An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands

man-shrugging-shoulders

I was a shitty husband.

And it’s not because I’m a massive jerk, or abusive, or particularly difficult to get along with.

I was a shitty husband because I didn’t respect my wife’s thoughts and feelings about things I mistakenly believed didn’t matter. When two people disagree, both think they’re right. Which makes the other person wrong.

But sometimes there is no “right.” Sometimes, there is no “wrong.”

You liked the movie. She didn’t. She likes salsa dancing. You don’t. Nobody is right or wrong. But we treat one another like that’s the case. That what I think and believe and feel is right. Therefore, you must be wrong.

I was a shitty husband because I promised her in front of hundreds of people we knew that I would love and honor her all the days of my life. In good times, and in bad. And then I didn’t do that. I didn’t do it in the bad times because I didn’t “feel” like it. Because it wasn’t easy or convenient.

For years, I put my wants and needs ahead of her’s. Not for the “big things,” which is all I thought mattered. I put me first in all the “little things.” Disagreements about housework, passively leaving her to manage our schedules, and the logistics of caring for our son.

She tried to talk to me about it. But I didn’t listen.

I thought she was nagging. Complaining. Being needy. Being a bitch.

I thought because I was a nice person, and that I’d made sacrifices for her, that I was a good husband. I thought because I didn’t do a bunch of bad things some guys do that I was a good husband. I didn’t realize it until much too late: Good men can be bad husbands. Just like good men can be bad at designing bridges, or bad at water-color painting, or bad at water skiing.

We don’t want to hear bad things being said about us. Especially from those we believe we sacrifice daily for. So when we do, we don’t listen. We justify our behavior. Rationalize it. Get defensive. And angry.

We disagree with them, and tell them they’re wrong. Sometimes we tell them they’re crazy. Sometimes we raise our voices or call them a name.

Divorce is the great social crisis of our time, and not enough people are talking about it. Two good, smart, nice people marry voluntarily, and deny it though they will, it’s a coin toss as to whether they’ll be married a decade later.

I tell my story so that maybe other people won’t get divorced like me.

[NOTE: I felt like I cracked a secret life code when I understood for the first time WHY my wife would want a divorce. It changed the entire world for me. I have to credit the book “How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It” for putting me on the right path. Maybe it can help you or your partner, too.]

The Posts

Vol. 1

I was in a lot of pain and blaming my ex-wife in the immediate aftermath of her leaving. Vol. 1 represented the first time I began learning to accept responsibility for my very large role in destroying the marriage.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1

Vol. 2

I got into a really preachy phase with my writing. I’m sure it was annoying because clearly I’m an asshole who doesn’t know anything. But my heart was in the right place.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 2

Vol. 3

I was at a party and I had a tiny crush on the married birthday girl, and I watched her husband ignore her all night (and already knew him to be a less-than-ideal partner). The whole scene made me sad because it reminded me of how I used to treat my ex-wife.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 3

Vol. 4

There’s a really scary phase during a couple’s slow descent to divorce that many husbands don’t realize is scary. When a wife finally snaps and decides to leave or have an affair, her personality often transitions from sad and angry to resigned and apathetic. An observant husband will notice the change immediately. But before she snaps, there’s a period of time in which she’s trying to save your marriage. She wants to be married to you, to love you, and to be together for your children. And in her last-ditch effort to reach you, you often dig in your heels in “manly” defiance. “Stop trying to change me!” If you love winning fights and getting your way more than you love your wife, then you probably deserve what’s about to happen.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4

Vol. 5

Yes, guys. You have to help around the house. Not sure if you checked the calendar lately, but it’s not 1960 anymore. No matter how insane you think it sounds, she WILL divorce you for leaving a dish by the sink.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 5

Vol. 6

You can destroy your marriage by trying to be “nice.” By letting your spouse make all the decisions. You think it’s a nice gesture, letting the other person have their way. But really? You’re killing them, their respect and desire for you, and it’s all going to break one day. All because you don’t want to be responsible for making plans two weekends from now or scheduling the kids’ dentist appointments or planning family meals. Maybe it’s time to rethink your priorities.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 6

Vol. 7

Men are generally very competitive creatures. I know I am. But despite that, men AREN’T competitive about marriage. And by that, I mean, they tend to not work hard to be the best husband and father imaginable as a measure of pride. They strive for greatness at work, or in a particular organization or social club or hobby. But men don’t seem to think being the best at marriage is a worthwhile endeavor. Considering it’s one of the most-important things we do in this life, and we have such a high failure rate, I wonder why that is.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 7

Vol. 8

What starts at an early age on playgrounds, turns into a relationship killer in adulthood. Men using jokes, sarcasm and mockery to belittle their wives and girlfriends both privately and publicly. It may not be intended to be cruel. It often isn’t. But the recipient of those “jokes” often feels as if it’s cruel. Beat her down long enough, and only one of two things can happen: She’ll leave you for someone who respects her, or you’ll break her and she won’t be the person you married anymore. Maybe she already isn’t.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 8

Vol. 9

Guys like “Me”-time. Maybe everyone does. But a lot of time when husbands and fathers do it, it looks and feels to his wife and children like he isn’t interested in them or that he’d rather spend time alone than with his family. When guys get married young, they often think it’s going to be just like having a permanent girlfriend. That marriage is basically just promising to never have sex with any other women. Sometimes, no one teaches us that marriage isn’t about us. That it’s actually for the person we’re marrying. No one teaches us that the key to sustaining love and happiness isn’t taking. It’s giving.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 9

Vol. 10

Wives sometimes turn into someone else throughout the course of their marriages. Men don’t like it because the person they married is gone. Women don’t like it because they lose the fun, innocent version of themselves they remember from their youth. Husbands lose their wives’ trust. Not over the big things, most of the time. Over the little things. Men won’t change, so their wives MUST. Resentment builds. And much of the time, everything breaks.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10

Vol. 11

I think married couples who are sad and angry about their lives and relationships make the mistake of trying to “fix the marriage.” They spend all their time trying to figure out how “we” can do things different, and how the other person can make changes to make life better. But I think people need to work on themselves to fix the marriage. To look inside themselves and figure out how they can be their best self. Two people working to be the best versions of themselves have a great chance to succeed. Two people expecting the other to change on their behalf seem doomed to a life of sadness and frustration.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 11

Vol. 12

Cheating is never okay. We don’t want to do it. We don’t want it to happen to us. Almost everyone agrees it’s a horrible, destructive thing. Yet, it keeps happening over and over again. Even with a very decent spouse at home. Even with children and a seemingly happy life. I think it’s important for people to understand WHY this happens, so they can be more self-aware, and so that spouses can work to fill the voids people try to fill with extramarital affairs.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 12

Vol. 13

Maybe somewhere, there’s an example of pornography and masturbation radically improving marriages and relationships. Anything’s possible. But what often happens while couples are slowly drifting apart is that husbands turn to porn and masturbation for sexual relief. Some people don’t think it’s a big deal. I think I’ve seen and heard enough evidence to convince me that heavy porn consumption and masturbation, especially if it’s being hidden as part of a secret life, can negatively affect marriage, and not always in ways people think it will.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 13

Vol. 14

Of the many things I didn’t do that might have resulted in a successful marriage, my failure to mindfully plan fun activities and make tiny time investments to communicate how much I valued my wife and our marriage is probably the most egregious. There’s no excuse that doesn’t ultimately end with: Thousands of times I could have made a slightly different choice to focus on her and us, instead of me and whatever else. And I didn’t. Of all the things that could have saved the marriage, this would have been the easiest to do differently. In some respects, that makes this my greatest relationship failure.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 14

What Qualifies Me for the Job?

Nothing.

But I have a funny little brain and it works like this: There is nothing exceptional about me. Not a thing.

I am the averageiest average person alive.

I possess average intelligence, average physicality and average skills in many facets of life. I am average looking. I earn an average income. I live in an average house in an average town. I had an average upbringing. And now I’m just your average divorced dad stumbling through adulthood.

You know what I think that means?

I think it means A LOT of people can relate to me. I think it means that the mistakes I made and the things I think and feel are JUST LIKE all of the mistakes you make and things you think and feel.

And I’m willing to write it down.

And I have absolutely no idea why that helps people. But I know that it does. It helps people.

Shitty Husbands Abound

You know a shitty husband.

You are one, or you are married to one, or you were raised by one, or you’re friends with one.

Shitty husbands ARE NOT always bad people. Sometimes they are very good people who are simply not very good at being married.

You don’t have to be abusive or neglectful or adulterous or deceitful to be a shitty husband. You need only put your wants ahead of your spouse’s.

You do that enough times?

All while not listening to her pleas for help? Her cries for attention? Her desire for emotional and intimate connection?

She’s going to start having sex with someone else and leave you, or she’s going to WANT to, which is equally bad. It’s true.

These An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands posts are consistently among my most popular posts.

I like some of them more than others because some are poorly written. But what I’ve heard time and time again from frustrated wives and ex-wives (and some husbands and ex-husbands) is that they recognize the truth in all of this.

Male-female relationships tend to follow the same patterns and tend to result in the same conflicts.

And THIS IS GREAT NEWS.

Because if we’re all experiencing the same afflictions and symptoms, then we can all fix it with the same treatment and medicine.

Losing my family was the worst thing that ever happened to me.

I’m cool now because a lot of time has passed, and a lot of healing happened. But it was all very, very bad. And I don’t want other people to have to go through it. Especially children.

Not everyone is going to make it. We’re human, and we fail.

But there doesn’t have to be this much brokenness in the world. So many marriages fail that don’t have to.

It makes me sad. And I believe it can be better.

And this is my small contribution to trying to be part of the solution.

I hope you’ll join me.

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608 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands

  1. 15 years and he is still verbally abusive and he continues to stay gone partying all hours of the night. I am lonely every day. I have been used by him for far too many years. I am called a whore and a worthkess bitch. I have to foot the majority of the bills due to his reckless behavior. He never follows through with family plans and constantly disappoints our children. I have begged him to listen to my pleas if not my then the children’s. We deserve happiness and he is selfish. He is a narcissist. I no longer want to even try to work on our marriage. I want out of this hell hole!

    Liked by 2 people

    • jeanne says:

      He’s not a shitty husband, he’s no husband at all. It will be tough but you children deserve better if not you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Romone says:

      15 years I see not one day out 365 day calendar he can speak kindly do a kind deed to his wife he’s selfish in every way I just praying for a way out it all that God makes a,way me an my daughters

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  2. […] via An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands […]

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  3. Tired says:

    I have read through this site quite a few times over the last year, I feel like I have a pretty emotionally shitty husband. He’s not a bad person, works hard and provides financially. But when it comes to being there as a husband/friend it’s just non existent. Been married for about 13 years and I can’t recall the last time he’s said even something simple as “hi” to me when he gets home from work. He walks in the door and typically greets the dog and the kids if they are in the room and just basically walks by me like I don’t even exist. The only time he speaks to me is really when he has something to complain about or something relating to his work. He puts on this nice guy facade to pretty much everyone else he comes into contact with but I feel like he despises me because I never get that nice guy. Well, when he’s had a few drinks he pretends to be nice and interested in conversation but ultimately that’s just to get to bed. I feel overwhelmingly depressed, sad, lonely and don’t really have anybody to talk to about it but do find a little comfort knowing there are so many others living this life. I’ve devoted the last 10 years of my life to staying home to be with our kids while he’s had the opportunity to further his career so I’m just lost. We don’t talk or really communicate at all and when we do it ends up in arguments, I feel like I can’t even be myself anymore or speak my mind about anything so I just close up and say nothing. He’s on the couch tonight as usual!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kat says:

      This made me cry. We’ve only been married for 6 years but the rest of what you said could have come straight from my mouth. I would have added that when I do speak my mind he just tells me that I’m stupid, especially if it has anything to do with emotions or how I feel.

      Liked by 2 people

    • J Robinson says:

      Sweetheart I hate to tell you this, but I think we are married to the same Shitty husband! I will add that he makes time for any and everyone or thing else except me. I am getting so tired of it and I hate started spending more time finding interest in things I like to do because the man does nothing at all with me. He used to make time for us, go on dates but now all we do is argue about why are the flower pots sitting st the beginning of the walk ? I’d love to say because I bought them and put them there Shitty husband!! The man makes no time for me His interest are the kids, football on tv; coaching little league football; talking on the phone to his brother all day on work breaks driving home , at home, in the bathroom if he isn’t on IG and sitting on the bed on the phone as we wind down. His words to me- what are you cooking for dinner, or complaining or whining like a little kid. I have to negotiate with car repair men, flooring guys, contractors, or whatever involves speaking to anyone about anything. It’s so sad because I am just so alone and he could careless. I texted him today because I want to go to a concert next month and 145 today and it’s 959pm and he hasn’t even acknowledged I even texted him. It will be one he’ll never forget bc it will be the last one he get from me. I’m so sick of this sad lonely space I feel sick have in my life. the man just doesn’t have intamcy bc he takes no pills and his errections are never it seems and he’s too proud to ask the dr or seek other alternatives to be able to be intimate with me and we are not quite 50 but for some reason bc he doesn’t have the desire he thinks I don’t. I don’t want to have an affair but right now I think I need to invest in pleasure party favor or two! Lol Ladies we have to pray for our shitty husbands before the become Suthors of another shitty husband blog!!

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      • Dee J says:

        J Robinson, I have the absolute duplicate life that you have. I have to say I feel a little bit better just knowing that it’s not all in my head or that I’m expecting too much from him. The question is…Is there any way to change the course or is it too late??

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      • Maddy476 says:

        Hi. I don’t think it’s time to pray, it’s time to leave and find/make your own happiness. Life is too short. They aren’t going to change because they don’t get it. I know Matt is trying to save marriages but I think it’s more important to save yourself.
        You will be much happier on your own. Trust me. I left after 25 years, you can do it too.

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      • Connie says:

        I know how you fell my love for him has turned into hate. He puts a mask for every put me and at home he has threaten to hit me and he calls me all kinds of names

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    • Sam says:

      You are not alone my friend.. I’m calling my friend because I feel your pain.. I’ve been married for 30 years.. I married young and I’m under the old law of honor and obey … I’m in a sexless never hug of kiss me marriage… he is porn addict caught several times.. never apologizes when he’s wrong and puts his mother and my daughter/Grandbabies and his friend needs first if I asked for something or need something done I damn near have to beg or it takes 5 years for him to do anything for me…and he doesn’t want to go to counseling which makes me feel I’m not worth saving…I’m not a selfish person I’m always catering to everyone and put myself last. I am unhappy.. sad and feel unloved truly want to leave him.. A year ago I went to consultation for divorce and never went back. I guess I’m afraid…by being with someone for so long. I feel so lonely none to talk to. I do have beautiful grandkids and I guess I don’t want to disrupt the thought of grandma and grandpa separating

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      • Maddy476 says:

        Hi Sam, I’m sorry for your pain. I’ve been there and came out for the better after 25 years of marriage.
        I strongly suggest you leave based on my experience. You will be much happier and less lonely. In fact you won’t feel lonely at all. I think it’s by far a better example for your grandchildren to hear Grandma say she wants to be happy and know she’s worth so much more. Life is very short. You deserve to be happy. I promise you, you won’t regret it. Staying in an unhappy marriage sends the wrong message. Just like in an airplane….you can’t help anyone unless you put your oxygen mask on first. Go for it. You have everything to gain.

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        • Sam says:

          Thank you for replying Maddie476… I guess everyday I would wake up and pray it’s gets better and when looked up 30 years of my life have that I’ve wasted… I want to be happy and every time I scroll google for apartment the feeling is like a kid in a candy store.. taking the first step is hard I guess I’m looking at all my hard work.. assets ..credit will all be rock bottom after I leave..all my hard work…starting over… Thank you for your support❤️

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    • Robyn says:

      Wow. We have a lot of similarities. I’m absolutely miserable. I don’t know what to do.

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    • Claudia Reyes says:

      OMG! We’re married to almost the same man! Only difference is that we’re both disabled (he’s 58, I’m 51) he receives more money than me (4-5x as much), and he manages to spend it all in 2 days and demands me to pay the bills and pay for other things. When I’ve stood my ground telling him “I don’t get as much as you do, I can’t, you pay these bills”, he gets angry and has said “Really?, fine!, then let them disconnect those utilities, I won’t pay!” so, not to get utilities disconnected, I continue to pay them eventhough I have torn shoes, faded and tethered clothes, my bras are put together from other “spare” bra parts, but yet he puts me down when I tell him I want to work, to have a job. He tells me nobody will hire me because Im old and with a bad back.

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      • CK says:

        He’s not only emotionally abusive, but also financially abusing you! I wouldn’t be surprised if he was also exerting coercive control.

        Don’t listen to his put-downs: If you were to get a job (you’re not too “old” by the way), you could leave him! You’re paying for his share of the bills, so of course he likes the situation as it is (I.e. you not working). That’s why he’s decimating your confidence and self-esteem – to keep you where he wants you.

        He’s being an abusive b*stard.

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    • Neo says:

      There is another side to this, Tired. Let’s start with the opening qualification:

      “He’s not a bad person, works hard and provides financially.”

      Have you any idea what a man must go through to be able to provide? I had to get up at 1am to get to work, and I’d not be able to get back home due to traffic until at least 3pm. We men don’t get any credit for this when for some reason we aren’t able to provide anymore.

      “I can’t recall the last time he’s said even something simple as “hi” to me when he gets home from work.”

      Why would I bother when -paraphrasing you- “The only time she speaks to me is when she has something to complain about.” Or, something broke today and I need it fixed immediately. Almost daily, that’s what I would be greeted with when I stagger through the door. I’d much rather be greeted by the kids and the dog, because they are glad to see me. No sign of that from the distaff partner.

      “I’ve devoted the last 10 years of my life to staying home to be with our kids while he’s had the opportunity to further his career. . .”

      I looked this one up, and discovered that as of 2012 only about 6% of mothers are able to stay home with the kids. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/09/us/number-of-stay-at-home-mothers-in-us-rises.html

      Not only was I doing well enough to allow my wife to stay home with the kids, but I also put her through grad school. To this day, she has no idea what that cost me, not that I haven’t tried to explain. She declaims everything I say, do, or present as Bullshit! Even my feelings aren’t true! Imagine if your husbands (shitty or otherwise) told you your feelings were incorrect. They would certainly establish with that declaration that they are shitty husbands!

      Which leads into the next issue I have:

      “We don’t talk or really communicate at all and when we do it ends up in arguments.”

      She will never admit when she’s wrong. I can line up factual evidence why she is mistaken, and she will just change the topic and start the fight on a new front. Should all else fail, she brings up everything I ever did wrong in my entire life until I just quit, let her win, and go find someplace else to sleep.

      I have an unwritten list of topics I must NOT introduce, as it might disturb her beautiful mind. There is almost nothing left on that list for me TO discuss with her, and I just let her have her way on those things. Your quote suits me to a T:

      “I feel like I can’t even be myself anymore or speak my mind about anything so I just close up and say nothing.”

      It makes life a whole lot easier. She won’t sabotage my sleep at night, and she can feel like she’s dominant and in total control.

      Forget about sex or other “intimacy” (I HATE that word!) My wife would much rather fondle the TV remote than me, and it’s been like this since the kids first arrived. She would go out of her way to have either one of the standard excuses not to join me in bed (headache, period, not feeling well), or wait until she was certain I’d fallen asleep before she’d come to bed. That would awaken me, and I’d have to go to work sleep deprived.

      So let’s see a parallel series of Open Letters To Shitty Wives. Too many of you would qualify.

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  4. LindaJ says:

    Hi Matt. I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your blog here, and find it practically eerie how well you describe these shitty husband situations. It’s almost as if you were eavesdropping in my (former) marriage.

    I do have a comment, however. In several places, you mention how guys need to “help” their wives with the load of running the home and raising the kids. I’m really not trying to be nitpicky or pedantic, but this is not the right wording. Help means assistance. Assistance is provided by assistants. And assistants are by definition not project leads. In a marriage, there are not just one, but two actual project leads. Help is provided by outside people, on occasion, such as babysitters or lawn services. People don’t marry the help. People do marry their complementary project lead. Or at least, that’s the expectation.

    Which brings me to another point–it really seems like many guys do not understand what they agreed to when they got married in the first place. For example, in the post where you quote an example shitty husband saying “So what you are saying is, I need to help you around the house and with the kids whether I want to or not?”, this dude clearly fails to understand that he effectively *said* that he wanted to take on that stuff when he said “I do.” She’s not asking for favors, she is asking that he follow through on what he agreed to do in the first place. Getting married implicitly states that you are on board for all the work involved in having a life together, and if they have a home and kids, he was obviously involved with getting those into the picture as well, so yes, those are also squarely on his plate. Maybe marriage vows should be written to be very specific and spelled out, so these dudes can absorb the message and know what they are getting into. Maybe something like “I, dude, agree to be a full-fledged part-owner of this marriage and all of the work it entails. I will participate fully, not simply ‘help out’. This will be a lot of work and it will not always be easy and not always fun. I accept that because I recognize that the gains I will receive from being a part of a genuine union such as this with my partner will far outweigh the losses over the long haul of the decades that we anticipate being together. So, yes, I, dude, do accept awesome woman here as my wife.”

    Thanks for your work here. I do hope it helps some couples avoid divorce and have improved marriages.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maddy476 says:

      Thank you very much for pointing this out. There has to start being a shift in society. Maybe the concept of marriage all and it entails should be taught in elementary school.
      I try to keep explaining to my boys why they have to learn to do certain things around the house. I tell them “so your future wife won’t hate me”. i want to teach them how to be good partners.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Why does a husband pack a bag and leave (when you’re not at home) after 42 years together? I’m at a loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amanda says:

      Because he’s a coward POS and can’t handle his feelings so he left and stonewalled you to avoid his own feelings.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Amanda, You are totally correct. After 7 weeks he came home and since June 8 we’ve been trying to rebuild our marriage. I’ve read so much about affairs, infidelity, love, marriage and a host of other things. I believe there were many reason why he left but that didn’t justify the affair. I also believe there are many reasons why he came home and I don’t think I’ll ever get the answers to the questions I had and still have. I really believe that he is incapable of remembering specifics and I truly believe that he is sorry for what he did. I need to add that he is a Vietnam Veteran who spent 1 year 11 months and 19 days in Vietnam with numerous missions including a number in direct combat. He has numerous awards including combat awards and 2 Purple Hearts. This DOES NOT excuse his infidelity or actions but there’s so many possible mental health issues that may be involved with this. The bottom line is he chose me (again) and I chose him (again). We love each other, we renewed or wedding vows on our anniversary (July 1st) and we are committed to our marriage. But again, the day he walked out he was a coward (and I told him this), he was a piece of shit, he couldn’t handle his own feelings and he stonewalled me to avoid his feelings. You are totally right and I agree. Things will never be the same, and they shouldn’t be. But right now things are better than they were, I feel I love him more, but at the same time I forgiven but have not forgotten. One last thought: I believe that this happened because he stopped making me his priority and I stopped making him my priority. This won’t happen again, we have learned so much from this.

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        • ljk says:

          I hope it works out just as you hope.
          In my experience things just don’t change. People try and but they remain the same and over time they seem to revert back.
          I tried to start fresh with my husband and it worked for about a year but after awhile all of the doubts and questions and issues were still there (like the elephant in the room). Insurmountable for me but too old to make the necessary changes.
          Again, hope things work out differently for you

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          • I’m sorry it didn’t work for you and your husband. Trust me, I have my doubts but I’m trying. My doubt is that is he trying as much as me? Some times/days I feel he is and sometimes I have those doubts. It has just been a horrendous, unimaginable 6 months. Something in my life I NEVER thought I would have to go through. So, only time will tell. Thank you for reaching out. I wish you better days a a best life.

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  6. […] the message I’ve repeatedly, and in multiple ways, attempted to share here. It is my greatest failure as both a husband and human being. My failure to treat things with care simply because they hold so much value for other people, even […]

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  7. lyn says:

    i feel like we are all in the same boat. i feels that my husband hates me . my biggest problems was and is after 20 years of marriage was his parents attitude that they continuously instil in him, not to help, not let me work, not give me money. all decisions on marriage to be discussed with them, not me. not allow to have marital home together, not allow to have children and to abort them, when i ignored them and went on with buying house and have children, his mum sets out to kill my toddler eg open front door for 13 month old to go out walking towards main road in front of house whilst she stood at door way 10m away from main road which are not blocked as our driveway is open without gate or fence. this happened despite my telling her baby is sorted and happily watching favourite cartoon. that she watch him whilst i go to the front drive to clean the car. also she opened the window next to my older sons bed and toddler climbed out and i somehow went upstairs and caught him in time. may be he have a guardian angel but the damage this china woman can caused to the downfall of my marriage with her and her husband constantly tells my husband to be a shitty husband. recently found 2 woman bra in our wash which is not mine and too big for my daughter who is 16. she is quite flat chest. i now have my shitty husband twisting words blaming me and shouting at me at every given opportunity if i were so much as to talk. so no, man are incapable of changing when the social media and newspaper do not bring it to light to shame them. so help us. i now know how the woman who jumped off the cliff with her 2 young kids felt like. especially when i am all alone in this country without my family and friends could be light weather friends.

    Like

    • lyn says:

      not only the above happened. when i was enterprising and went on to buy houses and worked hard to find tenant and to fill the empty house he bought, only to find that despite my paying deposits for the house and making money, he had put it all in his sole name and became abusive when i demand that i should have joint share in all properties which would have been sold at losses as he is a sucker to estate agent, more so because we are not english and the estate agents always i mean always undervalue. he had undersold a flat at 50000£ and no money to pay tax as he had borrowed so much on the flat that it had lost all equity and we owe money instead of earn. he fleece me off financially emotionally and when i was in car accident and very sick, instead of helping me to get better and get me proper care, he and his parents bribe my teenagers to get rid of me and said i am lazy when i was bedridden in agony and excruciating pain. he went out of his way to sabotage my kids education because his mum dont like me and dont want my kids to go to university so that her son dont need to have the hardship of financing his own kids and she shoved it to my face that her son is a university graduate and what am i, i was a grad but gave up my career and job because he is too cheap to pay for childcare but its a ruse to suppress me. now i know. its killing me to think i sacrifice everything and devoted my life to my kids and husband to have a man like that succumb to his mum and dad whim to suppress and fleece his own wife. he even wipe out my account empty as i trust him with my bank card when he said he needed money to pay off his debts which i have had the unfortunate duty to teach him to be diligent with money as oppose to his parents tellling him to spend it all including max the credit card, then he came back to me said he loves me and told me to pay off £60,000 credit card debts because his shitty china parents told him to spent it all and i have to pay for it despite having to give up my job to care for our 4 loving kids as he refused to pay childcare. its sickening they behave that way and think they got away with it. but i know not all chinese are like that. i am chinese from a different country and i have more in common with my nice local friends who devote and loves their husband and children. but i just cant deal with his abuse and blame anymore

      Like

  8. Monica says:

    I can identify with so much of this article. This is my life with my husband. It feels awful and I am at the end of my rope. I know we’te headed for divorce but I really hate to do that to my children. I’m just so incredibly sad and lovely.

    Like

  9. Monica says:

    In my previous post I meant to say,” I’m just so sad and lonely”, not lovely.

    Like

    • Sam says:

      Dear Monica
      I feel you’re pain.. why is everyone feeling like this it makes you wonder what is going on with these men… like I wrote in blog I’m in a sexless no hug or kisses marriage .. this not a marriage… I’m a very tentative wife… I am very lonely and sad too but I do love him but it is a different type of love…I’m i here for you we all need support because it is so sad how these men are doing us…especially after given so much of our lives

      Like

      • Monica says:

        We really do need to support each other. Thank you. I am trying to come to terms with the state of my marriage and not harbor shame over it. It is embarrassing to me and I fear that those that know me would think of me differently. I truly wish things were different and I know some day they will be.

        Like

  10. Tanya says:

    I’ve been reading tvis blog what seems to be over and over again. A couple times a week at least.
    My husband and I have been together for 14yrs on the 16th. I was 18 when we met, he was 19. We were so young and naive. And captivated by what was amazing chemistry. But so toxic…so toxic I left when I was 20 for a trip to Italy. (It was amazing and to this day don’t regret it. But I ran half way around the world to figure out what I wanted and needed in My life)
    We officially married last summer. And of course everyone said “it’s about time”
    We have two beautiful boys ages 10 and 11.

    But i was that woman. I had an affair. And no one knew. But it was a ride awakening for me.
    Wasn’t filling the void of “sex” it was the friendship and connection that I enjoyed the most. My husband married me 6 months after he found out. (I was surprised too) but through counselling he realized what it was that drove me too it…and he was honest he said “I just figured she never would leave No matter how bad he treated me”
    He was anticipating marriage counselling thinking “haha my wife cheated he won’t agree with anything she says”
    But I’m fact…out therapist really layed it out to him. It doesn’t justify what I did. I carry that guilt with me daily.
    But I’m still unhappy. And something is missing.

    I want to leave but too much of a coward.
    I’m afraid to start life alone. And I think thats why I married him. I feel stuck

    Like

    • Uptohere says:

      The problem is you are a selfish twit. Divorce him. He deserves so much better than you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tanya says:

        No in fact I dont think he does. Our relationship has been physically emotionally and mentally abusive. I just stick it out because we have children.
        Not a twit. I’m an educated woman and know my faults and take full responsibility. I work hard in my career. Up until Nov working up to 80hrs a week in two jobs. Take care of our home..children…and Indirectly get spat on. He is a great provider in many ways. But like most woman its beyond providing such as the house and car and money in the bank. I work and support this home just as much . And do NOT feel entitled just bc I do.
        I did cheat. And everyday I feel that guilt.
        But with All do respect. Calling someone a Selfesh twit makes u no better than him and the many other woman tired of the verbal abuse that they feel stuck having to deal with.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Uptohere says:

          Read your first post again. You had an affair. You broke a sacred trust to take care of you and only you. You think you are more important than the marriage. You think you are a better person than your husband. You blame your spouse for your affair and for the unhappiness inside of you. You obviously have no respect for him and yet you stay because “you [are] a coward.” At this point you are using him to make you feel safe when he is not safe with you. That’s makes you a selfish and a twit. And I would say the same thing to him if he said the things you are saying. Not abusive. It’s a fact. Fix yourself or get out and give him the chance to find someone who respects him or at least the freedom of not having to have his life tied to someone who looks down on him.

          Liked by 1 person

          • ljk says:

            I would say ditto to the (50%) of men out there who cheat and the other 49% who want to cheat. You hide it and then lie about it so get out and do your thing and give your wife a chance to find happiness elsewhere (albeit temporary until the next one does it too) – oh, you don’t want to pay the child support so you stay and hide it- I thought so!

            Like

      • wannabemgtow says:

        The sad part of it is that if she leaves, she gets the kids…the house….the cars….all of his money and dignity……and SHE’S the whore that had the affair. That’s exactly what happened to me.

        Like

    • janharg says:

      I completely disagree with the way that Uptohere addressed you. Verbal or written abuse is never helpful. I have been in an abusive relationship and I know how the constant drumbeat of hearing how incompetent and awful you are wears you down. However, I must say this – staying with someone because you’re afraid to step out on your own is the absolute worst reason of all. Particularly since you have two beautiful boys who are learning that verbal and emotional abuse of women is “normal” — it’s what they see every day. Staying “for the kids” is also a terrible reason. YOU are teaching them that abuse is normal by staying in it. It’s been said that the most important thing that a man can do for his children is to love their mother. If you are waiting for an abuser to change (male or female), you’ll be waiting until your boys are abusing their lovers & spouses or you’re in your coffin, whichever comes first. You’re in a better spot than you know — you’ve been working outside the home so you have experience. Gather your strength, open your own bank account and move your paycheck deposits to that account, gather your children, and leave. If you have to walk out with your children and nothing else, go anyway — everything else is replaceable. Don’t fight over the couch and the dining set or even your clothes — it’s just stuff. Just get out! Get help and support from a friend. Go to a shelter — they provide a safe place with therapy and support for you and the kids. They can help you with finding a place to live, with learning how to manage your divorce, everything. Just don’t stay and continue to subject yourself and your children to abuse. Please. Take it from a survivor. In 6 months you’ll be wondering why you stayed so long.

      Like

    • Opal says:

      The fact is, you do not know yourself. Your husband cannot make you happy, only you can. You need to be honest with you. Look at your childhood,learn about personalities,figure out why. I suggest after doing those things if you are still unhappy, get a divorce, but continue to work on you.- good luck

      Like

  11. Panda87 says:

    Well I love my husband very much. One problem is that when we argue, and it is bad and I tell him at that time that I love him, he does not believe me. But, then again, I have done the same thing. We both can act like children in our marriage and that to me is wrong. I do it, he does it. But in the end, I do love him very much. I have always needed a lot of attention because when I was a young girl I did not get enough attention from my parents or my sibling. I got bullied more by my brother and sister all my life and ignored a lot by my parents. That did not help me in adulthood. I need a lot of assurance, affirmation, physical touch and love making. I need it to feel loved and if it does not come consistently, I hurt inside. I get lonely, insecure and vulnerable. I feel rejected. I then start to feel resentful and probably help ensue arguments with my husband. I think any woman who was treated with rejection as a child and physically abused by a boyfriend as a teen would have issues as I do.
    He travels for work, and has for years, so he is gone half the month. So when you add that factor in with someone who needs a lot of attention, well there you have it.
    I would hate to know that my need for attention and a lot of love is the cause of my marriage being on such shaky ground. I am sure that is not the only issue, but it does not help. I also have health issues that I try very hard to combat and I know there are other things I could do but it is hard when I feel alone a lot. I resent his job because it takes him away from me. I hate doing that too, feeling that resentment. It is not good, and I realize that a lot. It seems that when things are good for a while, then great. But when I have severe stress, from whatever that may be, I do not do well. I then feel at those times is when I need the attention more than ever. I have always had a lot of rejection in my life and if it happens to me, I have trouble dealing with it. I am honest to a fault because my truths always get me in trouble. I say too much and then bam, I am screwed.
    We have been together for 34 years since I was 18. I know nothing else. NOTHING. Mistakes that we have both made have made scars. Damn, I hate that. The last 4 years have been some of the worst in my life. I have had others, but these are at the top with the rest and sometimes worse.
    I do wish that when something bad happens that I could handle things better. Him too. I know I am not at complete fault here but sure I can do better IF I could just feel better. There is nothing worse than physically being incapable of feeling good enough to get motivated to move and be something in your life.
    I know what I need to feel better but I can’t do it. I am struggling to do what I need to do and I keep thinking I need help to do it. I know I can do what I need to do on my own, but physically and mentally I struggle to do it. I never got enough support when I was a kid from anyone and to feel like I need it now sucks too. I don’t need the support to do what I need to do as I should be independent and stronger than that. It isn’t easy with chronic pains and depression. They aren’t excuses, they are real. I literally picture him encouraging me to just get out of bed; guiding me out of bed and telling me he will motivate me all day on a given day to get something done. I envision that to happen for several days…until I can see I am actually doing it while I feel like I have a cheering squad on the side lines. Sad huh?
    When we fight, he wants nothing to do with me for long periods. I then slip back into deep depression and resentment all over again, like now at this very moment.
    I basically feel like there is literally no one there cheering me on. I feel so empty from so much loss and if a bad day happens..damn, I am screwed. And no, not all that happens on those bad days are my fault. Either way, I am screwed. I don’t think I am really special at all. We had kids.. I raised them mostly. But I have not done anything else with my life. Nothing substantial, nothing that anyone raves about. No one asks me ever how things are going in a true sense of the word. They all already know. It’s small talk. It’s not really BIG talk about BIG things about me. Important big stuff that is amazing or great. Why? There is nothing.
    So I wonder if I am just not interesting to him anymore. This is a true feeling I have. I don’t get up every day and feel wonderful about myself, so why should he? I want to be something. The kids are gone, and all that I did all those years made me feel worthy…there was a purpose to get up. Now there is not. Especially on days when he is gone. I truly just wish there was some way to get motivated to feel human again, to have substance to my life and to myself. I keep expecting him to do that and that is stupid. Basically he has always been my life and I need to get a life because I don’t have one. I always thought my life was his, and his was mine. I don’t know how to be without him in my life because my entire adult life has been us together.
    Again, I wish we could exit this childish behavior we both exhibit. I would give anything for that to happen. I have already lost enough I am not sure I have anything left to give to make that happen except tell him I love him, but I am not sure he would say it back and that hurts way too much.
    I ask anyone out there: Why? Why do we inflict this pain on each other? The pain of such awful arguments and horrible words? Why? Why do we choose to not make that person our everything? I just wish all the scars were gone because they haunt us. Literally. I pray to God that somehow, some way these scars can just go away because I want to find a way for my marriage to work. I just want to feel better physically and mentally. The pain is awful and all I want is for us to make a promise to stop the resentment and hate and the scars. I keep holding out that we can grow up because I hate being a child all my life. The last thing I want is a divorce because we would be able to say “I was a shitty wife” or “I was a shitty husband” as in the past tense. I would rather keep fighting to make it work and not just because I love him, but because I have never stopped believing that what we have is real. Sure that real can be the ultimate worst at times, and I am sorry for that, but the good has been real good. I just don’t want to let go of the good that is there. I am not your usual wife. I am not the 99% of most anything. I am that odd 1% that is different and I plan on staying that way. It’s all about priorities and where you rank that person in your life. I guess I was taught as a child how not to do that. I want to do that better. You never stop learning.

    Like

  12. Panda87 says:

    Just to add, I tried desperately to show my comment above to my husband of whom has read a lot of these letters here on this page. He says that Matt is a dick for what he did. Ok, I agree Matt was a shitty husband, but apparently he learned from his mistakes and is probably not a shitty guy now at all and his advice comes from someone who learned a lot. So, I think my husband just hates what Matt has to say because I wanted him to read it. I do know my husband said he thinks that Matt has no tact in the way he addressed his readers calling them shitty and assholes. I think that just comes from not wanting to deal with truths staring you in the face. He asked about what about what I have done wrong. I told him, please please, sure, go find the “Shitty wife page” because I would be happy to read it as I am no saint. I found this page for him to read and it was a mistake in doing so as he seems very bent out of shape. Totally stupid, kinda the word he has called me multiple times today. Plus, when I tried to show him that I had posted as a comment here above, and wanted him to read it, he said he did not care. So right now, my husband is really SHITTY. I still love my husband, and all his shiftiness but damn, he sure knows how to make me feel like SHIT.

    Like

    • Betsy5 says:

      Perhaps the reason we argue is that we see things differently and feel our needs aren’t being met. We are frustrated that the other person doesn’t “get” us, can’t fill in our “missing gaps” or doesn’t seem interested in doing so. But we need to try to put aside our expectations. If we married someone so we would have somebody to take care of us and meet our needs physically and emotionally, we are in for a big disappointment. Because guess what? They married us for the same reason! The best we can do is to try to make our spouses happy. Difficult at times? Absolutely. As a wife, I was home for quite a few years with our kids, then went back to working very long hours at a challenging job. Being home with our kids was really wonderful, and I wouldn’t have given up those years for anything, but it could be isolating at times. My husband often treated me as though I was a bore. (Maybe I was…:) But when I returned to work full-time, working 50-60 hours a week, with 3 children, life was exhausting beyond description, and there was no time for genuine rest and relaxation. He resented that, too. But he put in many long work days as well. Yet it is important that we are attentive to what makes our spouses happy while still keeping our own integrity (and sanity…). It took many,many years of marriage and serious struggles for us to understand that. And we are still working on it. As a note, we stumbled across an incredible 4-part online sermon series on marriage by Andy Stanley that gave us a different perspective on marriage as well as a much needed boost! While I don’t know the details of your situation, please know that the world needs you! Please consider volunteer work. It is a wonderful and rewarding way to help others and to discover hidden talents within ourselves. Your energy will actually increase, pain will seem less debilitating, and you will find renewed purpose. There are so many needs out there and you could fill a vital role. Keep your chin up!

      Like

  13. Understandme says:

    Hi, I want to take the time to thank you for all of this. I *was* a shitty boyfriend. And still feel like I am because I can’t Phatom the idea that I was this guy.
    Please don’t judge me, but I know I don’t deserve pity.

    I am 25, been with my girlfriend since freshmen year highschool. And I want to marry her.!We were madly in love and so deep into eachother. I wanted nothing but her all the years together it wasn’t until we began to have problems as much as two years ago. Whenever we would argue I would recieve soaps and sometimes a punch from my girlfriend. Nothing crazy, I could take it but it cause much resentment. This happened for about a summer when later she realized that I really was being hurt by her actions. She stopped and we got better at communication.

    I’m no saint though, I didn’t notice that I was addicted to pornography. I later found out about a site where you could purchase escorts and I got began to explore my curiosity up to around 9 times last year. It felt like I was trying to live out fantasies through my actions and I knew the only was to stop myself was to fess up to my actions. I told her and we are beginning to rebuild. I just want to be a better me and to finally be the mature version of myself. I can’t explain how someone could do bad things like me and still believe they love someone but I truely do and I have learned from my mistake. When thinking back there are so many times where my girl friend would stop while giving fillecio after I had done it to her and we would go to sleep after she apologized for not finishing. I always told her it was ok even though deep down I wasn’t. Most those experiences with escorts have been about fillecio and I’m trying to think if those are connected. I also bloomed late sexually and didnt have sex until the end of highschool.

    My fear is that I don’t deserve this second chance that is being afforded to me. But I want so badly to mature and to feel like I deserve to marry her. I know without a doubt I will never mess up again.

    Please give me feedback, i also have ADD, so if this is all over the place I’m sorry.

    Like

    • wifefedup says:

      I notice you don’t mention the problems but directly mention what she did to you. You seem to have narcissism and won’t pit even though you say you don’t want it. If you want to be better then don’t disguise what you did to her and mention all her reactions. Through your entire post you don’t mention what exactly you did to her which means you are still trying to protect your image. Apart of becoming a better person is opening confessing to what you did wrong, and first to her. If you don’t you are still shitty.

      Like

  14. Wendi says:

    Hi! I just want to say thank you for writing this. I’m married to a selfish man. We’ve been married a little over a year but started dating almost 7 years ago. Our relationship started out good and has slowly gone down hill. I really wish we were taught at a young age how to communicate with the opposite sex because I think that’s where the problem lies. This is not my first marriage but it will be my last. Ironically, The men I’ve been with always start out attentive and loving and then slowly slip into selfish mode leaving me feeling unappreciated, unvalued and unloved. It’s very painful and I’ve noticed my self esteem had been affected because I was in denial. I’m moving into the apathetic mode now. Anyways, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your story and experience. You are correct in that your “average story “ does help “average people”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Thank you, Wendi. I would like for it to matter and I appreciate you saying it does.

      I don’t know how we collectively fix wants broken. But I know making it s conversation could be a start, and that doing nothing ensures nothing gets better.

      I’m sorry you’re feeling the apathy settle in. I’ve seen it. Felt it. And it’s a difficult thing to come back from. Wishing you and your husband my very best.

      I want to be hopeful because I don’t see the point in the alternative, and because I really do believe that most guys are good men who are simply lacking the knowledge and resources to perform the duties of “husband” rather poorly.

      I hope someday we can look back and honestly say that it isn’t true anymore.

      Like

  15. Monica says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and providing a format for other men to share as well. My husband is a good man but a shitty husband. He doesn’t know it though. I think I’m going to share this with him to see if any of it resonates.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      The title is really off-putting to anyone incapable of recognizing that high character people can lack certain knowledge or skills required to be a “good” husband.

      People take it so personally. And I get it because five or six years ago, I would have too.

      Context matters. So I hope you can find a way for it to not feel like an accusation to him. That tends to turn people off and reject attempts to help.

      But thank you. I’m grateful for the thoughts and note.

      Like

      • Mary says:

        My husband DEFINITELY takes this personally when I ask him if he’s read any of the “Open Letters”. He doesn’t think of himself as a shitty person. But what good person would intentionally try to sleep with another person while the wife and the kids were away for a weekend? Not too many, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Matt says:

          Tell him the word “husband” and “person” mean different things.

          I suck at building baseball stadiums. But I don’t think that makes me a bad person.

          Some guys suck at being husbands. That doesn’t necessarily make them bad people.

          I think you’re in the best position to evaluate the quality of his performance as a husband.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Maddy476 says:

            I think you missed the point Matt. Infidelity makes him a bad husband and a shitty person. The end.

            Like

            • Matt says:

              I didn’t miss that part.

              And you’re probably right. But I stay out of the judging-other-people business.

              Everyone’s allowed to think and feel whatever they want about someone’s behavior.

              But if Mary’s husband is EVER going to accept constructive criticism and grow, he needs to learn that “Shitty Husband” and “Shitty Person” are not synonyms. I’m tired of men being dumbasses about that.

              If you dismiss information that can help you understand your wife or marriage better because you don’t know that the words ‘husband’ and ‘person’ aren’t synonyms, then you’re going to have significant life problems.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Maddy476 says:

                Agreed. Great explanation and writing as always. I have referred so many people to your blog. It should be mandatory reading for all couples or maybe start teaching it in elementary school. Thanks Matt.

                Like

              • Mary says:

                Matt I’m equally as annoyed about people being dumbasses about whether they are a good person or a shitty husband. My husband is a good person. Book smart. Not so much with the street credibility though. The general “life is shit” kind of smarts. Street smarts… Nope. Missed the boat on that one. Even as everything is crumbling around us, I still say “He’s a good person just…” and then go into the reasons why he’s a shitty husband. Doesn’t mean that I love him any less, and certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t try my absolute hardest to get him to realize there is still time to save our marriage. I want to know that when the time comes for me to take our children and walk away, that I literally tried EVERYTHING I could to get him to wake up before it was too late. That way I can hold my head up high, and never look back with regrets.

                Like

  16. Angela says:

    I am married to a good man / shitty husband. I bought a travel trailer for us to take time away from the distractions so we can focus on us. I go camping in it mostly by myself. One good thing is that I feel like I am my own person, on my own with no one around to ignore me and all the other things shitty husbands do. I am at peace by myself and don’t mind heing alone as much anymore. If my husband wants to be with me I camp in the mountains 20 minutes away so he can come to me if he has the desire to do so. Absense makes the heart grow fonder? We will see.

    Like

    • Maddy476 says:

      Good for you. I hope it works. If not, at least you know where you stand and can enjoy your life being happy. Life is too short.

      Like

  17. Idiot says:

    I am an idiot because i married someone who deserted two families already and was 15 years my senior. I was mad for him. I never saw step kids as a problem and cooperated with the ex wives even to this day. He works hard. That’s where it ends. He has ignored me and our two kids now 22 and 16 years old and they HATE me. We go to family therapy and the kids jump my shit for being angry. Well, I have become an angry, bitter, miserable person. I am the only parent. Zero cooperation from husband or two kids with anything in the house from pets to clean your toilet/shower/bedroom. Husband has the entirety of our marriage being the whisperer or calm parent when i am on my last nerve ending. Then he enters the scene to hand-hold the pissed off teenager while pointing out just how angry and bitter I am. He ignored me when i had cancer and in the five or six years following, my health suffered quite a bit. He made it clear that i was a nuisance and left the oldest child to care for the youngest child while he watched tv. He has shown two kids how to avoid cooperating and being considerate of others. I have been verbally abusive to husband and kids and I know that is bad. My only defense is that I bottle it all up until i flip out with anger and my mouth uncontrollable. I have tried so hard to make the house a home from holidays to birthdays to you name it while the sperm donor shows up in time to eat and critique the food.
    So husband gets a pass even though both kids have complained and agreed with me in my sorrow what a complete evil jerk he is, and i am the toxic parent. I can take anything but the hatred of my kids and that is exactly what I have. It is all I have.

    Like

    • Betsy5 says:

      Please hang in there. Had some similar experiences. Some men are too engrossed in their own stuff and/or too immature to actually do the tough job of helping to raise their kids to become functioning adults. Perhaps they didn’t witness good parenting themselves. Or maybe they are spineless guys who let the women do the “heavy lifting” of parenting while they bask in the glory of being the “good guy”. Those guys sabotage their wives’ attempts at parenting, and aren’t mature enough to step up and try to work things out as a couple. This can be damaging to the kids and is crazy-making, rage-provoking stuff for the wife. And yes, sometimes she does go overboard with the discipline because she is trying to cover all the bases without out much, if any, support. The guys need to take the long view here. We aren’t raising kids. We are raising adults. Parenting action/inaction will ultimately influence the types of adults our kids become. But please consider individual counseling for yourself to keep yourself from defragmenting. (Been there…) Some thoughts: Pray. (God listens.) Exercise at least a little each day. (Running became my sanity…) Try to smile as much as possible. Talk with your kids. They do NOT hate you. At their ages they are immature but think they know everything! And they have learned how to put you through an emotional wringer. Apologize for going off the deep-end at times and explain that you love them, want the best for them, and are doing all you can to help them become capable adults, and that accomplishing that goal requires holding them accountable. Despite my many parenting mistakes, and many rough (and lonely) parenting moments, my grown kids now thank me for having made the effort to guide them and for having set some loving standards and expectations. Please stay strong. You will get through this!

      Like

      • Maddy476 says:

        That was explained very well and confirms I’m not crazy. Thank you. My ex and I were always on different pages when it came to parenting. My approach was same as yours. We are raising adults. Good, decent human beings. He never got it. I tried to help my kids thru advice and guidance. His style was leave them alone and they’ll figure it out.

        Like

        • Betsy5 says:

          Thank you, Maddy476. Nope, you aren’t crazy! You were able to raise and nurture your children each day while keeping in mind the ultimate goal of adulthood. Life has purpose and you wanted your kids to be responsible enough to fulfill theirs. A very loving and sane approach! But not the easy route, for sure. It does seem that most men do not grasp the sense of vulnerability experienced by many women. This feeling of vulnerability is probably part of what drives us to want to protect and prepare our kids as much as possible. This, and of course,our boundless love for them! God bless you.

          Like

          • Maddy476 says:

            Thank you. Three and a half years later, we are all happier. I love my life and my two boys (23 and 15) and I know will overcome the pain of their parents separating. My therapist said it’s better to have two happy homes than one miserable home.
            I’ve never been happier.

            Like

    • Opal says:

      -You are not an idiot, look up codependent and see if it fits. Most likely you don’t like confrontation, because you always seem to lose,but you blow up because you need to be heard. Those are normal necessary needs. Go to a good therapist alone, not group, that will help you express and recognize how you feel. Communication and acknowledgement of feelings are a good way to take back control of yourself. He will either change with you or he won’t,that is his choice. You, on the other hand get healthier for your children and learn to establish boundaries. You will be the victor either way, it’s the rough times that bring us to what we truly seek. The work is hard, but oh so worth it. May you find peace . I was wondering, what have you done for yourself that is nice lately?

      Like

  18. wifefedup says:

    so sad to say that my marriage is no longer saveable. I original was going to write a long post but the truth is, I am to exhausted to even talk about it much. My husband is a disrespectful alcoholic that has brought cops in our life repeatedly, and he is rude, smart mouth and neglectful to the max and he insist on saying I brought on myself. He has emotional affairs with men and ignores me for days with only casual hi or bye. He says “a man should talk to a man” He has an excuse for all his abuse, even his past physical abuse and insults. I have the strange feeling that he is using shopping and time after work to talk to someone he has feelings for. I say this because he insist only speaking to me for a minute when he comes out of work and not during his drive home or stops at any places. He also never invites me to go shopping and he gets super cleaned up before going. He is usually very ignorant before hand, as if he purpose wants to turn me off so I don’t go with him. I know he cheated on me two months after we were married and possibly two others times. He refuse to talk about any of it and taking the cheating experience to the grave. I realize I am married to a narcissist and just really want to move into my own place now. I been living an never ending nightmare so much so, my blood pressure won’t go down now, my hair is solid white in places and I am only 41, ( I been gray since his abuse started), I have nightmares every night. I have had be on medicine for depression and severe migranes. I started napping in my car just to get away from his cold ways and various forms of his abuse. Once a day I drive and park somewhere and rest in my car, to get some relief. I have friends who feel so sorry for me, that they have said they would get me a spare key to their house so I can stay there sometime. I have invested all my saving on his family home just to find out, I am not even on the deed, only him. Once a doctor got worried and asked me if I was being abused at home, emotionally abused because I am showing sign that I am. He has abused me so bad one time, that I actually imagined jumping off a bridge for it to end. He blames shift, plays hot potatoes, insults, pushes, throws shit at me, breaks my shit for no reason and lies about it, ditches me at parties,don’t speak to me for hours after work, is secretive and manipulative. the list of abuse goes on. He once pushed me down the steps and claimed he didn’t. Most of his abuse goes on when no one is home or our daughter is not in the room, then he plays victim once someone comes in the room. I married evil and I just want out. At this point any way out will do. I know he will make my life hell if I separate from him again. My daughter is hardly home cause of her busy life so I am glad she doesn’t get to see him abuse me, but I can tell she sees the wear on me. She has some of the same complaints about her father so I know she is also getting tired of him. I tried to comfort her but she is really fed up with him cold ways toward her, ignoring her, not being there for her…etc. She is old enough now to see his mind games even with her and so she doesn’t even want to be home with him unless I am there.

    Like

    • wannabemgtow says:

      So you said this to another person on this thread:

      wifefedup says:
      August 4, 2018 at 1:39 PM
      I notice you don’t mention the problems but directly mention what she did to you. You seem to have narcissism and won’t pit even though you say you don’t want it. If you want to be better then don’t disguise what you did to her and mention all her reactions. Through your entire post you don’t mention what exactly you did to her which means you are still trying to protect your image. Apart of becoming a better person is opening confessing to what you did wrong, and first to her. If you don’t you are still shitty.

      I just gotta say, you did the same thing on this post that you jumped in another man’s ass for. Your whole post is I I I I I……its all about ME ME ME ME ME……If I were your husband, I’D DRINK TOO. DAYAM. You have the choice to be abused or not, especially if you’re a woman in this country. The law is on your side so all of this is garbage. Get off your ass and leave.

      Like

      • wifefedup says:

        I would like you to explain to me how me being abused by my husband, physically and cheated on and insulted countless times is excused by my disagreement with someone else post. Why does that post bother you? Their case is not the same as mine. When someone doesn’t speak to you or won’t deal with you, it is cause something you done. How is that the same as what I am experiencing? You are attempting to play hot potato and circular argue. If I was about me, why would I pay for a house that is not even in my name. This post is about YOUR SPOUSE BEING A SHITTY PERSON, so I shared about my spouse being a shitty person. I didn’t do anything to my spouse. You are actually suggesting that i deserve to be pushed down steps, insulted, and abused by my husband and cheated on. You are sick. That guys post is nothing like mine and how can you compare it. You do realize that narcissism is also seen in someones effort to play hot potato, and reroute the focus on the person, which you did in your comment. For you dismiss that i mentioned in my comment that I WAS PHYSICALLY ABUSED by my husband, shows you are dealing with narcissism. Narcissist are incapable of being empathic towards abuse victims. A normal person would of showed compassion toward anyone posting a comment about being abused by their spouse. That guys spoke on how his wife was not speaking to him and didn’t want to be with him, that is nothing like my post. No one deserves to be pushed down steps like i was, cheated on and insulted by their spouse regularly. Me and that guys case is different. Often when people don’t speak to you, it is because there is something you did that is making them not want to speak to you. NO ONE DESERVE PHYSICAL ABUSE OR TO BE INSULTED BY THEIR SPOUSE, LIKE I WAS. You need to research narcissism. Speaking of you being abused is not narcissism, speaking of only what your needs are and what you want out of the relationship is. You just emotionally abused me. If I was your wife, I would of run like hell, cause you are a narcissist with a mask on, who attacking people the moment they disagree. My husband was an alcoholic before I met him and worse before I met, so all that you are saying make no sense. You even trying to force me to go on the defensive about my abuse, like narcs try to make you. You are attempting to crazy make me, like narcs do. lol. My husband had a history of abusing people before I came along, and claimed he was a changed man. You showed you was a narc, the moment you blew by all the abuse I mentioned I went through and rush to only try to devalue my post in some way and try to find support for it. Your want people in here to think I am lying. Your jet I mind games is only wasting your own energy. You need some real therapy. My husband is sooo unhappy yet I followed him everywhere, I allow everything to be in his name, he is cared for at parties, around family, at home, massaged, bathed….etc. He happnes to have a trail of women who don’t like him, long before I came. His own sister in law says he has always been nasty and mean to women, and was worried about what I would experience with him. I don’t see any narc doing that kind of stuff. NARCS DON’T LET PEOPLE PUSH THEM DOWN STEPS OR INSULT THEM, they do it. I pray you don’t go telling a therapist that you had the right to push your wife down the steps, cause you may end up in jail or with a restraining order on you. STOP TROLLING ME WITH ME YOU EVIL NARC WAYS. You are speaking like you know how i treat my husband. I wonder how many massages were you getting from your wife and baths (bathed by her) and if you was waited on hand and foot, like my husband has always been. He doesn’t want out the marriage, so that says it all. I want out of the marriage. He has out right said, he is the wrong one, and knows he doesn’t treat me right. So you sound really foolish. You sound bitter and angry. I guess your wife left you or is. I am glad she did, cause you are very manipulative and abusive. It is abusive to even dismiss the abuse of others.

        Like

  19. Sad says:

    You solved the mystery. He’s a good man, just a really shitty husband. I can’t fix it, only he can. And he doesnt want to. I’m so lonely and really want a husband. I want him. But he doesn’t want me. :(

    Like

    • Betsy5 says:

      If it is of any help, please read up on alexithymia. Understanding this phenomenon of poor emotional awareness/identification has not only helped me, but helped my husband better understand why he so often seems to be emotionally bereft. He has many, but not all, of the characteristics of this anomaly. (And I was at the very, very end of my rope when we found information about alexithymia. That was probably the only reason he was open to reading some online articles as well as some books we ordered.) It is a very empty, lonely life to be the spouse of someone who cannot tune in to the emotional needs of family members. Often, these individuals appear to be simply disinterested. Or they may misread emotional cues. But my husband’s poor skills in understanding, or even being aware of, his own and others’ emotions, coupled with his inability to “put himself in the shoes of another”, has been a major roadblock to emotional connections personally, and has hampered his success in his work and social life as well. Those with lack of emotional awareness/identification can only “fake it” for so long. But spouses can only “take it” for so long. Yet, there is hope and the possibility of maintaining a relationship here. May God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Eugene says:

    Fuck you

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Susan Crookes says:

    I was married for 23 years to a narcissistic bipolar husband, he refused to work, left me to worry about all the finances and when I eventually looked for a legal separation, he beat me up and lied to the kids about it and now he has alienated them from me and he is going to get 40% of the sale of my house next year which I paid for all of my life.
    I feel cheated by the legal system, the only reason I stayed with him was because I had two young kids to provide for and now they no longer talk to me, marriage is a fools game

    Like

    • Matt says:

      You deserved so much more, Susan. I understand why you feel that way and I’m so sorry those were your experiences.

      There’s a better model out there. People who marry effectively and teach their children to do the same.

      I would really like to help people find that path, so people don’t have to experience the awful things you lived through, nor the kind of divorce experience I had.

      Thank you for reading and sharing something so personal here.

      Like

  22. Jenna Lyn Porfirio says:

    I am married to someone whos a shitty husband sometimes. Hes a great guy but doesnt listen to me. When i have an opinion shuts me down. Also doesnt want to support my ideas and is waayy older than me. He was different in the beginning. Its like he manipulated me. I still love him but i cant do this for a long time if it doesnt get better. I noticed the changes about 5 years ago and everytime I bring it up he acts like our marraige isnt that bad! Which means that he doesnt care how I feel in the marriage only how he feels. I am not easy to live with but part of that is because of our arguments and I know im not perfect but I admit that! I just want him to admit his faults too. I stopped trying to change anything about me because he doeant even change one thing about his faults.

    Like

  23. Readytogo says:

    I could post this and it will not matter. He refuse to engage in any activity that fixes us. I am ready to leave and now more than ever. The fighting has stopped. He can have sex whenever and however because at this point I’m done. For years I was submissive to a grown child. Dealing with his insecurities, his mommy and daddy issues, dealing with just him. For 7 years, I wanted my life loving someone who just want to be a miserable grown child. He always put his friends first and me and our daughter absolutly last. I’m done. I will no longer chase after a man that is just here to make me want to kill myself. I cant be married to someone who just has to be right.

    The years have been me auditioning for a role that was never available. I was so close to buying us our first home as a couple and he ruined it and left. He insist that my blood sister is the same as his friends that have hit on me and slept on every woman he has ever dated. He truly believes that I’m a cheater when everyone and their mother knows he is. Everything bad and horrible in our life is because of him and I was just too dumb and followed.

    I hate this man and would do anything at this point to escape, move on and start my life all over. But let him tell it. He works soooooo hard for the poverty we are forced to live due to his actions. I resent everything about this man. He wont let me be a woman all the while he is living a dream come true.

    Like

  24. […] see people. Families. Children. Ones that look just like mine when I was accidentally ruining my marriage, and just like mine when my parents were accidentally ruining […]

    Like

  25. TiredLady18 says:

    Going through the comments section, it’s strange that most of the comments are from wives that are at a loss. I guess I’m not alone in my Google searching “Argh, why is my husband such a jackwagon?”, which is comforting… and depressing.

    I found myself nodding along to 90%+ of what you wrote in this series. I appreciate your honesty and self reflection and your willingness to share so others may learn. I would love to print them all out and give them to my husband as mandatory reading. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could get him to read this with an open mind without it turning into a “oh, you think I’m a shitty husband, blah blah blah.” Any tips on ways to get it in front of him without opening myself up to WW3?

    By any measure, I’m not perfect but I am at least working to improve myself and “us”. He won’t even admit there’s anything to work on. Of course, if you have a wife that works full time, makes more money than you, cooks dinner, cleans, takes care of the kids and pets, manages the kids’ social, sports and school calendars, handles the home repairs, household shopping, garbage duty, and anything else he “I don’t want to”‘s but still needs to get done by somebody, you too might hesitate to voluntarily give up the gravy train.

    I’m tired of not liking my husband as much as I used to. It’s worse than not having him there at all. At least if he left us, I wouldn’t have to see him sitting on his butt watching TV or playing games on his phone, or criticizing me and the kids from his armchair, as I run myself ragged trying to keep our world spinning. I worry about what type of husbands my sons will be based on what they’re learning from dad…

    This post turned into a longer rant than I intended. Apologies. But seriously, any tips to get him to read this would be great…

    Like

    • Linda Kasko says:

      When you can get them to communicate with you after you have stated the problem it is only time to bring it up again when you are ready to make a decision to leave. If you are still going to stay and he is still going to ignore you you just become a bitch (his thoughts not mine) and you will be tuned out. Then just stay, for the kids, for the stability, for whatever. That what I did. It didn’t feel good but after weighing my options it is what I decided. 20 years later when I was in a better position to walk he was open to changes and has made them. Things will never be a good as they could have been – so many wasted years. But you never know if you’re going to end up with another fool so it is a crapshoot. So when you are ready to walk approach him again with you plan. If he is still not interested in trying to work on the marriage then walk.

      Like

      • Maddy476 says:

        I agree. There’s also the option of finding ourselves and being alone without a man? As we get older we are more confident and know what crap we will put up with and what we won’t.
        I think if I find another relationship, I will get him to read all Matt’s “open letters to shitty husbands” first. 😃

        Like

    • Maddy476 says:

      I feel your pain. Please make an exit plan. You make more money than he does so I’m guessing you can support yourself. I know it’s scary. It’s better to be alone with yourself than to be with someone and be alone. Trust me it will be best thing ever. If he doesn’t make any changes, then you know where you stand. I did it. You can do it too! Life is too short. My choice was to take a chance and Be Happy! It worked !

      Like

  26. Wife who’s on way out says:

    In my opinion, my husband is a shitty one because he considers watching our children as ‘babysitting’…yes you read correctly. He thinks that he can leave without saying a word to me when it’s the opposite for me. Sometimes, I get mad at & told “leave me alone” because I wasn’t back home to relieve him of ‘babysitting’ (definition being him lying in our bed & having the older one watch the youngest, while the older one plays video games & youngest tears house apart)! I’m so sick and tired of this! There is zero TEAM effort & since I stay home with the children, I am considered to not have a job! I’m at the end of my rope. My ex husband helped out more than my current husband does, and that’s bad!

    Like

  27. Andrew says:

    Best article I could find on google.com – The comment section even funnier

    Liked by 1 person

  28. […] I’ve been writing the same crap for more than five years. If I had the words that actually moved the needle, I’d use them. […]

    Like

  29. Dean says:

    It took s big person to acknowledge the wrongs ,
    My husbands is u but 100% more I don’t say that lightly he walks out the door and he’s this amazing person to others but behind closed doors were no one sees the truth , in public hes belittling has no prob saying and making me feel ashamed and stupid especially in front of his adult children ! He’s good at showing them no respect no boundaries and now he feel it’s time to lay blame on me ! I felt with his ex wife staying with us because he could say no to his adult kids and his brother who’s only job was to find places to live all the while he enjoyed his carefree life while I handled everything and he just enjoyed the fun !

    Like

  30. John says:

    Well after reading everything above, I can say I qualify as a shitty husband!!! I am the guy who only cares about the big things. I’m not an emotional person. Some people say I have no feelings at all. But I was brought up to be a provider. I provide, everyone is happy, I’m happy. Lot more to being a husband than being a paycheck, mechanic, lawn guy, and part time house maid. I am that guy that even though I heard the cries for help, I thought I tried to do better but I always fell short. I love my wife as much is I know how to love but never could get past my selfish wants and needs (dumb little things, never cheated or abused my wife) I guess you can say I the nice guy who could not learn how to be a good husband. Being an only child who was raised by his single father with no love from a mother. I think I missed out on how to treat a woman correctly. So after 11yrs the fact that I didn’t tell her I called her sister to find out if they were able to fix their grandparents truck that my wife/ex wife and I bought for them pushed her over the edge and is wanting a divorce. So stupid right? But why couldn’t I just tell her right in the beginning that I called her first when I got my phone charged. I thought should would get mad I called her sister first to find out about the truck. Talk about how stupid am I. So the build up of a lot of little things has gotten me to the point where I am now. About to lose my family I physically worked so hard to provide for and build this life for to lose it all over such stupid little things. I like working on cars, racing, guns, and drinking craft beer and you know childish man stuff she likes shopping, make up, going out to eat, concerts, crime videos, and mysteries. I like some of those too. She doesn’t like any of mine. So I am a shitty husband, and probably not very good at being one period. I sometimes put my wife needs before me but not always or often enough and that puts me alone again. I don’t even know how to move on from someone I feel like I have been with my entire life……..

    Like

    • Karen says:

      Dude, I don’t know how far you are into this. I don’t know if she has an affair partner or not. But if it’s early days, this is still salvageable. SHE WANTS YOU TO WANT HER, TO SEE HER. She needs to know that you need her and that you want her. Humble yourself and try if she is important enough to you. You ever wonder why so many women fall in love with their therapists? It’s because their therapists listen to them and give them undivided attention and acknowledgement that they are okay, validate their existence for an hour every week or every month or whatever. That is all women really want. We can earn our own money now. We can pay someone to fix the car and help or father. What we can’t do is pay someone to be you and be present in our lives, and I mean present, not sitting on the couch next to us watching f’ng TV drinking a beer. She picked you because you made her feel good. You don’t make her feel good anymore. Not much worse in this world than being in a lonely marriage. You can fix this shit now or you can learn in your next relationship or the one after that.

      Like

  31. Wandybrine says:

    I just finished reading every volume of your Shitty Husband letter. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Just…ditto. And thanks.

    Any advice for how to subtly pass this along to the nice-yet-shitty husband in my life? ;)

    Like

  32. […] It’s a sad story, and one I regret subjecting my ex-wife and son to. […]

    Like

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