Sometimes women reach out to me and complain that their husband mistreats them and is really a mean guy and if they had known he was such a louse they would never had married him.

In the course of the conversation, these ladies will wonder out loud why their husband treats them so badly.  Sometimes they will question if they are at fault or if they unwittingly contributed to their husband’s behavior and outbursts.  They will tell me that their husband wasn’t this way in the beginning of the marriage.

But now he is a monster in their eyes.

husband treats me poorly

It is a sad side of my work, but far too often I come across women who have attached themselves to a husband who are the equivalent of a bad boy. I get reports of  husbands that mistreat, shout and yell at their wives far too often.

I am told about guys who are just downright mean and ugly, cursing at their wife and telling her she is worthless.

Why do some men act this way?

Is it something that is part of their make up?  Were they born this way?

Were they treated this way, so they just are behaving in the way of their past?

Or is it something you, the wife, are doing that triggers the outburst and poor treatment?

Well….I can tell you from experience it is seldom anything you did.  Sure, you are far from perfect.  Who is?  But a mean spirited husband didn’t get that way because of you.

So let me say it again.

If you are married to a guy who treats you badly, rarely is it your fault.  The fault lies with the person who is exhibiting such distasteful, rude and unpleasant, or even disgusting behavior.

So should you ditch you man?  I get into this topic later in this post, but for further reading you should also check out this article I recently wrote…

So what can you do about it?  That is the question I most often get.  There is usually three things a wife who reaches out to me wants to know.

One thing they will ask me about is how they can better tolerate living with such an unpleasant person. They may not be ready to call it quits.  The situation may not have risen to a level where they feel the marriage is in serious jeopardy.  So they are interested in learning how to manage their own stress levels and keep their husband in line.  With this group, I find myself steering them away from the notion that they should learn to better cope with a husband who to often gives in to hateful behavior.  It is better to address the real problem, namely the husband’s treatment of his wife.

A second thing some women will need help with is what they can do to get their husband to stop acting so poorly.  They want him to stop hurting their feelings and being so mean and disrespectful to them.  The solutions to these problems are different depending on the frequency and severity of the husband’s behavior. Seldom do I lead with a negative, but I will tell women that if their husband has been behaving this way for a long time, that is a huge problem.  If your man consistently mistreats you, then don’t expect that he will change much or if at all unless there is a major intervention.  We will discuss this more later.

The third area that some of these women wish to explore is whether the relationship is worth sticking out.  They want to know if their husband will ever change his selfish and cruel ways because they are of the mind to bolt.

So with regard to this third point, these women are looking for advice on how to leave their husbands. Sometimes I talk with women who are so entrenched in the relationship, they have lost sight of just how bad and abusive the relationship has become.  This much more common than people realize.

my husband is cruel to me

In certain cases, I find myself steering my advice to these women in such a way to help them see how dysfunctional their situation has become so that they will consider getting out of the clutches of a twisted and cruel minded husband.

So I get a lot of queries along this topic.

Often they are like cries for help and it is heartbreaking to hear their stories. You can hear the pain.  You can also see the sense of futility some of these women express.

But I tell them all,  there is a door you can walk through that leads you away from this pain.  And this door can lead you to a place in which your husband is still part of your life.  Or it can lead you to another place where you seldom if ever see him again, and he cannot hurt you anymore.

Far too many women suffer poor treatment from their husband or boyfriend. For example….

My husband treats me bad and seems totally disgusted me.  What should I do because I am coming apart.

I know I don’t deserve this.  My husband is awful to me.  He treats me badly but I am not sure if I should leave because of the kids and we have so much history.

I know when a man treats you badly, you shouldn’t put up with it.  But its like I am stuck in quicksand and just don’t know how to get out. 

He treats and talks to me like dirt.  I deserve better and I am going to leave him.  What do I do first?  I am ready to end this, but I don’t want it to go off the rails.

What do you do when someone you love treats you badly?  Should you just get away for a while?  Give him an ultimatum?  Move out permanently? 

My boyfriend treats me badly but I love him still and don’t want things to end.  I keep hoping we will turn the corner.  What are the chances that he will change?  My mother tells me it’s a lost cause. 

Know That You Are Not At Fault

not your fault he mistreats you

Clearly, it is a sad situation when a woman is married to a man who mistreats her emotionally and uses bullying tactics to intimidate, dominate and make her submissive.

Just allowing these women to tell their story is therapeutic for them in the short run.  Knowing that they are not alone and that there are other women out there who are involved in marriage or relationship in which their man behaves badly helps them see that it not something they have done wrong.

That is one of the reasons why I started up a Private Facebook Support and Recovery Group.

Women who find themselves being belittled or blamed for seemingly everything, should know that it is not their fault.  Their husbands may have told them for years about how worthless they are and how everything that is wrong with the marriage is their fault.  But that is a LIE.

Humans can be cruel and treat each other horribly.   Both husbands and wives can be an instigator and a victim.

Today we are talking about husbands who mistreat their wife in all sorts of ways.  But in some marriages, mistreatment is a two-way street.

But let’s keep the focus on those women who feel beaten down.

And that is a problem in some of these spousal emotional abuse cases.  The husband may have so traumatized his wife, beating down her sense of self-worth, that she may come to believe that she is to blame or that she is not doing enough or holding up her end.

After all, in most of these cases, the abusive husband is constantly demeaning his wife, telling her how she is stupid or useless and wrong about everything.  If one hears that enough, it can cause you to lose self-esteem and even begin to question whether some of the put downs and ugly comments might be true.

So while I am not miracle worker, I do try to help lift these women’s spirit and hopes and open up their eyes to the path of other possibilities.  Because the truth is that while you may feel trapped in a relationship and while you may feel abused;  there is almost always a door you can walk through that will lead you away from those who wish to bring you down and make you feel bad about yourself.

Why Does You Husband Act So Poorly?

you deserve better than him

Now that you know that his poor treatment of you is rarely your fault, it begs the question why does your man act this way?

What makes him such a hard person to live with and is there anything you can do about it?  Can your husband change or is that notion really just chasing a pipe dream?

In my experience, if your husband has been mistreating you for most of the time you have been together, then the problem probably originates deep within the core of his personality and past experiences.

His attitudes toward women or people in general most likely formed long before he met you.  It is likely the mean-spirited comments directed at you and lack of consideration for your feelings is a product of both his genetic make up and the environment he was exposed to when growing up.  We are all a product of our genes, how we are raised, and other influencers.

I don’t believe one single factor is responsible for how a man ultimately treats his wife.  Men are not born to be rotten to their wives.  Though they may exhibit certain unattractive behaviors caused by the way their brain is formed, it not the only that thing that causes them to be a guy who constantly belittles and picks on his wife.

I think how a guy ends up treating his wife is a product of  many factors.  Genetics, environmental influences, the quality of the relationship match (compatibility), attitudes about marriage, core values, attachment styles and daily stress can all contribute to how a guy ultimately behaves toward his wife.

No single factor can be blamed or credited for how a person was molded.

Just because your husband may have been raised in the most loving and supportive environment, won’t mean that he will be a wonderful and loving guy.  All the chips could have been stacked against him early in life, but through the sheer force of his personality and core beliefs, he may turn out to be a kind and considerate man.

The truth every man has certain strengths and weaknesses  he brings to the relationship.  And a man’s wife also has certain strengths and weaknesses.  How the two people come together is largely a function of how these individuals combine their strengths and weaknesses.  How they mesh or dovetail can be a complicated matter when you pull back the layers and look closely.

So the question of why your husband may act a certain way is in no way a simple matter to fully understand.  In coming up with potentials solutions, it helps to gain some insights.

But our focus today is dealing with outcomes, right?  Let’s assume you have tried a lot of things on your end and it is getting you no where.   Specifically, what should you do if you are stuck in an unhappy and emotionally unhealthy marriage?

Should You End It When He Treats You Badly?

ending it with your husband

So what are the conditions in which you should simply tell your husband that you no longer want to move forward with the relationship?

When do things get bad enough that it is unhealthy for you to stay in the marriage?

Clearly, if your husband’s poor treatment of you has been going on for a long time and there have been good faith efforts made to try to change, one is left wondering whether the match was suitable in the first place.

Sometimes we just don’t choose the right person for ourselves.

It is really not such an easy thing to do because in the beginning of every courtship there is this undeniable force that gets in the way of our rationale mind.

The hormones that are triggered when we are falling in love can create a false sense that we are with the most wonderful person that has ever existed.   All we can think of when we are “falling in love” is being with this other person.  Our emotional and physical arousal to a person we are falling in love with can cause us to obsess over the person and convince us that the match is made in heaven.

It is almost like we have lost control of our rationale minds.  We can become blind to problems of compatibility.  When we encounter or notice problems in our lover’s personality or raise questions about their behavior, we are more prone to explain it away.  We rationalize that it is just something in passing.

In the beginning of a relationship, people tend to highlight the positive and wash away the negatives.  Often, our lover doesn’t showcase their weaknesses.  They hide certain unattractive qualities and behaviors because they are interested in attracting you.  That is not necessarily a devious thing.  We all want to put on our “best face”.

It may seem impossible to you at the time that your soon to be husband will eventually reveal himself as a selfish bad boy, but this is an common occurrence in relationships.

The question becomes when is enough, enough.

5 Things To Look For Before You Bail Out of Your Marriage

when to bail out of marriage

In dealing with this problem, I came up with a simple checklist.

It is not foolproof.  But if you can honestly check off each of these 5 things, then you really have to ask yourself what are you doing in the relationship.

Sometimes we just have to accept that we chose wrong.  Sure, breaking up and ending a marriage will bring on its on set of problems.  But these issues are almost always over the short-term and will eventually subside and end.    Staying  with someone who is abusive and treats you badly for the long haul is a far worst scenario.

Obviously, these are not easy decisions.

So consider carefully what is going on in your marriage and whether your husband’s behavior is so bad that it has risen to a level where you simply cannot tolerate living life in such away.

Look at this checklist and decide if these descriptions captures the essence of your marriage situation.  If each ( or most) of these 5 things are happening in your life, to the degree described, then you should give serious consideration to getting off the relationship track you are on and that might mean ending things for a significant period of time or permanently.

  1.  You have been together for multiple years.  Your husband is emotionally and physically abusive frequently.  He insults you and your intelligence and those around you that you love.  His treatments of you makes you feel like a lesser person. He may be a control freak insisting that most everything be done his way and if not, he explodes with anger or tries to bully you.  He often raises his voice and uses ugly words to describe you or uses threatening langauge to make you do things you don’t want to do.
  2.  You and your husband often can’t get along.  He starts most of the arguments.  Sometimes he threatens to strike you or he pushes you or gets physical in your presence by slamming, kicking or breaking objects.  These altercations can get very loud and frightening and you become afraid for your safety.  You live almost every day with anxiety about your safety or whether your husband will have another upsetting outburst.
  3. Your husband’s mood is unpredictable.  You feel like you are on pins and needles.  In one moment he can be very loving, then he can simply crack and just come apart blaming you or whoever is around.  You are often afraid to argue or disagree with him, even on the smallest of points.  Your husband can act cruelly and when things go wrong, he takes it out on you.  Sometimes your husband is influenced by alcohol or drugs which negatively impacts his behavior
  4. The environment in the home you both live in is dreary and sad.  You feel like you often want to escape.  You have been thinking about leaving him for a long time, but don’t know whether you should or how to.  In your heart, you know the marriage will not get better and will probably get worse.  You often feel depressed and your emotional health is deteriorating.  You have possibly talked to close friends or close family members about your situation and are starting to feel desperate about what to do.
  5. You can honestly say that you have often spoken to your husband about how his actions are hurting you and the marriage.  You have given him examples of his behavior and have warned him that you cannot tolerate this kind of behavior.  You have strongly encouraged him to go with you to see a marriage counselor because you believe the marriage is failing.  He has declined or if he agreed, he quickly relapsed to his old ways.


How likely is your marriage to succeed?

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