A tongue-in-cheek guide to getting your husband to take full accountability for marital issues.
By Samantha Rodman Whiten — Written on Jul 04, 2023
Photo: Ekaterina Byuksel / Shutterstock
Are you unhappy in your marriage? Does your husband just not understand you? Has nothing you’ve said gotten through to him?
Here are some novel ways to open his eyes to your pain and suffering.
Below is a guaranteed Five Step Plan to get your husband to take full ownership of all of the marital issues and apologize accordingly. Because you deserve it.
(PS. This is satire. If you want real help communicating with your husband, read this post.)
Here is a five-step plan for getting your husband to take full accountability:
1. Compare him to other guys
Nothing makes a man ready to listen to how dissatisfied you are like hearing how your friend Jessica’s husband takes care of the kids every Saturday for the whole afternoon while she trains for a triathlon.
Obviously, he will commiserate with you over the injustice that Jessica, who despite her athleticism is not even that hot, has a better husband than you have.
He might even be so overcome with sympathy that he walks directly out of the house.
Don’t worry, I’m sure he is headed to buy you flowers to make up for his stupidity and selfishness.
2. Withhold physical affection
When a man thinks, “What would make me motivated to work on my marriage?” the first thing that pops into his mind is “If I felt my wife was either physically repulsed by me or was trying to manipulate me using sex.”
This tactic will springboard your husband into action.
Hasn’t it worked thus far to change his behavior for the better? Oh. Well, you probably didn’t act disgusted enough.
3. Tell him you were never happy with him
Try your hardest to focus only on the negative parts of the marriage. I am sure there were red flags from Day 1.
Of course, there was also the time he drove an hour to meet you for a half hour or sent you that funny email, or when he first told you he loved you. But those things pale in comparison to all the crappy stunts he’s pulled, so do your best to erase the positive incidents from your memory entirely.
What good could it do to lead with the positives anyway? You’re trying to get through to him here, and the best way is to emphasize what a complete mistake this marriage was in the first place.
Wait till you see how hard he tries to fix things once you’ve told him they are entirely unsalvageable!
4. Link his current A-hole behavior to what he saw growing up with his crazy family
This one works best if you can think of no way that your own upbringing contributes to the current marital difficulties.
Men love to be the sole screwup in the relationship. It really lights a fire under them to change.
If you want to be even more effective, compare him directly to whichever of his parents you find the most dysfunctional. Even better if you know this is the parent with whom he has the most difficult relationship currently.
By tomorrow you should have a dozen roses and a poem.
5. Make sure he knows you have the capacity to be happy, just not with him
Speak at length about your history of successful relationships prior to this one.
Expound about how self-actualized you are due to your six months of therapy in the college counseling center ten years ago. I mean, you showed up to at least half the appointments. Except over summer break. You have even read some stuff about relationships on the internet.
So, you know it’s not you that is at fault for your unhappiness unless you’re “too nice.” It is him that is to blame, entirely.
Bring this point home using a loud voice and some well-placed finger-pointing, so he has no doubt about his complete responsibility for 100% of your dissatisfaction.
You should only have to sit back and wait now. The handwritten letter expressing his sorrow and regret for unilaterally ruining the marriage should be forthcoming tomorrow.
If somehow this Five Point Plan fails to work for you, and I can’t imagine how it would, there may be some last-ditch tools at your disposal.
For example, introspecting about what it is in you and your upbringing that has gotten you to this place. Thinking about what you can do better as a partner and team player in the relationship. Leading with positivity and affection whenever remotely possible. And, of course, couples counseling.
But, take heart, it’s unlikely you’ll need to put in this type of work. The Five-Step Plan is fail-safe. You should probably go and rest up now.
I bet your husband is planning an awesome date night tonight to convince you to stay married to a loser like him.
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Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.
This article was originally published at Dr. Psych Mom. Reprinted with permission from the author.