When Your Husband Says He Hates You

You found the strength to say “my husband said he hates me.” Now, you must find courage to decide what to do with an angry, controlling husband. Women often tell me that their husbands hate them, or they hate their husbands. Here’s what to do if your husband calls you names and treats you like dirt.

When Your Husband Says He Hates You

In Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, Lundy Bancroft describes nine abusive personality types and how to tell if a hateful husband can change, is changing, or ever will. She discusses what can be fixed when a husband hates his wife, and what can’t. She also describes how to leave a relationship safely.

I don’t know if you need to leave your marriage, or if you and your husband can find the root of the hatred and start to heal it. Either way, learning why your husband is so angry and hostile will help you figure out what step to take next.

I always feel so helpless and sad when I read comments from wives trapped in hostile marriages, because I don’t know how to help. I was writing to a woman today – her husband tells her every day how much he hates her – and realized that one of the best ways to help is to share how other women coped with husbands who hated them.

Here’s what one of those women – a woman who left a husband who hated her –  says: “You have only one life to live,” says Sherry. “Don’t look back one day when you’re old and gray and full of regret. My heart hurts for you because I know how hard it is when your husband says he hates you, but believe me you can feel joy and happiness in your heart again.”

Do you want to spend the only life you have hating your husband and him hating you? Do you want that to be what your children remember from their childhood?

When Your Husband Says He Hates You

Here’s the rest of Sherry’s comment: “Your kids cannot be happy if you’re not happy. Plain and simple – you should leave for your kids’ sake. It won’t be easy at first but I can assure you that with a lot of love and patience, you and your kids will be ok. I separated from my kids father 13 years ago and my son asked me why his dad was leaving, and not me! I was broken, but today I’m my son’s queen – he loves me and shows it every day! I am a happy woman. My daughter says she would have loved to grow up with her dad, but understands that we could have never been happy together…”

Even if you don’t have kids, you can’t stay married if your husband hates you! It’s not easy to leave, but you deserve a better life. You owe it to yourself – and your kids – to leave a man who says he hates you.

How Does Your Husband Show His Anger and Hatred?

Here’s what Dee says: “I am 23, and have been married to my husband since I was 15. I started dating him at age 14. Since age 14, I have been physically, verbally and emotionally abused. I have three children with him ages 8, 7, and 6. He is physically and verbally abusive to them also. He has never been any support for me as I am the only person in the home that works: I pay all of the bills, and come home daily to be verbally abused. I am often called b**ch, wh**e, s**t, and any other name you can think of: I am constantly accused of seeing other men. My husband is a monster and the worst person in the world. Please help me, with any advice to get out of this life with him!!!!”

It breaks my heart to hear a woman in so much pain, stuck with a man who is also in a great deal of pain. He’s spreading his pain, anger, and hatred to the rest of his family. He is ruining his children’s childhoods by hating and abusing them and their mother.

Call a Women’s Support Line

I searched for “domestic violence helpline”, and got hundreds of results for my area alone. If you want to get away from a husband who hates you, you need to be proactive and reach out for help.

Calling for help is really hard – my friend’s husband just left her and the kids, and she hasn’t called a divorce lawyer. He told her six months ago that he wanted a divorce, and she could not bring herself to call for help, even though she knew it was the right thing to do. I describe her situation in When Your Husband Wants a Divorce – But Won’t Leave.

I can’t give personal advice or counseling to women whose husbands hate them – or wives who hate their husbands. I can only encourage them to get help in person, not just online.

Start Opening Up to People – Tell Them Your Husband Hates You

husband hates his wife

What to Do When Your Husband Says He Hates You

If my coworker, neighbor, or family member told me that her husband said he hates her, I’d do everything I could to help her get out of the marriage! If you need help leaving your husband, you need to get in-person support. It’s a good to find online support when you think your husband hates you – or you hate him.

But you need help in person, especially if you’re married to an abusive man

You need help organizing your children, finances, and a place to live. You need to talk this through with someone — preferably a counselor or social worker who is experienced and can give you good guidance.

One way to start getting in-person help is by talking to your friends, family, and coworkers. I know it can be really difficult to open up to people, but it’s the first step in leaving your husband. Or, at least it’ll help you gain clarity and insight! You may be surprised at how many women have been in the same situation you’re in today, and how helpful they can be.

Remember that your kids are listening and learning from you and your husband. Do you want them to be in a marriage like this? Show them how strong, courageous, and independent a woman can be.

Keep writing about the steps you’re taking to break free from a husband who hates and controls you. Keep talking to your friends or family members about how he treats you and that you’re thinking of leaving! Those little steps add up to a big journey that will change your life.

Read How to Leave an Abusive Relationship if you know it’s time to start thinking about going.

Do you know what to do when your husband says he hates you? I welcome your comments and stories below, but I can’t offer counseling or advice. Please, call a domestic violence helpline if your husband is abusive.

Do you need relationship help? I can't offer advice, but you can get FREE advice and a FREE marriage assessment from marriage coach Mort Fertel. No strings attached!

May you seek God’s wisdom, love, and peace as you move forward. Trust that He will lead you in the right direction. Have faith in Him – and listen for His voice.

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Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
Shalom! I can't give you advice, but please feel free to share your thoughts below. I'm a writer in Vancouver; my degrees are in Psychology, Education, and Social Work. I live with my husband, two dogs, and cat. We can't have children, and we trust in God's love, grace, and wisdom. Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28.

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19 Responses

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thank you for being here. It takes alot of strength and courage to share your experience, and to say that your husband (or your wife, but this article is written for women) says he hates you. It’s painful to be hated by anyone, much less the man you married.

    May you find love and peace in your life. May your marriage be restored, your heart be comforted, and your home be healed. I pray that you find faith in God, and strength to turn to Him at the very worst of times. I pray your faith carries you through to the best of times, and that you never let Him go. For He will never let you go. He loves you, and wants you to have a life of joy, peace, and freedom! May you tap into His river of life and energy, and may you move forward with a new sense of hope and courage. He will help you through this, whether it’s out of your marriage or out of the pit of despair you and your husband are in.

  2. Kevin says:

    Why is it assumed that because a husband says he hates his wife that he’s controlling and abusive? What if he’s hurt? What if she’s the controlling and abusive one and he’s crying out to her that his feelings are being destroyed. What if he’s tried and tried to be the man she wants him to be and it’s not good enough. At some point the man reaches the breaking point where he’s done being verbally and mentally abused, and this is when he expresses his distaste.

    I found this post because I am married to a woman who battles me over everything. I can’t make a single decision because my process is more intuitive and relies on my experiences rather than hers…and she can’t quantify those reasons. I tell her what I need from her to feel loved and she spits back at me what I’m not doing right. But since I’m the one wanting to say, “I hate you.” (I haven’t yet) I’m the abusive one?

    Yes there are some men out there who use this phrase as a means of control, for getting the woman to change who she is..but that isn’t always the case. Please open your minds before assumptions are made. Sometimes these words are used because he’s lost and frustrated.

    • Tonya says:

      There are always 3 sides to every story. My husband says he hates me. I love him with all my heart but I feel totally hurt. Sometimes a controlling spouse cant see theirselves as being controlling when in fact they are. Telling someone to stay in their low self esteem state instead of trying to make themselves better or feel better about themselves is very unhealthy. In this circumstance the man feels powerful if the women feels as though he is the only one who can make her feel better about herself. He has total control. But if the womens self esteem starts to go up the man does not feel in control anymore and starts to feel insecure about his self and less powerful. Then problems with jealousy comes in then name calling and accusations. Then before you know it the husband hates the wife because he is no longer in control. This is where I am at and I don’t want to go back to that dark place of having low self esteem that took me 30 years to overcome. My husband also says I don’t measure up to being his wife, he says I don’t satisfy him as a wife.
      I try to do everything possible to make him happy but it feels hopeless and never good enough. I am tired of trying now after 8 exhausting years of trying to be “the perfect wife”. And now that he told me he hates me I just don’t know if I want to try anymore. I feel he broke the most important wedding vowel which was to promise to Love!

  3. laura says:

    Im so lost and confused my husband is so mean and hateful to me and our children he tells us every day all day he hates us he has argued with my family so. Much i cant even see them i think today is my breaking point i try so hard to let it all go the mean things he say all the hurt and pain been married 8 year but when i kick him out i always cave and let him back in my kids love him so much even though he so mean i just dont know what to do

    • Kevin says:

      If your husband is controlling and causing you such distress that you have to seek solace in forums then tell him so. If he fails to recognise your cry for help then perhaps you need to leave him. Serve his right. Men are victims of this kind of thing as well but most don’t have the courage to admit it because it makes them feel weak. The moral to that comment is you are not alone and there will always be someone who cares. I hope all goes well for you.

  4. laura says:

    Im so lost and confused my husband is so mean and hateful to me and our children he tells us every day all day he hates us he has argued with my family so i cant even see them i think today is my breaking point i try so hard to let it all the mean things he say all the hurt and pain been married 8 year but when i kick him i always cave and let him back in my kids love him so much even though he so mean i just dont know what to do

  5. Kev says:

    Haven’t you ever thought men have feelings and we might be the abused? I have said several times I hate my wife but most certainly don’t.

    Husbands say they hate their wives out of anger, frustration, helplessness, and often in desperation because they tried every way to tell your wife that something’s wrong.

    I adore my wife, I don’t hate her as a person, a woman. What do I hate? The inability to understand that husbands can and do feel pain. Emotional pain not physical. Your writing is completely genesis tic and wrong. Stop, think and more importantly remember that every relationship is an individual entity with differing variables. My variable for example is no matter how many times I tell my wife I love her and will never leave her she refuses to believe it. My word hate is born out of this, nothing else.

    • T says:

      You are only confirming what she believes to be true by saying you hate her. My husband just told me he hated me and turned around and went to sleep. He has to be up early to leave for a work weekend function. Im still awake in tears knowing that my husband hates me and will be gone for 3 days. Im trying to make sense of things but i cant. Choose your words wisely if you truly love your wife. The wrong words cut deep and are usually never forgotten.

  6. bluelove says:

    I am so tired. Things were so good, for 5weeks….he was laid off. I was happier when he was laid off, than I have been in 19 yrs. He was like a different man. He called me “sweetheart”, only time in 19 yrs. He said he was sorry for being so cold and indifferent to me for so long. He said things would be ok, he would get another job. I knew God would take care of us; but I was in heaven for 5 weeks! He held my hand. We prayed together. Then, he got another job, and things went right back to where they were. Nothing I do is right. Nothing I say is right. He belittles me , and embarrases me , in front of our kids, and others. He takes up for people, but never for me. Nothing I do in the house is right. He constantly criticizes me. I am too old for this. He works offshore, and I worked full-time while the kids were in school. I havent worked fulltime in about 7-8 yrs. the kids are grown. I can not physically take it anymore. No matter what I say, he turns it around, and tries to make me think that I am crazy. Oh God, please help me. My health is not good. I am on disability. Why should I leave the house? It is mine, as much as his. I asked him to please never say “divorce” again. He brings it up every so often, but wont do anything about it. I guess my next step is to talk to a lawyer. I just dont understand how someone can go from being so sweet, and understanding, to like he is, now. Back to the way we were, when he lost his job….I am too old for this. This is my 3rd. marriage. What should I do?

  7. Lynne says:

    Where to begin? I will start with myself… Many years ago, I committed adultery on my husband. I desperately wanted relief from his hateful ways, and went on a conquest to seek a different life, a different man. My husband was deployed overseas at that time, and had no idea about my “secret relationship” with another man. He called me daily cursing, yelling, being disrespectful, saying he hates me, and emotional annoyed that I would hang up the phone on him or not take his calls at all. This has been constancy in our marriage since before we ever decided to tie the not. I did not want this life anymore… Being called stupid, ugly, the “b” word everyday, even up until this day. (not exaggerating) It was so disgraceful.

    Then one day, out of the blue, I got a third party invite to a Christian Church. With much thought, I began to ponder whether I shld go or not… I went. My first time at this small church was the first time I felt God dealing with me in a long time. I had been to many churches over the years, and even called myself a Christian, but was far from it living a life of corruption and ungodliness, and would pray to God. When the time came after opening the ceremony with song and dance, the preacher began to preach, to my amazement and shame he preached directly against the sin I was living in, and then I got scared. I knew it was time to make the decision to go to that altar and pray, to repent of all of the wickedness I was living. I did not go to the altar on my own. There was a Christian there who never knew me, but detected my hurting and anguish, she told me she felt like “God led her to me, and that it appeared as if I had something heavy on my heart that I needed to relinquish to God”. I knew that she was a real Christian. I knew I couldn’t lie to her, though I was tempted to. Right there is where God arrested my heart, and encumbered with much conviction I relieved my soul, I prayed for salvation (true deliverance) and God saved me!!!! After a work of salvation, I began to change… Rapidly! What do u think the first thing was that had to go? That’s right! I kicked my secret lover to the curb…

    The best advice I can give when your husband says he hates you is…. DON’T GIVE UP! It’s not in our time… It’s God’s time! Some godly advice from the Bible: “And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband:else were your children unclean; but now they are holy. But if the unbelieving depart. Let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: But God hath called us to peace.” 1Corinthians 7:13-15

    I don’t know whether or not my husband will get saved, but I am going to keep fighting, praying, repenting, and above all loving… Loving who? God first, and my neighbor (husband) as I love myself. God’s will be done! I hope that by my testimony you will find strength, courage, and love to go forward in allowing God to heal your marriage. Remember, you are not alone in your conquest to find peace and restoration. God knows everything that you are going through. Find a good church that preaches good doctrine from the Word of God. Don’t be afraid to walk on the water…. The challenge to long-suffer, love despite how we feel, and the strength to continue in hope- not everyone will want to do… But, I am confident that great is the reward to them who try! God bless you all!

    “God is faithful to remember our work and labor of love”

    With love,

  8. Dee says:

    Is a stunning home, four children who love thier father enough to stay and suffer hate? I love my house that I partly built and designed myself more than my peace of mind. Is it enough, my weekend and holidays are hellish but most of the time during the actual working week he is away to work. I don’t see him in the morning and little in the evening. So its just when he is off and weekends he is abusive. The root of the problem is his background, his dad is an alcoholic and he is an ex drinker who blames me for not drinking, I am sure he does drink after work and socialise. his mother has been disrespectful to me and is the root of a bigger problem with him. He is very attached and arrested in his love to her. Its a concious decision that he does and would not love me because she would not allow it. I have stopped trying to get him to love me and stopped checking up on him, as he has always had other interests with other women. I don’t think any less of myself, I know who I am, and I had a high flying job in the past – in a nut shell I have worked so hard for what I have, even my inheritance is in my house asset, for me if I leave this house I’d have to give him half of it, but I can not physically leave this place its my home, my beautiful home for my children. I have prayed and will continue to do so. I have told the priest and cried to him, so I pray there are people praying for me, there are people who don’t know me but feel my pain. I pray for strength because I know my husband wish is that I die so he can have everything that I have and give it to another woman. A drinker like him. But what really worries me is my children, he tries to set them against me and I keep bringing them back. I worry for them, because he wants them to leave home as soon as and does not worry or save for their education like I do, so does my mum. God remove the evil and hate from his heart, lord, remove and release him and me from what ever is pulling him back to hate, constantly, father have mercy on me and my children and my family and deliver me. Mother Mary save me like you saved me in the past, please mother Mary don’t leave me, stay with me in my dark hour, mother Mary please, look out for me and my children. Remember me. amen

  9. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    My prayer is that you find hope, healing, and love in your marriage. Sometimes God does work a miracle, and cause major changes to happen between a husband and wife overnight. He can stop your husband from hating you, and you from feeling like you hate your husband.

    I pray for wisdom. Sometimes we need to make changes in our lives, because God doesn’t wave His magic wand and make life the way we want. If your husband says he hates you, you need to discern what to do. Do you leave your marriage, or hope your marriage will change? Only you can decide that, and only God knows if you and your husband can reconnect and love each other again.

    I pray for healing, and for peace in your marriage. I pray for the erasure of all feelings of discontent and hatred between husbands and wives – who are supposed to be on each other’s team. I pray for love and connection to permeate your home. Amen.


  10. mel says:

    I myself have been abused for the last 15 years my husband who is ten years older than me has put me through hell he is now on drugs and things are worst when he was sober he was a good dad and husband he tells me he hates me he belittle me makes me feel like everything I do is wrong I’ve been paying all the bills by myself for the last two years I’ve always worked I keep thinking he will change he says he hates me all the time I ask God why what did I do to deserve this I pray for him stop using drugs it breaks my heart I just want a normal life

  11. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience with hatred and husbands. The idea of bullying in marriage is new to me, and I think it’s another way of expressing the idea of “my husband hates me.”

    Bullies push people around because they’re insecure and weak, don’t they? One way to think about husbands and wives hating each other is to consider the role of insecurities, unhappiness, low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence. There is a problem that fuels the mistreatment and abuse of a husband or wife in marriage. This doesn’t excuse the behavior – it is never ok for a husband to say he hates his wife! It just helps explain it, which might help us understand the marriage better.

    My prayer for all couples experiencing hatred in marriage is for peace. May you find love, joy, and serenity in your relationship. May the feelings of hating and being hated pass. May husbands and wives connect on a spiritual and emotional level, and learn how to cope with negative feelings in healthy ways. I pray for God’s love, strength, and spirit to rest on the marriages of all the readers here. Amen.


  12. Anonym says:

    As far as my 13 years marriage, with 3 kids. My husband is a very hot temper man, he hate this world and been called all kind of names. But I always forgive him though years and years. But this year, this time all this hatred he had for me seems to get so real and obvious. He got involved in a relationship with an 18 year old girl. They’ve even done it on the new year day this year. I never thought he’d cheat on me, all the while i was looking up on him thinking he’s a man but it prove him wrong this time. Soon after i found out about him and that girl, they stop seeing each other. I got hurt really bad inside. But they kept on texting each other. He told me he had nothing with her no more. I can not believe in any of them anymore. Then it seems they’ve split for good (for now, been happening couple of times already but that girl keeps coming back). Then yesterday, i did a small little mistake. We both running a cafe. He’s the type that just serve the way he likes (lack of experience and never work in a professional environment) as for me i still have that sense of hospitality in me (been working long in this industry, 5* hotels etc before i got married to him). So i did a small little thing that trigger his anger! He suddenly smashed, yelled on me with lots of hatred poured on me, saying he hated the way i served the customers and he hate working with me. He even warned me not to work with him anymore. I ask, why do you have to shout? You can just tell me not too and i will follow what you say. He even get more annoyed at me when i answered him. Thats when i realised, he does hate me and that simple little thing that i did makes me sad. I am never so sad so sad as last night. I thought we can rekindled the relationship and make it better but it seems he hated me so much that he couldn’t talk to me any nicer anymore. I feel like leaving him and take all my kids away from him. I just felt so down lately since new year. I sometime wonder why God has given me this life. I am getting older and weaker. I sometime surrender my pride just to live. I am afraid to live on my own and loneliness scares me. Sometime i thought, i am lonely all this while. Never had my birthday celebrated, nor mothers day nor any candle light dinner. I realise, all his words are just lies. Just to comfort me and carry on bullying me as he knows that i am kind. I am really tired.

  13. Karen says:

    My husband and I met after he had back surgery. He was so sweet and loving. We took it slow and then he couldn’t find a job or keep one with his back problems so he moved in. I supported him as best I could which means we were poor for 3 years until he got his disability. Then we got married. 2 weeks after our marriage he got angry and has been angry ever since. He never touches me or tells me I am pretty. Tonight his tooth hurt and he said it was my fault for not having a job that he is in pain even though when we’ve had money he wouldn’t go back to the dentist and said we didn’t have enough money. He always says we never have enough and screams at me and tells me he hates me now. Then he tells me I don’t get to talk cause its all my fault for not having a job yet. I was so scared tonight. I left an abusive marriage after 16 years and the only difference with this one is he hasn’t hit me. I guess I know I need to leave and then he says he’s having some crisis and in I am again. I have no where to go or I would have left tonight. I got in the car and drove around the corner out of sight and sat there for about a half an hour because I was afraid. Even though he hasn’t hit me I was very afraid. I feel like a zombie tonight. Been crying and I can see this is getting us nowhere except my PTSD is probably acting up and getting worse. It’s not worth this. I feel like a fool being married the 2nd time and this time only 6 months now. It was 2 weeks of heaven and now 6 months of being yelled at and told its my fault for not having work. I am partially disabled too and he doesn’t care how hard it is for me to keep a routine or schedule. Like tonight I’ll probably never be able to go to sleep. I don’t want to go to bed and lie next to him for fear he will wake up and scream at me for waking him up. Why is he like this? Why so nice for 2 weeks and now so mean for 6 months? I feel like he loves money more than me. Yet he won’t spend any on himself except for cigarettes then blames me for not spending any on himself. I feel like he thinks I am the s**t on the bottom of his shoe.

    • Terri says:

      “Hate” is an awfully ugly word. And truly… any person that uses it is to be pitied. Why would a person want to fill their heart with hate anyway? They are hurting themselves more than anyone else — even though I’m sure your heart aches every time he expresses his hatred for “you”. Your husband is in a very bad place — and it’s definitely not you that put him there. He has allowed himself to become consumed with negativity in his life… possibly even began with his back surgery because he can no longer function as he once could. But, his frustrations should not become your frustrations. It is time for you to take your life back. There is a way. There is always a way. It just may not be as easy as it sounds… but, you can do it. Start making plans to get yourself financially in a place where you can breath again. Find a job! Any job right now. Some money is better than no money. Start a savings account in your name only. Take back your life and empower yourself with telling yourself you “deserve better”! No person ever deserves to be treated with such disrespect and told they are hated. If he is not willing to get help in changing his controlling behaviors, then it is time for you to start packing…. and tell yourself “YOU can do this!”

  14. Laurie says:

    Dear Anoumous,

    I wish you all the best as you look for a job, so you can be free! It’s awful, to live with a husband who says he hates you. May you find a good job quickly, and find freedom from the oppressive chains of your marriage.


  15. Anoumous says:

    I’ve been with my husband for 34 years and had been telling me he hates me and wants me out same as above. Called all kind of names. I do hate him now. It’s hard to get out but I told him when I get a job I will be out. Then I will contact a lawyer and take have of all. I deserve it for the way he treats me. At first I said take it all but why should I let him have all. Let him pay for the way he treats me

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