My Wife Doesn’t Appreciate Me

Before I dive into this one, let me point something out. The modern concepts of manliness generally don’t equate with being a good father or husband. There’s a lot of selfishness embedded in there.

Not all men struggle with marriage and family life, but I believe most do. If you don’t feel appreciated or respected at home, keep reading.

If you are serious about figuring this woman out, getting respect and recognition from her, and becoming the man she is passionate about, you may need more than I can give you in one article. My Becoming a Better Man book is full of the lessons I learned on this journey.

This is what works…

I am going to give you a few revelations about making your marriage into something amazing, not just tolerable. Read it and consider it. Keep your mind open and your mouth shut for a few minutes and look for yourself or your marriage in here.

Our wives are generally wired for relationships. We are generally wired to conquer and argue. Not always the most compatible situation.

Most marriages seem to crash and burn on a few simple issues relating to our notorious stubbornness. Sex, money, etc. are not the only homewreckers. The main ones involves our perpetual desire to be in control and simultaneously be coddled. They also include our “rights” as husbands.

Don’t forget that we often feel obligated to be the authority, or head, while still thinking the marriage problems are flowing uphill, from her. It can’t be both ways.

Most of us are perfectly fine to exist in a cozy marriage, as long as everything is on our terms. We get so detached from reality that we believe we are amazing humans and deserve all this goodness from our wives. We take them for granted for so long that we begin to get completely twisted in our thinking.

Because this woman has been so good to us and so supportive, we begin to assume we deserve it.

Once our delusional and narcissistic minds begin to accept the concept that we are the king and she is our servant, we are detached. She is suddenly below us. After time, we begin to expect her to treat us well, like we deserve it. Her goodness is taken for granted.

The master and servant precedent has been established. When she eventually gets tired of being neglected, we decide that she doesn’t appreciate our greatness. We begin looking at other women that seem to appreciate us and want our attention.

Yes. It really does happen like this.

When I hear women preaching the submissive wife messages, or reaching for the proverbs 31 pattern, I get concerned. Not because they are failing, but because they don’t understand men. We are simple creatures essentially.

Most of us change like training a dog. Whatever gets rewarded gets repeated.

If she is good to you when you are disrespectful or mean, you assume it’s ok. She was good to me, so she must like being treated that way. If you are selfish and abusive, and she is still willing to have sex with you, part of you assumes she is fine with it. If she snaps at you or refuses to touch you, you know she doesn’t like it. Just like a dog. Dogs figure out pretty quick which behaviors are acceptable and which aren’t. We learn slower, but it’s the same process.

I really wish I could get the ladies to understand this.

There is definitely one specific guy I am thinking about as I write this. This guy has pissed me off. Not just because of what he is doing. But because I know why he is doing it.

He is about to abandon his family. They aren’t good enough for him. He wants more from life. They are holding him back. He isn’t happy. He needs more attention and affection. Maybe he already has a girlfriend. Maybe not. Either way, he is about to make the biggest mistake of his life.

His wife has worked herself ragged managing their large family. She has allowed herself to fall into the proverbs 31 trap. Feeling obligated to become a servant and doormat. Not understanding that it’s just a list of good things that wives can do, not a job description. Too many women work hard to hold a family together, while the toddler of a husband arrogantly decides it’s not good enough for him.

He has a family most men would kill or die for, and he is about to walk away. If he is moving on to a girlfriend, like I expect, he has a wonderful surprise coming.

He will eventually figure out that those relationships rarely work out. Very rarely. The problem isn’t his wife, it’s him. He is about to take the same jackass mentality and selfish ideas into another relationship. Some confused lady is about to make a huge mistake. If she takes him, she is attaching herself to an idiot that has already ruined one marriage. Hers will be next.

Here’s another fact. Those wedding vows, the “love, honor and cherish…Forsaking all others, Til death parts us.” Remember that? Once you begin neglecting or abusing her, once you allow anything or anyone to take priority over her, you have already initiated divorce. Once you allow your selfish and narcissistic ways to put her below you, the divorce process is already in motion. No lawyer needed at that point.

Looking back over my own mistakes, I see it. I see my wife maintaining that smile and loving me in spite of who I had become. I see her working so hard for things I ignored. I see myself making life harder for her and neglecting her. I understand that she was desperately trying to create a home and marriage while I was in my own world, only thinking about myself. It was all my fault. I can’t begin to tell you how humbled I am for the second chance I got.

If I could bottle up the trauma that my family, and I, went through; I would soak this guy in it. Maybe if he understood what he was about to do to his wife and kids, over pure selfishness, he might wake up.

For me, it was like a slow walk to a guillotine, only to have my life spared a second before the blade fell. That’s about how it feels for me.

One of my counselors told me exactly how traumatic the first few months of the separation were on me. He said the only thing he had ever seen like it, was a young man suffering from PTSD, after returning from combat. That was all could find to compare my mind with. Yes. It was that hard on me. It hit me like nothing I can describe. Twenty years together, a great family, suddenly ripped away. Because I had become a self absorbed jerk. I went through intense anxiety attacks, blackouts, nosebleeds… All of it.

Don’t be that guy. If your head has been somewhere it doesn’t get sunlight, for very long, you will naturally make bad decisions. Maybe the oxygen is cut off in there. The selfishness and arrogance that is hurting this family is available to all of us. Don’t fall into that trap. Wake up. Be a man, not a spoiled, rotten toddler.

I hope you come to your senses before you get to experience what we did. Go back to your wife. Ask for forgiveness. Do whatever it takes to save your family. Do it for her. Do it for those kids. Do it because you love them. Do it now.

Don’t let a twisted idea of manliness or an overblown ego wreck your family.

If you are that guy, I also wrote this for you. 21 Days to Save My Family. Get it. Read it. Right now. Seriously, before it’s too late.

If you see a lot of yourself in this, here’s the next site you need to visit.

M. Erik Matlock is a self-professed recovering knucklehead with more than 500 articles and four books in print. He shares his hard-earned wisdom at, and through his books, which are available at Amazon.

4 thoughts on “My Wife Doesn’t Appreciate Me

    1. Her self esteem was damaged for a while, until the anger came out. She had to reach a point where she pretty much snapped. She is, without a doubt, the strongest person I know. After her miscarriage, that almost killed her, her attitude changed. She decided that life was too short to tolerate a man like me. Even before counseling, she did all the right stuff. I knew she was serious from the first moment.

      She is great now. She is confident that i am listening. She knows her place with me. She understands her freedom to say whatever she wants. We are solid couple, acting as a team now. Helping her heal from the past, making her life good, and helping my own family find their place is really my purpose. I lost my life and found it in them.

      Honestly, I hope I can be as strong as her one day. She is the true hero of these stories.

  1. It sounds to me like your wife acted to divorce you before it was too late for her to heal, and you can praise God for that. Not all those “Proverbs 31” indoctrinated women are able to save themselves before the abuser has crushed every aspect of the woman’s dignity, personhood, security. Yet she stays and stays and stays until there’s just nothing left of her to piece back together, even if he is perfect from that point forward. Why don’t abusers wake up before it’s too late? Why do they need to completely suck the life out of their women? The Bible says, “We love because he (God) first loved us,” and yet abused women love and love and love and it never gets through to the abusive man. He just consumes, and then if she scrapes herself together enough to throw off all her belief in “till death do us part,” because she finally realizes that the death is going to come at HIS hands and not by natural means, and throws off all the fear of condemnation she will receive from her community by “giving up on the marriage” to save herself, then maybe he will try to hold on to her, and try to act right for a little while. But who can believe it? Who can believe a man who spends a decade or two wiping out the woman he swore before God and witnesses to love, honor, cherish, and nourish as his own body? How can she possibly rebuild her personhood when it has been destroyed by the one she gave herself in oneness to?

    1. A normal woman would have cracked or left years sooner. Mine is tough as nails and almost as stubborn as me, when she makes up her mind. Honestly. If it weren’t for the kids, she would have just left.
      Like most abusive husbands, I didn’t see my actions or attitude as abusive. We start out like a rescuer, and gradually slide downhill. I saw myself as being better than the other abusive men in her past. I figured I was a good guy, as long as I was better than them.
      I didn’t truly see myself as abusive until her best friend went off on me. Until she chewed me out, I still though my wife was the one who was confused. Even that wasn’t enough to change me. My marriage intensive with Joel and Kathy was where I finally understood that I had to accept full responsibility for my marriage.
      Just like in salvation, until I took the full weight of the failures, the marriage would never heal. We would never heal. That’s the headship message. Taking full responsibility for your marriage. Owning the failures. Understanding that she is simply responding to what I have given her.
      I went through your site, too. I wish you the best. You have taken on a big challenge and responsibility. Let me know if I can help.

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