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My Husband Hates Me But Won’t Leave: What to Do to Change It

Anna Khmara

Anna is a certified life transformation and relationship coach with an in-depth focus on positive psychology and transactional analysis. Using her 3+ years of experience, she helps her clients understand the essence of the problem, build self-esteem, establish healthy relationships, find harmony, and manifest their dreams into reality.

Love and hate are called two sides of the same coin. Two spouses may seem unable to live without each other, then suddenly, one of them begins to hate the other.

It gets even weirder when the hating spouse doesn’t plan to leave the relationship and continues to live with their “unwanted” partner.

“My husband hates me but won’t leave. Should I fight for his love or let go?” If this question sounds familiar, read on to discover the underlying reasons and how to cope with this strange situation.

How to Tell If Your Husband Hates You

Every couple has disagreements during their married life. According to research on marital conflict frequency, even in happy marriages, almost 14% of spouses experience a high level of contention from time to time.

If such disputes are not critical, the family will quickly deal with them. However, when one of the spouses develops a persistent feeling of hatred, it becomes a signal for serious concern.

So, how do you even know if something is wrong? If you already think your husband hates you, it could be not far from the truth.

Compare your situation with the five signs your husband hates down below.

He is often annoyed with what you do or say

In fairness to men, it should be noted that they rarely openly tell a woman about her annoying habits. Instead, they tend to endure for a long time and accumulate irritation, which sooner or later comes to light.

But when a husband hates his wife, he doesn’t hide his real emotions. In other words, not only will he notice all your flaws, but he will also find more where there are none.

He is often annoyed with what you do or say

For instance, if nothing has changed in your environment since the wedding (you’re still at the same place doing the exact same thing), but now all your words and actions cause him to become angry, then it is definitely not a healthy relationship.

He blames you for all his failures

“A favorite game of some married couples is “if it wasn’t for you,” a game in which a spouse, who is unable to do what he or she wants, blames the other,” says Dr. John A. Lapointe, psychologist and author of books on life in marriage. If not for you, your husband would become “this and that” – much wealthier, successful, attractive, etc.

If your spouse hates you for real, he would repeat those things every time you have a big fight, and sometimes even without reason during everyday conversations. So you’ll turn into the scapegoat every time your husband has a problem and doesn’t want to take responsibility.

He becomes secretive

Hate can be covert depending on your spouse’s character and upbringing. In such cases, your partner can stop talking to you and avoid eye contact. This silent treatment is a part of his alienation from your marriage.

If your husband doesn’t tell you anything and prefers to spend his personal time without you, it’s also a sign that his feelings have faded.

Lack of interest in spending time together while finding time for meeting with friends and colleagues can be a demonstration of your diminished role in his life. You’re not important to him, and your opinion is not valuable anymore.

He distances from you physically

The disappearance of physical intimacy can also indicate that your spouse hates you or simply doesn’t feel the same way about you as before. If health issues do not cause the lack of sex, the problem is in the relationship itself.

Loss of attraction, which could be the result of lack of trust and understanding, is the second most common out of six reasons why men avoid physical intimacy, according to Laurie J. Watson, Ph.D. It’s a kind of defense from closeness when the person doesn’t feel comfortable with their partner under one roof.

He tells you openly about what he dislikes about you

It’s one thing if your husband says he hates you when you fight. He may not mean what he says in a fit of anger. But it’s not the same situation when your husband hates you and tells you about it at every slightest disagreement.

For example, he constantly finds flaws in everything you do - he expresses dissatisfaction with the cooked food or your appearance and speaks directly to your face about them without a trace of regret. And the claims are getting more far-fetched every time.

When your husband despises and hates you, he talks down to you even in the presence of others and uses derogatory words numerous times. If your spouse doesn’t support you in the outside world, there can be no healthy relationship between the two of you.

Why Does My Husband Hate Me?

Hatred does not happen overnight. It takes time to turn from a loving husband into a hating one. There could be dozens of reasons why your husband doesn’t love you anymore. You just need to look at the situation from all possible angles.

When did this start? What happened before your husband told you he hates you? Try to analyze your behavior. You may be overlooking some of the things that annoy your partner.

For example, you constantly criticize him for failures while taking his good deeds for granted. Or, you’re not attentive to his problems and tend to downplay their importance. Those are only a few common patterns of women’s behavior and are not necessarily your case.

Many men can accumulate resentment and anger for years. As long as your husband has romantic feelings for you, he will tolerate your whims. However, the initial romance and passion tend to lose their intensity.

“Romance is like fireworks in the dark night, thrilling but inevitably transitory,” believes Stephen A. Mitchell, a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. “So, romance tends to degrade into either sober, passionless respect or bitter disappointment.”

Over time, your husband’s love could weaken, letting out all the pain which might fall on you in the form of inexplicable hatred.

What to Do When Your Husband Hates You

If this behavior does not improve, the tension in the relationship between the spouses will get worse. That is why you should not let the situation take its course or wait for your husband to change. Doing nothing can have the opposite effect to what you are expecting.

What to Do When Your Husband Hates You

Try the following tips to change or at least handle your situation with the husband who hates you.

Talk to your husband about your relationship issues

When talking with your husband, keep your cool and don’t give in to emotions. Forget about complaints and discuss your marriage problems calmly. If you start to raise your voice, the conversation will hit a standstill, and you won’t get answers to the tough questions.

Remember to give your spouse a chance to express his opinion openly. Dr. Sara Magge, author of “Modern Lifestyles: Start Talking to Your Husband Again,” advises avoiding turning the conversation into a monologue or interrogation. “Make sure he has plenty of openings to jump into the conversation and become part of the dialogue,” she writes.

Ask yourself if you want to save your marriage

After you’ve successfully passed the stage of “my husband hates me, and I don’t know why” and determined the reasons for his hatred during the big talk, it’s time to evaluate your chances to stay together as a couple.

Try to understand your spouse’s motives and analyze your current relationship. If the issues for your partner’s hatred are something that you can change, you should discuss such an option.

But don’t forget that it takes both spouses to make the marriage work. If you try hard to get rid of your “flaws” and your husband continues to act the same way as before, then all the effort to go back to a happy marriage will be in vain.

If your husband, who was once your best friend, is now an entirely different person and doesn’t want to reconcile, what’s the point in saving such a relationship?

Suggest couples’ therapy

If your husband acts like he hates you, but you still have hope to save your marriage, you should seek professional assistance. If ‘my husband hates me, but I love him’ is your situation, consider attending couples counseling sessions. A competent psychologist or a relationship coach will help you understand the genuine reasons for the dislike and suggest ways to rebuild the relationship, if appropriate.

Understanding that both partners are to blame for the conflict will allow you to see your relationship as a two-way street. Perhaps in your case, the responsibility for hatred lies not only with your husband but also partially with you.

Counseling could help reveal negative feelings and conflicts and try to resolve them. As a result, some couples get a chance for a fresh start, while others decide to split and start a new life without each other.

Consider the possibility of divorce

If you realize that the situation with one-sided hatred has gone way too far and your happy marriage is beyond saving, bring up the divorce conversation. Perhaps this is what your husband expects from you because he does not want to be the initiator and, therefore, responsible for the separation.

A divorce decision requires a great deal of emotional strength and can’t be taken lightly. Don’t expect your husband to change his mind and love you again just because he’s afraid of divorce.

The same thing with threats to take children from him — it could lead to a highly contentious divorce, detrimental to your financial stability and mental health.

If your husband hates you and wants a divorce but doesn’t want to get it amicably, you will need to hire a lawyer. You must obtain professional advice from a legal expert before making decisions concerning your children and property.

At the same time, reconciliation also happens in some cases. For example, when your husband understands the seriousness of the consequences, he might decide to give your relationship another chance.

My Husband Doesn’t Love Me but Won’t Leave. Why?

Why doesn’t your husband start looking for his happiness elsewhere with the other person if he hates you so much? Well, not all people, especially men, are ready to leave their comfort zone.

My Husband Doesn’t Love Me

Look at your husband’s motives from his point of view. He has a housekeeper (it’s you, by the way) who cooks dinner and does the laundry, and the children are nearby, so why would your spouse leave? Thus, the only thing keeping him from moving out is to protect his interests.

Also, if your husband doesn’t love you but wants to stay together, he may not have enough money to live separately. Let’s be realistic: housing is not cheap these days. Is your partner’s income sufficient to pay the rent independently? If not, you have your answer.

Infidelity could be another reason

While playing mind games with yourself, trying to figure out exactly what you’ve done wrong, your spouse might be having an affair. Maybe, he continues to hate you because he is just no longer interested in your company and wants to push you away.

Infidelity is not something uncommon, although not everyone expects this to happen in their marriage. Dr. Shirley Glass says that almost 44% of men have had an extramarital relationship during the lifespan of their marriage. She emphasizes that it includes both physical and emotional infidelity. The latter often occurs in Internet affairs.

There are several telltale signs that he’s unfaithful. For example, he finds excuses not to take you with him when he goes out. It is because his friends might already know about the affair, and your husband is afraid they could accidentally say something to you. Or he doesn’t let you take his phone and is in rage when you get a hold of it.

Maybe he’s planning to move out, just not yet. He could stay a few months with you while looking for a safe harbor somewhere else.

As for the other woman, he might not be entirely sure he wants to stay with her. But for the time being, he’s taking the best of both worlds. He wards you off by telling you he doesn’t want you while complaining to the other woman that his wife hates him and makes his life unbearable.

What to Do When Your Husband Refuses to Move Out?

Failing marriage is usually a convincing reason for a couple to start living separately before a divorce. But sometimes, one of the spouses doesn’t want to leave the house. What should you do in this case?

If you have money and opportunity, you can move out with your children. But first, get legal advice on whether this step would have consequences for property division in your divorce.

When you firmly decide to stay, talk to a lawyer and find out who has the right to live in the house. Also, ask about all other things you are entitled to in a divorce, such as alimony, insurance, etc.

If you or your children suffered physical or emotional abuse from your spouse, it would be easier to kick your husband out. You can ask the court to issue an exclusive occupancy order that gives you the right to stay in the family house while the divorce is pending.

When the court issues a final order, it will contain a provision about who keeps the house. The property division decisions are final, so you’ll probably need professional help before starting a contentious divorce process. Otherwise, you risk losing the right to remain living in your marital home.

Final Thoughts

Married couples do not always manage to save a relationship when one of them hates the other. Very often, life together turns into hell and ceases even remotely to resemble the old happy times. When this happens, continuing to live under the same roof is almost always a big mistake.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, weigh the pros and cons of living separately and make decisions based on your own and your children’s best interests.


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