Marriage: For some the thing of fairy tales. For others — the stuff of nightmares.
Whether you’ve found “the one” or think you’ve made a terrible mistake, marriage always takes work.
I’ve been married for almost a decade now and that’s the one concept that has proved to be the most important.
But putting effort into marriage only works if both sides are doing it. A marriage won’t be successful if only one person is making an effort.
My wife and I have had some pretty rough patches; when it’s so personal, pinpointing the source of the problem can be difficult.
Is it you, or is it her that’s the problem? Should you try and sacrifice more of your time, energy, and emotion for her, or find a different solution?
That’s what I want to help you figure out. Because sometimes, even if it’s hard to see, you’re not the problem. The problem is that your wife’s just an asshole.
So let’s go through 16 big signs to help you look at the situation objectively and figure out if she’s the problem.
16 signs your wife is just an asshole
1) She does nothing around the house
Depending on your love language, this topic can prove to be a pretty touchy one.
Each relationship will look different in this regard; delegation of chores and tasks will depend on each relationship.
In any case, though, it should be fair and equitable for both people, not just one or the other.
If you see your wife shirking her responsibilities around the house or even worse refusing to make it fair for you at all, it’s a big sign she’s an asshole.
In fact, refusal to help out around the house is often a passive-aggressive sign that something bigger is the issue. It’s not just about the dishes or making the bed — it’s about something more serious.
2) She always makes it about her
Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong. There’s only one person that’s valid in this situation and it’s her.
No matter how patiently, clearly, or fairly you try to bring up a valid complaint, concern, or need — she won’t hear it.
That’s because she’s an asshole. Everything is about her and it can’t be any other way.
Every marriage is based on coordination, mutual respect, and effort. If she’s not able to recognize you as an equal party in the relationship, it’s a big sign that your marriage is unhealthy.
It’s also a big sign that she’s an asshole.
3) She’s never wrong
Along the same lines as the last point, there’s really no winning with your wife.
Do you find yourself ending every argument by conceding that she’s right?
If you try to bring up valid criticism or complaints, does she always overreact and get defensive?
That’s because she can’t admit fault.
Here’s the problem with that: it isn’t sustainable, and it isn’t fair for you. Day in and day out, you’re shouldering blame, responsibility, and guilt for things that are really hers to bear.
Without her, you wouldn’t be feeling any of those things.
It’s really bad for your mental health, happiness, and ability to find satisfaction — not only in your marriage but in your life.
If you’re curious as to why marriages fail, here are the top ten reasons.
4) She guilt trips you
Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. It’s all we can do to try and make up for them, make amends, and learn from them.
Really, that’s what life is all about. We’re all here to learn as much as we can, while we can.
Guilt doesn’t really have a place in that journey.
What do I mean by that?
Yes, feeling bad for what we’ve done is vital to being able to learn, doing what’s best to fix the situation, and making a better choice in the future. However, excessive guilt and shame for mistakes are anything but beneficial.
I was raised in a very conservative religion that reinforced feelings of guilt to pressure people into being obedient.
Having left that damaging belief system behind, I still find myself struggling with excessive guilt, far beyond when it’s necessary.
It’s the same in an unhealthy marriage. It’s vital to be sensitive to the feelings and pain we cause our significant other when we make a mistake and hurt them.
However, if your wife is constantly berating you and making you feel guilty for things you’ve done to wrong her, she’s probably an asshole.
Especially if she keeps track of past wrongs and constantly brings them up to make you feel guilty. That’s extremely unhealthy behavior, and it’s damaging and unfair to you.
5) She’s manipulative
Manipulation is one of the most damaging behaviors in a relationship.
The irony is that it can also be one of the hardest to spot. Manipulation by nature is supposed to be hard to feel or understand.
In a relationship based on abuse and manipulation, it’s more common for it to fly under the radar than it is to be noticed.
With that in mind, this can be one of the hardest signs to spot in your wife. But there are a few key things you can look for to help figure it out.
— False flattery with an ulterior motive
— Veiled hostility
— Emotional blackmail
— Mind games
These are just a few of the many ways that manipulative people control and abuse their significant other.
If you get the feeling your wife is using manipulative tactics to control you or keep you around, it could be because she’s a grade-A asshole.
Here are some great ways to deal with a manipulative narcissist.
6) She’s highly critical
Bringing up legitimate complaints to your significant other in a spirit of cooperation and fair representation is one thing.
However, it’s a whole different ball game to be highly critical or demeaning.
If it seems like you can never do anything right, you might have an asshole for a wife.
Does she complain about the way you eat, the way you clean the dishes, the way you cook, sleep, brush your teeth, or anything small and insignificant?
A constant stream of criticisms and complaints will wear you down, make you feel insecure, and damage your mental health and happiness.
In other words, it’s really unhealthy for you. Especially if you genuinely want to make her happy and please her.
It can be difficult to know what’s healthy, but remember, setting boundaries will go a very long way.
Here are a bunch more toxic relationship signs that could end any relationship.
7) She doesn’t trust you
Trust is a tricky thing. It can be scary to fully trust someone. It feels vulnerable; you open yourself up to potential pain and betrayal.
However, every healthy relationship is built on trust. In fact, without trust, a relationship just can’t function.
This is especially true in a marriage when trust in your significant other is crucial to the success and sustainability of the relationship.
So if despite your efforts to be trustworthy, reliable, and live up to your word, she refuses to trust you, it points to a problem on her part. Not yours.
She has deeper-seated issues that need addressing, and probably not by you but by a professional therapist.
8) She publicly offends you
It’s one thing to have your wife put you down, offend you, and insult you while you’re fighting at home. It’s something entirely different when she makes it a point of insulting you in public.
Whether it’s in front of friends, strangers, or at dinner, doing it in public is something far more malicious. In other words, she’s being a total asshole, and it’s not cool.
That kind of malicious behavior goes beyond simple disagreements, unhappiness, or a breakdown in communication.
She knows what she’s doing, she’s being intentional, and she really wants to hurt you. And that’s such an unhealthy kind of person to be with.
It’s important to ask yourself: why would I want to be married to someone like that?
9) She nitpicks
There’s really nothing quite as exhausting as living with someone who constantly nitpicks every little thing you do. It’s unfair, rude, and disrespectful.
Having a wife who nitpicks even the tiniest of things will leave you unhappy and stressed and leave your marriage strained to the breaking point.
Is that how you feel? This kind of behavior is damaging to your mental health and it’s a big sign that your wife is an asshole.
Like many of these unhealthy and hurtful behaviors, nitpicking points to a much bigger problem.
There’s something that she resents about you, or is unhappy with (not to say it’s your fault), and it manifests itself in these destructive behaviors.
Here’s a look at some interesting signs you hate being in a relationship and what to do about it.
10) She makes a habit of lying to you
It might be a bit difficult to know for sure if your wife is lying to you, or being less than honest. It could take some diligence to know for sure.
On the other hand, it may be clear as day that she lies to you regularly.
In either case, it hurts. Being lied to doesn’t feel good, no matter who it is. And there’s no getting around just how damaging it is to a relationship.
If you’re not sure whether or not she’s lying to you, her behavior might give her away.
What do I mean?
Well, ask yourself, how defensive does she get when you bring up something you’re suspicious of?
She might get shifty, dodge the subject, or be mysterious.
It’s also possible she’s been accusing you of lying, in an effort to make herself feel better and project her dishonesty onto you.
11) She deliberately tries to make you jealous
Maybe it’s flirting with other guys while you’re out together or maybe she ditches her plans with you to be with other people.
There are a lot of ways she might try to make you jealous and that’s just not cool. It means your wife is an asshole. Why?
Making a significant other jealous is a tactic used most by high-schoolers who want to get back with an ex. Though it happens with older people, too.
It’s not the healthiest response to dealing with relationship troubles, and when it comes to marriage it’s even worse.
That’s because in a marriage, you’ve made a much more permanent commitment, and there’s no reason to try and incite jealousy. There should already be a healthy amount of protection, (healthy) jealousy, and belonging.
So if your wife is trying to make you jealous, she’s really just trying to make you feel bad, to hurt you. And that makes her an asshole.
12) She’s emotionally unavailable
The bond between two married people is in most cases a very strong one. There’s a deep emotional connection and loyalty that leads to trust, safety, and happiness.
However, keeping a deep emotional connection takes effort on both parts.
If you feel isolated from your wife, if she feels emotionally distant from you, it’s a big sign that she’s a bit of an asshole.
Emotional availability is an important touchstone in a successful marriage.
The ability to be there for your significant other is a key element in keeping your marriage healthy and also keeping them happy.
In other words, feeling emotionally isolated in your marriage is a sign that something is unbalanced, and that things aren’t healthy or sustainable. If one party is emotionally unavailable, things won’t end well.
13) She doesn’t let the past go
This point can apply either to her past, your past, or your shared past, depending on the circumstances and individual scenarios.
For instance, she might be living in her past, always romanticizing what it was like before you were married. If she’s constantly complaining about her current circumstances, comparing them to before when they were “so good”, she’s just being an asshole.
Or another example, perhaps she loves bringing up your past, in an effort to use it against you.
All those terrible things that you’ve done, all those mistakes that you’ve long since paid for — she wants to use them against you.
The same goes for bringing up mistakes and wrongdoing from your shared past, at previous points in your relationship. There’s a reason the old adage “forgive and forget” exists because a healthy relationship doesn’t hold grudges.
The reason she’s bringing up these mistakes is likely to justify her negative feelings and actions towards you. In other words, she’s being an asshole.
Dealing with someone in a relationship who holds grudges can be an exhausting and demoralizing process. Make sure you’re putting yourself first and taking care of your mental health and well-being.
14) She’s disrespectful to your family
From personal experience, things aren’t always the easiest when it comes to dealing with the in-laws. If you’re married, you understand what I mean.
However, that’s no excuse for disrespectful behavior.
This is a sign that your wife is going above and beyond to be a total asshole. If she’s being disrespectful and mean to not just you but also your family, there are some serious issues.
And those issues aren’t necessarily because of you. In fact, probably the opposite, considering she’s the one disrespecting your relatives and not the other way around.
Worried your family doesn’t care about you? Here are some signs that they don’t, and what you can do about it.
15) She refuses to compromise
Balanced compromise is a vital part of any relationship. It allows for both voices to be heard, and to make sure that everyone is being treated fairly.
In other words, a healthy marriage will have a good compromise.
If your wife won’t compromise, you’ll likely be feeling unheard and mistreated.
If you’ve been making a strong effort to keep the marriage afloat, you might be compromising on too many things, and not letting your voice be heard.
In other words, if only one person is trying to compromise, it’s going to be unhealthy, and put a huge strain on the relationship.
So if your wife refuses to compromise on anything, it’s a big sign that she’s being an asshole.
16) She doesn’t see your worth as a human
This one seems a bit extreme but basic human decency often falls to the wayside in many unhealthy marriages.
Forgetfulness, resentment, fear, entrapment, and guilt all create a perfect cocktail for this to happen.
Here’s what that might look like:
She doesn’t thank you for what you do, whether it’s paying the bills, cleaning, working, or anything else.
She doesn’t acknowledge your pain, your journey, or your feelings.
She doesn’t listen to you or bother giving you the time of day.
These sorts of things can be considered basic human decency and yet they fall to the wayside in unhealthy marriages. It’s really important to understand your worth, acknowledge it, and give yourself the respect you deserve.
But in a marriage, especially a long one, that can easily seem like an impossible or overwhelming task.
It’s okay to ask yourself, is it even worth trying to change anything? What’s the point?
Remember, too, that it’s okay to be afraid of what comes next, once you’ve acknowledged the problem.
What comes next
Getting to this realization is sometimes the hardest thing to do, especially in circumstances that involve manipulation and abuse.
So if, after giving it a lot of serious thought and doing your research (reading this article, for example, or talking to a marriage counselor or professional), you’ve realized that your wife is treating you terribly — remember that it’s a step towards healing.
And healing is a wonderful thing.
But what comes next? What comes after the initial realization that something’s wrong and needs to change? Here are a few pointers:
1) Set some boundaries
It’s important to keep yourself healthy. That really comes first, before anything else.
Setting boundaries is a great way to make sure that you’re not overtaxing yourself.
It might not be a good time to take any drastic measures just yet. So until you can better figure out how to move forward, and what steps to take, just set some personal boundaries so you can protect your well-being and mental health.
You’ll thank yourself later, whether things either get worse or they get better.
2) Confront her
Each situation is different and there’s no way I can tell you the best way to do this or if you think it’s a good option.
But here’s the thing: it’s clear that something has to change.
And in the same way that you’ve come to realize there’s a problem, maybe she, too, will come to the same realization. In that way then, there’s a possibility for the two of you to mend the gap so she can start to make the necessary changes.
So find a good time, and make sure you bring things up in a gentle way. Express to her the way you feel, instead of going into the conversation with accusations.
Doing so will help inform you to better understand the situation and help you figure out what decision you’ll make — depending on how the conversation goes off course.
3) Do what you have to in order to heal
The important thing to remember in a damaging and toxic relationship like the one you’re in is to put yourself first.
Have a frank conversation with yourself, figure out what your needs are, and if it’s possible for them to be met in your current relationship.
With someone as close as your wife, this kind of change, even if it is a positive thing, is going to be difficult, stressful, and it’s going to hurt.
That’s why it’s so important to do whatever you can to heal, through every step of the process.
And remember, you deserve more than an asshole for a wife, you deserve someone who can respect you, love you, and treat you with dignity.
And until that person comes around, make sure to treat yourself in the same way.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.