An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4

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You have a couple choices. I hope you'll make the correct one.
You have a couple choices. I hope you’ll make the correct one.

She’s going to leave you.

And even if she doesn’t, she’s going to want to. She’s going to fantasize about your best friend. Or her friend’s husband. Or her co-worker who pays attention to her. Or the guy who smiled at her at Starbucks. Or the UPS man. Or me.

A 5’9” guy with a kid who got dumped this year and cries a little more than he should. She fantasizes about THAT guy.

That’s how shitty you are.

She won’t even be able to help herself.

Despite what a total self-absorbed prick you are, she still loves you and wants YOU to be the one who makes her feel good.

But you don’t.

You make her feel like shit. When she tries to talk to you, you tell her the things she thinks and feels are stupid.

When she asks you nicely to do something simple for her, you refuse.

When she asks you nicely to not do something anymore, you do it anyway.

You make her feel bad when you put your immediate wants ahead of the needs of your relationship or family.

When you don’t tell her she looks good. When you don’t tell her she makes you feel good. When you don’t show her that you want her.

That situation is unsustainable. And she’s going to leave you.

Or she’s going to sleep with someone else. And then leave you.

Don’t shake your head no. You’re in denial.

I’m right.

She will. Or she’ll really, really want to which I submit is equally bad.

Then you’re going to get divorced. Because a human being can only take so much, and sooner or later, the misery of divorce is going to seem like a lesser pain than the misery of living with you.

That one’s going to sting.

And then you’re going to be alone and your life is going to be shitty. And one day you’re going to have a really rough morning with your kids. And then the day care lady is going to come over and pick up your son and he isn’t going to want to leave you because he knows he’s not going to see you for three days and he’s going to cry as the day care lady peels him off of your leg so that he’s not late for school and you’re not late for work. And he’s going to scream “Daddy! Daddy!” as he gets carried away sobbing and you can’t help him because you can’t even help yourself.

And then you’re going to cry in your kitchen and call your ex-wife names between the sobs.

But really?

It’s going to be your fucking fault. Because you brought this on yourself.

Don’t ever forget it.


Shameless Self-Promotion Note About My Coaching Services

I started coaching in 2019. Clients and I work collaboratively through current and past relationship stuff in order to improve existing relationships or to prepare for future ones. Other clients are trying to find themselves after divorce or a painful breakup. We talk by phone or video conference. People like it. Or at least they fake it really well by continuing to schedule future coaching calls and give me more money. If you’re going through something and think I might be able to help, it’s really easy to find out for sure. Learn More Here.


When Two Become One

When you’re a kid, your parents are the most-important figures in your life. You can barely imagine life without them.

But you grow. Mature. Gain independence.

Then you meet someone. Someone you decide is going to replace your parents as the central figure in your life. They become the most-important thing.

But now, you don’t always treat her that way. It’s because you’re a shitty husband. Don’t worry. It’s not just you. Most of us are.

You see, I know you’re not a bad person. I’m not either.

You don’t have to be a bad person to be a shitty husband. The shitty-husband badge isn’t only reserved for assholes.

By assholes, I mean guys who cheat, guys who are physically or mentally abusive, guys who drink excessively or do drugs, guys who go out every night leaving their wives to fend for themselves or to care for children alone.

You might even be nice like me. Kind. Empathetic. Caring.

But there’s a demon inside you that you can’t quite fight off. The sex isn’t quite as stimulating as it used to be. You probably think it’s her fault.

Because she used to really get your blood pumping. Back when she wanted you. Needed you. You didn’t have to ask. You could see the need. Feel the need. And you loved it. Because we all have a little Alpha in us.

And now she doesn’t make you feel wanted. She doesn’t make you feel needed.

It’s not because she doesn’t want to. She wants to. It’s an involuntary sort-of apathy she feels now. Because you robbed her of the passion she once had for you. And she resents you for it.

This isn’t the life she’d hoped for. The one you’d promised her curled up in the sheets and one another on a Saturday morning when you were young and nothing else mattered.

She can’t want you now. Because the fire’s gone. Extinguished.

And the pain and frustration of that realization is almost unbearable for her. That you don’t love her anymore. That you don’t want her anymore. That she matters so little to you now that your job, or your friends, or your video games, or your drinking, or your golfing, or your TV watching, or whatever, has taken priority over her. You’re the person she chose over her parents. The person she trusted with the rest of her life.

Because you’d rather play Call of Duty or watch reruns on the couch, than tell your wife she looks sexy, than clean up the kitchen for her, than spend a couple hours making her climax over and over again.

Right now, maybe you’re nodding your head.

“Yeah, Matt. I would rather do something for myself.”

  1. You’ll regret thinking that.
  2. You deserve what’s coming.

What Divorce is Like

According to the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, divorce and marital separation are the second- and third-most-stressful things that can happen to us in our entire lives, behind only the death of a spouse. But if she had died rather than leave you, you’d at least sleep at night dreaming of the good times together, rather than thinking about the new guy sticking his penis inside your wife and imagining how much happier she is now.

Do you like stress?

Divorce is bad.

Worse than I thought. And I’m relatively smart.

Especially if you’re a dad.

When you’re a divorced dad, no childless woman wants you. It’s hard enough being a parent when you love the child more than all other things on Earth. Imagine having to be a parent when you don’t love the child that much. And you’re asking her to do that after someone who lived with you for a long time, intentionally had children with you, then decided life without you was more attractive than life with you.

So, hope you wanted more kids. Because if you want to date someone, that’s what you’re looking at.

Good luck with that.

When you’re divorced, you have less money than you used to, so you can’t even afford to distract yourself from how shitty your life is now with small pockets of fun. You have to stay home where no one comes to visit you because all of your friends liked it better when you were with your wife, and none of your couples friends want to hang out on the weekend with the sad, single guy.

When you’re divorced, your kids are sad, and it’s mostly your fault.

When you’re divorced, the ONLY thing about your life that doesn’t change is all of the things you do now that push her away.

But once she’s left you, you’re not going to want to do those things anymore. Because the things you thought were bringing you happiness ended up bringing you the most misery you’ve ever felt.

When you’re divorced, everything is three times as hard, because you’re only half of yourself, and no one’s there to help.

If you do get divorced, I hope you have your family nearby. That will help. But if you’re honest with them, and if they’re honest with you, everyone’s going to be disappointed in you and miss when you were still a couple. They might even say so. That will make you feel bad and you’ll want to see your family less.

What to Do if You Want to Get a Divorce

You think it might be cool? You think it’s going to be a bunch of sex with hot strangers and parties and football with the boys?

Maybe it will. Maybe you really will like the single life better.

No one to tell you you’re making them feel bad. No one to interrupt you watching Thursday Night Football. No one to tell you you can’t order pizza from your favorite place. No one to nag you about your laundry or bathroom habits.

It will be just like high school or college again! Freedom!

You’re wrong. But you’re a guy. So you’re not going to listen to me anyway.

If you want to get a divorce, just go ahead and keep doing what you’re doing. Watching Bones reruns. Playing video games. Ignoring her.

But here’s the thing: I know you don’t really want to get divorced.

If you did, you’d have already filed.

You want to stay married. I’d like to help.

What to Do if You Want to Stay Married

First, evaluate your wife’s state of being.

If she’s acting scared and needy and clingy or nagging and begging for attention, that’s a GOOD thing. That means she hasn’t reached the apathetic stage yet where she’s highly likely to sleep with other men, leave you, or both.

If she’s acting like a different person. Quiet. Reserved. Doesn’t “bother” you as much about the stuff that troubles her, I’ve got bad news, man. It’s not because it’s no longer bothering her or that she’s turned a corner and understands you more now.

It’s because she doesn’t give a shit about you, she’s learning to do everything by herself as she prepares for her life as a single, divorced woman, and she might be having sex with someone else. If she’s not, she’s strongly entertaining the idea.

She’d rather pleasure herself while thinking about your friend or her co-worker or some blogger she’s never met than have you touch her.

Chew on that for a minute.

She needs to feel something. And every night you choose TV, beer, video games, whatever, over her. She’s given you a million and a half chances. And you just keep doing the wrong thing.

It’s not okay for her to go have sex with someone else. It’s not. I’m not defending her.

But it does make sense, right? When you process it in that non-emotional, logical brain of yours?

The thing we all crave the most is happiness. You make her sad. If you didn’t have children, money, real estate and family ties, she’d already be gone.

I can’t promise that if you do any of these things, she’ll forgive you. But I do promise you’ll give yourself a fighting chance to keep your marriage and family intact.

  1. Do not say anything negative toward her for an entire day. Once you pull that off, go an entire week. If you can do it for an entire week, you can do it forever. Say kind things. Not mean things. Every day. When you mess up, apologize. Twice.
  2. Hug her daily. Mean it. While you’re hugging her, ask this question: “What can I do for you to make your day better?” You’re going to want her to say have sex with her. But she’s not going to. She’s going to want you to clean the kitchen, bathe the kids and walk the dog. She’s going to want you to do those things so that she has time to do two loads of laundry AND maybe take a bath or whatever she likes to do when she has a precious few minutes to herself. Ask that question every day with love and sincerity. Do whatever she asks to the best of your ability, without complaining about it. Do that enough times, and she’s going to want you to have sex with her. And it’s going to feel like it used to. Yay you. You’re making progress.
  3. Flirt with her. Not pervy-douchebag flirt, either, unless she takes it to the dirty place herself. Send her a nice text once or twice a day: “Thinking about you. Please let me know what I can do to make your day better,” and later “I can’t wait to see you later. I hope you know how loved and wanted you are.”
  4. Kiss her. The really nice kind. The first-date kind. Don’t try to have sex with her. Do this three or four times per week. If she makes you have sex with her one of those times, it’s okay.
  5. Take one of her “jobs” away from her. The one she likes the least. You know how she always does laundry and you always mow the lawn? How she always does the dishes and you always take out the trash? Take one of those off her plate. Ask her which one. And take it. And work your ass off to do a good job. You’ll learn to respect how challenging her life is, how amazing she is at multi-tasking and time-management, and you’ll get another taste of how much shittier your life would be as a single guy doing all of this alone. Why should you take one of her jobs away? Because she does more than you do. And if you want a successful marriage, you have to give more than you take. You give her support. She gets more time to relax and feel good about her life. You get a happy wife who wants to have sex with you. The good kind of sex. Everyone wins.
  6. If you’re not exercising, start. You don’t have to be Adonis. You just have to not be a fat slob. You might be surprised how far 50 pushups, 50 sit-ups and 60 seconds in the plank position can take you right when you wake up, and right before bed. We’re talking 10-15 minutes a day, tops.
  7. Learn about your wife. Two parts. First, read a book about why women do what they do. There are several. You’ve probably heard of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I personally prefer How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. It’s a book that will gain fast credibility with you because the authors clearly understand why you do and feel many of the things you do. You’ll appreciate that they “get” you. And then you’ll believe them when they tell you why your wife does and feels the things she does. And if you have an empathetic bone in your body, you’ll instantly feel terrible for all of the pain you’ve caused the person you love over the years, and you’ll learn how to communicate in healthy ways. You’ll learn why you have the same fights over and over and over again about the exact same things. It’s NOT just you! It’s every couple. Everyone has the same natural instincts and tendencies and defense mechanisms that cause conflict in our human relationships. And once you learn what those are, you can navigate those waters. The “mystery” of women that you hear other guys talk about. It’s not a mystery. She REALLY IS different than you. Don’t treat her like a man. Second, learn about your wife like you did when you first started dating. Because she’s not the same person she used to be. She’s matured. Maybe she’s a mother now. Maybe she doesn’t like the missionary position as much as used to. She has different hopes and dreams than she used to. And if you help her achieve them? You can have a truly happy life and marriage. And that’s what I want for you. And for her. And for your children. And for your friends. And for your extended family.

Or you can just get divorced like me.

You can spend Christmas Day alone. You can never have sex. You can never have anyone there to listen to how hard your day was. You can do all of your laundry alone. The house is REALLY quiet when you’re folding laundry alone. You can pay all the bills yourself. Hope you’re good at managing time and money. You can watch movies and television shows alone. You can never see all of your old couples friends. You can clean the kitchen and bathrooms alone. Or you can let them get disgusting as a daily reminder of just how far you’ve fallen.

Please fight for your life and family.

Like a warrior.

She’s worth it.

And so are you.

You May Also Want to Read:

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 2

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 3

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

280 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4”

  1. Reblogged this on rougedmount and commented:
    I remember being there a very long time ago…I am not sure I can see the path anymore as its on the side of another mountain…I’m not sure I want to bother climbing back down and starting the climb up again, either…

  2. OMG, can you send this to my husband in letter form please?!?!? Hurrry… Your words, very real to me. Sting almost. Thank you for this post. You nailed exactly what happened to us and why.

    1. Yeah. Unfortunately, it’s not terribly hard to predict.

      It’s all very typical.

      The good news, I think, is that it becomes much easier to tackle when you realize it’s nothing weird. We’re all basically the same. And all we have to do is exercise a little bit of kindness and restraint to live a pretty comfortable, peaceful, and fulfilling lifestyle.

      Men often figure it out way too late.

      I was one of them.

      Thank you for reading.

      1. Thank you for writing. I’m sorry that you figured out too late how you could have helped her/been more focused on her… however I’m willing to bet she could have done a lot more for you too. I have fallen short of the respectful, kind, SUPPORTIVE wife too. None of us are perfect. Don’t beat yourself up too bad. I never claimed to be perfect and am far from. It takes two to tango…. divorce and marriage require two people. Hugs to you.

      2. Wow. I echo @Being Her’s comments above and below. My situation could go either way at this point, but like @rougedmount stated, I’m not sure about climbing in any direction. We are separated and get along quite well at the moment. I’m not lonely because I’m OK with being alone, as I have been emotionally for a lifetime. H, on the other hand, is not OK with being alone. I guess this means he misses me – or maybe he misses my physical presence while being distracted by TV or something else. The determination hasn’t yet been made on that one.

        Thanks much for your poignant writing. I’m very glad to have come across your blog.


        1. Thank you for reading and saying hi. I’m truly sorry to hear your marriage suffered what so many of ours’ do.

          Fingers crossed for you that it can have a happy ending.

          1. Thanks so much! If there’s a couple that can do it, it would be us. I’m impressed with the progress and steady effort H has shown. I’m sorry it had to come to extremes but for too many years I was already there. It was a bit of a shock to him, denial and all that.

            Onward we go…

          2. At some point I’m going to need to defend men. And I will.

            We DO NOT understand that we’re hurting you as badly as we are.

            These are mostly accidental wounds.

            Most men love their wives. They’re just shitty husbands and that love isn’t good enough. Once they swallow their pride and acknowledge that, good things can happen.

          3. You are spot on and this is something I learned through our process. I won’t pretend to understand how H could have missed my hurt but then again, he probably missed the depth of it because he didn’t understand it.

            That I understand. 😀

            Eh, defend everyone. This relationship/marriage stuff is god-awful difficult and, as of my last search, there is no certification that either qualifies or endorses a person as being the perfect marriage partner.

            I think you’re brave to write the way you do because it’s clear that the hurt is so deep. Wow. I’m sorry. I really am. I remember seeing that hurt in H and wished to the gods that I hadn’t been a part of any of what caused it. Yet, we both were. Part of the deal I guess.

    1. Yeah. The real problem guys won’t be reading blog posts about saving their marriage.

      Men like to learn the hard way.

      It’s sad.

  3. Pingback: Reblogged this. This post has nearly left me speechless. | Being Her, (the other woman)...

  4. Wow. Your timing is amazing. I’ve just posted a blog about my husband, and how he makes me feel. Your post is way more succinct, and funnier to boot. Fantastic to read something like this from the xy point of view… What a fabulous post and blog! Thanks!!

    1. Thank you very much. I’m beyond sorry you’re dealing with this too.

      It hasn’t taken me long to figure out just how universal this all is.

      None of us are weird. We’re just human. And if some of these guys can figure it out before the point of no return, a lot of pain and suffering can be avoided.

      That’s my wish.

  5. Note: Some women can be clingy, needy and “want” their husbands all while wanting, fantasizing and possibly making inappropriate decisions with other men as well. When you’re sad, really, very sad, you look for that happiness anywhere you can get it.

    1. Of course.

      My point was supposed to be that if husbands treat their wives with genuine love and respect, that’s far less likely to happen.

      That’s what I believe, at least. I can only hope it’s true.

      1. From my experience, I would say your hypothesis is a good one, albeit it’s only part of the equation [choice being another part]. We would “chicken/egg” these things to death but the reality is that after nearly 20 years of cold, harsh and disconnected, I was surprised to find out I wasn’t horrible and that someone could pay attention to me and even – gasp – *care* about me.


        I’m not an ugly troll by any means, I just no longer had the (internal) self-esteem to accompany my looks, education, and demeanor (external). So, I began to dismiss myself as an attractive and intelligent female. After all, I’d programmed myself to ignore other men and any interest they may have shown. I didn’t really notice the die-off of my soul in the process.

  6. I think you should write a book. I’m not joking. In most cases, the only men who realize the importance of what you’re saying are those who have been left by their wives. I should know. I’m one of those wives.

    1. I was able to figure it out before she physically left. But not before she emotionally did.

      Too little, too late.

      I care very much about families staying together. I don’t know if I can help. But I want to.

  7. I am not surprised but a interesting note. It is mostly women who bother to read this. That is the problem. I was going to repost it, but know it is useless. You could have been my ex’s twin and I’m sure many, many, others out there who are divorced. They all want to shut the barn door after the horse is out.

    1. I don’t even know what that means. I’m not very smart.

      But I know this: If one man takes the time to read this, reflect on his choices, and God-willing makes better ones to grow as a man and keep a family together, then it was worth my time.

      Thanks for reading.

      1. You hush now, you ARE smart. You made some mistakes – hell, we all do – and you’re learning from them. A little every day. And I promise you, things are going to get better just a tiny bit every day, and eventually you will pull out of this haze. You will.

        Shutting the barn door after the horse is out means only realizing there’s a problem and/or trying to fix it when it’s too late.

    1. I wish I believed it would help.

      Men don’t want to be told they’re not good enough.

      It’s so hard for us to understand how we hurt you. I’m so sorry. For both of you. Thank you for reading.

  8. I agree with the comment above: you should write a book. This is exactly what happened to my marriage. I was all about “us” – he was always about “him”. For years this went on and when I got to the point where I wondered if I were actually invisible, HE cheated. I’m still here, mostly because my I don’t think my child should have to pay for the sins of his father, but partially because I allowed my life’s blood to be sucked out of me for so many years. My husband will be reading all of your posts. Hopefully the chasm isn’t too deep to cross. Thank you so much for your wisdom. I look forward to your next post.

    1. You were emotionally abandoned, THEN literally cheated on? And you stayed?

      That’s heroic.

      I believe in redemption. In good things coming from bad. In the ability of people to grow and change and be more tomorrow than they are today.

      Thank you for reading.

      1. uneffingbelievable

        Heroic or moronic? I can’t decide which. (Probably the latter). I was one of those women who always told herself infidelity would not be tolerated. But when children are a part of the equation, that’s a big game changer. And I think my H knew that and knew I valued my son’s emotional security above my own. My friends all tell me I’d find another man in a minute, anyone would be lucky to have me, blah, blah, blah. But honestly, these last few years have cured me of my romantic dreams. I used to believe that love and trust and making your way in this world with a partner you can depend on was the most important path in life. Now? I’m just too cynical.

        1. I’m really sorry.

          I’ve seen what you’re describing up close and personal.

          Cynicism does set it. It all feels a little too heavy. And you do it shouldering so much family responsibility too.

          I’ve been feeling really terrible about my life lately, so I haven’t been writing much about it…

          But, hope. It’s my favorite thing in the world. And whether what I’m hoping for ever happens or doesn’t happen is irrelevant–because I can always choose hope. I can always believe tomorrow can be better than now, especially if I take responsibility for my choices and make better ones.

          Please be hopeful. Your family is worth it.

    2. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stay and watch what little actual life was left in me sucked out over the next 10 years. I wanted to hang on for my son. The pain and confusion children experience when parents separate and divorce is unimaginable. I’ll never forgive myself (or him) for not doing better for my son.

      I learned a lot the hard away, about how to not let this happen to me again in any future relationships. Never again will I be with anyone who is not my partner 50/50. Never again will I mother a man and shoulder more and more and more as he does less and less. NEVER.

      You can be alive again. Your story doesn’t have to end this way. I just wanted you to know. Life is short and we only get one.

      1. uneffingbelievable

        “Never again will I mother a man and shoulder more and more and more as he does less and less. NEVER.” You, dear girl, nailed it! You have obviously emerged from your marriage coma with all of your facilities intact. Me? Not so much. I’m forever changed and “hope” is just not in my vocabulary any longer. And I think you need hope to go out into the world and look for better. I know you’ll find what you’re looking for – you deserve the very best. Don’t settle for less.

  9. Wow… thanks for this, it should be required reading for any man who’s contemplating marriage. I was also neglected, cheated on for years and emotionally abused. He shaped up and I stayed. I hope everyday that I’ve made the right choice for my life.

    1. Thank you for being brave and fighting for your marriage.

      People quit so easily anymore, it seems. You soldier on. It’s inspiring and appreciated.

      I hope it can become something wholly satisfying and spiritually fulfilling.

  10. The best teacher is the one who had to work at learning.
    Yeah, you actually should write a book.
    I found this post hard to read. Not because of the post– it’s brilliantly written. But because of me. Because of what it dredged up. The whole time I was reading I kept wondering: If my ex had had the opportunity to read this ten years ago, would he have seen himself in these words? In his case, the ability to see anything was so compromised by scotch at that point that the answer I kept coming to was: probably not. But for lots of other men, I think you have a strong message. I like that you come at this as a man speaking to men about relationships. I think men need to hear these things from other men.

    1. Most men will call me a pussy and that I’m simply compromising my ‘manliness’ and individuality.

      Even if they’re not interested in doing the right thing because it’s right, I wish they’d understand just how horrible life after divorce can be.

      If men would step up and do their part–be the leader in working on the relationship, I think the results would be incredible. A lot of couples and families would survive.

      Fewer broken people. Fewer broken children. More great examples of what real love is all about for others to observe.

      Big deal to me.

        1. We’re all just a bunch of flawed people trying to figure it out. It’s all the people that don’t work hard at life’s most-important things that frustrate me.

      1. What you’ve said in these posts actually jibes with everything I’ve read on marriage and relationships. I don’t think most women want men to idolize them. But we do want our husbands to do something, anything, besides nothing.

        Something, anything to make our lives a little easier, especially for those of us who work.

        When you work full-time to provide insurance and income for the family, when you mother and care for the home and the yard and you cook and you clean and make doctor’s appointments and remember birthdays and buy gifts and volunteer on the PTA and read to your child and make sure the laundry is done and you try to keep up the illusion that your life is Pinterest-pretty and FB-ready … well, shit, is it SO MUCH to ask to have a husband help with one shitty little thing?

        Like maybe take out the trash without having to be told?

        Or picking up your socks and dirty underwear off the damn bedroom floor?

        Or hey, get crazy and maybe do the bedtime routine for one whole night with your kid so your wife can take a bath in that amazing jacuzzi tub you say you had put into the master bathroom “just for her” … only in 5 years she’s never even sat in it once because she doesn’t have TIME to?

        When my ex-H and I would argue, it always came back around to the same thing, over and over again. If he would just do what LITTLE I asked of him, everything would probably have been fine. I didn’t need to be adored. But I did get tired of asking for help — which is actually extremely hard for me to do — because it never materialized. So what happens then? Then you stop asking. Because at least if you handle it yourself, you know it gets done.

        And then you get overwhelmed and resentful. Your husband becomes another child you have to pick up after and babysit. And that, friends, is when things go very badly indeed.

        Like you said, Matt, it’s when she stops talking and withdraws that you’re swiftly approaching the point of no return. John Gottman refers to it as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. And he is correct.

        Good dialogue here today. This blog post has been shared a lot on FB today. Maybe some good conversations will be had as a result.

        1. I was foolish. So many guys are. And I’m incredibly sorry for all you’ve endured. I promise I get it. And I wish I could do more to help everyone who feels as you have never feel that way again.

          A lot of men don’t know that dead-inside feeling.

          Changes your life.

  11. Nailed it. Again. Have read it three times now. Wish all husbands could read this at least once. Problem is, most don’t realize it’s ‘that’ bad until the wife gets to that point of no return. That moment when you have just emotionally checked the hell out because you literally have nothing left to give. Sigh. I agree with your comment earlier… If this post helps at least one relationship move in a positive direction, then you have truly served a greater purpose with your writing. And Matt, I promise, it is doing just that.

    1. Thank you. 🙂

      Means a lot. That’s always my wish. Just one person rethinking their choices so they don’t end up like me.

      I hope you’re well. Thank you for saying hi.

  12. Spot on. My Alpha instinctively wants to argue something here, but can’t. It’s unfortunate we all create similarly scripted disasters. It takes a big axe to cut through a man’s arrogance. We can only hope the blade is sharp.

  13. Love this! From the female perspective…it helps me see I wasn’t really asking for all that much from him. I would love to have shared this with ‘him’.

    1. You weren’t asking for too much. Young men think marriage is the same as having a girlfriend, only forever.

      We just keep learning the hard way, oblivious to how high the stakes really are until it’s too late.

      I’m really not trying to bag on guys either. I really just don’t want other dads to feel like me.

      Thank you so much for reading.

  14. As one of the women on the other side of all of this… I find it so incredibly sad and painful to read a lot of what is written here. I suffered in this way for years, and nothing I said or did ever made a difference – and even after he dumped me multiple times and came crawling back with supposed “renewed” determination to be better (and of course I trusted each time) it just… always went back to everything you wrote.
    I keep wondering if maybe he’d read this before it was too late, it would’ve made a dent.
    Who knows…

    1. I’ve always cared. I’ve always loved. My heart has always been in the right place.

      And still, it took my wife saying “I don’t know if I love you anymore. I don’t know of I want to be married to you anymore,” for me to really apply myself to being the best husband I could be.

      She left 18 months later. It was too late.

      Men and women are very different on the inside. Both have trouble respecting our differences. But men are a little worse, because our “understanding” requires more change and effort than women understanding.

      I’m writing like I know. Like I’m an expert. But really I’m just a sad, divorced guy who has a hard time finding dates.

      1. Do you think the changes you were implicating would have stuck? Or do you think after awhile there would have been backsliding?
        Also, how long had you been married to her?
        Sorry to be so nosy.
        I too am very sad but… in my case it’s because I feel I poured my heart and soul into twelve years of being with someone, and even though I’m still in pain over it (and maybe always will be), I was the one who ended up pulling away this time because things had changed – and as you wrote at the top, someone else came into the picture and showed me what it SHOULD have felt like to be happy, all those years… *sigh*
        But I’m truly sorry to hear of your sadness. I’m still stuck in the stage of wondering WHY all the time, and dealing with the pain and acceptance.
        Everyone tells me I made the right decision but it’ll always hurt and feel like a failure of some sort.

        1. We were together 12 years, married for nine.

          Of course I would have messed up. I’m a human being. There are no perfect partners. No perfect marriages.

          Only people willing to sacrifice. Give more than they take. Forgive. And genuinely put forth the effort to be a better version of themselves every day.

          Life is not a romantic comedy.

          But that doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful.

          1. Well messing up is different than backsliding completely and causing more pain. And yes a lot of sacrifice is always involved but, when one person is the one doing all of that… I guess it just catches up after awhile.
            No one endured more than I did for… hm pretty much the same exact amount of time as your relationship. It’s just a wonder that that long of a time couldn’t bring about realization on the other end too…

          2. Yes. Marriage requires two people. Giving 100 percent to one another each direction.

            The husband gives all he can. The wife feels good because she’s getting so much. He feels good because he’s giving so much, providing, and making her happy.

            The wife gives all she can. The husband feels good because he’s getting so much. She feels good because she’s giving so much, and creating happiness.

            If TWO people give, give, give, you don’t even have to be selfish because you’re getting so much in return.

            The joy of giving AND receiving.

            I don’t understand what’s so complicated about it. But it took me til 30+ to figure it out.

            Life needn’t be so complicated and messy.

            The glitch in the plan is when you find someone who doesn’t care.

            I don’t know how to make people care.

    1. I wish I believed it would matter.

      Men don’t respond well to: “Check out this emo guy on the internet! He knows how to treat his wife! You should think and feel this way!”

      All he would hear is: “You’re not good enough! Guys whose wives left them and who occasionally cry in the kitchen before work are better husbands than you!”

      Then he’d withdraw more and make the situation worse.

      Men have to figure out what their priorities are and decide what they’re willing to do about it. I changed my life. Too little, too late. But at least now I know.

      I hope he will too.

      Appreciate you reading.

      1. You are right. He won’t get it. The reality is that he isn’t good enough. If he were, I wouldn’t be miserable. I told him all the things I felt right before our son was born. That was 6 years ago. I am tired of being his cheerleader and him still giving the bare minimum. The only reason I haven’t walked away is because of our child.

        1. I don’t want to make a mockery of the tragedy you’re describing, but I feel compelled to quote Rocky IV:

          If I can change. And you can change. Everyone can change.

          1. I think I would have to actually leave to get him to change and even then, the change wouldn’t be because there are things he needs to change. He would only be doing it because of me which is not something he will maintain. As soon as I become complacent, he will fall back to the way he is now. I know myself well enough that if I do leave, I am not coming back because I shouldn’t have to mother an adult.

          2. Believe me when I say I understand. And I’m incredibly sorry for all three of you.

            I wish being an adult didn’t have to be so messy.

  15. As you know, I love your writing style, Matt. But I do think several important things are missing here:

    1. This is a wonderful summary of husbands’ shortcomings. The complement needed is a summary of wives’ shortcomings. I realize that you are relating your own experiences, but it does work the other way too.

    2. Please recognize that some men really should not get married. (Think twice before “replacing” your parents as the most important people in your life.) There are other ways to gain acceptance, love and sex without needlessly ruining a good woman’s life. Stay single and do your sports and TV and drinking thing if you want. You can’t have it both ways. I love being married, but most people I know do not.

    3. The whole world will probably disagree with me, but I believe that sex is overrated. Sure, it’s great, but it’s not everything. If you remove sex from the whole equation for a minute, you can paint a much clearer picture of where you are and what you really want.

    4. I am deeply sorry for what you are going through with your son. Praise God that we don’t have children. We have each other, and that is enough.

    Thanks for welcoming differences of opinion!

    1. I’m so sorry I didn’t reply to this! Accident. This has been a busy post, sir. My busiest ever.

      I believe in accepting responsibility for your own actions. I expect women to do the same.

      I’ll own mine.

      Of course men aren’t evil. Of course wives make it worse sometimes. They’re people too.

      I stand by what I’ve written. Between men and women (who are already married or who are soon going to be) I believe STRONGLY that men have the most power to dictate the outcomes of their relationships.

      If they do what I believe is right, they may get a little less “free time” than they want. But they’ll have love. Family. Togetherness.

      If they don’t? They’ll have unlimited “free time” and be miserable like me. Or, they’ll find themselves with wives who are dead on the inside.

      You’re definitely in the minority on the sex thing, sir. And the most-responsible place to have it is in a monogamous marriage.

      But, you’re right, of course. Not everyone should get married. But most of us are going to give it a shot. People might as well employ best practices rather than mess up a bunch of lives, including their own.

      I’m not suggesting that men are all bad. I’m suggesting they’re accidentally bad husbands, and in the end, their laziness and selfishness leads to their emotional demise.

  16. Woah, hang on one cotton picking minute! Yes, we can all do better…. ALL do better. Just ’cause she left doesn’t mean it’s one person’s fault. It takes two to get together and two to break apart.

    Wife’s have a tendency to assume that they are the central part of some kind of orbit and we go along with that reducing ourselves to nothing in the meantime. We shouldn’t do that, not if we believe in equality. You have a right and proper place in a nucleus. So stop your self deprecation and move on. If it doesn’t work it doesn’t work. In most cases the words used in arguments are just excuses to something greater that’s underlying. -A (

    1. I’m sure I could write a million words on shitty wives too.

      But if men did everything they should, 90 percent of wives would never do anything shitty in the first place.

      In my opinion, “shitty wives” are mostly a product of reacting to bad things their husbands do.

      If husbands can get it right, then most of the shiftiness goes away. Then little kids get to keep their parents. Then adults don’t have to be miserable and sad. Family and friends needn’t fracture.

      It doesn’t have to be like this. The people with the most power to fix it are boyfriends and husbands.

      That said, thank you.

      I appreciate you encouraging me to take it easy on myself. I have a real problem with that.

      1. uneffingbelievable

        I think this is brilliant, Matt. Most women go into marriage hopeful, wanting to be a partner, to make the man she loves happy, and to raise a family together. TOGETHER. So many men go into marriage thinking that their wings will be clipped, are sad that their frat boy days are over, and terrified that the woman they love will turn into that beast with fangs – a wife. You said it best when you said men think marriage is having a girlfriend forever. But they don’t treat their wives like girlfriends. They treat them like mothers, jailers and parole officers. I know my marriage would have been so different if I didn’t feel my husband wanted to be anywhere but here. If I ever once felt that home was the only place he wanted to be. I think he’s starting to realize that all that noise out there is just that – noise. Noise to distract him from the emptiness inside that his personality disorder causes him.

        1. It’s a sad story. Told over and over and over and over again.

          It’s the worst thing that ever happened to me–twice. As a child. And now as a husband and father.

          If some child out there can somehow keep mom and dad together because the right person read the right sentence that I wrote? It takes a little bit of the pain away.

          I have no idea who reads this. I have no idea what they think when they do.

          But if it can just matter to the right person and be part of the growth or healing process?

          My life will have mattered. All the shittiness wasn’t in vain.

          Really appreciate you reading and commenting. Thank you.

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  18. And I shall repost this and hope my ex one day sees it…but then again he may not even recognize himself. Denial runs deep. Thanks for posting this Matt.

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing.

      When you’ve convinced yourself you’re a “good” person, it’s almost impossible to believe you can cause someone so much pain. And it makes you angry when the person you love the most tells you that you are.

      Men assume she’s wrong. Mistaken.

      Because no one else says that about him. Only her. Small data sample.

      They don’t know that so many wives feel this way. That THIS is why we have a 50-percent divorce rate.

      I don’t know how to help either. But I want to.

        1. Everyone? One person? Anyone?

          I just don’t want people to do this unless it’s absolutely necessary.

          I’m sure some lives are enhanced after divorce. But I can’t imagine it’s very many.

  19. Wow…it’s like you were right there with me and my husband. I wish he would have listened. I wish he had someone like you to say exactly this to him. By the time he “got it” it was too late…however, I don’t believe he would have changed anyway.
    Divorce does suck. It also sucks being in an unhappy marriage. So you have two choices, put in your all…or get the f*ck out.
    We all learn the hard way…but hopefully we only need to learn that lesson once.

    1. I don’t think people realize how universal these problems are.

      The takeaway should not be “Oh shit! What’s the point? Everyone’s marriage sucks!”

      The takeaway should be: “If these are universal problems, then there must also be universal solutions. I’m not alone.”

      And it’s true. There are solutions. And we’re not alone.

      Thanks for saying hi, Dawn. Hope you have a good day. 🙂

  20. I found these blogs this morning and forwarded them all to my husband. We are going through a VERY rough patch right now. He is basically everything you’ve described here. I *think* this opened his eyes up, a lot and I want to thank you for this. A wife can tell her husband every single one of these things herself and they come across as nagging. I think reading this from a man’s perspective helped tremendously. Thank you.

    1. This is really nice to read. Thank you. I discourage people from doing this because I don’t want men to have this stuff thrown in their face…

      “SEE!!??!! You’re not good enough!!!”

      No relationship will be saved by delivering that message. And even if that’s not what you’re saying, many guys will take it that way.

      We desperately want to provide for you and make you happy. We feel ashamed when we see that we’re not making you happy. That shame DESTROYS us and poisons our relationship with you.

      The best present I can give you this holiday season is a gentle plea to never deliver a message to your husband in a way that he might interpret as “You’re not good enough.”

      Lift him up. Encourage him to be a warrior. Praise him for the things he does well.

      He may surprise you yet.

      Always hope.

      I appreciate you taking the time to write this. Thank you so much.

      1. While I see what you’re saying, Matt, he needed to see these things from a man’s perspective.

        We’ve talked since he read this and he said he doesn’t want our marriage to end like yours did. Your comments about the intimacy were the biggest eye-opening comments for him. I tell him all of the exact things you wrote, but they never sink in. Seeing them written out by someone who’s been through this, made him realize that my wants are not selfish, but the normal way to treat your wife.

        I promise, I didn’t tell him that he wasn’t good enough. I told him that he IS good enough, but some of the actions he takes are harmful to our marriage.

        For what it’s worth; I’m well aware I’m not the perfect wife. I just don’t want to be one of those wives that look elsewhere for the affection my husband promised me…

        Happy Holidays, Matt… 🙂

        1. I won’t be able to feel better about myself today than I do right now.

          Thank you so much.

          Many blessings for you both this holiday season.

          You can’t know how much this note matters. But please try.

  21. This is great, Matt. I definitely believe it carries over to single men as well. It should be a mandatory read prior to marriage.

    I know your greatest hope is that someone will learn from your experience and save themselves from the same heartache. However, even if that doesn’t happen – you matter!

  22. This is so true and the reason I got rid of my roommate. At the end he couldnt understand why, i wish i could have given him this in writing maybe than he would have listen. No matter how much i complained and asked at the end I cheated on him and kicked him out of my home. Till this day he still can not understand where it went wrong. I told him just continue watching what you love most and maybe the TV will give you the comfort you so need for a human touch is not what you want.

    1. I’m sorry your story had a sad ending too.

      Here’s to next time…

      Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

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    1. We all fall short. I believe in accepting responsibility for my actions rather than point fingers.

      There are plenty of shitty wives. But I don’t know how to tell them not to be one.

      I am acutely aware of what a shitty husband looks like.

      That’s where I can make a marginal difference.

      Appreciate you reading, sir.

      1. I wasn’t a perfect husband, but I was far from shitty. I made the choice to leave my marriage with my sanity intact. I acknowledged my mistakes and will work the rest of my life making sure I never repeat them. My ex cannot say the same thing.

        1. I wasn’t man-hating. Promise. Thank you for being one of the good guys.

          Good to hear from you.

          And if you write that Shitty Wives post, I want to read it.

          1. I didn’t mean to make it sound like you were… my apologies. I may just write that shitty wives post… 🙂

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  26. Reading this letter made me cry… Even if my stupid husband had read this before our marriage was hopelessly broken it would not have changed a thing *sigh* SMH…

    1. I’m very sorry.

      I was that stupid husband, too.

      And I’m so sorry that I dredged up old feelings that made you feel bad.

      Life doesn’t have to be so sad. There’s a bunch of good people out there willing to fight the good fight.

      One good choice at time.

      Wishing good things for you. Thank you for reading. I really appreciate it.

      1. Thank you, Matt! And you did not make me sad…. They were really tears of lament and regret. I wish I could have heard your words and shared them many years ago. Especially what you said in “In Defense of Men”.

        Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I, too, am sorry that your marriage had to end like that. It seems like you are a very wonderful man!

        1. Appreciate that. I have my moments, I guess.

          I mean, I’ve had one date in eight months and two weeks.

          So, I must be doing something right.


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  30. A truly interesting read. You sound like someone that has definitely taken from your experience and can see where things might have fallen short. I’ve been divorced twice (not proud of that- just a point of reference). I can say that when I thought I was at my happiest with my ex, I never thought I could find that again. What I learned, is that there is an entire different level of happy when you meet someone that is on the same page. My current husband and I joke all the time about this. If we knew that this kind of happy existed, we would have ended our other marriages sooner. Just saying, keep your eyes open and don’t give up. I met my hubby online dating and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I worried about who would want to date a single mother, with no career ( I was a stay at home mom) living with her parents. I was in my earlier 30’s and had nothing going for me, so I thought. I could go on all day about this, but just wanted to say- don’t give up!

    1. Thank you for the smile tonight. I promise to never give up.

      I might even try online dating again someday if I get REALLY desperate, which is possible I never meet anyone. Woot.

      Thank you so much for reading and saying hi.

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    1. It’s really unfortunate how much we learn after we lose everything that mattered.

      Then, you have to redefine all that. To evolve and adapt.

      Thank you for taking time to say nice things.

  35. Pingback: An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 5 | Must Be This Tall To Ride

    1. Thank you very much! I just don’t want to see people go through divorce. Seems so messy and unnecessary.

      Appreciate you reading it. 🙂

      1. It made me think of my son, not married but in a relationship with the mother of a four year old. He’s spent thirty plus years single, and he’s struggling with not being his own man anymore.
        I wonder how I can steer him toward reading this…

      2. Wrote on your newest post and MAN some just don’t get it. Women blow it too, but how you are succinctly sharing with men how to keep their marriage from ending in divorce is DEAD on. I had hit the “I don’t care” phase about 5 years into our marriage (long ago) and was going though the motions. My husband decided to do all that you said regardless of my appreciation, acknowledgment, reaction, etc. I didn’t trust that his new behavior and commitment were real and it took him a long time to win me back. We have now been married for 23 years and I can’t imagine being without him. He is my favorite person and my very best friend. We have had 5 kids together, moved 9 times, etc etc… Do we still have issues? Occasionally. The lows aren’t even lows anymore, they are more like speed bumps than valleys like they used to be. We are now living to love each other instead of living for ourselves. It is amazing and I hope you get to use all of the wisdom you have learned to have an amazing marriage the next time around. You will be a great husband!

      3. That’s awesome Sherry! Great to hear how this actually changed your marriage for good. I am a shitty husband and my wife hit the apathy stage about a year ago. I had seen all her protests as her unreasonable, controlling issues and that I was a truly good guy, clueless, but good. Reading Matt’s posts (having been sent the link by my wife) has shone a light. Vulnerability in relationship requires massive respect and care from the other person. Worried I don’t have what it takes to turn it around. I can completely understand your scepticism of your husband’s change.

        1. I know this wasn’t for me. But, thank you, Stephen. I hope your humility and effort are rewarded.

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  39. This should be required reading before anyone gets married. You get it, and I think it can be applied for both men AND women Why should the man always take out the trash?!! Change it up, keep things fresh, but I think the main thing is to appreciate who the other person is & what they contribute to your life…appreciation.

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  42. This is wonderful! I work with a lot of women who are very unhappy in their marriages and I think you’ve got this down. These are excellent guidelines for any husband. Of course, women need to take responsibility for their part, but it often appears they continue trying to make the marriage work long after their partner has tuned out and can’t, or won’t, see what’s happening.
    One thought – gratitude goes a long way! Simply acknowledging and saying thank you throughout the day makes a huge difference. We all want to be seen, acknowledged and appreciated. Taking a few moments to notice what your partner does, and slowing down to genuinely thank them makes a huge difference!

    1. Thank you very much for reading and leaving this note.

      Gratitude, indeed. Gratitude is a prerequisite to happiness across the board in our lives.

      I really appreciate you saying so. Because it’s so true.

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  44. I wept as I read this because I am that wife.That wife who has been broken, whose spirit has been crushed because of such a husband. And yes, I dream of a way out even though it will be years away. But daily I see visions of freedom.

    I am a frog in the boiling pot of on his stove. Water seemed soothing and warm at first, but the insults, the cruelty, emotional absence and selfishness were slowly simmering. it just about boiled me alive. Only in my heart and mind have I managed to leap out to safety.

    1. It’s a story told over and over again.

      I’m so sorry you wept. I’m so sorry you don’t feel like yourself anymore.

      I pray you haven’t abandoned hope for the future. That healthy love and committed relationships do exist.

      I hope you find that very thing, if that’s what you want.

      1. I am with Crushedviolet’s above post. I too fanaticize more about living alone than fixing the problems.
        I haven’t had sex in 2016 yet and I really could not care less. I bought two vibrators last week and had them out in plain sight of my husband for 2 days. Nothing.
        I was really, really sad for most of 2015 due to the lack of sex and how badly I was hurting over his behavior and lack of interest in my needs for safety, security and feeling wanted/loved… I asked and pleaded with my husband all year (and since we were married in 2012, if you really get into it. I have tried everything that I thought would help us and bought all the books and been creative and given it time and boo hoo.).
        New Year’s Eve, I had a meeting at lunch with my husband and told him I could NOT take my issues into 2016 – it was too painful. He got mad at me for bringing it up on NYE and said we would meet later next week to discuss again. (It is the 22nd and surprise, we have not discussed it again)
        When I read… “She’d rather pleasure herself while thinking about your friend or her co-worker or some blogger she’s never met than have you touch her” …. I thought for a minute about where you lived. hahahah
        I wish I could share this article with him and get his attention and make it better. But if I did show him this article, it would be awful and definitely not make anything better. It would make it worse. I feel it is a lost cause and I am so utterly broken inside over it. I wish I could ask for advice, but I feel like it is totally hopeless. I just am thankful the kids are older and need less now. But it is nice to know there are guys out there who have learned some lessons.
        Now… perhaps I will go home to my new toys and think about some blogger out there who writes some nice articles that make me feel I might be safe with him.

  45. You ever think about learning some game and meeting new younger women? When wifey left me I was sad for a few months but I decided to jump back on the horse pretty quick, at by least having different women come around to keep me company from time to time. I did have a girlfriend but I wasn’t quite ready for all of that. However now I am never lonely though I am often alone but by choice, not circumstance. Sex however is really easy to get. Even sex with much younger women.

    To keep your woman attracted to you is not always easy, but it can be done. That’s why women want to leave BTW. Reading your essays it sounds like you ever learned these skills. I didn’t have them in sufficient quantity either. Some of the things sound pretty extra but I assure you, my personal observations validate what I have read. Just think of this. Everything your mother told you about women is wrong.

    Anyways kissing the ass of your wife IS NOT the answer. By becoming supplicating to them, women become repulsed with their men. It’s a hindbrain reaction. They cannot even verbalize it, but one indicator is when she says”I love you but, I’m not in love with you”. My marriage was happiest when I essentially did the opposite of what you recommend. Every time she thought I was fooling around, although I was faithful, she really stepped up the affection she gave me.

    Women are easy to understand once you learn about them. Once you learn your skill at starting and keeping relationships will certainly improve.

    Check out the following sites.

    1. NO!!!! The Red Pill is training to be a sociopath!! It’s a dangerous, toxic cult. You don’t have to be an asshole, just don’t be a pushover. Read Mark Manson’s “Models” instead…

      If you WANT to get divorced, learn how to treat women like shit, then read those toxic, misogynistic blogs.

      1. I don’t know how I missed this comment. But thank you, Maria, for saying exactly what I would have said had I wanted to address another nonsense comment about how I need to be a selfish prick who lies to and mistreats women in order to be happy in life.

        I agree strongly that Mark Manson’s “Models” is a great place to start, along with most other things he has written. He’s a personal favorite:

        Thanks for reading, Maria.

    2. Mike sounds like he’s mastered the art of manipulating, not loving women. Yuck. And trapping younger women at that. Let’s just see how he fares in 10 years….Fuckery ensues.

      1. Exactly. His response is to flip the script… He felt he was abused and manipulated, so now he’s gonna do the abusing and manipulating. Problem is, he’ll never be in a real relationship, or experience love with that philosophy.

        All those Red Pill assholes who read those blogs like the bible need to understand it’s very simple, BE NICE, BE KIND, just also have BALLS. True, no woman wants a pushover, but it’s not a choice between doormat and asshole!!!! You don’t have to be a narcissistic asshole and treat your wife like shit to get her to want you. Do you think that lasts, anyway? Eventually, the woman will leave. Will that make you happy? Have lots of sex and trick woman after woman… Always to end up alone when they finally wake up and realize you’re a prick?

        I agree with Chandra, keep doing that, and let me know in 10 or 20 years how happy you are and how you wasted your life.

        But I’m a woman, and what do I know, right? Women don’t realize, but they really WANT to be treated like shit… (that’s part of what those blogs say).

        Good luck, I predict a very unhappy life for you.

  46. Delinquent Angel

    Whoa! I was that partner/wife. Now I have an earworm,

    “Shitty Husband, shitty shiity husband
    Shitty husband, shitty shitty husband..”

    To the tune of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. WIll need to work on the lyrics.

    From my heart to yours, something that was still eating away at me, has
    stretched, cut the cheese and ambled off.

  47. Pingback: This Isn’t Advice, and You Shouldn’t Take It | Must Be This Tall To Ride

    1. Hi, Kate. God, I’m sorry I missed this comment.

      I wish I had some answer for you. I’m just some idiot, though.

      Here’s how I think it works:

      1. You love even when it’s hard.
      2. Demand the same in return.
      3. Six-second hugs. (Please don’t let go until at least six seconds.)
      4. Find out if he really wants the marriage to work.
      5. Commit to it yourself.
      6. Learn about one another because you currently don’t know and you both have secrets. (I recommend this book…)
      7. Forgive.
      8. Kind words and gentle voices.
      9. And then a whole bunch of #1 some more.

      Half of us fail, Kate. Half of us don’t have the strength OR married someone who doesn’t have the strength.

      I pray he has the strength.

      You’re Googling things on the internet in search for answers. So, you do.

      And I’m rooting for you very much.

  48. It’s so interesting that some people really “don’t want to talk about it”. About anything. They just figure if they ignore it long enough it will go away. And it always does. But not usually in the way that they hoped. But pride is so very important – even to some really good people. So important that they hold onto it as if their life depended on it. So in the end, they get to keep their pride. And that’s all they have. Because they ignored everything else until it went away. Which is really so sad. And such a waste. Of good peoples’ time. Of good peoples’ love. Of good peoples’ lives. Time is not infinite.

    I love reading what you write, Matt. I can’t understand how some people can think you’ve turned yourself into a doormat when all you’ve done is pulled your head out and realized that it really does take sharing, and meeting the other person all the way when they’re meeting you all the way. It’s the only way to make it a win/win situation rather than allowing pride to do its best to make damn sure that you always win.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. You seem to get me.

      I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. Thank you so much. My apologies for the long delay in replying. I’ve been far away for about a week. This made me smile.

  49. Wow as I read this, it made me cry, because I AM your wife, only you are not my husband…

    I have reached the point in my relationship where I no longer argue, I don’t fight for what I know I’m worthy of, I don’t defend, or ask questions, I don’t care where he is time and time again on a Saturday night, I am as you said, mentally preparing myself for being single, it won’t be long, it can’t be, I look at him nowadays and wonder where it went, the love I once had for him, I am ashamed of letting it get to this point, the point where I no longer need him, I no longer care, emotionally my heart doesn’t lie with him.

    Why can’t men see this when they are in it?

    He wanted me for ten years, I was engaged, he pursued me, made me believe his lies that he was a better man than the last, told me he would be better, he didn’t cheat like my fiancee, he would make me happy….You don’t have to cheat to break a woman’s heart daily.

    He left me on Saturday night alone, on 23 acres in a tent, with no car, no phone, 2 hours away from any family or friends, at 10 at night so he could drive off to a party to drink some more. My choice was to get in the car with him drunk, or stay alone in the dark on my own. We went up to camp on a property we are looking at purchasing together. I can honestly say without a word of a lie, I woke up the next day and felt sorry for him….I felt sorry for him for being such a gutless man, not for me, but for him. I felt sorry that he just couldn’t see what was right in front of his face, enough to be a man.

    Great writing, you hit the nail on the head, its almost as though it is written by a woman.

    How sad that people can’t see things before they happen.

  50. Wow, thru Vol 3 and you’ve nailed it. Wish my husband would read this, but he doesn’t read much except fantasy football crap or Facebook. I read your blog sitting in the Kroger parking lot crying. Good job, glad you get it now, sorry you didn’t before.

  51. girl with a shitty husband

    I really love your posts.
    I wish my husband would read them.
    but, I wish he would do and not do a lot of things.
    simple things.
    things you don’t think anyone would actually have to be told to do or not do.
    things hee tells me he will do.
    things I think he just tells me he will do to make me stop asking, like for him to just tryunderstanding my side of a misunderstanding.
    and your right
    right in do many levels
    I’m not high maintenance
    I’m not mean
    but I feel myself becoming this sick bitter nagging resentful angry depressed woman
    but it’s not me
    and I can’t live like this forever
    so how,
    how do you get a shitty husband torsee how shitty he is when anything that comes out of your mouth isn’t heard, misinterpreted, dramatic, ridiculous, or unimportant?

  52. I begged my first husband to change his selfish ways and then he cheated on me because I didn’t want to have sex with him anymore.. I was divorced with a 4 year old little boy and he was devastated. I’m now engaged to man that will be reading this with me for sure before we take this journey of life together.. I’m in tears and every chapter better than the next. Brilliant! Do you have a book? You should be an author! And with your realization of life and how love works, I know you are either happily remarried or on your way there! Bravo! Truer words have never been written! This is REAL life!

  53. As much as I thought I tried to let my wife know how much I love her. She still has doubts about how much she means to me. I’m gonna start incorporating everything I can that I learn here into each and every day of the rest of my life.

  54. My eyes are opened… My wife IS leaving with the kids in a week. She wants a separation, and I can’t change her mind. Lately ive been doing things differently, to late. She says she really wants to try to work it out , marriage counseling, etc. I cry when .alone, driving ,all kinds of emotions, and feelings I didn’t know I had are coming out now I’m loosing my family.( everyone says I have only 2 emotions -irretated and happy) I knew some of my flaws and were working on them, but you opened my eyes to a shit load things i was doing. I am an asshole and think separations are bullshit and is a divorce. BUT, I am willing to do everything possible. Years ago after prison , I fought for them, and got a second chance. I was doing everything right, (trying to thank her for the chance) but sometime later I reverted back to douchebaggery. (Now realizing alot about me, since started reading your posts). Do you think there is a snows chance in hell to working through this.

    1. Yes. She said she really wants to work it out.

      And if she’s telling the truth, and you feel as shitty as you feel right now and never want to feel that way again, I absolutely believe you can make it work.

      Here’s advice you might think is bullshit, but I feel compelled to say it:

      During these next days, weeks, possibly months, you are going to work your ass off to demonstrate to her that you are ready to be the man she needs you to be in order for your family to remain intact.

      You are going to dig deep. And you’re really going to feel yourself changing on the inside.

      And you’re going to want her to shower you with appreciation, and run back to your arms and jump into bed while fireworks go off and the music plays in the background.

      That’s totally not going to happen. She feels a little bit dead inside and she has extreme trust issues about whether you are being real, and whether it will last, or whether you’re going to turn back into guy who takes his relationship for granted (like almost everyone of us–don’t forget that. You’re human.)

      Here’s the important part.

      You’re going to feel ready a million years before she does. You’re going to think she’s really happy with you and that you’re making progress.

      And then you’re going to ask her to do something as a family, or to come home and have sex with you (the no-sex thing messes you up; keep your eye on the big picture!), and she’s going to turn you down.

      And you’re probably going to feel like shit.

      Rejected. Furious. Like she’s not being fair or giving you credit for how much work you’re doing and how much you’re truly changing and sacrificing.

      You might feel your temper flare. You might be inclined to fight with her and say shit that you say when you’re really hurt and really pissed.

      And Shawn. I’m BEGGING you. For your children and your marriage. DO NOT.

      Take a deep breath. Then another. Pray for patience. Remind yourself that you are largely responsible for creating her lack of trust and/or physical desire toward you.

      And say “I understand. I love you. And I will wait as long as it takes for you to feel safe and ready to try again.”

      You can undo ALL of the goodwill you’ve built and earned with one undisciplined outburst and lose her forever.

      Your reward for getting through all the hard days ahead will be great, sir.

      Last thing:

      Marriage counseling for individuals is great. It can help you understand why you do things you do and ways you can be a better husband and father.

      Couples counseling–where you and her are BOTH there, and the therapist is making you listen to your wife talk about how you’ve failed her as a husband and father of your children? Shawn. I think it’s a really bad idea. To put two sad and hurting and angry partners in a room, and then ask you to be totally honest.

      It crushes your soul. And it makes healthy communication really really hard.

      So, if she asks you to go to couples therapy, please say this:

      “I understand that I have hurt you. And I am here to listen to you tell me all of the ways I have, so that I can learn from it and work hard to never do it again. But marriage counseling needs to be about me figuring out why I do some of the things I do. It needs to be about how I can be a better husband, a better father, a better man. I’m not interested in telling a stranger what I think is wrong with our marriage or with you. I would prefer not to have to listen to you tell a stranger all that you think is wrong with me. But I am more than willing to see a counselor to figure out how to be the best version of me possible so that I can spend the rest of your life making you feel happy and loved.”

      That way, you honor her desire for counseling. You volunteer to truly listen to her when she wants or needs to explain how she feels even if you don’t fully understand. You’re seeing a professional who can really help you grow and learn and be a more awesome guy across the board.

      And you avoid the horror show of sitting in a room with your wife talking shit about one another in front of someone who doesn’t love you or your children.

      That’s my two cents, sir.

      You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers, Shawn.

      I’m nobody. Just a divorced asshole. But I care about stuff like this. And if you ever need to reach out to someone, I’ll be around.

      Good luck, sir. Be strong.

      1. Thanks man, have been looking for doc to talk to. I KNOW I need to, not just about this.. I put all doc appointments off.. 2 weeks ago she drug me into the Eye Doc for an exam…. (the first appt. was made about 6 years ago) She doesn’t like it that it’s been 8 or 9 years since physical. I haven’t told her Doctors scared the shit out me and what they might find. Trying to act hard ,,I know. I know…
        Anyway she’s leaving in a few days, her mind is made up. Said she Needs to work on her, and so do i.. I mean we’ve been together 14 years, since age 17 when we had our first son. So yeah I understand that there is some you feel you missed, or you didn’t get a chance to become something you wanted. At times it runs across my mind, wasn’t a real teenager, lot of lessons I missed out on, while being a father and husband, WOULD NEVER CHANGE WHAT WE DID, JUST HOW WE DID IT

      2. Thanks Matt for your blog!
        I’m very happy I found your blog after googling: “my husband is an *sshole”.

        I am also one of those wives out there, in tears after reading your advice and thoughts, realizing how bad a divorce is, but also thinking: “why does my husband ignore me, why doesn’t he seem te respect me, why is he so caught up in his own world”. I guess I’m also one of those women who can’t fight anymore… I just hope he’ll realize what he had, when it’s gone…
        Surely there are good men out there???…..

        Keep doing what you’re doing, you’re brilliant!!!

        Big hug (longer than 6 sec :-)) from the Netherlands!

  55. I’m currently going through a divorce, you are describing my soon to be ex. I wish he could read this, I’m so sorry you have gone through this. But thank you, I needed this. I busted my ass for him and he couldn’t even tell me I looked beautiful after I spent hours getting ready for one of the 6 dates we had in our 5 year marriage. Knowing he will feel the pain and suffering I have felt all this time makes mine hurt a little less.

  56. I married a shitty husband who was also an asshole, by your definition. His nickname was HC; for Heartless Cad. He actually called himself this name with a bit of pride. It fit very well. He lied. He blamed me for what he did.
    Within the first few years of our marriage, I lost all respect for him, and along with that, my admiration and desire. If I were him, I can’t imagine any of the shitty things he did were worth that awful consequence.
    I stayed with him for the kids, and because I needed financial support (I had to quit medical school – my dream – because of him).
    I have worked very hard to stay in the marriage; to learn to let go and forgive. It has been very hard, and I’m not there yet.
    Men should understand what risks they’re taking for being shitty husbands and ask themselves if it’s worth it. Thank you.

  57. Wow. Just wow…in a good way. I’m also divorced. I was married for 9 years. My boyfriend of a year and a half is divorced with 4 teenagers. I don’t have kids, I’ve given them everything I could. Maybe even too much…now, he tells me I have too many boundaries, I’m controlling and make everything about me. Yup, I refuse to accept kids blasting eminem in my face on purpose, cussing at each other and expecting no chore list on the horizon. He will miss me. It could have been great. After a while you get tired of being told “I don’t want to talk about what I’m grateful for, I have too much to worry about!” or “I don’t talk about my feelings, that’s something your into that I’m not”. He can have his space, it means I don’t care anymore.

  58. Omg, you’re a genius. Sorry you had to get that way by screwing it up the first time. :/
    Keep being honest and writing genius-y stuff like this and one day a woman who was on the other side of this kind of relationship is going to come along. And she’s going to realize she’s hit the husband jackpot. And it will work this time because you’ve figures it out.
    In the meantime, I’ll be trying to figure out how to get my husband to read all this amazingly genius stuff.

  59. Some of us have trouble expressing it. We go to jobs we hate, deal with self righteous assholes. We pay the bills.

    We try to not talk or think about how stupid the fake “reality” shows are, we have enough stress in our own lives. We hate drama and those shows strive on it. We want to escape reality for a short while.

    We aren’t happy how our lives ended up. We see the world crumbling around us, economies, countries etc. We worry about our miniscule little jobs being shipped over seas or being replaced.

    We support our families and try to plan everything out so they are warm, have full bellies and happy.

    We sometimes forget to tell you your ass looks good in those jeans bc we are trying our damdest to make sure you have what you need and want.

    Sometimes we are too pre occupied with the ppl around us, with the mass shootings and so many evil ppl in this world we are constantly looking around assessing every person in the crowd, looking for the exits, making and escape plan, preparing for the worst.

    We are stressed bc the pipes might freeze, do we have enough gas to heat the house. Why is my truck making that weird noise.

  60. I find that I can relate to everything you say in this post from the woman’s perspective. I have been in the same relationship for almost 15 years and everything is a battle, I feel like I am raising another child and that is not what I want. I listen to my boyfriend fight with OUR 12 year old daughter about everything he does not respect her and does not listen to me about what kind of a lesson that teaches her. My children do not respect me nor does he. His family is more important than myself and my children (one is his) and as I am writing this (9:36 PM on a Sunday night) he is with his father, where he is every day and every night. It has been like this for our entire relationship, he does not respect his bio mom either and she does everything for us, even financially helping us when she is on a very limited income.
    I wrote a lot on a blog I started in 2013 (eventually my blog changed focus unfortunately) but this was my first post and today I still feel the same….

  61. I came here to read She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes By the Sink and I can not stop. It’s like someone gave you a magic mirror into the heart of at least this wife. To be fair, my husband has (and is still) working on a lot of these issues (and I’m working through a few of my own, I’m nowhere near perfect either). But it’s really nice to see all of these things from the perspective of a man. I’m truly amazed by all of this. It takes guts to consciously process these thoughts, nevermind that you shared them. If this turns out to be a book/eBook, please let me know and I’ll definitely recommend it. I think a lot of wives could benefit from reading this. Just knowing that someone (someone NOT female) gets it is incredibly encouraging. Thank you so much for all of these posts.

  62. Wow – the learned helplessness here… I just can’t imagine living this way.

    Ask yourself… why do you want a partner? Seriously. If it is this much trouble. If I have to supplicate my entire being, learn to read her mind, sacrifice my interests unless she explicitly ok’s them… I’d want to kill myself.

    Your blog sounds like an educational resource for how to participate in deeply codependent relationships. Never stand up for yourself. Be a doormat. You’re a selfish prick if you have interests outside your marriage, or opinions that differ from your spouse. And god forbid you leave a cup out in an attempt to recycle it’s use and use fewer dishes.

    Don’t mistake the cheers from your mostly female audience as validation your ideas are ok. They aren’t. There is no shortage of people who love to look for blogs that validate their own belief of superiority in their bad marriage or relationship. Congratulations for tapping into that audience… I supposed someone has to…

    TL/DR your entire blog: *Woman Good, Man Bad*

    1. You know what, Aaron, i’m just not disciplined OR apathetic enough to let that hang there.

      Let’s get some things straight:

      1. I don’t put women on a pedastal NOR shit on men. The only role gender plays in ANY of this is my general belief that men commonly fail their families unintentionally with a little selfishness and willful ignorance tossed in.

      You can be a GREAT man, and a terrible husband, just as easily as you can be a GREAT man, and a terrible electrician, or tennis player, or stand-up comedian.

      I’m for OWNING MY SHIT, and I expect others, regardless of gender to own theirs. I’ll start criticizing wives and mothers the day I believe men are carrying all the weight of holding families together.

      As it is, I believe too common is the man who dedicates more time, thought, and energy to his fantasy football league than he does fostering his relationship with his wife and/or children.

      Feel free to tell me you don’t know anyone like that. I’ll wait.

      2. While all you guys troll my blog screaming about how unfair I’m being to men, I haven’t seen one of you guys accurately summarize my beliefs. So I’ll help you out:

      1. Stop blaming other people for your problems. If something is wrong, it’s your responsibility to repair it.

      2. If you give more than you take, and you put in effort to fulfill your spouse’s wants and needs, I believe you will be rewarded with a content spouse who loves, respects, wants, admires, cherishes, and satisfies your various wants and needs in return.

      I’m merely asking men to go first. To be the leaders in solving this problem.

      What’s your argument? That the greater-than-50% divorce rate goes away, if what? Our wives keep thoughts and feelings to themselves? Obey us and/or agree with us, instead of thinking and feeling for themselves?

      Marriage is a broken and failing institution. And I’m talking about why MINE broke so that SOME people can apply some of the lessons to their lives.

      I don’t claim to be a marriage expert. I mean, I’m batting 0-1, dude. You think I lack that much self-awareness?

      I’d like you to rethink your stance on what it means when more than 3 million people read a stupid little blog post about “dirty dishes” from some asshole nobody divorced blogger, and thousands of wives GLOBALLY all say “Whoa! You get it! This is what I always try to tell my husband, but I can never find the words!”

      I think if you think long and hard enough, and exercise just a tiny bit of humility and question your own infallibility, you might have a really valuable moment in your life in which every day moving forward can be better than today.

      1. I am going to reply here in good faith. You ask an honest question – what would make the divorce rate go away. Here’s my answer(s):

        a.) Mandatory, non-religious driven education in conflict resolution that you must undertake before you are granted a marriage license.

        b.) Making weddings a tradition that celebrate your 10th anniversary, not your zeroith. Lots of people get married because they want a wedding, not a marriage.

        b-1.) Before you say that is demonizing women be painting them as “bridezilla” that wants a wedding more than a marriage… it isn’t. Lots of people get married because of social pressure or “this is what you are supposed to do”, not because you really want it. Women striving for that “special bridal day” are merely part of that larger phenomenon all of us get caught up in at some point in our lives.

        c.) Teach school students healthy relationship behaviors. Our parents clearly aren’t modeling them.

        d.) Do something about our puritanical attitude over sex. A substantial number marriages fail because of intimacy issues that come from a place of sex being either “dirty” or something women give men for good behavior.

        e.) Teach people to recognize what emotional manipulation is, and how to head to the exits early in relationships, well before marriage, when it rears it’s ugly head. Lots of bad behaviors in relationships stem from the stuff preached in Redpill, books like The Rules, etc.

        f.) Promote the work of Gottman much more widely. Turning towards versus turning away. Assuming your spouse means well when they do something, not assuming your spouse is doing something just to spite you, or because they don’t respect you. You married this person, assume they are acting in good faith until they prove… with a very high bar… that they aren’t. This works particularly well when paired with the principle of recognizing emotional manipulators who would likely take untoward advantage of said good faith.

        I could go on. But what none of this does is tries to lay it all at the feet of one gender. Because the problem is bigger than that. And I think you know it.

        Making out one gender to be the source of the problems in modern relationships is a great way to get pageviews. But think about it… do you really think shaming “shitty husbands” … most of whom are likely just in malformed relationships with mutual, out of whack expectations…. is going to do it? I wish you luck, but I think your’e wrong.

        1. I really appreciate this thoughtful and thorough reply. You did answer in good faith and I can’t thank you enough.

          I agree with EVERY BULLET POINT you just offered. Not only that, my respect (nothing personal, people have been calling me an asshole for a week straight and it’s hard to tell sometimes who is thoughtful and intelligent, and who sucks royally at all things living) for you and your opinions just increased a million percent.

          I write about this stuff all the time.

          And you may disagree with certain words I use and methodology, but (and I’m NOT asking you to), BUT, if you, as the vast majority of my regular audience has, had read even 60 percent of my posts, you’d have that context.

          I understand how someone new to this blog would believe what you believed. This “dishes” post upset a lot of guys. But it was worth it to me because a lot of people started having the conversation.

          MOST people don’t have the high-level macro view of marriage and relationship psychology like you do.

          Because you just totally crushed it.

          What you propose would go a LONG way toward solving the divorce crisis. And I’m happy to have been wrong about your beliefs based on your gut reaction to what you’ve read here.

          You’re taking little snapshots of my writing and you think I’m shitting on men, or maybe that I think marriage would magically get better if men did more housework or whatever.

          But it’s so much more than that.

          I want the man to understand the “dish” (or whatever it is) is more than just a dish.

          Once he connects those dots, he can see the big picture of how couples break and push each other away–something you just demonstrated you understand well. I think the majority of guys don’t think about these things EVER. Maybe the majority of women don’t either.

          And that further adds to my whole thing. I’m telling a first-person story for other guys like me to take from it what they will. There are several millions of men this won’t apply to at all, either because they already have the info and behave accordingly, or because in their relationships, their partners carry more of the burden of responsibility.

          There is no one-size-fits-all.

          And there’s no way to address marriage and relationships in 800-2,000 word blog posts that can cover every tiny aspect of it.

          So I tell small little stories in an effort to see things differently. Not even always. Divorce isn’t the only thing I write about, it’s just the most popular thing I write about.

          I’m seriously trying to help here.

          And after reading your reply, I’m not sure I believe you need much.

          But please believe me when I say many, if not most, men do. And there is a percentage of them whose relationships improve dramatically after learning new things about his wife and relationship he’d never thought of before.

          The stories I get via email and blog comments are, at times, very powerful.

          I’m a guy. I watch football and basketball. I play golf. I drink beer. I tell immature jokes. I always notice gorgeous women wherever I am and whether she’s wearing a ring. I’m a fantasy football player and an NFL Draft junkie.

          I’m just another guy.

          And because I’m so typical, I have come to believe that the law of averages ensures there are many other guys out there just like me.

          Guys who got married on purpose, didn’t know what they didn’t know (because of many of the things you mentioned above), and accidentally, over time, contributed to the demise of his marriage unknowingly. A good man being bad at marriage.

          Are wives sometimes horrible? OF COURSE. My wife wasn’t one of them.

          I’m writing for the average couple falling apart over “irreconcilable differences” and then a bunch of people’s lives get worse, especially their kids’. I hate it because it’s unnecessary.

          The kind of person who marries is the kind of person likely to pair up in a long-term relationship a second time.

          And without high-level thinking about how relationships work psychologically and emotionally, they don’t have a chance the second time either, unless that get super-lucky with a lottery win-style complementary partner.

          And all I can think when these second and third relationships fail is how wasteful it was to not put everything into the first one.

          Once again, thank you for writing back. I suspect we disagree on a handful of things. But the main ways we, as a society, could move toward a future with better marriages and fewer divorces?

          You nailed it. And this is a comment I’ll revisit again because it’s full of great thoughts, some of which I’ve never covered before. (The wedding one, particularly. Awesome.)

          Thank you, Aaron.

          1. @Aaron

            You mentioned Gottman, and I believe that it was Gottman that mentioned how important and rare it was for men, and specifically men, to take “influence” from women. This isn’t about men being “bad”, this is about the tragic consequences of teaching boys that they’re weak and shameful if they share the lead, or are otherwise “controlled”, by women. The unfortunate result is that many men become suspicious of women and view our needs as attempts to control.

            Now, this isn’t to say that women should automatucally get their way. The person who stands the most to lose, or cares the most about the outcome of the argument, should be the “winner”. If the arguement is a tie, then maybe a divorce should be considered. If the argument is not worth a divorce, then it’s not worth denying your partner a “win”, either. We all have to make sacrifices in marriage. Hard truth. But, if you are the one to make most or all sacrifices, then you do not have a marriage to begin with. Also a hard truth.

            Lastly, IMO, this article takes things way too far by suggesting that men should quizz the woman on her needs. Trust her to tell you when she needs something, FFS. 😉 There’s a difference between being open to influence, and submissive. A relationship should be between two completely equal partners, not between a boss and a subordinate looking for orders. 😉

    1. “Babe. You are not shitty. I love you. I want to stay married forever. Please know this. Sometimes we fight and it always feels like neither of us are understanding one another. Someone sent me this article and parts of it make sense. Your feelings are important to me, so I’ve been afraid to ask to read this and get the wrong idea. I do not want to be critical of you. I just want you to be able to understand me and vice versa so that we don’t fight about the same crap all the time. I would appreciate so much if you’d read it with an open mind sometime, trusting that I do NOT think you are ‘shitty,’ and that maybe we can talk about it afterward if you have any thoughts or questions.”

      I don’t know, Lynn.

      People are sensitive. I’m not awesome at receiving criticism, and it’s something I’m working on. In my marriage, I had a really hard time hearing the person I loved most tell me all the time how I was falling short and failing her and making her feel bad.

      It’s pretty emotionally taxing.

      When two people don’t understand why they always have the same fight, it eventually gets ugly.

      I wouldn’t necessarily ask him to read this, but maybe there is a nice way to get him to read something that resonates with him.

      I hope so.

  63. O.K. Matt, I downloaded “How to help your marriage without talking about it”. Have YOU really read the book? Your writing is so down to earth, and honest…I couldn’t even believe what I was reading. That book basically justifies being a shitty husband on the grounds that biology makes it inevitable. It also communicates that if women want to have a decent relationship with their partner, they have to come to terms with these biological deficiencies by keeping the bar low. If most men do indeed have these emotional wounds which the book says they do, it is their responsibility to see a therapist, go to some anger management, and get their shit together to be the best partner they can be- at least try, rather than writing it off as part of one’s DNA. What a relief it must be for some men to read this book, and get permission to be self indulgent sociopaths. The book places the responsibility in the hands of women; to tiptoe around these damaged creatures, and not provoke them with our needs or disappointments. In the words of my teen-aged daughter, “I Can’t even”.

    1. I’ve read that criticism of that book several times. I think maybe I should read it a third time and try to step outside my male self.

      That said, yes. I’ve read it twice.

      Here’s why it was important to me. It was the book that A. Explained to me why I felt some of the things I felt during conflict with my wife, why my wife felt things she felt, and how when we argued with one another while feeling those things, we pushed one another away. We made it worse. B. Evolutionary science reasons for why men and women developed certain biological responses and how they work against us today even though they helped us survive thousands of years ago. C. Why husbands and wives often seem to always have the same fight.

      I think the book makes a great case for (while acknowledging that nothing is ever One-Size-Fits-All) why men often do and feel X, and why women often do and feel Y.

      And when a husband perpetually confused about why his wife is upset with him, and unable to understand how she claims emotional pain from things he does that would NEVER cause him emotional pain, it can teach an otherwise oblivious husband and boyfriend empathy.

      I have never, I don’t think, read a book I agreed with 100-percent. I read books, and I pull from them, all of the value I can, and (right or wrong) dismiss or forget all the stuff that doesn’t seem to apply to me.

      I respect your feelings on this book (and I’m REALLY sorry if you spent money on it based on my recommendation and hated it). This book’s detractors all tend to say the same thing. That it over-generalizes, that it’s kind of sexist, and that it’s a book that’s more for men than women.

      I don’t disagree with any of that.

      I recommend the book because it totally transformed my perception of my wife’s life experience and our marriage (too late). And I think there are probably some guys out there like me. And I think it can help them be better husbands.

      Outside of that. I won’t pretend to know how people’s minds work when they read or watch things.

      But I have to trust people to be smart and pull from any piece of information the stuff that makes sense and applies to them, and ignore the rest.

      Just like all the things I write here.

      I’m sorry that you thought it was crappy! But I appreciate so much that you’ve taken time to read things I’ve written and, apparently, like it better than that book.

      It’s really quite the compliment. Thank you very much for that. (And for sharing your thoughts which I will keep in mind when I reread the book.)

  64. Damn. You have nailed it. I’ve only read through Letter 4, and you are the smartest man to have figured this out in detail the way you have. And I hope you get the chance again, to be the husband you now know how to be. I could send all your letters to my husband. But guess what? I’m not, because I don’t care anymore. But it means the world to me that at least one man in this world finally gets it and understands. I hope other men will read and take heed. Thank you for caring enough to know how bad it feels to us.

    1. One day you cared. Stranger things have happened that a wife fall back in love with her husband.

      I hope he figures it out, soon. We don’t need another depressed, bitter, divorced dad who blames everyone but himself.

  65. Wow. This made me cry. And I hardly ever cry anymore. I wish my husband could somehow read this, and REALLY hear it. So true,
    – From a Woman who is fighting back from the indifferent place of not giving a shit anymore….

    1. Just give it to him and tell him to keep an open mind and read it…or text him the link… I did this last night with hesitation….but I’m so glad I did.. hubby was actually a little teary… I think it helps that it’s coming from another man… the way its written is real..not judgy..or psycho babble etc. Good luck to you hun!

  66. I came across this after googling “why is my husband such a dick”… if you could put all of this into a book as a guide for men who don’t think they suck but really do I’d probably be the first in line to buy it… I had hubby read 1-4 so far and I have to say a “light” went on in his head… its definitely different for him to read it from another man’s perspective, and not from his moody wife whos just nagging again.. Thank you for this… I’m sorry you had to go through divorce to realize all of this but if anything good possibly comes from it, it is that your possibly saving a few marriages with your experience/insight … thank you. 🙂

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

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  69. I have been married 19 years and we have 3 children, I am only 35. These letters hit places I never thought a man could understand, let alone communicate. These last 3 years of marriage have been the hardest years of my life and standing I’m on the edge of letting go I really needed to read these. I have shared them with my husband and I can only hope he finds the time to read them as well. I hope I am worth it to him in the long run and that it’s not to late for us to save “ourselves” from the divorce statistic. I love him desperately, but sometimes love isn’t always enough. Thanks again, you gave me hope.

  70. zentrifiedlawyermom

    I love this one, Matt! I shared it with my (much younger, Call of Duty playing) brother and his wife, and I think it opened their eyes a bit. I haven’t had the courage to share it with my husband, because he took the post about divorcing over dishes in the sink pretty hard. You have an incredible gift for validating the feelings of many women, and I hope that translates into the love that you definitely deserve next time around!

  71. This hits unbelievably close to home. I wish I had read your blog five years ago. But, I don’t know that I would have listened. Instead last year after 20 years of marriage I went through a divorce. Wise words.

  72. Kathy Ringering Wendt

    It’s gotten so bad I would settle for one mediocre hug once a week. Thanks for the reminder that there are some men who think about relationships and how to improve them. Even if it is too late.

  73. All I can say is wow. I was that wife for years to the point where I told my ex — not once but a number of times — “I don’t need to be in the top three on your list; I just need to be on the list”. I supported him when he left his job to go back to school, was there when he had his face buried in his Facebook account every night instead of talking to me, and would have been grateful for the six second hug. The kicker? He left me. I came home from work one night, and he told me he didn’t love me any more and was ending our marriage.

    June 5 will be the three year anniversary of that conversation. Am I healed yet from the whole experience? Not yet, and in all honesty, I’m not sure I ever will be. BUT, I am stronger, more confident about myself as a person, and much calmer now that I’m not constantly analyzing his every mood.

    Thank you for posting these. I don’t think my ex would have seen himself here, but if your blog helps someone else, it’s definitely worth it.

  74. Sad Old Steve

    Thanks for your effort to document the “why” of your marriage failure.

    As I write this, I am a 50 yr old man, standing on the brink of divorce.

    Both my wife and myself have spoken of separation, moving out, moving away, making space, finding ourselves. We have been together for 12905 days thus far. Can you imagine, together for over 3 decades and now we are talking of giving all that up?

    I see in my wife that she has reached the part where she has given up. She stopped complaining, stopped having expectations, stopped nagging. I saw it happen, during our last fight over where the photos to send to Costco were located on the computer. That ‘thing’ snapped and she is different now.

    I can say to some degree that I agree with you, with how we should behave. It is hard tho, when your a self absorbed narcissistic male. Just when I start to feel happy, she chimes in with some thing that I need to fix about myself. Most times I just don’t get it.

    I don’t get why it is my job to make her happy. What is that saying, Happy Wife, Happy Life? I hate that adage. We can’t make other people happy. I have tried, believe me, I have tried. It doesn’t matter what I do. If I clean the house, and boy do I work hard to make it clean, she says nothing. If I don’t, there is lots of words. Nothing is ever good enough. Man, I don’t even want to rant about it any more, I am so tired of chasing those lines of thought.

    I see in one of your points, about trust. She doesn’t trust me. With her feelings, with her love, with her affection. I can’t remember the last time we made love. We don’t sleep together any more. She stopped hugging and kissing me years ago. I have in the past tried the 6 second hug. I might as well be hugging a mannequin. We don’t date. We don’t flirt. Most days we don’t even look at each other. I think she finds me disgusting.

    No trust = no love. Love can’t grow in the soil of distrust. How do you earn trust? She thinks that I am manipulating her. She can never believe when I do something just for her, no strings attached. I guess I always had strings in the past. So 30 years of strings means I have to go 30 years of no strings before she will believe me?

    I think in my heart that I still love her, still think there can be a great future. Something tells me that I would have to put the same amount of effort into a new relationship as I would have to put in to the old relationship, to make it work. I would rather keep our old relationship. At least I think so. Or do I?

    I guess I don’t trust her anymore either. I feel pain too. The pain of being rejected over and over. Of not feeling loves or wanted or desired. The pain of realizing that she wants me to buy flowers, take her to dinner, put her on a pedestal and make her feel like a princess, or no love for you buddy. Isn’t love supposed to be given, not held ransom for some list of demands? It makes me feel like a puppet. I don’t like that game. We should each be responsible for our own happiness, and bring THAT to the marriage to share and enjoy.

    She hate the movies I watch. Not interested in the tv shows I watch. She doesn’t like the music I listen to, or the books I read. We really don’t share many interests, besides parrots. I think that is all that keeps us together, our replacement for the kids, a house full of parrots.

    So how does a couple who have grown up together, with 4 kids raised and many miles traveled survive this awful journey called middle age? We don’t seem to have much in common on the surface. Nothing I think that would bring us together, if we were strangers meeting for the first time.

    Anyways, I am going to share your blog with my Son in law. He married my daughter almost 2 years ago. She is ready to leave already. The world is fucked.

    1. To the men who after reading this think you might fall into the category of a sh**ty husband (or pre-husband)… is not your job—I repeat—not your job— to make her happy all the time—at the expense of yourself. NEVER EVER EVER EVER!!

      BUT—-think back to the day you met her. Yes, even if it’s 30+ years. Did she look at all happy? I’m willing to bet 99.9% of the men who read this will say yes, or you’d have to explain why you approached her. She was happy for a reason, and she showed that by smiling. You could even tell she was smiling when you talked to her on the phone by the tone in her voice, couldn’t you????? AND, since you two got together at some point after that initial encounter, she was likely single when you met her… I right????

      Your logical mind will not have to struggle to come to the conclusion that she was perfectly able to make herself happy. She was already HAPPY!! THEREFORE, trust that she still knows how to make herself happy.

      Your JOB, mission–should you choose to accept it, is to not dump on that happiness she can engender for herself, by taking her happiness with you and your life together for granted. Ask her what her happiness level is—consistently. Not saying daily, just consistently. Ask yourself the same question and share with her your answer! Don’t muck up her happiness—by reminding yourself that you’d rather be with her than a silent, 100% agreeable, never complaining, never asking you to climb higher and grow better, always available for your sexual pleasure and any fantasy you might have no matter how demoralizing it is to her, blow-up-doll!!!

      Her house was likely clean when you met her, or you wouldn’t have visited. So, don’t dump on her propensity to have order in her surroundings, because it equals peace and tranquility in her mind and soul—hence, she’s available for happiness if her environment is peaceful. Make sure you don’t muck it up, and/or clean it up when you and your minions she birthed for you destroy her peace and tranquility. If you can’t or won’t—OUTSOURCE!!!! This was normally outsourced years ago, it can be again—just not for free!

      She probably smelled good when you met her. Her hair was nice, clean and smelled good. Don’t muck it up by not understanding that she needs time away from her endless responsibilities, including your constant sex requests, to take a long, hot, relaxing shower or bath, more than once a month or quarter. Her trips to the salon, mall, etc whatever gets her engines going???? This gets her back in touch with her feminine side and she’ll feel like a human—better yet–a LADY—YOUR Lady– rather than a machine. She did this before you came into the picture; it’s likely she had time and resources to maintain it to some degree. Make sure she still does, either by providing it or not snarking about expenses when she provides it for herself. Heck—ask her can you wash her hair for her, in the bath/shower, together—without expecting anything in return (btw if you choose this option, use detangler!!) I can almost guarantee you’ll be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams for this one!!!

      She likely had some sort of education and/or career when she met you, and it likely gave her some measure of satisfaction, fulfillment–HAPPYness. Don’t let your demands, demands from your minions she birthed, or anyone for that matter, stand in the way of that fulfillment, EXCEPT her. She should be the one to decide to put that aside, along with any aspirations in line with it. Support her achievement and she’ll support the dreams and goals of your marital/family unit. Takes money to make money, or so you say….why do you seem to think her happiness outside your marriage takes 0 investment?????? It will return to you 100+-fold!

      This is just scratching the surface but think along these lines and you won’t go wrong. Given this support, her loving, kind, gentle and supportive nature will most definitely shine and you–my friend will be the primary beneficiary—just like 30+ years ago!!!!

      SO—you don’t have to “create” her happiness, in that sense of the word “make”, but it should be your pleasure, and it’s the responsibility you take on when you marry her, to NOT detract from or undermine her inherent happiness—the happiness that drew you to her in the first place. If she wasn’t happy in the first place, and you drew yourself to her anyway, then misery loves company and you get what you paid for!

      1. Thanks for so perfectly explaining what I cannot get through to my husband of 19 years (11 good, 8 terrible).

  75. This post has been up for a while and perhaps nobody will ever see this comment, but I do want to thank you. I hit “don’t care” about a year ago. (My husband has been mostly unemployed for close to ten years, whereas I work three, sometimes four jobs and just finished my doctoral thesis and I am TIRED. Also, I slept on the couch for the better part of three years until about a month ago I went wait, I am working my butt off, so I am going to sleep in the bedroom. Now he sleeps on the couch and still doesn’t seem to understand that this isn’t normal.).

    A switch really does flip when you go from desperate and wanting to fix it to eh, what’s the point. I don’t know if it’s really possible to go back. I am living in his country, speaking the language badly, and I am so, so lonely. THANK YOU.

    1. People will see it. Including me, who wrote it.

      I know it feels lonely and how hard of a place that is to be. But you are NOT alone because so many other people are in this with you.

      I don’t know whether it’s possible to go back either. But I’m rooting for you, no matter what happens next. Whatever’s best. That’s what I’m hoping for.

      It was cool of you to read this and leave a note. Thank you very much.

      Wishing you well.

  76. How do I get my husband to read this and understand, before it is too late? I’M at the nagging crying stage but it’s not going to last.

  77. I discovered your blog late … But it is still so on point. I am this wife, I am the one at the bottom of the priority list constantly asking him to hang out and watch sports with me, come to the beach with me & the kids, ask him to help me with chores, ask him to hang at home and have a Netflix night only to be put on the back burner because other stuff comes up. I am this wife you talk about the one that wants her friend back, but I don’t fantasize about being with other guys or think of other guys in that way. I just think about him. I so wish he could read your blog, this post in particular, I haven’t read all your posts yet, but I wish he would be open enough to read it or get advice from someone else that’s along these lines, because I feel like a broken record that’s been left in an empty room. Good post and glad it’s out there, maybe it will help out some people.

    1. I am the husband that has done many of these things to put my wife at the bottom of the totem pole. Father’s Day is coming up and it’ll be a year since she left. We have 3 kids that I’ll only see have the time for the majority of their lives. My older child is crushed most of the time. He’s 12 and has been an excellent student his whole life until we separated. My younger 2 kids are 7 and 4 and look at the every other week custody as little vacations. Our kids adore the both of us. I am a good man but have been a shitty husband and when I had my “aha” moment the momentum had swung too much the wrong way for me to make a difference. Grab your husband and look him in the eye and tell him how you feel. If it doesn’t work, let him read this. It happens to a lot of us and it is sad. I wish I had a time travel machine but I know the old me would be too arrogant to listen to anything I’d have to say because I was always right.

      I love my wife and miss her dearly. Every. Single. Day. I miss my kids on the weeks that they aren’t there. The energy in the house.

      Good Luck and God Bless

      1. Thanks for the advice. I have grabbed onto him plenty of times and told him with my heart in my hand and with honesty how I felt but returned broken and gutted because again he hadn’t heard me, or maybe he did and didn’t care. It’s a sad process to lose someone even when you try everything you got and they seem to continue making bad decisions that continue to hurt. I will try to send him something in a Hail Mary attempt but it might only anger him that I’m sending him stuff like this via email. But I guess I can say at least I tried, down to wire. Hope that these posts and messages can help someone out there. That would be a good thing, to at least be able to save someone.

      2. Unfortunately he read it and said that the article was one sided and I was being emotionally manipulative to show him this article. I would still give him a chance if he would love me and care about me.

    2. Thank you for this, I really identify with it – I am also the wife and I am right at that inflection point you describe – between hanging on, scrambling, working, changing and trying to save it, not getting anywhere and walking away. I’m married and completely alone at the same time. Even though he is out of reach for me a lot of the time he is still the love of my life. He can be so sweet and then in a split second purple faced with rage directed squarely at me over literally “whatever”. If he can’t find the spare set of keys to his vehicle in under 30 seconds its because I have taken up his time or distracted him in some way that made him forget where they were and he can sometimes stonewall me for a whole day or two over something like this. I can’t seem to do anything right and I feel like maybe I am the worst person he knows. I didn’t come here to wreck his life and I am devastated that despite my best efforts I am doing just that.

      Our life has become a strangely choreographed series of hope, dread, resentment, outbursts, silence, HOURS of tv reruns as you say, with the occasional actual conversation and ever so rarely sex. I have been to a marriage counselor, by myself – he told me to run not walk, and I didnt – yet. And yes – I totally get that I have traded my self esteem for a household that functions along with the occasional pat on the head, and yes I know it is making me jumpy, panic-y, crazy, physically sick, sad and worn out. And yes I know that not pushing his buttons might be pushing his other buttons. All that stuff. I am not stupid, but I am living like I am.

      There are no other men and I have no dreams or fantasies at all besides finding a way to create different daily reality. I still hope to find my way back to his heart but my big problem now is exactly what you say – I have started getting ready to be on my own, emotionally detaching, in case thats where I end up.

      I feel for everyone else in this situation and I hope for peace for us all. Thanks for reading.

      1. Funny how the guys on the manosphere keep saying it’s women who initiate divorce because they want to “marry up”… And I can see here that all these other women feel exactly like me, like they have been emotionally abandoned by their husbands. These guys accept no responsibility for any problems, and instead blame the wives. It’s so sad.

      2. About a year later. Any changes? I think it’s the “silent treatment” a few years ago that really started this downward spiral for me. How completely hurtful and damaging that is. For someone to say outloud occasionally “you’re the best, you are such a great wife and mom” but then to COMPLETELY ignore you for days or weeks because they say you “looked at them funny”? Ouch. Beginning of the end I guess. To take every supposed good thing you’ve done and virtually say “it doesn’t matter, I will take all that back because you gave me a wrong look”. It sucks to have to walk on eggshells just buying time until you can move on in life.

      3. faithinsearch

        I wish my husband would even think about reading these posts. He wont, we will get divorced because he is too stubborn and only thinks about himself.?

  78. Hello,
    My wife and I have been married together over fiveyears. We don’t have kids and she isn’t a U.S. citizen. Whenever we have an argument she’ll sometimes be like the hell with the marriage. We just had an argument today. We were supposed to go out to eat and see a movie. She wanted us to take a selfie on her phone. I was okay with it until she really wanted me to hold the phone at a certain angle and make sure her hair was fine. That’s when I started to lose my patience and she said the photos were crap. She accused me of lacking taste cause of my losing patience, leading to our argument. Now she took off somewhere in our car, not telling me where she’s going or when she’ll be back. She won’t answer my calls and I’m asking myself if I did anything wrong to trigger this.

    1. Catherine Rodriguez

      What did you do when you “lost your patience”? I don’t see why she would say you have no taste. Perhaps her anger is misplaced and something else is really driving her nuts about your behavior that triggers a nerve in her? She needs to think about that. seems like she feels judged by others and to get so upset because of her hair really says a lot. You sound like a very patient person, good luck and I hope all goes well.

  79. I would love if my husband would read this even though i know he won’t. I have been married 23 years and have waited at least 2/3rds of our marriage waiting for him to find me worthy of his love and his time. He is never here for me. He is always out with his friends after work. He doesnt come home at least once a week. He pays very little attention to our 3 year old son but he never paid much attention to our other two children who are now 19 and 21. He doesn’t help pay one bill. Everything in our life falls upon me. The kids, the house, the bills. I really do believe I am ready to end this so- called marriage. I have asked him to leave but he won’t. He says he wants his family. Yet here is another weekend i spend alone with our son. He says its because he doesn’t want to be around me because i nag him for being gone all the time. He does not seem to get that if he was home with us from time to time i wouldnt be nagging. I wish he would just stop being selfish and let go of us. Im tired not being important. Im a person with feelings who deserves as much as he does. Why do men do this? I know of so many women who have this same issue.

    1. Serve him with the divorce when he’s out and change the locks. Sounds like he’s having an affair, btw. You already know it’s over and you already handle everything anyway so handle the divorce so he won’t drag you down and farther.

    2. Life is far better without a leach attached to you. Trying to get somebody to love you because they ‘should’ is a dead end, no win game. There are other people in this world who see your worth. Go where the love is. Relationships and marriage are not the be all and end all of our existence on earth. Women can and do live happily alone without selfish men. When women stop putting up with it – men might stop doing and I agree, with the other commentator – he sounds like he is having an affair. He wants his family because he is using you to fund his lifestyle and have a place to crash where everything is taken care of. Good luck.

    3. Not just you. Same story. But mine cheated on me while he was “working late” with a stripper half his age no less.

  80. I’m tempted to leave my computer on with this post on the screen. Maybe my husband will read it. I just feel abandoned. He provides, he doesn’t cheat…good guy, like you said. But I don’t feel that he is “here” emotionally even when he is here physically. Comes home every night and pops that recliner back and watches t.v. Usually brings a pizza home for himself..seriously nearly every night. I try to talk with him which typically results in him throwing his hands in the air and yelling, “what did I do now?” and walking out of the room. I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years and would ask for help on the weekends with 4 kids/housework and he literally replied, “If you did more during the week, you wouldn’t need my help on the weekends.” Now I work part-time, and still no help. My last request was met with this reply, “I do “stuff” all day, I don’t see why I need to come home and do more stuff!” I think about divorce obsessively. I was so happy to see this post, I was starting to think I was crazy for thinking about things the way I do. I’m not perfect, I’m sure I do “shitty wife” things too. I just want my husband to want to spend time with me and/or the kids. There is no way I could afford to support myself and the kids if I left. I feel “trapped.”

    1. I am so glad I saw this. That insane feeling where you think things are supposed to be better than what you currently have, I had it too. I went so far as to get on medication feeling like it was just some type of depression I couldn’t beat. I realized when I was away from him I was happier because he wasn’t there with the constant demeaning comments about me. The biggest thing I noticed was that he never spent time with me and was always gone doing projects. I think men get lazy especially after their wife has a child figuring that they don’t have to pull their weight anymore because their wife won’t leave them due to her being a mother. All I know is after years of this baloney, I have had enough. No more. I should have left years ago.

  81. Wow, I’m reading all of these & just ordered the book you recommended as a gift to my husband. I also shared the link here. I just hope he gets as insightful as you are, real fast. You are preaching to the choir.

  82. this is so on point. I am used to men saying “she just left…” and think, yep she just left after trying forever and you ignoring her pleas. I assumed this would be overrun by men attacking you. It’s not that wives don’t have faults. It’s just that society doesn’t raise women to treat men like maids nor cater to their sexuality and teach them to be entitled and selfish. It’s pretty astute of you to realize how much women eventually want to cheat due to utter loneliness and despair. I haven’t and don’t condone it, but it’s like you read my mind. Women are sexual beings, too. I’m terrified of divorce but there is hope that once I adjust I can be happy and experience love. With marriage there seems to be no hope. There is so little left of me.

  83. Why is it men cannot admit the privilege and sexism they carry into a relationship? I want to scream when people say, “it takes two”. Two people have faults. It only takes one to treat marriage like a maid service. You can react differently, but you can’t demand respect from someone who views himself as above you and it’s intolerable after a time. Mine once said all our problems stem from my not backing down, which I thought spoke volumes about his perspective. I basically have no say. I can ask /beg him to prioritize things that matter (family? me? marriage?) but he can’t discuss – only ignore or attack. Basically my having any input is unwelcome and viewed as hostile and deserving of attack by him. He wasn’t always like this but there were signs and far fewer obligations.
    He seems incapable of considering me in any form. How can you ever improve with someone like that? You literally cannot be heard. I have no career anymore. I worked part-time and was the ft parent and now I work zero time and do everything at home. It’s like quicksand.
    You are very observant with your comment about silence = checking out.I sympathize with women who have affairs. I understand that longing for love and not feeling like you should have to suffer more and turn your world upside down before you have it.
    He’ll be another one of those men who says, “she just left” and leave out the “after I ignored her, her needs, wishes, and anything she ever said for 16 years.”

  84. I am currently a shitty husband. This a general invite to women reading this to please talk to me and help me understand. My wife hasnt given up yet but i know she is precaripusly close my situation and life are somewhat unique but i am hoping to save our lives.

    1. I hope I can help, I have 4 friends that I’ll die for who have either divorced or about to. I stumbled on this post because I was looking for something to help them along their path of their new situation. I don’t want another couple to become like them, it’s tragic when compared to how happy they were when they first got married.

    1. Send him the link. I sent it to mine. I really hopes he reads it. There are so many of us out there just wanting our husband to be our hero. Just him.

    2. Give me his email address. I’ll send it to him it you return the favour and send it to my husband.

      I’m at the stage of checking out…and he says I am being abusive by not talking to him, but I just can’t bring myself to say anything. When I am so resentful and angry I stay quiet because I don’t trust what might come out of my mouth. Words can hurt, but he feels the pain of silence more acutely.

      What can I say to him? I can’t talk to him about his ambitions, or future projects….because he has none. I can’t talk to him about what he does in his spare time, because all does is watch TV or look at property websites. I can’t talk to him about how delicious the meal he made was, because he doesn’t cook unless I beg him to.
      I can’t talk to him about the interesting/topical links I send him in emails, because he doesn’t read them. What can I have left to say, when I have been consistently ignored in every other way for so long? I have absolutely zero desire to be with anybody else sexually. I feel like I could easily handle being single with a child, as it’s how I have been operating for so long now.

      He used to say that he was always trying to impress me. That hasn’t happened for such a long time. It’s like every day is a new disappointment and a little piece of me breaks each time.

      I’m not perfect.
      I just don’t know how to show him this without it feeling like I’m attacking him. I desperately want him to understand. He sees nothing wrong with his behaviour. He genuinely believes it. He says he has ‘made a mistake’ and that people make mistakes. But 24 months of ignoring me and my needs, and my pleas (both verbal and written) for help, is not a mistake.

      He’s living his life like a bachelor and it’s killing me.

  85. I would like to meet this author and marry him. I have read some of your posts to my husband, he even shed a few tears and apologized for being a shitty husband. That was a few weeks ago. Today he just let me cry and grieve the relationship while he went to a professional football game.

  86. I cried like a baby reading this. It hit me on SO MANY LEVELS! I MISS THE MAN that I fell for, I wish I could get just half of this from him.

  87. Great piece. But if a man is reading this I imagine it’s already too late. How can a woman approach her husband with this information? Especially one that think he knows it all?

  88. I watched my mother toil for 30 years married to a shitty husband, supporting the family, doing chores while holding down full time job while my father drifted in and out of the marriage when he pleased. My father belittles my mother’s opinions, he likes to hear his own voice talking about himself. I watched him put his needs above my mother’s needs, and above the family’s needs all my life, and i fear that my future husband would also be like that. He wasn’t a bad man, but he’s really not suited for marriage.

    Observing my parents marriage has made me think the worst of marriages and men. I mostly ignore my father, as i have lost all respect for him steadily over the years. My mom still loves my father (she also has a strong florence nightingale syndrome), after 30 years of cleaning up his messes (financially & literally) and doing the fair share of parenting work in the house, she still feels ‘sorry’ for him and wants to help him/save him from himself. To a certain extent i think she also enabled his shitty behaviour by not calling him out in his selfishness when they were younger. Now it’s too late – she nags at him about it but he doesn’t bother to make a change. I think it’s because he knows she’ll never divorce him, no matter what shit he does.

    As a child brought up in this environment, i can say that it is very toxic for me to watch and it has turned me off from marriage.

  89. Just another house wife

    This is helpful insight, but depressing. My husband is shitty and doesnt care and won’t listen. I’m constantly thinking of divorce, but dont want my 3 year old daughter to be the kid who has to scream and cry and not understand why she cant see her daddy every day. Its nice to know that some people finally get it though. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope you’re able to find happiness, whatever that looks like for you personally.

  90. I am in tears reading your blog. My partnership of many years is slowly being killed by everything you mention here. I feel unwanted, rejected and unloved. The sex feels mechanical, he doesn’t believe in foreplay and I am desperate for someone to just touch me, listen to me and be there in the way I would like.

    When I try to talk I’m met with a brick wall. I only found this post as I was trying to find a way to cope with my partner. We have been through mumtiple miscarriages and it’s a very sensitive subject to us. So we stopped trying for around 12/13 months and this morning I went up to him and started trying to say I was finally feeling ready to try again, he didn’t aknowledge what I was saying because he was busy staring at my boobs and didn’t even register. I literally felt a bit of love for him die in that moment. Sorry if that sounds dramatic but it is true, I have never known somebody makes me feel so rejected.

    I love him so much, I want to care for him as I have for years but I am feeling helpless as time goes on to save a relationship with someone who sees it as they do no wrong.

  91. I found this website today. And can I just say, this is brilliant..
    I swear it’s like you have read mine and many other frustrated, hurt, and broken womens minds and hearts.
    I am currently at the tipping point with my marriage.
    Although this is likely too late to make a difference in my situation, I am certain that these words could make the difference to a husband or partner in a relationship that isn’t as far gone as ours.
    Thank you for your brilliant honesty.
    Thank you for showing women that were not over reacting, or making mountains out of mole Hills…..and our thoughts matter.
    Thank you

  92. I am the wife that is feeling every single feeling you mentioned about wanting to leave. You took the words right out of my head. And the way you describe what a woman wants and needs is what I want and need to a T! If only my husband could understand and I could tell him all of this and he hears me, not just listens but hears me. I’m at that point where you mentioned, if she isn’t nagging you and so on, that’s where I’m at. I truly feel like I don’t give a shit anymore. I wish he could think the way you do and see what he has done to this marriage with all his negativity and bitching and complaining. The only thing keeping me around right now is our children. As sad as that sounds, it’s the truth.
    I honestly don’t think I’ve ever read more true words in my life. So thank you! Thank you for putting this out there. It was refreshing to read. I commend you for being so honest!
    I don’t know how old this post is but I hope you have found happiness.

  93. My husband has noticed and is trying his best but I feel it may be too late for us. He asked the other night if I hated him. I don’t hate him, I feel indifferent which is far worse. If I hated him, then there would be love hiding there somewhere. As it is I feel nothing. I haven’t had a physical affair, though I have had a text based emotional affair. I never believed I would ever do anything like that and I don’t think I would have been tempted in the slightest had I been happy in my marriage.

    1. I feel like this also. When I finally told my husband I was done (after basically begging/pleading/telling him what I needed, much like the author restates over and over), he reflected and he’s since been trying to change. The problem is all the residual anger and frustrations, the “why didn’t you do this when I was in front of you miserable and depressed, begging you to change” instead of when I told you I was finally fed up. Now I fear I’m way to checked out, he let my passion and love for him die. I care about him, love him (not in love), but him making small strides now makes me feel like a terrible person for not being able to love him again.

  94. I am a shitty husband and though not a religious or that smart a man thank God I found you.
    I think I just needed to be able to see myself in the printed word,
    I love my wife and children and it may be more not loving myself that keeps me in termoil.

  95. OMFG who are you and were do you live?! I want you to be my marriage consoler. This is the 5th blog entry of yours that I have read tonight and I swear to GOD you are hitting every nail on the head. I want to punch my computer because I’m so mad at my husband right now and I wish he understood my perspective on our relationship on the same level as you. What the hell do I need to do to get him to understand my pain and frustration in our marriage?!?! I am so frustrated and I feel so marginalized.

    1. Hi Melissa. I’m no doctor. I just wanted to know how, despite believing myself to be a good person and WANTING to be married to her, that I could hurt her so badly that she’d want to leave EVEN with the pain of sacrificing half of our son’s childhood.

      That was the question I needed to ask. So I looked for answers in books and conversation and self-reflection until I found them.

      Because the break was brutal. And it must never happen again. And I want very much for other people and other little kids to not have to feel that either.

      So I write the stories. I’m glad you feel validated. But other than you not feeling alone, nothing gets better until you guys bridge the divide.

      Requires understanding. A level I achieved over the better part of two or more years of misery.

      I needed the pain to get there.

      I hope others won’t.

    2. You are validating all of the feelings that I have right now towards my husband, except for the cheating part. I’ve been cheated on before and it’s like getting your heart, stomach, and brain physically torn out of your body all at once. I wouldn’t even do that to the guy who cheated on me. But there have been times where I feel like I’m doing all of the emotional weight lifting and cannot get any relief from my husband. I love him so much, but he breaks my heart sometimes, and I don’t know how to make him understand that.

      1. He’ll need to be in the right frame of mind, but if you type into the search box (at the top on your mobile phone, and way at the bottom if you’re on a desktop computer) “Is your spouse hurting you on purpose?” I personally believe it’s the right conversation to have. There’s some excellent wisdom in the comments section of that post.

  96. Note how he has no judgment for the women who fantasize about cheating on you. He justifies their despicable betrayal and shames you instead.

  97. My husband’s friends have always come first. God forbid anything I need for him to do interferes with time planned to be with his friends. He gets excited to do things with his friends such as hunting or fishing or going to a game etc. so much so he can hardly sleep. Doing something with me though is a chore, something he does to shut me up. He drinks a lot and can’t have fun without being drunk and perhaps this is why he doesn’t like doing things with me because I don’t drink, don’t want to drink, can’t drink; being on call 24/7 with my job responsibilities. He has never planned anything on his own for the two of us to do together, I’ve never gotten a surprise, he rarely takes me out but he will move the moon and the earth for a neighbor or just some guy he has just met. I’m done, I’m ready to move on. I want to be first in someone’s life or else be alone. I’m tired of feeling hurt, rejected, alone, judged and overlooked.

  98. Thank you for writing this article! I am married to a man who never wants to do anything with me. It used to be so hurtful, and the tears I cried over the years are many. But I didnt realize that I had indeed reached the “apathy” stage, where you start to prepare yourself for life after divorce. It is just as you said, I would rather choose the misery of divorce than the misery of living with him. I hope your article does help to keep more marriages together, and helps men realize a little act of kindness or thoughfulness in a marriage goes a long way.

  99. I have these posts opened in my “private” browser. It’s been a few months since I feel I’ve needed to read them. And here I am again. It’s a vicious cycle of my not giving him what he wants/ needs and him not giving me what I want/need. I know he needs more in the physical dept. But when he literally ignores me while watching tv or playing on his tablet, it’s the last thing I want to do. There’s no such thing as romantic or loving touches from him. It’s only sexual touching. Like, I’ve been ignored for weeks on end and you think I want to do that? He’s almost totally checked out from family stuff. If it’s the ONE sport he’s in to, it’s important to him so he comes. Anything else, he either complains about or doesn’t come. He sits in the bathroom for 30-60 minutes after work. Then sleeps. Then wakes up for a bit and then watches tv the rest of the night in bed. It’s disheartening. I 100% know I’m not anywhere close to perfect. And he’s a good man. It just feels bad to feel unimportant. And he’s been known to give me the silent treatment. Up to a week once. It sends me into a depression. I’ve never ever been a nagger. I don’t even complain much. Again, I know I do stuff wrong every day but it’s hard to feel like your one true love isn’t even on your side. My biggest hope and prayer is that my kids find someone who truly cherishes them. I long for that for them. I hope they have a marriage full of love and happiness and respect. Even through difficult times. Thanks for posting these, it’s like a tiny bit of therapy when I need it most.

  100. I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, I’m the husband of 3 years, bith of us have gotten on each others nerves and caused arguments, i knoe ive done more than my fair share of bad things that nmmake her feel bad, and she does the same. She’s disabled with cripling anxiety, a mood disorder, and a seizure disorder, me I have no background of mental health issues. She complains to me often that she feels lonely and that she wants me to spend more tine with her, and I get that, and I really want to, but how am suppose to do that when I work a 10 hour job, come home and clean the house for hours (she is unable to clean), care for our animals (we have a lot because we foster) then after all that, i help her with her own work (shes a digital artist and i help her when she needs it), after thats all said and done, I’m able to get maybe 2 or 3 hours of sleep then as soon as she wakes up my day starts all over again. Am I wrong to feel inadequate, and am I wrong for feeling agitated?

    1. No, sir.

      You are NOT me and please don’t think I would ever say or think otherwise.

      You no doubt have a human flaw or two, but if your description of your lifestyle is on point, you ARE giving more than you take in your marriage.

      Doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more love or compromise. But it sure as hell means you’re the furthest thing from a shitty husband, accidentally or otherwise.

      Thank you for giving all that you do. I hope you’ll continue to try and that it will be met with recognition and gratitude by the people you love.

    2. You are not a shitty husband. You are a compassionate human being on the verge of burning out. If you can, please seek out counseling so someone can help you!

  101. I wish my husband would read this. He has to spend time with his friends and beer, every single night. He’ll fix anything at the neighbor’s house, but not at ours. I can come too, but I feel like a third wheel in my own life. I have no idea how to tell him that spending time together is more than just coexisting under the same roof to eat when he finally decides to come home. He’ll tell me that he’s stressed and depressed and hates his job, but it becomes my job to manage his emotions while ignoring mine. Our sex life is in the toilet because he’d rather drink.

  102. “If she’s acting like a different person. Quiet. Reserved. Doesn’t “bother” you as much about the stuff that troubles her, I’ve got bad news, man. It’s not because it’s no longer bothering her or that she’s turned a corner and understands you more now.

    It’s because she doesn’t give a shit about you, she’s learning to do everything by herself as she prepares for her life as a single, divorced woman, and she might be having sex with someone else. If she’s not, she’s strongly entertaining the idea.”

    Wow! This is so true. That’s where I am now. You nailed it. On the one hand, I wish my husband would read your blog. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure it’s too late for our marriage.

    1. I’m sorry.

      The nature of how people find these articles is such that it has to be bad before they start asking certain questions.

      I wish these were conversations we could have BEFORE everything turns ugly.

      Here’s to you both. I hope there’s peace up ahead. Thank you for reading.

      1. Matt – I found your blog last week and many of those things i could have written myself – especially the first two posts. Fortunately, other things happened in our lives that turned things around before it got to the point it did for you. But, it took some hard conversations between the two of us. I literally did a Google search for “am I a shitty husband?” and found this. Reading this from Matt as a neutral third-party writer makes me realize how bad I was without getting defensive from my wife telling me how I was. I am now working on fixing what I have done and the change is amazing. My wife is a little overwhelmed at times and wondering if it is real. It is real and she is on board with the changes.

        Men – if you are reading this and want to save your marriage, do the list of 7 things listed in Vol. 4!!!! These are not hard. The hard part is realizing that you were NOT doing those things previously. Move away from the thought of “she owes me.” She does not owe you anything. Think of it that you owe her your love, gratitude and thanks for everything she does and those things which she “owes” you will come to you (usually sex, am I right?). I am doing these things and there is a world of difference in our relationship.

        Do not be afraid to put her first!!! Your friends, sports, guys night out will always be there. She may not be. For example, if you love football, remember that there are 7 months out of the year that football is not being played. It is also not played 7 days a week during the season. Spend the time not watching football on her!!

        Men – if you are defensive about what Matt has written, it is because you are a shitty husband. If you want to save your marriage, DO WHAT HE SAYS!!!! If she has not left, it is not too late. It will take time and you must be patient!!!

        1. I wish my husband would even think about reading these posts. He wont, we will get divorced because he is too stubborn and only thinks about himself.?

        2. Good post, David

          I’m glad you took action and gave it a shot! And I hope it worked out for you.

          About hobbies, don’t forget that even if she is not into football, if she loves you then she will be happy to go along from time to time, just to make you happy. She will enjoy it as a ‘together experience’, as long as she sees that it is making YOU happy, and that you are being considerate about her too. Maybe explaining some of the basics of the game (if she doesn’t know already) so she can get more involved in it.

          But, you know, you have to actually invite her along, and WANT her to come along! Also, try to find a way to make it more fun for her (if she is not into football or your team intrinsically, that is).

          It can be the same the other way round – you might not like clothes shopping, or salsa dancing, but try thinking of it as ‘making her eyes light up’ or ‘doing some sexy moves together’ on the dancefloor.

          I mean, don’t you like it if she’s wearing some hot outfit, and strutting her stuff across the living room with a bit of sass (and ass :D), hmm? Or would you rather have another boring evening watching the news and burying your nose in the paper alone again?

          Keep it up for a while and who knows, maybe one day she’ll even turn up wearing your team’s football strip & get a little frisky after your team win the game? 🙂 Gotta think positive!

  103. This hit home so hard because it’s exactly how I feel right now, “You make her sad. If you didn’t have children, money, real estate and family ties, she’d already be gone.”
    The really sad part Matt is that I bet most of the people that find your blog are women desperate for their husbands to read your words and understand how very right you are.
    I can’t imagine spending the remainder of my life enduring the cruelty and laziness. My husband runs his own small business from home but the majority of his day isn’t spent working (despite the fact that we desperately need more income) it’s screwing off. Staying up watching tv all night, sleeping all day, HOURS a day spent scrolling facebook. I’m either his mother or the nagging bitch and I’m sick and tired of it. I’m only torn between waiting the 5 years until our last child is off to college or now.

  104. Oh Matt. I read and cried. I can’t even imagine the size of a rage blowup my husband would have if I showed him your article. I tried it with super sugar coated delicately put articles and I’m still shaking remembering his reaction.
    He himself does not read things like this and have no chance of finding it on his own:(
    I tried to bring my pain to his attention in a millions of ways. He thinks I should not feel the way I feel. That’s all.
    Most guys see thins clearly way too late.
    He is ADHD by the way:( , firmly in denial

    1. I’m so sorry. I get it only because I’m him.

      I had to learn the hard way. I had to hurt and break and cry and feel like you feel right now.

      That was the fire I had to endure to achieve the skill and clarity of mindful empathy.

      I’m so sorry that he appears on my same trajectory.

      My sincerest best wishes for the both of you.

      Thank you for taking a moment to write.

  105. Tiredanddisgusted

    Wow, what a site. You just described me. (except for the sleeping with another man part– I’ve just about HAD IT with the complication of sexual relationships at this point in my life!)

    My hubby retired last year, but I am still working full time. It’ll be several years before I can even think about retirement. We have no children living with us.

    Does he do *anything* around the house now that he’s home all day? No, unless I specifically request it.

    He used to at least mow the lawn but now does not even do that– unless I ask. It seems I’m being “set up” to be The Nag. Why should I have to ask for help with…. anything, really…. does he not have eyes to see when the garbage is overflowing or there are dishes in the sink or laundry is piled high?

    Does he not give a damn that, after 10-hour days, perhaps I’m tired and would like to come home to a prepared meal, just like HE used to come home to? Does he not give a damn that I used to do all the housework back when we were both working, and now that he has ALL DAY FREE, I shouldn’t have to still do it all on my own?!

    I’m bouncing back and forth between anger and apathy– it’s hard to find motivation to do anything anymore– I just want to crawl under a rock.

  106. I just read volume 4 of Shitty Husbands. Wow, nailed my husband to a tee. Now what? Ignored or insulted.

  107. It’s nice to read about this from the guy’s side.

    I just wish my husband would.

    Thank you. X

  108. I disagree with #2. She shouldn’t have to ask you to do stuff. Chores are as much her responsibility as yours. You shouldn’t need to be told to do them.

  109. I am this wife. Nineteen years together and I’m miserable. I’m invisible. I don’t matter. It’s clear. I don’t fantasize about other men because I truly think they’re all the same. Im an object to be used or thing to be ignored or the maid or the babysitter and chauffeur. I honestly don’t know why I’ve stayed this long. No, that’s a lie. I stay because I’m trapped. I wish my husband would read your blog and actually try. Unfortunately, I’m afraid he’d roll his eyes, call you a name, and tell me I’m crazy or stupid while either demanding sex or completely ignoring me so he can argue politics with strangers on Facebook, sneak beer (supposed to be a recovering alcoholic), or sleep life away while trapping me and our small children in this house and this life. On second thought, why do I even want to stay? I’m not sure I do….. He lost me when our special needs 7 year old was 2 weeks old. That’s when I truly became invisible. I haven’t been seen since.

  110. I’m sorry you’re feeling unseen and unheard. This is me right now. It hurts. I do hope you’ve found happiness and peace since posting your comment.

  111. Once in a while I get sick of his sh*t and I do random internet searches. I’m almost always lead here.

    Mine does things for me. He does. He’s got PTSD and he goes through phases, though During the phases, I’m the bad guy. I”m always in the wrong. Nothing I say is correct. He has to be right about everything, especially topics in my field of work he literally knows nothing about. And then the big fight comes, which leads me back to here.

    Lately he’s been more selfish and I’ve been hearing “You should just leave then” when I follow the advice and tell him how I”m feeling. I think this time I’m about done. They’re not big fights, they’re not abusive fights, but I sure am tired of not even being able to go to the store without him acting out in some way and ME getting the glares because I don’t put up with it in public. (Gasp! I express myself in front of strangers!) And I’m tired of, say, trying to talk to the mechanic about a car brain issue and having him override things I’m saying. (He will also answer questions for the professional instead of letting them do their job.)

    He lets me have whatever I want, but he won’t move around. He won’t try to eat right (Type II diabetic) and he’s always trying to increase our debt – which means I have to work harder and harder and harder. I’ve told him repeatedly I’m tired. He gets mad. He gets offended.

    I’m not fantasizing about other men because they’re just not worth it. But I am fantasizing about running away.

    All. Of. The Time.

    I would already be gone if life and money were any different, I have to admit.

  112. Pingback: An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 15 | Must Be This Tall To Ride

  113. I was this wife and this is exactly what happened. I tried and tried and tried. Before I knew it, the coworker that showed me all of the attention I was missing, I ended up doing it. It ended as soon as it started and the guilt came in. How could I do this? I was NEVER this person and I didn’t know how I ended up here. I knew right then I’m that moment that I would never do it again. But then the apathy came in. Along with massive guilt. I was angry at my husband for making me feel so insignificant that I could allow this to happen. But I was even more angry at myself that I put myself in that position. I couldn’t leave my husband. I still loved him more than anything and still wanted my marriage. I still wanted him! I wanted my family. So I kept it to myself. For almost 3 years I kept it to myself and continued to be the best wife I could be. Then it got to be too much. He was still treating me this way and became harsher in his words and still had no respect for me. I suggested counseling for years. I went to counseling on my own several times. Tried several depression/anxiety meds. How else do you deal with a marriage with a man that you love but refuses to treat you well? So one day I finally snapped. After weeks of arguing and not getting anywhere and one more broken promise, I packed a bag for me and my son and left to stay with family for the night. Husband finally came home and realized I wasn’t there with our son. My husband wouldn’t speak to me for 3 days. When he was finally ready to talk, he told me I needed to go live with my parents, that I couldn’t stay in our home anymore. So I didn’t argue and I packed my clothes and left. He immediately started seeing someone else and was still trying to talk to me and work on things. I finally admitted that I cheated and I didn’t want to go back to a relationship that made me feel so low that I had abandoned my own morals and cheated. That didn’t go over very well. He was mad that I told him about it. He thought I just told him to dig the knife in a little deeper just to hurt him. When I’m reality, I told him because I didn’t think it was fair to him to keep trying and putting in all his effort to fix our marriage just to get happy again for me to tell him later. I thought I was doing the right thing and being honest. I needed him to see his behavior was not okay. You can’t treat people this way and expect them to just be okay with it. It fucks people up. I never wanted lies or secrets. We got back together and split 4 times in less than 2 years. It was the most tumultuous and lowest time in my life. He would come back and promise the world and swear it would be the last time just to leave again. He couldn’t stand it that I walked out on him. He couldn’t get over me cheating. He couldn’t move past it. He asked me why I did it and I told him that he treated me like crap. Like I was disposable and would never be able to walk away. I never blamed him for me cheating. I blamed him for treating me the way he did which ultimately led to it. I take full responsibility for my cheating. I never thought I would end up being a cheater. I know for a fact that I would never do it again. And now Im a single mom.

  114. I too, join the long list of wives that agree that this article is spot on. I have also reached my breaking point. My husband thinks he’s the best man on earth because he doesn’t cheat and comes home every night. But I’m unreasonable when I ask him to let me know when he is going to be home 3 hours late from work. My (seemingly endless) well of tears has finally dried up. How hard is it to make your wife and children your priority? Why does he run off and help everyone else? Why does he get to sleep all day when he doesn’t feel good but I have to bust my butt still when I’m sick? Why does he get to go to Doctors appointments without a care in the world??? If I need to go to the Doctors or Dentist, I need to find someone to watch the kids. How is this okay??? He is so busy trying to be the hero to everyone else….meanwhile his wife hasn’t had a single break from the kids in over a year. I wish he would pull his head out of his ass long enough to read this article. I’m sure we will divorce.

  115. I have a lot of work to do to become a better husband but any relationship advice that puts all of the responsibility to fix the relationship on one person is off-target. It is possible for a man to be a lousy husband while the wife is also a lousy wife. This series makes the leaping assumption that a woman can do no wrong in a marriage and that a man’s needs and feelings are invalid when compared to the wife. Your advice is for a man to “man up” and ignore any flaws in his marriage and just be a hero with no needs or his own. This is some of the most toxic “be a man” advice I’ve ever seen. News flash… men’s feelings and needs are also valid!

  116. I would adjust two things on your list. Don’t apologize – change your behavior. I can’t even list the number of flowers and apologies I’ve received over the years, only for the same behavior to repeated over and over. Women don’t nag, husbands don’t do what they say they will do. If they did, wives wouldn’t have to bring it up again and again.
    The second thing is, if your relationship has entered or almost entered the apathy stage – don’t hug her. That amount of closeness must be earned and your wife must trust you.

    Otherwise, I’m so glad I found your web site. It gives me hope that men really aren’t as dumb as rocks. Just selfish.

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Matt Fray

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