my wife hates me

From “My Wife Hates Me” to “My Wife Loves Me”

In the movie The Vow, a married woman suffers a brain injury in a car accident. When she wakes up in the hospital, she has no memory of her husband. She had lost two years of short-term memory wiping out the period where she met, fell in love with, and married her husband. The movie is based on the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. Their story is even more compelling than the movie. Two months after they were married is when the horrific accident took place. Both were injured, but Krickitt went into a coma for four months. During that period, Kim never left her side. He was overjoyed when she finally woke up but that turned to disbelief when she had no recollection of him. She even told the doctor she wasn’t married. The next several years were difficult. Not only were all of the memories gone, but her personality had changed. She didn’t like Kim and didn’t want to be around him. Her eyes which used to brighten when looking at him were cold and distrusting. In the midst of the difficulty, Kim and Krickitt remembered their vow, “For better or worse, in sickness and health.” They both made the decision to commit to one another no matter what. Twenty-two years later, their love for one another is stronger than it’s ever been.

Marriages tend to die slowly. People gradually drift apart. Hurt feelings lie unresolved below the surface, distrust creeps in and grows. Eventually, the love in someone’s eyes or in both people goes out. If that is the case, think back on your promise. There is hope to change things. If you desire to go from “my wife hates me” to “my wife loves me,” perhaps you need to make the first move. Here are some moves to make.

Find Out Why

You may know the reason(s) already, but if not the most important thing to do is find out. You’ll never be able to address it otherwise. If you are anything like me, you will immediately gear up to defend yourself and throw back counterclaims. Stop for a moment, take a breath, and let those emotions go. Pride and hurt can blind us from the truth. She may actually have a good reason for being upset with you. Try to at least see it before you dismiss it. You already understand your point of view. It’s learning the other side that gives you the most correct perspective. In the end, you’ll make her feel understood. It’s a good basis to move forward.

You already understand your point of view. It's learning the other side that gives you the most correct perspective. Click To Tweet

Double Down on Your Commitment

When things were at their worst, the Carpenters affirmed their commitment to one another. There were many times though where Krickitt would push Kim away. Kim remarked that no matter how mad his wife would get, he knew he had to keep trying. When faced with fire, it’s easy to turn away. Let her know you are committed by making intentional decisions to move towards her. One of the things I love about the character Forrest Gump is that he was faithful to his friends, even when they weren’t. While there were times he was taken advantage of and even walked over, he stayed true. In tough times, marriages need that type of faithfulness. Even when, just for a time, it is one person.

Consistent and Understated Thoughtfulness

Save the grand gestures for later. Bigger things tend to get bigger reactions. If her general disposition towards you is negative, you’ll probably draw a large negative reaction. She may react well, but it is a big risk. Grand gestures also tend to be viewed with skepticism like we’re looking for a quick fix. It’s better to make consistent and understated acts of thoughtfulness. Pick up her favorite dessert, do that chore around the house that she doesn’t like doing, fix little things around the house, make sure everything is working properly with the car she drives, or call or text to let her know when something made you think of her (in a good way). Love strong in the everyday things. In the beginning, it will feel like you are swimming upstream. Gradually the current will lose its strength before finally flowing with you.

Sound Off

What would you do in a situation like this?

BJ Foster

BJ Foster is the Director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

  • SeanP

    So what do you do when your wife resents you for just needing less sleep?

    • Layla

      Let her sleep! (And don’t disparage her for it.)

      • SeanP

        You failed to understand my post. Please try again.

  • JaimeZuub

    Sean, if your wife resents you, I recommend checking out Lee Baucom’s online guide, it’s extremely helpful. There are ways to make your wife realize why she fell in love with you in the first place.

    Can I just ask, how long do you feel like she has resented you?

  • accorn

    This all sounds good and dandy but i feel the more I try the more she hates.
    Like apparently my getting angry is a real turn off to her, but then if I go 2x months hardly ever getting angry, nothing changes in her disposition and in fact if I ever get angry even if I have been a saint weeks that one infraction becomes something she wants a divorce over.
    It seems almost impossible to get a wife to change her mind once she has given up on you.

    I don’t see how one person can get anywhere double-downing on their commitment when the other person is just not committed and doesn’t care.

  • Stephen Hurst

    My wife just left me because i was apparently yelling daily and didnt know it. My kids and wife thought i was angry with them. I did small gestures every day, but the “why’s” didnt come out clearly until now 2 weeks after she. Left me. I did all the small things i could, but being direct and anxious, i was called controlling and emotionally abusive when only trying to be helpful while working a toxic job for them. Small goods matter, but like you said, if there is no correctly given feedback given, then no matter what you do, it’s pointless unless it focuses on the problem.

    • Doug McLaughlin

      Sounds way familiar. My sins are boulders and my wins are feathers on the scale. I’m direct and anxious. Now I’ve inflicted abuse according to her. I gave all I got and yet I don’t think we ever understood how to understand each other.

      • BJ_Foster

        Sorry to hear this Doug. I would ask the same question to you. Open to counseling so you two can work on understanding each other better?

    • BJ_Foster

      Sorry Stephen – just saw your comment. How are things now? Would she be open to counseling? Sometimes an objective party can help bridge the gap.

      • Stephen Hurst

        No, she was going to counseling finally, and on the 3rd session because of how my wife sounded, the therapist, who said on the first session no to couples counseling, said she sounded like she was in a very emotionally abusive and controlling relationship. Since it’s been a long while, I realize i’ve been gaslighted by her this entire time and she’s a narcissist. nothing will convince her that she has any part or blame in the relationship thanks to the therapist using the words abusive & controlling (again, even though i had no say on anything. she even reminded me recently how her sister owes us $7k in loans that my wife gave to her without consulting me, just as an example).

      • Stephen Hurst

        I agree with you fully, 100%, we had a communications gap, and i was misdiagnosed with aspergers 3 years ago, which has haunted me ever since, because she believes i should just know to change instead of reminding me and that label has stuck ever since in her mind to the point where even her mom yelled at a friend of ours saying “he’s broken and never going to change!”

        It sucks because everything on her and my side of the family from the inconsiderate folks throw the blame on me for the relationship ending, when after our 2nd child her anxiety spiked all the time and i couldn’t handle both that and a toxic work environment to be on my emotional guard and emotional best all the time (ie, not sounding gruff when literally just exhausted, mentally, but that, per the “know bests” say that’s my fault for not keeping work at work… i did & cried on the way home most days. never helped my position with the wife.. i just sounded bad).

  • Ralph Rollo

    This makes no sense at all to me. You can be equals, or a drone.

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