7 Ways a Husband Injures a Wife…Without Even Knowing It

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I recently posted “7 Ways a Wife Injures a Husband…Without Even Knowing It“. It’s been a popular post. Thankfully, I’ve not seemed to make a lot of women mad…a few…but not many that I have heard from…yet. We will see how the men respond with this post.

As I committed, a companion post is warranted. Guys, we injure our wife. All of us do. We are different and the way we respond to our wife often causes injury. And, most of the time, it’s unintentional. We didn’t even know we were doing it.

I’m not making excuses for us. We should strive to learn our spouse…and do better…understanding our differences…communicating better…injuring less. That’s what this post is about. Awareness. Understanding.

I ran this post by my wife…so it’s Cheryl approved, although it wasn’t hard to write. As a counselor and pastor, I’ve worked with hundreds of couples and have seen this countless times. I wish I could say I never did any of these…but that would be a lie. This post is written with one finger pointed forward…and four more pointed my way.

Here are 7 ways a husband injures a wife…without even knowing it:

Cuts her out of the discussion – When you act as if she isn’t even there or wouldn’t understand what you’re talking about, she feels a part of her is detached. She sees the marriage as a partnership…in every part of life…even the parts she may never fully understand.

Fails to notice the difference she makes – A woman doesn’t want to be appreciated for only what she does. She wants you to appreciate who she is, but you can admit it – she does a lot. Whether it’s decorating the house or making sure the clothes are clean…or that you have your favorite soap…a woman wants to know what she does is valued by you.

Underestimates the small stuff – You only said “this” but it was “THIS” to her. And it hurts. You may even think it’s funny. She may even laugh. But it is often building a wall of protection around her heart each time you do. The key here is that you can’t talk to her like you might talk to another guy. She hears and feels deeper than you do. Words can and do hurt.

Speaks with curtness - When you talk down to her, as if she’s somehow less than you, you bruise her spirit. Deeply. And, you know she’s not less than you…you don’t even think she is…she just can’t tell that sometimes based on your tone and the way you talk to her.

Corrects her as she’s talking - This could be finishing her sentences or speaking for her in the company of others. She feels demeaned and devalued when you present her to others as if she can’t compete with you in original thought…which you know isn’t true. (My wife is much smarter than me.)

Acts suspicious - Don’t misunderstand or misapply this one. When you hide information, even when you think you’re protecting her, you cause her to question your motive. When you protect your calendar…or act like you are upset at the question “What did you do today?” or “What did you talk about?” or “Who was that?” when someone calls, it gives her an eerie feeling something is wrong. And, that hurts.

Admires other women over her – She sees you looking. She may even understand your highly visual make-up. It hurts her, however, when a glance becomes a stare…especially when it happens everywhere you go…all the time.

A wife’s heart, no matter how independent or strong she is, is tender in places. Lots of places. She can bruise easily in some areas of her life…especially the places that involve the people she loves the most…like you. A husband who understands this is more careful in how he speaks and responds to her.

Most husbands I know would never injure their wife knowingly. They want to be her protector. Men, when we don’t realize the damage we are doing to our wives emotions, we invalidate every desire we have to be her defender. I always like to use this thought as a reminder: Would I ever allow another man to speak to or treat my wife like I am doing? She’s a precious gift guys…let’s treat her well.

What other ways do husbands injure their wives, without even knowing it?

(Note: I used this post in a message I preached on marriage. You can view it HERE. Also, I wrote a parenting version of this post about ways parents injure a child. Read it HERE.)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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148 thoughts on “7 Ways a Husband Injures a Wife…Without Even Knowing It

  1. You have written it beautifully. I totally agree with you since I am also a wife and I know how does it feel to be treated like that by your husband.

  2. What about commenting about her "duties as a wife"…even if it is "just a joke" and the husband is "just teasing" because he likes to rile her up because he thinks she is "cute" when she is mad/frustrated. Women don't mind doing things for their spouse or loved ones like cleaning the house, doing the dishes, washing the laundry or more importantly having sex…until they start feeling unappreciated and like those duties are expected of them. After a while the joking/teasing starts making her feel like he really thinks those duties are her sole purpose in life. Joking and teasing maybe funny the first couple of times, but it honestly wears on a person's nerves after a while and makes a person feel horrible and resentful. It doesn't help matters either when the man rarely ever (if at all) helps with cleaning the house, doing the dishes, washing the laundry and often asks her if he has any clean clothes for work the next day or where something is located as if he has never even lived in the house at all. Also it is just blatantly rude and disrespectful to leave your trash, dirty dishes or dirty clothes laying around the house for her to pick them up on a daily basis like she is your servant. You want her to treat you right and for her to bitch less then treat her right by helping her out more often and for God-sake pick up after yourselves when you make a mess.

    Additionally you men need to stop expecting sex from women when your relationship lacks any ounce of romance anymore. FYI – A nice sweet hug without man-handling her is romantic! A sweet kiss on the forehead, cheek, nose, or mouth is romantic. A whisper in her ear of terms of endearment like I love you, I want to love you forever, you make my life complete, you are beautiful, etc. are romantic gestures/sayings. NOT smacking her on the ass and saying stupid piggish remarks like some douche-bag in a bar or grabbing/grazing her boobs as many chances as you can get. And saying weird-ass shit like I want to slap your ass, put butter your butt, poke you in the ear or even weirder sayings. Seriously, if you didn't do or say the things to her in the beginning when you first won her heart then saying and doing them now when she is your wife (higher status) isn't gonna make her melt into a loving pile of mush that bends at your will.

    If you feel like you are losing connection with her then actually take the time to do things with her that are actually romantic…picnics, date nights, flowers, romantic movies at home, etc. Don't have the money? Then leave her sweet love notes, poems, a recording of songs that make you think of her, or call/text her during the day just to say you love her and miss her. Just tell her how much she means to you!!! If she is the kind of woman who only expects expensive gifts from you then you might want to rethink your relationship anyway.

  3. Wow! Amazing Article! I think this really great content. These are obvious to women, but sometimes these are not obvious to us as men. I have a community website for Dads. This type of information is extremely valuable. Thanks for sharing it.
    -Larry Hagner, Founder of the Good Dad Project

  4. Something my husband does that I don't really see in the 7 above is he takes everyone else's opinion over mind. Example I got a set of hot rollers for my hair the instructions, which were already thrown away, stated to heat them with the lid closed. So everyday before getting in the shower I would turn them on with the lid shut. Come out and the lid is open "you shouldn't have the lid shut when these are heating up". This went on forever, till I finally gave up and just left the lid open. My daughter came up to the bedroom to ask my husband something. She shut the lid and said "I have a set just like these and you're supposed to close the lid". When I come out of the shower he promptly tells me I have been using them wrong, the lid is supposed to closed. Really? Act's like he has no memory of the recuses ions before, maybe he doesn't, but I do! It makes me mad that I told him over and over and I still didn't know what I was talking about. She said it one time and her word is golden. That's just one example. Happen's all the time!

  5. I didn't only read this but also printed a copy as a daily reminder because I'm guilty of all but one.
    Thanks for the post.

  6. I felt a great deal of compassion when I read the post about wives injuring husbands and felt thankful for the insight (I am a wife), especially since men so often have trouble communicating their emotions. However, this post seems to give less insight into the woman's heart than it simply points to a group of dehumanizing behaviors devised to keep dominant figures in their position. Some of these may be relationally hurtful at best, but many are outright abusive at worst. Less subtle forms are serial affairs, harmful words, physical threats/restrains/batteries. These are not "women's feelings" (except #3) (men expect to be valued for the work they do, respected in word and deed, safe from betrayal), rather these are "minority" feelings. If a man is doing this list to his wife and does not know it, then I would think they both need an education in equality, respect, power/control, boundaries, and dignity. A man of character will reject these behaviors when they are exposed for what they are. But the womanizer/abuser/controller will not be prevailed upon by a blog appealing to his compassion for the feelings of the weaker vessel.

  7. Ephesians 4:31 and 32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

    The apostle Paul, although single, sure knew how to give good marriage and family counsel.

  8. With over 46 years of marriage under my belt (plus, we met in Mrs. Dunagan’s 3rd grade classroom at South Elementary School in Midland TX, so we’ve known each other a long time) and now in our 42nd year of ministry, I figure I have some skin in the marriage game and can analyze a few things that may not be apparent to others.

    My heart goes out to this young lady, because I fear she has just experienced what may prove to be a fatal flaw in her fiance. I read her reply three times, the 2nd and 3rd times trying to sharpen my sensitivity to find anything to offend, but found absolutely nothing that could be twisted or otherwise interpreted as worthy of offense.

    She even wrote that she “told him I had read the other article for wives so I wanted him to read this one.” I cannot fathom that any man of upright and honorable character would misinterpret her note.

    While I think Ron ‘s advice is well-liked and perhaps even helpful, it bothers me deeply. This relationship is starting off with a wife apologizing for something which was perfectly understandable in both intention and word. Methinks the apology belongs on the tongue of a young man who should be grateful he is engaged to a young woman who is anticipating potential problem areas before them and is taking reasonable efforts to avoid conflict between them.

  9. I simply don't understand how a man could not know he was talking down to his wife or being condescending or speak as though his wife was beneath his contempt. How could that be? How is his wife supposed to deal with that? How could a spouse ever believe their husband really loves them when they are being treated badly? The amount of anger would be tremendous and the stress level off the charts. That person would certainly find living each day extremely difficult, if not impossible. Performing even the most mundane tasks would become excruciatingly painful. Intimacy would be difficult to say the least. Who would want their husband to touch them under those circumstances? Living a life like that would be exhausting almost to the point of death.

  10. My (now-ex) husband was VERY insecure, and he thought it was funny to TELL me, "Wow! Did you see the (anatomy) on that woman! etc., etc., etc." or (my favorite and spoken with jealousy), "How did someone who looks like HIM get such a gorgeous wife? What's he got that I haven't?" No matter how often I asked him to stop doing that, he continued, and defended his actions by saying he was just having a little fun. Well, if I had had a men's magazine model's figure, I MIGHT have been able to confidently laugh off these comments, but I knew I could never measure up to his fantasies. There were many other issues, from both of us, that we never resolved and finally divorced after many painful years. But "wounded" is a great word to cover the hurt inflicted. Some of these wounds won't be healed until Eternity.

  11. I believe this true for any relationship. If we think or admire a person enough to share our precious time with; then, we should appreciated each other with love, kindness and respect.

  12. I read both articles and have to say I think they are both on point. As some readers have mentioned, some points may deserve to be on both lists. The truth is neither of these lists are exhaustive and are both simply a view if one(two) persons ‘top 7.’ It’s a little irritating to read some of the comments that ‘read more into the text than is written.’. The examples given are simply that, examples, which, in their very nature are insufficient to explain the infinite situations out there. It is also more than irritating (although not unusual given our ‘blame someone else’ nature) that one person would ‘forward’ the article as a ‘hint’ or whatever, and not one (that I read) took the approach of … “honey, I read this article about how *I* possibly hurt *YOUR feelings* (provide link and leave it to them to read the self-applying article) – is this true? Which one do you feel most often? Can you give me an example? I’ll try and work on #X and #Y. The only way we’re likely to change another person is by changing the way we react or the way we treat them. Just my 2¢.

  13. My wife sent me this as a "hint". Just after that she reprimanded me while standing in line at a restaurant, for what she felt was my inappropriate behavior. She did this in front of her son and definitely loud enough for others to hear. Then she reprimanded me again at the table in front of her son. If I were to have read this post or discovered this by myself, my reaction would have been different. Instead, I read it and scoffed, and then went and found "7 ways a wife hurts her husband". I might have done a tit-for-tat to get my point across, but the counterpoints for wives didn't even come close to justification.

  14. When men say they give you a place to live when both work and pay the bills. Thats usually the first thing he brings up if I say my needs arent being met. Or if I tell him I dont feel appreciated.

  15. I think both of these posts should be combined and renamed, "ways a person can injure their spouse without knowing it, " because all of these things can hurt both ways. For instance, I'm sure a husband would be just as hurt if his wife corrected him every time he spoke. Yes, I have seen that happen a lot.

  16. One thing men need to remember is that many of the 'things' in a marriage are both of theirs. For instance, our house. When he says, my house or my car, when OUR money bought those things, I get irritated. That is a small thing that I need to work on, but it has bothered me for 35 years of marriage and he still does it. Guess this one might be both our problems, but mostly mine. Also, someone else mentioned giving something to your wife. One little flower for no reason at all, makes a world of difference.

  17. Forward this to my husband? No way. He couldn't deal with it. He rather hurt me in ignorance. As for being a defender, he is not. I've learned to defend myself. Yes by putting up a brick wall around my heart. I long for a better marriage and I 've been doing all the work and he reaps the benefits. Yes, I believe God can work in our marriage, I just don't believe my husband can.

    • I would like to start with, ive been married for 31 1/2 yrs n I’m just too tired to even try explain my marriage,but I’ll give it a try, I will say this I just about related to all the post I’ve read on here n now I know I’m not the only one with issues, I like everything I’ve read on Ron Edmondson site, ive also have read over 21 books on how to have a better marriage but sad to say it’s takes 2 to make a marriage work n my spouse isn’t interested in any books I’ve come across so theirs lays one of our problems he won’t even try ! So I’ve stopped trying come on I’m only human after 31yrs plus! One of my favorite books is the 5 love languages of love n when I was done with it I try explaining it to him how we all have a different love language n in order to express a deeper love an individual needs to learn their spouse love language, n learn how to give that love to the spouse n not how we perceive it but how our spouse perceives it n what happen he totally shut me out! We have no communication at all no showing of affection,I feel he thinks sex is affection like maybe once a month, im like come on theirs more to affection then just sex n I’ve come to the point to say sorry u r over drawn nothing to withdrawal, we’re not best friends n i can relate to the posting when my spouse walks in front of me or how about totally disappears how can we even be together as a couple when he goes one way n I another I’m not saying stick to me like glue but every single time really talking about feeling rejected n lonely!
      N now I’ve come to a point that I don’t want him near me when we r out doing whatever! N as for good memories out weighing the bad ones let me say this I don’t even want to go back into my memories I’ve done that n it seems like the bad ones out weigh the good memories n it just stirs up problems so I try n not go their any more! I’ve been broken so many times n I’ve lost pieces of my heart so it’s just best, if I keep it to myself! He doesn’t want to make it better for when I try he shuts me out why I’m not sure! N How will I know if he doesn’t want to communcate, he say he loves me n thats enough for him, but that doesn’t fix the issues in our marriage,ive read men never change yes they can thats b..l c..p! That’s just an excuse not to change! Anyway ive come to accept as it is, It’s his turn im done,I’ve read n prayed yes I’ve prayed but I’m only human!

  18. My husband literally does none of these things. He's not perfect, and I'm certainly not perfect, but these things are right in our marriage. On the days when it seems like everything is wrong, I'll try to come back to this list and remember that there are many good things between us that outweigh the bad.

  19. my most painful injury- when I ask him to do something for me which I cannot do myself physically- most especially home repair work and three years later the work is still not done- (repair of wall in kitchen or repair of half bath so it functions) This behavior tells me my priorities are no where on his list of priorities. He "tells" me he loves me every day. He hugs me- whatever- …. He neglects our home and dismisses my desire to have a home which is not falling down around my ears.

    • I can understand how u feel by asking ur husband 2 do stuff around the house….I deal wit same exact prob…..but I go further…I hve stopped doin exactly wat I shud b fully…its hard due 2 medical reasons but I cud push self & do them…I dnt c reason y I shud tho….it goes also as far as the bedroom…we only bn married goin on 3 months (we ain’t 20 again but we ain’t 90 either if u c wat I mean) well he holds tht away also….I will do nethang n the world 4 him as he me where meds r buy me sumthan r us go out 2 eat but spend time 2gether 1 on 1 no TV r cell phones…I wish u luck & god bless u…..

  20. I think this post and the other post should be consolidated and called ‘Ways we may injure our spouse… and not even know it’. I don’t really feel that in either post the points had to be gender specific and people reading this should review both instead of one or the other. Great points all around though.

  21. I would send him what you just sent me and apologize, asking for his forgiveness. On my blog ronedmondson.com I just wrote how to write that kind of letter. In this case you can email. If he can't accept the aololgy, which I'm sure he will, I'd be concerned. Marriage is full of times where our intentions are misunderstood. 

  22. While I am married, I’m as independent feminist as they come. I am educated, work outside the home, and have three boys (#4 due any day). I found no offense to this. If anything, I’m reminded how easily offended women get and how much we read into something that was never said. He can’t possibly list the million things we claim to do as women. He merely listed a small amount of things he does appreciate about his wife. If we want men to stop wanting moms, maids, and mistresses then we need to start treating them with the same respect we’d like in return and quit talking to them like we are their moms. I have worked hard for my education and place in the workforce as a woman, but I value companionship and family. Let’s learn to be educated hard working women and appreciate that there are still men out there, like this one, who think about how they injure women and want to better themselves. I’m guilty of injuring my husband emotionally, probably more than he injures me, because I am a feminist. We’re all guilty of doing it to each other. Thank you for your honest post by the way.

  23. I always give in to my boyfriend. Don’t want to fight. When I say something or remember things or whatever he rolls his eyes. When I tell him to stop he gets this high pitch whin. I didn’t roll my eyes. It makes me feel like a nuance and a pain for him. That I’m to much trouble or again a pain in his butt. I hate it and tired if feeling like that. It’s demeaning to me. Makes me feel less of a person.

  24. Glad this helped some people. Honestly. BUT, I have to agree with the previous commentor about this being offensive towards women. Especially women who work outside the home. As a nurse, I have a much more demanding job (mentally, physically, and schedule wise) than my husband. I’m responsible for all household chores as well as taking care of the children’s needs. I love and respect my husband. He would agree that I’m NOT easily offended. BUT, you have “hurt” myself and many others without even knowing it. I feel like my role as a wife and mother was belittled by you. We do much more that iron, wash dishes, and buy soap. You might want to rethink your words next time.

    • I am sorry you were offended. Honestly, I think you're reading into something that's not there, but I do understand. If you've read any of the comments, I've explained that my wife too is a professional, working as an accountant outside the home. We share roles in the home. I think all marriages should. I do hope you want allow one line, that obviously was misinterpreted from my original intent (whether or not you believe that) keep you from the principles within the overall post.

  25. I have read both posts. I believe that after 12 years of marriage my husband and I have been guilty of almost everything listed between the two articles. I did, however, notice that we were both guilty of things from both lists. I do not think the lists should have been so gender specific. I have to say that we have been fortunate enough to work through most of our differences on our own, but these articles are real eye-openers and will give us something to think about! Thanks for that!

  26. I would like to add the three M’s. Don’t make us feel like your MOM and a MAID and expect us to automatically turn into your MISTRESS!

  27. It definitely hurts when you feel unapraciated for the little thoughtful gestures we do for our mate . It’s almost like it’s expected of us but I’ve often witnessed it go unoticed .

  28. Wait, really? "Whether it’s decorating the house or making sure the clothes are clean…or that you have your favorite soap" is that really all that wives do? Yeah, last time I checked, although I am not married, I am a woman studying to be an ER/Trauma doctor, and I am most certainly not the only woman who does things that are comparable. Guess what? We women are capable of a lot more than being barefoot and pregnant, and it deeply troubles me that A.) people still perpetuate the idea that we must be housewives and B.) there are women who AREN'T offended by how demeaning this is. If this is marriage, I want no part of it.

    • Sorry you are so easily offended. Actually, my wife is much smarter and more capable than me. I think I actually said that in the post. But, those are a few things she does do that make our house more livable. I happen to do all the cooking. So we balance each other pretty well I think. But, in those things she does she wants to be appreciated and even more than that appreciated for who she is more than what she does. Which was kind of the point I tried to make. Again. Sorry to offend. 

      • I'm a woman and found no offense to this post. His point was that women want to be appreciated for the little things they do to make their husbands happy. Little things, such as buying his favorite soap…. I would hope you get your attitude in check BEFORE you do get married :( Thank you for the post. I especially enjoyed your wife post. My husband and I have went through a lot these past few years, financially and with a sick child and have grown so much closer to God and each other through it all. The little things that we each do for each other mean a lot. He just called to tell me how much enjoyed dinner tonight. I'm not just a housewife to him, but his best friend and I am madly in love with him :)

    • Keeping a house is a complicated, difficult job. Working in an ER is a complicated, difficult job. Let's not undo decades of feminist work by demeaning each other and our different choices.

  29. I am 26, have been married for 7 years.. We recently split and between the two blogs about the husband and wife you couldn’t have hit on more perfect. I hope when people read these they have an open mind.. We were both hurt and now confused, but only time will tell where we end up. Thank you for this blog!

  30. Pingback: Happy Friday! -
  31. Reading this has been bittersweet for me. I found it all to have occurred in my marriage. I’m divorced for over a year now, and I’m trying to find all the help I can to ensure that Ihave fixed the parts of me that were wrong in my first marriage before beginning anything else. Thank you for this good word. I also read the other post and got good information from that as well.

    If you want to have a Proverbs 31 woman you’d better be a specimen of 1Timothy 3!

  32. How about not defending her to his family? Letting a sibling or a family member interfere with how she runs the house and raises the kids? Letting this same sibling/family member disrespect her by telling her she does nothing with the house and children without so much as a "That's my wife! You're not going to talk to her that way!" Or spending money ($100 or more) on an item for this sibling without discussing it with his wife?

    • I know how that goes…it's even worse when the wife is trying to correct a misbehaving child, and the husband says that she's "nagging"! And runs down his wife to their kids!

    • Heck yeah!!! I work in a factory 12 hour shifts, a 5 year old, do everything I can, and still have a mother in law who complained during my daughters birthday party about a sticky spot on the kitchen floor, the finger prints on the fridge, and her room having toys everywhere, then started cleaning. He just stood there. Its a constant complaint with her anytime she comes over never clean enough. Yes I have told her I do what I can and have not been lucky enough to afford to stay home. He says just ignore her.

  33. After reading, and rereading this, I can only agree! Having been married for 48 yrs., raised 3 sons, endured mutual infidelity, monetary shortages, etc. etc…and still in love with the same fabulous lady!

  34. I have been married for over 20 years, the 7 ways are true and they hurt the women and we should be respectful to watch for them. However lets not forget how mean and hateful women can be too. As a marriage is a foundation built by 2 people not just one. Some days you give equally 50/50, others 60/40, 70/30 or maybe 90/10. Both men and women have needs and they both should be respected equally. The give and take never ends, and good deeds never forgotten. When you do great things you should not always expect a compliment but be thankful you were given the opportunity to do something special. For the gift of giving should not expect return. Above all one should learn how to forgive, as we are not perfect and should be expected to make mistakes. Love is a gift men should treat your wives with great respect but so should women!

  35. Thanks for these strong points cause this was me who you where talking about. I needed that in yes I have to email my wife and thank her for the message I got from this email she sent me.

  36. What if your spouse just won’t talk to ypu at all. As I read the article, I found myself thinking, alot of these could go both ways. Sometimes men and women, in general, tend to take communication forgranted. One may think the other “Just knows” what they are sayin. How do we keep from hurting one another, if we keep thinking we are mind readers.

  37. There are some men who really do look down on their wives, even while having a charming/gallant image. I'd tried hard to be a good wife and stayed 3 decades trying and trying to communicate with him. When we separated he told me that he felt "shortchanged in the wife department" and that he never noticed all the efforts I was making to try and be a good wife. So , I guess what I'm saying is, most men might do some of these things by accident, but there are those who do them because they really do think their wife is not good enough. I've since learned that some abuse is emotional (not physical)…that was not something I was prepared for so for years I assumed (as this article does) that he was doing these things accidentally.

  38. I can’t seem to get my husband to communicate with me about my feelings and how he hurts me and he even does the things that are supposed to make men hurt to me (like correcting things after I do them ect pretty much everything on the list) I try to overcompensate by making sure he feels super valued but all that seems to have gotten me is an over confident over egotistical man. He now thinks he is the greatest husband and father who has ever existed and I feel like I am just a second class fat unloved nothing that’s just here to please his ever whim. My spirit is so crushed that most days I dread the moment he walks through the door. His bashing of my body has made me develop an eating disorder. I’m depressed and tired and all I can think about is how much longer can I go through this? I know we need counseling but he will absolutely NOT even consider it and if I went and he found out (which is likely because he controls the money) he would think I just had a mental problem and hate me even more. He calls me weak and fat in front of the children. Says I never do enough, well enough. Says I “always” or “never” and the times I do make him happy he says “finally you did something right” I could go on. The worst part is he doesn’t even know he is doing this. When I get upset he thinks there must be something wrong with me. He is a hard working and caring individual and a good man but he just no longer values me as a wife/partner and I am just the woman that does his bidding. Unfortunately his mom was a child bride so he thinks how he treats me is perfectly acceptable because it’s what he grew up seeing his dad do (rest his soul) :( thank you for your article and I just feel so disheartened because I don’t know how to get these things through to him and it makes me want to make sure I work harder as a wife to make sure I don’t do any of these things to him as well. :)

    • YOU ARE NOT ALONE. What I've found to be helpful when he makes an inflammatory/hurtful remark is to simply say,"Oh" or "uh-huh". That way I'm acknowledging him, yet not getting drawn into an argument (which he seems to love). Responding to what he said, yet not letting him know how hurtful it was (because that would lead to further comments). Your (and my) spouses are in the mode that it's "necessary" to put the woman down (as yours, my husband's dad was not a good example; in fact was a cruel tyrant.)

      • here's the rest: IF you show him that he can't "get" to you, by using that little word, "oh", he may start to lay off a bit. At least mine did; he finally realized I wasn't going to play the downtrodden game anymore. Don't expect him to communicate, he can't. If he won't go to counseling, go by yourself-that's what I did, and it helps. Above all, stay close to the Lord; you can't do this without grace, which He freely gives. At first your spouse may turn on the heat and get even meaner, but you have to keep sticking to "oh" and eventually he'll begin to notice he can't wound you anymore.

        • He doesn’t know I am hurt and I never fight him on it, I always apologize or acknowledge his comments about my shortcomings. like you say, my faith is the only thing that keeps me going. He just wants me to be this perfect thing that I can never be and I don’t know how to get him to understand that I am only human. Even after loosing 50 lbs last year wasn’t enough I am now a size 6 and not small enough because I still have a belly bulge (after 5 kids I just can’t get rid of it) he shows me absolutely no affection unless he wants to have sex and only just the parts that please him. He really just thinks he is the best man in the world and I must just be the luckiest woman in the world and that I should feel even more lucky that he hasn’t gotten rid of me because I’m not that pretty and he feels ashamed of me because I don’t wear enough makeup or nice enough clothes and I look so fat to him even though I am thinner now than when we married (I was about 15 lbs heavier than I am now but my body has changed due to children and he just thinks it’s ugly and thinks if I loose more weight it will look better but skinny can’t erase stretch marks and aging) I will be ok I am trying my best but if I told him how I really felt or tried to get help from counseling e would think there was something wrong with me and he would kick me out without the kids because he can’t have an unhappy woman around when he’s such a great catch. And he has actually told me this and how can I care for our kids without him. I have no college education or work history, I would have to be on welfare to support my kids and leave twin babies in the hands of a daycare while I work a pitiful job. I think I can stick it out until they are at least older. I don’t see our relationship will last without some major changes but I am going to try to make it last as long as I can for the kids sake. But I know he is already starting to look around for a better younger version of me.

          • He is only telling you all of this because he knows that if you go to an attorney or get help then you will be able to have the kids, the house and at least half his money…especially because of all the mental abuse he has been putting you through. He is keeping you right where he wants you weak, fearful and dominated by him in a mentally abusive relationship. You not going to a counselor is a win on his part because the counselor's info can be used in court to help you win. At least go to free counseling.

            Do you seriously think staying with him is good for your children? Do you want your children to think this is acceptable behavior? Do you want your daughter to have this kind of life or for your son to put a woman through this kind of life?
            http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence

    • I understand some (nowhere near all) of what you’re going through. I’ve been through marriage counseling, and it was wonderful. It helped my husband learn how to let me be a part of his life, and a valuable part at that. Plus it helped me understand how to love him in a way that was not enabling or unhealthy.

      I would encourage you to seek out a church family (and I mean family, not just pew-sitters) who can give you support on the ground. None of us can know the whole situation from online posts, but local Christian friends could pray with you, talk with your husband, get you connected to local counselors, etc.

      I salute your efforts to keep on being a good wife and mother. You should be proud of yourself; not every woman has such endurance. However, don’t keep treating yourself like the source of the problem. If you want things to change, you BOTH have to be willing to work on your marriage. If you can’t help your husband understand this all on your own, then by all means, get help from someone who can.

      • I have tried to get help from others and it almost got me kicked out. He thinks when I talk about my feelings I am just looking for a fight and how can I have a problem with our happy life together as he views it, thank you for all your suggestions and comments, I think our problems are just too great that it would only take the influence of The Lord up high to miraculously turn this marriage around. I try to be content with what I have and try to understand that he means well he honestly thinks I need the constant criticism in order to function properly. He thinks woman become last and fat of you don’t constantly remind them to work harder, Eat less and do things better. I beleive life is a constant learning environment and I’m all for improving myself as best as I can but the pressure I feel and seeing his constant disappointment in me just pushes me to hate myself. I will just keep working at it and looking for support and trying to figure out ways to improve things for myself. As far as church goes he only allows us to be pew sitters and rushes us out as soon as it’s over so I haven’t even met anyone and he likes mega churches that make it even harder for someone to notice us. I wanted to try a smaller church and he just about flipped saying that I just want to cause problems by wanting to go to a diff church than him (which isn’t what I meant but since he would refuse to go to it that’s how he feels I was attempting to do) I made a couple friends and they pray for me but we live 1000 miles away from any family (his too) and as a housewife who’s activities are pretty watched over it’s very hard to get out to to things on my own because he beleive woman wander if left to their own devices. He basicly grew up with the belief that woman are about as well behaved as a loyal dog. They usually behave and stay put but if left to their own devices too long and they can get wild and wander into trouble. So I focus on just making sure my kids have the best childhood I can give them. That way I know these years weren’t just a waste and I can find happiness knowing I at least manager to be a decent mother.

        • What would you tell your daughter ( If you have one) if she was telling u this story? It's time to think about it, because she, or a future daughter-in-law will be repeating these exact words and feeling these exact feelings and think its all normal…mark my words…..Break the cycle only YOU can. Why do you think he doesnt want you to meet anyone?? He knows everyone you meet would fill you in on what kind of a person he REALLY is…all your doing is reinforcing his behavior and teaching your children that this is how you are supposed to treat/ be treated when you love someone…This is NOT Love its ownership.

  39. The difference a woman makes by “decorating the house or making sure the clothes are clean…or that you have your favorite soap.” Wow. I am sorry but this post is clearly geared towards housewives or moms. What about the working woman, who might actually be the primary breadwinner? Or the smartmouth wife who actually herself being the one who is curt with her husband sometimes? I found both posts to be a bit old fashioned in respect to male vs. female personality types and roles in the family.

    • I 100% agree with Amy here. This post seems to read as if “treat your wife like her little contributions are meaningful.” The assumption that the woman wants to be recognized for cleaning is just awful. A woman doesn’t want to be treated equally, she is equal. I think the point you are making with both of these posts is great and very helpful. Unfortunately, the positive is completely lost in the blatant designation women as housewives. Because you are providing advice, please at least add recognition for women who are the breadwinners and thank their husbands for cleaning the kitchen.

    • I am the primary bread-winner, but I still make sure his laundry is clean and he has his favorite soap and many other things. The point was that a man should appreciate the little things, and he just gave some examples.

      • I agree with Felicia 100%, just because I work outside of the home doesn't mean this is all I do. I still do my best to do the "little" things that show that I pay attention to my husbands needs and likes, in addition to being an income earner as well. I have to say, the fact that I still do the little things, on top of earning an income is truly appreciated by husband. He even tells me that I am amazing to be able to balance so much and the fact that I work outside of the home and still take the time to go above and beyond makes him appreciate me even more and cherish me.

    • I completely agree. In my household, I am the sole (generous) breadwinner and my husband stays at home as a novelist. We divide chores equally according to our strengths because we’re partners and neither one of us is the “domestic” partner, which is why I could barely get through this article.

      It wasn’t that the advice wasn’t good; it is certainly applicable to many a marriage. It was just the complete lack of having the other perspective represented. It was the whole “talk to your wife as you would another man…” Guess what, my husband doesn’t talk down to me, ever. It’s not something that comes up for us. That’s a valid point to make, but it’s the only point that got made in the article which is why there’s a problem. For instance, instead home being thankful of my buying my husband his favorite soap, how about a line where he’s thankful that I do the taxes and pay the bills!

      It wasn’t that a husband shouldn’t be grateful of the soap, it was the fact that the idea that a woman might be the more dominant and reliable partner wasn’t represented here at all. That’s a problem. I clicked the article in the hopes of getting some universal insights, and instead it was only for marriages where the male personality is more dominant than the female.

  40. Im guilty I have to admit ive gotten better but I had a problem with the last one thanks for your post you have really helped me throughout discovering your page… I’m a young man been married 3 years but we been together since grade school I no I messed up but I’m tryin to do better . I agree with the other’s also we are all human and make mistakes. All I would like to say is.. men/women when we make mistakes dont hold on to it , if you see your partner making a effort to change let em. Dont hold that to them forever thanks again be blessed everyone

  41. Sometimes we need encouragement to do things and try things and want you to take our hand and say "come on… you/we can do this" So often we have to do that for everyone else… be the strong ones, encouraging others… that I think men forget how insecure we sometimes are… but we get stuck in ruts too and need a little tug along to be adventurous and try new things for ourselves. We try to boost confidence in others but don't always succeed for ourselves and need our men to encourage us too

  42. Another one to consider is NEVER take the side of your mother against your wife especially in front of others or the mother. She WILL feel betrayed and look at you as a traitor.. She won't feel that she can trust you ever.

    • AMEN!! And stick up for your wife if your mother says anything against her. To your wife (and maybe your mother) your silence means that you agree with your mother.

    • the same holds true for grown children from a previous marriage or your own grown children. its demeaning for my husband to take our daughter's side or when his children were in the picture, take their word over mine.

  43. My husband and I read through both 7 ways a husband/wife can hurt their wife/husband. And we are both guilty of every one of the 7 . Not proud to say that. We, however, through GOD, have grown in our marriage and have gotten better at avoiding a lot of these. Somtimes we slip up but we have grown so that we are able to talk about it without it becoming WAR as would have been in our younger years of marriage. I must give credit to GOD being more prominent in our lives now and HE has given us the awareness to be more kind and loving to one another.

  44. Don't know why exactly, but something bothers me about these sorts of posts that make insightful comments on relationships but start out with a photo of a woman of almost unparalleled physical beauty. Once, only once, I want to see such a write-up with an average-looking creature at it's header.

    • Yes! Ben, as soon as this page loaded, I felt a little irked by the stock photo of the model. Not a very "realistic" look into marriage is it? haha!

  45. I don’t think that’s all true, sorry for my opinion, but most of those seven things is done to me instead of her. I love my wife but women most of the time asking men to care for them, and don’t even appreciate it. When problem happen they blame their men.

    • I was thinking the same thing. As I was reading these, I thought to myself that I see myself doing this to my fiance more than he does it to me. Maybe that's because I have always been more independent and grounded in myself rather than being more docile as some women have been wont to be, especially in the past (women now are much more independent.) It's an eye opener to see the things that I have been doing spelled out for me. it makes me want to be more careful. It also makes me realize how much the stereotypes can be wrong. These, of course, are still issues that some men have, but women too. Anyway, I'm so long-winded. I simply wanted to say that I agree with you.

  46. All seven are so true, and very hurtful/harmful. You've done marriage a good service by naming these for husbands to read. Hope it gets a very wide reading.

  47. Walk in front instead of beside her. My husband did this all the time and I felt like he was either embarrassed to be with me or where he was headed was more important than I was. Even after I told him how it made me feel, he said he couldn't walk that slow. I'm 5'1" and he was 5'11". His legs were a lot longer, but I practically ran just to keep up with him and still was left in his dust.

    • My husband does this. I’m 5’2″ & he’s 5’4″ so it’s especially annoying that I’m practically running to keep up. He’s very protective otherwise, so i don’t know why he still does this asset 18 years & me complaining about it several times.

    • This has been a big one for me. I dislike going places with him because I feel rejected and invisible when I am behind him.

    • I think when a man walks in front of a woman, there lacking the most important thing in life (mannors) I see so many men doing this and I don't think they are embarrassed by you, I don't think they put much thought into it, I was walking in the church last sunday with my husband and now that I think about it, he was walking in front of me. so don't be bugged by it because men never change

      • I do tend to walk faster than my wife (of 23 years) so after some "discussion" on the topic, we now hold hands whenever we walk together. It has worked well and the close contact nurtures intimacy and conversation. One of Gods directives to husbands is to protect and build a woman's spirit and spirituality. Disrespecting her presence is absolutely contradictory to His guidance. I would encourage a loving discussion. By the way, I forwarded to "7 ways" to her, asking if I do these…

  48. How would apply this if you’re separated? Is this marriage so far gone from being restored or fixed?? I wish I would’ve read this a year ago

  49. Spot on Adam! My fiancé
    tells me so often how intelligent I am but when I come up with a solution, suggestion, or even a fact he seems to downplay it and give me the ” correct” answer (he seems to know everything about everything. If that is the case… What can I contribute to this?) I don’t give these suggestions out to tell him I am right but it would be nice for him to actually stop and consider them versus brushing them aside so quickly. It hurts. It feels as though I am actually not as intelligent as he makes me out to be.

  50. I don't really know if this is important for any other women, but for me I need to be shown that he loves me. I think my biggest let down is that 99% of the time he just says I love you but usually doesn't do anything other than that. For us, he is in the military and we are rarely together at this point in his military career so it would be very nice for him to do cute things to remind me he loves me and says hey… i know we are apart but I love you and want to show you. Now I don't mean things all the time, just every once in a while. One example is maybe sending a card every now and then. Or flowers for special occasions, but he never does anything to show me he loves me. I feel like this is hard for me to explain and I hope I am not coming off as shallow. This is just one thing I struggle with in our relationship.

    • my husband was in the military too, so I understand what you are saying. We missed Halloween, thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and valentines day together. (Our first as a married couple for all of them…!) I never once got a card or flowers in the mail. It made me feel less important as his wife, and it hurt me. He didn't intend to cause harm because he thought going out to dinner when he got back was good enough to make up for missing valentines day, and had gifts from the deployment. But to me it was the fact that everyone else got to feel special on those holidays, and I was alone, and felt even more alone without a phone call, an email or a card. He 'underestimated the small stuff' because he assumed I would get over it. It's been almost a year since he got back from deployment, and I still can't get over those feelings of resentment sometimes. I hope that you are able to talk to him about what's on your mind and heart, so that you can feel less of the stress that comes with military life.

      • Get over yourselves. Imagine what he was going through during his deployment, and you are upset because you didn't get a card? Give me a break.

        • If you could keep your harsh words and opinions to yourself, that would be great. Some of us do not get the luxury of taking our loved ones presence for granted. If you have never had your spouse in the military, then you have no clue what it is like, so please save the judgement for some other part of the internet. Because this isn't some 'wife is the toughest job in the corps' pity party, it's called having feelings.

          Because for me, it's wasn't just missing out on a card or two, it was 8 months apart, with 3 phone calls, all of which were under 5 minutes. I was all alone going taking on the tasks of husband and wife, working 60 plus hours a week while going to school to keep my mind off the fact that I just got married and my husband and I don't get to make any memories for 8 months. Wondering if he still loves me, if our relationship will be the same when he gets back. So yes, a card or some flowers or anything would have been a really awesome way to tell me, hey I still love you and we're still in this together. Because sometimes it's the small stuff that get you through the next couple of months til you get to see their face again.

          • No it sounds like a pity party. Either you agree with her or you "don't have feelings?" Seriously you are saying "my husband don't consider my feelings, he doesn't show me he loves me" but you are not considering HIS feelings and all of the things he actually does for you, like taking you out to dinner. Here is my advice. If he does ANYTHING good for you (takes care of you while you're sick, makes you breakfast, etc. etc.) then appreciate him. There are a lot of men out there who would treat you like MEAT. Would you prefer that? I doubt it. Now if he doesn't do anything for you at all then you should just leave him and don't string him along making him feel under appreciated for his efforts because I promise you he has feelings too and all this "I want more" attitude is just going to make him feel terrible eventually if it's not already.

          • How exactly is he supposed to take care of her when she's sick or make breakfast for her when he is deployed? How is she supposed to know if he still loves her if he doesn't do anything beyond taking her out to dinner when he comes home? We are not mind readers. Are you trying to say that he is so fragile that his wife stating her needs to him is going to break him? He is not a mind reader either. Why don't you give him the respect of assuming that he can handle knowing that a small change is needed. He is more than capable of making it happen. I bet he will feel more like a man when he learns how to care for his wife's needs than most anything else.

          • *plays violin in the background* Sammy, honesltly you didnt/dont need to be married if you cant be happy by YOURSELF .Its pretty obvious that your husband filled some void he wasnt supposed to fill. You shouldnt worry about him sending a card to say he loves you should be thankful he was sacrificing his life so that you could sit there and whine. You really need some type of counseling, you sound really needy and men dont want a overly needy wife, they want a confident wife who supports them, not one who sits there and whines about missing a few holidays.

        • Yes! Say it again! Not once did the women who said their husband was in the military say im thankful hes serving our country…all they did was whine whine whine, me, me, me, me. And the ones who down vote you will be women. I swear feminism has destroyed american women. lesigh

          • im not married to anyone in the military but i do know that it is hard on both people while they are apart! you cannot communicate your day to day like most couples and these women are fighting here at home! they give their men something to come home to and someone to talk to. unless you have been through any of this how can you say they are whining or being overly needy. WE as humans are needy! we have to form bonds and have those bonds nurtered in different ways for everyone, so to put someone one down bc they are expressing their needs is not ok!

          • Sounds like a few of you could learn something from the movie Fireproof. My husband and I have watched it many times through the years to remind us that our #1 MOST important job is making Christ the center of our home, 2nd OVER ALL ELSE is our marriage and how can we better serve each other.

            In the movie, husband is a firefighter.. Can't understand why he can save lives and fight fires everyday and she wants more like help around the house and to be more important to him than the boat he desires and the porn he watches.

            Point: He may be fighting for his country but he also took a covenant with God when he married his wife.. That trumps everything! That is why these women feel hurt when they don't receive cards or phone calls.. Or blame her for "being needy" .. It is not your place to judge. When God said that through marriage and concemation that "the two shall become one… It's only logical that she would miss her other half!
            For the women who just wanted to express their heart and instead received criticism:
            I pray that you bring your hurt to Christ and let Him heal your sweet hearts, live with quick forgiveness while lifting your husband in prayer, and be his biggest cheerleader!! Let NO women praise him as much as you do!! Let God do the work in his life.. In His timing.

        • I have been deployed. Yes, it's hard. We were provided time to call home, we had access to buy a card or paper to write a note. Even in combat. My husband always got a phone call on the holidays. I sent letters home. it matters even though you are having hard time of it. he doesn't think it matters to her because she isn't telling him it matters. By not saying anything about it, he thinks she has gotten over it. McDubb, get off your high horse and grow a heart!!

    • This is a great reminder for me as a husband. Im really bad about this even though its not because I dont lover her, Im just tired all time. Even after just writing that I realize thats nothing more than an excuse. Thanks for your post.

    • McDubb, J.L., Tyra-You all have no understanding and really need to grow up…AND saddown. You have probably been hurt by someone and now you are too independent to care about someone actually showing you they care because you've "heard it all before", right? Be schooled right quick: being the wife of a Vet, (WHOOP WHOOP support our Vets) life in the military is not all that it seems. Yes, they fight for our freedom, but some of them are crooked and live double lives, and there are women who live on or near the base just to trap military men just for the money

    • Kate- Do not receive the negativity on here. My husband and I do pre-marriage counciling and there is a very real thing called "love languages." Learning one another's love language is crucial to connection, communication and fulfillment in a relationship. There are 5 basic LLs – they are: 1) words of affirmation, 2) acts of service, 3) gifts, 4) quality time, 5) physical touch. Sounds like one of your love language is gifts. That is how you show and receive love. You aren't asking for much and it isn't shallow… Actually I bet you are a thoughtful person! People usually SHOW their love most often in how they would like to receive it. When you write notes, send cards and give small gifts to loved ones it is how you show you care. I would encourage you to pick up the book the 5 love languages! It really helped and blessed my husband and me- for the first couple years of our marriage we were speaking the wrong languages to each other which kind of left us both feeling empty and unappreciated. God bless you, your marriage and thank your husband for serving from me. ((Hugs))

    • At least your hubby TELLS you he loves you. If my hubby loves me it is a well kept secret. My hubby said he didn't know how to show me, so I have repeatedly told him over the years the ways that I would like to be shown — I never made him guess, and you know what? He STILL does not have a clue and still does not stoke the fire to keep the home fires burning.
      :-( sighhhhhh…

  51. I have always worked on these things intentionally. My take on Ephesians 5 for men is that we need to be sacrificially concerned for our wife's spiritual development. If I think she is screwing something up, then I should bear the blame with her rather than pointing a finger at her and letting her bear the blame alone. Then I look at what the Holy Spirit is doing in her life and try to work in agreement with Him. I don't presume to know what she needs spiritually beyond that and offer myself sacrificially to meed her physical needs. Do that and all the points in this post will take care of themselves.

  52. That is amazing information I honestly feel that way with my fiance. I love sports anything im a tomboy but he thinks otherwise so sometimes i question r relationship….

  53. I’ve been guilty of all of these on occasion, but have only ever made a habit of #’s 2 and 3, as far as I can tell, and trying to be completely honest with myself here. I always try to be respectful, I don’t have anything to ever hide (except maybe a surprise for a woman, like a gift), and I don’t gawk.

    There are times, just like with any person, regardless of their gender or relationship to you, that you have to say, “look. You simply don’t seem to understand why I can’t change a tire with a small piece of wood and a screwdriver, so why don’t you either watch and learn, or occupy yourself with something else and let me handle it?” (example from an actual real life discussion with my ex wife.)

    No excuse for talking to a woman the way you would a bro though, and that’s my bigger issue between these two. I spent some of the most formative years of my life surrounded by other men who thought, felt, and acted exactly as I did (four years Marines). So when you consider we didn’t recieve “sensitivity training” back then like they do now, I’m STILL working on trying to break that mindset.

  54. My wife and I have been married for over 8 years. Over that time, we have both been guilty of a few of these. One of the worst things for me, is texting her. In a text, I can say all the right words, but when I get home, my tone will negate everything. We, as men, need to realize that sometimes it isn’t what we say, but how we say it.

    I strive daily to remind not just her, but myself, that she isn’t just my wife, she’s my best friend.

    • Me to.. to keep from sounding/saying the wrong things are using the wrong tone I would write her and leave it on the table… but shes told me many times to express myself to her with words but dont want to sound harsh smh I try though

    • Oh goodness Bill, you took the words right out of my mouth, literally! I dont know how many times I have said "its not what you said, its how you said it!" And I have most often said this at some point during a conversation when I said to my husband something along the lines of "obviously you think I'm stupid" to which he angrily denies this accusation and says something along the lines of "I dont think that and i have never said that, so don't say i do!" Lol…so yes, it has come up

  55. This may be similar to your #1, but I would add "Doesn't take her input" or maybe "doesn't give her input proper weight in a discussion." I have struggled with this one before. I might even ask my wife what she thinks, but I already have my mind made up about a decision. She is wise and very intelligent, and I need to give her input serious consideration, especially in major decisions.

    Great post!

    • My husband does this. We are following Dave Ramsey's financial plan and supposed to have a monthly budget meeting. In 18 months of following Dave, we have had 3 budget meetings.
      Unfortunately, my husband's father was in control of everything in their lives as well as an alcoholic. My husband doesn't drink, but he does think it is his right (or place?) to be in control of everything – without input from me
      Just because I don't have a college diploma does not mean my intelligence is lower

      I do not know how to make him understand this

      • I gave this advice to someone else today. You might consider writing him a letter. See my blog post today how to do that at ronedmondson.com