An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10


My wife felt unsafe because she could no longer trust me.

She didn’t feel unsafe because she thought I would physically hurt her or because she thought I couldn’t protect her if someone else tried.

She didn’t stop trusting me because she worried I might have sex with someone else.

My wife stopped trusting me because she determined I could not be counted on to be the partner she needed. As a parent. As a housemate. As a lover. As a financial partner.

It wasn’t the big things that brought her to that point. There often aren’t big things in marriage.

It was the little things. Often, it is the little things that scratch and claw and chip away at the integrity of a marriage until the union and its participants look nothing like they did when first formed.

She was a youthful, fun, vibrant, happy, joyful young woman.

She grew tired, weary, anxious, frightened, sad and angry.

I begged and pleaded for the girl I knew to come back once I stopped recognizing her. I grew sad and angry when she couldn’t or wouldn’t. I blamed her for not trying.

But I think maybe she wanted to. I think she wanted to feel like her old self again. But she simply couldn’t.

Because she couldn’t trust me.

So she kept her guard up.

Because she didn’t feel safe.

Men (I) Have a Problem

And I think maybe women have this same problem but because of the state of the world in which we live (where men sometimes literally believe they’re better than women), I think the male version is worse.

Men think and feel and experience the world around them in certain ways. We experience things, see things, hear things, digest information, and come to what we consider to be very rational, very logical, very sensible, very correct conclusions.

When you think you’re right, everyone who doesn’t see things the same way must be wrong. Thus, your wife or girlfriend is “wrong” A LOT.

For example, despite loving our wives, forsaking all others, being willing to die for them, and spending every day trying to earn more money and respect and admiration for and from them, our wives often FEEL unloved.

And because we don’t think it makes sense for them to feel unloved based on all the things I just listed—because we think it’s crazy, irrational and unreasonable—we pretty much ignore all suggestions to the contrary.

I am mocking and sarcastic. It is a brand of humor my friends and I have enjoyed for as long as I can remember. When I call my male friend a name or laugh at him about something, it is understood that he is my friend, he is loved and respected, and that by virtue of me wanting to be around him and wanting him to be part my social circle, that the comments and laughter are in fun and not mean-spirited.

My wife did not appreciate my mockery and sarcasm directed toward her. She was my wife and deserved a higher standard of treatment, she said.

She was right.

I accidentally hurt her feelings a lot. I NEVER did it on purpose. So I always got pissed when she’d get mad at me over something I did unintentionally.


The “intent” argument only works the first time.

If you’re out hunting and you fire a shot that accidentally kills someone in a nearby home you didn’t realize was there, you are unlikely to be charged with murder or homicide. Because it was an accident.

But if you go out hunting again to that same spot and accidentally kill a second person due to negligence? Have fun in prison.

My crime wasn’t hurting my wife’s feelings the first time. An accidental one-time offense is almost always forgivable. My crime was hurting my wife’s feelings repeatedly, even after she explained why it was happening.

Because I don’t respond to things the same way she does, I never really changed, and expected her to adjust to my “correct” way of thinking and feeling and behaving.

Go ahead and keep that up guys and let me know how it works out for you.

She’s going to fall in love and have sex with someone else, and she’s probably going to tell him and her friends what a chump you are.

You’re not going to like it.

The Thing About Trust

I don’t like to sound like I know everything, because I don’t know anything about you or your life or what you think and feel.

But what I think I’ve learned is that when I feel and experience something, I can feel confident that MANY others have felt and experienced it too. Because we’re not so different, you and me.


Shameless Self-Promotion Note About My Coaching Services

I started coaching in 2019. Clients and I work collaboratively through current and past relationship stuff in order to improve existing relationships or to prepare for future ones. Other clients are trying to find themselves after divorce or a painful breakup. We talk by phone or video conference. People like it. Or at least they fake it really well by continuing to schedule future coaching calls and give me more money. If you’re going through something and think I might be able to help, it’s really easy to find out for sure. Learn More Here.


I think most men think about trust in the context of infidelity.

I think one of the major hang ups guys have about committing to a relationship or to marriage when they’re young is that by doing so, they’re effectively promising to never have sex with anyone else again. I don’t know whether men like variety or options or freedom or what, but that’s a big deal when we’re younger.

I thought of marriage mostly as agreeing to a permanent girlfriend. By agreeing to marriage in my early twenties, I thought I was agreeing to have an exclusive relationship with my girlfriend forever and to not have sex with anyone else.

And that’s dangerous because a girlfriend isn’t that important and is reasonably easy to replace.

A wife?

In some respects (if you meant your vows) is irreplaceable and a piece of your soul gets poisoned and dies when you lose that fundamental part of you.

You take it for granted. You take her for granted.

Like your eyesight. Or functioning legs.

But they’re really important.

And you figure it out when they’re gone.

The trust is rarely about whether she worries about you cheating.

It’s more about whether she can trust you to not hurt her emotionally. About whether she can trust you to help her by not sabotaging her efforts to keep your house clean, or to plan activities with family and friends, or to be a reliable parenting partner.

We had this little stand in our bedroom. I have this thing—especially with jeans—where I wear them once or twice and consider them too clean for the laundry basket, but too dirty to fold and put away. Laundry limbo, if you will. I used to throw them on this stand in the back of our room.

She didn’t like it because it made the room look disorganized and she prided herself on a clean and tidy home.

She’d get mad at me because I kept thoughtlessly doing it even after repeated attempts to get me to stop.

Men think: Why’s she making a federal case about this? Is a pair of jeans sitting out somewhere in my bedroom where no visitors come really THAT big of a deal?

We rationalize it with our sensible, logical brains. And we don’t necessarily work very hard to change the behavior because: “She’s not going to leave me over laundry!”

No. She’s not going to leave you over laundry.

She’s going to leave you because she can’t trust you to be her partner because you don’t even respect her enough to put your laundry-limbo jeans in a different location.

“If I can’t trust him with this little teeny-tiny thing,” she thinks, “how can I ever trust him with my heart?”

You’re Like a Child

And in EVERY other situation in life, I’d tell you that’s a good thing. Kids laugh 200-300 times a day and love life and are happy and innocent and free. Adults are miserable.

We must never stop playing and laughing and dreaming and seeking fun and adventure.

But in a marriage? Being like a child is bad. That’s why children can’t and don’t get married.

Your wife used to be a girl.

The girl you fell in love with because she was beautiful and fun and playful and wanted you and made you feel good.

And now she doesn’t act like that anymore. She’s worn out. Angry. Short-tempered. Frustrated. Disinterested in your penis. And seems to not even like or respect you anymore.

And now you’re angry and resentful, because your mom never treated your dad like this, or because you thought she was just going to take care of you the way your mother always did.

You’re angry because you haven’t changed that much, but she has, and you feel cheated because she said “I do” and now she’s acting like the man she married isn’t good enough.

You feel unwanted, disrespected, and ashamed.

But, probably without realizing it, you did it to yourself.

Because you have a home, and finances, and maybe children or pets or possessions of significance. You’re not kids anymore. But you still act like one. When you playfully mock your friends or your wife. When you leave your pants out, or a dish in the sink, or forget to do that thing you promised on your way home.

And all these little things add up.

Why are you making such a big deal about this!?, you wonder.

And now she CAN’T be a kid anymore. She can’t play and laugh and live carefree anymore. Because you are. And if she does it too, nothing will ever get done.

The clothes will never get washed. Meals will never be made. The kids will never have what they need.

You refused to take the next step.

So she HAD to.

And now she’s angry, resentful, sad and afraid.

Because you’ve left all the adult work to her.

But, more importantly?

You left her with no choices. And now she doesn’t get to be who she used to be.

And you want that girl back.

But she can’t come back.

Because there’s no such thing as time travel.

But the clock’s still ticking.

You May Also Want to Read:

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1

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. 11

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 12

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 13


Like this post? Hate it? You can subscribe to this blog by scrolling annoyingly far to the bottom of this page and inserting your email address under “Follow Blog via Email.” You can also follow MBTTTR on Twitter and Facebook.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

157 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10

  1. Regina says:

    No she can’t come back. That wife was me. Divorced for many, many reasons but mostly it comes down to broken trust that, like you say, has nothing to do with infidelity. You are very wise and insightful. You totally get it, all of it, completely. Thank you for your writing. It has been hard to read because it describes my situation spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] found a refreshing blog and one of the letters this guy wrote about trust made me feel less insane… I wish all husbands could read this at […]


  3. Mary says:

    Oh yes, it is about trust. And especially about trusting your husband not to hurt you. It’s funny that I stumbled over this blog on my Facebook feed just a few days after I found out my husband has a son from a previous relationship that he never told me about.

    Yeah, how’s that for broken trust? He knew 27 years ago that the mom thought he was the father — though she had slept with other men at the same time — but he never bothered to follow up. And he never told his daughter from his next relationship. And he never told me, not when we met, not when we moved in together, not when we decided to get married.

    Not when he saw the young man’s name on his DAUGHTER’s Facebook feed because the man had approached her years ago and they became Facebook friends. Not when the man sent a friend request to my husband a few months ago.

    I found out last. His daughter, my beloved stepdaughter, couldn’t keep it a secret anymore (can you blame her?) and told one of my daughters, who told her sister. I found out when my daughter blurted it out the other day. She said she thought I knew. As if I would have also kept it to myself.

    If you ever read this, Matt, I think you’ll understand that it’s like the glass beside the dishwasher. He didn’t love me enough to share with me or give me the chance to understand or even to make the decision, 16 years ago, that a man with a hidden son would not be a great stepfather to my daughters. He didn’t love me enough a few months ago when the man contacted him.

    I don’t trust him not to hurt me again. I don’t believe things he says anymore. I don’t think he loves me.

    This is the second great betrayal, by the way. He also never told me at the beginning of the relationship that he has anxieties about sex. After the “honeymoon” period, the sex life dwindled away to a point that no one reading this would ever believe — yeah, I must be crazy.

    Thanks for writing these. Like I said, I just discovered them today. Funny how life works.


  4. cleverruthie says:

    Oh yes, it is about trust. And especially about trusting your husband not to hurt you. It’s funny that I stumbled over this blog on my Facebook feed just a few days after I found out my husband has a son from a previous relationship that he never told me about.

    Yeah, how’s that for broken trust? He knew 27 years ago that the mom thought he was the father — though she had slept with other men at the same time — but he never bothered to follow up. And he never told his daughter from his next relationship. And he never told me, not when we met, not when we moved in together, not when we decided to get married.

    Not when he saw the young man’s name on his DAUGHTER’s Facebook feed because the man had approached her years ago and they became Facebook friends. Not when the man sent a friend request to my husband a few months ago.

    I found out last. His daughter, my beloved stepdaughter, couldn’t keep it a secret anymore (can you blame her?) and told one of my daughters, who told her sister. I found out when my daughter blurted it out the other day. She said she thought I knew. As if I would have also kept it to myself.

    If you ever read this, Matt, I think you’ll understand that it’s like the glass beside the dishwasher. He didn’t love me enough to share with me or give me the chance to understand or even to consider, 16 years ago, whether a man with a hidden son could be a great stepfather to my daughters. He didn’t love me enough a few months ago when the man contacted him.

    I don’t trust him not to hurt me again. I don’t believe things he says anymore. I don’t think he loves me.

    This is the second great betrayal, by the way. He also never told me at the beginning of the relationship that he has anxieties about sex. After the “honeymoon” period, the sex life dwindled away to a point that no one reading this would ever believe — yeah, I must be crazy.

    Thanks for writing these. Like I said, I just discovered them today. Funny how life works.


  5. AlmostDone says:

    This one made me cry. I miss getting to feel like a child sometimes. I miss being that girl.


  6. Me Here says:

    I’ve been able to rationalize away so many of your arguments…to internalize and see where I can try, as his wife, to understand the male brain better—to give my 100.
    But this one…this one is IT. How many times can I cry and say “you are hurting my feelings”….How many times can I calmly explain that I LOVE to laugh… but that it hurt so much when I realized we were ALWAYS laughing AT me- and it hurt even more that he wouldn’t stop when I told him. Now I feel like all I do is scowl and walk away.
    And he’s a great guy. And I’ve been able to stay home with our kids and mostly indulge myself as I see fit and I should be happy…But I am the only one who does anything about managing our lives.He deposits a paycheck and helps around the house with a minimum of prodding. For this I should be grateful I suppose.
    This letter wrecked me—If I muster it up to show him, I thank you in advance for whatever comes of it.


  7. Janet says:

    This is very insightful. I believe 100 percent that my husband would never cheat on me; I fear, however, that this is the only sort of trust he feels he must keep. He is a deeply good man, a man who wants to be good to me and our son and who works hard. He has pulled the brunt of the practical weight at our home for three years while I have battled an evil enervating disease that robs me of not only of my former career but almost all my confidence. And I know he resents this (even though I did 80 percent of the housework and child care previously). I understand that he is stressed and I feel ***terrible*** about it. And guilty. But what I do not feel is trust. He misses his wife the mom; I can’t be safe to gripe about how I miss being able to keep up the house b/c he takes it as an art I on his efforts. He misses the bubbly, happy girl he married; I can’t feel safe weeping to him about how saddened I am that physical pain and exhaustion make me a less engaged mother. I can’t feel safe telling him I’ve had a nightmare. Telling him I’m afraid I’ll die and leave our child motherless. Telling him *I* miss who I used to be. Any emotional I burdening will stress him out, and so I must shield him from the stress so he will stop screaming at our child and going on about how unfair his life is. It IS unfair. And I feel terrible about that. But why do I have to protect him from *my* fears, and why won’t he talk to me about his instead of yelling? In a sense I am still mothering him, every time I wake up in the middle of the night sobbing and terrified and choose not the refuge of his arms but the fetal position with my pillow stuffed in my mouth. B/c I don’t want to further hurt him, make him more vulnerable. But if we could be open about our vulnerability with each other, THAT would be trust.


  8. Janet says:

    And Matt? I admire you tremendously for taking your pain and trying to turn it to good for others. Your efforts to help people work on their marriages when you still clearly feel so much personal pain bespeaks an empathy and goodwill the world needs more of. Thanks for taking the initiative and time. I appreciate it and know many others must do so as well. Hang in there.


  9. Guys tend to bond by jokingly abusing each other, something I did not understand myself as a child so I felt bullied a lot in elementary school when in hindsight it probably was not intended as bullying. When all that was going on however I resolved in my heart to never make somebody else feel the way I was made to feel, so I’ve always spoken kindly to my wife, or if provoked to anger just kept quiet rather than say something I would later regret.

    I must say however that this mental rule of “If I can’t trust him with this little teeny-tiny thing, how can I ever trust him with my heart?” is a rule that that will harm any relationship. You can’t go into marriage with the plan that you will withhold your heart from your spouse unless they conform to doing everything you want them to do. It is a completely unrealistic expectation and people with that rule are overlooking that they themselves are not living up the standard they set for their spouse. There has to be more charity so differences that can’t be fully resolved in a win-win manner can be tolerated without resentment.


  10. Hellianne says:

    I want to show my husband this…but I genuinely don’t think he would care enough to read it.


  11. Kate R says:

    I am in the opposite situation. I am the wife and I have done this to my husband. He hasn’t divorced me yet, but for a while he was seriously considering it. He told me he still cared for me, and we should still be friends, but that he couldn’t trust me as his spouse. See, we both work full time. I work about 50hrs a week and he works about 80. It’s stressful, it’s hard. But I decided that he had no right to expect me to regularly do house cleaning. After all, I was just as tired after work as he was… here’s the rub- when we got married, I promised that would be my primary responsibility. No matter our work situation. Because he promised to always be the primary bread-winner. I promised to Keep our tiny apartment homely for him. Nothing over the top- just clean, tidy, comfortable. But I didn’t. To an extreme and shameful degree. And then I made excuses as to why I didnt. I broke the promise and then tried to justify my actions. The ultimate breach of trust… now I’m working overtime to undo the damage. Here’s hoping it isn’t too late.


  12. Lynda says:

    Nailed it!


  13. Mary says:

    Seriously I have been in tears while reading your posts.. I’m not a man.. Just a really lonely woman who wants nothing more than to find who she used to be. I am a married mother of 3 and pregnant with our 4th. My children are my happiness, they give me a reason to get up. Our two boys are very much mamas boys my daughter is reaching out to her dad. Lots of times its lonely at night.. Kids and I talk over dinner while he plays video games.. I clean most of the time and still can’t get ahead of his work clothes laid around. I have often thought of divorce, but then I think about our kids. I wouldn’t be able to afford a house or a car payment. So usually I am alone at nights . He may lay in bed next to me, but there is nothing but resentment when he falls asleep and leaves me with the kids. I hate pretending that my life is wonderful . I’m tired , pissed off, wheepy and ready to move forward ..

    I respect you, your one of the men that get it . I am sorry about your wife leaving and being distant from your son.. I can’t imagine the pain of being away. Sometimes it’s painful to find out what we should have known all along.

    Keep writing, maybe one day you can show your son.. He may not get it at first, but his daddy is a wise man.


  14. M says:

    Hi, I was wondering what you thought (from a guy/husband perspective) about a husband who has friends who have done & said very disrespectful things towards his wife? I am very confused because I haven’t ever been treated this way before the last couple of years. He says that they’re jealous-I don’t see that-it always feels like anger, resentment & maybe even hate. He can’t understand why I have gotten so upset when these situations have occurred & I don’t understand why he doesn’t get upset. They are friends that he has had for a very long time-but, they are also the ones who took advantage of him & always put him in bad situations & we’re happy to let him make bad choices so that they were not alone. It seems very black & white to me. However, I have always handled the situation very carefully because I don’t want to hurt him. My question is why did he continually allow this to happen & he has stayed friends with them? He says that I don’t have to see/spend time with them (but I have since these things have happened & I was very nice) but he still talks to them on a daily basis & I feel very hurt & alone-& while I felt like it before-I think it was the first time I realized my husband was not someone I could depend on to protect me-(I don’t need to be protected-that’s not the point)-but I feel very betrayed because I’ve calmly explained in detail numerous times why I feel this way-which I didn’t need to, he already knew. He’s the first to say he would never treat someone else’s wife that way so it adds insult to injury & I don’t understand why it is okay for me to be treated these ways-& then he continues these friendships. I’ve told him numerous times that I am not asking for him to stop being friends with them & that I would let it all go if he would just say something like “hey man, that’s my wife & just like you’d be upset & have a problem with me talking to & doing the things that you did to your wife…I’m upset that you did/said those things to mine. If you feel like apologizing, that would great-I would be happy to do it if the tables were ever turned & I had been disrespectful towards your wife” I don’t feel like that’s asking too much-I didn’t even demand an apology-I just asked him to stand up & say that what they’d said/done was inappropriate & if they were really friends they would treat his wife (who they’ve only met 4 times in 4 years) with respect-at least for his sake, if not for mine. Can you please explain why he would rather act like it never happened when he knows it is something important to me? Why is it that big of a deal to say something like that to the couple of friends he has that have done these things?
    I’m extremely confused. I am not trying to take him away from/keep him from his friends-& I’ve never said anything like that. Sometimes I wonder if he just actually really believes that as a person, a women, a mother-& even as his wife-I don’t deserve to be respected. I regret ever even asking him to (nicely) stand up for me because it caused me even more hurt…


  15. Omar Ibrahim says:

    Sorry but you won’t get away with this either. You can’t wish for love out of thin air, cry when you don’t get it and then somehow reason your way into it being someone else’s fault. No one is responsible for anyone’s happiness; if you being as you doesn’t make someone happy, then that’s tough. If you are abusive that’s another story, but not making someone happy does not qualify as abuse. And, just like with abuse, the other party can sometimes be enabling, whether this is putting up with the abuse and expecting it to stop or just simply expecting a romance and chemistry where there isn’t one doesn’t make someone else to blame for your unhappiness; you were free to choose your partner, unless you weren’t. A husband just like a wife has duties yes, but those are mutually objective aims, literally objectives of a marriage, safety, security, comfort, well-being. But, notice that these things can easily be feelings and emotions as well as cold hard objectives and that’s the beauty of marriage—but, again, it’s the beauty, the aesthetic, the subjective, the love that you can’t force out of thin air; your obligated to do your duties but you are not obligated to make someone feel loved. If your wife feels unloved then you likely do as well, it’s a two way street people; you get what you get and you don’t get upset, or you do and you decide if you want to stay or not, if you want to take up the challenge of learning about someone and understanding who they are, or not; watch them and help them grow, not try to change them into something they don’t know or want as though they were some device with user-specific settings. Don’t destroy love because you don’t understand romance or why you don’t have it, even children understand this and they learn that crying only gets them so far. Seriously it’s like crying for day to be night or night day, and especially because we humans are just that, ups and downs, fluctuations and if we don’t recognize where we are we’ll never see progress.


  16. TA says:

    So perfectly said!! I was in a relationship for 4 years and I always had to be the responsible one and it literally sucked all the fun right out of me. I felt like I was his mommy, not his gf at all.


  17. Reblogged this on Undiscovered and Exposed and commented:
    So I know I haven’t been posting as often as I used to. Time has ben tight. But I finally took some time for myself, and somehow I came across this blog, and I am in love with these posts. I finally feel understood and not crazy for feeling the way I feel. This post here explains exactly why I am having issues with Cody. If anyone is struggling in a relationship, please give these posts a read, very informative and extremely helpful!


  18. Dianna says:

    I feel like you totally get it! My bf (28) and I (28) have been together for 2 years. We have had a very difficult year and both have called it quits multiple times (he 2x, me 4x).

    We have agreed that when he is upset over something. He likes space. When I’m upset over something, I like to talk about it, resolve it (no matter how long it takes) and go to bed happy with each other.

    Only about 4-6 months ago can I say that I have understood that he just needs space for him to relax. And whenever he is upset over something I have done or work related, I give him space vs taking his attitude personally. Simply because I don’t want to cause any more unnecessary pain for him.

    For the last 4 months we have argued about how every time I’m upset over something, he ignores me and we go to bed without resolving it. By the next morning the hurt that I felt is escalated and becomes more personal.

    We argued a few days ago. He talked about how much money he made (100k), and about things he is saving for next year. I sweetly added “and for a riiiing”. And he responded “I’m not thinking about that for another few years”, and I’m not getting you an expensive ring, no more than 1k. He recently bought a Michael Jordan Jersey for $1200, so the ring comment was really offensive to me. I cried, he hugged me and said don’t cry, I had to go to work so we left the convo pending. I got home from work, he asked me if I was still upset, I said yes. He walked away. I went to the bedroom, thought he would come to bed and we would just talk, he never did. He slept on the couch.

    Next day, same thing, he asked if I was upset, I said yes. He walked away. An hour later asked me if I wanted to talk with a tone in his voice. I said I respect that he needs more time before we have the marriage talk (even though we have talked about it many times before and he never reacted this way) but it hurt nonetheless, and that the ring comment made me feel offended. He gave excuses, was pissy. I asked him why he walked away multiple times, especially since I was hurt and we have talked about him walking away and ignoring me in the past. He said that he thought that I needed time to reflect. I asked him why he would think that since every other argument that has led to a breakup is because he ignores me and the problem and it creates anxiety for me vs dealing with it.

    We went back and forth on it. I began to feel very insecure, compared him to an ex (5yr relationship) which escalated the situation farther. I began to feel that I couldn’t trust him and that he will won’t ever listen to my feelings vs assume what’s best for my feelings. Next thing I know I broke up with him. He said he didn’t want to break up and that when you love someone you make it work. I agree, but feel like I am the only one making changes in the relationship and always caving.

    I want to make it work, but I feel helpless. I want him to be my future husband. But I don’t want to keep arguing over the same thing just with a different context. Every time he reacts this way I feel betrayed, ignored, unimportant and disrespected by him, I understand that he probably just doesn’t get it, but is there anything I can do/say. Or at this point is trying to make it work simply crying wolf.


    • Bronze says:

      Do you live together? It doesn’t really matter. Your course of action is not to marry or have children with someone who treats any problem you may have with him as if you are a petulant child who needs to be put into time out, until she comes around. Get your own life, start going out with friends, start having and doing fun things without him. If he sees you aren’t going to have a life that revolves around his mood swings and silent treatment and you are no longer letting his childishness upset you and get you down, he will have no choice but to either change or leave. Either way, you have your answer, right? Also, a relationship in which you both try to gain power over the other by breaking up – 6 times in 12 months!! – is never going to work. You and him are a bad fit. Whether he responded to your power plays by becoming passive aggressive or you responded to his power plays by trying to engage him is now irrelevant – this relationship has become an unhealthy death spiral dynamic of both trying to seek power over the other to be heard – that will be miserable for both of you. I have never seen a relationship recover from this death spiral of breaking up/making up without intense outside help. It is time to put your energy into something more healthy. Yourself.


  19. Jeremy McLeroy says:

    My wife found this and it seems to be the best way to get thru my thick delusions. Thanks for sharing your pain. I have a lot of steps to take to make real change but am committed to the first ones I can see from here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Thank you for the note, sir. Appreciate you taking the time to read through this and work on your relationship.

      We like to say and think that it shouldn’t be “work,” but I think it always is.

      No matter who were with. No matter what our life circumstances. I think relationships always require more effort than most of us seem to think (guys, anyway) heading into them.

      Changing beliefs is painful.

      It’s awesome that you’re willing to deal with it for the betterment of your marriage/family.

      Worth it.


    • Donegoner says:

      The only delusion you need to see thru is the reality of intersexual dynamics between modern spouces. This guy has a feel good message for shlubs but will doom you to failure and misery. I have a harsh message of truth offensive and shocking, but will save your sanity and your relationship. Quit flagelating yourself on the floor. Your wife will despise you for your meek self-abasement and pandering. Everything you think is fucking wrong and this circle jerk site is making a pussy out of you


  20. Audrey says:

    I’m afraid my husband and I are heading in this direction. When our daughter was born seven years ago, we did the math and realized it was actually cheaper for me to be a stay at home mom. Over those seven years, not only has he reverted to acting like a selfish child himself (just as our eldest is beginning to understand it’s not all about her), he’s taken to undermining my authority with our kids, mocking me, and treating me like I’m a mentally incompetent employee. The final straw is that I started back to work part time this year, and he’s done exactly jack to help out at home. I love him, and I want our marriage to work and don’t want our family to fall apart, but looking ahead at the next fifteen years until our youngest is 18, I honestly don’t think I can do this.


    • Donegoner says:

      When did you stop giving him regular sex? When was the first time you falt out said no to the nookie? Get it?


      • Audrey says:

        Wow…Let me enlighten you on something. When a wife sees her husband as someone else she has to clean up after, nookie is the very last thing on her mind. I’m guessing you’re either single, or your significant other is secretly stewing in anger because you expect her to do everything, as well as take care of your needs. Did it ever occur to you that husbands can be the ones to say no to nookie? Even when wives do everything they can to take care of themselves, keep the house running, and work?


  21. Lynette Jacobs says:

    You get it. All of it. I even stuck around for about a year hoping he would get it and we could reconcile. My kids (not his) wanted him to get it. They saw how miserable I was and wanted me happy again.
    I move out in less than a week now and I feel he can’t wait for my departure and will only miss my kids.
    I love him so much. I keep moving forward with the move and I’ve developed new friendships to assist me with pushing forward so I don’t go crying back. So many friends have told me how proud they are of me for leaving, I don’t feel proud. I’m broken. When it’s clear you weren’t worth the effort, everyone’s point that he wasn’t in love with me proves to be true- you just keep going through the motions, trusting God that life later will be better. It’s just a crazy nightmare that has gone on and on, waiting for it to turn fairytale. Waiting for him to get that intimacy is non-negotiable in a relationship and that I am all woman and one to cherish and nourish. I’m not an idiot like he treats me, I’m not irrational- only madly in love begging for his attention and affection.
    But, like I said, time is closing to an end. You can’t force anyone to do anything. I am staying strong, moving forward to a new life. This blog has helped validate my situation and I thank you.
    I’m a human being with a broken heart who appreciates other human beings for all their understanding & support…and I will move on.


  22. Jaya says:

    My husband is a nice guy but a shitty husband. After more than 20 years and 2 kids I’m on the verge of asking him to move out.
    I was that woman who loved life and found joy in so many things but over the years he’s just sucked that out of me. He has no motivation or goals in life – I don’t mean having aspirations to be a CEO or anything like that, he just refuses to be a grown-up man. I’ve always been the one who’s been responsible (not by choice but by necessity) for managing finances, organised birthdays, gifts, school stuff, kids appointments, house and car repairs and so on. I’ll ask him to take kids to doctor ormdental appointments, remind him the day before then get a call from doctor or dentist asking where my child is because he’s forgotten. He’s forgotten to pass on important messages which have had consequences that I have had to fix. I have tried so many times to get him to take responsibility, because firstly it’s unfair for me to, and secondly, if something was to happen to me he needs to know these things. I’ve even told him I feel like I’m his mother and he thinks it’s a joke.
    He has work (agency temp work), and I have a permanent job. He works nights so we don’t see each other much either, but refuses to look for anything else. On top of this I have to help my parents out who are unwell and frail as my only sibling lives interstate.
    Then he sulks because I’m too effing tired to give him any. He even had the gall to sulk because he had a weekend off and I wasn’t home because I had to go to the hospital as my dad was seriously ill and almost died.
    I totally resent him now. He has promised so many times to take charge of a couple of things but never does. He has undermined me with the kids. I am trying to get them to get their chores done when they need to be done, not when they feel like it. They see their dad not bothering, so they don’t unless I kick up. They come to me when they need something, support or advice, because in their words, “dad won’t do anything “.
    We are now middle-aged, in more debt than ever (another thing he promised to take care of but didn’t) and his attitude is always “well that’s the way things are”.
    I don’t want to be put on a pedestal or looked after. All I ever wanted, which we spoke about many times over the years, was financial security, enough to live on and some put aside so we don’t need to stress. I wanted to grow old with this man, still laugh with him, hold hands in our old age and be happy. I want him to be a partner that I can trust to take care of some things when needed, and to take charge of other things. Him not wanting to grow up has in turn made me angry, upset, and devastated that I have to cause pain to my children in getting their dad to leave. If I don’t, I’ll hate him and will get nasty, which I don’t want to do. I’m tired of hiding myself away and crying every day because I’m so unhappy and overwhelmed.


  23. Kylee says:

    Found this as I am making my marriage exit plan. I have been trying to find a way to articulate all the emotions and you hit the nail on the head in each volume. Thank you. The husband I am leaving would never read this because as he says “I’m not the one with the problem. I haven’t changed.” But if, in the unlikely event, I am in another serious relationship, we can read this together. Thank you.


  24. Tina says:

    I’m in the middle of getting divorced right now. Thank you so much for writing this. I could never find the words to explain it to him, to myself, or to others. All I knew is that he makes me feel bad about myself, that I don’t trust him, and that I lost huge parts of myself along the way. I cried reading this. You’ve really helped me.


  25. […] Have 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 marriage in those letters.  I bawled like a baby when I read volume 6. My heart broke when I read volume  10. […]


  26. […] An Open Letter To Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10 by Matthew Fray […]


  27. Cynthia Cox says:

    My husband says this is typical women blame the man for everything. This is my husband “the roof is leaking, sends me a pic of water damage on the wall, says you need to call the home warranty people, I’m going hiking”


  28. Goose says:

    Thank you for putting these things in writing. I thought I was the only messed up asshole that dug himself into a hole this deep.
    I’m reading like crazy and doing my best to dig out but I think I need a bigger excavator. She hasn’t left yet, that’s good right?. When the opportunity arises though……
    I have spent most of my time digging with a shovel labeled ” she does it too” . Let me tell you, that one digs really fast in a downward spiraling hole. It doesn’t dig uphill well, mostly not at all. I am a good person and a nice guy, just not a good husband. I provide, but not emotionally. I help, but in the wrong ways, I’m a fixer, not always a good thing. Especially when it comes to listening. I hear the problem, I want to fix it for her, I have to blurt out the answer like the class know it all. No dumbass. That’s not what she wanted. Just listen and be understanding, that’s all. Communication is a big problem for me at home. I’m an alpha, I’m a cop, I’m big, I’m strong , I’m intimidating , I’m used to telling people what to do and solving problems. All these things do not help when you are dealing with problems at home.
    Thank you again Matt for some sort of marriage instruction manual for dummies.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. […] – of trust and influence – there is a great letter written by a divorced man called An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10 by Matthew Fray. There were the big and small things he routinely tried to influence, but I […]

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Steve Myers says:

    But what about when SHE’S the one who doesn’t pick up her clothes, or put the dishes In the dishwasher, or do any laundry, or spends all weekend in bed refusing to spend time with the children, or makes no plans, or cuts out on family events, or spends all day drink and high? What then? Stop pretending it’s all men’s fault. Some women are just assholes.


  31. tester654 says:

    Keep in mind that the actual definition of “sarcasm,” as distinct from “irony,” is the intent to belittle and mock someone else as a personal, human target.

    And the one thing a relationship cannot come back from is disdain. If you don’t respect someone — you belittle and mock them — you don’t respect them. You have demonstrated disdain for them. They will not come back from that, nor should they.

    The worst human beings I have ever dealt with in my life would sneer at any attempt on my part to put up boundaries. I would say very calmly and professionally, in a private setting, “I do not appreciate it when you do X.”

    Response? “I dO nOt ApPrEcIaTe It” — just repeating my words back to me in a whiny, mocking tone to demonstrate that my dignity was hilarious to them.

    In some cases they would go to my bosses and tell them that I was the unreasonable one for asking not to be mocked in front of clients.

    That’s not at one workplace, that’s at most of them, and always from men.

    Sarcasm is mocking of an individual. Always. By definition. Your “sarcastic” sense of humor was at the expense of your target, which it sounds like was often your wife. Not cool.

    I hope you know this, but you still seem to be clinging to some kind of partial excuse like “oh she just didn’t appreciate my grand wit” — no dude, she saw your wit for what it was and she had too much self-respect to be target practice for your self-satisfied amusement.

    Know the difference between jokes and abuse? Jokes make OTHER people laugh.


  32. Cody says:

    Heres the thing, yeah I’m a guy and I do a lot of bad things, but does that mean shes completely unblameable? You tell someone that “its all your fault” enough times, and youre going to plant the seed in their head that every thing is their fault, even if it isn’t. I agree with a lot of things in this blog, but i dont agree with all the blame veing placed on a single person. Me and my wife have been on edge with each other for weeks now. She has a mood disorder and will get mad at me for talking too much or blow up on me because the dog won’t stop grooming the cats and threatening to take her to the pound, meanwhile she threatens that she will boot me out of the house if I so much as say anything she construes as mean or rude, so I have to sit quietly and listen to her tell me its my fault shes in a bad mood, its my fault the washing machine broke, its my fault the house isnt clean (i single handedly clean the house every day on top of a fulltime job because she has anxiety and cant clean) amd that I’m being abusive because I’m lazy and i dont care about her. So I’ll ask, is it really all my fault my relationship is hitting the pits?


    • Matt says:

      Hey Cody.

      I don’t agree with placing blame on anyone either.

      What I’m for is taking RESPONSIBILITY for making your relationship the best it can be. Blaming (others or yourself) doesn’t help at all.

      Try not to think of it in terms of bad things happening and who’s to blame.

      Try to think of it as bad things happening that might not happen once both people are taking on the responsibility of not hurting the other.

      That builds trust.


  33. Charlotte says:

    I’m back and again this is SO ME! You desribed me and I want to get it back but I don’t trust him and he doesn’t trust me. I’ve been saying it for years… and his response is, “it’s not about trust. Don’t make this about trust.”

    That of course is in response to me saying he doesn’t trust me. Two years later, I had a panic attack crying after another vacation ruined, in bed while he slept and clear as day it became, “I don’t trust him.” And it was never about infidelity or that he’d hit me… it’s exactly what you said. I don’t trust he will change, wants to change, knows how to love and wants to.


  34. Melissa says:

    Oh my gosh. You nailed EVERY SINGLE ISSUE perfectly.


  35. Stacie s says:

    Wow…. I had tears on my face more than not at the accuracy of every single word I read. I was/am her and you apparently are kin to my husband!! Every feeling good and bad ever felt is explained perfectly by these words!
    I want to be the old me and I want him to keep all the promises but he hasn’t and I won’t ever be her again! At least not with him! 💋❤


    • Matt says:

      I’m really sorry, Stacie. Thank you for reading and sharing. It was nice to read that it mattered. I wish it wasn’t at the expense of you feeling this bad. Rooting for you getting to be the old you again. I know just what you mean.


  36. carteeri says:

    Enjoying your blog- appreciate many of the insights. This one got me a bit spun up though. Making sure she can ‘trust’ you with the little things is a hell-trap of its own. Basically it is entering a spiral where you have to do everything her way and exactly as she wants/demands or she can’t ‘trust’ you and is justified in throwing a tantrum. That is how I read it anyway. It seems like if you condensed this post down into a sentence or two it would be “Throw away anything that resembles yourself and do everything her way, including thinking, and maybe she will be nice to you”. Sounds more like a lifetime of trying to ‘earn’ her approval to me bro. You reading this differently?


  37. Ruth says:

    “You’re not kids anymore. But you still act like one. When you playfully mock your friends or your wife. When you leave your pants out, or a dish in the sink, or forget to do that thing you promised on your way home.

    And all these little things add up.

    Why are you making such a big deal about this!?, you wonder.

    And now she CAN’T be a kid anymore. She can’t play and laugh and live carefree anymore. Because you are. And if she does it too, nothing will ever get done.

    The clothes will never get washed. Meals will never be made. The kids will never have what they need.

    You refused to take the next step.

    So she HAD to.

    And now she’s angry, resentful, sad and afraid.

    Because you’ve left all the adult work to her.”
    That is so spot on in our relationship and so have been the other articles. My husband jokes around like a child and keeps on telling me that I am too serious. I am tired and overwrought. I am working full-time and I am supposed to be studying for final exams. Others studying for the same exams are putting in 44-50 hours on top of a full-time job. Essentially it is the same as working two full-time jobs. I am unable to quite put in those hours but I do put in the equivalent of almost another full-time job worth of hours – so at least a decent part-time job. These are very hard fellowship exams (I am a doctor) with a 50% failure rate and cost $10K.

    My husband has hardly worked at all since coming over from overseas. He has had a few hours here and there but nothing substantial. He has hardly bothered looking for a job. I have done nearly all the looking for him. I put in hours and hours into trying to find work for him and I also wrote a stack of job applications for him…..which did result in some job interviews but no full-time job. We have a mortgage where we are living and that responsibility, plus all the living expenses has fallen to me. You may think, “Oh, she is a doctor” but I am a GP registrar with a large university debt. GP reg’s here in Australia are not paid well. I had a 20yo patient come in telling me that she does disability support work….she is being paid MORE per hour that I am and she has NO qualifications! I’m seriously thinking that I am in the wrong line of work! Despite all that, I have all the financial responsibilities on me! Every job that I have proposed that my husband do there is always something wrong with it and he complains about it.

    Before he married me my husband promised that he would try to get work. I have no idea what he does all day but his lack of trying to do anything about getting a job has made me bitterly resentful. We do NOT have children, so I am at a loss as to what he does with his day! I suspect he watches YouTube videos or plays on his playstation. If we had children and he was looking after them then sure, I could understand that he was pulling his weight by having to care for children. However, he does not do much more (other than recently) than the food shopping and cooking dinner which is ONE meal a day. I make my own breakfast and normally make my own lunch. The last week he has been making my lunch because I had complained about the unequal share of work but he has complained bitterly about it. I almost wish I were just making my own lunch so that I don’t have to listen to the complaining.

    So, yes, he does the shopping and cooking dinner but he complains ALL THE TIME about cooking the dinner! I just shake my head. We have been married since March 2019 and I have been working full-time all that time and studying. He has not had a full-time job and has done virtually NOTHING about getting one!!!

    He now does hang out the laundry that I put on but not long ago I was putting the laundry on and hanging it out….and then he got upset when I expected him to help me hang it out. At one point there was his pile of clean laundry in the second room. Eventually I just stuffed it into his wardrobe I was so sick to death of having to look at it. Currently, there is a pile of his clean clothes on the floor again! When I get my laundry, as busy as I am, I try to put it away as soon as I have time so that things look tidier. Our coffee table has been covered in his crap. I often wash up and I put the dry stuff away. He will oftentimes, now that he is helping a little more (after I had a meltdown), just leave the dry stuff there (washing up or laundry) and he just puts the wet stuff on top of it or hangs it up. I have told him that he really needs to put the dry stuff away first. The apartment is messy. I have told him time and time again that I don’t like the mess. He then just tells me that my room at my parents was not that neat. He saw it just after I had finished med school. I was exhausted after that and I had books and stuff everywhere. When I moved to this apartment I kept it clean and neat. I feel like I am living with a child. I feel like I am the adult and I am having to care for a child and I HATE it!!! I with he would grow up and act like a responsible adult! Seriously, I pay all the bills. I do just about everything around here. I have even paid for him to come over here and paid for everything to do with the marriage and visa. The visa and legal bills alone came to over $20,000!!! I even paid for him to go back last year and visit his mother for 6 weeks. All up, I estimate that he has cost me well over $100,000 and that is a conservative estimate. I have spent MORE on him that on myself!!!

    He complains about just about everything!!! In fact, he also complains that he does not get to do the things that he wants to do….like play golf or play tennis or go out or watch football etc. etc. etc. I have sacrificed everything! I feel like if he actually WORKED then he would have EARNED the right to have time off to play. The fact that he has not worked or earned this really makes me angry that he believes that he should be allowed to have fun when I do not get to have fun!!! I pay my bills before doing anything that I want to do….you know….like a responsible adult. I have not been able to do things I want to do for YEARS!!! This attitude really grates on me. I would LOVE to be able to do things. I have not even seen my friends for ages. It makes me angry that he would complain about not being able to do these things when he could not even do them back where he came from due to lack of funds but now he seems to expect that I should fund him having fun whilst I work myself to death!!! Can you believe that…..he did not have the money to do these things back where he came from but NOW, being here with a wife….the person he should be looking after as he vowed in his wedding vows…..he complains because he believes he is ENTITLED to having fun even though he is not doing anything to earn the money so that he could afford to have fun.

    In the other articles it talks about mocking his wife. Yes, my husband does that all the time. Every day he mocks me. He finds it hysterically funny. I keep on telling him that I do not find it funny and that I don’t like it but he just continues to do it. He does NOT listen to me.

    He hates being here in Australia and has told me right from the beginning that he does not want to be here. He complains all the time and tells me that he is homesick. If we were not married, he would go back in a heartbeat. He misses his mother and his mothers dog more than wanting to be with me. He has not told me this recently but previously that he wished that he had never married me.

    He tells me that I am grumpy. I am not grumpy I am frustrated. I am tired, stressed, and frustrated that I KNOW that I am carrying ALL the responsibilities and the weight of the relationship. I am not one to divorce and I do not want a divorce, I want him to grow up and act like a man. I want him to at least TRY to get a job, no matter if he gets one or does not get one. At the very least I want him to TRY and get some skills so that he can be more employable.

    As for what you said about not wanting sex….no, I do not want sex with my husband. Our sex life has been a disaster from the start. On our wedding night it was in all seriousness the WORST NIGHT OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!!! My honeymoon first night of sex ended up with my husband curled up wildly sobbing that at least if the sex was great it would have been something. I never had any problems with previous partners. In fact, one previous boyfriend chased me for over 12 months wanting to get back with me because the sex was so good and my last boyfriend we had seriously the most amazing sex!!!! We had sex at least 1-3 times a day and I orgasmed at least 90% of the time with NO clitoral stimulation. My husband has NEVER really looked at me with any desire. I know that more recently he has tried to make me feel desired but I know that it is just him trying… is not natural. My husband told me that he prefers masturbation to having sex because it is less messy. He cannot understand why I would be upset about that….he thinks that by telling me that he fantasises about having sex with me whilst he is masturbating that it would make me feel honoured. I’m thinking….ummmm…. the fact that he would rather masturbate than have sex with me when I am right there is actually insulting. What if I told him that I would rather masturbate than have sex with him? I bet he would not be too happy about that. Quite frankly it has totally turned me off having sex with him. If I were a cheating woman I would have left him ages ago! Previously I wanted to have sex at least 3 times a week but he is far more interested in his right hand. Even when we have had sex he brings himself to orgasm with masturbation. It makes me feel so undesirable. I keep myself fit and healthy. I eat healthy and I exercise 6 days a week. I have other men that are interested in me….just not my own husband. Emotionally I feel so distant from him.

    The stupid thing is that my husband is like how the author describes. He is actually a nice person. He would never harm anyone intentionally. He has a soft heart. He genuinely tries to do the right thing. He does not drink or smoke or do drugs. He does not cheat on me.

    The problem is that he is only interested in what he is getting himself. Often he talks over the top of me and interrupts me because what he has to say must be far more important than what I have to say. He often only thinks about what he wants in life and forgets that I am a person too. My problem is that I realise that I cannot always have what I want in life and often you have to be a grown up and do things that you do NOT want to do.

    This marriage has been the BIGGEST and COSTLIEST mistake of my life. I feel like I am being crushed under the weight of a million bricks!!! I feel overwhelmed by all the things I have to do. I cannot do everything!!!


  38. […] I came across the Open Letter to Shitty Husbands today, and it wasn’t the volume about cheating that caught my attention. It was the volume about trust, and the little things: […]


  39. […] An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10 […]


Join the Conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: