I recently received correspondence from a wife who had been asking her husband for some time while he was acting as if he were so miserable. At first, he told her that he was just stressed at work. But when the work situation improved and the husband was still moping around, the wife continued to ask if there was anything she could do to help. The husband snapped that it was the wife and the marriage who was making him so unhappy.
Honestly the wife wasn’t completely caught off guard and shocked. She had been getting these vibes from her husband for some time, but she had hoped that this wasn’t the case. Of course, the wife tried to dig a little deeper and obtain more specifics, but all the husband would really do was to just repeat that the wife’s behavior and their crumbling marriage was making him pretty miserable.
The wife was understandably a little offended and angry. It wasn’t fair that the husband was blaming every problem in his life on her. She suspected that they both knew that even if they divorced or separated, all of the husband’s problems were not going to magically disappear just because he freed himself from his marriage and his wife. But once she began to calm down a bit, she had to admit that she did not want to end her marriage. She did love her husband and her family was very important to her.
She wanted to know how she should respond to this and if there was anything that she could do to make her husband happy again. It made her sad that he was so miserable and she felt a little guilty to think that her actions or behavior was responsible for this. I will tell you what I told her in the following article.
You’re Probably Right That Your Husband Is Wrong To Blame His Unhappiness And Misery On You And The Marriage, But His Perception Is His Reality: The wife was absolutely right that every problem in the husband’s life was not due to her. There’s no way that this could even be possible. And no, this was not fair. But, even though the husband’s perception was not rooted in reality, in his own mind, he was perfectly on target.
And the problem was that there was not any quick way to get the husband to change his mind. Sure, the wife could argue her points and debate with him until they were both of sick of hearing one another talk, but all this was likely to do was going to be to frustrate both of them. Worse, the husband was likely going to see the wife as someone who just didn’t understand him and didn’t really want for him to be happy.
Setting her husband up to see her as his adversary was probably only going to make matters worse. So, she was going to be better off accepting the fact that the husband’s problem and unhappiness was also hers. While she did not have to admit that any of this was her fault, she was going to be putting herself in a much better position if she attempted to sympathize with the husband and to convince him that she actually very much wanted for him to be happier.
Remembering The Things That Made You Both Happy And Brought You Closer: Husbands are sometimes not as perceptive as wives are. While you could probably pinpoint precisely what’s bothering you, men sometimes can not. So, when asked to define the source of their unhappiness, they will often point to the convenient culprit. This is often going to be the person closest to them. And unfortunately, this person is you.
This is often not a conscious thing that they’re doing. They don’t realize that they are projecting. But what they often aren’t verbalizing is that they are let down and disappointed in many areas of their life. I’d be willing to bet that the husband’s job was in fact bothering him. There were probably other things bothering him as well. But where he was most disappointed was that he perceived that his wife was no longer his rock or his shelter in the storm.
He very likely missed the closeness and unspoken understanding that they used to share. He likely missed the priority that he used to be in his wife’s life. Even the wife had to admit that since they had children, the both of them had less time for one another. And this was likely, at least somewhat, where the husband’s frustration and unhappiness lay.
I know this because I have many men who visit my blog and say as much. They feel selfish to resent the time spent with their children, or on their wife’s life, and on her obligations, but this is often part of the reality of the situation. Often, remembering the things that made you happy before life was so hectic and then became what it is now will help. Usually, if you attempt to make time for those little things, you will notice a difference in a lot of the unhappiness. Just seeing you make the time will often get his attention.
The Environment That Contributes To Happiness: Although I didn’t buy for a second that this wife was the sole source of the husband’s unhappiness, it never hurts to take stock and to see if anything in your own attitude or behavior is in any way contributing to the situation. People will mostly always respond positively to other people who make them feel good or better about their situations or about themselves. If you can make him feel competent, attractive, smart and funny, then you will likely have a very happy husband on your hands.
Yes, this sometimes requires for you to turn your attention to him when you are juggling far too many things, but sometimes even the smallest efforts can make the biggest difference. And you will often be regarded handsomely for this. You will often get back exactly what you give.