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 angry when I express my feelings? ›

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 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.

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 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 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.

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

Emotional Invalidation: A Form of Emotional Abuse.

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.

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.

What is defensiveness a symptom of? ›

Causes of Defensiveness

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

What to do when your spouse dismisses your feelings? ›

It's important to talk to the other partner about the emotional invalidation. Talk with them about what you feel when you are feeling invalidated. Your feelings and emotions matter. There are many well-intentioned invalidators out there, but that doesn't change the reality of the situation.

Why does my husband always invalidate 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.

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.

Why does my husband get so mad when I question him? ›

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 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.

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.

Is invalidating feelings gaslighting? ›

Gaslighting goes further than invalidating other people's feelings, which makes it more damaging than we think. Invalidating means telling someone they shouldn't feel a certain way. Gaslighting, on the other hand, makes someone believe that they do not actually feel that way.

What are examples of traumatic invalidation? ›

Examples of traumatic invalidation can include emotional or verbal abuse, neglect, being blamed or punished after disclosing a trauma, a betrayal, or the abrupt ending of a relationship. Following a trauma, some individuals are able to recover relatively quickly and without major disruption to their lives.

Am I overreacting or am I right? ›

Many people fall somewhere in the middle, meaning you might be sensitive, but not too overreactive. But if you tend toward 'A' behaviour, then yes, you have an overreactive personality. Overreactive tendencies tend to come hand-in-hand with other behaviours and symptoms, including: being impulsive.

What do you call someone who gets their feelings hurt easily? ›

hypersensitive. adjective. very easily upset or offended.

Why do I feel bad after sharing my feelings? ›

It can be because you're not used to it. Not all of us feel comfortable after sharing our deepest secrets, we just never did it and it's hard to start. Because we think that we betrayed ourselves. This happens because we exposed something personal, deep and can be used against us.

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 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”.

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.

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.

What mental illness causes defensiveness? ›

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.

What is the root cause of defensiveness? ›

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.

Is defensiveness a trauma response? ›

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.

Is invalidating someone's feelings abuse? ›

Invalidation is one of the most damaging forms of emotional abuse and can make the recipient feel like they're going crazy! What's scary, it can be one of the most subtle and unintentional abuses. The invalidated person will often leave a conversation feeling confused and full of self-doubt.

What to say when your partner invalidates your feelings? ›

Example of a Truth Owner in Action: Them: “I am feeling really invalidated by you right now.” You: “I am not invalidating you. You were just telling me that your day was hard and you're feeling overwhelmed, and I know for a fact that you shouldn't be feeling that way because it wasn't that bad.

Is emotional invalidation a red flag? ›

Inability to Compromise and Emotional Invalidation

The inability to compromise and emotional invalidation are red flags because they are a form of gaslighting. The abuser removes your power to counter them by insisting that you are always wrong, overreacting, or lying.

Can a marriage survive alexithymia? ›

Alexithymia, while effectively isolating a person emotionally, does not always prevent them from getting along well enough to end up married. A spouse with alexithymia, though, will have a lot of trouble relating to their partner and expressing how they feel.

What are the side effects of emotional invalidation? ›

Invalidation often leads to emotional distancing, conflict, and disruption in relationships, as well as feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, confusion, and inferiority in the affected individual. Psychologist Marsha M.

What is walkaway wife syndrome? ›

There's a term for this: walkaway wife syndrome. This term is sometimes used to describe instances where a spouse – often the wife – has felt alone, neglected, and resentful in a deteriorating marriage and decides it's time to end it.

What are 3 signs of emotional detachment? ›

Symptoms of emotional detachment

a lack of attention, or appearing preoccupied when around others. difficulty being loving or affectionate with a family member. avoiding people, activities, or places because they're associated with past trauma. reduced ability to express emotion.

What is emotional blunting? ›

Emotional blunting means you are numb to both positive and negative emotions. You can't seem to cry or feel sad about things that normally would make you sad.

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.

What is a stonewalling husband? ›

⁠ Stonewalling, one of the Four Horsemen, is Dr. John Gottman's term for one or both partners shutting down when feeling overwhelmed during conflict. Rather than confronting the issue, someone who is stonewalling will be unresponsive, making evasive maneuvers such as tuning out, turning away, or acting busy.

Why does my husband get defensive when I tell him how I feel? ›

When you tell someone how you feel and they get mad, it doesn't mean we're wrong. When he is defensive he is likely projecting onto you his own issues without realizing it. To his instinctive mind, if you have said something that makes him feel bad, he instantly assumes that you meant it to be hurtful.

How do you communicate with someone who always feels attacked? ›

How to communicate with a defensive person
  1. Grow your self-awareness. Before you can focus on others' reactions to conflicts, it's best to grow your self-awareness. ...
  2. Use 'I' statements. ...
  3. Walk away. ...
  4. Avoid competing. ...
  5. Accommodate, within reason. ...
  6. Compromise. ...
  7. Collaborate.
May 12, 2022

Why does my husband get 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 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.

Why does my boyfriend get mad when I try to talk about my feelings? ›

Your boyfriend doesn't want to talk about uncomfortable subjects that he might find critical or imposing—or possibly he may be asked to compromise or do things your way—so he uses anger as a way to intimidate you into silence.

What is emotional distress in a marriage? ›

In distressed marriages, people feel fundamentally dissatisfied with their relationship. Moreover, their disappointment doesn't just come and go, but seems constant. Couples with high levels of marital distress fight frequently—the conflict remains unresolved and becomes exhaustive.

What is narcissistic stonewalling? ›

Narcissist Stonewalling

Stonewalling is the refusal to communicate with someone. This means that your spouse refuses to listen to you and your concerns. Stonewalling is one of the most prevalent narcissistic abuse techniques.

Why does my boyfriend shut down when I express my feelings? ›

For some people, shutting down emotionally is a response to feeling overstimulated. It doesn't have anything to do with you or how they feel about you. If your husband or partner shuts down when you cry, for example, it may be because they don't know the best way to handle that display of emotions.

Why does my partner 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.

When a man disregards your feelings? ›

When someone dismisses your feelings, it may be called emotional invalidation. Gaslighting is a specific form of emotional invalidation used by people to manipulate others into feeling like they are crazy. Emotional invalidation can cause significant mental health challenges, even from a young age.

What are 3 warning signs of emotional distress? ›

What are the warning signs and symptoms of emotional stress?
  • Heaviness in your chest, increased heart rate or chest pain.
  • Shoulder, neck or back pain; general body aches and pains.
  • Headaches.
  • Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling tired, anxious, depressed.
Dec 29, 2020

What are emotional red flags in marriage? ›

Red flags in a relationship include excessive jealousy and frequent lying. You should also be wary of a partner who frequently criticizes you or puts you down. Another major red flag is an unwillingness to compromise — relationships shouldn't be one-sided.

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