An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1

Photo by Mike Klemme

A tradition unlike any other?
Photo by Mike Klemme

Dear Shitty Husband,

Yep. You.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s one of, or some combination of, the following:

  1. I’m not a shitty husband! I work 50-hour-plus weeks to pay for our house, and our cars, and our vacations, and her jewelry, and the kids’ activities. I love my wife and family!
  2. I’m not a shitty husband! I would do ANYTHING for my wife.
  3. I’m not a shitty husband! I fix things around the house that need fixed. I mow the lawn, and walk the dog, and take out the trash, and help change diapers, and run the kids to their little league games.
  4. I’m not a shitty husband! I always make sure she has an orgasm when we have sex once a week!
  5. I’m not a shitty husband! I don’t drink excessively, I’m drug-free, I work out, I don’t hit her, I don’t call her names and I don’t cheat!

And listen. I get it. You really truly don’t believe you’re a shitty husband. And I commend you for all of the good things you do, and applaud you for all the sacrifices you make on behalf of your wife and/or family.

But guess what?

Shut up. You’re an asshole and a shitty husband.

I don’t know everything there is to know about marriage. I might not even know a lot. But I know one VERY important thing: I’m an asshole. And I was a shitty husband.

On Easter Sunday of this year, my wife took her ring off after nine years of marriage and informed me she was leaving.

It hurt. It took my breath away. It frightened me.

But I wasn’t shocked.

Because we (husbands) have an awful lot more control than we think we do.

And all of us—male and female—need to accept more responsibility than we do for our circumstances.

And that’s what I’m going to do now. Accept some responsibility.

As of this writing, I don’t have much of an audience. But what little audience I have has read me talk about how my wife ended our nine-year marriage by leaving me the day after Easter.

But the question on the table today is: Had I been the husband I was supposed to be during the beginning and middle years of our marriage, would we ever have gotten to the point where my wife was looking elsewhere for inner peace and happiness?

She most definitely sucks for ending our relationship the way she did. She doesn’t get a free pass for that.

But this is where I have to take responsibility—at least part of it—for the position in which I find myself.

I was NOT a perfect husband.

I’m not even sure I was a good husband.

I loved her. I was kind to her. I wanted to make her happy and win her approval. I wanted to take care of her and provide for her. I went to work every day for her. She gave me purpose. I wanted to be with her forever.

But I was an asshole. A selfish one. And while I truly believe I redeemed myself during the final two years of our marriage, when I was growing and she was withdrawing, I was a shitty husband for the seven years prior.


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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.


Watching The Masters

I didn’t know it at the time, but four years ago, a defining moment in my life happened during the Sunday final round of The Masters golf tournament—generally considered to be the most-popular golf tournament of the year by American golf fans.

Living in Ohio, that general time period around Easter and The Masters is when you can count on the weather to break and really give you some beautiful days.

My ex-wife absolutely loves being outside. She grew up in the country, and sitting inside on a beautiful day is not her idea of a good time.

So, inevitably, it was gorgeous outside during the final round of The Masters. Our son was not quite a year old. And my wife wanted us, as a family, to go enjoy the weather together.

Go hike in the nearby national park.

Go to the zoo.

Go to a metro park trail.

Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

I think so.

But on that particular Sunday, without the benefit of failed-marriage hindsight? It sounded perfectly unreasonable.

It went something like this:

Me: “Babe. I’d really just like to watch my favorite golf tournament. This only happens once a year.”

Wife: “I can’t believe you want to sit inside on a such a beautiful day. You don’t want to go do something nice as a family?”

Me: “I don’t want to sit inside on a beautiful day—I kind of wish it was raining—and of course I want to do fun things together, but again, this golf tournament happens just one weekend a year. And that happens to be today. I’d like to watch it. I’m sorry.”

This all hit me a few months ago during the 2013 Masters. It was on TV at my house. But nobody was home. She’d already left. My son was gone. I was there. I was awake. But I wasn’t home.

I’m tempted to look up who even won the damn golf tournament this year. Because I truly can’t remember. Maybe Justin Rose or Adam Scott. But honestly, who cares?

I chose The Masters over a perfect Sunday afternoon with my wife and son.

And guess what, Guy Who Thinks That Sounds Perfectly Acceptable?

You’re an asshole. And a shitty husband. Just like me.

I committed marriage’s worst crime, after all the obvious stuff like cheating, and abuse, and the like.

I left my wife alone in our marriage.

It looks a lot like that Masters Sunday four years ago.

It’s what it looks like when she stays home on a Friday night to take care of the kids and do chores and watch “Desperate Housewives” alone on the couch while you’re out with the boys.

It’s what it looks like when she invites you to bed during Monday Night Football, but you’re too busy monitoring your fantasy football team to join her.

It’s what it looks like when she asks you to join her for a family function at the in-laws, and you decline so you can watch a movie at home alone, or sit around playing video games, or playing golf, or playing poker.

It’s what it looks like when you go to a party and you spend all of your time drinking and laughing with your friends, and never once squeezing her hand, or whispering in her ear how gorgeous she looks, or making eye contact from across the room and mouthing the words “I love you.”

It’s what it looks like when you leave the hospital to get a good night’s sleep the day your son was born even though your wife is begging you to stay.

It’s what it looks like when you don’t acknowledge all of the many things she carries every day so that you don’t have to—managing schedules, and the household, and buying gifts for birthdays and weddings and graduations, and keeping the house clean, and a million other things I’m STILL too fucking dense to recognize even though I’m still picking up the pieces in my now-empty home.

The hardest lesson I’ve ever learned is that you can have all of the good intentions in the world. You can be kind. And charming. And willing to sacrifice.

And it can STILL break.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I’ve heard that proverb my entire life and I never really knew what it meant until now.

You know, it’s funny. I could have just DVR’d the fucking Masters.

And you can too.

We’re broken people. We’re shitty husbands.

But gentlemen—we don’t have to be.

You May Also Want to Read:

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 2

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 3

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 5

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 6

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 7

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 8

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 9

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 11

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 12

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 13


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500 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1

  1. Happy wife says:

    I read this with my husband who after 33 years of marriage is not shitty any more but could definitely relate to your words as I could as it brought back memories especially days spent in the hospital alone after childbirth. However, now he has spent a month at my side as I’ve been hospitalized. Point being, a wife exercising patience can end up with a perfect husband. Thanks for your blog and humor!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Matt says:

      Thank that man for me. Because, short of the people who always get it right, he’s the example of what we’re supposed to be.

      I’m happy for you and your marriage, and really appreciate you sharing this story with us.


  2. Shitty says:

    Your wife is a spoiled brat. My husband does not have a job, smokes pot every day, physically assaults me, prevents me from going to church, barely talks to me, does not have sex with me, calls me names, left me alone in the ER, never takes me on dates, spends mos of his time on draft kings. Granted, he’s also a good father, and he always makes sure xmas and bdays are special. I know he loves me his own way. But he is most definitely a shitty husband.


    • lifedontwasteit says:

      No you’re a willing martyr for staying where someone physically harms. Stop being stupid. Pity is not a commodity.


      • trailblazer says:

        Why do you put up with that? If he’s that bad, how can he be a good father? Good fathers do not express his awful behavior. Sounds like you need to close the door and not return.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Kukiekoo says:

      He is not a good father. A good father wouldn’t teach his kids to disrespect the mother of their children because ultimately they are going to grow up to be like him. If you have sons they will learn this behaviour and teach him this is how you treat women. If you have a daughter she will grow up believing this is how she should be treated. I urge you to want more for your children, and for yourself. Sending love and strength


    • trailblazer says:

      Why do you put up with that? If he’s that bad, how can he be a good father? Good fathers do not express his awful behavior. Sounds like you need to close the door and not return.


    • Piddlesticks says:

      It’s pretty shitty of you to try and invalidate another woman’s experience just because you think yours is worse. I am married to someone similar to what you describe, but one of the MAJOR things that bothers me is that he constantly blows off family time with me and baby to watch his stupid shows or study. I get it, TV and studying are part of life, but so is family. I completely understand that this is one of the reasons she decided to leave. Nobody wants to feel neglected.


    • Chris says:

      Ooooh – you’re either a troll or quite stupid! Are you also green and have bad B.O?


    • Susan says:

      My ex was a shitty husband. No physical abuse, but I was basically the maid, cook, day-care provider, and he wouldn’t even answer me when I spoke. I finally divorced him. Unfortunately it was too late. My kids emulate the way they saw their dad treat me, I’m constantly being blocked, not invited to family functions, not even a text on Mother’s Day or my b-day. Often no responses when I speak, or I’m just interrupted and ignored. Leave your shitty husband before your sons and daughters think this treatment is normal


      • Estelle says:

        Susan, this makes me so sad. As someone who is 26 and no longer has a mother because she died when I was 12, I wish I could tell your kids to appreciate you. I see you ❤️ and I hope it gets better and you get the love and respect you deserve


    • jtblackstone says:

      Everyone is fighting their own battles. Your lack of empathy for someone else in pain because you have it worse only makes you foolish for staying with an abusive spouse.


  3. Cheryl Johnson says:

    Thanks, Matt. My husband of 25 yrs read it and was shocked. He thought it describes himself perfectly. He’s not generally an asshole, but he does believe there are only certain things he needs to do, and all the little things can be neglected. But like you say it’s a little things that make the difference. Every day there are things to do and to decide and as his wife I need help! After reading your first letter he has already made an effort. That means the world to me.

    Now I wonder if the majority of divorces are caused by these small things that men neglect, the daily affirmations etc, because in general I think women try harder to make the marriage work. I know this is a huge generalization, but I really wonder if that could be a main issue. Sorry guys. But my dad got divorced after 35 yrs (mom met someone else) and wonders why wives are always mad. Uh, dad you ignored mom’s request to move your papers off the table and to help a little. She didn’t ask for much and gave so much. They are good friends now — I think he knows he was a shitty husband.


  4. Kim Hipps says:

    Dear Lord! Have you got a hidden camera recording my life? That was actually scary to read! I’ve known I have a shitty husband, but thank you for the confirmation.


  5. adam says:

    Well Perfect husbands or wives does not exist and both can be shitty. Crisis are triggered by inconsiderate expectations from either of the partner. Freedom and respect should be the line of of conduct, that means for instance companionship with care, distance and love, never passion and fusion. It does not work and lead to frustration overtime. Not asking or being demanding for something that the other part does not want to give. Let it go. Smile to your partner always and build a story on a common values and behaviours, that is the most important.


  6. Laura says:

    Thank you for writing this. Really. I am a wife feeling like Im an invisible sidekick to his endeavors but if you ask him, he will say the same about how I make him feel. Im too naggy, nothing makes me happy, and the thing Im best at? He says is making people feel shitty about themselves. I dont do it intentionally and I know he doesnt either but after some time the love starts to fade and resentment and loneliness kick in. Instead of listening we’re defending. Ive started a calendar of how many days in the month we dont talk and are simply transactional. It astounded me, the way I feel my life slipping by and time flying by the second, when I just want to have someone look at me. Actually look into my eyes and see me. Not pretty, or sexy, or even ok, just to look and see Im here too. A hand squeeze would be fantastic.I understand why some marriages fail and why people drift now. It takes 2 to communicate, and for the people who are not as good at expressing themselves I believe you’ve really nailed it on the head. You’ve put into words what I’ve been longing to hear. Thank you for saying what you have. I know its not my husband saying it, but it does feel
    nice to know someone out there understands. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jerry Fender says:

    You sound like a wimp. Thant’s why she left you. Women are not that complicated. She left you because she found less benefit from staying with you. You are a live person who deserves watch a show if it’s important to you.


    • Matt says:

      1. Or, maybe I sound like a dude who wrote something a month after losing his family. (Five years ago, by the way.)

      2. Relationships ARE complicated. Which is why the vast majority of them fail (dating and married couples).

      They’re complicated because they involve more than one person, regardless of gender. And the root cause of every shitty thing that happens on earth (not counting naturally occurring things like disease and natural disasters) can be traced back to one thing: the inability of any two people or groups to not be assholes to each other whenever they disagree about something.

      People sucking at interpersonal relationships is why bad shit happens.

      Can’t be overstated.


      • Lisa Gottman says:

        Interesting to read a man’s comment that “women aren’t complicated”. I seriously doubt I would agree with Jerry’s assessments of what the average woman thinks based on his take of this post.

        I agree with you that humans are complicated, relationships are complicated.

        It doesn’t mean they can’t be understood. Only that it takes effort to get it right. Your blog has been helpful to many, many people to understand and change.

        It’s always strange to me that certain men feel compelled to write insults to you. But it says a lot more about their defenses than anything about you.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Rebekah says:

      Jerry, you sound like a jerk. If I were your wife…well no self-respecting woman would marry you to begin with. You DEFINITELY would be a shitty husband.


  8. Ash says:

    It’s rare for people to be this honest with themselves, so thank you. Even if my husband dosnt understand, it’s nice to be validated by someone who gets it. It has let me know that I’m not alone, I’m not too demanding or naggy… and I am definitely not crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Young Lady says:

    How much I would give for my husband to read this, but even if I send it to him, he won’t read it. We have been married for 2 years. He is that good husband, smart, handsome, with a good job, nice past life. We travel together, go out, etc. I know he loves me but he doesn’t listen to me. He says he does, but when I’m telling him a good news, he is just waiting for me to finish so he can finally turn the TV on. I ALWAYS hear what he says, and I make conversations even if the topic he likes is boring.I love him, and I hope he really gets this soon. I’m so scared of our life being like this, that I dont wanna have a baby. I know with a men like this, this situation will get worse. I’m not asking him a house, or money (I work and study at the same time): I JUST WANT HIM TO HEAR ME (and act like if he is doing it). I’ve told this many times, but he doesn’t get it :(
    This should be a manual for newlyweds.


    • bendavid says:

      That is not the sign of a bad husband. All men are, more or less, like that.
      I suggest that for him to show an interest in what you say, you should show an interest in what he likes. Maybe you’re used to being worshipped, but marriage is not about romantic dinners and staring into each other’s eyes. Marriage can be boring, a grind. It’s up to the partners to make it as pleasant as possible.
      Why not plan an activity he would like, something you both can do together. Boat ride, watching a game at the arena, watching an action film he would like. That would put him in a good mood and you’ll find he’s more apt to listen when he feels happy.


      • E. Dirgis says:

        I disagree. My first husband had an actual hearing problem and yet still managed to hear and listen to what I was saying. My current husband can ask me a question about something he wants to know and still ask me “what” after I’ve answered him.

        And I know it’s not me. No one at any job I’ve had has asked me to repeat myself, told me I mumble, or asked to me speak up. My family doesn’t.

        It’s maddening. Even when I need to tell him something important, I try several, separate times until I think I have his attention (he is looking at me, he responds, he asks follow up questions), he still has no idea later what I said.

        And I’ve noticed he does not do this with others. And his excuses about being in a loud room or distracted, or whatever, also do not fly since he manages to hear others in the same situation.


        • Gail says:

          Sounds like emotional abuse to me. The phrase “Gasslighting” springs to mind. Be aware of the power of people to undermine your self confidence just to bring theirs up a little.


  10. […] get comment from people who read An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1 and tell me that I’m better off without my wife, because at least now I can watch The Masters […]


  11. […] you ever read “An open letter to shitty husbands.” It’s a whole series about how men suck at being husbands. I found so much truth about my […]


  12. Ree says:

    If only I could have shown this to my ex husband of 15 years! Such real introspective observation! I’m sure this was tough to evolve in writing but amazing to realize in the end!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jess Liles says:

    You can stick this up your ass sideways! You cook, you clean, you work OT and now she has you believing you were a shitty husband? Dude you are messed up! Let me get this straight, you are providing shelter, cars, money, and are happy but once a year during a golf game she wants you to take her out, knowing it’s only once a year?! Dude she is testing you, trying to piss you off so she would have an excuse to feel better about cheating on you! Oh yeah, she has been cheating on you for a while, but you have been too dumb with your happy life to notice it! You must either be the dumbest male on the face of this earth, or the most incomprehensible. Do yourself a favor and delete this ignorance. She was using you, cheating, and finally had a good enough grasp on another branch to bounce!
    Tell that bitch, goodbye and walk away!


    • bendavid says:

      While your idea has merit (cuz I’m not sure if you have actual facts that the Wife cheated) let’s not rage on Matt. He was in grief at the time, and he blamed himself. He saw himself as the one at fault.

      It’s true his wife left him for mundane reasons. Other women have it much worse. Your theory makes sense that she was in an affair and used Matt while she could.

      In which case, Matt is better off without her. He also entered a period of soul searching. This won’t hurt him. He emerges from this stronger and more engaged.


      • Matt says:

        Appreciate this, but you’ll have to forgive me for thinking that waxing intellectual with Jess might not be a productive use of time and energy. :)


      • scarltbear says:

        Just another take on this bendavid.. You say other women have it worse. Don’t you think that crosses our minds? Don’t you think women berate themselves by saying “How dare I be dissatisfied? Unhappy? He’s a good man. I have friends who have it much worse. How dare I?” Because *newsflash* WE DO. BUT, that said, should we settle for that? Should we just suck it up and live with “good enough” because our husband is happy and sees nothing wrong? I UNDERSTAND no relationship is perfect. I UNDERSTAND both parties are not happy with the relationship/other person all the time. Of course that will happen. You are 2-different people with different life experiences, different likes and dislikes. But, to allow complacency in any endeavor, especially relationships, is dangerous.

        When we become adults, we want to do what WE want to do. We don’t want to be told we can’t do what WE want. We perceived this as one of the perks of growing up – we can do whatever we want (within reason, of course). That’s what being single and dating is for. Once you get married, it is a give-and-take. Sometimes, you still get to do what you want to do. Other times you have to take the feelings of your husband/wife into consideration. You would do that much for your best friends. Why wouldn’t you do it for your spouse?

        It’s not being pussy-whipped or being a wimp. It’s being considerate. EVERYONE deserves consideration.

        I will now step off my soapbox.

        Thank you for doing this blog, Matt. I’m relieved to hear that, even though it was after the fact, you are willing to examine and learn from the failure of the relationship. Hopefully, your ex-wife is too. It takes both people to make it work and neither party is innocent.

        I don’t understand some of the comments I’ve read. I mean, some of the things you say are things you would do for your friend. Why wouldn’t you do it for your spouse?


    • Gail says:

      Dude! You don’t know anything from the wife’s point of view so best not to assume so much as it makes you look stupid. Read the blog again – go on – you know you want to. He’s admitting he NEGLECTED his family – or did you miss that. HE is the one who’s made the connection that IN THIS EXAMPLE he put a game of golf that he could have recorded, above making precious memories with his family. Do you imagine on their deathbed anybody in their right mind would wish they stayed in and watched an unmemorable game of golf rather than took the time to bond with their kid doing something the whole family loved? He’s not blaming his wife for anything, but he’s accepting responsibility for the 50% of the breakdown as he sees it. He’s making the connections so he can heal.

      Jeez – if only all men were willing to do that it would be awesome. I don’t know whether his wife was a full time mom, worked full time or what. I don’t know what she did wrong. But from experience I can tell you that most men I know will NOT work full time and co-parent their children to the degree mom’s do when they also work full time. There are exceptions, but often they are rare.


  14. Leslie Dodge says:

    This is fabulous! Thank you for being honest and willing to share your story! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Abes says:

    I wish you could be friends with who im married to
    can’t help but compare – in the same
    Situation my husband will not say it nicely the way you did
    Talking – most of the time try to talk but he does not face me


  16. Elka De Lima says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for being a real man, owning your own shit & actually trying to educate others to do the same before their wives leave them.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Tonya Clark says:

    I think this is amazing, every article and I don’t think it’s just for men because I learned something as well on how I can i.prove as a wife because it goes both ways and sometimes the wife is the asshole to. I want to show it to my husband but I’m afraid he will be offended or mad thinking I’m calling him shitty. Maybe someone could suggest a good way to bring it up to him with out seeming like I’m attacking him.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Broonessa says:

    Yea, I realize I’m commenting on an old post but..maybe it will be relevant to a newcomer..Being way older than probably most that have commented….it takes teamwork. And evaluating what is more important. Could you DVR the tournament and spend time with the family? Sure you could. Could the wife give you one day to watch a show? Depends…do you watch golf every week and this show is something special and you need down time? Again…team work. Plan for outings. Plan for time together as a family. Be spontaneous, but yet be forgiving if someone had a crappy week and just needs a few hours alone to get their shit together. Families won’t break over an hour or two where someone needs time alone..unless that is the norm…then that is a problem. It is about give and take. Yea first MOST of the time but damn it be real…..we ALL need some down time alone to get our shit together! What is the first thing they tell you on an airplane…put your mask on first or you are no good to anyone else. Take care of yourself..take care of the family…BUT, everyone needs some alone is good for us all. Don’t feel so guilty for needing to get your shit together…not at the expense of the family as a whole…but enough to keep yourself sane. Thanks for the post….but don’t be so hard on yourself either.


    • Murphy nelson says:

      These assholes don’t get it at all…who gives a shit if you chose to watch golf rather than help in making opportunities to maybe make more offspring…thank gawd. I don’t believe in god. In fact, I think religion is one of the most terrible things to happen to the human race..but it as a cultural attribute did help us in some ways to evolve socially…and I’m not talking about Christianity, you nitwit Republican wasp.

      The original point is that you’re so disgusting because you don’t have any part of you that’s original that you in fact help further the desperately needed argument of the atheists, which is that there is no benevolent force that’s going to save us. You are so ridiculously unlayered that you’re proof that humans are merely evolved from animals. You’re fucking stupid. Goddamnit…let me guess you’re in business of some sort…you’re in sales or you’re a manager…


  19. Murphy nelson says:

    Oh my god your worst mistake is being the most unoriginal, biggest cliche ever. Are you even human? I’m glad you and your wife broke up because at least it gives the rest of the world a break from you procreating. Jesus fucking Christ you must be like the biggest asshole Republican loser in the western hemisphere. I love the Masters! I love Monday night football! I love hanging out with my Bros in my man cave! What a fucking loser! Goddamnit you fucking cookie cutter piece of shit!


  20. Greg says:


    Thank you for sharing. You’ve clearly gained a lot of insight from your experiences.

    I am currently a shitty husband who will be married to my amazing wife for five years in September. I am the luckiest man in the world to be married to my wife and to have the three most beautiful children on Earth. But, I suck. I have lots to work on. So, thank you again for sharing this blog.


  21. S says:

    Interesting. I really enjoyed reading this. For some reason vol 6 came up first. My husband would say the list of 5 things, but he could probably only say 3 of them. AND would still call himself not a shitty husband. Actually I think he would just list the first one(and not 50 hours, but 40 and pay 65% of our bills) and just that alone in his opinion would not make him a shitty husband. What does it take to get through to him that this is just not even close to enough??!!


  22. Lara Anderson says:

    I sent some of these articles to my husband and this is the response I got.

    I hope you’re enjoying yourself Lara because there’s plenty I wish you’d do because you’re a shitty wife but it’s always about me

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Yeah. He felt attacked and defensive. I’ve been thinking A LOT about this lately. I’m trying to find the best words to share these ideas with men in a way that reduces instances of them feeling attacked.

      You were trying to help him understand you, and it backfired because instead of viewing it as an opportunity to learn something about you that could benefit your marriage, he interpreted it as you saying he was a bad person, and an inadequate romantic/life partner.

      It hurt his feelings. I remember what that feels like, so I get where he’s coming from.

      I’m still working on this. I’m still working on a way to share this with people in a more thoughtful and nuanced way that welcomes them to an important conversation rather than puts them on the defensive.

      I’m sorry this happened, Lara.

      Liked by 1 person

      • M says:

        right, that makes sense. The writer is really writing to himself, because you aren’t going to get through to very many men by calling them a “shitty husband” I get it all, but the defenses are going to come up pretty high on this.

        Liked by 2 people

  23. Fed up wife says:

    My husband needs an intervention and for someone (other than myself) to send this to him… how does one coordinate that? If I send it to him he’s going to think I’m threatening divorce and only makes him angry and lash out even more, yet he just doesn’t get that I’m not f-ing kidding and it’s not empty threats!!!)

    This blog post IS my husband (almost) to a tee, except you could add in that he hasn’t worked in over 2 years (there are plenty of somewhat legitimate excuses, but he’s made very little effort to date to overcome them and of course none of them are his own doing) and he spends more time in a week or watching sports and following social media than he does looking for/applying for real work

    I’m a consultant (work from home) who scaled back my hours/clients right before having our son (now 20 months old) and only technically took a month off before resuming work for one of my smaller clients (only once my son was out of his stay in the NICU, or it would have been sooner).

    I currently only work a handful of hours per week for 3 total clients (and could do/bill more) but I feel like I’m always getting push back/sabotaging behavior (in an undermining way) from my hubby when it comes to finding time to get work done.

    I can count on one hand the number of times he’s done an overnight shift with our kid (who still wakes up at least twice between midnight and 6am, usually a few times between 4 and 6am). He has offered once and I’ve had to ask the other 2-3 times (to which his initial response was “no” and caused a huge fight)

    He DOES thankfully usually take the baby from 6am-9am so I can get a little extra rest (which I see as part of my overnight sleep, but he thinks is equivalent of Gods gift to the world). He also does most of the meal prep… so I can’t complain about that.

    But, again he watches a disproportionate amount of sports (European soccer, baseball, football, hockey are the “untouchables”, pulse golf and tennis when there are big tournaments) and so the sheer amount of time that his ASS is on our couch in a day is at least tenfold of what mine is in a month. When I’m “watching” the kid, 75+% of the time he watches sports (um, mind you his priority SHOULD be looking for a J.O.B) when he’s with the kid… 80-90% of the time I’m either doing work for clients or cleaning the house or doing laundry, etc. I have NEVER once spent even spent a millisecond lounging on a sofa to read a book or watch a movie while he entertains the little in the other room (I can count on less than two hands in 20 months when I might have gone upstairs for a 30min nap because of a rough all-nighter with the baby)

    In 20 months I have yet to ever be alone in my own house while he is out doing something with our kid. And if I did, the place would be spotless and only then I would take a bath if there was time left!!

    In contrast… this week I took the toddler on a 5 hour outing to a children’s museum. Came home and there was still a pile of mated (which I had done the day before) baby socks on the coffee table, a WET (with pee) diaper on the family room floor between the couch and the coffee table (that HE took off my son right before we left in the morning and left there), the counters were a mess, the sink was full of dishes, the floor was a mess and could have clearly used a vacuum… and to top it off, when I asked how his day was… he told me how he took two of the dogs for a walk to the liquor store to buy beer because he was out. And then also proceeded to tell me the front tire in the stroller (which he took along so he could wheel the beer home) might need to be pumped up (which I just checked 3 days later… is low)

    I just exhaled, moved on with my day (I had an event that evening, he stayed home with the kid… I was thankful for that) and the next day the same mess lingered for most of the day until I came down after putting the little one to bed and he was watching sports, on the couch (all things, except the diaper on the floor) in the same condition or worse to the day before)… to which I took a deep breath and said “can we please do a quick pick up of the house”… and I have to give him credit, he didn’t complain and helped out. But it PAINS me to HAVE to ask for help with the OBVIOUS!!!

    Then today, I was getting ready to help a friend out at her local store (I fill in every once in a while, less than once every month) for THREE hours. So this morning after he had the tot for about 3hrs, he texted me to see if I was up and I told him I was, but needed to jump in the shower and had to leave for the shop in an hour…

    Strike 1- his reply “didn’t you take a shower yesterday”… I explain that I did, but then we went swimming and my hair is all messed up (mind you he has NEVER needed “permission” to take a shower and I don’t recall the last time he’s even given me a heads up that he was going to take one.

    A few minutes later he asked if I could do him a favor and watch our son for 10 minutes while he used the bathroom… so I said “sure” and brought him into the shower with me (which obviously takes more time and effort than if I were solo) … after the shower finished the little one was running around naked, climbing on a stool and trying to play with the sink faucet (which requires supervision still so he doesn’t fall and split his chin, etc.) I was stuck and couldn’t leave the bathroom get dressed/get myself ready so I called for my hubby to come up and get the kid dressed, etc. and said I needed to leave in 20min. I heard him reply, but couldn’t understand what he said and thought he was on his way…

    … about 5 minutes later, I’ve finally wrangled a diaper on a screaming kid (which I know he can hear downstairs) and I call down asking hubby to “please come now that I need to get dressed and leave in 15 minutes”

    Strike 2- he calls back that he’s “laying down for a little bit before he has to take our son for the rest of the day” 🤯 …

    [Never mind that I’m only going to be gone for 3hrs (2 of which he kid is going to be sleeping) AND he slept alone in our room, completely undisturbed from 11pm-6am while I shared a bed with a restless toddler in the other room because he kept waking up… yet I’m the one getting ready to go work for a few hours)

    So I call back down that I still need to get dressed, blow dry and eat something… to which he responds “why are you yelling?”… and I say, calmly, because I assume (or am giving him the benefit of the doubt that he can’t hear me)” and reiterate that I need help so I can finish getting ready… to which he replies “go ahead, it’s called parenting” 🤯🤯🤯

    I tell him he’s being an ass and ask him to at least bring me an article of clothing I needed from the laundry or I’m going to walk down the stairs naked (his dad is visiting and staying in the room across from our laundry area)… to which he asked “hanging on which door” and I couldn’t help but say “there are only two doors it’s on one of them!!!”

    Then he has the audacity to come up the stairs while continuing to lecture me about how I should be able to parent my child while getting ready 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯… apparently it’s called “being a parent” people. And I helped remind him that I know and I parent that kid all night, while HE sleeps. So he should be able to parent the kid while he naps too.

    By this time I need to be out the door in less than 10 minutes so I leave him with a screaming toddler to blow dry, gave the baby a kiss and left… of course hubby thinks we are hunky dory

    Then he calls while I’m at the store, says our son just woke up and they are coming to visit and talking all about plans for the afternoon and seems completely miffed that I’m still pissed at him and told him he and his dad should take our son and go enjoy, I have plenty of work to get done at home (and quite frankly wasn’t in the mood to hang out with HIM) today.

    And long story short (too late for that I guess) proceeds to say things for the rest of the afternoon like… “I knew you were going to make a big fight out of this” and “why should we suffer and not have fun because of your bad mood” (when I had actually responded to everything quite calmly (because I’ve lost the ability to give a flying F at this point).

    So in the end he and his dad go off to do their thing while I keep the toddler at home (we had a new sitter coming to visit) and he comes back, makes a comment (aka excuse) about “the problem was I didn’t go to sleep until 11:30 last night and had one too
    many drinks with his dad”… no, apology or sorry I was being a dick… just a lame attempt to reason

    To which again I don’t even give a single F enough to acknowledge he said anything (not that it even warranted a response)

    So he makes dinner (while I put the toddler to bed for a 3rd night in a row, when we are normally supposed to trade off) and thinks again we are all just hunky dory (because he made dinner like he usually does)

    So… I guess I’m asking, what’s the best way to go about coordinating an intervention before it’s really too late (although I’m not entirely sure that it isn’t already)

    Any chance someone has a service where I can send his email and they send an anonymous note??


  24. one more wife says:

    Hello Matt,

    What a great text you wrote! It feels that is more for us, the (lost)wives than the husbands… as we notice in the comments.
    Made me understand a lot of things about my marriage, especially that it’s not always my fault.
    I grew up seeing how my alcoholic father was horrible and made my mother destroy herself and involving me and my sisters on that all, feels like i did fall in the trap of the bad relationship too ( not as bad as my mother for sure!).
    Just like the rest of the girls here, i wanted my husband to care more for me…
    Looks like a lot of women had the bad experience of been left alone in the hospital after giving birth, my husband spent few hours in these 4 days i had to be in the hospital because he was too tired after our son born (?!?), and still did bring his friend in these hours or kept talking in the phone all the time. He did and say so many other things that did hurt me too..many times aware of it.
    I am happy to say that reading the stuff here i noticed i am not the evil wife nagging about things and looking for problems all the time in the marriage. I am not saying i am the perfect one. But now i see i am not the crazy lost one. I feel encouraged to take the step and go away from him :D
    Believe or not, it feels much better when we realise we just don’t care anymore for what the guy does!
    We can do fine by our own or at least try! Maybe find someone else who deal a better with the life together and is not that selfish.
    I hope you have your second chance to show to someone how more nice and kind you became <3 thanx for "stand with us"


  25. Nathaniel Calverley says:

    Oh my god I have never read such pussy whipped drivel in my life .Someone please shoot me now I will never get this emasculating garbage out of my head.


  26. A shitty husband for wanting to do things you wanna do sometimes? This whole article is ridiculous. She leaves a man who supports her and is loyal and a good dad because of her own selfishness and immaturity.


  27. John Doe says:

    With so many low life pieces of shit women nowadays which they will never make a good wife at all since they really are nothing but real total losers altogether to begin with. MGTOW is the real true and very safe way for many of us good single men since this will certainly save many of us men a lot of money, torture, pain, misery, and we will never have to worry about losing in court as well.


  28. Shona says:

    Thank you for your post. Wife of one shitty husband reading this post and crying in middle of night. Somehow your post is comforting. Ty’

    Liked by 1 person

  29. lindaclaros9345 says:

    I’m crying as I read your blog because it resonates with me in such a deep level. I’m the wife to a husband who does all the things you’re telling men not to do to their wives. Here I sit in our home. Still hoping he will come around and prove to me he can be a better husband. I asked for a divorce on Christmas Eve. I hit a point where I can no longer take it but when I read your blog it gave me hope. I thought if he could only read this. So I put myself once again in a vulnerable position and shared it with him and told him I still very much love him but if he can’t give me what I deserve I’m done. Thank you for sharing this and I’m sorry that it was too late for you but thank you for putting it out there for future and current husbands. On a bright side. You will find love again and I hope that you’re everything you should be and her to you. Blessings!


  30. canton says:

    now where is the blogs about equally shitty wives?


    • Moops says:

      I’m trying to wrap my head around this whole line of thinking. Why is this man not entitled to watch something that brings him great joy that occurs once a year? Why is it incumbent on the husband to be the selfless one? I think a non-shitty person would attempt to use some logic and reason – there will be MANY nice days that you can spend with the family throughout the course of the year. Wouldn’t a non-shitty WIFE grasp this? And obviously there would need to be reciprocity from the husband – if there is something special she wants to do – go along with it. Hell, I would generally do what my wife wanted even if it was mundane – but you are a human being who is entitled to enjoy his life and occasionally stay home and watch a golf outing if you would like.

      I would never expect this type of behavior from a spouse – husband or wife. Neither spouse should be groveling or subservient to the other. Show mutual respect and use some common sense.


  31. Rob says:

    The fact of the matter is that she quit. And without a real justification (infidelity, abuse, etc.) the one who quits is always at fault.
    Yes, you should’ve skipped the masters. And my wife should’ve done the dishes last week while I was at work last week instead of watching TV during the kids’ naptime. But I didn’t throw a pity party and take another step on the road to divorce, I came home from work and did the fucking dishes myself instead of watching TV.
    And I’m sure she daily does the same thing for me, putting aside something that bothers her and just dealing with it, without me even realizing.
    That’s what marriage is, you fucking fools.


    • Gail says:

      Really? You don’t consider systematic neglect real justification because the article positively DRIPS with it. Marriage is a two way street, but when one person neglects to honour the needs of the other and becomes so engrossed in seeing only their own needs at the expense of the greater good of their family, THAT’s when things fall apart. Shame we can’t ask the wife how she saw the marriage because I suspect she’d be able to add quite a few more things. Bully for you that you and your wife can support each other in this way and that you don’t neglect your family unit. Really proud and you and happy that you are perfect. The author of this blog is admitting that he neglected his family. He’s ADMITTING it Rob. You don’t have to extrapolate anything because unless you’re illiterate it’s all laid out in black and white – NEGLECT. So calling people Fucking fools is counterproductive and only goes to show that you’re just trolling!

      Shame on you Rob – S.H.A.M.E


  32. Maria Gorham says:

    I was with a dickhead ex husband for 10 years and I married him anyway, divorced 2-1/2 years later. Met my now Soulmate, I married him after being with him for 5 months!? I Adore my husband of 15 years… I gave him 3-6 months to turn into the dickheads that I’m used to, but it hasn’t happened… I’m scared to death to see what a dickhead looks like on his beautiful person??? I don’t mind letting him watch what he likes, I’m a fair weather fan of Football and baseball, I’ll only watch the Championships. So being a Pat’s fam can tend to be a bit of a struggle and all, (yeah, He likes my sense of humor.) and The RedSox ain’t all that bad, I even went golfing with him and his friend, I threw the golf ball in the air and hit it like a baseball, yeah… they were silenced for a second, but I walked away as if I had meant to do that!? Atleast I got to ride the golf cart for the rest of the day, I had a decent tan a few days later too. Marriage is good and bad, but for me? It’s alll goood! He worked 80 hours a week to build me the bedroom of my dreams…literally! 20x25x10. I barely recall what the rest of my house looks like? Oh! I have 3 kids… 33, 28, and 11. The 2 oldest are on their own journeys with their Soulmates and my almost 4th grandchild, but I’m happy to say that they the Man I finally hooked made their Mom happy after being in a miserable, loveless, relationship. Why you ask? He’s a Junky! Don’t do drugs kids, THAT’S WHAT TURNS YOU INTO A DEAD ASSHOLE! Oh! He’s still alive, just a bigger more annoying asshole that my current husband got to know for the last 15 years, in its entirety. 😳🔫 <— That’s me. I enjoyed typing this… lol. I’ll continue to read your blog, I hope your Children/Child takes up Sports…It’s good for the Soul…Atleast that’s what the Soup says!


  33. Lorraine Bennett says:

    How sad for the man who loses his wife and family and yet, he still doesn’t learn. I’m the girlfriend after the divorce and after 11 months of dating, I’ve ended our relationship. It’s so painful but I deserved better! And it makes me mad that my boyfriend never took the time or made the effort to see his part in the ruin of his marriage so all that selfishness came into our relationship too.


  34. Jennifer says:

    This was a great article. Thank you for sharing. It’s those things those little things that mean nothing to you that mean everything thing to us😁. I’d share this with my husband but he would have something negative to say. 😑


  35. Dorothy says:

    You are way too hard on yourself. I’ve been married almost 11 years and have 3 kids. If my husband said he wanted to watch the finals, and it only happened once a year, I’d say go for it! We have 364 other days of the year to hang out and go to the park. Family first is always nice but husbands need their alone time too, to pursue what interests them. If your wife gave you a hard time over something like that, I feel bad for you and hope you find someone more understanding than she was.


  36. Doesn’tmatter says:

    Sad, but redeeming story.

    That’s how I feel. Alone in my marriage.


  37. Angela Guerra says:

    Interesting unfortunately husbands never see this during their marriage. They are too caught up in saying .. their wife bitches to much.
    I am 110% sure if I could help my husband see I am.not not bitching, I am trying to protect what I should our friendship. Divorce may not follow if my spouse were to take a step back and listen.


  38. Chris says:

    I finally read this series. It took me a year after saving it and a fight with my wife this morning to do so, but I did it. And, in all honesty, I can relate to every single thing you said, in every volume. Thank you for writing this. I really needed to read this today.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. trdunsworth says:

    My wife told me about this site when she mentioned my daughter sent it to her husband. After reading the intro and this first volume, I see a lot of myself in here and plan on reading the rest and learning from them so I can be better.

    Thanks for putting this out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Chicago says:

    I feel resentful that my husband does not help around the house. He NEVER does dishes or cleans. He has said he doesn’t’ think he should have to since he works. I work at least as many hours as him at my day job, plus I have a side business I am trying to start. I also do all of the shopping, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the pets, and minor repairs around the house (fix garbage disposal, fix dishwasher, fix furnace). He sleeps a lot more hours than me every day. On his days off work he lounges and refuses to do anything helpful. His only priorities are fishing, football, and hanging out with his friends. I don’t think he has ever cheated on me, he is not physically abusive, but he often says very hurtful things. I feel like he is slowly suffocating any remaining affection I have had for him. I consider myself an extremely loyal person and don’t’ want to get a divorce, but after 15 years of being taken advantage of I feel extreme resentment. I’ve tried to talk to him about this many times but he just launches into a tirade of denial. He is a master at changing the subject to anything other than what I am trying to discuss with him. I am losing hope that there is a solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Not even close says:

    I am laughing at what is being called “shitty husband.”

    My husband hasn’t held a job for more than 3 months in over 2 years. He drinks like a fish, just bought a $27K car, but can’t pay for it, sits on the couch all day in his underwear. Won’t do chores. Won’t mow lawn.

    He curses me out in front of the 10 yr old, then on facebook. I am holding down a job plus 3-4 extra pt jobs at a time, cub scout leaders, plus everything else I do.

    I laugh at what this post calls a “shitty husband.” I will laugh harder at divorce court.


  42. Christina says:

    I married a shitty man. He sounds a lot like the man in your blog. I won’t go into detail, but I didn’t trust my instincts and ended up marrying him. I should have dumped him years ago, but my parents taught me that you have to compromise in any marriage and so I stupidly believed that I needed to compromise me and my standards so that I could be happy!! Add to that this a*hole pleaded with me to not leave and vowed he’d change (*groan*). And now I’m left pretty much knowing that a lot of people are like him, as I see it in friend’s husbands – and it makes me sad for humanity that these a*holes are not wiped out in some freak napalming accident rather than being allowed to destroy the lives of others.

    But happily I’ve discovered a way to vent my frustrations – trashing his computer servers without him realising it was me (he blames power spikes and disk whatnots in his ignorance) is very cathartic – it’s amazing how much damage can be done by just pulling the power cord out of the back of one of these “what’s he compensating for” hunks of metal and plastic. I also love hiding things I know he’s looking for and then replacing them somewhere close to where I know he’s looked. It may be a form of abuse – I don’t freaking care, because if you knew what this **** had done to me and to countless other innocent people you wouldn’t lose any sleep over it – he sure never did and only escaped jail time by the skin of his teeth!!

    I can finally leave him next year as the house can be sold, but until then my only source of sanity comes from those small retaliations, those seemingly insignificant events that cause him a tiny percentage of the heartache and emotional turmoil that he puts me through by just being alive and making me look at his face every day. I’d seriously advocate any wife seeking payback, however small or insignificant the incidents, whilst also looking for healthy ways to move forward and heal. After all, isn’t the secret to a happy life balance??


  43. Stephanie says:

    Wow. I wish my husband would care enough to read this but I know he won’t. He’s so wrapped up in his job. He doesn’t help me do anything around the house. I clean, cook, do all the shopping, yard work etc. He sits on his computer doing his insurance reports. Makes calls joking and blabbing about so & so. Yet he’s got no time for me. But when to go to the doctor for my lupus the MS he’s all acting like the caring husband. I just want to cry and tell the doctor this is all BS. Just this morning he was yelling in my face because I cleaned the dresser and he couldn’t find his phone charger. Come to find out, it was in his truck. But no I didn’t get an oh honey am sorry. I still got don’t touch the stuff on my dresser. Humm. Believe me – I’d like to pack my dresser and just run away. But am sick. Can’t really go back to being a EMT with my sickness. Oh well. My shitty story. Lol…night world.


  44. kcm1blog says:

    I’m going to be looking through the rest of your blog, Matt, thank you! I really really appreciate what you’re doing here, and I hope you are doing well with your coaching, because it sounds like You Have A Clue! Yes!!!

    I appreciate that you’re addressing the issue of the not-so-bad husband from the standpoint of “not-so-bad is not necessarily good enough”. I’m really tired of hearing, “well he pays his share, he doesn’t beat, he doesn’t cheat, he doesn’t steal or get stinking drunk, and that’s all you can expect from a man. This is all you deserve and you have to stay and do everything that remains undone, alone, even at the expense of having a life of your own, unless you want to be a spoiled brat about it.”

    (Hi Mom!! and yeah, being a “spoiled brat” by putting an ultimatum on being valued and respected in *all* my relationships doesn’t sound as bad as it used to, so sorry.)

    Thanks again for some refreshing reinforcement.


  45. john says:

    i love being a shitty husband, and I will never stop!


  46. Chris says:

    I read your entire letter series and it frightens me as I see myself in a similar situation. It’s all my fault for not showing my wife how attracted I am to her and how much I appreciate all the things she does for us and our kids. I am desperately trying to change my ways before it’s too late. To top it off, SHE’S the one telling me what to do to make it better and I keep screwing up. PLEASE someone tell me there’s a way for me to not be so stupid on how to make things right with her.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. H_Strangefellow says:

    I am here because I have been treated like this by my wife for.. well a long time. I have finally hit the wall on it and I am looking for advice and help online because I want this marriage to work. However, what I am not doing is sitting here raging at Matt or spewing all this nonsense I am seeing in these comments by the “real men”. As I read these posts, I see the things my wife does to me daily. But I am also examining my own behavior to see if I am at fault for any of these. The defensiveness of these guys and their “he should have left her.. other women have it worse.. the Masters… blah blah fucking testosterone blah”. The Not All Men crowd always piss me off because every single one of us, could be guilty of one, some, many or most of these behaviors Matt realized he was doing. Even me, as the damaged spouse, I still could be guilty of any number of the invalidation.

    Take your testosterone driven, feelings are for pussies, I bring home money she should do whatever I want bullshit and go sit in front of the mirror and read this again and the following ones and ask yourself, while you are sitting there alone with no one around that you need to be tough in front of; ask yourself if you are guilty of any of the invalidation, the emotionally abusive, the lack of empathy crimes. Be honest with yourself, and maybe try to grow a little, find some emotional intelligence and try to be a better husband (or wife – I have seen the rage filled comments from some of you women too, defending the shitty husbands).

    Maybe if people were a little more self-honest, a little more… clued in, then maybe there wouldn’t be so many divorce lawyers. Getting rich off everyone who can’t see past their own needs/wants to realize the other half of the marriage has them also.


  48. Dolores says:

    My husband is a shitty husband. He is addicted to porn. I found out recently he has been cheating on me for the last 20 years with women he meets locally or online. Meanwhile he was not wanting to be with me sexually during this time. Now, I know why. He was stepping out. Some women he invited over our place. with my daughter sleeping in her bedroom while I was working the nightshift. I worked while he refused to get or keep a job. He c/o the house not being kept up because although he doesn’t work he doesn’t want to help me clean up. I try and catch up on my days off. I have two jobs. I plan to divorce him in a couple of months.


  49. Unhappy wife says:

    Yes my husband is also a shitty husband he thinks because he works and provides a home he’s great, not so true he’s quite mean and gaming was more important to him than our marriage he gamed 24/7 until I almost divorced him he promised he would stop but he lied and just did it in secret. He puts everyone down and when I call him on on it he’s explanation is that he does it for good. He never apologizes when he does something wrong and when I try to tell him what’s bothering me he always gets defensive and brings the conversation to me saying I’m crazy or making things up to make himself look good. He didn’t even go to ones of the kids birth.


  50. K says:

    I read though this entire series yesterday and just cried. My husband is exactly like this. He essentially ignores me. I’ve been stuck raising 2 special needs children (autism and ADHD) and running the house, and running my own business all alone. Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of getting a divorce. He “doesn’t believe” in divorce and said he would refuse to sign the papers, so I could leave, but I’d be homeless on the street.


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