Before she turned cold, she used to make you feel like the greatest man alive. Now she makes you feel stupid and misunderstood. “Nothing I do or say is ever right!” When you try to talk to her, she completely shuts down. “My wife is pulling away from me…” It’s happening, but you don’t know how to stop it.
It sounds crazy. Your rational side is saying, “How could she hate me? She married me didn’t she?” But it’s not your imagination. Something is “off” – Big time.
Maybe It’s NOT you…
What does she have going on, right now, in her life? It’s very possible personal stress is impacting her relationship with you. Motherhood, jobs, a falling out with a friend, health stress, low self esteem, depression, anxiety, hormonal changes… Sometimes it really has nothing to do with you and everything to do with outside stressors.
She may be going through something she has no idea how to tell you about. Acknowledge that she doesn’t seem like herself and you’re wondering if there is something going on in her life she would like to talk about.
If she says, “I don’t want to talk about it!” – Back off. Barring it isn’t the time or place to be talking about an issue, it could mean you did or said something that upset her. Maybe she’s still mad and is smart enough to know talking about it could force her into saying something she will regret. Let her work through her emotions first.
Tone is everything. If she sounds emotional, it may be something she isn’t ready to discuss.
You violated one of her bottom lines.
Occam’s Razor (“The simplest explanation is often the correct one”) can sometimes be the best way to diagnose a problem. Let’s start with the obvious – Did you do ANYTHING callous, insensitive or cruel? Cheating? Make blatantly negative comments about her appearance? Insult her in some obvious way?
Well, then stop reading. Of course she’s pissed! An honest appraisal of your behaviors will go a long way. Think honestly – Was there a single incident or have you been disrespecting your wife over a period of time you may not have thought about?
Did you violate what, for her, may have been a bottom line?
Meaning some invisible boundary every person has (e.g. If a man hits her – She made up her mind a long time ago that she would leave. If a man cheated on her – She also has drawn the line in the sand that she will leave).
How well do you know your wife? What are her expectations of you? Some people are more sensitive than others. You may feel some offhand comment you made or boorish behavior is completely acceptable but your wife may disagree.
For every person, bottom lines exist. It is up to you to know your wife. She should also know your opinions. Most people do not do this before marriage. They learn as they go…and sometimes it’s too late after they find out they have done something their spouse deems unforgivable.
You may believe looking at porn is normal. She may be disgusted by the behavior. This is a great example of a GRAY AREA. It’s very possible nobody is right or wrong. It’s a matter of opinion. Try a new approach. Be genuinely curious. Ask her what her opinion is and why she thinks that way. Be clear you are not asking to criticize, but to better understand her viewpoints and be genuine in listening and considering her thoughts.
The thing you must remember if you are doing something that harms your relationship – Is it more important to you than your relationship?
We were always told we should never change for anyone, but relationships are all about compromise. The dilemma also exists that you can never 100% know a person and sometimes…people change of their own accord.
If you are willing to change to save the relationship – Apologize earnestly for hurting her and make a firm course of action to change. Never say you will do something unless you mean it. Continued broken promises are absolutely lethal to a marriage.
She feels like she can’t tell you what is bothering her.
If she’s suddenly cold with you and won’t tell you why, it may be because she thinks you should already know why she’s upset. It’s also possible she does not feel emotionally prepared for confrontation over the issue, or she simply does not wish to communicate openly with you because she does not feel you will listen or will criticize her. These hurts can come across as coldness, aloofness or outright anger.
Are you easy to communicate with? Do you tend to get angry when approached with criticism or opinions you disagree with? Do you lose your temper or “blow up”? Will you immediately go on the defensive and insinuate her opinions are wrong, stupid or crazy? Will you play devil’s advocate and contradict everything she is trying to tell you?
If she does not feel listened to, understood, or feel that you are making any attempt whatsoever to understand her, she may begin to believe the relationship is too much effort. She may begin to confide in someone else.
If you do not provide an open, safe communication space for your wife to talk about ANYTHING without feeling wrong or stupid every time she opens her mouth, someone else eventually will.
It’s well known that men often cheat for physical reasons and women because they feel an emotional attachment to someone else whom makes them feel understood. It’s a situation which can be avoided with attentive, open communication.
Want to open up communication? Approach her at a time when you’re both not busy. You may say something such as, “I love you. I care about our relationship and feel like I’ve done something to deeply hurt you. From now on, I want to be more open with our communication and listen without criticizing what you have to say. I’m sorry if I have made you feel criticized in the past. I want to understand you and create a relationship where we can talk about anything.”
When she feels like you value what she has to say, the floodgates of communication will open.
She has given up on you or no longer wants to be with you.
This one hurts to have to say. But it happens. When a woman still wants to talk to you, it’s a good sign. If you begin living like roommates passing in the hallways…You’re entering dangerous territory. The longer this goes on, the further apart the two of you will drift. Instead of looking for the good in you and reasons to stay, she may actively begin looking for reasons to leave.
When it’s this bad, it hurts. You can’t make her smile. You can’t make her laugh. No amount of gifts or promises of open communication might be working.
She may be talking about pursuing a life that might exclude you and all attempts you’ve made seem to be too little too late, especially if she begins to look at the opportunities of new love or companionship outside the marriage.
This is the stage where anything could happen so don’t blow your chances. Don’t become more possessive, clingy, demanding, or create an environment at home where she feels smothered by someone she previously felt cared very little about her. Over-caring too late in the game can backfire.
The worst thing you can do when your wife is showing outright hostility towards you is planning romantic vacations, sending flowers, or other tokens of symbolic romance. These things are for the good times. Not something you only pull out when the marriage is in trouble. It’s a hollow gesture and you will both know it.
Love is like a bar of soap – Hold on too tightly,
and it will slip right out of your hands.
Don’t put the focus on winning back her love. Put the focus on making yourself worth loving…She may realize what a catch you are before it’s too late and you become her loss. Begin working on yourself. If you’ve let your grooming habits slip, it’s time to step up the game. Live your life to produce the best results for you. Go to the gym. Partake in new hobbies. Meet new friends. Start smiling more. Start doing things that are proven life enhancers and stay away from behaviors that are self destructive.
You can’t force your wife to see your worth. You can’t force her to live in misery with you. But you can appraise yourself and make yourself more valuable. Be who you were always meant to be – The very best version of yourself. You may just make your wife realize why she fell in love with you all over again.
She’s just a bitch
There is no other way to say this. If you evaluated your own actions and behaviors, have been the model perfect husband, and she does not appreciate you – The problem may not be yours.
For most of this article, it’s been assumed you were both reasonable people or that maybe, possibly YOU were the unreasonable one. Now it’s time to look at the cold, hard facts – Maybe she’s not worth it. If that’s the case, brother…Yeah, you’re going to feel some sadness for all those little things you thought indicated she was your dream.
But maybe she’s amazing in a thousand little ways that just aren’t meant for you. If you can’t fix communication with her and nothing’s going to change, life is too short to be with someone who makes you feel worthless. Go out there and find someone who can’t get enough of you.
If your wife truly does hate you, love yourself even more. She fell in love with you once. Someone will love you again. But there is nothing more irresistible than a man who is content with himself.