Your Wife Thinks You’re a Bad Husband Because You Are One

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See that guy in the back? He's probably employed, faithful, easy to get along with, and generally nice to people and his wife. That must also mean he's a good husband, right?
See that guy in the back? He’s probably employed, faithful, easy to get along with, and generally nice to people, including his wife. That must also mean he’s a good husband, right?

We have a problem, guys.

I don’t know why we have the problem, but if you want to have a non-sucky marriage, it will help to acknowledge this, then work daily to overcome it.

You think your wife is unfairly critical of you. That she’s ungrateful. That she’s always coming up with a new problem or complaint with your behavior. That she’s constantly nagging you about something, and usually at the least-convenient times after a long day at work.

You think your wife is a little bit crazy. She’s upset and it’s a total freaking mystery to you because you would NEVER get upset over something so little and insignificant, right? So, she’s crazy. Hormonal. She must be. It’s the only logical explanation.

You think your wife has a problem with priorities. You would never start a fight with her for leaving a towel on the floor of your bedroom. It doesn’t really matter! Or over forgetting to set out the chicken to defrost for dinner. We can just order pizza and eat the chicken tomorrow! Not a big deal! Let’s not fight over silly things!

But more important than that, she was the person you gave up your bacherlorhood and individuality for. Of every person on planet Earth, she is the one you proposed to and vowed to faithfully live with forever. And you’ve probably sacrificed a lot for her, right? Maybe she decides what town you live in, and what house you bought, and how the house looks, and mostly dictates the general rhythm of your lives. Maybe you go to work every day, handing over entire paychecks so she can decide what to do with it. Maybe you let her drive the nicer of your two cars. You feel like you’ve dedicated the majority of your existence to being her partner for the rest of your life, and you’ve done so mostly complaint-free. That’s gotta count for something, right?

Your ONLY complaint is that she’s always on your ass about something. Can’t you just chill out and not give me shit, since I NEVER give you shit!?, we all think.

It’s because, despite our imperfections (which to us feel the same as theirs—we just don’t complain about theirs much) we know we’re pretty decent guys.

We know we love our wives and families, and every time someone suggests our love isn’t good enough, we get a little bit prideful and a little bit pissed off. Especially when it’s our wives.

I get it. I felt the same way.

You Have a Problem with Relativism, and It Will Probably Earn You Divorce

I don’t cheat on my wife. A lot of husbands do. Since I don’t, I must be a good one.

I don’t hit my wife. A lot of husbands do. Since I don’t, I must be a good one.

I don’t drink excessively or do drugs. A lot of husbands do. Since I don’t, I must be a good one.

I have a job making good money and provide for my wife. A lot of husbands don’t. Since I do, I must be a good one.

I’m a good guy and a nice person. A lot of husbands aren’t. Since I’m a good, nice guy, I must therefore be a good husband.

Then we make it worse.

Because we’re so good at logical reasoning and leaving emotion out of it unlike our idiot wives, we surmise that her complaints about us lack merit. We’re good husbands! We just established this! So she’s being an unfair bitch right now, but she’ll get over it if I just go watch TV in the other room!

Moving forward, every time our wives complain about us, we chalk it up as another bullshit nag-fest because A. She’s complaining about this insignificant crap I would NEVER complain about, while ignoring all the actual important things I do every day that matter! and B. I’m a good husband, and this is the same fight we always have, and she’s obviously full of shit.

I Have Bad News

You can be a great guy and be a bad electrician.

You can be a great guy and be a lousy dancer.

You can be a great guy and be a shitty husband.

Relativism is a funny thing. I certainly dabble in all kinds of it. I always figure, if there’s a God, I’m in good shape spiritually because I treat people kindly while not murdering, raping, kidnapping, stealing, fighting, vandalizing, abusing, etc. It’s a logical fallacy. It’s one I use to make myself feel better and avoid making difficult and disciplined lifestyle changes.

And I’m sorry, guys. Just because you make a bunch of money and avoid having sex with other women on business trips and tend to not criticize your wife’s choices as much as she does yours, doesn’t make you a good husband.

Marriage isn’t graded on a curve. Just because millions of assholes are getting an F and you’re getting a C-, doesn’t mean you deserve a pizza party for making your imaginary Honor Roll. C- grades are shitty regardless of how many guys are doing it worse than you.

Marriage grades are strictly pass or fail.

HALF OF ALL MARRIAGES END IN DIVORCE. Of the ones that don’t, how many of those appear to be fun, loving, satisfying relationships? Look around and decide for yourself. In other words, even if you aren’t divorced, does that mean you’re succeeding in your marriage?


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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.


I have a son in second grade. He’s awesome. But he’s a complete tool bag sometimes when we’re working on math homework and he guesses the answer wrong by a digit or two, and then defends his wrong answer by saying “I was close!” before telling me he doesn’t want to learn how to do math because he doesn’t feel like it.

There’s no “close to correct” in math. It’s either correct (and for the purposes of second-grade math, there is only ONE right answer and an infinite number of wrong ones), or it’s not. I think marriage is exactly like that.

You can’t almost get marriage right. You can’t be close to being a good husband.

You either ARE a good husband (which requires a daily display of strength and heroism and fortitude and courage and discipline and empathy and wisdom and knowledge and love), or you’re not one.

We get defensive. We buck and protest and point fingers and deflect.

But you know.

Dude. I know that you know that I know that you know that you’re a little bit selfish and that you frequently make choices that are easiest for you, often at the expense of your wife’s preferences. You do it all the time.

Sure, I know you just forgot, sometimes! I’m the freaking king of forgetting. But when you don’t create a system to not forget anymore (that you have that thing on Tuesday, or your wedding anniversary, or to pick up the dry cleaning, or whatever) so that your wife knows she’s loved and respected enough for you to take care of things and demonstrate you can be counted on, you reinforce feelings of mistrust that make her feel afraid and insecure about her entire life.

That will end badly for all parties, even when it seems so insignificant to you in the moment.

There are many ways to die.

Instantly, from a bullet.

Or imperceptibly slow from undetected cancer.

She can trust me to not cheat!

Sorry, man. No one gives a shit. If basic assurances of sexual faithfulness didn’t come with the most base-model marital packages, marriage would cease to be a thing. She already assumes she can and should be able to trust you to not bang other chicks. It’s best to not expect pats on the back for your restraint.

If you’re still reading, you might be tired of being lectured by some divorced asshole on the internet. You might be wondering why—if I’m so brilliant about marriage—mine ended.

It’s because I had a problem with relativism and it earned me a divorce.

Everyone’s different, so maybe divorce won’t be bad for you. For me, it was the worst thing that ever happened, and I cried a lot more than a man should, and dying didn’t seem so bad for a while.

And you know what I thought about every day for the next year or two while I was struggling to get my shit together? If I’d spent every day giving 10 percent more to the person I loved above all things, my wife and son would still live here and my life would be much happier.

Because, I wasn’t a bad guy. I was just a bad husband.

And if I had it to do over again, I’d have made better choices—choices that might still be available to you.

Maybe you can start right now.

188 thoughts on “Your Wife Thinks You’re a Bad Husband Because You Are One”

    1. Men know the difference. I’m not worried about a man so skilled at life that he inherently knew how to be good at marriage, because almost no one figures that out.

      I’m sure there are legitimately shitty, unfair, evil wives out there. Law of averages, and all that. But they also know who they are.

      I’ll leave the preaching-to-wives business to women who understand what it’s like to be a wife. Because I do not, and it’s not my place.

      1. I have been asking this question for a year now.

        Found out my wife was pregnant, we moved across the country and I started a new job all within the same month. My wife warned me at the beginning, and told me, “I will see you on the other side.”, knowing that it would get ugly, and stupid, and hormonal, and she also asked me to not be an A-hole through the process.

        Through the 9 months of pregnancy +3 months postpartum, we lost sight of that thought and she kept thinking that I was an A-hole, and that our marriage was doomed and NOTHING I could do would stop that.

        I started reading everything I could to work on me because I DO have plenty to work on.

        The haze is just now starting to lift and its like “Oh hey, there you are” as my wife’s hormones and my infant son’s life stabilizes.

        Its not fixed, but I certainly have hope that not all things in life are permanent. Sometimes things are temporary, or hormone based or weirdly circumstantial, but either way, I am accountable for how I love my wife and can always improve.

        I appreciate Matt’s comment:

        “You either ARE a good husband (which requires a daily display of strength and heroism and fortitude and courage and discipline and empathy and wisdom and knowledge and love), or you’re not one.”

        I am not an evil husband, but if I am not a good husband, then it makes me a bad one.

        Sometimes women are temporarily crazy. Just don’t ever mention that to their face and keep working like they are not.

        1. Thanks for being one of the guys who immediately goes to work on himself when things get messy. Even when you’re not the problem, it’s still the best move.

          I smiled when I got to “Oh hey, there you are.”

          Sounds like you’re hopeful, if not confident, that everything is going to be okay. I’m so glad.

          But here’s my favorite part:

          The turmoil triggered you into problem-solving mode. Instead of choosing avoidance or other women’s vaginas, you chose information.

          And now, you probably have a much deeper understanding of who your wife is and what her needs might be, and how you two accidentally drive one another apart for any number of reasons. When you “get it,” you can do something about it. Something constructive and connecting that keeps you all glued together.

          You’re my favorite kind of story, and I hope things continue to improve in your family’s life, and that your little son gets to grow up watching love and marriage work how it’s supposed to.

          Then maybe he can do the same because of what he learned from you.

          Then maybe your grandchildren can, too.

          It matters. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share a part of your story here.

          But mostly, thank you for being part of the solution.

          1. My fiance is bi-polar. Which means that sometimes she thinks that I am the devil and she should fuck other people. Send our dog to the pound, and call a restraining order on me, just because she can. Guess I’m a bad husband.

          2. It isn’t because you’re a good or bad husband. She has a mental illness. Bipolar is tough. My bipolar aunt committed suicide eight years ago. Get the best help you can find.

        2. Speaking as a wife of 20 years to a man I still adore who adores me, I’ll tell you that your wife will probably be a lot more receptive to you calling her on her bullshit crazy behavior once you’ve demonstrated you’re striving to be a good husband. We’re just not into pots calling us kettles black.

          And if you work on you and she doesn’t work on her, she’s not a good wife.

      2. I dont think that shitty people know when they are being shitty people. Isn’t that the thesus of your origional post? So if women are being shity and leave thier husbands because they can. (ITS EASY TO FIND A SUB and You may as well find the most of what you can get, because you already got this easily, so more shouldnt be too much harder) How is that the good persons fault.

        1. Jessica Kaufman

          Do you ever feel like there could be a way to not think of people as good or bad? Those words don’t really mean anything very specific. Because they mean so much, they can be used in so many ways. There’s no good or bad person in a relationship, unless one or more is a sociopath, in which case get away from them. But the world isn’t filled with sociopaths.

          It’s funny, I felt very similarly about women in marriage as many of the negatively reacting men here (They Crazy and HORMONAL!)…until I was married. Then I was like, omg, they aren’t actually crazy. They get DRIVEN to crazy. So THAT’S how this happens. Obviously not all women have that experience. But a lot do. You start out thinking that someone will listen to you, that someone cares about what you think or how you feel, and after a year of being ignored, or told how wrong you are about how you feel, yeah, you start acting just as shitty. People leave when they are miserable. But obviously they weren’t always miserable because you got together to begin with. So what changed? No one just starts out a relationship being shitty, or the relationship wouldn’t have begun, right?

          It’s possible that black and white thinking, like one person is GOOD and one person is BAD, prevent you from seeing the nuances of your relationship. Relationships aren’t just wham bam thank you ma’am, or where’s my dinner that I paid for? I also do not know anyone who left a marriage frivolously, male or female. Nobody likes a divorce, trust me. Mine was more amicable than I can even describe, and it was still hellish when we ended it. But anyway….

          Sounds very transactional. Is that how you see marriage? I give you this if you give me that? Or do you see it as a relationship with someone who is there for you as the need arises? Someone who is an actual person?

          I feel like a lot of the men reacting angrily here don’t actually view women as individuals with as much right to exist as they do, or to have feelings or thoughts contrary to theirs. If they are different, it must be because they are less or bad or whatever. Weird. If all one does is think about women as crazy, then they will be because that’s what you believe. But the opposite can happen too, it’s a choice how we think of and see people. It feels like these men think women are there for them, full stop.

          And, anyway, why would you want to stay married to someone that’s shitty?

    2. Pretty much. One of the primary drivers of strife is two fold – dual income with multiple kids makes life very, very hard. For some reason some people validate themselves through work but could never be bothered to ask if the intimacy they share with you is even half-hearted at best. I’ve seen first hand more desire to please the workfplace, which treats my SO badly while I would do anything to not treat her badly and for whatever reason my SO wouldnt give a passing thought about intimacy but wants to stay overtime to finish useless stuff “on time”. Intimacy is about connection – too, stonewalling, not talking, not being intimate, this stuff takes its toll. The other major issue is mind-reading. Men solve problems. So women need to present a list of problems that need solving. Do laundry. Grocery shop. Repair . A lot of women suck at communicating what they need to stop being upset.
      I have to say as well mountains of counselling and therapy have only racked up bills and done nothing to help. And I could be a good guy but a bad husband. First world problems.

      The man in me will do nearly any task
      And as for compensation, there’s little he would ask
      Take a woman like you
      To get through to the man in me
      Storm clouds are raging all around my door
      I think to myself I might not take it any more
      Take a woman like your kind
      To find the man in me
      But, oh, what a wonderful feeling
      Just to know that you are near
      Sets my a heart a-reeling
      From my toes up to my ears
      The man in me will hide sometimes to keep from bein’ seen
      But that’s just because he doesn’t want turn into some machine
      Took a woman like you
      To get through to the man in me

        1. The Man in Me, Bob Dylan, Album, New Morning, 1970. Featured in the movie, Big Lebowski.

    1. Thank you! I like to believe some excellent things are ahead of me, and that the wisdom gained from an otherwise-unpleasant divorce will serve me well in the future.

      I appreciate you reading and commenting!

    1. Thank you, Irene.

      I do keep thinking about how to talk to younger people about this stuff. Someday. I appreciate the encouragement very much.

    2. That’s the answer to the marital crisis in the US, Irene. Why aren’t we teaching all teenagers life skills, like how to understand the opposite sex, how to be a good spouse, how to be a good parent, how to be a responsible adult, how to be a happy person? We put so much focus on productivity. How about some focus on happiness and well-being?

      1. Right?

        We are doing a remarkable shitty job of prioritizing, and it seems as if NO ONE is having the conversation.

        I don’t get it. Thanks for chiming in.

    1. I appreciate that, Toni. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and leave a nice note. Wishing you and your family a very happy and blessed holiday season.

  1. Everytime I read one of your posts I wonder why years after your marriage you are reflective enough and man enough to realize what you did wrong and be sad about it. My ex and I are going through divorce now and I moved out in October. He has no sense of taking any responsibility for how awful of a husband he was to me. Even though he was an alcoholic cheating a hole who barely did anything with his son. I really don’t think he would even think for a second what he did wrong and how it caused the divorce. He’s very happily dating his new whore.

    1. If everyone was wired like me, we’d really be able to make a bunch of progress with this marriage stuff. As it is, I continue to be discouraged by how radically different opinions and philosophies can be about all these things we talk about.

      Step 1 is admitting you’re responsible for whatever life circumstances you find yourself in today.

      When a man is incapable of starting there, and spends his entire life in Finger-Pointing, Teenage-Boy Land, there’s really no conversation to be had.

      The bottom line is that young people just don’t know what they don’t know, and they get married because “We’re in lovvvvvve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

      And they’re stupid idiots because every young person is a stupid idiot without exception, and then they have to learn the hard way, and most people can’t behave with strength, decency and maturity, when they’re experiencing “the hard way.”

      We freak out, act like children, and do and say dumb things. (I still sometimes do this at 36.)

      Finding a way to make relationship psychology a more significant part of formal education, and arming young people with the information they need to make better choices would seem to be the best thing we can do about it.

      I wish I knew where to begin.

      In the meantime, I’m sorry that I think about this stuff all the time while your ex doesn’t, and I wish I had an answer for why.

      I’m sorry this is what you’re dealing with this holiday season.

      Here’s to 2016, miss.

      The one thing I know for sure is that if that happened to you this year, next year is likely to be much better.

      Positive thoughts heading your way.

      1. “And they’re stupid idiots because every young person is a stupid idiot without exception, and then they have to learn the hard way, and most people can’t behave with strength, decency and maturity, when they’re experiencing ‘the hard way.'”

        As a young person, I am very hurt by that.

        But you’re right.

        Not completely though.

        Not every young person gets into drugs, has lots of sex, or gets into crime.

        However, that doesn’t mean that only certain people get get an easy question with the most obvious answer wrong on a test. It can happen to anyone.

        It can happen to anyone.

        Now, I may be just a young boy (15 years old) and I probably shouldn’t be here anyway, but I disagree. Although I, personally, have my faults, I am not stupid. I am just learning, growing, experiencing. I know more than people of my age know, but at the same time I don’t know a lot of things. Still, I don’t appreciate being called “stupid.” God knows I don’t like being called “stupid.” My mother called me the same dang thing.

        1. I can’t remember whether you’re quoting something I wrote or not, Josiah, but please don’t take me too literally.

          I use lots and lots and lots of hyperbole in my writing.

          If I make a mistake, I may refer to myself as a big, fat, stupid idiot. But I’m not big nor fat nor particularly stupid. (Relativism. Ivy Leaguers might think I am.)

          If I wrote that all young people, without exception, are “stupid,” please trust that I playfully mean that all young people don’t know what they can’t know, and that it has NOTHING to do with intelligence or ability or character. I’m also including 100% of people who USED to be young.

          Older people got “smart” by learning from all their “stupid” mistakes.

          15, good sir! The last thing I’d have been doing at 15 was reading things like this. I’m not sure whether to be impressed or feel sorry for you! (Also a joke.)

          Thank you for taking the time to read things here and share your thoughts. I believe you’ve set the all-time age record.

          Don’t tell my mom you read this, please. She’ll admonish me for my language again.

          Josiah. Our mothers are amazing, and deserve our love and gratitude.

          But please don’t let people call you stupid, and please don’t ever stop standing up for yourself.

          Find what you love. Pursue it relentlessly. Believe that tomorrow (or hell, maybe even 10 minutes from now) could easily be when the next best day of your life happens.

          Best of luck, good sir.

  2. More than your usual brilliance here, Matt. As you know, I’m interested in the “why we have this problem” issue, but getting into that could come later. Right now you’ve identified the problem, sketched out how it presents itself, and suggested that it can be addressed by the average guy. Important work.

    I’m interested in hearing your suggestions on how men might “create a system so that they don’t forget [to defrost the chicken, etc.] anymore.” You’ve mentioned struggling with this kind of organizational thing in the past. I’d say that every married woman I know, of every age, is extremely frustrated by the sort of default cluelessness their husbands manifest around these kinds of issues. Men’s learned helplessness about dealing with the complex details of domestic life (described well in this article: results in a serious inequality in household labor that leaves most women I know feeling incredibly resentful, not to mention exhausted.

    Note that I call this “learned helplessness” because, remarkably, men who claim they are just “not hard-wired for scheduling/details/thinking all that shit through” can master massive amounts of detail about sports teams, execute large projects at the office, and often play chess really well. When men say they can’t remember to take the chicken out to defrost, or praise women for being “naturally” good at things like that, what they really mean is “that’s ‘women’s work,’ which is inherently uninteresting/slightly disgusting to me, and I can’t be bothered to do it. As a woman, you’ve been trained to do that kind of shit work all your life, and that suits me just fine.”

    To go back to your larger theme, men who say this kind of thing out loud these days are often regarded (by the kind of people who read this blog, anyway) as real assholish louts. But the “nice guys” you’re talking about here engage in this exact mental process. By never voicing the logic that underpins their “cluelessness,” and talking instead about how men are from mars and women are from venus, or about how the genders are “hardwired” to behave in certain ways, we can keep the issue safely out of sight– and remain totally frustrated with why our relationships are so fucked up. Thanks for starting the conversation that gets it out in the open.

    1. This made me feel good. Thank you so much. I also appreciate the depth and thoughtfulness you put into this aspect of relationships.

      As a biased and defensive guy, you’re likely to hear me say things about how I find most women to be infinitely better at mental juggling, schedule management, and all-around multitasking than me.

      I don’t know whether I believe, on this specific point, that gender is a factor. I need to read more.

      But I think your label of “learned helplessness” is fair.

      Go to any large-scale family gathering on Christmas Day and just watch.

      More than nine times out of 10, I bet, most of the men will gather around the basketball game on TV, or an outdoor area if the weather permits, or whatever open bar setup might exist at the party.

      Meanwhile, most of the women will be going back and forth between the kitchen and dining room, putting certain foods away, cleaning up the place settings, and either rolling their eyes at, or openly mocking (and in this case, perhaps deservedly so) their husbands.

      I don’t know that this is happening as much today, but at least with guys my age (which is mostly who I’m writing about), so many grew up with moms who sort of did everything.

      Our grandmothers did EVERYTHING. So their daughters grew up thinking that was just the way it was.

      Those daughters became our mothers. Life (because of higher education and changing economics with women in the workplace) dictated some logistical tweaking in the household, but MOSTLY mom was still doing everything: Cooking, cleaning, laundry, doc appointments, running us around to extracurriculars, grocery shopping, etc.

      So guys my age mostly watched two generations of women doing all the “women’s work,” which I totally agree is a bullshit thing to call it, but it’s also psychology programmed that this is just “the way.”

      So, our generation (I’m right on the Gen X/Gen Y dividing line) is the first where our wives frequently work as many hours and make as much money as we do, but we all still modeled our marriage dynamics after the ones we grew up watching without accounting for 40+ to 50+ hour work weeks from our spouses, because we’re sometimes thoughtless apes.

      Combine that with all the preexisting things that cause problems between husbands and wives, and it’s little wonder we find ourselves here.

      We’re probably at a pretty major transition period RE: marriage as an institution.

      It’s either going to continue to crumble and deteriorate and scare people away. (Which I perceive to be bad for children and humanity.)

      Or we’re collectively going to become more enlightened, change mindset, alter behavior, and just do a better job at excuting best marital practices.

      Fingers crossed it’s the latter.

      Always great to hear from you.

      And yes, I’m sorry the stupid book isn’t written yet. I think about it a dozen times a day and feel bad each time.

      Hope you’re well!

      1. I think this is all relative. If women didn’t have a hole that we could fill with our penis….men wouldn’t give a flying fuck about women. If their was no sex men could care less about getting married,,,, So basically bow in servitude to the almighty pussy.

        1. You’re right, Chris. No men whatsoever give a shit about being good fathers or perpetuating the human race by having children and raising future generations.

          Also, there is 100% zero evidence that men and women have ever enjoyed one another’s company or demonstrated interest in one another outside of sex.

          When you say childish, moronic things that have no basis in reality, Chris, only the really stupid, low-information people in the world are going to pay attention or have any respect for it.

          Get your shit together. Honestly.

  3. “I know that you know that I know that you know that you’re a little bit selfish…” Best line ever. For all of us, actually.
    (One of my favorite MBTTTRs for 2015. And you got it in just under the wire.)

    1. Your opinion carries much weight with me, Jen, so thank you very much for liking it. I hope you’re children are appropriately geeking out for Christmas and that their parents feel prepared for the final wave of the year-end Holiday Onslaught.

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

  5. Yesterday my husband admitted his career takes priority because it brings in the money. We were happier broke. We’ve been married 15 years, I’ve been detached going on a full one now. I found Open letters while googling how to handle his words. My pillow is drenched, he’s snoring beside me, oblivious. Again. He gave me my Christmas present early this year, grinning because he thought he got it right this year, fifteen years….can’t recall that I’ve always preferred silver jewelry over gold.
    Your words are everything I’ve hoped he would someday realize, but he’s no reader and though only 38, he has a much older outlook on seeking help for crazy lady issues.
    I was going to ask for advice maybe on possibly another way of getting through to him, but I understand now.
    Love must be tough. He’s gonna have to feel it. Heck, if he doesn’t find a way to remind himself gold or silver, he’s certainly not going to follow any recommendations.

  6. Your argument lacks even internal logic. If you do the things your spouse wants you to do and they still get pissed off at you that’s a problem. Relativism? Come off it. I don’t have a problem with relativism. You have a problem with objectivism. When you treat someone objectively well they should not treat you like shit. Kid.

  7. I agree that relativism matters. The problem [for your argument] is that it is a double-edged sword: The husband’s perspective should also matter. Not just the wife.

    Your math analogy is a bit off. Marriage is more like reviewing a book. Someone can give a book 3 out of 5 stars, and someone else may give it 5 out of 5 stars….for the same book. This makes sense because “what makes a good book” is subjective. There are some objective things (like using proper grammar), but for the most part, it is subjective.

    Some things in marriage are objective. For example, if Spouse A agrees to take out the trash, and they fail to do so, then they’ve made an objective mistake. (Albeit a small one, not worth fighting over.)

    But leaving a towel on the floor of the bedroom or bathroom is not an objective mistake. Some people feel it should be allowed and others feel you should clean it up right away. This, like many other things in marriage, are not objective mistakes. They are subjective areas.

    And here’s the kicker: I’m the one who thinks it should be picked up right away! But if I gave my wife a 3 out of 5 stars; and nagged her simply because she’s messier than me, then that would make me an unhappy jerk.

    My ultimate point is this: You SHOULD grade your spouse on a curve. (No one in the world is an exact 100% match for you, and nobody is perfect.) And they should do the same for you. That’s part of being married.

    1. I haven’t read this post in a long time, Dustin, so I’d need to re-read it to to discover what I wrote in here that conflicts with the comment you just left.

      For the record, I agree with everything — every single thing — you wrote here.

      So, I apologize if you (and possibly others) feel as if the content contradicts it.

      I’m going to try to take some time later to re-read this through the prism of what you’ve written here.

      Thank you for reading and leaving this note. If you and I have a disagreement on reasonable expectations for husbands and wives in marriage, I haven’t discovered it yet.

  8. The time of “Happy wife, happy life” mentality needs to stop.
    It is a marriage and a union that is supposed to be 50/50 and not where one is only there to make the other happy.
    Both partners need to meet halfway. It should never be one sided.
    The husband deserves just as much respect and recognition as the wife.

    1. That only works when every thinks respect and recognition look and feel the same.

      The problem is… they don’t.

  9. Yeah, I can see how I hate this post. I’m reading this now, just after I saw my 1.5yr old son eating food from 2 days ago, he found on the floor. The carpet in the living room also uncleaned for the same.

    Sure, I’m upset. But I’m doing it. Wife starts yelling from room to just read a book, put the boy to sleep and I say it’s fine. And it is, but I’m just a bit irritated by this all. Not to mention the wife whines all the f*cking time about not having a good job (she has almost 3 days off a week, works less than a mile from home) and I’m the “a-hole” who screws up life because I can’t take the whining from the kids, the wife’s whining, my job…which has pretty good benefits by the way on top of making more money than the wife.

    Well, wife says it’s my fault. I killed her drive. She wants to do tattoos and style hair. OK. Have fun. Goodbye.

    Relativism? My fault? I’ll take all the blame I told her, Take everything from my job but gas money and food – I’ll even beg Daddy to let me live in the basement. Why?

    Because in 3-4 yrs I know I’m good enough to double my income, love my kids to death (just as I do now, I hope to die if I get a divorce with no custody rights). Wife? No dreams, no goals but to whine about tattoos and hair styling, OH and how it’s my fault…Relative?

    Me a bad guy? Over 15 years I have become a bad person. My wife leached off me since I was 18 and she was 16. In our 30’s now it’s all my fault. Her parents wouldn’t even feed her a decent meal and I was working my ass off in my teens, I taught her how to do EVERYTHING. Now I’m a bad guy, a bad husband when I get upset cause she can’t vacuum everyday – when I was going to do it anyway. I hate my life, seriously. I hope to die so my kids can get my life insurance – which the wife has none of.


    1. For many couples… like, most… one person goes to the other and tells them something is wrong. Or that something makes them feel bad.

      Then the other person will disagree.

      It’s USUALLY the wife telling the husband that something he does or says makes her feel bad, and then he denies it. Tells her she’s wrong or.crazy.

      She says something hurts. But that same thing doesn’t hurt him. And because it doesn’t hurt him, he doesn’t think it SHOULD hurt her. So he tells her she’s responding inappropriately. He tells her that the things she thinks and feels every second of her life are wrong.

      He’s a bad husband. NOT because he’s a bad person. He may be an excellent person but he’s a bad husband.

      Being a good husband is a skill. Like being a good football coach. Or being a good auto mechanic. Or being a good electrician.

      But when she says something about him being her husband that’s not okay, he denies it. Turns it around on her. “I’m not a bad husband! You’re a bitchy nag!”

      If a guy fixes cars for a living and shit goes wrong all the time once he’s done, and his customers say he’s a bad mechanic or auto tech, how dumb does he sound when he denies it? When he tells them they’re wrong?

      Just because he thinks he’s a good mechanic doesn’t mean the customers were satisfied, or even that he objectively did quality mechanic work.

      Same is true for husbands.

      Sometimes, wives complain about something being wrong. And the marriage is breaking, of not fully broken. And she says “you do all things that hurt me! You’re a bad husband!”

      He may be a GREAT person. A great guy. But a substandard husband.

      And the person best-equipped to provide that feedback is his wife.

      All this is ALSO true in reverse. I just don’t pretend to know what wives feel so I write about husband stuff.

      Maybe some of it applies to you. Maybe it doesn’t.

      But I’m sorry for the headline.

      I think someone can be an AWESOME person but lack the skills to be a good spouse.

      I’m not even saying you’re a bad one.

      I’m saying, in most cases, IF a guy’s wife suggests he’s a bad husband, he–without realizing it–is probably getting some important aspects of good husbandry wrong.

      He doesn’t see it. He doesn’t feel it. He doesn’t agree.

      But that doesn’t necessarily make it untrue.

      1. I think you are exactly right. Some of us might not want to admit it because of pride. I have been married for 15 years and I just realized I don’t make my wife feel protected enough. She would get mad at little things that didn’t make sense. It wasn’t about the little things but the bigger problem that I never saw.

          1. We’re not “in control” of how anyone feels, technically. However, it’s pretty disingenuous to suggest that our words or actions (or lack there of) won’t affect our partner. If you don’t care how you treat your partner or how she feels, and you think you’re entitled to act how ever you want toward her because “you’re not responsible for her feelings” well, you’re headed to divorce town, whether you want to go there or not.

      2. This is why people who dont believe in god; should not get married. When you live by different standards it doesnt matter who good you do. Esspecially if someone’s standard is how good they feel at that time. Are you her husband or her court jester?

  10. This is spot on. I am married to a great man, but a shitty husband. Day after day if asking for the same thing. ” Put your kleenex in the garbage please/ put your clothes in the hamper please/ walk the dog please” and countless other things and person should be able to do for themselves without being asked. Then day after day I have to get more angry in order to get him to do it. Like these are adult responsibilities and I’m not your mommy. So I stop asking. Now tissues/ clothes are everywhere, and dog pissing on the floor. And who has to clean it up? Me that’s who. After Xmas holidays he’s is out of here, I have two children not 3! Doesn’t matter if you don’t cheat or if you provide enough income or your a nice person and never complain. We want men who are self motivated, and don’t treat us like maids.

  11. Bravo! Congratulations to your conscious awareness of your personal awareness !
    And by the way, we all should look and do something about how we behave and treat other people….we Women as well! ?

  12. And what if you are a husband in an abusive relationship? Ya see, I grew up in a household that was genuinely respectful and appreciative. It was an environment based on the expectation of working together and for one another. Sure we had some disagreements, disputes and moments of pettiness, however, it was a household of fairness and equality. I am in a marriage that does not share these tenants as I am often ridiculed and under appreciated. Not to mention I am often outright insulted, scolded and bullied. This on-going home life affects my sleep and my work, and has impacted my ability to function positively in other social settings as I now doubt my own self-worth. No matter how hard I have tried to do as she asks or to meet her requests I am still a failure and/or I am reminded about what I have yet to do or what mistakes I have made in the past. I used to keep a journal in order to vent my frustrations and express my feelings of hopelessness. As i would read them over I began to realize that I lived with an emotional abuser and manipulative partner. Yes, I am not perfect by any stretch and maybe I am the reason she dislikes various areas of her life. However, when does forgiveness replace resentment, or acceptance replace insults? And one of the worst things is I have no one to tell and no where to go (except my psych) – Who is going to believe that I am the one that is bullied and fragile? I’m the guy and I am suppose to be strong one, and in all likelihood the one that is the abuser. And if I leave the home and the relationship it will look as though I am the bad one that left. Who knew that I might be a victim?

  13. This is the most sexist article written against men.
    I am tired of all this one way “woman rule the world, they are the master and men are the slave.” Relationship.

    This is discriminatory sexism, I feel sorry for many men in North America. That’s why 50 percent of adults are divorced or many adults are still single and probably will never find love; there’s now a adult teenage lifestyle for people in 30s…. Marketing teams call them the Millenials, I think many of them are “wacked out”. They produce children in their 40s and end up dying when their children turn 25, no more grandparents, split families, bad mothers, depressed father’s and children that need emotion and parental support, this is mostly gone… no more culture only media sponsored social moods (which is a very strong form of propaganda).

    Men and woman are equal, in Americas people go from one extreme to another.

    Hope this changes, the generation after this will understand better about the torment of broken families and want to re establish family values.

    When the one sex are empowered with rights above the other, it gets abused. Same goes for race, religion or other.

    People need to start being ” selfless” and start supporting each other… individualism is selfish and self centred, will destroy any relationship.

  14. I agree with most everything written in this article. What I think is missing is the same type (different content) for women.
    I, too, am a divorced father who wasn’t perfect, but tried to be a good husband. It does take two. It takes two people with both feet inside the circle who want to preserve and improve their relationship. It can’t be all about her or him, or one is being short-changed. You both said vows, you both had a veto as to your previous relationship becoming a marriage. You both need to put oars in the water and row.
    Thanks for the points made for husband behavior modification.

  15. I don’t know what you did over the years to do it but accepting responsibility is hard….especially when you “feel” they don’t appreciate you. I’m scared to lose my gf and my baby girl. She Nevers wants to get married until I show myself as grown and capable of making mature decisions. I feel as though I do…I realize my effect on her yet can’t help but feel my lack of initiative is a direct effect of her actions towards me. Since the beginning she hasn’t been the kissy one. It bothers me and no matter how much I try to talk about it it’s always “I am that way!” Or “it’s your fault” and I get the last one but if I weren’t horribly depressed I would feel my every day actions matter. Did you feel the same before your divorce…..did you feel you were doing right and if so, was it with enough certainty about cause and effect like I “feel” I have. I say feel like that cause I assume I get it but obviously don’t or wouldn’t be here. Either way thanks for the post….very nice and in depth when being to the point. I hope you win them back….

  16. Well, if Im the first to say this I will be surprised. You are rationalizing; as if everything was in your control. Do you hoestly belive that you were in control of her? If you were than being a “perfect” husband would have made the difference. But how were yoh in control when she was a litle bit too cold and you didnt offer her your shirt because she didnt say anything? Or the countless other times she judged you from her own point of view. Maturity goes both ways, even if someone is perfect doesn’t mean that they wont be called a creep and be crusified. Merry Christmas.

  17. Thank you. As i type, i’m fighting with my pregnant wife in the other room, and it’s 6am. I don’t know what i’m doing to deserve the shouting and madness, but i know now that W/E the reason, it doesn’t matter; i just want to help her overcome any issue with me by fixing the problem, which i’m understanding, is me.

    1. Humility will take you far, sir. If you can find it within yourself to remain steady and patient and understanding (ALWAYS work your ass off to try to understand where she’s coming from — out of genuine curiosity, not to challenge her), everything will be okay.

      I’ve never been pregnant before, but I bet it’s terrifying and horribly unpleasant across the board.

      I don’t know much, sir. But I know that child’s best life has mom and dad raising her/him together.

      I didn’t do a very good job keeping that in mind when I used to fight. When I used to try to win.

      Building and protecting the family is winning. Anything working against that is counterproductive and self-sabotaging.

      At least, that’s where I’ve come out after four years of thinking about how it all went so wrong.

      It’s a real show sometimes. And damn it, they’re just WRONG sometimes, right? That’s how it feels. Unfair. Wrong. And subjecting ourselves to it seems ill-advised.

      Because no one tells us what to do.

      In those moments, our brains tell us it might be easier if she wasn’t there. Because then we wouldn’t have to put up with that shit anymore.

      When you’re in that moment, your brain isn’t considering all of the amazingly good things that exist in life because of the marriage and partnership. We ignore the 99 good things and react only to the one bad thing.

      Had I had a better sense of how much worse the loss of the 99 good things was than exercising humility and patience even when it was inconvenient, life would be a lot different today.

      Guys don’t talk about this stuff until it’s destroying us and fundamentally changing our lives. If you don’t have anyone, you can reach out at MBTTTR[at]

      But there’s nothing I can offer more helpful than this:

      1. No matter how insane or confusing it seems, your wife’s reactions and feelings make PERFECT SENSE to a person with her chemical makeup, perspective and life experience. And if you can find it within yourself not label her different way of being as “wrong,” and instead work to understand it, like solving a mystery, amazing things will happen.

      2. When the goal is to strengthen the relationship (and make her feel loved in the way SHE feels loved), then disagreements becoming relationship-strengthening opportunities, and not another footnote in our tragic divorce stories.

      Wishing you and your family well.

  18. Matt, in conclusion it sounds like a lot of people just shouldn’t get married, probably about half of marriages shouldn’t happen. If being a good husband is a skill, I don’t think I can learn it, and I shouldn’t be married anymore.

  19. Wow just blew my mind…
    This is exactly exactly my life, at one point I thought my wife hacked my phone, I started to look around for the camera !!!
    Your only wrong about one thing
    I am not a bad electrician
    Funny you even said that….
    That’s exactly 110% how I feel, but I think she finally had enough, so looks like I’m looking at new place to live and child support payments, I work 12 hours a day to come home and get shit on, and now a divorce, I’m keeping the kids, I wish I still had some friends but they stopped calling years ago cause they know the answer!! So if you tell me I only have a few months to live you wouldn’t see me cry!!!! I don’t even have emotions anymore, I got 3 settings: work . Avoid. Sleep

  20. We have to learn these things. Women won’t give us a chance to learn. That’s why the divorce rate is so high. Most men aren’t born knowing how to please a woman. And when we hold on to her for ten years, we assume we must be doing a good job to keep her that long. Unbeknownst to us, she begins talking to a new male coworker about her marriage. He makes sure to take very good notes about what she complains about her husband. And he begins wooing her, making sure to show that he is very strong in the areas she complained about. Her husband is now in a competition with someone​ for his wife’s love. The husband is completely oblivious to the fact that he is in this competition, while the other man is pushing as hard as he can. Who do you think comes out the winner? The wife cheats. Her heart suddenly becomes as hard as a rock toward her husband. She blames him for her adultery. She leaves him, spilling his guts on the floor. Won’t have anything to do with him. He’s left alone to put himself back together. He realizes now what an idiot he was, but there is nothing he can do. What she wanted out of him was nothing compared to what he’s dealing with now. But he can’t rewind. And he can’t control his wife. He can only make himself the best man he can be, and maybe someday she’ll come back to him. There is an epidemic of walk-away wives. It’s a sad thing.

    1. Jessica Kaufman

      Perhaps if you listened to her like her coworker did, she wouldn’t be talking to him? Perhaps it as much an epidemic of husbands who do not listen?

  21. Casey Grimes-Finley

    This was all so true.I loved this article!It hit the nail right on the head regarding my own marriage.Thank You for this insight.Casey Grimes-Finley,Chicago,Illinois

    1. Hell yeah! Sweet feedback and substantive criticism. Hearts and minds everywhere will surely be changed.

      Thank you for the thoughtful, and impressively written feedback. You demonstrated sound judgment and reason, and the sage wisdom included should serve as a huge help for people seeking answers.

      Scholarly and masterful, sir.

  22. Dumb idiot story

    Your are dumb ass fucking idiot, those like you should burn in hell, dumb fuck, illiterate piss of shit

    1. I don’t think you know what the word “illiterate” means. Which, in the context of this comment, is pretty funny.

      “Burn in hell,” you said. Just so we don’t misunderstand each other…

      You believe that when we die, each of us will go to either heaven or hell, depending on whether we were — in simple terms, good or bad people.

      And you believe that me, and all those like me, should be condemned and damned to an ETERNITY of suffering and fiery torment? People like me who challenge certain behaviors in marriage, and encourage people to love each other and preserve their families?

      Just out of curiosity, who goes to heaven?

      All the super-awesome people who call strangers “dumb ass fucking idiots,” and “dumb fucks,” and “illiterate pieces of shit”?

      I have a little boy I’m trying to raise. So if I should be teaching him to call people names on the internet instead of learning things and being kind to others, that would be good to know.

      1. The best part for me- he calls you illiterate, but he’s the one who spells “you’re” wrong and thinks the correct phrasing is “piss of shit”.
        Good one little troll.

  23. I was reading this and it was literally a mirror image of my life in many ways.
    Thank you for giving me something I can relate to and advice on how to address my downfalls that have affected my wife, of which I have some major ones.

  24. First time I found something new and logical
    Now I can work on my strength and weakness
    But what about those persons who keep provoking my wife

  25. For some unknown reason it seems that men are always the bad ones, like all women are some gift from God who are just perfect. Are you kidding me! There are just as many worthless, mean, and nasty women as there are men. Men should be just as careful who they are with as a woman should be. Everyone puts on a show of who they want others to think they are but it cannot be maintained forever. Eventually the true individual will shine through.

    1. I hope you don’t believe I disagree with any of that, or that any of the very-true things you said contradict anything you read here.

      All true, sir.

      I just only write about guys and husbands, because I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to be female or a wife. I’m always hopeful there’s a wife or ex-wife out there writing the other side of this same story.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I totally agree. ESPECIALLY the facade part, and being courageous enough to just be your damn self with the person you want to marry, because it’s a REALLY bad idea to get married to people you don’t know OR to people who think you’re someone else.

      That tends to end badly. #currentdivorcerate

  26. Fuvk man, hit me right in the feels. I’m in the midst of a self imposed pity party due to my own ignorant POS relativistic ways. Your article made me cringe at myself, and I feel worse now. But at least it’s pain from honesty, and not a self contrived sob story of my own imagining. Thanks for the heads up, good luck

  27. If this makes a bad husband what makes a bad wife…feelings are real for both men and women and who decides when the limit is reached the person with feelings or without…..i could say my wife is a bad wife because I have a high sex drive and she does not work with me on it. Note I am not saying to just have sex but to work with me on this issue…..i am not disagreeing however questioning the concept that the wife still is having feelings and we are expected to “handle” them who about the man’s feelings….although society has push us to not have them in many cases or at least pretend. Men have the highest suicide rate in the country not women considering what you went threw and the words you used where do a person feelings end and another’s begin. Where is bad husband and bad wife meet?

  28. Opinions like these seem outdated and full of unrealistic expectations. What about holding both people in a relationship accountable for the outcome? Are you saying that being herioc and wise and empathetic etc on a daily basis is a reasonable expectation for anyone?? What about the seeming double standard – is this fair to men or anyone to expect them to be any less human, any less fallible or fragile than anyone else? Is it OK to suggest that men are not entitled to simply be loved for who they are as a person? Or should men be required to constantly earn love not for who they are but for what they can do or provide??? Your ideas seem misanthropic and reek of Stockholm Syndrome.

  29. Phillip Harrell

    This is bullshit! I have read books my wife asked me to read. I know her fucking love language. I listen to her feelings and thoughts uninterrupted offering no solutions i give her my time. I plan dates and get away’s i take care of things around the house, i dont forget dates or dry cleaning or whatever else she fucking wants, what about what i want? She blames me for shit that I didnt do she bitches and complains constantly no matter what i do. Women do this because of pussified men like the one who wrote this. I have been one too. Not anymore fuck this shit. This is why men die first putting up with unnecessary bullshit.

    1. Phillip. I think you should consider the possibility that you were an excellent husband, and that none of this applies to you.

      I want to believe I can trust people to know what does and does not apply to them.

      If this doesn’t describe you, then I think it’s pretty obvious that you needn’t be upset by it. Because it’s totally irrelevant.

      It only matters IF it matters.

      1. Not scared to be honest

        Or people can just see your as soft as a wet noodle. Bet you get the shaft every day in your own home. You wrote an article addressing a problem then say “It shouldn’t be debated bc if you debated it you must be afraid your the problem”
        …. ignorant.. My points rite and you can’t talk or your wrong. Lol sounds like a millennial not a man.

  30. I do think this is an important article for many.

    My husband is a good provider, but a really shitty husband. I ask him for help and he moans and groans, but when I make him breakfast or dinner and I am exhausted from work I don’t do that to him.

    When he spends the entire weekend mowing the yard and I ask if he wants to go out on my only day off with him I get guilt tripped, yelled at, he is defensive and says I am calling him lazy when I never did. I was just reminding him what he asked me 3 days prior now I’m the shitbag making him feel bad for asking a question and then he says I never said or asked that.

    16 years of him gaslighted me to the extreme, he has no clue how trully strong I am and he can think he has won this round because I refuse to fight any longer. When a women deciedes not to fight anymore, that means your not worth it anymore either. Remember that guys! We refuse to waste our time because it is too late.

    I tell him whats going on at work and I get accused of “complaining” for saying anything.

    Yes, we both pay the bills and we both work fulltime. I recieved a promotion and all I got was “So now you think your better them me” attitude.

    The harshness, the bullying, the lack of appreciation,playimg forgetful and being condescending, being taken for granted because he can and everything he says or does I am blamed for if it is wrong.

    So, yes a man can be a good provider, a good person inside and still be a really shitty husband behind those doors we close to the outside world.

    I am not just one foot out the door, but I have packed all my shoes for the long road ahead.

    Please treat others in your life with consideration, caring, love, empathy and everything you want from your spouse.

    To receive all you, need to give all. That old rule was give 50/50 to your spouse. That is not good enough, because don’t we all want 100% of love and comitment? So give 100% and they will return that incestment everyday.

    There is no in between that makes up for the devide down the road and regret is a bad taste to wake up with everyday.

    Should of, could of, would of is a past referrence to what you can change now and not look back as it could have been.

    I know he is going to think there is someone else which is untrue in a way. I am leavimg him for myself and what I deserve is more then he has ever given me.

    We don’t care about money, or gifts. We like kindness in your actions and words, love, appreciation, commitment and knowing we are still your one and only.

    That is something no money could ever buy and is the beat gift of all!!

    1. Not scared to be honest

      If your so tired maybe you can move on with your great job and expertise on the world and shown that jerk how to support a family and raise one too since it’s a one person job and you must not respect your man since your putting him on blast online.

  31. Pingback: 8 Ways Good People Invalidate Their Partners and Ruin Relationships | Must Be This Tall To Ride

  32. This is one of the best articles I’ve ever read on this subject. You also might think I’m an idiot for saying this, but fuck it. How? How do I start? I love my wife and my infant daughter and I don’t ever want to lose them.

    1. What I have noticed is that people become over defensive. Little things feel like personal attacks and it creates more problems because one or both stopped hearing what is said and read into something that wasn’t said at all.

      Unfortunately, I have been dealing with this for far too long.

      I asked my husband if he was off on Sunday, he said no he was working.

      It all started with “Gee whiz”. A simple saying that to me only meant disappointment, sadness and nothing more.

      But, again he is reading into something that really isn’t there.

      Then I stated how I felt and what I was thinking.

      Now, I am the bad guy. I apparently should not say what I feel or think because he got defensive and accused me of being jealous, possessive and controlling. I said to him “I feel you are working on Sunday so you don’t have to spend time with me?” A thought in my head that was innocuous and me just saying what I felt cause I was disappointed.

      How is what I said controlling, jealous or possessive? I get yelled at and treated as though I am the enemy for saying what I was thinking?

      But, 16 years of this abuse and the maniputaion to make him look like the good guy is too much already.

      When you read into what isn’t there, make it out to be hurtful and then blame your spouse for the way you took something then maybe it is time to walk away.

      When your not allowed to say what you feel or say what you think so your not stuck in a fight that is over a way someone read something, I don’t see much reason to stay. When you cannot express yourself and are afraid to so your not upsetting your spouse, maybe then there is something wrong with them and the blame is not excusable any longer.

      Somethings in marriage should not be up for debate and sacrificing yourself to not be screamed at not a good trade in anyway. How much does someone need to loose until they see there is nothing left of who you were?

  33. Not scared to be honest

    A marriage is a two way street to say it’s blatantly the man or womans fault is purely ignorant. Just another man hating feministic article written by a guy who clearly doesn’t respect himself or the fundamental beliefs that many people carry into a marriage. We live in a society that pukes feminism and the “problems men have and wont own up to” blaming once again someone else for your problems. It’s not unrealistic to believe a woman can lover her husband as much as her child not promote fractured relationships that only focus on the women’s point of views. It’s becoming more and more evident that men like you do not believe in them selves or have the guts to stick up for yourself at home as soon as your wife pulls the ” being a stay at home is the hardest job”. I’m not saying it’s not but neither is working a full time job and never seeing your kids. So instead of promoting sexist views maybe you should annalize both sides of the coin and preach about real problems that are causing over half of the marriages these days to end. Like the tearing down of Christian values in society today.

    1. Most of the people who whine about this are infinitely bigger dicks than you just were. So thank you.

      If you want to have a conversation, I’d be happy to. I think you are misrepresenting what I think and feel, but I jump to conclusions and stuff, too, so I get it.

      But just so there is zero misunderstanding, here’s what I believe:

      1. There are statistically 3,200 divorces each day in the U.S. alone. Not evil or mean or abusive or inherently bad people. Good people. People who genuinely wanted to be married for life but–almost without words to describe how they got there–find their marriages in shambles 5-10 years later.

      2. I think that’s VERY bad and a major problem, and that not enough people are talking about it or doing anything about it. My parents divorced. I didn’t like it. They weren’t “bad.” Then I divorced. I didn’t like it. My ex and I are not “bad.”

      3. I think I’ve identified what causes the majority of relationships to breakdown. I write, read, think and talk about this stuff a lot.

      4. Truth is truth REGARDLESS of your negative labels you want to attach to it. Men, on average, engage in specific behaviors that mathematically end marriages. Dr. John Gottman can demonstrate this with decades of unassailable data. MEN cause the problem MOST of the time. This does not make them bad. This makes them people who don’t know better, need more education, and then will have to step up and make a few uncomfortable changes to help out. Sorry if you don’t think that’s fair. I’m guessing women don’t think it’s fair that they’re the only humans who can carry and deliver children, but truth is what it is. Men absolutely trigger the majority of relationship breakdowns. My theory is that most WON’T if they and their wife or girlfriend understand one another better than they do today, and understand that little marriage fights they don’t think are important, ARE important.

      5. Lastly, I do this because I care about this topic. Little kids have to say bye to one of their parents all the time because their mom and dad–who are perfectly decent and capable people–can’t solve the relationship mystery that breaks up the vast vast vast vast majority of romantic couples, married and otherwise.

      I’m sorry if you don’t think it’s as important as I do. I’m sorry if you think the truth is “feminism.”

      I want to help people have healthy relationships because heathy relationships make our lives stable and meaningful. Horrible relationships ruin virtually every other part of our lives.

      Just maybe, some self-reflection and dealing with some uncomfortable truths is worth it in order to see a paradigm shift in male behavior that would stem the tide of divorce and broken homes.

      Decide for yourself.

  34. 2017 and we are still telling men to basically make all the adjustments in a relationship and cow to the wife. This goes even farther and says even if we are doing this its not enough, that we need to deal with the endless string of complaints. And we wonder why divorce is so high. Why 70% of divorce is done by women. Marriage is 50 friggin 50. Anyone who feels they should take nagging and like it is a WEAK non male. And no that is not macho of me to say. I respect my wife of 15 years and we do just fine. We have ups ands down but we work through them and on each other. Not just me working on doing her will. I will never EVER do that and I would not ask her to.

    Yes, she goes through periods where it seems like nothing I do is enough. Sometimes I listen and try to adjust. Other times I draw a line in the sand and tell her she needs to calm it down cause im not bending over every time some thing you dont like occurs however small it may be. And sure whats important to her is important to me. But you have to realise if a woman has a million things going on in her head all the time that a man is not supposed to do the same just cause. I do not feel guilty because I can handle stress well. I do not feel guilty because I appreciate just being peaceful and not having a minor breakdown because the dishes are dirty two days in a row. And I Never EVER will. We need to make sure we are happy with ourselves. I think a lot of women miss this part, Then they come and applaud and cheer-lead post like this saying this is what they need.

    The truth, if you keep adjusting and cowing the only thing that happens is something else comes up for them to complain about. Its a balance. Sometimes you listen and try to change and other times you have to put your foot down or you will be controlled.

    1. I don’t love how you worded some of this, but I agree in a big-picture sense.

      My issue with what you’ve written here is that everything you said is adversarial, as if it’s Husbands vs. Wives in some huge battle.

      I don’t know who taught you guys about concepts like actual love, but it’s a generous, kind, unselfish thing. It’s NOT something that rears its head often in the midst of power struggles or jockeying for control.

      Here’s what I’m saying:

      1. If you got married with good intentions to someone else with good intentions and want to stay married…

      2. There are various things men often do (or don’t do) that cause women to feel shitty in their relationships. These things HURT wives and girlfriends. Legitimate pain. It’s not happening because men are systematically plotting to upset their partners. It’s happening because many men don’t realize that these things hurt their wives. They don’t realize it because that same situation DOES NOT hurt them. It’s hard to understand how something we know doesn’t hurt could hurt someone else. Which is why I like the third-degree burn analogy. If someone places their finger on our arm, it typically won’t hurt. If we have a third-degree burn and it’s an open wound and someone puts their finger on it, it will feel like a horror show and you’ll want to stab them.

      Point being: One event can occur and be experienced radically different by two different people. In relationships, that often breaks down–one way or the other–as husbands tending to do things one way, and wives tending to do things another.

      I don’t think men are bad. I don’t think men are intentionally hurting their wives. I think wives are being touched on third degree burns, and husbands don’t realize that feels like and say “Oh for Christ’s sake, all I did was touch your arm. Why are you always complaining about something?”

      And then she says “When you touch my arm it hurts me.”

      And we say: “God that’s stupid. It doesn’t hurt when people touch your arm. You’re insane.”

      And she thinks her husband doesn’t love her and doesn’t care whether he hurts her.

      Won’t be long before the divorce happens. It’s like clockwork.

      This is NOT about feminism or emasculating men.

      This is about ACTUALLY SEEING the mechanics of how relationships are, and then adjusting accordingly — either by staying single, or NOT saying or doing things that hurt the people we claim to love.

      I don’t think it’s very complicated.

      It’s damn hard to see and communicate.

      But it’s not complicated.

      1. When the majority of the effort has to come from one side you get failure or at minimum resentment. I dont view marriage as him vs her I view as a partnership based on love and trust and respect for each other. And quite frankly it needs to be based off our weakness and how we build each other. Most men have a tendency to lack empathy or understanding of what a woman needs. It is her responsibility to teach him what she needs and it is his responsibility to work on that. Most women have a tendency to work purely off emotion and what they feel. It is her responsibility to work on that and understand that is not always the most rational way to be and it is her husbands responsibility to be patient and understanding. Articles like these and many many more seem to put all the pressure on the man to basically do most of the work. That is wrong and unsuccessful. You can never satisfy a relationship if you try to appease emotion which is not rational and very fickle. This is not a generalization or stereotype. A good majority of women have no clue what they want they just know that they “feel” something is missing and its his job to figure it out. All articles like this come from that place whether we want to admit it or not.

        You can up build a woman your whole relationship and she can still feel like you were neglecting her. You need to know yourself, be realistic and KNOW what you want and articulate and not expect your man to know these things for you. You cannot reason with emotion. And when you fix one complaint there is another waiting to fill its spot. When you fix one issue another one will take its place. This is not a complaint by me. This is a weakness and a strength of a woman. They think about many things all at once and dont compartmentalize well. This helps to get things done but it does not help with stress. The women who address this are the ones who are happy. The ones that dont are the ones who always have something that bothers them.

        What will happen and what I see happening is more men not even bothering to get in committed relationships. You know why? Because all these issue happen mostly after marriage. before then everyone is on their best behavior. Funny how you can go years with not much conflict and then once married it changes. I will say my balanced approached has thus far led to a happy marriage because I respect her and understand we are different and i work on it BUT I expect she will do the same and I say so. There will never be one way effort that is acceptable to me.

  35. Very good article. Very nice thoughts. It is refreshing to hear man’s perspective. I wish more men were thinking like that!? please teach you son the emphaty you discovered?

  36. I think this is probably the most insightful article from personal experience I have ever ran across in the 33 years that I have been married. I do believe the comparison scale based upon the Norms of society have created average to below-average marriages. If we were to write a paper on our wedding vows and dissect each vow promised we would see that it goes much further than the obvious it goes right into our heart and how we are going to express it daily through our actions and attitudes. I sol want to share this article with my “bad” husband. I am fearful he has become Hard Hearted and tone death. At times I think he stopped caring but then I think maybe the problem is he never cared enough. And when I translate that into a relationship I feel uncared for. Which ultimately destroys our intimacy. So if there’s any way I could share this with him without creating any more harm or damage to his sensitive personality that would be great.

    1. Same boat – I wish my husband would read this, cause it just might be life changing. I know he grades himself as a solid A husband, when I’m crying myself to sleep cause he’s barely a C. I don’t know why it is so hard to see that treating your wife like a college roommate and your home like a crash pad is not exactly being a husband. It’s been 15 years, and he bailed on me emotionally a long time ago. At this point I’m just trying to find a way to live my life joyfully despite him.

  37. This article really pissed me off.
    There are plenty of things i’ve done wrong in my marriage.. but I care. My wife on the other hand, just doesn’t care.. that includes the things she has done wrong and also forgiving what i’ve done wrong.

    I don’t know if I am a good or bad husband but I do know that things could be better if my wife cared.

    1. You say you want her to care? Woman are wired in a way that we take the wait and see approach.

      You can say it all you want, spend millions of dollars also. But, somethings don’t cost money.

      Is there something she asked you to do, but you never got to it? Was there things she spoke about that you didn’t think it really mattered?

      To make a woman care, mean we don’t like to be let down.

      Maybe if you remember back to something or at sometime she mentioned something you maybe didn’t think much about then, maybe you could do it now?

      Women want to see action, not here “yea, I will do that later?”.
      Maybe that time is now for action, because words are meaningless when never not acted on.

  38. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It’s been a solid year of marriage and honeymoon phasing, right up until yesterday night. Thats when both sides dropped verbal nukes. I made the mistake of feeling parti ularly accomplished because I actually fought back against my wife’s anger to the point of refusing to sleep on the couch.

    I was wrong – this amazing woman has been unhappy, and I was taking for granted that being an all-around nice guy would save me me a spot n husbands hall of fame when the smoke cleared. I was ready to let the battle go on this morning, but God brought me to read this; it brought me to tears. (Btw, it’s not how good of a person you are that reserves a spot for you up there with Him, but recognizing that you’re not….at least that’s my pov).

    You usually don’t know how selfish and ignorant you’re being, until you’re 5 minutes too late. I can’t quite respond with the eloquence these other commenters have, but I just want to thank you from the heart for giving me a hand in turning over a new leaf. I sent her a message promising to do so and I intend to keep to that promise with everything in me. Thank you, again.

  39. So your advice to man struggling with his bitchy wife is to become a placating pussy. Funny to me because I stopped my wife’s constant bitching by becoming a remorseless A-hole. I won’t even tolerate an eye roll from her anymore. And what I mean by that is if she rolls her eyes at me I will get in her face and ask her what her problem is and I will not stop until I get to the root cause. Any aggression on her part is met by 2x by me. I’ve made her understand that it’s not worth it to fight with me because she cannot win. I think that many men have the problem with their wives being b***** towards them simply because they allow it. There’s a much more Simple Solution than you’re offering to this problem. Just man up and put her in her place, it’s as easy as that.

    1. Neat advice, Dick. I’m sure your marriage will be full of bliss and harmony using your wise methods.

      Placating pussy. Jesus.

      Get your shit together.

  40. Hi, Matt. It’s cool to read your stuff. It’s so refreshing and consistent and unapologetic. And funny. I’m sorry you don’t have your fam right now. Hope it all works for the best for you anyway. I love the Christmas list you wrote on your other post in 2015.

    My husband is great. I know he loves me sooo much. He’s sensitive. He listens to me. And he really cares about my happiness. He’s a very loving dad for our little son, too. It’s magical to watch the two of them together. Makes me so happy. Nothing in the world like it.

    And he’s so handsome when he’s just relaxing there, thinking something, all manly and deep…

    Thing is, though, even after writing all of the above, I’m still dying inside, not knowing how much longer I can last for him. To me, my love for people in my life has got to drive me. And I want to be sooo close to him. But I’m not really feeling anything. Just turned around and shutting down. Maybe it’s because English is not his first language. Or maybe it’s because he’s so serious about providing for us and being responsible. Dude… the guy cooks and cleans for us. He fixes stuff. He’s optimistic for me even though I have a mental illness.

    But, you know, he’s just not my therapist. And he’s not that one guy friend I had to whom I could share ANYTHING. And I’m soo so lonely. Sometimes the results of that is that I don’t even want to be touched.

    Sometimes I will sit down and write him a letter to try to get close to him. He needs some emotional love handles or something. I would reach out and grab some of them. What does he need from me? He keeps telling me he’s happy. It’s like I can’t do anything for him. Except pretend I’m not depressed. Baby sit our adorable little son.

    I am just a person who has the capacity for a very deep emotional connection. I know that from experience. Hey… my husband even has deep feelings for me! But I don’t feel that. It doesn’t get to me. We aren’t so connected far as I can tell. I just keep looking for some light to go on. Some fire to start between us. I can give him time, because I love him. But, it’s painful.

  41. I was focusing on being “one” with my husband since last night. I think I will just continue. I noticed something that works for me when I am oppressed by sad thoughts and feeling like life is an imposition. I just switch to thinking of it in terms of possibilities and opportunities and more like life is a gift. That doesn’t mean I ignore signals about my needs. But I notice that a lot can be helped by just a mental shift.

    My husband tends to invalidate me when I have complaints or concerns. So, I have to remind myself that I did take the step to tell him what’s up with me. It’s just how he responded. I end up feeling like he’s telling me my behavior is wrong or weak or confused. I think it’s because he hears a negative feeling from me and suddenly feels blamed for it. And then just tries to transfer the blame to me with his corrective advice. All I’m looking for is a little validation and consolation and I get a lecture. All I can do it tell myself he is trying to help and is a little sensitive. I might try changing the way I disclose certain issues to him. I might frame them in ways that show I little way for him to help me. Like, instead of, “My brain won’t shut down for the night. I think there’s something medically wrong with me,” and then getting criticized, I can just tell him, ask what for what I think would help from him. Like, “I would love to fall asleep after a little…” You can insert whatever—“from you.”

    Certain days are particularly stressful, so I just come in the door promising myself I will start out complaining about nothing and just listening. Some of his anger did eventually flair up, but I was able to uncover the causes more easily and didn’t fire back with my own anger. I found out there was a serious concern in his family that was troubling him.

    1. It shouldn’t fall to one person alone to mindfully control their emotional responses, but I️ think it’s pure magic what happens when someone humbly does. Thank you for this.

      1. This relationship sounds not magical and humble but miserable, guilt ridden, and just awful. This is the problem with a lot of relationships. They shouldn’t be happening. Does this person shes with sound like a partner in any way? I have to admit I’m grateful this wife doesn’t have kids because she’d be modeling subservience and codependency for them and perpetuating this behavior ad naseum. Martyrdom isn’t sexy or beautiful, it’s sad, disgusting and usually misguided.

  42. What a crock of SHIT. It’s about teamwork and mutual respect. But of course, continue the disillusioned stereotype that the man is ALWAYS wrong about EVERYTHING. That’s progress.

    Just because you’re a great woman doesn’t mean you’re not a shitty wife.

    1. THANK YOU JESSE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      delusional garbage

      1. Happy wife, happy life, which is working out great… for my wife. Men are now being endlessly asked to indulge female crazy. Sorry, I’m out.

    2. You are completely free to NOT read this blog, the fact that you ARE, shows me deep down, you really need to know this stuff yourself. It called humility, and taking responsibility for your own actions. Its a beautiful thing, if everybody did it the world would be a way better place. Matt displays insight and characteristics of a REAL godly man, the way a real man was designed to be. Not the way society and the world has molded men to be….Thank you for your courage and leading by example, Matt! Please keep it up, you are helping a lot of people.

  43. Well, Jesse, maybe I was going for the same thing–but with more subtle inferences, perhaps. That is to say, I think we agree with you–or at least, I have no problem with your point. Although I may not have used the same imagery.

    But you know, sometimes you just have to start punching four letter words into your google search to get meaningful results.

  44. Anyway, I’m confident we’ll get through to each other because there is real love, even with different styles. Saving the rest for my guy… Bye. bye!

  45. Well said, feel like that now. Still tough to give an extra 10% (not minimizing it but have to start as big as I can) but, need to.

  46. I should’ve read this 9 months ago. I am at the tipping point and I think my wife is going to ask for a divorce. She’s afraid that I can’t change. I am afraid that she may be right. How do I change this at this stage? We have three previous make up sessions, but I steam rolled her thinking that I was always right. Always explaining her to death on how she is wrong and how I am right. Three times already. I don’t deserve her, but she is my life. How in the world can I rectify this? I continue to think that I am in a nightmare and that it would be over and I could wake up a changed man.

    1. Jessica Kaufman

      Why did you do this at the time? The 3 times? I truly do not understand how someone can want to do something but doesn’t know how. Like, you know you steam rolled her the first time and then went ahead and did it again? Or did you do it those three times and not realize until much later (now)?

  47. Im wife..This is the best “lecture” I’ve ever read. I’ve been searching forever for that perfect page to send him and this is it. Our marriage is relative what you said, even down to the “killing you slowly cancer” ( we have been together for 4 years now, and Sept 14th he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.) Treatments ARE working btw! I just wanted to thank you because if this doesn’t get through nothing will!

  48. I practiced relativism today with flourish! Because a half-full dishwasher that wasn’t run isn’t something you blow my phone up about when I’m at work. Same goes for dirty floors (we have two dogs and two cats). Same goes for the condition of bedrooms.

    I have significantly more important stuff to do at work, like my job, so that I can contribute.

  49. Thank you, I totally needed this. All I long I have been thinking that’s it’s Her fault my wife decided to go unemployed for the past eight years, taking a sofa sabbatical gaining 150lbs, her fault she spens recklessly and tells me to get a second job. I’m glad to know it’s not her fault, but mine.

    1. I think you’re smart enough to know the difference between what I’ve written here and your situation.

      Maybe you shouldn’t try harder at work, but you should definitely try harder at reading comprehension and being a reasonable-minded human being.

  50. Hey Matt,
    Thanks for having the courage to share your story. The funny part is, I’m not married but me and my girlfriend have a child and we’ve lived together long enough to be married. Some of our issues mirror what you described. I will take your advice and try to be stronger and more kind. I think as humans we tend to see things our way, but I don’t want to miss out on being with a woman who truly loves me. My biggest issue however is that I am still not attracted to her the way I’d like to be. I love her and she loves me, but sometimes I feel if I was more attracted to her I’d naturally be more caring. Nevertheless, I will try 10% more each day to be more loving and less selfish. Thanks for the eye opener. At least if things don’t work out, I can walk away knowing that I did my absolute best to love her. Sound right?

  51. Thanks for this. I’ve been trying to figure out what my wife’s problem was and and it turns out it was me the whole time. Time to do way more than just be a good guy.

  52. “Dude. I know that you know that I know that you know that you’re a little bit selfish and that you frequently make choices that are easiest for you, often at the expense of your wife’s preferences. You do it all the time.”

    I’m guessing your wife did the same to you, ALL THE TIME. What you describe is simply human nature. Sounds like you took all the blame and responsibility onto yourself for all the areas in life where you and your wife’s “preferences” did not mesh, where in fact, compromise should’ve happened.

    You shouldn’t have to be superhuman or always putting the other person first. Maybe your wife needed to meet you halfway a little. Just a thought.

  53. Mr. Steel your wife

    This is def written by a woman or a bitch ass husband with no balls.

    1. I bet you were a whiz in the classroom. If you share a mailing address maybe we can send you a color-by-numbers coloring book and a nice box of crayons.

  54. I guess a lot of us men are bad husbands. With divorce in the US brought on about 75% of the time by unhappy wives. Maybe women shouldn’t be expecting so much from a man because he is just a man. We think differently. And we should. Where I believe the trouble comes from is there are men that are that special kind of guy that does all that to keep his marriage together which for most men is too much work. We like basic. Faithfulness should be applauded. It’s easy to get caught up. Just because she’s attentive to detail, why should she expect the same from us. That is the selfishness in relationships. Love because you can. Not because you get it right. I no longer try to be perfect, but I do try. And who says relationships should make us happy anyway. Happiness before, after, and in between.

    1. Keith’s comment sparked a lot of thought. I have zero problem understanding that I have flaws and that I brought those into my marriage. I also understand that my wife has flaws and brought hers into the marriage as well. What seems to trip me up however, is that the expectation from her to me is that I need to overcome my flaws faster and better in order for her to have to a better experience in our marriage–but I’m not permitted to foster those same expectations toward her. I don’t know that I’m practicing relativism as much as I desire equity. I don’t spend a lot of time comparing myself to other men/husbands–everyone’s at a different place on this continuum called life. What I do look at and analyze is the level of equity that’s occurring/not occurring in our marriage. I don’t mean tit for tat…you do this and I’ll do that. My wife and I are different people, with different skills, talents, desires, personalities, mindsets, etc. It seems ridiculous to think that we would be on the same page about everything, but the response I get from my wife is that I need to be on the same page with her or else she doesn’t feel validated and that door doesn’t swing both ways–I’m not permitted to feel or express the same to her. (Kinda like women getting upset at men for not putting the toilet seat down–but men not being able to voice the opposite argument for not having the seat put up–where’s the equity in that!?) I’m not anti-wife, or anti-emotion, or anti-compassion, and really desire to live peaceably with my wife, but I can’t wrap my mind around why the maxim is “happy wife, happy life”!? That just seems to set both sides up for disappointment. As a matter of comparison, I have one brother-in-law who treats my sister as his queen–it’s almost too sappy for me to watch. I have another brother-in-law who treats my sister as his best friend; they do everything together and wear the same outfits and and post everything they do on social media. I have still another brother-in-law who treats my sister almost like his arch nemesis–like Sherlock Holmes going against Professor Moriarty–a battle of wits with teasing banter and witty mind games. All three of my sisters rave about each of their respective husbands and how much they feel treasured and appreciated by them–and talk crap about each other’s husbands not being the “right” kind of husband. It seems so arbitrary. Wouldn’t seem reasonable then to just be good, decent human beings with each other. Learn to trouble yourselves on each other’s behalf. Care for and support one another, enjoy each other’s company, set some common goals, raise good-minded kids, and learn how to live peaceably with each other? I thought marriage was about companionship–maybe I was wrong!? If I “need” to have my wife validate me and make me feel secure in my life, I’ve placed too heavy a burden of expectation on her and will crush her–why then does it seem to be socially acceptable (and expected) that husbands should do that for wives? When you look around the globe at the way every culture treats marriage differently and has different qualifications for what constitutes a “good” marriage, maybe the only real answer is knock off the bullshit and just make it work for you and your wife? Even if that means agreeing to disagree about things. Or maybe that’s being too simple about the whole matter!? At any rate, I appreciated the article and the comments; really made me think about this topic.

  55. You’re a cuck pos. Period. Grow a pair and stop trying to sleep with married women. They’re and easy enough target… you obviously 400lbs or a total nerd.

    Women are hormonal and they want equal rights without equal responsibility.

    Everyone needs to grow up and realize that life is very simple..: be nice and expect rational treatment in return. Not nice in return, rational.

    Life is an ever twisting set of experiences ALL realized by other people.

    Be the best you can and understand that your “nice” isn’t the same as someone else’s. If they treat you terribly, move on.

    1. Thanks for your valuable contribution. Yes. I’m 400 lbs. Super-nerdy. Trying so hard to sleep with married women. Big facts. You nailed it, Frip.

      Piss off, dipshit.

  56. Well I read all of these comments and INTERESTING REPLIES!!! However, it blessed me GREATLY!!! THANK YOU for sharing. You are Spot ON!!! Married 28 years today!

  57. Wow that sounds just like what I’m going through now. I love my wife and my son. And I believe that my wife have unrealistic expectations to me.
    When she get upset at me for whatever I did wrong I go in a self pity mode and don’t do anything to help it, just hoping that if I stay away from her she will come around.
    I hope this is my wake up call that will help me save my marriage.

    Thank you,


  58. You are a realist and I like that. Tell it like it is because there is a ton of other forums that I’ve seen on this that beat around the bush. I’m like you In a way I tell it like it is. Thank you for telling me like is was and helping me with my marriage, I love my wife to death and sometimes I feel as if she is a little hard on me because I do a lot, But me thinking that way shows how selfish I am because I should do all I can and the most for the woman I fell in love with that gave me too many chances. Thanks bro you deserve the Dr. Phil show

  59. Honestly, it’s nice to hear the perspective of a divorcee husband who actually feels he should have/ could have done better. Rather than make excuses or place blame. Often women feel to blame…society expects women to handle everything beautifully, gracefully. One of my biggest problems in relationships is that the other side doesn’t seem to listen and respect my feelings..Also when they do not keep their word, even if it’s something simple like laundry or dishes. It’s a two way street, everyone feels validated differently but it’s your responsibility in a marriage to understand and address eachothers need indiscriminately. Thank you for this writing.

  60. You’re honesty and humbleness was extremely insightful and genuinely refreshing. Thank you! And for what little it’s worth, I’m sorry you lost what you truly love.

  61. Whoa, there are some triggered dudes in this comment thread…and too bad there exactly the kind of guy’s who could use this advice but will never get it. Defensive guy’s– I may be new in these parts, but nowhere am I seeing Matt saying women are perfect and that it is “All Men’s Fault.” He is only talking about the ways in which men are destructive in their relationships. Since we can’t forcibly change other people, i.e., our partners, we can only change our own destructive behaviors. Sometimes it only takes one person in a relationship to do that to make a dramatic changes in the relationship.
    That is all Matt is saying; take responsibility for your own destructive behaviors. Validate your wife/partner. Try to understand her even when it feels impossible. I can almost guarantee you, that unless your wife is a narcissist or terribly controlling, she’s going to feel loved and respected by you, and her own anger and resentment are going to subside. You have more control in the relationship than you realize. Stop treating her like she’s a crazy nag and start trying to understand where she’s coming from, and if you don’t see a drastic change in her, well, there’s YOUR answer–she’s not someone you want to be with.

    The name of the game here is taking responsibility for your side of things and being the best partner you can be–regardless of how she is. If you continue to do this and things still don’t change, like I said, there’s your answer.

    This whole, “I hate how men get all the blame, and women can be evil lazy slobs too!” BS. Of course they can, but how is “I know you are but what am I” or “She does it too!!” help your relationship. It doesn’t. It doesn’t help 3’d graders solve their problems, and it doesn’t help you solve your problems because you should be mature enough by now to stop scapegoating other people for your behavior–something were supposed to grow out of in a few short years after 3’d grade, for heavens sake.

    1. I think it’s a need for “grace”. This “cut into you with ABSOLUTE TRUTH” and “tear you a new one” with it approach is not for everyone. The argument appeals to the “absoluteness” of life, and uses such black and white terms as “pass/fail” and “good/bad” (but then tries to mitigate it with “but that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person”), but this just naturally stokes guilt or shame, and puts people who might be stuck in a particular place, in a cruel double-bind. We think it will “shake them up” into “freedom”, but it doesn’t have that affect on everyone, but can drive them further into resistance or despair.

      From a Jung perspective, this is just poking at what’s called people’s “Shadow” (unconscious negative things, and the rest of the stuff our defense mechanisms are set against), which is what will naturally lead to them trying to take you down (i.e. your premise or the “other side” you seem to be defending; e.g. “women do it too”, etc.) People taking this “tough” approach are often fighting their own Shadow (and people can detect this), which they project onto others (who often do have a legitimate “hook” for the projection), and feel that since they’ve admitted their mistakes, “grown”, “continuously trying harder”, etc. they can now tear into others, but that just leads to bad feelings and defensiveness, more often than people seeing any “truth” and changing. (I had a father who often “preached” like this, but ended his own life in the very state of misery he said he was always trying to steer me clear of with that approach).

      So what you’re saying does make sense, but a better approach is to tell people to really reflect on what they want, and assess whether they can meet their partner’s needs, whatever they are.

      1. You used a lot of words to essentially call someone/something out (the website, the author, whichever) for not doing something, when that’s exactly the thing the website/author *is* doing. Lololol. Funny.

  62. Real Man who don't put up with b****** shit!

    F*** this s***! Goddamn nagging breeches need to respect! If I’m making fat money, and letting her do whatever she wants with it, and I occasionally forget to take the chicken out to defrost, she can kiss my ass! I don’t want to be married to that b****, bring on the divorce!

    1. What about if the wife make all the “fat” money and the husband forgets to take the chicken out?

    2. Jessica Kaufman

      If those f***ing sexy riding pants don’t start respecting me and kissing my ass I’m gonna…..

  63. I think once one gets around the idea that we have to find somone who is perfect and can’t help but love, then marriage works. Its a choice to love somone. I think the most important part of a relationship is just being their for each other, even though we might not understand each other. Its strange when somone is happy all troubles seem to melt away. Some choose happiness some don’t. Breaking it down into percentages seems absurd, and in a sense very limiting. I feel everyone lives the story we tell ourselves. When lets say a wife or husband doesn’t fit into that story we get upset rather than just accepting it for what it is. Once we genuinely take control of our lives and break that mindset then you will be free and happy. Men and women have comfort zones that we get stuck in. Everything outside that zone is what we could have. Why not be uncomfortable and get it? Why be trapped into the same bullshit routine in marriage and life in general.

  64. Arulnathan Gynasegaran

    I like the essence of what you said. To be a great guy didn’t necessarily mean you would also happen to be a great husband. There are different requirements to being a great husband for a specific person. We have all seen that great person at work who everyone just loves but also just can’t ever get the job done right. Though we hate to let them go, we have to because we truly need someone who knows how to get the job done for everyone’s sake. That’s probably it with marriage. If you just can’t be a great husband, it would probably be better to either try to improve yourself if you really want to be with this woman or just leave amicably admitting that you can’t be that husband she needs. Thanks for the post. It helped put things in perspective for me.

  65. This is some of the most baseless, inane, opinion-as-fact cluster fucks of words I have ever read. Do the world a favour, find a new job. You aren’t suited for writing

  66. After reading what you wrote, well yeah I totally agree that you deserved to get divorced.

    It’s not difficult to figure out why when you’re not taking charge and being the alpha here, allowing yourself to be walked over like a doormat and convinced that you’re not good enough.

    There is no such thing as the perfect spouse, we all want to be cake eaters but the reality is there isn’t such a thing.

    When a man works hard to provide for the family, keeps his penis to his own, the least he can expect from his wife when he is home is to have food on the table, kids taken care and a warm bed.

    Any woman who still complains when her husband provides everything is a true example of an ungrateful bitch and deserves to be sent packing and shown the door.

  67. This is something that I needed to read. I had 2 relationships with other women during my marriage. Did not have sex with either and to me that was my saving grace. That makes me a good guy right? Both times I told her about the other person because I felt guilty. That makes me a good guy right? Now I’m afraid our marriage is starting to get too close to the ravine where the tracks end.

  68. I read the first 100 words and it appeared to unfairly bash husbands. Then skimmed the rest. I could write a counter argument to this entire story if i gave a shit what strangers opinions were. Im married 10 years and i get shit for nothing sometimes. This writing trys to defend the actions of unwarrented bs by wifes and only crazy people would buy it.

    1. Dear Eat Shit,

      Life Tip: You needn’t concern yourself with others’ opinions. But, just maybe, if you concern yourself with your wife’s, you’ll have a great marriage.

      Rooting for you.

  69. Wow. Just wow. I was feeling this way almost to the letter. We just had a fight and you are so right. If I really want a marriage, it’s time to “man up,” to coin the phrase. Actually, no, it’s time to Husband up. Thank you for the post.

  70. Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve always made that assumption about myself and couldn’t figure out why I seem to be sabotaging everything about my marriage. The truth is, I don’t put in enough for it to matter. This was a really hard realization to come to. Hope more husbands see this. ??

  71. Brilliant piece of writing. Made me actually realise something I can change to be a more respected husband.

  72. I disagree 100,000%

    Women need to get over themselves

    I was nagged for 26 years. Nothing was good
    enough. She earned herself a divorce. 3 years
    later I’m in a wonderful relationship with a super
    sweet woman, who appreciates and loves me for
    who I am. Stop the self loathing.

    This article is like the stuff that comes from the
    back end of a bull.

    1. Jessica Kaufman

      It’s interesting how fertile and life affirming what comes out of the back end of a bull is. You know, manure? Just depends on how you look at it I guess.

      Why did you stay if your wife was so horrible? I imagine both you and your wife changed over the years as a result of the evident unhappiness. I wonder what she was like at the beginning. Did you really marry a nagging bitch (in which case you are the idiot) or did you both maybe change over time?

  73. Absolute BS. I get up at 4am for work, provide for my family, dont drink, do drugs, or other women, in my spare time I always try and find something to do. Yet my ‘significant other’ still finds time to locate one thing, every – single – day to have a go at me about. Worked your ass off for 12 hours straight without a break? I dont give a shit im still going to have a go at you about towels in the bathroom. Spent 2 hours cleaning the house? Dont care because you didnt get that cob web. Find Tv boring? Not my problem now sit there and dont move whilst i watch my reality shows. No matter what I never have a go back or find fault in what she does, I just accept her the way she is, thats why I married her. But after 15 years she’s changed and if it wasnt for our kids I would be off. My marriage is a joke but apparently its my F’ing fault!? F-You!

    1. 1. Please don’t take it personally. If you are a bad husband, it doesn’t make you a bad person. I’m bad at brick masonry and lion veterinarian care. Doesn’t necessary make me a bar person.

      2. You’re rationalizing. I used to do that too.

      It’s not about relativism. You don’t get to be a husband just because you’re not as bad as the biggest assholes out there.

      If you’re getting a C- and other guys are getting F’s, that doesn’t make you good at husbandry.

      3. You sound angry. I’m sorry. You should say the actual bad words. It helps.

      4. You should ask your wife why she’s upset. There’s a reason, and it’s not what you think.

      I can tell because you’re a good guy.

      You do work hard. And you won’t even cuss when you’re pissed.

      The thing hurting your marriage has NOTHING to do with the things you’re focusing on (drug abuse, cheating, etc). The thing hurting your marriage is in a blind spot. You can’t fix it because you don’t see it or even know what it is. Not your fault.

      5. No one said your bad marriage is your fault. Your wife may be even shittier at being a wife than you are at being a husband.

      Do you want to win The Who Suck More? competition, or do you want to have a peaceful and healthy marriage?

      6. I do see now that you said “shit” once. Say all the words.

      7. Your wife seriously mandates that you watch reality TV with her? Like, MANDATES it, and you comply?

      Maybe you could ask her if what she really wants is time together as husband and wife, and maybe there is a more fun and fulfilling activity you could offer as an alternative.

      I hope you guys figure it out. Being angry every day isn’t fun, and kids learn how to be shitty marriage partners by watching adults do it.

  74. I haven’t had a day off in three weeks, and my next eight days are going to be crushing 12 to 16 hour work days. It will be a full 30 days of work straight before I can relax. Also during this time I helped my girlfriend move all of her thing out of her place into our new place. My move took a day and Half, hers took five days. Now I’m behind on this huge job I start tomorrow. I’m here because tonight she saw I hadn’t done any dishes even though I worked from home today, and now she is sitting in the other room pouting.

    Dude, fuck women.

  75. This article is absurd and sad at the same time. The entire world was founded on rational, intelligent, analytical, and reasonable thoughts that form clear & concise conclusions in order to grow, learn, invent, establish, form, manufacture, and develop every single thing we have on the entire planet we call Earth!! If that didn’t exist, humans would be living under trees and defecating on grass.

    Just using one of your ridiculous arguments as an example – “just because you are a good guy doesn’t mean you are a good electrician” – Really? That has a point? That has to even be spelled out? But then you don’t even mention anything about the fact that a good man is most definitely one characteristic of being a good husband? I would wager huge money on a bet that 99.99999999% of the entire world’s population, when asked – “Would you consider that being a good man would be one of the characteristics of being good husband”?, would resoundingly agree with that statement. Yet you try to brush it off in some sort of nonsensical, ridiculous rhetoric as to say a good man has as much to do about being a good husband as the similarities between assholes and asphalt. Pure, grandiose, NONSENSE!

    Since you have no idea (admittedly divorced right??), I’m going to let you in on a little secret about marriage. Marriage is a commitment to being a “TEAM”. And this team needs to be on the same page every single step of the way. That means working towards a set of his/her goals as a TEAM, schedules defined, compassion, empathy, NEVER ENDING OPEN AND HONEST COMMUNICATION and most importantly, positivity towards each other.

    When I married my wife, I told her from the get go that there was no subject, no matter the topic, on Earth or beyond, that she could not have an intelligent, emotionally mature conversation with me about. From criticizing me for something she doesn’t like, to her greatest fantasies, I will talk about anything and there will not EVER be a single egg shell to avoid. I LOVE criticism (IE – someone criticizing me) I love learning. Each and every conversation I have is a learning experience that helps me grow as a person in one way or another.

    But I also have reminded her again and again that I don’t put up with any bullshit. I don’t put up with lying. I don’t put up with negativity, nagging, being a bitch, or taking out her own mental issues/problems on me. When she does some of the things you have mentioned above that you seem to think is normal (GOOD GOD LOL) I return fire with both barrels and put her in her place for it. There is no reason in the entire world for a towel on the floor to turn into a bitch fest, or dirty dishes etc.,. If you have all your arms, legs, senses, and your health, you are already better that tons of people in this world. And if you, like most people in 1st world countries, who have multiple vehicles, TV’s, internet, cash to go out with, food on the table, and a nice, warm bed to lay in, I don’t give a shit if you are the president of the United States, you are not going to try and bring down my upbeat, positive personality with frivolous bullshit that doesn’t amount to a hill of shit in the grand scheme of things.

    You do bring up a decent point though, even though this will seem like a backhanded compliment, you were on to something when you were saying that “she may be doing those things” (ridiculous bitching over nothing) because there is something else wrong. But what you fail to realize is she is doing that because she failed to communicate these “issues” to her husband in the 1st place. Instead she let them pile up inside her, resentment sets in, and the littlest of things now sets here into 1000% cunt-mode. But sorry to tell you this, THIS IS NOT THE MAN’S FAULT. It’s hers for her lack of communication and expressing exactly what she needs or wants from the man.

    Oh trust me, I’ve had this happen multiple times as well, and I’ve told her time and time again, I’m not going to play games. You directly tell me exactly what you want and I will do the absolute best I can to oblige. But if you expect me to read your mind, and on top of it, resent the fact that I don’t, you can only blame yourself. Once again, once this understanding was put in place, these little trifles may only happen a couple times a year. Thus I put her in her place again.

    In reading this, you may think I’m the biggest asshole in the world. I can assure you I’m one of the friendliest people out there and I would damn near give my shirt off my back for anyone I cared about at the drop of a hat. But I’m also very much an “instant justice” type of person and I definitely do not reward “bad behavior”. I’m a tit for tat person. And trust me when I say this, if my wife starts with negativity, hounding, ridiculous BS, I will literally make her feel 2″ tall for doing so…, and in an absolute instant. Because even if it takes me going so far down into the weeds that we have to start defining facts, reality, truths, and what words mean and their implications (think Socrates), I will make her sit there and listen, communicate, and talk through it. You can call me a terrible person or an asshole, but as there is no reason to be shitty to me when I’m the provider, always positive, upbeat, driven, successful, and literally give her the world. I do not let that BS creep in.

    Now part 2 that I wanted to discuss is this feminazi equality bullshit that you have laced in your article. So lets talk about reality for a second. Men built the Earth you know today. From the phone you talk on, the roads you drive on, the freedoms you enjoy, the laptop you search the internet with, to the container you drink your latte from, and the toilet you take a shit in, men are the reason everything exists. Men are the reason for every single town, city, village, or population center in the Earth. Men also go to work the most dangerous jobs, giving their life, all in the hopes to provide for their family. They are the ones that fight wars. They are the one’s who pour the molten lava at steel mills that make every single piece of metal you see around you. They are the one’s that sit at oil refineries (one huge ass bomb waiting to go off) while they turn crude and bottoms oil into gasoline so you can drive around in high heels in comfort.

    Now I don’t need to get into what woman do for us men or for the world. Because there is plenty of value there. But if you have even the slightest inkling that men and women are equal, you need to get your head examined and visit a 3rd world country sometime. Because that’s exactly what your life would be like without smart men that have created the technology and the world we live in that you take for granted every single fucking day. And once armed with this knowledge and using your brain to realize it, if the good man is working that dangerous job, working all those hours, being the bread winner, and the guy that would do anything for you….., If you decide you’re are going to bitch at him because of a fucking towel on the ground in your house that he accidentally forgot about, just remember that guy has every single right in the world to call you a fucking ungrateful bitch. Because it’s her fault her underlying problems that she lacks the skills to communicate to her husband about still exists. Fuck that shit. Don’t ever settle for a woman that doesn’t adore you every day as much as you do her. And for the love of god, do rationalize, use facts, truths, and realities as your talking points. Those are the only things in this world that are truth and not opinion.

    1. Jessica Kaufman

      Yeah, I’m definitely getting the impression that you LOVE people criticizing you, as you said you did. Totally comes across in your extremely long, reactionary comment that includes an incredible amount of controlling detail.

      [FYI that was sarcasm, not sure if you were aware women were capable of sarcasm as it requires thinking.]

      I’m guessing you don’t like criticism, but you do love to fight. About everything. Exhausting. Don’t you get tired?

  76. Useless fucking garbage, but I don’t know what I expected since every single other self help site is exactly the fucking same

  77. I’m sorry you went through all that. But if being a satisfactory husband in your wife’s eyes truly required “a daily display of strength and heroism and fortitude and courage and discipline and empathy and wisdom and knowledge and love” then you were NOT the problem.

  78. thank you for writting this. im going thru a divorce myself so i can relate to the bad feelings. Thankfully Im doing well.
    i agree with a lot of what you say but i feel its a little one sided bias.

    yes you can be a good guy and be a bad carpenter, plumber, husband, conversationalist, comedian, etc…

    however you CAN be a good husband and have a selfish ungrateful wife that tells you you’re a bad one.

    Some people are just prone to finding flaws in others.

    In all fairness though when you get called a “bad husband” its important to really honestly ask yourself what you can do better in the marriage. ONLY after you’ve exhausted every possibilty, and i mean EVERY, to improve yourself as a husband can you start to realize your wife is an ungrateful negative person, and you shouldn’t be with someone like that.

    acknowledgement of that is very freeing.

    1. It’s true, sir. Boundaries and self-respect go both ways. And when you’re healthy with clear eyes and a clear heart, and paying attention and living your best? It’s simpler to make hard choices because it’s so clearly the right thing. It’s nice to hear you’re doing that.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Wishing you good luck in this next chapter.

  79. Great conversation starter
    Check out “sex starved marriage “ on Teds talk or get a book I think everyone needs to read this before relationship ( man and woman)

  80. Asking for a friend…

    I know someone whose wife left him over 10 years ago for an ex-boyfriend she knew as a young adult. He was devastated, embarrassed and heartbroken. He woke up one morning and sensed something wasn’t right. She told him she didn’t love him anymore and told him about the other man. It was like a punch in the gut for him. He physically could not stand and fell to the floor in pain from the knife to the heart. Somehow, he managed to pull himself off the floor and within a few months managed to get his life back on track. He found a nice quiet ranch house where he was able to learn there was more to life than that woman. The best he could explain to me is he figured out how to fall out of love with her. I knew he would be fine and was on the road to recovery. Then it happened. She came crawling back and admitted what she did was wrong. Wrote apology letters to his parents because she knew how much pain she had put their son through. My friend eventually took her back and appeared to be happy. She moved in his ranch house and they got pregnant with their first child a year and a half later. She is now a stay-at-home mom and he’s supporting the whole family. I truly think his wife is sorry for what happened, but she considers it water under the bridge. My friend confides in me, however. To this day, he struggles to find a way to fall back in love with her. I believe he’s protecting his heart from the possibility of her leaving again. I have tried to explain to him she would never do that again, especially since they have 2 children together. I’m wondering if it’s possible he has some sort of PTSD from that whole experience 10 years ago. Any ideas how I could coach him on this “relativeness” you are talking about here?

  81. Ever woman who don’t understand their man needs to read , Women are from Venus Men are from Mars.

  82. Yes because all guys are justifying their actions with “We’re good husbands! We just established this! So she’s being an unfair bitch right now, but she’ll get over it if I just go watch TV in the other room!”

    As a blogger, if you need to use hyperbole like above to justify your “point”, you never had one. This article wouldn’t exist if you used a realistic viewpoint from the male, but instead you chose to go over-the-top. This is like a professional boxer choosing a child as their opponent – at no point did you offer any realism from the male perspective. You went directly to the extreme end of the spectrum. And maybe that has something to do with your divorce.

    1. You’re probably right. I wrote this in 2015.

      We can have a mature 2020 conversation about it if you want to.

  83. Given that logical presentation of a pseudo-argument seems the preferred approach here, let me ask a very simple question: why would I want to take advice from a failure ? Isn’t that like going to a mechanic who lost his license due to incompetence and saying “fix my car on the cheap please ?’

    Unauthentic bullshit. If you have a problem in your relationship, talk to your partner. If you’re reading crap like this, it’s probably just a form of venting or re-focussing. Don’t take any of this garbage seriously.

  84. My ex-wife told me I did not do enough, we divorced after 5 years of marriage. I am remarried and have been with my wife for 23 years. My ex-wife remarried two more times after me and divorced both me.

    Am I a bad husband?

  85. Shannon Stringer

    I am having trouble with my marriage and I know its a lot of my causing. I have got to figure out how to put my wife first. I am praying for the help I need. I want to know who I am and how I really feel because I really don’t know. I’m scared. Thanks, Shannon Stringer

  86. Pingback: Del City Eagles | Where Is the Best Approach to Find a Wife?

  87. You definitely hit the nail on the head. I show a lack of emotion with my wife and do little things that trigger her without even knowing it. This weekend we had a vacation and I’d go sit in the living room and she would be in the room and I didn’t think anything of it. I thought we were having a great time. In my head I thought “we have spent a lot of time together. I’m having fun” completely oblivious to the fact that my wife had felt differently and felt like I was avoiding her or hiding something from her. We got back last night and we had a fight and she announced “You’re a great parent but you’re a shitty spouse.” We have been only married for a little over a year but like you said there are no buts in marriage. It’s either absolute or it’s not. But I’m just rambling at this point. I just want to say that this article has helped me see things that I’m doing from a different stand point and thank you for passing along your advice. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost her and my daughter. So thank you.

  88. Thank you for writing this. This really hit home for me at the perfect time. I’m going to try to be the best husband for my wife, and you gave me a lot of insight. Love, from Malaysia.

  89. Honestly I had a huge fight with my wife tonight. She was tearing into me for not doing more and like a giant asshole I blamed her, saying you shamed me, you hurt my feelings. When in reality I was looking at the leaves on the tree and forgetting that a tree existed. I’m focused on being blamed and not on why I am being blamed. The funny thing is I have cheated about 11 times and almost did again today cause I am a piece of shit that struggles with worthlessness. But did she leave me, no she saw I had a problem and did her best to help me through it. Do I cheat anymore, well I try not to, which is a shitty thing to say. I do forget everything, she just wants some help but since I own a business I think i am Gods gift to her for providing good money. Do I really think this saint of a women wouldn’t be able to find an amazing dude who could provide, listen and care for her? How can I be so shitty. I’m shooting at an ocean hoping to hit a fish like a little dick. I complain about needing to help cause I hurt, and yet she stays home with our three wild kids under 5 being pregnant in her third trimester with a hurting back and hips and I am complaining. I am a bad husband, and I need to change, I must change.

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Matt Fray

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