My husband feels ATTACKED when I share my FEELINGS (2023)


What do we do when people still feel attacked when we share our feelings about our marriage? We remember, we can't change them, we can't communicate for them, we can't force them to be an emotionally safe person for us, we can't force them to learn and practice vulnerability and empathy and trust. We can control how we bring up hurts and complaints and we can enforce appropriate boundaries when someone shows us that they aren't capable of listening to our vulnerability without using it against us.

#marriageadvice #emotionalneglect #wife

Marriage is all about commitment and faithfulness and trust and connection and friendship and intimacy. Are you prioritizing those in your relationship? If not, there's really no point in even getting married. That is how we HAVE a great marriage. That is what LOVE requires of us. They aren't add on's. They are essential to a healthy marriage. You can stay together, but the presence of respect and emotional safety and closeness and playfulness is what makes a relationship thrive. And it's possible for you!


So what do I do when my husband still feels attacked when I tell him my feelings in a healthy way? How do I get my husband to change? The short answer, you can't, let's, close in prayer, dear Lord, why listen he's in charge of his own actions and reactions? He makes choices just like you do that affect your relationship, neither a positive or A negative way.

Now of course, there are things that we can all do to set us up for the best chance at healthy communication and healthy conflict, resolution and repair and reconnection after a hurt or a tear in the bond, but whether he accepts accountability or receives the opportunity to make things better.

Instead of worse is completely his decision, but here's how you know if you're on a path towards individual self-reflection and emotional, maturity, I made the mistake of making a video where I specifically told wives, not to use blame or criticism in their communication with their husbands, because it simply doesn't help anything boy was that.

Well received got about 200 angry women in the comments, telling me how she doesn't need to do anything different.

He does because remember he's the toxic one.

And if he wants to act like a baby, then I'll treat him like a baby.

Okay, great talk.

And this is a great example of the pursuer distancer or anxious, avoidant attachment, Styles, one person feels hurt and tries to read connect through closeness and communication, which is great, but they often don't have the tools to do.

So so they end up doing it with blame or shame or criticism, which causes the avoidant to do what right they distance themselves even further.

They feel attacked.

They feel like you're, calling them a failure.

So they defend and make excuses.

Now, the anxious person feels more hurt and more invalidated and more unheard, their needs for closeness still aren't being met.

So they get louder and more critical and build up more resentment and get passive aggressive and blow up over something small and unrelated and lash out at them.

You don't care.

You never do this.

You always do that and the avoidant responds with kindness and empathy and repairs.

The hurt.

And the reason you're laughing is because that never happens.

Does it no they're blindsided.

They have no idea what's going on.

And part of the problem with me, not having self-awareness was that I wasn't aware of what was happening in my relationship.

So I labeled her as overly sensitive or making me out to be the bad guy.

And the cycle just goes round and round, no one's, actually being vulnerable and communicating from a place of self.

Using when this happened I felt X.

And this is what I need to feel emotionally safe in this relationship in the future, no one's taking accountability for how they might have been contributing to the negative conflict pattern that they find themselves in no one's, Reaching Across, the aisle and getting curious what's really going on here inside of you.

And inside of me, what fears and triggers and needs are hidden in these reactions and I don't care, which spouse you are this goes for both of you.

If you aren't doing everything on your side of the street to give your relationship, the best chance at success, then you aren't moving towards health or growth or maturity, and you might be guilty of the same things.

They are just in a different way.

Maybe your self-righteousness has blinded you well, you're going to get some comments for that one and I look at the comments because I care about you and over and over again, I see the same Trend I've asked my husband to do X, Y and Z for my I've asked him to care about my needs I've told him how hurt I was in a nice way.

And he dismisses me, he feels like he's attacked.

He blames me, and he tells me it's, not his problem.

What should I do now? What should you do? I mean, I had one woman tell me that she's been asking her husband to prioritize her needs for 10 years.

And he refuses here's a question ladies, if this was your best friend, what did what advice would you give her? Uh, just give it some more time.

I'm sure, he'll come around I feel like this is your year just stay in that relationship where you feel neglected and abandoned, no, of course, not.

But we have to be careful here because it's way easier to point the finger at them, the immature person, blames them for the situations that we find ourselves in the immature person says, I, don't need to change anything because they're the problem right.

So I figured out the problem here, uh, it's, you the mature person, assesses, the whole situation, what did I do if anything to contribute to this Dynamic that's, not saying, how are you responsible for being neglected don't, hear me say that you're never responsible for neglect or abuse.

But the mature person asks am I doing everything to place myself in environments, where connection and growth and closeness are even possible.

I mean, have you ever asked that is closeness an emotional connection possible with your current partner.

The mature person asks, why am I in a relationship with someone who neglects me? And that triggers a lot of people and they deflect, oh so it's.

All my fault.

Now everything's my responsibility in this relationship, isn't.

It funny, how when you feel like you're being attacked it's Justified.

But when your husband feels that way, well, he's toxic I'm, not saying, he's, right, I'm just saying he feels as right as you do right now.

Here's my advice for you.

You just told me, you've tried everything you say, he won't go to counseling.

He just blames me.

He mocks me.

He invalidates me when I bring up a hurt or a feeling let's assume you are doing everything in a healthy and mature way.

And he doesn't talk.

He stonewalls you.

He doesn't, take any accountability or responsibility nothing's ever his fault.

He dismisses, you tells you you shouldn't feel that way your feelings aren't his problem, right? All right I'm going to make this super easy, I'm going to answer about a thousand comments all at once.


Here we go.

What you just described is incompatible with relational success that's.

It is your goal, relational success, because you know as well as I do it won't be found in your current Dynamic, everything you described as poison to everything a relationship needs to survive.

That was true when he started doing it years ago and it's still true today.

If he refuses to move in your direction, then you have to decide are you comfortable staying in a relationship with someone who doesn't care to meet your legitimate needs.

And for how much longer are you worth someone prioritizing I believe you are.

Do you believe you are I'm, not saying, you're, the reason you're being neglected I'm, simply saying, continuing to do the same things isn't going to result in any change our healthy communication and kindness and consideration and mutual respect deal breakers for your relationship.

I believe they are, but from what I'm seeing you might not because he's been neglecting them for years.

Now, you've been having the same fights for years now, what's going to change anything I.

Believe, you're, valuable, I believe you're worthy of respect and kindness and consideration and thoughtfulness and compassion and curiosity and selflessness and sacrifice.

Do you believe you're worthy of those things? Do? You know, the easiest way to tell watch what happens when you don't receive them in your most important relationship? Yes, I want them to change I'm doing everything I can to get men to change.

But you teach people how to treat you and I hear the desperation and hopelessness and anger and fear in your comments, but sometimes I also hear the immaturity I, hear some shame see Guilt says, I did something bad.

But shame says, I'm, bad.

Do you know why people in dating relationships allow their partner to neglect them because deep down, they don't believe they're worth prioritizing.

Am I saying, this is all your fault.

Absolutely not I'm saying, it takes two for a relationship to work.

One two.

It takes two for a relationship to work, trust isn't built.

When only one person is emotionally, reliable connections, isn't built.

When only one person feels connected closeness, isn't felt when someone consistently hurts, you intimacy will never happen when neglect is chronic or unrepaired it's like rolling a canoe on one side, even if you're doing the healthy mature things that you need to do it's still going to go nowhere.

How do you get him to row? You ask him to pick up the paddle? And when he doesn't you have to decide are you? Okay with a relationship going nowhere? Because your relationship has a Direction all of ours do you can do your part to give it the best chance at going forward by picking up your paddle through self-awareness and emotional, maturity and selflessness, but you can't row for the other half of this marriage at the end of the day, you know, this, you don't have a relationship with him.

Do you know what they call it when there's a relationship where one person gives? And the other person only takes a parasite that's, essentially what you're expressing in these comments so I'm in a relationship with a parasite, how can I turn him into a selfless Giver only counseling will help that because you're worthy to be prioritized? You are valuable, you aren't needy for needing healthy communication and conflict resolution.

And for your desires to be acknowledged and prioritized to feel close to someone that doesn't make you needy that makes you human and it's, the bare minimum of what any healthy relationship requires your anger is telling you something it's.

The part of you that cares about you it's saying, this isn't, okay, I deserve and need better.


Great have you told him? Yep, okay.

What happened? He said, he doesn't care.


What are you gonna do now? Allow him to take advantage of me? Because I don't feel like I'm valuable enough to hold them accountable.

Also I might complain in Jimmy's comments.

No some of you need to tell yourself out loud, this isn't sustainable because it's, not you're afraid to break up out of fear of being alone, you're already alone in this relationship and I'm, not telling everyone to go, get divorces, I'm, not that kind of guy because I've seen how healing can take place I'm, not saying, it's time to leave that relationship permanently, but I am saying it's not going to work unless something changes, because you are in a shell of a relationship, there's, no depth there.

And you know that your legitimate needs aren't getting met.

You don't feel valued or prioritized talking only ends in more distance and disconnection that's, not a relationship and it's, not sustainable.

And you need to admit that out loud to him, I, can't, stay in a relationship where I don't feel valued where my needs for closeness or emotional safety are being neglected and whether you're doing it unintentionally or not doesn't matter at this point.

And then you tell him so are you leaving or are we going to counseling together? Because I love you and I'm willing to fight for this thing, not fight with you anymore, but fight for us, but I'm not going to fight alone.


Why does my husband get defensive when I express my feelings? ›

In a nutshell, men get defensive if they feel like they are being attacked. That does not mean you were attacking him. It just means that's how he felt at that moment. Defensiveness is actually a reaction to feeling hurt.

Why does my husband get so defensive when I ask questions? ›

Defensiveness is a behavior wherein one of the spouses is anxious about facing criticism or they tend to be overly protective of themselves. Most husbands or wives who are defensive do so in response to a threat (whether there is an actual one or it's something based on their perception alone).

What does it mean when a man gets defensive? ›

As you've learned, being defensive is a result of feeling ashamed, hurt, guilty, attacked, etc. If a person is feeling this way, responding with further criticism is likely to end only in stonewalling or an argument. Instead, show empathy and concern for the situation that the other person is experiencing.

Why does my husband always get defensive? ›

There are many reasons why someone may become defensive. The underlying cause is usually rooted in shame or a fear of being wrong. They may also feel that the feedback they are being given is inaccurate or unjust and have the desire to prove the speaker wrong in their emotions or beliefs.

What does emotional invalidation look like? ›

Emotional invalidation can look like blaming, name calling, and problem-solving before understanding the other person's experience. Playing down another person's experience is another way to invalidate.

Why does my husband dismisses my feelings? ›

Emotional invalidation often happens due to a lack of skill on the part of the person who is invalidating. One partner may not have the capacity to effectively deal with strong emotions in other people. They may be uncomfortable with their own emotions.

Why does my husband get mad at me when I tell him how I feel? ›

Well, the truth is that some men are sensitive to the emotions of others and this can be a problem in a relationship. In other words, some men may be more emotional than others. And if you share your emotions with such a man, he may get defensive and upset when you tell him how you feel.

Why do narcissists get defensive when you ask questions? ›

The primary reason is control. When you ask a question, you are in control in that moment because you have dictated what the conversation will be about. This throws off the narcissist. As a result, they become defensive and deflect to get control back.

What is stonewalling in a relationship? ›

What does it mean to stonewall someone? In simple terms, stonewalling is when someone completely shuts down in a conversation or is refusing to communicate with another person.

What is the root cause of defensiveness? ›

Causes of Defensiveness

Feeling like others don't care enough about you. Being afraid of rejection. Having low self-esteem. Lacking confidence.

Why does my husband take offense to everything I say? ›

It's possible your husband may be afraid of conflict, or he's avoiding the topic because he knows it will be hard. Maybe he thinks he'll lose control and yell at you. Or maybe he just doesn't want to deal with it. Whatever the reason, he's trying to avoid the conversation by pretending to misunderstand.

Why does my husband get angry when I ask him questions? ›

If your husband often gets angry when you ask him questions, he may feel suffocated or disrespected by the constant questioning. He gets mad when you don't do something he asked for: Another thing that can set your husband off is if you don't do something he asked you to do.

Why do I always feel attacked by my partner? ›

A big reason why you may be acting all defensive is that your partner might be making you feel inferior to him/her/them. Being around someone who brags about themselves a lot is tough. If you're being made to feel like you're not good enough, you may feel threatened and become defensive.

Why does my husband turn every argument around on me? ›

Your husband or partner may turn everything around on you because he feels insecure. It may not seem like it but many blame-shifters often have low self-esteem. So, to feel better about himself, your husband puts you down and makes you feel like you're not good enough.

Why does my husband get offended so easily? ›

Being quick to offense can come from past trauma, insecurity, unrealistic expectations, anxiety, or even control issues. If you have a friend or family member who is always offended, it's important to show them empathy — they might be struggling.

What to do when your partner dismisses your feelings? ›

Pay attention to what they show you about themselves. If you have a partner who dismisses your feelings about some topic, talk to them about how this affects you. Pick a time when you are calm. Explain that their response makes you feel hurt, angry, sad or whatever it is that you feel.

When your husband doesn't validate your feelings? ›

The fact that your partner isn't validating your emotions or connecting with you in the way you want doesn't mean they're “doing things wrong” or are “bad at relationships.” It simply means you're looking to connect in ways different from what they may be used to.

How do narcissists invalidate you? ›


One of the most common strategies that narcissists use to invalidate you is gaslighting. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where an individual tries to manipulate you into questioning your perception of reality and recollection of events and experiences.

What is sudden repulsion syndrome in marriage? ›

Sudden Repulsion Syndrome is what happens when a small decision or behavior puts an abrupt end to a budding relationship. We investigate the common causes of SRS and what this says about dating culture today. In honor of Valentine's Day, we're spending the week debunking myths and lies about romance.

What does emotional abandonment look like in marriage? ›

In the context of a marriage, the feelings of neglect, being left out, and not being heard are collectively referred to as emotional abandonment. It occurs when one partner is so preoccupied with their own concerns that they are unable to notice the struggles, concerns, or problems their partner is experiencing.

What is emotional detachment in marriage? ›

If you feel emotionally detached, it means that you feel disengaged or disconnected from the feelings of people around you. It might manifest itself as the absence of motivation to be involved in the emotional lives of other people, or a lack of capacity for it.

What is it called when someone gets mad at you for expressing your feelings? ›

Emotional Invalidation: A Form of Emotional Abuse.

Why does my husband's moods affect me so much? ›

Experts say such “spousal mood infections” are also caused by the bond the partners share. If two people care a lot about each other, they are quick to perceive the mood changes, the vibes and the feelings, and unconsciously start imitating them.

What are the 5 main habits of a narcissist? ›

Let's take a look at five of the most common characteristics of a narcissist in order to create awareness.
  • Inflated Ego. Those who suffer from narcissism usually seem themselves as superior to others. ...
  • Lack of Empathy. ...
  • Need for Attention. ...
  • Repressed Insecurities. ...
  • Few Boundaries.

What is the one question to identify a narcissist? ›

“To what extent do you agree with this statement: 'I am a narcissist. '” Scientists believe that this question could be all researchers need to make a quick and easy diagnosis of narcissism.

What is a backburner relationship? ›

According to the study, a back-burner is “a person to whom one is not presently committed, and with whom one maintains some degree of communication in order to keep or establish the possibility of future romantic and/or sexual involvement”.

What are the 4 horsemen of marriage? ›

The Four Horsemen are four communication habits that increase the likelihood of divorce, according to research by psychologist and renowned marriage researcher John Gottman, Ph. D. Those four behaviors are criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt.

What are the four horsemen in marriage? ›

The Four Horsemen: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling.

What trauma causes defensiveness? ›

An example of defensive behavior stemming from trauma is when someone has been through abuse in the past and has a hard time trusting other people because of it. So when their partner questions them about something, they lash out with defensive actions to keep others away so that nothing bad happens again.

What disorder makes you defensive? ›

A defensive person can be someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It can also be someone that is a regular victim of emotional abuse that is constantly criticized. A defensive person can also be someone that has low self-esteem or that has a difficult time listening to criticisms about themself.

Is defensiveness a form of aggression? ›

Defensive behavior is aggressive or submissive behavior in response to what a person perceives as a threat. This type of reaction to a problem may be easy to spot. Your instinct tells you that your conversation has turned to where the person appears threatened for a reason, whether readily apparent or not.

What is a toxic husband like? ›

' Toxic, abusive partners don't want to take ownership (in situations where they objectively should) and will avoid doing so again and again. And, when they seem to take ownership, it's manipulative and over-the-top, with no change in behavior to support it,” she says.

What are forms of disrespect in a marriage? ›

To make things clear, read on to understand the signs of disrespect in a marriage that you may overlook.
  • Dishonesty. Save. ...
  • Dismissing Needs. ...
  • Constant Comparison. ...
  • Blocking Off Communication. ...
  • Demanding Too Much. ...
  • Not Prioritizing You. ...
  • Taking Major Decisions Individually. ...
  • Being Unsupportive.
Jun 14, 2023

How do you know your husband doesn't value you? ›

He is no longer affectionate with you, physically or verbally. He no longer makes sweet or romantic gestures toward you. He doesn't say "I love you" anymore. He still says "I love you," but something about it feels hollow or forced, like he's just going through the motions.

Why does my husband get mad at me so easily? ›

He could be dealing with self-esteem issues, lack of opportunity or he might actually be worried that he's not good enough for you and is doing what he can to turn this situation into a self-fulfilling prophecy. He might think YOU'RE going to leave him and he wants to be in control fo when and how that happens.

Why does my husband refuses to talk about problems? ›

He's uncomfortable or overwhelmed.

It might look like your husband doesn't feel anything, but often it's because he's actually very affected by emotion and doesn't know how to deal with those feelings. He's offended or hurt (from something that occurred between you). This is how he shows he's upset.

Why is my husband so negative and critical? ›

Your critical husband or wife may be stressed or dealing with some uncomfortable emotions, and criticizing you helps to distract them from how they are feeling. In some cases, being overly critical may have just become a habit or a learned way of communicating with others.

Why does my partner get defensive when I express my feelings? ›

In a nutshell, men get defensive if they feel like they are being attacked. That does not mean you were attacking him. It just means that's how he felt at that moment. Defensiveness is actually a reaction to feeling hurt.

Why do I get defensive when my feelings are hurt? ›

Defensive behaviors have the purpose of distracting you from your feelings of being hurt and feeling shamed. The objective (whether you realize it or not) is to shift attention to the faults of the other person, so that in turn you feel better about yourself in the moment.

What is it called when your partner turns everything around on you? ›

They turn the story around to make it seem like you are at fault, deflecting attention and blame away from them to make you feel guilty. This type of emotional manipulation is called gaslighting. [clickToTweet tweet=”“Am I going crazy? Am I being too sensitive?

Why does he get mad when I tell him how I feel? ›

Well, the truth is that some men are sensitive to the emotions of others and this can be a problem in a relationship. In other words, some men may be more emotional than others. And if you share your emotions with such a man, he may get defensive and upset when you tell him how you feel.

What is Stonewalling arguments? ›

In a discussion or argument, the listener withdraws from the interaction, shutting down and closing themselves off from the speaker because they are feeling overwhelmed or physiologically flooded. Metaphorically speaking, they build a wall between them and their partner.

Is being easily offended a form of narcissism? ›

A vulnerable narcissist is a type of narcissist that tends to be highly self-conscious, insecure, and hypersensitive to rejection. They oscillate between feeling inferior and superior to others, and they become easily offended, anxious, or even hostile when they're not put on a pedestal.

Why does my husband lost his temper so easily? ›

Insecurity, fear/anxiety, and depression can often manifest as anger, particularly for men. Given that you have described a recent change in your husband's behaviour, it may be likely that his anger is reflective of some other emotional experience or stressor.

What is the emotion behind defensiveness? ›

Defensiveness is most often a response to criticism. It's when a person tries to defend themselves from feeling angry, hurt, or ashamed when they perceive the other person as critical. Criticism may make the other partner feel anxious or worried that the other partner does not care for them.

What is emotional invalidation from husband? ›

Invalidation is a pattern in which one (or both) spouse(s) either directly or indirectly puts down, or questions the feelings of the other. This may be done by denying, minimizing, ridiculing, ignoring, or judging the other's feelings or perceptions. Regardless of the means, the effect is clear.

Why would a husband Gaslight his wife? ›

A spouse may be unintentionally trying to control you, or they may just have unhealthy relationship patterns that result in gaslighting behaviors. Intentional or not, gaslighting is a destructive form of emotional abuse. It can have devastating long-term effects on one's self-esteem, relationships, and mental health.

Is defensiveness a narcissistic trait? ›

People with high levels of narcissism tend to respond very defensively when their positive self-evaluations are threatened.

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