without getting defensive. Just glad I’m not alone.

  49. 21yrsoftotaldevotion

    I am on the other track, 21 years devoted, insainly loyal, highly intelligent with the only problem of, “I gave a rat’s butt too much in my marriage.” I don’t want to sound vain but dang it I am still one heck of a hit mommah because I take care of me. It’s not about looks it’s about respecting myself and most definitely doing same for my husband, whom by the way may not be soon. I am reaching my likits in the bad husband area after putting up with mommah’s boy syndrome, control freak issues and undying selfishness in a huge way.

    No somebody may say, you deserve better but I didn’t want to get married for all of the aforementined reasons to start thinking of divorcing.

    I am sick and tired of being the inly one cleaning the entire house, I am sick and tired of the get out of work early bs when it’s an appointment he has to go to to make it but any request from me if needed, rarely, he can’t make it, period.

    Ive been oaying half if all the bills and when he is in trouble, ie totalled the car and I paid $400 dollars for him to have the rental even though i bought my car and pay the car payments myself, I used my credit to get into the home we are in and paid the deposit my self in full he never paid me a dime for it. And just this week I asked for $15.00 to put into a company fund item he said, I didnt tell you to make that decision so why should I pay or when it came time to pay the mortgage he says don’t worry you will get your $520.00, as if I am shopping with it! I pay half for 18 yrs.

    When we first got married, I oais for everything while he climbed the ladder. I got his car out of repo, never paid back.

    Did I mention I think he cheated on me with a real winner who has a tatoo in her thigh of a huge octopus, ehich is fine but when she hits 60 look out it’s gonna look like shrimp… beautiful now. This chick who I tried to have respect for didnt think I was smart enough to show my face about her and my husband, so I took my husband to the restaurant she worked at as a waitress and she hid in an ice machine. Yeah, that’s class.

    My husband weeks later came home with a busted windshield from a flying turkey this after I said honey you ever cheat on me and I wont sign for as many years we’ve been married. See what chick will hang out for any man’s pardon me penis for 21 years. It isn’t about the money it’s about respect period.

    Another great thing, I got the phone plan for us on my credit and bought him phones for birthday presents which is fine but upon checking my phone bills tons of calls to women and Im about to bust his ass on it because again my plan, period.

    Im getting fed up with the bs and if he does not change histune soon, this hot mommah is flyin the coop and I do ‘t come back; in fact , My lawyer will handle things without me lefting a dime!

    There is a gazillion more and its always a two way street unless of course you’re like me finding out late what being used feels like.
    Suggestions anyone OR am I wrong?

    Thank you.

  50. Ex-Wife Soon to Be.

    I am going to give my shitty husband, who is a horrible father, a good Father’s Day. This is ONLY because of Matt’s response to Scott at the of the comments. After many horrific Mother’s Days of forced sex and misery, I know what it feels like to feel unwanted and taken for granted. So while my H decided to buy himself an expensive ticket to the Master’s Golf thingamajig, more then he EVER spent on me or his mother on any given Mother’s Day, I will make a nice day for him when he gets home so as not to be only concerned about myself and past pain. Then in 3 years, if all goes as planned I will divorce him and he will most likely rarely hear from 2 of the 3 of his children on Father’s Day after that. It’s very sad really, I have a wonderful Father and did not choose right man for the father for my children.

    1. You should not instrumentalise your children for revenge to their father. They have a right to make their own decision.

      1. That is true Joachim; yet, I do not read that as revenge, but as responsible regret. One cannot imagine the thoughts in that paragraph…except for the ones that have gone on year after year. Maybe you have also. So keep an open kind thought process please. Endurance is a learned, tolerated process. 🙂 Smiley for you, not the process!

    2. I know how you feel, my ex-husband on mothers day said even though I bare him 3 fine boys, I’m not his mother. So why do he have go celebrate me…

    3. Yes, destroying your family and leaving your children without a father is a perfectly reasonable response. I really hope your husband gets full custody. Your kids deserve a better mom than you are capable of becoming.

  51. Vijaya Lakshmi

    Well, I have been married for the past 5 months and I can already see all the above mentioned qualities in him. Right now I’m freezing outside in the balcony at the middle of the night while he is busy drinking with his friend in our room. I can’t sleep any more at nights. Add to it a shitty mother in law, I can’t even ask him to shut his mother up or else he would go crazy n break my phone just like he did yesterday. I don’t even have a phone now to call my parents( he promised he will buy new one immediately yesterday n returned home at night with a friend n some whiskey). His dear mother has already accused n abused me 4 times in these 5 months while I took the high road and stayed put. But now it is becoming very scary to see him drink every night with his friend n I sleep on couch ( he begs you see) n his mother making every excuse to complain n nag about me in front of friends n relatives.

    1. make a choice before kids/more kids. it makes all the difference. if you have none then wtf! if only I could go back. listen to me!! this is real and if I heard this when it was me…I would’ve been grateful (married 17 years…struggle since the beginning
      )

      1. SO true, Sarah. Don`t hesitate Vijaya. When you have kids, bad marrige is like being in a trap, you can´t leave unless you hurt those who are dearest to you, your kids. It s a constant struggle, doesn`t get better. You always hope, but it just doesn`t. If he behaves like this already after 5 months of marriage, than what is going to be after 5 years or when kids are born? Shitty husbands get shittier when kids are born. Take care of yourself, I really hope the best for you <3

    2. Vijaya L. so very sorry to read your July 6, 2015 post. Hopefully, you are in a better place now.

      I would not attempt to tell you what to do, only you can know what is best for you. That said, I would like to make some suggestions for safety sake:
      1) Regardless of your current situation, you might want to use only your first name, or a pseudonym when posting comments.
      2) I don’t know where you are located, and I am not asking you to reveal that, nor do I need to know, but if you feel like you are in danger, or like you need to get out, see if you can get to a women’s shelter.
      3) If you are without a phone, you might borrow a neighbor’s phone. If using a cell phone, you can delete the phone numbers after you complete your call.
      4) Pray/meditate for guidance, and strength to do what’s necessary to take care of yourself, and any child(ren).

      My prayers go with you.

      Namaste,
      Karlene

  52. Thank you so much for writing this. I cant even begin to talk about it. But I am so hopeful in the idea of decency when I read this. Perhaps not in my marriage. I can’t fathom any more severe acts of God for something to change…so I will be satisfied in this. Just th8s. That when I say “I would never marry again”, that perhaps there is hope that I am wrong.

    1. Hi Brittany. You’re welcome. 🙁 I’m so sorry you’re here. At “that place.” Where it feels hopeless.

      Whatever happens next, please don’t lose hope.

      Tomorrow always has the chance to be better than today. No matter what.

      Thank you for reading. Your note made my heart hurt a little. Rooting for you.

  53. My husband makes six figures so he thinks he is a great husband. He buys everything our kids want so that qualifies if as a great father! NOT! He is a perfect asshole, content to sit in front of the TV watching sports while the frame on our door rots, the deck needs to be stained, dead trees need to be removed, car needs to be washed and the list goes on. I decided to have him help me stain the deck…this idiot wants to do a deck with a 3 inch paintbrush! I let my moron go and do his thing, while I paint on with a roller outpacing him 5 times…he finally kicks over the stain can and spill half of our stain. While I start to clean up this mess, all while this jackass tries to dip stain off the dirt with his paintbrush and continues painting. (this is the same idiot who melted the end of a screwdriver when he tried to work on an electrified heater and ran into the freezer in the garage with the car. I seriously doubt he could hang a picture straight. Might I add he had an affair 20 years ago and managed to ruin a perfectly great job. He also has MS and we have not had sex in 10 years…he cannot perform. Sometimes I wonder if I should have kicked him to the curb? I wanted my daughter to have her Dad and an in tact family. My solace, I rely on God to meet me where I am at. And he does everyday, giving me peace, strength and endurance to tolerate being married to an asshole…aside from being married to this waste of skin, I have a wonderful life. I do long for a man who would remember to lock the doors at night and enjoy helping me cook a meal once in a blue moon. A man who knows his way around a grill and knows how to please a woman in desperate need of physical love and affection. It is sad that he does not have a clue as to the magnitude of his assholery and douchebaggery. BTW- I keep myself up, keep an immaculate house and yard, can fix shit, am a great cook and love to have fun….I was dooped by a poser and stupid me—-I’m stuck!

    1. Wow I can see myself in you. I am stuck as well and I pray that the Lord work within ourselves and our husbands. I feel like I gave up everything for him and our kids to support his career and nurture and educate our children and all I yearn for is a tender love from him. A love that has compassion and gentleness. In some ways, I want to feel protected

    2. Helen, I find your comment horribly disturbing. Why are you speaking about another human being in such terrible disregard? You really should put yourself in check after claiming to having God on your side and in your life while you degrade your husband to a dismal existence. Does he not have the very same God on his side and in his life the way you claim in yours? That is pretty sad and unspeakably ugly. There is no such thing as a perfect human, this includes you and your husband. You are forgetting that he has strengths and you are forgetting to mention your weaknesses which is clear to see by your writing. I’m not perfect in fact I harbor much dissatisfaction and regret with my marriage as well which is why I so appreciate the letter to shitty husbands in the first place. Sometimes seeing this from a man’s perspective can alieve some of the pain and inner torment once I am reminded that I’m not married to the last shitty man on Earth. What women, you and I, have the ability to do in my opinion with greater ability than most men is to use our strength in kindness. Don’t let the shitty husband ruin the kind person you once were if you were once in the first place. I say these things to you in hope that these words can strike a nerve and send some positive energy. Divorce is not currently an option for me until I am satisfied with the balance of final marital assets to be accrued then when that day comes I can do a few things, write a letter to my shitty husband, have a conversation with a lawyer, take a long fucking over due vacation, and somehow pull out the remaining personal strength I have been storing up to give it back to myself so that I can enjoy the rest of my life with or with out him. Meanwhile, studying poisons wouldn’t be a bad idea. I say that in humor.

    3. You seem like a piece of shit because you’re upset your husband has a severe disease that cannot be cured and will never go away. “In sickness and in health.” Ever consider what he feels? What goes through his mind? All you seem concerned with is finding a younger man who can please you in bed. Yeah. Good luck with that, because that ain’t going to happen.

      1. Having a husband with MS it the WORST thing I have ever dealt with so I understand her frustration 100%

    4. It’s funny how we’re in the 21st century and we still see this kind of gender role 60s bullshit. So you base your husbands competancy on how well he fixes things or “knows how to work a grill”? is that really the worst he does? Watches tv and doesn’t know how to stain the porch? Oh poor you, such abuse. And you using his cheating 20 years ago just shows that you have never forgiven him for that so why you would spend 20 years with him after in self pity and bitterness is beyond me. Stop with the whole God is on my side thing and break it off if you’re that misrable.

    5. So he makes a six figure salary that provides you with a comfortable home, food and clothing.

      You claim to be able to fix things bit you can’t take care of the rotting door jamb? Does being female make you incapable of operating the same tools that he is too incompetent to do?

      Is it too much to expect that a man that fully and completely supports all of your financial needs would expect some downtime after earning that money while you do nothing but keep a clean house?

      Just what, exactly, is he getting out of this relationship?

      I’m pretty sure he wishes he would have taken off with the woman he had that affair with twenty years ago.

      Unfortunately, you’re a prime example of “cheaper to keep her.”

  54. Wow… I find this gem after googling “why is my hubsand such an asshole” after a bad fight (basically me breaking down from stress and begging for him to give up a little pride and be there for me emotionally JUST ONCE and being told thats not necessary for all he does for me, I’m being selfish cause he pays the bills blah blah blah) and I’m so glad I found this. It really kind of stung to read, since all of those examples are the things that hurt me so much in my marriage. You hit the nail on the head. I never heard it from this perspective and I’m glad I did. I’m going going to continue giving it all I got. Maybe there’s hope here that my husband can wake up.

    1. Hi Samantha. I’m so sorry I didn’t write back before now. I’m good at missing comments on older posts.

      These fights are why all marriages end. He has no idea how much it kills you on the inside. He is not impacted very much emotionally by your fights and disagreements. He thinks you should both agree to disagree and carry on.

      He doesn’t know when you argue and he makes you feel that way that he makes you feel lonely and abandoned.

      Until he thinks you’re gone, or actually experiences it, he might never feel the same emotional pain that you do.

      And you threatening to leave will often breed prideful, angry responses, rather than empathetic, sad ones because he wants to understand you.

      It’s a vicious cycle. Most marriages fail because of this very thing.

      GREAT marriages suffer because of this very thing, at least once in a while.

      He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. And you telling him so far has been ineffective.

      You must find another way. I wish I knew the answer to how to pull that off. It would help millions of people.

      1. my husband seems to have given up on us and our little family. he is extremely withdrawn, says he’s happy at work and then comes home to tension and then wonders why he ever came home after I kicked him out. I’ve lost hope that our seven year marriage can survive any longer. i love him and want desperately for it to work, for our boys more than anything, but what hope is there if he’s already checked out.

      2. I don’t think it’s wife’s responsibility to make hushand understand what he should know, he is not a teenager anymore, he doesn’t need to make her wife another mother to him and should grow up and be a sensible adult. It’s not a wife’s duty to educate her husband. It’s not that he doesn’t understand, it’s that he DOESN’T want to understand, and to me it seems a very stupid way to ruin your own marriage like that. If that’s my husband who still needs me to educate him this and that, I would rather get a clean divorce from this man, to save myself some trouble. Men need to understand that she is your WIFE, NOT your MOTHER, don’t turn your wife into your mother and then blame her for not treating you in a way of a supposedly wife. I’ve seen too many men doing this and then whining about their wife and their marriage.

        Please guys, you all can do better than this, don’t wait for your girlfriend or wife to repeat themselves a thousand times and get disappointed eventually, you all can do the education by yourselves and stop making her feeling she has to leave. She doesn’t have an obligation to educate her man, but she does have to take full responsibility to live a happy life, even if that means a divorce for her.

        I really hope all women, regardless of each of our marital status, to know that we have the obligation to our happiness in life, and it’s our own responsibility fully. Maybe your boyfriend or husband makes you sad, but it doesn’t mean you can’t live happily ever again. Sometimes marriage just isn’t the solution. We are the solution to a happy life.

        Wife isn’t dead inside, wife seems dead because she is still in this marriage with him. Once a woman leaves her shitty marriage, she can be herself again because she isn’t dead inside.

    2. Wow Samantha he sounds just like mine. No emotional support, thinks that as long as he pays rent that’s all he has to do. Good luck to you. Hopefully we both find happiness someday. My faith in men is shot and if I end up leaving then I’m going to probably stay single forever because every guy is so emotionally neglectful it’s ridiculous.

  55. Why do you blame yourself?
    E.g. about the golf tournament: SHE should respect if you want to pursue your interests once in a while. I assume you did not hinder her to go out with your common kid.

    Of course you might have recorded the event, but that is not the matter. Ultimately, usually both parties take some respinsibility if things break up.

  56. I respect you for busting your guts out on your post. Kudos for searching your soul instead of laying all the blame on the other party. Based on this I wouldn’t say you are that shitty of a husband. You were selfish and at times thoughtless, but it’s a common human failing.
    There is no perfect husband, and there are many far worse than you. Men who cheat, deadbeat dads, wife beaters.
    You sound like the average guy who cares about his family but also misses your “me” time. It’s not wrong to have this time for yourself at the same time it’s not wrong for your wife to want some attention. All it needs is some balance. Like: “I’m watching masters/going bowling with buddies/gonna relax all weekend with some games, but we can go out and do whatever you like on (specified day).”
    You also did something most people do: taking loved ones for granted, and thinking that being a good provider is enough (it is tough, especially in this economy). They become that vase on the mantle that you figure will always be there, till one day it’s gone, and you realize how badly you miss it, and how little you had appreciated it… Because you always thought it would be there.
    Rest assured you’re not alone, and you are a pretty decent human being. You and your ex just had different expectations from marriage, and perhaps there was some failure of communication.
    I wish you all the best. Hope you find happiness, single or with spouse. Hope you can spend more time with your kid.

    1. I apologize for not replying to this in a timely fashion.

      Thank you very much. You’re right. I’m not some tyrannical, abusive monster. There are worse stories out there than mine.

      I want people to rethink the way they do things and ask better, harder questions.

      If every person alive spent every day trying to be a better human being, most of the world’s shittiness disappears.

      Instead, we love to assign blame and claim innocence.

      I think there’s a much better way. It starts with owning your choices.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I really appreciate the kind words.

  57. My husband is a good provider. He always reminds me that he is and that I should be grateful. He is always on his phone and blogging. He likes to drink a lot and it bothers me that most of the time that’s what we argue about. When we argue about something he always tells people at his work that I’m
    The Bad One! Some nerve right? It takes two to argue and ofcourse I am always the cause to everything. Someday I will get tired of his shit nor now , I will wait patiently and be a doormat

    1. No need to be a doormat, Tina. That won’t help you feel better, and it won’t help your husband be a better man or husband.

      Demand respect. Treat him with respect.

      Give unselfishly. Love with your whole heart. Expect and demand the same treatment in return.

      It just doesn’t work otherwise.

  58. So do everything your wife wants you to do and completely subsume yourself to her demands? Check. I mean, asking to spend one day a year doing something you love should spell the end of a relationship, right? Sorry, but if being “kind. And charming. And willing to sacrifice” aren’t enough, she is the problem – not you.

    1. I would say that’s a gross mischaracterization of what I wrote (or at least, intended. I don’t claim to be the world’s clearest writer.)

      Here’s what I would say:

      I’d say I’ve been married, and I used to fight those fights. I used to dig my heels in the sand like a child and FIGHT with my wife because I wanted freedom and flexibility to do what I wanted to do without being punished for it.

      I would say the lack of healthy communication, and being a dick while fighting were major problems and eventually led to my marriage ending.

      But here’s the most-important part:

      After I was divorced, I was totally miserable. It was the hardest, shittiest thing that ever happened to me, and not seeing my son half the time was killing me.

      I’m not advocating doing everything your wife wants you to do all the time.

      I’m simply saying for me, personally. DVR’ing The Masters, and going out for a hike with my wife and son on a nice afternoon, would have been the WAY better choice, and a demonstration of selflessness. Over time, making choices like that make your marriage strong.

      When you make your wife feel safe and like she can trust you to invest in your marriage, she WON’T freak out when you want to do stuff on your own.

      Being a dick, and accusing your wife of treating you like a child because “she’s never happy unless you’re doing what she wants” is EXACTLY why more than half of marriages fail.

      Trying to convince your wife or girlfriend that you’re brilliant and righteous, and she’s a dramatic moron is not going to keep you guys together.

      If watching The Masters one Sunday was the ONLY instance of selfishness and putting myself first in my marriage, then you’re absolutely right. It would be on her.

      I didn’t think you wanted to read the 250,000-word version where I wrote about playing online poker, or watching football all day Saturday and Sunday, or choosing to binge-watch 24 on Netflix in another part of the house, instead of hang out with my wife after dinner most nights.

      Marriage shouldn’t be a power exchange.

      It should be two people constantly giving more to the other than they take for themselves.

      If your wife is giving more to you than she takes for herself, you’ll always have what you want, need and more.

      If you are giving more to your wife than you take for yourself, she’ll always have what she wants, needs and more.

      Everyone is happy. There is peace. And marriages last a lifetime.

      No one does this, so it always breaks. I just think there’s a better way.

      1. Please save me ...

        I don’t think what you are saying should have been misinterpreted.

        Perhaps it did not enlighten Cal.

        I am dying to know what your advice is on how you might have been enlightened (in retrospect).

        My husband has a tendency to act like he is doing me a huge favor everytime he spends time with me. I find this really … well … . fk’n rude! I have to plan everything and then I am left feeling like I am forcing him to hang out with me.

        So confused … I guess maybe I will stop including him in the plans and go on with my life … but yes I feel VERY alone in the relationship because of this.

  59. Truly considering leaving

    My husband IS this man you write of and is too blind to see past his own ego about it. This year just about takes the cake – first, for our 20th anniversary this year, – 20 years – kind of a milestone, he decided he is going to a Broncos Pre-season football game. Yes he would rather go to a pre-season football game than do something with his wife, who bore 3 beautiful boys & unlike her husband, chooses family over golf or drinking with his friends, or going to the club, or taking 4 hour bike rides on the weekends, which is their only family time. So the wife(me) who works, btw and manages the entire household and kids’ schedules etc etc just like most moms do, is left to create a family consisting of her and her 3 teenage sons. 2nd, for my birthday this year, for the second year in a row, he is taking is annual boys golf trip out of state. So this year I get no a no anniversary and no birthday from my husband. I beat cancer for the 2nd time a few years ago and keep asking how I can battle cancer but not stand up to my husband like I should. A few more years and my youngest will graduate and I’ll be filing. I’ve been crying with the realization of how well you can articulate what is wives are feeling – the woman you write of IS me, and my neighbor, and my co-worker, and so many women out there. Never ever thought this would happen to me… I’m consoled by the thought that YOU, shitty husband, get it. I’m
    Sorry it’s too late for your marriage but at least your eyes are open now.

  60. Please save me ...

    Kids started school today and I had an exceptionally hard weekend getting everything together for three boy’s first day of school. I did all the last minute stuff and battled five different stores one of which was …. Walmart! (Yikes!)

    We both work full-time M-F and I left for work after getting all the kids off to school feeling completely unappreciated and so when, by the afternoon, I had not received a text from my husband thanking me for taking on all the stuff neither of us wanted to do, while he relaxed at home and played video games, I sent a text that read …

    (Para-phrasing but this is the jist)
    Kinda bummed about how the weekend went over ….. I did X (see above) and was left feeling guilty because I did make a dinner everyone enjoyed (yes, I made lunch and dinner too and when I asked if he liked it responded I ‘hated’ it)

    His response to the above text (dripping with sarcasm)
    Yeah I feel you … you have it so hard … etc etc Surrounded by pieces of shit that do nothing for you.

    Which is …. “um not at all what I said”

    Why was it translated this way? Here I thought I was asserting my feelings and he saw it as an attack. I am a ‘bully’ … Bully for what?! … For saying … Hey I feel underappreciated. Here all I wanted was some positive attention and now I am more despondent and resentful of the whole situation and life, love, and my relationship than I was in the first place.

    I guess I should just shut up and do “what I am supposed to do” (another of his gems) without any hope for recognition or appreciation.

    1. wow… i feel like you are also married to my asshole husband. i get the same kind of responses. i’m sorry, but I also feel your pain. 🙁 Maybe, they just really don’t care about us but refuse to do anything about it.

  61. I just found this post last night after going to Home Depot with my husband to buy plumbing materials to make a clothes rack. After a long battle with an eating disorder (I’m in recovery) and teaching career (I resigned and am on disability to maintain my recovery) I’m starting an at home shop selling handmade sewn vintage style items (that’s why I need the clothes rack). When I first knew I would need a rack, I looked on Amazon. My husband said he would build me something really cool, sturdy, and probably cheaper with iron or steel plumbing supplies. I dropped the Amazon idea and was really excited about having something unique and custom made (also fitting with the handmade/vintage thing of my shop). So it’s been a few months with this idea, plan, whatever you want to call it working in my head.

    Here’s what’s funny…golf comes into the picture. Actually, I don’t think it’s really about golf, I think it’s about my husband wanting to hang out with the guy he plays golf with (another long story). My husband got laid off from his previous job and was on unemployment for about a month. He started working for a new company and is putting in up to 12 hour days. I’ve been taking care of everything at home and him too (laundry, shopping, paying bills, housework, yardwork, making lunch and dinner, etc.). I drew the line at making his child support payments for a child we have no contact with from a previous girlfriend. When he has some free time, he wants to go golf with his friend. He tried doing this during the week. Due to his schedule, it didn’t work out. We sort of agreed he could go on Saturday mornings, play nine holes, and be home by noon or sooner. Last weekend he was delayed and yesterday was held up by a tournament. After a huge fight last weekend, he called me yesterday to ask how I felt about him taking an extra hour or two. I told him he wasn’t being fair (meaning he said he would be home by a certain time and I didn’t want to make the decision for him). He hung up on me and came home. I didn’t have a chance to tell him it would be okay and I could work on items for my shop. He was fuming when he got home.

    After settling down (he did apologize for hanging up on me). He suggested we work on the clothes rack. I was excited and ready to go to Home Depot. He wanted to look at some youtube videos first and ended up looking on Amazon. He found a rack on Amazon and suggested we just get that one. Saying I felt incredibly disappointed would be an understatement. I said I wanted to look into the DIY route before buying something so off to Home Depot we went. When we walked into the store I asked him to get a cart. He said we didn’t need one because we weren’t going to buy anything. When he said that I felt so alone and abandoned. I started to cry and walked back out to the car. We headed home and I told him my feelings were really hurt because I wanted him to help me on a project we could work on together. I said I was tired of doing things alone and really wanted to feel like he was interested in something I wanted to do. We go back to Home Depot.

    He gets a cart and we go through the store. We end up in the plumbing section and I start putting things together. I ask him to help me find some parts and what he thinks. He says it’s not a good idea, it’s not going to work, and walks away. When he comes back, he tells me he ordered the rack on Amazon, his back hurts, and he’s going to the car. I’m torn between being excited to create something and giving in and going to the car. I decide to stay in the store and assemble something I think will work. I call him, say I value his opinion, and would he please come look at what I put together. He comes back and we put the parts in the cart. I’m excited about making something unique and functional. After we check out, he makes a comment about how stupid it is for my to buy the parts when he already ordered the rack from Amazon.

    I think you’ll get that while the clothes rack is the issue at hand, it’s also a metaphor for how I’m feeling about our relationship. I feel alone, with the exception I’m cleaning up after and taking care of things for someone besides myself. Some invisible person who leaves behind dirty dishes and clothes, eats the food in the fridge and leaves traces of himself for me to clean up after.

    In advance, thanks for reading. I’m kinda done with apologizing for my verbosity.

    1. Hi Betty. I hope things have gotten better. Yes I understand about being excited about a project and not having your spouse’s support. Seems like you’re a lady who would love her husband to be involved in everything. I’m afraid he might not share your interest. But there are other things you two might enjoy so maybe best not to force him to like your new occupation.

      1. But it was him that suggested he make something for her in the first place – that’s what’s so sad. She would have been fine just getting herself the thing from amazon if he hadn’t built up her hopes that he would do this nice thing for her. She wasn’t forcing him at all.

        And your role as a good spouse is to cultivate an interest in the things that interest your partner. That’s how you connect with people and build relationships.

      2. Yes Wanda, you are right that he initially supported her project. But later he was more interested in other things (golf) and he had lost interest in the DIY thing. Seems he was just not in the mood that day to do the rack and wanted to get it over with by buying a ready made one, so he can get back to whatever he wanted to do.
        And yes you are right that couples should be interested in what each are doing. At the same time, it’s also healthy to allow a person some space, especially guys. When they’re having problems they would prefer not to deal with anything else, even if they had promised you that thing when they were still stress-free.
        I would rephrase that she did not force him, but nevertheless he FELT forced, because despite his initial enthusiasm, at that moment in time, he would rather play golf. Thus the rather surly behavior at Home Depot.
        It can be terribly disappointing when you’re looking forward to something and all of a sudden the hubs just feels too lazy or irritable to do what he had promised. This happens all the time to lots of couples, so I’m afraid the best one can do is to re-align one’s expectations, and maybe go ahead by oneself with the project until he gets back into the mood. It’ll help preserve one’s sense of wholeness.

  62. After reading every one of your “letters”, I am left feeling sad and hopeless. The similarities between your marriage and mine leave me to conclude that the only thing I can do is leave. We used to get into heated, angry arguments when I would want to talk about our problems; he would tell me I’m crazy, I’m making things up, trying to manipulate him, etc. He would continue to do the things I asked him not to, and not do the things I asked him to. We don’t argue like that anymore, but it is not because things are better. There is no point in going through that, and feeling even worse and crying for nothing; after 8 years of this, I have given up, I’ve withdrawn, and a big part of me doesn’t even care anymore. I think about leaving quite often lately, but for some reason I can’t bring myself to do it yet.
    Like you said, it is not over the big things but all the little things that have accumulated. For example, last year I wanted to go for a walk on a nice day and he didn’t. After being “left alone”, as you have said, for so long, I begged and pleaded for him to agree. He eventually did, to shut me up, but he made me regret it during the entire walk. He was angry and short tempered the entire time and I was just as miserable (if not more so) than if I had gone without him. I just wanted to do something with him, anything. I don’t bother begging him to spend time with me anymore; not after that.

    1. I hear you. In the past we’ve had some really big fights where he called me names and said similar things. I did a lot of crying and throwing things (not usually at him). It still hurts even though I know he didn’t mean it. Things have mellowed out since then. I think it’s from a combination of us getting along better and retreating to our separate corners. I’ve had similar feelings of withdrawal building up. Everything blew up last weekend during and after a visit to Home Depot that was supposed to be fun and something we could do together. The difference is my husband felt really bad about everything and gave me an almost tearful apology. I’m really sorry about what you’re going through and I hope your husband comes to his senses. This may sound corny but I find it helpful. Sometimes I imagine I’m putting on a pair of glasses and seeing things from another point of view. It doesn’t always work but sometimes I see things like maybe he had a bad day at work or his back hurts and maybe it’s not me (or at least all me). Take care.

  63. Thanks for these letters Matt. My husband is an asshole and. While I would t call him a shitty husband, he’s a lazy selfish one. I’m trying to find a way to show him this blog in a nice way without saying “hey asshat, read this because he’s hitting the nail on the head”.

  64. Today is my birthday. I’m sitting alone at Cheddar’s, having a glass of wine and thinking about what movie I want to see. Anything, except being at home with my husband. This is the 5th consecutive year of marriage, and the 5th consecutive year that he has chosen to do absolutely nothing for my birthday. No card, no flowers. Last night he leans into me as I’m rocking our granddaughter to sleep and gently says,” I feel so bad that I didn’t do anything for your birthday”. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. This was of course after a week of not speaking to each other after finding a hefty supply of lotion hidden in with the pool supplies in the backyard. His “spank” area now found out. I asked him if this was the case…no…if he was doing this I would smell it on him. Really? Because jacking off and jumping into the pool to hide it is not really okay with me…especially after years of trying to curb his appetite for porn. I’m amazingly hot, good in bed, and lonely. He finally came clean. He’s not who I thought he was. There’s much more detail to go into but why bother…It’s exhausts me….and I sit here at Cheddar’s drinking by myself because I’d rather be ANYWHERE in the world than at home with him making ridiculous attempts to “make it up to me”. I am not sure I can do it anymore.

  65. I didn’t know men were capable of this kind of introspection. Amazing to read. I’ve been married for 13 years and I always wonder which fight will be the last. I too am always reminded in any argument that he does xyz for me and doesn’t drink and isn’t a cheater. I know this and I’ve never disputed it but what does that have to do with neglecting yard work or junking up yard to the point of humiliation? We both work and until starting night school I helped with everything. Why does it have to be a war? He’s got a million excuses but he’s impulsive and gets things that he neglects to the point of ruin sometimes. Why is he so defensive and why am I becoming so resentful?

  66. I’m so glad that at some point you saw it clearly. I’m so sorry you had to divorce to see it but your blog could save my relationship if he will read it which is a fight in itself!! You truly have spoken how things go.,good luck n the future…

  67. You know, I’m probably the least doormat-like wife with an asshole husband there is, but Still. In 8 years I have been through 3 lapses in his addiction, including institutionalized rehab. I “left” him many times only to be right back again by the end of the weekend. I’m not a Suzy housewife and I stand up for myself. But I’m still a bitch. I still get called lazy and a bad wife. But when he sees our kids for an hour a day before going in to workgraveyard, he sends them out of the living room so he can catch an hour of adult cotent TV. If I had a dollar for every time I stripped down to lingerie and a robe and snuggled up to him only to be pushed away for a show or game, I wouldn’t have to worry about being financially able to leave him. If my kids had a dollar for every time he had a knee jerk reaction and spanked when they stepped out of li e, or called them a name or screamed at them, they could pay for Harvard tuition. I can’t do all that I used to because I realized his complacecent self would never go to college, so I did and I can’t worry about dirty dishes and dust when I’m studying or in class or working 80 hours a week plus kids and all their activities, and only getting 4 hours of sleep a night. But I’m lazy. I ask for money for a bra because the only one I had broke and I’m just greedy,and ” you came from. The broke trailer park, you’d think you wouldn’t want to always have more than you deserve.” So when I graduate and get my good paying job, all this threats of divorce from him can come into fruition when I serve him his divorce papers taped to his precious big screen TV I couldn’t afford but still bought for him for fathers day that he didn’t deserve to celebrate. Maybe then, someday i will find a man who calls me beautiful not because I asked, who does things for me because they want to, not so they can get a blow job from it. Maybe. Maybe my kids can have a step dad whose idea of quality time isn’t always a videogame or movie. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just be an awesome rock star single mom who doesn’t have to take any shit off a man any more.

  68. I wish I had seen clearly 40 years ago! I have no family or kids due to my shitty husband,I still have a life of my own though. I’m older now in mid 60’s and threw away my life because I thought I could fix any thing, who was I kidding I’m the one who messed up. For some unknown reason I still love my husband and that is some thing I can’t explain. He wouldn’t touch, sleep, talk, have sex or be in the same house with me. He’s not gay or have some thing on the side, I checked that many times. There is something wrong in his head that he never talked about and I think he’s happy with his feelings. I really don’t care any more been with out sex for all these years, plus all the female parts are gone. One day it will be all over, I suppose that will be a blessing.

  69. Wow I just stumbled upon your website. I have been married for almost four years. I haven’t been a shitty husband at all. I used to nag her to spend time with me! My troubles have always been around finding better paying work and the fact that we are renting. Since she has come to my country, she has established herself in real estate. Booked three apartments and continues to work very hard with the intention of getting rich.

    I have often been told I’m a lousy provider because my salary only covers the bills and isn’t enough for travel or to save for a home. She doesn’t understand that on top of rent etc., we also have an expensive Audi car that needs to be paid off by a loan.

    I see my colleagues and classmates doing well but many of them have a few more years work experience and career progression over me. I spent a couple of years in my late 20s teaching overseas.

    My science degree wasn’t that useful. Now I work for relatively low wages in retail as a trainee manager. I’m trying to study but she has abused me over studying and will say things like she doesn’t need a useless student and to earn more money for our huge debts.

    It’s catch-22 because the very thing that can get me a better job is the degree that I signed up for in the medical field.

    Last night she said f…you at me again during an argument and told me that if I go back to study, she will have her life and I can have mine.

    She tried to apologise later but all day today I have been depressed and looking at other men and wondering why they are better providers than I am. In fact this evening I gave up writing my essay or looking for work in the medical field. Instead I’m drinking because I feel depressed and like crap. I never like to drink by the way. I don’t smoke, gamble, watch sports, lie around or even have friends. I just work 50+ hrs per week, look for better work or explore career profiling tools and I was studying. Last semester I worked two jobs and did full time study of 5 subjects. I practically never slept.

    I dropped classes this semester to concentrate on finding better work. Soon we will be moving near her company and to a better place. The trouble is the rent is slightly more so it looks like I have to go back to working at least 6 days per week until I land a nursing job.

    I told her so many times before that swearing at me, bossing me around and threatening to leave me (making me feel worthless) just saps my concentration and holds me back from focusing on what’s right for the family.

    Every time I’m sworn at or told I’m not a good provider, it hits me hard and paralyses me. I just stop completely. Sometimes I just want to be able to let her see how she hurts me. It puts me into a pit.

    I have so many dreams I want to realise like travel, a nice home, kids, starting a non for profit to help disadvantaged people and continuing a life in medical care with more study to advance myself. But right now, hurt and sadness holds me back. It’s like she can’t see that I am trying my best to use my time on lunch breaks to write resumes. I work 12 hr days, 5 days a week.

    I’m sick of feeling down. Sometimes I even imagine going it alone and searching for a nicer woman!!

    And I also wonder what I will say to my wife when I do become more established and she treats me better? Remind her of how she used to threaten me with leaving?

    It’s sad that my life has been reduced to one of working hard and being told I’m not good enough before more pressure is lumped on me.

    That’s just my side of the story. She would probably complaign loudly about me doing the same job for nearly three years and not using my newest certificate yet. It sometimes takes me a few days to lift myself out of the low feelings…

    1. “… and she treats me better…”

      Pretty big assumption. That she’ll treat you better.

      Most of the time, marriages are in trouble for the reasons I’ve written here. Accidental emotional abandonment through thoughtlessness and a little neglect on the part of the husband.

      Far be it from me to evaluate your wife based on one internet comment, but man, it doesn’t seem as if she’s very nice to you.

      Men need their wives to feel proud of them. To respect them. To support them. To want them.

      Not belittled or criticized or ashamed.

      Please keep working hard and believing in yourself. Please demand respect.

      You deserve better than someone telling you you’re not good enough.

      She’s supposed to be your biggest fan.

      She’s supposed to be the person that helps you find your life’s professional calling and help you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. It’s something you’re supposed to do together.

      Don’t accept someone telling you you’re not good enough. Please.

      I believe in vows. But only insofar as they’re being honored by the other person too.

      You can’t live being talked to and treated that way.

  70. I have to say that I’m astonished at the comments! I can’t believe that so many men out there have chosen to put their hobbies ahead of their partner. Like the Home Depot example. I’m confused why he was so lazy?

    I would have jumped at the chance to do something creative that would impress my wife and make her happy. Hell, I’d even go searching for the paint to make it have the whole antique theme and help her to set up the shop! It’s a business that can make money for the family. Who wouldn’t be keen on that?

    I tell her that if it wasn’t for our tight finances, that I would take her shopping and let her choose the best clothes so she can feel good.

    I’m always telling her to eat better and cook properly for herself while I’m working. But she makes the excuse that she needs to work very hard and can only eat basic meals. Later she brings finances into it and says I’m a lousy provider because she cannot eat well. But actually we have more than enough money to buy food!!

  71. Now if only my shitty husband WOULD read this!!! But we all know that’s not going to happen, lol, cause u know it would mean I was crazy! I think u sound a lot like my hubby and thanks for writing this. He’s a good man, but most definitely an ass hole!!

  72. I’m fascinated by the shallowness of this blog.
    I do not mean you Matt!
    Sorry but reading through a couple of them was difficult at best. These women think they have a shitty husband. Try this on for size. Being king hit in the face and when I went down he pounced on me and started to strangle me. If not for my three young children who dragged him off me I would be dead. Then there’s this little gem. One night he decided he was going to hold a gun to my head and pull the trigger… Lucky for me there was no bullet in the breach. Or let me see Oh! yeah there is this one where he held our infant son upside down by one leg and said if I didn’t do as I was told he would drop him. They are just a few of the thousands of incidents over a 23 year marriage….. NOW THAT’S A SHITTY HUSBAND….. And did he ever pay for his crimes? No he did not… I left him 13 years ago… Has my life found peace in that time no because even after 13 years he continues to vilify me to my children and purposefully manipulates their emotions to make them think the worst of me…there is no law which protects my adult children from this. He ruined my life and damaged my children emotionally. So ladies if you think you have a Shitty Husband think again.

    1. You didn’t have a shitty husband. Your husband was abusive. There’s a difference, and I’m not sure what kind of messed up victim complex you have to have to deny those in emotionally-neglectful relationships their stories.

  73. Thank you for your blog. It felt good to be able to read someone else’s remarks on their mistakes, as my new husband now is what you were then. Our situation is somewhat worse as he also is verbally abusive. I’m sure we will end up as you did.

    1. Totally speculative at this point. 🙂

      But, thank you. It became my mission a few years ago to figure out how it all fell apart. No one wanted a divorce. No one was “bad.” No one was out to hurt anyone.

      It just… happened. And it all seemed so unnecessary and wasteful. It was also the most difficult and unpleasant experience of my life. I didn’t know a person could feel that bad.

      So, I learned the hard way. A lot of people do.

      And now my mission is two-fold: Make damn sure I don’t do things the same way and possibly ruin something good and feel so shitty again.

      And, tell people about it because I think this exact same thing happens to a bunch of other people too, and that if they only knew ahead of time, they’d be able to save it.

      Maybe people can save it. Maybe their kids never hurt quite as much.

      You can never be too sure when humans are involved. Thank you for the nice note.

  74. Pingback: Vows, Bullshit and Personal Responsibility | Must Be This Tall To Ride

  75. Hi,
    I have been married nearly 27 years to a shitty husband, but to be fair I been a shitty wife. The quantity ebbs and flows sometimes its dinosaur size shit other times tweety bird shit. I dearly love him and when he is being at his worst, he gets a firm reminder to step up. I do not ask him to help out , I give him a choice do you want to do A or B. Most the times he chooses the easy chores, but sometimes he surprises me and does the harder ones. he has many hobbies and would love to do them everyweekend, I love to run 5k and would love to those every weekend too. We have a profoundly autistic son so we can not both be gone. We each get one weekend out of the month for our interest,, one weekend is set aside for family fun and one is couple time. Yes my husband has been guilty of most crimes posted, especially in our early marriage. he has mellowed with age thankfully, and so have I. I guess what I am saying there is not a shit free person out there. We are human, no one is perfect. I am certainly not! Ladies if you see your trying to improve hang in there not promising you Prince Charming at the end of the rainbow, but maybe his lesser known brother Prince Somewhat Charming. Guys cut yourself some slack , forgive yourself for your mistakes, but set realistic goals.Trying to be the perfect partner will burn you out fast.
    i really enjoyed your blog it was so honest and pure. I hope you find love and happiness.

  76. Sorry dude, you weren’t being a asshole husband. Your ex-wife was being shitty. The Masters is a once a year tournament and all you wanted to do was watch it. She got mad because she didn’t do what she wanted to do. Don’t forget that. She could have compromised and went out to dinner or the park after the tournament was over that day. That’s called negotiation. Trying to guilt trip the rest of us MEN because you now regret something you shouldn’t have is, frankly, an asshole move.

    1. Sorry dude, not trying to guilt trip you.

      I’m trying to give guys like me another way to think about stuff. Because when I first got divorced it sucked hard, and I didn’t care about watching golf tournaments. It dawned on me in that moment that I would have gladly sacrificed a bunch of these little things I chose and fought for in exchange for my family at home.

      And there’s a much larger point to my writing you won’t find in this post:

      When guys do things the right way (act single when they’re single; and act married when they’re married), their wives DON’T GET INSECURE and fight about things like going out on a Sunday afternoon.

      When wives feel secure because they’re treated right all the time, and feel safe, and trust their spouses, they don’t quibble over insignificant bullshit.

      But when everything is broken and fucked, and she knows it, but you don’t (which is most marriages), watching golf instead of paying attention to your family is a far cry from insignificant bullshit.

      Asshole move? If you say so.

      I care about helping men who want to stay married, stay married. I care about kids having mom AND dad at home.

      I’m pretty sure the way most guys do it doesn’t work. Soooooo. Maybe another way isn’t such a bad idea.

      But, who knows? I’ve never pretended to know anything for sure.

  77. If I’m a shitty husband so be it I’m proud of the fact, Married over 45 years she knows where the front door is. I would prefer she leave but that won’t happen. she can stay as long as she wants just as long as I don’t have to associate with the woman. I may hate her but I won’t let her go hungry or be alone out in the street. Thats the only kindness that I have.

    1. Hi Nathan
      I try desperately to understand why these kind of men behave the way they do and of course specifically why the one I have at home acts this way. It s because I wouldn`t accept that there is something wrong about these men and that they cannot be changed, I think there is a type of woman or female behaviour that provokes this kind of behaviour in men. Therefore I would like to change my own attitude. And would like to you about what makes you so mad about your wife and is there anything in this world she could do to make you like her and treat her with respect again.
      I would be grateful for your answer. Thank you in advance.
      Sorry for bad English.

  78. Cody wicker, my boyfriend and father of our baby has sucked at being a bf for ever!! I hate him

  79. We’ve been married for 5 months. We’ve been together for 5 and a half years.

    I just read this post to him and I told him I felt similar.

    He told me this was very one sided and he said “If you’re unhappy then leave” as he pointed to the door.

    1. Well. That’s the most disappointing thing I’ve read today. Tell him to get his shit together or that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

  80. I have read many of your letters. And Your exactly on point with me and my fiancé. Together three years and a one year old son. I love him dearly and I have been trying to express how I feel alone in our relationship for about a year now. Things have gotten better in therapy but no real connection like we used to have ( romance ) if you will. Hes determined not to give up and either am I but I’m hanging on hardly and I just want to feel wanted and queen of his heart. We will see. I’m determined not to give up. I’ve suggested he read this blog and he did…. He didn’t have much to say though. Positive note …. He read it. So that’s a start I guess.

  81. I want to thank you for this. Takes a lot to admit things and see them clearly. I am a wife of 16 years to an asshole. We married when I was 19 and I am now 35. Latest ass hole move….
    My father passed away and I after 2 years have received the back social security he should have been approved for, a long battle of bs with ss. I decided I wanted to use the money for a snow vacation in Colorado for our family. He decided his parents going would be nice (we live next door to them and help take care of his dad). Though my ideal was some just us in a cabin family time road trip to the snow I know his dads age and health he may not be around much longer. I have paid over $3000 for a week at a cabin and also paying for all the trip expenses we will have (hotels, food, gas, train trip his parents want to go on, and etc) I wanted to leave on Friday because we check in on Monday (20 hour drive) because I like old school road trips and he knows I love stopping and enjoying things along the way. Plus traveling with 3 sons it keeps everyone happy and not stuck for straight drives. We are at his moms last night and she says we should leave on Saturday that that is plenty of time to make it. Even saying we will drive such amount of hours and stop for food and blabla. I said well I would like to stop at things like Carlsbad caverns and some pretty spots along the way (we are coming from Texas). Husband always agrees with his mom over me…. so they say we don’t want to do that. I said well that is something I would like to do with the boys. She then says she and pawpaw will just wait in the car. Husband is looking scrunch face at me like I am a dumb ass. Then we go hoe and I say ” I already told you I am paying for a trip for everyone and all I ask is that I don’t get crap for wanting to stop at sites along the way (duh road trip). He says “whatever, I don’t give a fuck”. Really…. I was hurt which pisses me off. I feel like he puts me last and I put everyone before myself. I am an at home mom and refinish antique furniture and make tutus so not really income, so its nice to feel like I have the money to contribute something that the family can enjoy and remember. He works hard but at home cant even get him to plunge a toilet. He has never started a washing machine or had to call and pay a bill in 16 years we have been together. I do not believe in divorce, but have become very depressed and have told him how I feel since men are not physic. When my dad passed I got a little money and used it to pay off his truck, get him the cool tail lights he wanted, and lifted his truck, got him new tires, and paid off the back due payments on our home. I thought between ridding us of some financial stress, giving him some new truck stuff he wouldn’t ever have extra money for because he pays all the bills, and having this great trip to look forward to would make him happy and not an ass hole….. it has not worked. He still does not give a fuck about how I feel, he still calls me stupid and a bitch. He still wakes up bitching, comes home bitching, and will even wake up from his recliner and bitch. sorry but needed to rant somewhere ……

  82. You sound like the perfect husband- my husband didn’t work, drank until couldn’t stand up and shouted obscenities at me, never gave me any affection and put football infact put everything before me – and still said he loved me – yeah right!! Just wanted me to cook and clean! I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be in love. Got away at last onwards and upwards!

  83. I just wanted to thank you for your letters. Your self reflection will help build my family back up and save us before it is too late. I appreciate your beautiful words. When reading it I put “husband and wife” together because I know that as a wife I need to learn these lessons as well.

  84. Well I filed last week…..I love my husband more than anything in this world but after a year of empty promises that he wanted to work on the marriage and have another baby with me but coukd never comit I filed. I just needed a little bit of love and trust and made a priority. I wanted him to love me just 1/2 as much as I loved him…. I wish I saw this this site last week…. I know the feelings of some of these wives even though your husband’s may not be the worst husband’s if they just responded to your need for a little afdection, attention, respect and told you they loved you it may make the world of differencs…..

  85. This is good stuff, an a much needed message for today’s husbands. You need to compile this and get it published. At least on an Amazon E-book.

  86. Nice piece written by an adolescent girl. What many unhappy women fail to realize is that there is no such thing as a perfect marraige. A marraige takes years to build. A marraige takes sacrifice from both sides. Marriages are built on a foundation of successes and mistakes. I love my wife dearly but still hold her accountable just as she loves me and holds me accountable for our actions.

    1. I agree. It’s a very poorly written post. It pains me every day of my life that it’s the most-read thing I’ve written. I was intoxicated, just a couple months removed from separation, a lesser writer, and a total wreck when this was written.

      On the other hand. My job, which this post inadvertently fated me two and a half years later, is to help men succeed in marriage.

      I agree that this post won’t do it.

      If I could magically choose all of the things strangers read on the Internet, I promise I’d direct them toward more thoughtful, comprehensive and helpful content.

      Thanks for reading and going out of your way to be kind of a dick about it.

  87. Hey,

    Thank you for writing this, and for the way you wrote it. It was what I needed to read tonight.

    I’ve read this whole series and it really resonates with my experiences with my partner since I moved in with him a few years ago. We are considered married in common law only, and we don’t have children (thank god!), but everything else is spot on. He’s a nice guy. He thinks he’s an amazing partner, but he’s oblivious and apathetic to the hurt he causes me. Like you’ve written, it’s the little things that add up everyday. Emotionally, I am done with the relationship, but for financial/health reasons I need to stay. I’ve loved him for many years. He was my first boyfriend (way back in grade 9). I’ll miss him when I leave, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to love him again as anything more than a friend.

    I need to leave so desperately. My mental health is deterioating and I feel like my soul is being destroyed a little more everyday. I cry and have panic attacks constantly now. And yet, physically, I couldn’t survive without his financial support more than a day. I am dependent on him for housing, food etc. and also for my medication. I don’t qualify for any kind of social assistance. I am torn between being honest telling him that I no longer love him, and hoping he continues to support me financially in honour of our history and the ways that I have supported him over the years; or maintaining the stability we have. I’m no longer interested in fixing our problems (it’s exhausting and I don’t have feelings for him anymore anyways) so we never fight anymore and things are very stable and peaceful between us. I’ve discovered that if I smile, do his laundry, and give him enough blow jobs, then he’s happy with life and thinks that I am the same. Peace doesn’t take the constant pain away, though. I feel like I can’t stand putting on a fake smile for him another day, and yet I have to because keeping the peace has become my livelihood. I do care about his happiness, but I need to put my own first now because I know he never would.

    I have no clue how to handle this situation. I don’t expect anyone to have the answers or solutions. This may simply be a hopeless situation. I would appreciate any grain of insight from anyone who has any understanding of this type of situation. If not, thanks for listening to me complain.

    1. Ok. Wake up. You’re using him! If you don’t love him say so. I believe he still loves you. A guy won’t support a woman he doesn’t love.

  88. I’m sorry for your heart break. I commend you for seeing now that your spouse and kids are priority. I am going through a divorce now. My husband was a shitty husband. After 25 years he said he refused to be miserable and he was leaving us to enjoy his life. He did enjoy life at our expense always. He was always buying new cars, going away for boys cottage weekend. Travelling and seeing the world with work. Work client outings just because he couldn’t disappoint them. And more. However for us, to walk in the park, bike ride…well that bored him and her had to escape from us right after. Karaokee, Picnics, Board games, Dancing or stuff I wanted… lol never ever. If he did it he would just want it over with. But no problem if his co-workers wanted to do those things. He was there and the life of the party in those situations…what was the difference – us. It was like he was doing time when he was with his family. Was he a shitty selfish husband. Or was I such a boring awful wife that for the last 25 years? He’s living the same lifestyle as when we were married. Nothing changed for him. So that kind of tells me something. The marriage was in the way of him enjoying his life. Meanwhile i was trying to make it work for 25 years sacrificing my joy, feeling so alone. Now after all this time living in his shadow I forgot what it’s like to live my own life.

  89. …”leaving her alone in the marriage…”

    This line resonates with me. I’m sure we’ve all had moments we’ve felt that way, but when it starts to happen all the time, this little things can build to a feeling of tremendous loneliness… I have seen it destroy marriages of people close to me.

  90. Whatever, if it is that complicated, bail. You dont describe a shitty husband, just a shitty marriage. She should have asked to play outside on Saturday or the following weekend. Don’t emasculate yourself over a diversity of interest. She would have resented your presence in the park anyway.

  91. I agree with another reader…after reading your letters I am left feeling a little sad and hopeless. I’ve been thinking about what it would be like to leave for maybe months (even years?), but constantly told myself that these “little” things were so silly and if they were the worst of my issues then come on…I must be crazy! Not a big deal, right? I feel validated in a way I haven’t ever before, but also like my chances of hope and survival are not so good. I too am trying to figure out a way to pass this to my husband without it being plain rude. But some of these words are my heart’s cry, and that a man understands them…I didn’t know that was possible.

  92. This is so painful to read. It’s exactly what went wrong- he left me alone in our marriage. He became emotionally abusive after I started getting upset about it. We have 8 kids and him leaving didn’t change anything. I homeschool them and am now enrolled full time in school and have my own business. It’s all easiesr without him here. The household still ran exactly the same way after he left. I noticed he was gone because housework got easier. The kids would now willingly do their chores. I no longer had to clean up after him or figure out how to last minute scramble when he bailed on his promises. I go out and get attention that surprises me because I’m told I’m beautiful. Men buy me drinks and want to spend time talking to me. They compliment my hard work and give me encouragement. Much younger men make passes at me and try to get me to go back to their place with them. In all my years of marriage I didn’t know I was pretty or worth spending time with or that I have a beautiful smile.

    I’m not as lonely now that I’m alone.

  93. Matt, nice post, though I’m coming to it late. I personally wouldn’t have sweated the big golf event, but then, it’s not about one event, most of the time– it’s a repetition of having the few good and free days given in life offered to something outside the marriage and family. You know better than I how important this occasion was, and I won’t second guess you, but just respect that you’ve seen its importance now. We should all hope to get that kind of a perspective on our past offenses before it’s too late!

    One note though, about something that strikes me sharply, only because I’ve heard it said (less lovingly than you did here) by a couple of men in my life– you say very movingly that you worked “for her” and I realize that in some sense, this is valid. But having had that statement thrown at me as some sort of one upmanship by my hubby-man, I have to reply to you as I did to him, No, you don’t. You work at a job every day because most functional grown-ups have to do that because that’s how our society runs. If you weren’t married, you’d still need a job, only you’d have to do more of the work waiting at home at the end of the day by and for yourself, too.

    I’m sure you see my point, as I saw yours. If by mutual choice a wife works at home-keeping, she still doesn’t deserve to hear that from her husband. You work because we all do, and no one gets a gold star on the marriage chart for that!

    1. I totally agree. I am almost 60 and moved with my husband to a small town to further his career. In doing so I gave up a wonderful job and now I can’t find another one and he throws it in my face daily. He deserves to control me and drink and abuse me because he is making money and I don’t – yet I recently adopted a young child of his from his ex-wife and I am totally responsible for him on a daily basis along with everything else around the house…but that is not enough! Because it is not $$$$!!! I would love for my husband to watch a golf game on TV instead of drinking all day – he is highly educated and with a good job but is a complete asshole with many issues: anger, medical problems, narcissistic tendencies, and alcohol abuse. So why do I stay – let me repeat, I can’t find a job! How would I support myself and my son (who wouldn’t want to stay with his own father!) and get medical insurance. Our society traps people because of age prejudice and inability because of cost (even with O’Bama Care) to get medical insurance! He would never read your blogs, he is too elite and selfish to think he could possibly do anything at all wrong! My only hope – is that I can teach my son the right way to treat a woman (or anybody!)…so his family can be happy!

    2. actually, I disagree. If I were working for myself, I wouldn’t own a mini-van. I wouldnt own 4 TV’s, or pay for new clothing for 5 people. I’d certainly be living a different lifestyle if I wasn’t working for 4 other people. I’m making a complaint, I’m just pointing out the differences between working for yourself as an adult and working to support others.

  94. I have been a faithful husband. Would do anything for my wife and step kids. I payed for a lawyer this past year when my stepson got in trouble. I drive my daughter to school just about very day. I go out of my way to do things for my wife. But this past Christmas after going to my father inlaws house for my wifes side of the family we were to go to my sisters. Well when we got home. The wife didn’t want to go and none of the kids would go with me. This was the the straw that broke the camels back. So I am … slowly taking money out of the bank (opening my own account) and saving it. (the wife doesn’t know how) and will be getting my own income tax refund. So when th time comes….. next time my wife and kids go to her dads. I will be moving out.

  95. I just started following you blog and this post smothers some salt on my broken heart. again. I wonder if my now ex husband gets it now like you now do? I’m not innocent in this heart wrenching process of our divorce (I gave up; I stopped going to his family’s functions because he wasn’t willing to make time for mine; I stopped pretending to enjoy his love of baseball just to be/spend time with him; I went back to growing as an individual rather than trying to grow as a couple). I still care about him as a person, want the very best for him and selfishly wish there were still room for us to have a friendship. We were a good together once. We aren’t bad people…just that one didn’t listen while the other was talking. It’s been five months since my divorce and still struggle emotionally. I still love him as a person but I now love myself more. The world is full of so many opportunities, so many places to visit (he never wanted to travel because he had already “been there, done that”), so many people to meet. I guess that was selfie of me huh; wanting to love myself; wanting to follow some of my dreams, desires, likes; wanting to experience life rather than sit in front of the tv watching an f’ing baseball game.

  96. Pingback: An open letter to shitty wives. A response to Matt’s letter. – Escape from womanhood

  97. I came across your blog this morning. You so eloquently put into words exactly what I wish my husband would understand. I can relate to all of the above plus my husband has been unemployed for over six months now and is doing next to nothing to find a job. I come home every day from a full time job with an 1-1/2 hour commute each way to find him sitting in his recliner staring into his laptop with the tv on. The last time we had a day to ourselves and plans to do things together without kids he spent the entire day sleeping while I was left alone. He went to bed Friday night and got up at 6p.m. Saturday. I am completely financially supporting the household with three children. I am stressed, sad, exhausted, depressed, anxious about my future. I’ve tried counselling, prayer, giving it over to God, etc. etc. etc. I try to talk and all I get back is some flavor of “go away”, “stop bothering me”, “stop bringing up problems”. He says I should just leave our problems alone so that the “scab” can heal. That my constantly asking for help and support or bringing up unresolved ongoing issues just makes things worse. To me there is no scab. It’s a festering open wound and he is a salt shaker.

    1. Oh Beth. I’m so sorry to hear about your problems. Hang in there. It’s not easy in this day and age where gender roles are redefined but some men just won’t take up the role of provider, and won’t take care of the household either.
      It might be time to reach out to female friends who can help out with kids, and with the house.
      If you go to a church you can request a church elder for some intervention. Some guys need a bit of time to ruminate but they get stuck in a rut. They’re paralyzed with anxiety, knowing they’re not doing their job as husband and father, but unable to do anything about it. By seeking help, he may find support among his fellow men, some of whom may be able to refer him for a job. He may be more willing to be helped by a guy.

      1. Thank you bendavid. I appreciate your kind words and advice. You’ve given me some direction, and I’m grateful for your help.

  98. Your pain and knowledge comes from a place i can relate to after 10years. Thanks for your words.

    1. LOL, right? why is this so one way? i don’t get it! terrible advise as far as i’m concerned! i have a wife who after 20 years of me begging her to, she finally got a hobby of her own!

      1. Congratulations on your wife’s new hobby! My ex-husband used to urge me to do the same for over 20 years. After all those years of feeling empty and alone because of his selfishness, I too got a hobby. Then I left his sorry ass. I’ve never looked back and have moved on but he stil has a hard time accepting it. Yours is coming my friend, trust me.

        1. ????? wait! are you saying “mine is coming” because you feel as though she is now going to leave my selfish sorry ass? i don’t get it! i’m not pushing her to get a hobby because i’m being selfish! i’m pushing her to get a hobby because i give a damn! because i want her to be fulfilled and proud of herself for doing something for her. not for selfish reasons! i’m not a jerk, im a good guy! im a great dad and a really good husband. with a very nice family!! i promise.

          wow!!!?

        2. Lost and Alone

          I love your comment my husband does the same he wants me to get a hobby so he can sit on his ass watching tv or tinker with his car. I need a hobby because I beg him for attention and affection thats his way of getting rid of me I guess. Every man always tells their wives to get a hobby if he wants her to stop nagging him. Little do they know a wive just wants some attention.

  99. I am in shock to read your idea of a shitty husband. If my husband did half as much as you did for your family, I`d be over the moon. I think after working your a** off for your family and being a decent man. watching something you were really interested in was not much to ask for. It is not the point weather you still remember who won the championship – what matters is that it was something that meant much to you. And your wife didn´t give a damn of what your needs were. I am sorry but I think you were right and she was an egoist bitch.
    And I am really a woman suffering in a bad marriage with a husband who does almost nothing for his family. Sorry for my shitty English – it is not my mother language.

    1. i couldn’t agree more! the masters! 1 day. for me that would be the super bowl! she’s going to “make” me give that up because it’s not what she wants to do. care for, provide for, spend time with! he does all of those things and he’s a shitty husband! no! i disagree with that. it’s a 2 way street, is it not.

      BTW, sorry you’re dealing with anything less than you deserve!

      1. Or like the OP said he could have Tevo’d it and spent time with his family. Men excuse their sports all the time but it’s all it is, is just a bull crap excuse to sit like a lump on the couch when their family wants to do something together. Or to leave the family at home to go be selfish and alone watching a bunch of grown men throw or smack balls around. Why not gain the same satisfaction watching your CHILD throw around and smack a ball?

    2. I have to agree. I don’t think there is anything wrong with sitting inside on a beautiful day to watch a game that appears on TV once a year – unless you do this all the time watching different sports.

  100. My husband works and takes care of us but he always gives me such a hard time on whatever I want to do. We have lived in our house for 16 years and when my son moved out I turned his bedroom in to this man cave like room and put in my husbands bow flex, my tread mill and decorated the room with Deere heads john deere things and so on. During this time my husband had barely touched anything in this room. We are now in desperate need of an extra bedroom so I want to remove the bow flex and treadmill and put it in his 3 car garage with s mat under it and fix up one corner of the garage to be his workout area. I want to still leave the room as a sportsman looking room but just make it a bed room. My husband is ready to leave me over this and it breaks my heart. What should I do?

  101. This came up on my facebook newsfeed. I’m divorced. I’m the one who left. My ex.. well lets just say there was violence. But you made me think again about why I left. My response is on my blog.

  102. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Your open letters have been an excellent tool for opening communication between my husband and I. It explains things in “man speak” that I’ve been unable to make clear to him in 12 years. And it helps me remember that he’s privacy not being a shitty husband intentionally. Much love to you.

  103. I’m not a shitty husband! I work 50-hour-plus weeks to pay for our house, and our cars, and our vacations, and her jewelry, and the kids’ activities. I love my wife and family!
    I’m not a shitty husband! I would do ANYTHING for my wife.
    I’m not a shitty husband! I fix things around the house that need fixed. I mow the lawn, and walk the dog, and take out the trash, and help change diapers, and run the kids to their little league games.
    I’m not a shitty husband! I always make sure she has an orgasm when we have sex once a week!
    I’m not a shitty husband! I don’t drink excessively, I’m drug-free, I work out, I don’t hit her, I don’t call her names and I don’t cheat!

    i’m sorry, these things make you a good husband. or better yet, a great partner! it takes two. she’s going to ask you to not watch or do whatever it is you want to do once a year and YOU”RE the shitty one!

    I love my wife and family!

    I would do ANYTHING for my wife.

    help change diapers, and run the kids to their little league games.

    I always make sure she has an orgasm ( some woman NEVER have orgasms, ask em!)

    I don’t drink excessively, I’m drug-free, I work out, I don’t hit her, I don’t call her names and I don’t cheat!

    seriously, if ever there was a check list to make sure you’re a good man and a good husband, there it is!

    tell us, what things did she do in return?

    blow jobs? ( sorry to be frank) (( in other words a counter to you making sure she orgasm’s))

    interested in your fantasy football?

    watch the masters with you even if she didn’t like it or want to?

    does she work out? ( although i don’t agree with this being a requirement)

    is she drug free? doesn’t cheat? doesn’t call you names?

    would she do ANYTHING for her husband?

  104. I think you’re too hard on yourself. I do feel sad and alone when my husband contrasts me with his college girlfriend before me and, after telling me about his day or sharing his political views, angrily yells at me to shut up when I begin to share even a positive detail from my workday, a thought I have about something going on in the news, or anything I find interesting or entertaining in a book or television show-because HE DOESN’T CARE. Yes, I am sad about that. I love him. Where is my best friend?

  105. Mate,
    As someone who has counselled many men, women and children over the last thirty years, sorry to be so blunt, but your wife is a spoilt brat. She is typical.of a generation of women who have been told that the men on their life are crap, even if they are good men. Do even a little introductory research into the second wave of feminism and you will are exactly what mean. Better still, read ‘The War on Boys’ by Christina Hoff-Simmers. Also I have provided a link to a.very simple explaination of what occurred by a woman who was there.

    1. Sorry, I for got to put the link in: her it is.
      http://fathersforlife.org/pizzey/anti_fem.htm

      While I’m back here I would also like to say there are so many women out there who would love and appreciate a husband to do all the things that you did for your wife before she left. Seriously, if what you have told is the whole story (and I have no reason to doubt that it is) the problem is not you, but your selfish, egotistical, ingrate wife who has a bad case of princess syndrome. Many women today have taken the lie that they somehow deserve everything they want, partly through the feminist movement and partly through advertising (feminism was a boon in so many ways for the corporates) . If the advertisers can convince women they are so special they should have it all their profits increase. Anyway Matt, learn to let go of this guilt that is eating you up and move on; – whilst it is very sad when any marriage breaks down, especially one involving children, you should try to move on and regain some happiness. This was not your fault, but hers (once again, provided you have supplied us with all the details). Find a woman who will appreciate your efforts and adore you for being the man you are. it is so hard to live with a woman who, no matter what you do, never thinks you measure up. I notice there are a few Christians reading this post and commenting. If that’s you, read Proverbs 31 and then try to criticize Matt and put his wife on a pedestal.

      1. So it is ALWAYS the womans fault? That’s what you are saying right?
        Woman are always at fault, woman and their wanting a clean house business and the organizing everything all the time drama and the mothering both a child and a spouse thing.
        You sound very immature, I’d take the host of this blogs advice over yours. He admits fault

        1. I think you misread him. He was saying that, according to the description of the host’s ex-wife, she seems more at fault than he.

        2. Although, I must say, if anyone poses a strong bias, it seems to be this blog–heavily slanted against men. What ever happened to assessing individuality and not discriminating? Some men are awful, but not all; just as, some women are awful, though not all. I really don’t see there being a larger ratio in one camp vs the other. If you’ve read some research on it, then enlighten me, but, regardless, it is absolutely false to claim or imply that all men are bad.

          The complexities of human dynamics cannot be so easily summed up as to say “men bad, women good,” or vice-versa.

      2. Sean, I’ve reread my posts and I’m having a lot of trouble understanding how you arrive at the conclusion that I believe it is always the woman’s fault. I have probably seen more men at fault in marriage breakdown than women, however what I was saying is that in this instance, if the author is being totally honest and all the information is given, then in my opinion, his wife is at fault. I’m also seeing what the trend that current research is suggesting that some women, or particular groups of women are becoming much more demanding of men and much more critical when the men don’t measure up to these expectations; -and that these expectations are often very unrealistic owing to the cultural trend to mock and scorn men, but leave women a protected species who deserve everything they want. I don’t know where you are from, but here in Australia this shift is very evident with many traditionally conservative groups going down the road of Liberalism/Feminism without even knowing what it is as they follow popular culture. Hence, marriages are breaking up in demographics that once were quite protected from divorce.

      3. I agree. This man sounds like a keeper if that’s all he did wrong. Some appreciative lady will snag this feller up and he will wonder why he was ever with a woman who obviously never loved him to begin with.

        I don’t get why women are so unhappy with gentle, loving husbands. I’ve seen far worse and seen women much more willing to work on it. Why do abusive men keep their wives, but nice guys get called assholes?

        I’m not anti feminism as I think it did a lot of good in the beginning. It’s the new age feminism that’s bad. Women want to be above men now. It’s bad to be masculine now. You can’t show dominance because someone may get scared. Men need to take back their God given right and lead the house they were meant to lead. That’s why this world is turning to garbage. We don’t have men leading the family anymore. I’m not saying to abuse your wife or anything of the sort, but you can be firm and respectful at the same time. Stand up men, the new generation needs you.

        P.S. This is from a woman who really wants a bright future for her children.

    2. Matt Brady,

      I couldn’t agree more. I think you hit the nail on the head with everything. I read the original post awhile ago and thought he had it all wrong–his wife does sound like she treated him unfairly and unkindly. Also, I’ve previously read about the “war on men” and researched radical feminism and agree with you there as well. And I’m a woman, so it’s not just men who are saying these things, it is many, many women as well. I would think any woman with a son would be bothered by the treatment of boys and men. (I do not have children, just a thought.) I hope people follow the link you provided.

      1. Hi AnnaVic,
        I fully agree that “many, many women” are also saying these things and in fact, it’s the women who are leading the great anti-feminist movement across the world. I think women are tired of metro-sexual men who won’t spring for dinner and won’t protect a woman’s honour because they lack lack both the moral and physical courage to do so.
        Matt

  106. Pingback: An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 12 | Must Be This Tall To Ride

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  108. I don’t think it’s that unreasonable to watch a golf game. I really don’t, and I’m a woman. I think it’s unreasonable for a spouse to think you are not supposed to have anything for yourself. It’s not like you skip out on family time every time a golf game is on and its like 2 times a week. It’s once a year. I think it’s unreasonable for a wife to get mad about a once a year golf game. I also think there must have been more wrong than just those little things. If a woman leaves over that, she never loved you anyway. Did you ever think about that? Maybe it was her and not you? People give up on marriage too quickly. I’d take you over being called dirty names and treated like absolute garbage. I’m sorry, but I expected you to be a acutal bad husband or asshole instead of a just a man….why don’t the REAL assholes ever admit they are assholes?

    I initially thought this was written by a woman too. Women complain about their men too much. It’s like they can never be right or feel any validation.

    1. Hey, It’s not just a golf game, It’s every single sports related program, every T.V. in the house is on, the radio, name it. He ignores us. I have M.S. And in the 15 years we’ve been together, he’s never even googled what M.S. IS, yet constantly complains how I’m lazy, I complain all the time, you name it, I’m a loser. I would give ANYTHING to be the person I was 15 years ago, but M.S. doesn’t get better. I’m so sad & depressed, I look forward to death. I have no support. He takes advantage of the days I am stuck in bed because I can’t walk. I have to remind him to feed the kids, that’s not being a selfish asshole? Yep he works and pays the bills, I should say he gets his paycheck and I am responsible for making sure everything is paid, he’s even to lazy to do that. BUT, WHEN other people are around, he’s Mr. Lovable, helpful caring perfect husband. I am stuck. My husband is the KING asshole. Men just don’t understand, we just want a best friend. Treat us like you treat others people, pure strangers sometimes. WHY is it so hard to do that? I used to be the main breadwinner, but can’t work anymore. Our children are afraid of interrupting their dad, because if he’s watching t.v. or playing a video game, STAY OUT OF HIS WAY or the shit will fly! Just writing this letter made me tired. How many of YOU Will Google M.S.? Probably a lot more than my husband. I don’t know what to do anymore. My life is over. I love my kids so much. This is the worst childhood imaginable for them. I have no where to go and no money. JUST REMEMBER, it could be worse, and if you’re really not happy, don’t walk, RUN.

      1. I am with you. It is always the woman’s fault and I am sick of it! It depends on so many combined factors too. I wish my husband would only watch a sports program once a year. And I like sports…too much. Gets verbally abusive too. I can see both side of the story for this gentleman as well.

  109. There’s nothing wrong with you. You were just married to a pretentious that who believed it was all about her. Stop the self-deprecation!

  110. I’ve been married to a man I’ve known for 30 years as a friend for the last 3 years and it seems all we do is debate the health of our marriage. At 2 years in I literally thought, “I have a shitty husband!” And for giggles I typed that into Google and this blog came up.

    While the sting of a failed relationship can skew your reality and perhaps turn you against yourself, I see what he’s attempting to convey.

    He wasn’t a shitty husband, just not attentive and when you are not looking, really looking at your spouse, you miss EVERYTHING. And she feels alone and abandoned in a marriage. I wish my husband did everything this blogger did but my husband fails on even this “shitty” list.

    The day of our wedding he never told me I looked pretty or even nice. He took shoots of whisky with his best man before the wedding and the drinking continued. I cooked all the food for our reception and he didn’t even say thank you. When the wedding night came I was begging him to have sex with me but he refused. And believe me, this was just the start.

    We both work full time. I do ALL of the house chores (yes, you name it it’s all me) including the yard. He is a huge slob and I’m constantly picking up after him. His face is in his phone all day and all night, on FB and such. He never lifts a finger and any attempt to enlist some sort of help never comes to fruition and leads to arguments. It’s not the help, it’s the disrespect it shows he has for me. He treats me like I’m a paycheck (to make up for his child support) and the house slave. I’m done with my “chores” by 8 and I’m worn out but still crave my husbands attention but he is ready for bed because he likes to be up at 3 am to play video games before work.

    If he helped I could hang out sooner and not always be alone at the end of every day. I miss him and he’s right here.

    Our sex life died 3 years ago. I was fit, dressed well and I’m crazy in the bedroom but I was never good enough, never did anything right to please him. He could care less and after 2 years of always being told NO, I stopped caring and I don’t ask and at this point I give up and don’t care. I’ve shut that part out of my brain.

    He won’t date me and if I’m able to drag him out–ANYWHERE–he starts fights. It’s like sabotage so I stop asking, which I have. I’ve come up with great things to do that I know he likes and nothing works. When we are out, he ignores me. I’m an object to be by his side not a person to engage with. Those little things mean a lot. Like opening our door, I’ll do it too! Whispering in my ear how amazing I look. Hold my hand. I even pay for the dates, I don’t want anything from my husband but HIM. I ask for nothing materialistic just his time which is free. And he refuses me. His time and energy is for everyone BUT me.It breaks my heart each and every day and the loneliness is unbearable now.

    He works every day and pays his bills responsible. He doesn’t hit me. He flirts with women and often crosses the line even while I’m watching but he’s never slept with them and says he wouldn’t. And because of these 3 things, my husband proclaims to be a perfect husband. I always get reminded how women would kill to have a husband like him. I joke that they’d kill but it would be the husband that got it.

    But that’s the point. In his mind the standard for a perfect husband is what he is doing. And while I appreciate what he does and I tell him so everything else you would think is normal in a relationship he won’t do it. And in my mind I think that’s shitty.

    I’m not perfect. I’ll try everything to improve our relationship, he will make promises and breaks them all. I try and be patient and understanding but by the time the 100th promise is broken I blow up. It normally starts with a request to help out or a reminder about a promise I’m still waiting on (like waiting for my birthday date a year later and a year later still not getting that promise and then completely forgetting to even say happy birthday this year, yeah he forgot my birthday)I I’ve been tapped out of kindness and love and patients and I blow up hard. I yell at him to stop being…fill in the name. It’s not even me, I’m not that kind of person. and I HATE WHO I AM WITH HIM NOW.

    So no, Blogger, you are not really a shitty husband just an inattentive one. But that’s an easy fix if you are willing to hear, really hear what she is asking for. She can’t expect to get everything she asks for either but if she just feels like she matters and that you SEE her and WANT her, that’s all it takes.Have your bad days, be selfish sometimes, it’s OK. Just don’t live there…that’s a shitty husband.

    I wish I know the secret to finding the perfect approach or phrase to have my husband understand how I need to be loved and cherished. It’s not material items i want. It’s not a fancy trip or expensive dinner. It’s just him, the real man inside that I need and want. A sweet kiss, notice me, hold me for a second, joke with me, share your thoughts and want to hear mine, explore and get lost with me and eat hot dogs from a stick on the fire pit because its the first nice day of the year. Be the man that’s there for everyone else to the person who should mean the most to you or you will loose her.

    1. Like you Rykahl, I typed this into Google search and found this blog. Your story sounds much like mine.

      For this I believe that the Blogger was inattentive. His ex-wife did not call him a shitty husband. He recognized that he was shitty to her.

      You see, just January, my husband told me that he is a great husband. He went ‘What’s your problem? I don’t cheat on you…I don’t beat you….” He was right about what he didn’t do. He also got that idea that he was great because so many people keep saying ‘You’ve got a great man as a husband.’ But how many of them actually have him as a husband? We are in a LD relationship, been together for 20 years. The LD is a problem but its not the reason my husband frustrates the heck out of me. Somewhere along the way my husband looked at other marriages and assumed that he was better than other husbands. Somewhere along the way he assumed that not doing the negatives equaled great husband. Somewhere along the way he decided that spending time together meant spending time with his friends in my presence. At some point he decided that he could pretend to listen to me. Some time along the continuum he decided that I was the same as other women and that what was good for other women was good for me too. And that last one is the most important.

      Sadly, that day of the Masters is not when your marriage ended. And two years is a short time to try. My husband is differently shitty each time but I move on. I love myself enough at this point not stress about it.

      Your wife did not just want to be outside. She wanted to be outside with you. You were not shitty….but….

      1. It’s so sad to see so many marriages have these same issues. A part of me wishes I found this sooner to show my husband. But as past history has shown me, he wouldn’t read it and or would take offense at it like every other “marriage improvement” tips. But there is probably more wrong here than just that when your only reason for being a wife is for a paycheck.

        My soon to be ex often boast about how perfect he is, just ask anyone! And I reply, they aren’t married to you. I thought he was perfect until we were married. Somewhere he decided that his wife didn’t need that man.

      2. Seriously? I bet your husband has some issues with you too. The masters is a once a year thing, his wife could have had the common courtesy to get off her pedestal for one day and let the man enjoy himself. Marriage is two way street. I know a lot of women don’t believe that. There are hundreds of nice days but there is only one masters tournament a year. This guy ought to count his blessings because any woman who won’t let you do the things you like to and instead wants you to do what she wants isn’t worth being married to.

    2. yvonne collette

      You commited the mistake of getting involved with a guy who has children by another woman.

      I am in the same situation. And “child” support goes to at least 21 here.

      Steptalk.org
      Author of “The Guilty Parent Trap” on Amazon Kindle

    3. “I wish I know the secret to finding the perfect approach or phrase to have my husband understand how I need to be loved and cherished.”

      This is the most common mistake made by people in unsatisfactory relationships, where one party is just not willing to work on things. They think they CAN change the other person by saying or doing the right thing. It’s especially dangerous in abusive relationships. Thinking along the lines of “if I stop annoying him, he won’t hit me again”; “if I start working out, she’ll stop criticising my body”, etc.

      It’s completely irrational to think that you have the power to change another human being if he or she do -not- want to change. It doesn’t matter if you’re married to that person, if it’s your mother or your best friend. There is no perfect approach for you in this situation other than moving on and finding someone who is interested in making you happy.

      1. I think changing her behavior will affect him and possibly create a very positive change in his behavior.

        Treat him how you want to be treated. Be patient. If you feel bitter or slighted, keep it to yourself for now. For this initial phase, set an example of how you want him to be.

        He likely won’t trust the change at first, and will try to test it by behaving worse. Be strong, weather through it. Don’t talk to your girlfriends about it (unless you have the rare type of girlfriends who don’t support bitterness or negativity toward others’ partners). Write down how you feel. Give yourself rewards, like getting your nails down or going to a spa. Something you like. Read an inspirational book of you have to. This is your marriage, it’s central and important to you. Do everything you can. If you don’t make your absolute most strong and supreme effort, you will always wonder “what if.” You could have a great marriage together. There’s a reason you both married each other.,

        The central thing to keep in mind is that he is hurt too. And people, especially men, often don’t know how to express that, so they show it as anger. Think of him as someone sensitive who desperately wants you to love him, just as you want him to love you.

        Read the book “Getting the Love You Want.” Really. Read it. Read it with him. It’s the best book out there for fixing your marriage. It’s meant to be read as a couple, and though you can read it alone, it’s much more effective together. I think he’ll read it with you. He wants the marriage to work too and wants to be loved, wants you to love him.

        Best wishes to you!

  111. I feel very sad for you Rhykahl as your problem is a very common one. The problem is not your husbands outward behaviour, that is just a symptom. The real problem is that you married a man, you married a child in a mans body. He was looking for a mother rather than a wife. In your case, if what you have said is the whole story, this situation is your husbands fault. The best thing I can suggest is to read a book called Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend. It may help if you put those principles into practice.
    Good Luck
    Matt

  112. I agree. The masters? One Sunday a year? If you are feeling guilty about that you need counseling.

  113. I asked my husband very nicely to read your blog and simply stated that you have said what I have been trying to say in a way that is easier for a man to understand. I did not think he would read it but he must have. Three days of meaningful conversation, he’s made time for me for the first time in 6 years. I think we will finally have a relationship that both of us are happy about. Feeling loved by my husband for the first time in forever… Thank you!!!

    1. You know, I had a really meaningful day today, personally. Special occasion and all that. Saw friends and family I don’t often see.

      Yet, this note, Jenny, is the best thing that will happen to me today.

      It means a lot to me that you shared it with him, and it means a lot to me that he cared enough to read it.

      So many guys mean well, and just don’t realize doing things differently can change everything.

      Sounds like you might be married to one.

      To many years, Jenny. To both of you.

      Thanks for this.

  114. At the top, those 5 things, my husband wouldn’t say any of those so, yep, he’s surely an a hole. He does work a lot but complains about anything that has to be spent on us, drinks too much, doesn’t love me, doesn’t even try to give me an O —and THAT my dears is really easy. Add to it, all that you mention in the article. I am screwed. If you are newly married and have the eye opener that you really screwed up….set down your pride and separate. Seek counseling 911. If he refuses or things dont start changi g bc HE WANTS THEM TO, file for a divorce. I swore every single anniversary that I would NOT go another year. 16 uears later, twin, and a dog….
    I AM strong. Im not a weakling. I just had hope AND , I also wanted to be loved and felt, well, with some minor changes, he will love me. Right, he wanted to marry me. He was so nice when we were dating. Affectionate. We talked, hung out, had a good time, could hang and not talk…..I WANTED to love him and be loved. I’ve been willing to work on it. But, NOPE. Nothing.
    Get out. Look for someone who respects and loves his family, his choices, and you.
    Now, I am really screwed. I swear he hates me. I have given up on him ever loving me.

  115. My husband… just fucked up for the last time… I finally realised, why am I chasing after him every time? Why am I the one giving 200% when he can’t even manage 5% I finally quit asking myself “what am I doing wrong”… nothing. The answer to my question was nothing. I always thought maybe I care to much, or maybe I’m too overbearing.. bit all I ever did was look out for him. I didn’t force my beliefs, or opinions on him… I just tried… it was never enough I guess… and now I give up. I don’t want to waste anymore time or energy on something I cant change or salvage. I don’t want to spell it out either. I just.. give up.

  116. NAO-Stephanie Ikeda

    None of this matters if you were like this from the very beginning because she would have known who she was marrying and she chose you regardless. I hate feeling like the niceness was just the bait.
    There’s no set way of being a good husband because everyone expects different things. The only messed up thing I can see is not staying after she had your kid…thats a tough beginning if she held grudges. Anyway,maybe it was good in the end because you’ll find someone else who would understand you and be able to find a compromise with. If you love someone enough you would do things for them when they ask and you don’t have to ask twice.

  117. I wish you could talk some sense into my husband, who is committed to leaving me and our 3 girls. He says he’s not happy and hasn’t been for a while, he says he loves me, but not the way a husband should love a wife, and he says he doesn’t think working on things will make anything better. Yet, he is still attracted to me sexually, and still does little things to remind me he’s there and he cares. It’s so terribly confusing. I wish he’d work on things, I wish he’d see from my standpoint. I don’t want a divorce, I don’t want my marriage to end, but he won’t budge and I won’t beg. It kills me to not beg, and throw myself at him, but I know that’ll make things worse. He says I’m his best friend and doesn’t want to lose that aspect of our relationship, but I still love him and want him home, how can I manage all this?!

    1. Do you suspect he’s having an affair? Usually when one partner is so sudden and firm about a divorce, it’s because they’ve found someone else.

      You can look up symptoms of an affair, but in general it’s changes in behavior, such as, more secretive about his phone, starts working out, maybe got some new clothes or underwear. He may even seem happier but more distant.

      Not trying to upset you more, but I do think it’s possible he’s having an affair. I hope not.

      Therapy could be good. You could maybe get him to go by telling him that regardless of whether or not the two of you are married, there are things that must be worked out, at the very least for the sake of the kids. You may be able to get some answers in therapy. And maybe he will change his mind and work on the marriage.

      If he’s being caring toward you still it’s probably because he cares, to some degree, and because he feels guilty about wanting to end the marriage. And of course he’s still attracted to you, he’s a man. But if he’s continuing to have sex with you while in the process of divorcing you, then that is beyond selfish and uncaring. You deserve more respect than that.

      It is unrealistic and wrong to expect you to continue to be his best friend if he divorces you. He will hurt you tremendously and shatter your world, and that of your girls. I think it’s important he understands that. Even if you’d want to be his best friend, to furfill that role you’d have to bury your hurt and put on a smile, all for service of his happiness. You have feelings too, and burying them will only make you more confused, hurt, and angry.

      If he does leave you, be strong for your girls. Shut him out of your life as much as possible and focus on other people for support. It will be devastating, but it isn’t the end of your life and your happiness. Other women have gotten through it. You can find someone who truly loves and values you.

      If the two of you decide to work out the marriage, then you both need to work on the marriage, not just you. And I think you need to work on valuing yourself and gaining confidence, and in the process, communicate expectations with him on what you need.

      I wish you the best. Hang in there.

  118. Thank you for writing this….I am sometimes at a loss for words with a husband who watches tv all the time, but works hard for us, has a hard time being present but is kind, who is always on Facebook but can’t sit and talk to me, who wants sex but never tries to connect or get to know me anymore, who takes care of things around the house and the yard but would rather choose to watch Game of Thrones than play with me or our son. I am sad and feel something is wrong with me but this helped a little. So thank you. YES. to all those people who commented that all the things you listed are signs of a good husband….yes they are BUT..those are all things you are supposed to do as a husband. We, men and women, have things we are supposed to do as a role in our marriage. I do all the laundry, cleaning, taking care of the baby, the dog….yadda yadda but what the writer is SAYING IS, it’s more that just that! You want a cookie (metaphor) for the things you are supposed to do???? Get a clue. You should be doing those things in a marriage not just sitting on your ass watching tv or your laptop or phone. It’s the emotional, communication, connecting, understanding and spiritual side of things that you can’t just shut out and forget to work at. End of story.

    1. I completely agree with you … Yes these are things they are not supposed to be doing anyway… I feel kind of bad that there are a lot of angry and defensive comments out there and they’re missing point, kind of like the dishes post.mits about making somebody feel like a nobody. And … Yeah there are women out there that may be shitty wives that make their dudes feel bad, just like the shitty husbands, but the majority of these women are not here reading this blog. Good post. Hope it helps someone out there.

  119. Some of this stuff is ridiculous. This is the reason why men don’t want to get married anymore. There is literally nothing in it for us. All this guy does is talk about what he didn’t do for his wife but you never hear about what she should have done. Marriage has become a one way street where only one person’s happiness matters. I wish the author would be more balanced because he’s destroying any desire a man would have to get married. Why would somebody want to enter a situation where if they don’t do everything their wife wants and she’s not happy he will lose half his stuff and his kids? Makes no sense.

    1. It’s unfortunate you viewed his blog like this. Never once did he mention that women, or his ex, shouldn’t give equally. He simply, and eloquently, wrote why HE believes divorce is so common and the changes HE observes husbands can make. As a wife….I have fought tooth and nail to get my husband to understand what Matt has written. I’M the do-er, fighter, giver, supporter, multi-tasker, etc and the one in constant communication and forward progression. That’s Matt’s point.

      His point was never to say that women shouldn’t give equally.

  120. Folks, she didn’t leave because of one day he chose to watch golf. She left because he usually chose golf, or hanging with the guys, or not showing appreciation, or any number of other things most days of their marriage. She felt alone and unloved, according to her ex, the author. Take him at his word.

    Don’t try to guess the whole story, or play the blame game. You are only given a tiny window into their marriage: his reflections.

    He’s hoping you can learn from his experience. It’s a nice gesture.

    1. I don’t have the energy to try to explain that to every guy who thinks my wife wanted to divorce because I watched The Masters, or because I left a dish by the sink.

      But it’s precisely that lack of understanding and recognition that keeps well-intentioned and predominantly good men on the path to divorce and the destruction of families.

      We just don’t get it, sometimes.

      And there’s no simple way to explain it, because it takes a willingness to admit human weakness and to truly WANT to be a better person before the lightbulb can turn on.

      1. I agree that we all have our faults. My issues is that it takes two people to ruin a marriage and you have mentioned nothing about your wife. From what you’ve written your wife didn’t seem to do much for you and made everything about herself. That isn’t right. Would you say that you were truly happy with your wife or were you happy with your life with her i.e. house, lifestyle, kids? Women to often think that they don’t really have to do anything and that it’s the man’s job to keep them happy. My problem with your blog is that you reinforce this with no balance. Was your wife a shitty wife? Did she support and honor you or did she nag you to death and suffocate you with her own b.s..

        1. Your problem with THIS POST is that I reinforce this with no balance.

          There are hundreds of posts on this blog. And I don’t expect you to read even one more of them.

          But until someone invents an effective way to communicate every imaginable thought and angle of a particular subject, I have to tell stories in bite-sized increments.

          This was the first post I ever wrote accepting responsibility for my marriage. I wasn’t even legally divorced yet.

          We’re more than three years later now, and I’ve spent all thousand-plus of those days exploring ways to be a better person and trying to help regular people like me navigate these relationship hangups.

          This stuff is really hard.

          For a few reasons:

          1. Even when a husband and wife know everything there is to know about one another because they communicate honestly with no secrets, and both have mastered human relationship skills, it’s STILL totally hard to have happy relationships all the time. It’s a function of being a person, and a total bummer.

          But more importantly…

          2. Most people (and I think this is true of men far more often than women) don’t have a clue what are the most effective ways to speak and behave and think within the day-to-day rhythm of their relationship in order to constantly nurture and strengthen it, rather than slowly (like, so slowly you don’t realize it’s happening) compromise it, and chip away at it, until it breaks.

          And…

          3. In my experience, many men, when presented with the truth about how successful and healthy human relationships work; will totally shrug that shit off as nonsense girly psychobabble.

          They think the problem is with their specific partner, or with women, in general.

          All people–male and female–LOVE to assume there is some fatal flaw in their partner, and if they simply go find some Magical Soulmate with whom compatibility exists, everything will be great.

          Everyone thinks it’s the other person and not themselves.

          Everyone thinks marriage is about what their partner is going to provide them, instead of making it about what they themselves vow to provide their partner.

          I’m sure my wife did all kinds of shitty things, J Brown. I was certainly upset with her a lot when we fought.

          But, after discovering, and coming to terms with all of my failings as a husband, don’t you think it wise for me to own those and work on fixing them, before I start assuming any of that “shitty wife” stuff would have existed in the first place if I’d mastered Good Husbandry?

          We need to own our shit.
          We need to walk a higher path.

          Once we do those two things, THEN we can start talking about how even though we’re awesome, our wives are making us miserable.

          I hope someone will let me know when they think that’s happened.

    1. Tell him or her to go fuck themselves,if that don’t work,run for your fucking life!!

  121. My husband is shut. He does exactly what he wants, away for expensive weekends on his expensive motorbike leaving me to clean, cook, look after his child, and be 100% in my jo8g as a Supply Chain manager. Tonight he’s done himself proud by rolling in at 22.50 pissed as a farted and had a go at me. Can’t be bothered anymore. If his boss/mates are more important than I wish them the best of luck as I’m the loneliest married person x

  122. If you did all the things at the end of the article then perhaps you’re a shitty husband. If all you did was want to watch the Master’s than you’re being fucking ridiculous. Also, you can’t provide someone else with happiness or inner peace. These are things that have to be found on your own.

  123. Pingback: Diagnosing Relationship Failure is Not for the Self-Assured | Must Be This Tall To Ride

  124. Thank you for admitting this and writing this. I would love to show my husband this but it would be met with an unreasonable amount of combative, selfish, manipulating argument and pontification that it makes me incredibly sad to even write all of that. During dating and the first fee years of our marriage he was self righteous, entitled, spoiled,, treated people like shit, beyond lazy and defensive about it too. Then he was slightly better. Then we had our son and it tail spinned (on top if my undiagnosed and untreated post partum anxiet and depression). The moment our therapist had enough of seeing his jerk ways she flat out said we should divorce and I full out and numbingly agreed. I did’t care anymore and I was ready to leave.

    Then it changed. He was seeing a therapist for years unbeknownst to me. I saw appreciation for me and even better self reflection. It. Was. Wonderful!!!!

    Recently he was in a car accident resulting in a severe concussion, doc appts, and ridiculous pain meds. And now he’s a man who is all over the person I do not lije. Selfish, arrogant, LAZY when he should’t be (like letting the dog out!) demanding like a spoiled child, rude, a bully, embarrasing on how he treats his friends who bend over backwards for him to help him out. And now both our attitudes are affecting our son. We are extremely blessed with a lot of superficial things in our lives. We know it. But I’willing to give up 1/2 because I din’t like who he is. I don’t want to be by him. I don’t want to witness the ENDLESS facebook time over lufe and work. I rather honestly have a small home, respect, peace, and simplicity instead of the high anxiety and a waste of a life being part of whatever the fuck he’s turning into.

    It’s just incredibly sad he sees how I’m back to give up because I just don’t care anymore.

    1. I KNOW WHERE YOUR COMING FROM. IT’S CALLED ABUSE. Notice all the abusers who replied. All the excuses. They’re never ever wrong. We’re just selfish bitches, asking for love & companionship. Too much to ask. Think about yourself. Before it’s too late.

  125. Fuck this bullshit..being a married man you can never do enough for these bitches..no sports..no ass..not a fucking dime in your pocket..no date nights ever..then asshole 24 year old princess step daughter moves back home from college and im an even bigger asshole..fuck that..i left..ive never been happier..never…do exactly what the fuck i want. Always…

  126. I actually really like this letter. Frankly it’s refreshing. I think many women would say that if any of our ex’s had even done the bare minimum outlined in the letter we’d be impressed which is SAD! It’s not enough to go to work and buy stuff in a relationship. It’s not enough to have a schedule and pay bills to be a “good husband.” Although at this point with modern men it would be a miracle if a) the men had a job at all or B) had a job and actually provided for their women and kids and not just themselves, but how about C) have a job actually provide for your women and kids AND NOT complain and whine like a baby about it and instead be proud of your family and yourself!!! My advice is if you can’t be a family person don’t ever date period and if you want a real family throw out the lazy selfish partner immediately. They don’t need or deserve a bunch of chances. They will never ever change. You’re fooling yourself if you think they can or will.It truly is way better for you and the kids to go it single without the lazy selfish husband. If your husband is board of you then he’s not your husband anymore, he’s the lump of self loathing using up space on the couch where your best friend could be sitting laughing and enjoying time with you. Seriously.

    1. 1. The word you’re looking for is “beta.”

      2. You DON’T know me.

      Thanks for weighing in, Dannio.

  127. Dear Shitty Husband,

    Did your wife make you write this article.
    You are a pathetic excuse for a man.
    She had the perfect life and she left you.
    Get over it.

  128. This is an INCREDIBLE letter/post. All men need to read this. In America for the past several decades, guys have been taught that marriage is “uncool” and its better to not put too much work into it, because there are “babes” on the outside that are still there, and THOSE are the girls you really want. But, yet they still keep their wives, while still longing for the babes with a “one foot out the door” attitude. THAT…….is going to kill your marriage. And the guys are still shocked when the wife walks out, after years of them giving their wives almost ZERO attention. Parents are NOT doing a good job of raising their sons to good MEN, and NOT raising their daughters to have enough self esteem to be able to weed out the selfish immature guys from real men. This is a sad day and age for SURE.

    1. my god! yup! all the guys fault! are you kidding me? where is the girls role? it’s up to the men to be good men, but the girls are only required to have self esteem enough to be able to weed out the selfish? how about you worry about teaching your boy to be a good man and your daughter to be a good woman and then they meet someone who will join them in the middle, love and respect each other and live happily ever after without putting all of the pressure on the guy? together as a strong team that work and play together, you know…together! maybe? what do you say? savvy?

  129. sigh, you were not a shitty husband. My husband does everything you did and sometimes more….but he can be mean. I work too, but I work nightshift and he does not understand how tired I am. He wants me to constantly switch to days on my days off…..which is not easy.
    I am now diabetic (higher chance of being diabetic when you work nights.) I feel like shit and he gets mad when I sleep during the day….He is not understanding at all. I am becoming forgetful, which scares me. (I’m only 45)
    He has asked for a divorce because he feels he can do it without me. I’m tired of being the one to hold it together. I am tired of being the one to want to save us. I still love him, but he’s killing me a little inside every day. Breaks my heart. We’ve been married almost 22 years.
    He will never know how much I love him. It makes me sad to know it’s almost over. Who knows, maybe he has some other twit on the side. I’m crying right now. Pray for me, thanks.

  130. I read this entire series while our 7 week old napped on my lap, after working 8 hours today. Six years into our relationship and this is everything I’ve been trying to explain to my husband but he always claimed “I’m creating problems where there are none.” Easy to say when I plan all of our social events, do all of the household chores because “he doesn’t want to,” take care of the dogs myself, drive him everywhere because “he hates driving,” and take care of our child 100% by myself all while working a full time job. I am the breadwinner as well. The only reason he stayed in the hospital with us the day our son was born was to watch the Cavs play that night. The entire time I was in labor, he alternated between napping and begging me to let him leave because he was bored. When you discussed issues with trust you hit the nail on the head. Primarily he was bored because he wanted to play World of Warcraft. Whenever he is away from his computer for too long he becomes an asshole. Had to cut our honeymoon short because of it. The words on this page have been verbatim things I’ve said to my husband. Some of our issues are slightly different…like me begging HIM for sex and him claiming he just doesn’t want it as much as me, then I find out he masterbates when I’m not around. Really hoping he reads this and can see things in a new way….

  131. Happy mom of 3, and a wife

    Some of you people on this comment section are complete idiots, if he feels that he should have given that ONE DAY to his family then he definitely knows that he was guilty of neglecting his family. How dare you raggedy pos females come on here calling his ex-wife anything but the name her mother gave her!!! I deal with the same bull crap with my Hus and before I got sick and pregnant with our 3rd child I was always left begging him to do something atleast once a week with me and our children. Instead of us do I g something together as a family, I most often always ended up going out with my daughters ALONE WITHOU HIM, leaving a whole lot of space and vulnerability for a stepfather to come along a d be the man that me and my kids needed.

    1. Your situation sounds very different to Matt and his wife. He did stuff with his for and with his family. Don’t let your battered emotions get in the way of reality here.

  132. Brilliant. I would love to share this to Facebook but I’d get my head chewed off lol. It’s nice to hear a husband actually acknowledge that he was at fault. Mine never does, I get the blame for everything and I end up apologising to him. Sick of it but won’t leave as I’m a sucker for dedicating my life to marriage. End of tether but still got the noose attached to my neck, downtrodden wife who believes in only being treated with utmost respect but never seems to get it. This is his second marriage and he never learned from it. Ignoramus lol. Well done to you for achieving self awareness and I’m asking the heavens to send it to my husband too ?.

  133. My husband is an asshole. And I think people don’t understand that neglect is the worst kind of relating. It’s basically saying “I don’t give a shit what you think nor do I have any interest in you” So yes, it was one game–one time, but it was ONE BIG THING that your wife wanted to do. And for me, it’s been a million of those kinds of things that add up over the years. I stare at the back of his head as he’s on the computer and I think, “wow, this is my marriage?!” It’s shitty. Maybe it’s just a matter of preferences, but when what you want as a wife is constantly ignored, it’s a selfish marriage where the husband always gets his way and the wife gets nothing.

    My husband tells me to get a hobby too. Yep, I am. But we’ll see if I stick around. I’m already pretty disillusioned with this institution. I don’t see him acting much better in the upcoming years…

    1. How to Break a Life, indeed.

      You’re describing most marriages.

      You’re describing what I write about.

      You’re describing what I’m currently writing about.

      You’re describing my life before I understood EXACTLY what you mean when you type it here.

      This is why we break.

      I am so sorry for the things happening in your life, and I’m so sorry for once being part of this cycle that hurts so many people, and destroys so many relationships.

      Thank you for sharing here.

      1. Thank you. I’m glad you have learned from loss of the relationship. That’s all we can do in life–learn from our mistakes. Too bad I feel like my marriage is a great big one. :(. Thanks for listening.

        1. There are millions of people dealing with these things. Trying to understand. Trying to help those they love. Trying to find answers for what to do next.

          You don’t have to feel as if you’re the only person experiencing this insanely unfair and soul-sucking trauma.

          People care. Because they’ve felt it or are feeling it too.

          And they’ll stand in the shit with you, even if just digitally, if you’ll allow them too.

          And I think you’ll find that, in time, it really helps bring healing and clarity.

          Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  134. Wow, I honestly can say, if you think you are a shitty asshole husband and you did all that for your wife and loved her too, then my husband must be a pile of shit. For 14 years I waiting patiently for my husband to purpose and marry me. Well he finally did, and now 13 months after our 1 year wedding anniversary he left. Never once did he make a house payment or pay an electric bill. He never took any responsibility for bills or chores. Never did he wash a sock or towel, he did load the dishwasher I think a handful of times and took out the trash maybe 4 times. He never did family things. Never told me I was pretty or even that he loved me. Never kissed me in public or even held my hand. I was a single mother for 2 years before I met my husband, I was use to being independent and doing things on my own. I have a good job and was able to take care of everything, but when we got married I actually thought he wanted to be my partner in life and share the responsibility. It was also the most biggest way to say “I love you” which I so longed to hear. That’s what I thought I was waiting so long for. But it didn’t change, I was okay with it because I loved him for who he was, not what he did. But he changed, about 3 months ago I got a hysterectomy and then his mom got sick and then soon passed. He just closed up and then one day, I asked him to fix a water leak and he got all mad at me and I told him I would fix it it he would show me, well he left and its been 1 whole week now. He inherent his moms house so he lives there again. All his crap is still in my house but he goes there when I am not home to get a “few things”. I tried to talk to him and even made a consoling appointment, but he says he don’t need it, but don’t want to tell me if he wants a divorce or wants to stay nothing. So besides abusive husbands; I married a shit ball. Thing is…I still love him.

  135. My husband just spent the better part of 15 minutes tonight, trying to convince me it was reasonable for a teacher to get into bed with one of her minor-aged students because “they are at the peak of their physical excellence.” So when I tried to explain that a teacher, in her fiduciary responsibility as a TEACHER should not be attracted to her students, he began screaming at me because I “didn’t understand him.” I must have ‘had too much wine while cooking dinner.’ I ‘didn’t understand what he was saying.’ We repeated our positions three times with the same result: he thought it was reasonable, I thought it was pedophilia.

    Yea. He is an asshole. And it is hard to put up with this.

    Thank you for understanding.

  136. Just came across this as my husband left with our daughter to the park and disconnected my cellphone.

    After being called fat (I’m 120) and good for nothing I let him just take her. Over it. So fucking over his anger problems.

    I’ll just become a stripper. Thanks for the insight

    1. Become an escort. Much less work and better pay. Plus you’ll feel more beautiful than ever with all the praise you get. And maybe you’ll even meet a wonderfully sweet and rich new husband!

        1. Ha! Yes, I’m a woman. That certainly would have been devious.

          Escorts screen their clients (either by 2 references from other girls) or by a work reference (email them at work from a fake spam-looking email account, and they respond or tell you over the phone what you wrote, verifying their email address is with the company they say they work with).

          If this is done, it’s safer than dating when you meet a guy you like at a bar and “feel” comfortable with him so you go home with him. THAT is unsafe.

  137. Those things they are thinking a combination of… that is 1000% more than a shitty husband does. My shitty husband is a stay at home dad (aka unemployed, uneducated, and lazy) literally does nothing but take the trash out once a week and that is only the trash in his office and the kitchen. He does no chores inside or out, pays no bills, does not drive, does not work, does nothing but claims he is doing everything he can. He plays video games for 10-14 hours a day. I work 50+ hours a week and literally have bought everything for the family, baby, house for the entirety of our relationship. The original deal was I would handle this so he could go to school and finish getting an education without distraction. He failed out of community college. Assuming his 4 years int he military almost 7 years ago is enough to compensate. The husband you have described is a saint and you should count your blessings.

    1. Hi Jenn,
      Sounds like a shitty husband alright, however, I’m thinking depression. Maybe he should get some help. If it is not depression then yep, he’s a super shitty husband and needs to grow a pair.
      Matt

    2. Was none of this obvious to you before you got married? You are mentioning things that you would have known on the first date with this man.

  138. Actually you’re a pussy and you’re wife has the feminism curse, I’m not sure you’re an asshole.

    “Liberated Women” are a fucking pain in ass today and are unable to be pleased. You’re just lamenting because she left you and now you think you’ve found a reason.. You wanted to watch golf on weekend after a week of work and you shouldn’t have?

    Oh go Fuck off.

    1. I forgive you for sounding like a moron because I know you don’t have context. But with a little bit of effort and courage you’ll be able to figure out the right questions to ask yourself, and then you won’t find yourself in any situations where you’re reading things like this because you’ll have very few problems in your personal relationships.

      And when you have very few problems in your personal relationships, you can actually enjoy, stress-free, all of these other life things you want to focus on.

      Good luck.

      Another free Life Tip: You will like and respect yourself a lot more once you’re the kind of person who doesn’t call strangers on the internet names like an eighth grader.

      Start asking yourself the right questions, and you won’t have to worry about what other people think of you anymore.

      It’ll save your life.

  139. Good job man. Can you talk to my husband? After 29 years of marriage he is deciding that drinking and leaving me feeling so incredibly lonely and sad is ok. And I’m supposed to be ok with it. So so much more to this story. He talks to the damn dog more than me. 🙁

  140. Too often men have the belief that it is up to them to save the marriage, and this is reinforced by women. If only one person is putting in the effort then its doomed to failure. You failed because you were given 100% of the burden of being responsible for the marriage to work. You should not have to like everything she likes or be passionate about everything she is just because she is passionate about those things. What about Master’s Golf? She gets to leave the house with the kids while you are alone? This woman didn’t give a squat about your life so no wonder you lost interest in hers. You should be able to BE YOURSELF in a marriage because anything other than yourself is totally unsustainable.

    1. I agree with some, but not all, of this which has been well documented in more than 500 posts on the subject.

      I’m totally with you on your primary point, which is people should be themselves and their marriage shouldn’t be dependent on them NOT being that.

      We need to spend a lot of time talking to young people about authenticity, honesty, philosophical alignment, boundaries, shared values, etc.

      Because most of this stuff starts for people in their teens and 20s when they’re dating, and decide to “tolerate” a bunch of things they don’t prefer about the other.

      Those things become “intolerable” once they’re married 5+ years and want to stab each other in the face during arguments.

      But what about for people (the 90%) who didn’t know how to ask the right questions, or who ignored little nuisances and conflicts in the interest of “love and commitment”? And now children are involved?

      There’s a fundamental mindset difference between me now more than three years removed, and what is best for single people, and the me from June 2013 when I wrote this and fighting for marriage and family meant everything.

      The convo shifts depending on circumstances.

      But I think keeping marriage vows, loving unselfishly, and choosing things that make our spouse’s life better even when it feels inconvenient is what marriage vows call us to do.

      I haven’t met an unselfish, thoughtful, humble, disciplined, loyal person yet who I didn’t admire and perceive to be an awesome person.

      And I haven’t met any selfish, narcissistic, self-serving-at-the-expense-of-their-partner-and-family people who didn’t reap what they sowed and live to regret it.

      Thanks for thinking about it.

      I’m with you. But only sometimes.

  141. Funny, but true! Let me do all the
    little crappy work while you go have a
    Beer with YOUR best friend!
    F U And, many more little KIND things
    You did!

  142. People here seem to be too focused on the Masters thing as the main event. As someone whose fiancé regularly treats me as an afterthought, I can tell you from personal experience that it’s the slow drip of being left alone in the marriage in ways sometimes little and seemingly insignificant and sometimes obviously egregious. Leaving your wife’a side after she’s given birth, when she is begging you to stay, for no other reason than to get some rest and a shower? No doubt the wheels in her mind clicked over toward “i need to leave him” at that point and many many others. I’ve been there. My fiancé opted not to accompany me to my first chemo session after I was diagnosed with cancer. I stayed with him (that was a year ago and I’m fine now) but I stopped having faith in him right then and there. A piece of me left the relationship. The worst part was when he defended his choice by saying he was “too tired” and “you’ll be fine.” Since then there have been too many smaller but no less significant things to count. And when I tell him how hurt I am, he gets miffed and tells me to “grow up.” Men, pay attention to what MBTTTR is saying. He is absolutely correct.

    1. Thank you for spelling out what should be obvious AND in the process, really highlighting the REAl problem which is two people who supposedly love other, and how neither are ever really arguing or fighting about the same things.

      We so often can’t even identify the problems right in front of us, even when people are trying to say it to us. Tragic.

      I’m so sorry for everything you’ve been through. There aren’t really any words.

  143. Here it is 12 on a Friday night.. my Husband of 11 years asleep in another room and I’m googling “My Husband is an asshole” and “shitty husband” just trying to find something to relate to. Tonight’s argument started because I forgot to buy a gallon of milk today for his Oreos (No joke). It’s these nonstop little ridiculous things that make me constantly think I can’t do this shit anymore.
    This post is basically my life and I have pretty much gotten to that point where I have checked out entirely from this marriage. So glad to read that there’s at least one dude out there on planet earth that gets it.

    1. Googling “my husband is an asshole” literally took me to this blog. I can’t tell you have many times I have googled it. I can totally identify with what you are saying.

  144. This is my life. I have been with my husband for 20 years. I started asking for more 9 years ago. He’d improve for a few weeks then revert. Last year I gave him an ultimatium. He begged me to try again, so I did. we had 3 good months, then back to the same shit. The final straw was broken last month. I get plenty of offers from other men ( some are his friends). He is doing some half-assed trying right now, because I have completely checked out. He says he doesn’t know what to do. I sent him a link to this blog last night. I don’t know if he will understand it or even bother to read it. If he does read it , maybe he will realize that I am not making this up and I am not alone

    1. But what does he do that’s not living up to your expectations?

      Have you tried counseling?

      I don’t think this is the right blog to be reading. It’s so biased against men. I think you both need to try to relate to one another more, not to say “It’s all you, see?”

      Does he love you? Is he not good at expressing that? Why do you think he married you and strongly desires to stay married to you?

      1. I didn’t realize there is this “shitty husband” “syndrome” (at least in the eyes of wives agreeing to this blog (and to the owner of this blog)), until recently I read this.

        I empathize with Matt (if I get the blog’s owner’s name right) that it was precisely the sacrifice extent we make as husbands for our families that bred our sense of numbness to the cries of wives for us to truly listen. We have done our part to protect and provide for the family–isn’t that more important than anything else? Last thing in mind is that we’d be dumped for not “listening” enough. But I can’t argue with facts here: divorce can happen for this, creeping up almost (to us, anyway) imperceptibly (except “Rowan’s”; he’d been given the memo).

        For someone who’s always given in to his wife’s demand as a form of pleasure in life, I would have gladly “listened” and cooperated accordingly–ONLY THAT I HADN’T REALLY REGISTERED what’s this all about–a “shitty husband” syndrome. The danger is in the forms of the message to us: most complaints about shitty husband syndrome are pieced together from various forms of un-met requests (and from time to time, discontinuously), culminating into a “you’re-not-listening-enough” verdict.

        I have not read the rest of the blog yet but I can’t help feeling that Matt is severely, overly-beating himself as “guilty-as-charged” for the incriminating fact that the wife left, ie. not listening enough MUST be the (only) reason? Matt’s ultimate enlightenment and self-realization not withstanding–and they are in fact enlightening and true, but I also see Matt’s behavior at home were at best clueless–not malevolent. For example, he badly wanted to watch his sports game. This is not the same as plotting to prevent his wife from going out. And for guys who’ve waited for the game all year, recording it isn’t the same as live. I was just thinking aloud here, please don’t be offended but if Matt left the marriage because he didn’t get to watch his game (among other “small” things), would the ex-wife now write this blog instead and call it “shitty wife” blog for those who do not learn to appreciate all main sacrifices of the husband but choose to pick on small things instead?

        Was Matt clueless to the end? I think so. He got an awakening the day his wife left (Easter) though not surprised…I think being clueless is an apt description because I do not believe Matt would pay the price of divorce if he knew better any sooner.

        The ex-wife has a role to guide the husband to a more palatable form of co-habitation understanding over time by communicating to him directly the significance of each request (such in the “golf game versus sunny-day-out” incidence). To the clueless husband, a sunny-day-out is just a sunny day out. Last thing he’d suspect was a “test from the wife, or else”! This needs patience. Patience is not too difficult to find if you know where to look; you will find it in your heart if there is still love for him. See the nice things he DID provide for the family.

        To sentence a husband to a divorce after a few strikes is a little hard. He’s lovable. He’s committed father and husband. He’s clueless. But he is not a criminal for the latter. If so, I guess being a “non-shitty husband” is a pretty advanced form of act to follow these days. Every day is a test. Bringing food, comfort and protection is but pre-requisite and you’d need more to survive this.

        Does not sound like a match made out of love to me.

        Post: Above only refers to Matt and clueless husbands like Matt (including me). I can clearly feel that Matt loved his ex-wife a lot even after the split. Being clueless landed him in divorce is a fact now but I suppose Matt can see that it all can’t be him alone.

        I have to agree to Ella’s reply dated June 29, 2017 at 11:58 PM. It can’t all be you Matt. Ella’s language is direct and unapologetic but this piece has a lot of truth in it IMHO. I do not think the “mother” part mentioned in the reply was necessary, only the following rings reasonable, IMHO : “What you seek is a wife who loves you. Leave this battle. Look for a woman who isn’t fussy, isn’t a victim, and simply enjoys your company. Women can be bitches. Some women who read this blog truely are victims. But many women are seeking fulfillment of a void within themselves that no one could ever feel. A dude sounds like he WAS a good husband.”

        Some husbands out there are simply guilty as charged; they’re really ignoring the wives constantly for selfish reasons FOR YEARS. My understanding of Matt is based on what I read here and what I read here so far. Sorry if I have left out anything/ mis-read. Do point out.

        Hope you find a “non-victim” (borrowing from Ella) wife already Matt. I have seen them walking around too. In my part of the world, they call these wives as “those-who-stick-by-you-for-all-your-shortcomings-wife.”

        Some are made that way, NO TESTS!

        Wish you well,
        Travis C

    1. Just saw this. Hope that you are doing well and all is/will be ok. The morning of my breast biopsy and lumpectomy I drove myself to the hospital because my husband was “required” to participate in a (army) battalion run. Most of the time he is a great husband (albeit not on my recent birthday) but I can’t seem to forgot the memory of that preop morning and how scared I was. Fortunately my biopsy was benign but I wonder how he would have handled it if it was otherwise. Sending prayers and good positive thoughts in your direction.

      1. Yeah, he should have just gone AWOL! Then he could have been kept from you for a long time while he served time in a military prison.

  145. I am only to vol 8. And i have cried many times. It’s like your the voice i wish were in my husband’s head. My husband and i are going through all of this. He is a complete alpha, and even if i strategically get him to read this he will call it stupid and call you a pussy. Lol
    I desperately want my marriage to work, but he isnt going to change. I know this. I just dont want my kids growing up in a dysfunctional broken home like me. And well, if he is a shitty husband, i can only imagine how shitty of an ex husband he is going to be. I fear it honestly. But these blogs are truly helping me see that im not the crazy unpleaseable woman i am accused of being on a daily basis.
    Thank you.

  146. LOL. Your self-righteous, man-hating, neo-feminist viewpoint that a man should unilaterally accommodate every last desire of his significant other is laughable. Your presumption that if a man asks, NAY expects a modicum of consideration for his own desires then he is a “shitty husband” is hypocritical given that we both know you would never dare call a woman a “shitty wife” were the EXACT ROLES reversed. Your marriage failed. Deal with it in a better way than trying to convince men at large that you have had some kind of epiphony, your ex-wife is a saint and all men are evil at the core. We can all do better by our significant others and we can all learn to truly appreciate what we have including the wife that works 50 hours a week to provide a good life and the husband who still finds his wife attractive after a decade and tries to show it at an inopportune time while the wife is trying to watch NCIS. And we can do this WITHOUT being made to feel guilty for being human beings with limited time on this planet and a desire not to be subservient to another human being but instead find as much enjoyment for ourselves as possible during our brief stint on this mortal coil. See how I reversed your roles there to make my point, asshat? 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I cried when I read this. You get it! Gentlemen, It take two to make a marriage. Both need to put the other first. Both have to give 100% Ask your self, has she tried? Who is the priority in your life? You or her? Can you show empathy when she tries to have a heart to heart talk with you? Have you tried to walk a mile in her shoes? I know that I shut down and stop listening or caring about my husband only after trying to work it out with him; only to fall on deaf ears. You can’t expect someone to listen to you if you can’t listen to them.Why should she give 100%, if you only give 25-75%? Marriage is like a house plant, if you don’t take care of it, it will die.

      1. Of course it can cut both ways! I dont think that was OP’s point–that men have somehow found themselves newly required to accommodate women’s every whim. I read this as a simcere attempt to make sense of what went wrong in his marriage and try and warn others to be more mindful of the attention they pay to their relationships. Its good advice not just for marriage but parenting and friendships too.

        My marriage with my first husband effectively ended when I was sitting beside my father’s literal deathbed and he demanded I come home to take care of our toddler because it was so unfair and selfish he had not had a break that day. We stayed together another six years or so after that, but that broke it for real.

        Every one of us could use a reminder now and then that it is no bad thing to think, before you open your mouth, how would I feel if this situation were reversed? It isnt a male female thing, it is a person thing.

    2. Maybe you have a shitty wife, if you are feeling the same from a man’s point of view …this article is utterly true from a females perspective. What I interpreted about the game scenario is that a person does not have to give up everything for their spouse, but they need to be mindful to not selfishly keep choosing themselves over and over and over and over again, and enjoy their spouse and enjoy being with them. Otherwise it’s just a business partnership with a lot of rules. who wants to stay in a partnership that has met so few needs and is detrimental almost to a persons psych because they are so ignored? ( this is how I feel and interperreted that scenario-I think it was an example of the attitude toward the spouse and I don’t think it was an isolate incident.)

      1. Sorry I meant to reply to someone else, and this went under the wrong commenter for some reason 🙁

    3. Maybe you have a shitty wife, if you are feeling the same from a man’s point of view …this article is utterly true from a females perspective. What I interpreted about the game scenario is that a person does not have to give up everything for their spouse, but they need to be mindful to not selfishly keep choosing themselves over and over and over and over again, and enjoy their spouse and enjoy being with them. Otherwise it’s just a business partnership with a lot of rules. who wants to stay in a partnership that has met so few needs and is detrimental almost to a persons psych because they are so ignored? ( this is how I feel and interperreted that scenario-I think it was an example of the attitude toward the spouse and I don’t think it was an isolated incident of not wanting to be with his wife.)

    4. Agreed. This blog starts with the premise that women are goddesses and men are failures.

      I think “asshat” feels like a failure and is trying to perceive himself as getting above that by putting men in general in the failure catagory.

      I think he experienced deep rejections and feelings of inferiority from his mother. He will forever be stuck in this dynamic of trying to overcome being a failure. He will never overcome it though, because that would mean the dynamic/process of overcoming would end. People gravate to the familiar, whether comfortable or not, and this dynamic his is familiar. Sad, but it’s his choice. And to keep himself in this headspace, he’s chosen an impossible task: make the indignant, superior, entitled type of woman like him. Not going to happen, dude. Nor is trying to convince men at large that they suck. You may get a lot of women who agree with your viewpoint, and that might make you feel temporarily good about yourself, but these women aren’t in your life. What you seek is a wife who loves you. Leave this battle. Look for a woman who isn’t fussy, isn’t a victim, and simply enjoys your company. But he won’t. He wants that type of woman he sees as above him to raise him up and she never will.

      Women can be bitches. Some women who read this blog truely are victims. But many women are seeking fulfillment of a void within themselves that no one could ever feel. A dude sounds like he WAS a good husband.

      1. I don’t think you know me very well. But if you want to know instead of guess wrong, you can just ask.

        You can start by NOT assuming things I wrote four years ago (this post, for example) in between separation and divorce represent the entirety of what I’ve written here.

      2. Women aren’t always wonderful? Their every desire should not be worshiped? That is heresy!

        Try communicating with a wife who shuts out for years. Try making any progress when your wife never serves you for joy, only out of obligation. That will destroy a marriage no matter how good you are.

        This post misses far more than it hits.

        1. I should have clarified, I was speaking to the base post. I agree with the reply here. Women are just as fallen and prone to error as men. Men are just as imperfect as women.

          Focusing solely on the imperfection of a man will lead to idiotic claims. It may make some women feel good, but it will really nail the kids, especially as they see how things really were when they are older.

      1. LOL. You found the one misspelled word and singled it out then said “you can’t spell” as though my post was littered with misspelled words Deflect much? Also, people like you (the perpetually offended) are a detriment to society. That is all.

  147. I guess I’m one of those shitty husbands, and really I take that as a compliment. Married 49 years and maybe had sex a couple of times, the war department (wife) has been mad at me for along time. I have no interest in sex, intimacy or any thing that has to do with sex. Not gay or have other women, just myself and I like me. I’ve always had problems with erections and climaxing was an effort, I figured that’s just me. All these years my wife and I lived separately I always camped out in the basement and she has the master bedroom on the second floor. We haven’t talked to each other in years! I told her years ago she could leave if she wanted or have a boy or girl friend, I didn’t care. She’s still living in the house so I guess the arrangement is fine with her. Now at 70 and really still don’t care what ever happen’s happen’s. I’m not on this earth to make her happy, it’s me that counts.

    1. Provided you arent a troll I am truly sorry, and hope that you can gain some insight amd peace soon.

    2. That’s not a marriage. You’re just sharing a house, like strangers. Clearly you’re too selfish to be married. Nothing wrong with that as long as she doesn’t expect more.

  148. My wife sent me this a couple of nights ago and said it pretty much explains how she feels and how it came to be. Reading it makes sense and I can identify actions and inactions that would have led to where we are now: 21 yrs of marriage and devotion on the verge of destruction.
    Although your blog is great and allows us men (those who want to) to understand our wifes, I am still searching for that blog that explains how I feel and why I behaved a certain way.
    The analogy here for me is like this:
    – to save my marriage I must ensure the toilet seat is always down. Yet we are both capable of raising and lowering the seat as required…
    I have been a shitty husband, I do not deny it, but also a good one and I understand my wife needs better now.
    How can I explain to her she was a shitty wife? That some of her actions made me be distant? I cannot say anything, because that would be the end. So now I must ensure the toilet seat is always down until I no longer care…

    Hopefully some lucky husband read this blog in time, managed to save his marriage and can testify the relationship has balanced itself.

    1. Hey Dave,
      We are all shitty husbands from time to time and all wives are shitty from time to time, but you are not allowed to suggest that in our feminist utopia (or distopia, if you’re a bloke).
      We live in a world where men’s feelings, thoughts, concerns, instincts and opinions don’t matter. Women are told they are special and deserve better than you and me, so this breed huge discontent. Until a woman can wake up from this lie, I’m afraid your choices are put up and shut up (which will destroy your masculine soul, or leave/allow her to leave which will also destroy your masculine soul. Until we as a culture leave behind the current woman-worship, we are doomed to shitty relationships and families. If you feel this way, thank a feminist.
      Matt

    2. Because you use the toilet both with seat up AND with seat down. So down should be the default.

      I so wish we could all just step back from ourselves and our rage for long enough to get the bigger picture. I have struggled with this issue my whole life–when am I being selfish and when are my rights geing trampled on? If you figure out the answer about how to make the distinction, let us know.

      1. And women are great about putting the top part of the seat down, right?

        I always put the seat all the way down, yet it took years to get my wife to do that and then it was only grudgingly. Another sign of female selfishness, not male laxness.

  149. Reading this blog, I’m a bit confused by some of the comments. I am a woman. I am married. My husband is a self proclaimed asshole. I fully agree with him. After reading the blog though I see where I was wrong. I knew he was an asshole. He told me. He knew what I wanted from a relationship. I told him. He claimed he was capable of giving me what I had asked. We married, had 4 great kids. He continues to be the asshole I married, but without keeping his other promise. Thats what I got from the blog. If you are a shitty husband, your wife knew it and played obliviousness or chose to accept it. Men if your wife told you her expectations in the beginning of the relationship and you didn’t make good, then that’s on you. In my situation, I was honest. Maybe honest to a fault. But I married him. He married me. So here we are. He’s still an asshole. And I’m the asshole for believing the asshole. I have been wrong many many times. As he has also. We are human, humans err, often. The problem here isn’t self serving, or taking advantage of the short time we have on this planet for self fulfillment. Its about mutual respect and a lack of personal responsibility of our actions and responses to the people we claim to love forever. Vows are not just a piece of paper, they are a promise to hold that person in higher regard than anyone else. How is putting a poker game or fantasy football more important than your wife and children? Sure that’s what your interested in. I don’t knock that, but in the broader scope of life what will leave the greater memory? Having a loving wife who respects you, and a child who looks up to you? Or a winning team or the bragging rights and some money for a poker tournament? Yes money is great, but at what expense? I don’t see that he made his ex a saint by any means. He just realized her requests were small and his response made him smaller. I am not a saint. At times I’ve been shiity too. I made my concerns known from the beginning. If he couldn’t handle it , he should have moved on, or at least told me. But he played the role and was the MAN. Lol I didn’t need the MAN. I needed a friend, a partner, someone I longed to respect and hold in high regard. What I got was less than OK. So after some time I turned into the shitty wife. I struggle with my new title. But I now have to accept what I’ve allowed myself to become. As he has to accept , now that he knows he royally messed up, how our marriage now has thorns and swears where there used be soft caresses and kind words. We are both at fault. Blame never solves anything. It just makes it easier to justify our fuck ups. Don’t be the asshole. Be the one who sees what can be corrected. The one who sees that time is of the essence, and is very short. Miss the tournament. Put down the dishes. Respect your husband. Respect your wife. Take time to see your future. Before it becomes your past.

    1. Many women do chose true assholes by choice, leaving the many “nice guys” in the dust. Some women create them by their own actions and attitudes. I hope yours is the latter, but you are right that you chose what you got a long time ago.

      That is something often lost in posts like the OP.

    2. “I didn’t need the MAN. I needed a friend, a partner, someone I longed to respect and hold in high regard. ”

      Hey this is an interesting perspective for a shitty husband. Didn’t occur to me. Man is expected to provide so it’s built into our first-response gene I guess. Too busy “providing” didn’t see this coming. Thanks.

  150. Lost and Alone

    I am there now I want to leave my husband. I am tired of the constant abandonment I feel. Thank God we have no kids. I realized I can’t do this I told him about this blog even said he should read it, he said he doesn’t want to. I read him a few posts. He completely missed the points and looked at me saying “oh so are you fantasizing over other men?” It is all good and well when you can realize these things but perhaps he will realize them once I am gone. I doubt it though I am sure he will go back to dating like in the past and be just fine.

    1. Married 17 years. Yesterday was my birthday. After a brutal late day at work (teaching), picking up my daughter from dance and then picking up a prescription med for my ear infection I arrived home. Dishes piled up in the sink (broken dish washer awaiting repair), dogs and kids not fed, husband in a bad mood sitting at the counter eating peanuts. Mad that I am late and haven’t started his chili for chili competition at his job the next day. So mad that he tells me that he “is not in the mood to celebrate your (my) birthday”. No cake with candles. No singing. No nice dinner. Cards from my daughter’s only. Lots of tears as I silently wash the dishes etc. At 11:50 pm that night I climb out of bed while others sleep and go downstairs to the kitchen. Take a small slice of old cheesecake from the fridge, stick a candle in it, and sing happy birthday to myself. That was my birthday dinner.

      1. I’m so sorry, Patti. That sounds like a wretched way to experience your birthday.

        It’s not okay.

        I hope today is better for you, and that something wonderful happens for you to feel good about.

        Always ups and downs. The downs are so hard. That’s when we need our people the most — whoever they are.

        Whatever and whoever centers you when other things are not, I hope you have the opportunity to be with or speak with them today.

        If you ended up making that chili for him, I want to tip my hat to you for being that caliber of human being.

        A person can’t give like that forever while getting nothing in return, but in that moment? Pretty impressive show of strength, I’d say.

        Happy birthday, Patti.

        Here’s to strength and good things.

        1. Chili got made. It gave me something to do and focus on. He feels bad today but he should. Daughters are very sad. So am I. I am not a demanding person, it would not have taken much to make a birthday celebration. Too late now.

          1. Patti,

            How would you like it if he had that attitude when you messed up? Or do you never mess up?

            Holding grudges in a marriage will kill it.

          2. It sounds like her husband was the one holding a grudge because she didn’t make his chili right away. She went to work with a painful ear infection and then ran late because she had to pick up a prescription for herself and had to pick up her daughter at class. It’s not clear why he thought the chili would already be done when she was at work all day and had to run errands after work. Maybe he should have helped move things along by getting their daughter and picking up the prescription himself. He got home before his wife did, so he had free time, but he didn’t bother fixing the dishwasher or doing the dishes or getting dinner started (or maybe starting the chili himself) instead he sat around eating peanuts and getting angry. He held a grudge by refusing to celebrate her birthday anyway. And his wife still made the chili. She was only writing about that bad evening the following morning, I wouldn’t exactly call that holding a grudge after the way he treated her. He should have showed some remorse for that and made it up to her the next day. If not, then hopefully she made it up to herself. Maybe with a nice spa day or something.

          3. He may have been. I wasn’t there. But I also know that seeing something from both sides tends to give a much different picture.

            She proclaimed she would hold a grudge until next year at least, that is far more than a day.

            I would agree that he sounds like a jerk in the story, but I also know that women use such stories all the time to make decent guys sound like trash. Some really are, but many just have bad days that get written in long term storage of their wives, ready to trot out anytime they make a mistake.

            “He feels bad today and he should” sounds very vindictive to me. It certainly sounds like he was out of line, but no information was given about why he whacked out. Not good to do either way, but perhaps he had a reason, perhaps not. No information given on what his “feeling bad” meant.

            I have seen language like this blasting some very honorable guys in the past, so I am very skeptical now.

            I would rather see them reconcile and (re)build a solid connection, even if just for their daughter’s sake.

            Lots of questions I could ask of her, but I doubt I would get answers and I have no desire to argue the issue. I was just asking if she showed the same compassion she wanted. I saw no sign of that.

      2. Patti, Happy Birthday to you!!! I’m so sorry you had a bad day 🙁 Very happy you treated yourself to the cake and the candle. LOVE YOURSELF! I can’t believe you made the Chili still.I would’ve did that too lol but probably not the answer. It’s like giving in to a child having a tantrum. I hope you guys talk about what happened and your husband understands how hurt you were. Don’t keep these things bottled up. I think it’s wonderful to do things for our loved ones. But it should not be expected – it should be appreciated though! Hugs!!

        1. I made the chili because I had promised to…next year he can buy the chili. Thx for the birthday hug.

  151. I stumbled on this and I know it’s four years old. But dude you are wrong. You shouldn’t have to give up everything you love in life to be married. Not being perfect is acceptable. And always giving up your pastimes in favor of her whims is not a virtue. Don’t you see it’s your wife who was the ass.

    1. Dude-he isn’t saying give up everything for your spouse. What I interpreted about the game scenario is that a person does not have to give up everything for their spouse, but they need to be mindful to not selfishly and keep choosing themselves over and over and over and over again, and enjoy their spouse and enjoy being with them. Otherwise it’s just a business partnership with a lot of rules. who wants to stay in a partnership that has met so few needs and is detrimental almost to a persons psych because they are so ignored? ( this is how I feel and interperreted that scenario-I think it was an example of the attitude toward the spouse and I don’t think it was an isolate incident.) He doesn’t have to give up his needs, he just needs to not focus on his needs only and have a relationship with his family. Enjoy them for who they are.

  152. I was a shitty husband. I even posted on here… long ago. My marriage was failing, I was depressed, and this blog really helped me.

    Where am I at now? Well, our divorce was final on August 29th, 2016. She had a boyfriend, and I had dated a number of women. We actually got along with each other quite well.

    And then back in January, she sent me a text. Said “I think I made a big mistake”, she had broken things off with her boyfriend, said “I never gave you the chance you deserved” – (It’s a long story, but our relationship effectively ended with us living 1,200 miles apart).

    And here we are now. Two months later, dating each other again. It wasn’t easy, but I don’t regret it for a minute, I taught myself how to be a better man/husband, and I will never make the mistakes I made before.

    Will it work? Dunno, I hope so. But I’m just grateful for the chance to make it work. We were married for 13 1/2 years, I didn’t want to throw that away.

    Thank you for the great blog.

  153. I totally get where your coming from, but what about your wife’s part in it, she probably wasn’t perfect. Maybe she was, and in that case, she is better than I! Just this week my husband and I (we have been together 13 years-married for 10- have decided it’s finally over. Something I continue to struggle with is that I believe that we are in this together 50/50! I am a go big or go home type of personality, I give everything 110% or 0% ( and leave that for later). We both work full time jobs, and my job comes home with me almost every day and is home with me on weekends, too. I teach 4th grade, so there are always papers to grade and lesson plans to write and data to analyze. When I noticed that we started to argue (more than the stupid little disagreements, it was always about the same thing-I wanted attention, affection, and I wanted him to show me that he loved me. His answer to that was that I nag him. I continued to get mad, and our arguments started to become about other things, him not doing what he promised (deposit money into the account-checks bounced- just day to day things. Still I wanted his attention, but he said that I nagged him about doing the things he said he would do ( I wanted them done when he said he would do them, and he didn’t want to be nagged). We have 3 children (our oldest is from my previous relationship-but he is the only dad she ever knew- he was with us before she turned 2). He plays with the kids, and he is he fun one because he doesn’t discipline. He cooks dinner at least 4 nights a week. He goes to work every day, and school two nights a week. I know I have changed, I feel like my personality has gotten hard. I know I complained when he didn’t keep up his end of the bargain. I probably shouldn’t have nagged so much, and I can be a hot head these days-I go from calm to angry in less than 5 seconds when it comes to him. He said that he doesn’t talk to or spend time with me because he is basically trying to make it through the day without saying something that “sets me off”. So here I was getting madder and madder because he was telling me he was trying, and I was trying to save our marriage. I was coming home from work earlier, going to bed earlier so we could cuddle or at least relax together. I texted and called him on my lunch break and after school. When I did all this and he didn’t respond (he said I would b*tch if he did or said something I didn’t like, so he didn’t say much to me), I got more angry still. I shut down, and I decided I wasn’t in love with him anymore. I probably pushed him away so it would hurt less in the end. I know I am a lot to handle, and I know I am a witch (my mom always said no one would ever love me if I didn’t change-Mommas know best). I guess I feel like we were both trying but had different ideas of what trying was. I hated that he would spend hours playing a video game, and could spend 30 minutes in adult conversation with me. He said talking with me is hard because I correct his grammar sometimes. I struggle to think that maybe I wanted it both ways- I wanted to have a husband who protects me and makes me feel safe and loved, but it’s 2017- do I really expect him to protect me?? I guess after things started to be different I started to push him away by being mad, but I was saying to him I want you to try harder. I don’t know…all I know is that when I read your post (I googled failed marriage and divorce) you sounded like you were hard on yourself. I used to buy him cards for no reason, other than just to say I loved him. I saved my extra money and planned weekend trips and vacations. I planned all our date nights. This went on for a while- and then I expected him to do some of that but he didn’t so I got mad. That wasn’t his thing, he never did any of those things, so I had to no right to get mad just because I thought he would catch on and start to do those things too. I did talk with him about how much I would love and appreciate it if he would. Maybe it’s similar to the situation with your ex, she was the one who loved to be outside, that wasn’t always your thing, why should she expect you just to do it because she did? I am a planner, a type A personality, so I would like to plan out how this separation will go, as well as the divorce! That’s what I would like to gain from reading through your experiences-well I mean not totally because I am sure it will be different for male vs a female. However it sounds to me like you still have feelings, or possibly did at one time, and I still love my husband, but I can’t continue to number 1 be lonely in a marriage, and number 2 know that I make a person (whom I love) feel like they have to walk on egg shells because of me, so to be fair to both of us, I will push through with the separation. You see he is the type to not let things bother him. He is just fine to be with or without me, so he will be ok. I left for 2 weeks (about 5 years ago- because I was so lonely), and went to stay with my parents. I ended up going home because I missed him, I missed sleeping beside him. He said he didn’t mind if I came home, but if I was happier with my parents that he was ok if I stayed there too! The kids and I went to visit family last summer (he couldn’t go because he doesn’t have Summer’s off like we do). There was no fighting, just went to visit my parents. I built it up in my min that when we came in the house he might be so happy to see me (because I was so happy to see him) that he would hug and squeeze me, but that’s not what the homecoming was like at all. I ended up sad over that, and he pointed out that he didn’t do anything for me to be mad about, he never said he was going to do that, and he doesn’t think like that. He said he was happy to see me and helped me carry the bags in. Does that make me the shitty wife for wanting something that was my idea and all in my head based on what I wanted? He was right, I didn’t tell him what I wanted, so I didn’t have the right to be upset by his greeting. As Inwrite this and get it all out, it does make me question a little more….was I the shitty wife????

    1. It sounds like your husband gave up awhile ago. He doesn’t make an effort, and if you question him about why, he says it’s your fault (he didn’t want to say anything because something might set you off, etc.). It sounds like he just got comfortable with his day-to-day existence and one that didn’t include closeness with you.

      I don’t think you’re to blame. It’s most likely a progression of how the two of you interact together, and how both weren’t having needs met over time (some of this can simply be life events–kids, work, etc.). A lot of people, men and women, go to anger quickly when their needs are not met over and over again, despite efforts. It sounds like your husband, instead of going to angry, just buries himself away, just shuts everything out.

      I think you should go to marital counseling together. Find someone good (read reviews, if possible) and decide if you and he would be more comfortable with a male or female therapist. You decide this, and you plan this. Don’t expect his input, as it sounds like he’s too far gone for that at the moment. If he doesn’t agree to go right away, go by yourself for a few sessions and ask the therapist how to reapproach him about it.

      I bet your husband does love you, it’s just buried under layer and layers of these buffers he puts around himself to retreat from things. Obviously, you shouldn’t be the only one to make the effort, but my thought is his effort may take a little more time.

      I can’t say what the right thing is to do, but you’re giving up a lot of you give up your marriage. Years from now, you won’t be able to sit with your grandchildren together and enjoy being grandparents. Your children graduating, getting married, having babies–all these life events you’ll both be attending from separate lives, likely with other people, complete strangers at the moment and who will never share the one the two of you have with your family.

      Well, just my thought. I wish you the best. You are not a witch.

      1. A key thing is to make sure you can receive the loving things he does (or tries to do) for you. Those may be less if he always got slapped down for attempts, or at least it seemed to him like he was slapped down, but I would be they are still there.

        I am completely convinced it is not the bad things that are done, but the failure to appreciate the good things that are done, that do in many marriages.

      2. Of course shes to blame, he never done any of those things that she was mad about him not doing in the begining of the relationship. THATS who she married, now your mad at him years later for being the person he always was? Wheres the logic?

      3. It is also vitally important that women be completely clear about what she expects, and doesn’t go ballistic if something is seen as unrealistic. Men may know quite a bit about their spouse, including how and why they act, but they are still not mind readers.

        I would definitely agree with the idea of seeking restoration to your husband. Not being able to be with grandchildren together (for the most part at least) will be a huge hit to your own children.

        I know I did get ticked at my ex-wife when she had only called me once, for a very brief call when she was gone for a week or so with her family. It was clear I was a distant second to them (very clear now that she is with them full time). She did things in and would probably say many of the same things you did.

        I don’t know your husband, but hopefully he would really work things out if you are really willing to listen and hear what you have not been able to see as well. It will not work however if you only focus on telling him what he did wrong.

        Hope that makes sense.

    2. Sounds like you’re both at fault. You need anger management and are probably too hard to live with (too critical). He’s irresponsible and doesn’t act like an adult. He needs to grow up and you need to stop being his mommy.