Have you ever listened to your husband talking and thought ‘God! My husband is an asshole’? Well, you are not the only one. Unfortunately, a lot of women are stuck in a marriage where their husbands are simply just not nice people (the reverse is also true). You may be wondering if it is possible to change his behavior. And, if it isn’t, is divorce your only option?
It is important to look back and see if your husband was always an asshole. If he was, then changing his behavior will be extremely difficult. However, if his behavior changed recently for the worse, then there may be a reason for it. If you can figure out that reason, then you can do something about it.
Let’s start by making you reflect back and come to a precise conclusion about your husband’s behavior.
If you want to focus specifically on your marriage then make sure you’ve taken the marriage assessment quiz. If we can figure out the root of the issue we can get you both back to where you used to be.
Just What Kind of an Asshole is my Husband?
If your husband is an asshole, then you may be in a tight spot. Being an asshole is obviously not as bad as committing abuse, of course. Still, it can make a hassle to be around anyone who treats people like crap.
Before you decide how to fix your husband’s ‘assholyness’, you must look deeper into his behavior and see who is he an asshole towards.
My Husband is an Asshole Only Towards me
If this is the case, then your husband may not be completely satisfied with his relationship with you.
However, make sure that you see his behavior towards his family and your children (if you have any) before you jump to conclusions. Of course, your husband could be nice to people he only interacts with briefly. You need to see his conduct with people that are close to him to confirm if only you are the target of his bitterness.
If he also treats his own family the same way as he treats you, then he has a general problem with his attitude. However, if you seem to be the only person in his life that gets the cold shoulder, then you need to think back. Did you make a specific mistake that could make him act this way? Is there something that you should be doing but you aren’t? We cover the solutions extensively later.
He is Only an Asshole to Strangers
This is a problem that many wives tend to forgo. After all, if he is nice to the people that he cares about, isn’t that what matters?
Wrong! If your husband has the perfect attitude when talking to you and his family but not to strangers, it could eventually lead to problems in your relationship.
It could be that he has sociopathic tendencies. As long as he is getting something in return (e.g. love, affection, food and housework, or even sex), he will treat you nicely. However, he will be an asshole to you as soon as you stop doing what satisfies him.
He is an Asshole to Everybody
Unfortunately, there is not much to say if this is the case. When your husband is simply incapable of being nice, then you only have a few options. You can try to fix him, get a divorce, or learn to live with his behavior.
You may think that no one will pick the third option, but that isn’t the case. Often, people who are assholes sometimes can be quite affectionate and caring at other times. They often have mood swings and have a tendency to switch between different personas. Many women find that the good times more than make up for the bad. Whether that is the case for you is entirely for you to decide.
Was he Always Like This?
The last question that you must consider is if his behavior has changed. When you initially fall in love, you tend to overlook a lot of the negatives of the other person. Now that you can see things a lot more clearly, think back to when your relationship initially began.
Did your husband always behave like this? If he did, then his problem is rooted deep in his personality. I am not saying that it’s impossible to change his behavior, but it will be difficult. In some cases, I have noted that husbands stop being assholes to their wives and children, but cannot change the way they interact with everyone else.
On the other hand, if your husband’s behavior changed recently, then you can probably fix it. There is almost certainly a problem that he is going through that you need to fix first. The problem may not necessarily be with you, as we will discuss in the next section.
Why is my Husband an Asshole?
If your husband was always an asshole, then there is not a lot to be discussed. The easiest way for him to fix his attitude would be through therapy. In this case, I would not recommend marriage counseling, as his issue is not with his marriage. A behavioral therapist may be much better suited to understanding his problems.
A marriage counselor could be useful if he has only started to behave this way recently. Even if the issue is not with your relationship, a marriage counselor can help pinpoint what the problem may be. What’s more, they can give you guidance on how you can help him too.
Here are a few reasons why your husband may be acting strangely:
- Things are not going well for him at work.
- There are problems with his social circle (e.g. he may have gotten into a fight with close friends and is angry at them).
- He is angry at something or someone and taking it out on everybody (this ‘someone’ could be you).
- He has simply lost interest in you and has stopped caring about your feelings.
- He is preparing for a divorce. In this case, he may not purposefully be an asshole towards you, but you will notice the signs anyway.
Of course, there could be a lot more reasons. These are just the most obvious ones. Now, onto the fixing part!
How to Fix my Husband’s Behavior
Before we tell you a few fixes, make sure that your husband really is an asshole. It could be that he occasionally lets off steam, but is a perfect guy at other times. We are all human, and we make mistakes. Wouldn’t you be angry if you came home after a long, hard day at work to find your kids unable to keep their hands off each other?
You can also try and look at the positives. Does he do all of his duties as a husband? Does he provide you with all the necessary emotional support when you need it? Is he a good father?
If you are unable to find the way he interacts with people acceptable after thinking through all of this, here are a few fixes that you can try:
Do Not Accept When he is Being an Asshole And Reinforce Positive Behavior
Make sure you let him know when he crosses a line. This doesn’t just apply to you. Even if he says something that is rude to your family or his friends, make him realize his mistake.
Be firm in your expectations of him and let him know that he cannot expect you to be okay with the way he acts.
Conversely, when he does something good, let him know. Unless he is a complete asshole, he will eventually do something that you like.
When this happens, make sure he knows that you appreciate it. This may cause him to do it again and eventually change his attitude completely. However, be patient as it will take time.
Find and Solve Pressing Issues
I have discussed some of the reasons why he may be behaving like an asshole above. Try to find the one that applies to your husband. If you can solve it, great! Even if you cannot, you can at the very least be there for him and provide him the necessary support to get through the difficulties.
Even if he fails to resolve his issues, your support may make him realize that you are truly on his side. He may make a conscious decision to not be an asshole to the people that he cares about. In fact, openly talking to him about the way he has acted while simultaneously comforting him may be one of the quickest ways to stop him from being an asshole.
Should I Consider a Divorce?
You should only start thinking about divorce if you notice that his behavior has become borderline abusive (or completely abusive) and detrimental to your own personal wellbeing. For example, if he also starts to lie and hide things from you, then there may be a serious problem in your marriage. In this case, you may want to consider divorce.
However, you must remember that divorce is final. Although it is possible for couples to remarry after a divorce, it is extremely rare. As such, make sure that your husband’s behavior truly is so bad that you cannot accept what he has become (or what he always was).
Before you pull the trigger, I would advise you to seek professional help. A counselor may be either able to fix your issues completely or make the two of you realize that things are not as bad as they seem. No matter what the outcome, it is definitely worth taking a shot at saving what you have built before you completely destroy it.