“Why is m y wife always mad at me no matter what I do?” This is a common complaint I hear from men. He feels that most of the time his wife or partner is upset and for some reason not happy with him. Perhaps its a bit over stated to say “always.”.
The good news is that the “mad at me” syndrome has a beneficial pay-off.
People don’t’ continue a behavior they are not getting something out of. The method a couple is using to get a pay-off or benefit may not be the best way to do that, but they are getting something out of it, for sure. Behavior that is not reinforced ceases to exist.
In this case, the major pay-off is that the partners are paying attention to each other, albeit in a negative, destructive way. Couples give attention to each other in two very basic ways: they make love and/or they fight. When a person in the relationship, or both people, for that matter, decide they are finished with the relationship, they cease paying attention to their partner in any way.
The opposite of love is not hate. Love and hate are the two sides of the same “giving-attention-to-the-other-person” coin. The opposite of love/hate (make love or fight) is indifference. People do not pay attention to people they do not care about. It’s dead: no heat, positively or negatively.
The Things We Do For Attention!
What is most difficult for men in these spots is they feel powerless to make things better. Whatever they do or don’t do, they can’t “fix it,” make her happy again so that they in turn, the guys, can feel calmer themselves. It can feel like a no-win proposition and at times, exiting the relationship may seem like the only solution.
Us men are raised to be problem solvers, so much so that the loved woman in our lives may, without realizing it, create problems for us to fix rather than running the risk of not getting our attention (except when we want sex).
The bad thing about getting a man’s attention these two ways (problems or sex) is that the woman does not get to be seen as a whole, intelligent and competent person. She gets put into boxes: either she had to be seen as a “damsel” in some sort of distress or trouble only her man can solve or she has to be seen as a sex object. Sometimes a wife will try both roles hoping her man will eventually know and treat her as a third option: a person, a human being that wants the same things in a relationship that the husband or man wants.
Treated as a role or sex object can leave a wife feeling angry and misunderstood. Most modern women want a much deeper and significant connection with the man or husband in their lives without having to demean themselves to get it.
Wives want to be seen, attended to and recognized for who they are as developed, adult women who can take care of themselves, not needy and helpless sex pots. They want your attention, man, because you find them to be a very interesting person in many ways, not because they need you to make it through life.
At the same time, there may be some very real things you do (or don’t do) that gets your “wife always mad” at you.
- For starters, perhaps you are too dominate and non-negotiable, needing decisoins to go “your way or no way”. Decisions in a marriage or loving relationship are best the outcome of negotiated compromise. This means each person gets some of what they want/or need, but not everything. Mature couples are able to strike a deal they can both live with and which is good for them. Then they move on.
- Check to see if her anger at you is factually about some of your real behaviors or actions, not only because you ignore her as a person. Perhaps you abuse alcohol and your temper is worse after you drink. Maybe it’s that you presume she should know you heard her say something important but in reality you never acknowledged that you got the message she sent. She can’t read your mind. Maybe the work around the house needs to be looked at again and new assignments made as to who does what when so that the domestic work loads are more balanced and fair between the two of you.
- If a man never comes to understand what his wife’s or lover’s anger at him is really about and learn how to deal with it, he will continue having similar experiences with woman after woman, partner after partner. Two indications of this is repeated experiences of relationship contempt and/or chronic cheating.
What You, The Man or Husband, Can Do To Survive An Angry Wife:
- Go To Marriage Counseling: Invite her to go to marriage counseling with you. If she refuses, go anyway and don’t pout because you could not argue or guilt her into going. Take your frustrations out in the therapy session with your counselor, not on you wife. Accept you will not always get your way with your woman, ever again. She’s on to you.
- Give Up Needing To Control Things: Stop trying to get her to do anything: love you, remember all the good times together, grow up, stop whining, stop being mad, go to counseling, etc. Most of all, stop trying to get her to understand how you feel. If you want to be understood, you must first understand the other person.
- Stop The Blame Game: If you need her to be different and stop her anger so you can feel better, you are in effect blaming her for the way you feel. How about you, the man/husband grow up, realize your wife is going through a tough time, (even if you don’t understand why or believe she has no right to treat you this way) and just be there with her as a companion asking nothing from her.
- Be Emotionally Mature in the Relationship: Find ways to manage your feelings of fear and anger. Do this on your own, honorably, without cheating. Give up needing a woman to make you feel better. You no longer need a mother. There are hundreds of things you can do to get calmer and manage yourself during times like this. If you run out of ideas, I’d be glad to recommend several.
This slide presentation sheds light on the “wife always mad” matter and offers suggestions for men on coping with an angry female partner.
There can be situations in a marriage or relationship where the “angry wife” is in fact a wake up call the husband needs to pay attention to. Possibly specific problems are not being addressed by the man or husband and he brushes off his wife’s concern with, “Oh, she’s always mad at me. I just let it in one ear and out the other.” Maybe he really does have a drinking problem. Perhaps there are real money problems or troubles with parenting. His Mr. Fix-it Skills really are needed.
As see in the Island Packet, Hilton Head Bluffton, SC