Is it Always the Man’s Fault in a Marriage?


I often receive comments from men that ask, “Is it always the man’s fault in a marriage?”, “Why is it always the husbands fault?”, “Why do books always seem to put the blame on the man?”, or, better yet, “Why are you always blaming the man?”

By the way, I chuckle when I read these comments and emails because they are often counter balanced with messages from women asking, “Why are you constantly putting the blame on the woman?”


First Things First


First off, it is not always the husband’s fault. Common sense would dictate that.

However, it should be noted that there are men that are sacrificially serving their wives yet to no avail. There are also husbands that cannot seem to figure out what more they can do to please their wife. As a matter of fact, there are even some husbands that tell me that the more they serve their wives the angrier they become.

This post is geared more toward men in such a state that are tiring of feeling like they are the sole source of problems in their marriage even though they are doing all they can to please their spouse.


The Wise Man


The wise man must realize that though it is not always his fault that his wife is upset or angry, her perception should still be his guide. In other words, in most cases, even when the problem is with the woman, the woman often feels justified in her behavior because of what she perceives to be a lack of something in the man. Though this is unfair and it is commonly misguided blame, in an unrealistic sort of way, it is still reality, at least her reality. And, real leaders are willing to appear wrong in order to better lead toward the right.

Because of this little phenomenon, a wise man should go with his wife’s perception until he has isolated her negativity. This is for the purpose of allowing her to see that she has nobody to blame but herself for sabotaging the relationship.

It should be noted, however, that this will hardly ever occur by telling her of her wrong-doing. It usually only happens after a man sacrificially serves his wife over a long period of time. Any other approach leads to countless arguments and fights as to who is at fault in the relationship.

I often tell men that they can spend their days trying to verbally convince their wife otherwise, but that will be to no avail. I have even went as far as to ask some men to write me in about 10 years after trying it their way to let me know that their method has proved ineffectual.


Why Women are Bitter Toward a Good Husband


Some women are bitter even while married to a good man for the following reasons:


1. His behavior in the early parts of the marriage


If this is the case in your marriage, then I would highly recommend you read our excerpt from chapter five of our marriage book called How to Rebuild Trust in a Marriage.


2. Past wounds that she incurred from other men or her childhood


As stated in my anger book, some people are punishing others in the present for wounds they received in the past.


3. She perceives that this is the only way to keep him motivated to be a good husband


I have a section in our marriage book called wife training. It actually teaches that some men have trained their wives that the only way to get them motivated to do right is to use anger and frustration.

Also, some women have adopted a mentality from childhood that men are, across the board, selfish jerks. And, in their mind, a man is a necessary evil for possibly procreation, physical intimacy, or financial support. Consequently, they tend to feel the only way to deal with a man is keep him under an emotional thumb through negativity.


4. Unrealistic expectations of what a good man is


5. The wife may subconsciously want out of the marriage.


A wife in a state as such may find fault with whatever the man does even when he walks almost a perfect line. I often say that a woman in such a state would complain that her husband’s feet are wet even while her man is walking on water.


Bitterness Causes Trouble


Hebrews 12:15 deals with the issue of bitterness. It says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

The scriptures are teaching us that a root of bitterness in someone’s heart can be a very troubling matter. It not only troubles the person possessing a spirit of bitterness but also those surrounding that person. In fact, there is an expression about bitterness that goes like this:


“Bitterness is drinking he poison then waiting for the other person to die.”


How many of us have stories of a bitter dad, mother, grandparent, pastor, or leader that caused great heartache because of their harsh or critical spirit? All the stories we could compile would only serve to validate what Hebrews 12:15 is teaching.


Hard to Unbind


We have all heard the expression, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” In fact, the other day I saw a hot sauce at a local restaurant called Scorned Woman. I even overheard someone talking about that sauce saying, “I bet that’s hot!”

In my experience of working with men and women alike, I have found that men seem to be able to shake off an unforgiving spirit easier than women. And, I would have to say that a woman bound up in a spirit of bitterness is often hard to unbind. But, I praise God that with Him nothing is impossible.

I raise three boys and four girls. I would have to say that my boys possess a greater propensity to shake off hurt feelings than my four girls. In fact, it is not uncommon to see them carry their hurt feelings with them for a few days while the boys are over it in just a few hours.


What a Man Should Do Different


Men seem to error in that when it is the woman that is causing her own misery, they seem to become resentful and hopeless in their spirit. Once this occurs, the wife either feels more justified in her behavior or a stalemate starts in the marriage.


Men are Goal-Oriented


Generally speaking, men are a little more goal-oriented when it comes to a relationship. Consequently, men have a hard time serving when they feel they will receive nothing but criticism in return. However, one thing is for sure, if a man allows the relationship to move toward a stalemate, then all hope of progress being made will be gone. This is why we greatly encourage men and women in a difficult marriage to work on the marriage because it is right, not because they are working toward a certain result. In fact, this is why we have dedicated chapter 6 in our marriage book to this particular subject.


Strength Mixed with Service


In some situations, a man will have to mix his service with strength. If not, his wife will resent him all the more even while he patiently serves the marriage to death.

I say this because a woman wants a cross between William Wallace and her best girlfriend. And, believe it or not, there is a time when all the service in the world will only further infuriate some women, especially those in a bitter state. It’s as if they are so used to being negative that they have almost become addicted to those feelings of negativity.

Women in such a place typically need the man to show strength in the following ways:


1. He needs to recover his view of himself despite her treatment of him


A man should never base his self-worth on the approval of his wife. (We make allusions to this in chapter one of our marriage book.) If he is, then he is actually asking permission from his wife to feel like a man, and that is not leadership. That is weakness that will foster a lack of respect from his mate.


2. He may need to stand up for himself during her tirades


If a woman is constantly losing her cool for little or no reason, the man may have to stand up for himself during those times. He may need to do this by saying, “If you continue to talk that way, I am going to leave the conversation.” or “I am not going to have a conversation with someone that is name-calling and belittling.”

Of course, I would always encourage a man in such a state to stay calm, but he certainly has a right to exercise his own rights.


If You Turned the Tables


Though this is the longest post of my life, I have one more thing to say. In these situations where the woman is almost the aggressor with her words and her angry spirit, I have picked up on something: if you reversed the behavior of the man and the woman in such a state, the woman would probably be blaming the man for being abusive.

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Posted in Issues Relating to Husbands

14 comments on “Is it Always the Man’s Fault in a Marriage?
  1. desperate says:

    ok this is hard to receive. I have been married to a wife for 21 years and just realized she suffers from asperger’s.

    no matter what I do there is a loss of connection. i have dried up sexually and have not had any intimacy for years.

    although we never fight we still grow further apart. i don’t hate my wife, but my marriage is killing me. i have been depressed and on the verge of suicide for years.

    you tell me am i at fault what can i do if i confront her she will just run to her room and have a shutdown. (crying until she passes out.)

    i set down and read a marriage book (one of the more popular ones) I got so angry because I have been doing it for years.

  2. Aaron T says:

    This is a perfect example of the problem with “Christian “ marital advice. This strange mindset is actually ruining marriages in the long run. Sure it will pacify or be a good band-aid to help a struggling marriage but this is complete foolishness in the world of psychology and this also does not line with the teachings of Christ as a whole. I am in the last days of a failed 19yr marriage. My soon to be ex-wife demonstrates many narcissistic traits which have damaged the relationships with her mom, our daughter and myself. We were both raised in church and went to several Christian marriage counselors over the 19 years with the same result. Husband is the leader and gets the blame. Added to this women in the church enable other women by going along with playing the victim. When i finally sought help “outside” of the church, I say outside because my psychologist doesn’t have a “Christian” practice, she is an actual Dr. who received an legitimate psychology doctorate. She explained to me how toxic my wife is, gaslighting, gulit shifting, projecting, shaming, slandering, baiting and other control tactics that literally sent me into panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. Her answer was so much more simple. Every person must be responsible for their own actions and the way they treat people. The fact that my church won’t address my wife’s blatant personality problem and thinks I have to continue to “serve” and “consider Christ” is terrible and enable women like my wife to continue to exploit and manipulate people in their life. I think this is one reason the divorce rate is starting to even be higher in the church than in secular marriages. It is sad and makes Christian men weak simps like I once was. A Christian wife must submit to Christ first that is where the mistake is made. Every believer is called to Christ, the thing is in the church men are held accountable and women are mostly not but this is not in line with the teaching of Christ. If a wife is in sin the church might give her a pass but God will not be mocked like this nor does he show favoritism.

  3. Tom Tulinsky says:

    “only happens after a man sacrificially serves his wife over a long period of time.”
    While she is angry at him.
    I don’t think I could do that or should have to. Maybe I shouldn’t have married, and shouldn’t remarry.
    Do you tell this to men before they get married?
    As the disciples said, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you for the insights. I’ve felt like the scapegoat in our marriage for a very long time. We’re in counseling at our church but I’m not sure it’s working. It seems that even there, they affirm my wife’s view of herself as a victim, although she’s definitely not. There’s lots of responsibility on both sides, but no one cares about my pain, only hers.

  5. b says:

    Most of the time women won’t accept responsibility for themselves and blame everyone else…..churches go along with this misguided thinking ……

  6. Jay Folickman says:

    Really good stuff. I plan on ordering your book. My wife and I are in the middle of one of our numerous fights. We have slept in separate bedrooms for two nights now. I do feel like it is always my fault. I internalize all of this, and it often drives me to do things I don’t want to do (porn, etc.). My wife and I have been to Dr. Doug Weiss (Heart to Heart Ministries in Colorado Springs; nor sure if you have heard of them). They focus on men’s porn and adultery addictions, but never talk about what I just mentioned (how always being the partner in the “wrong” can drive you down such a path). I know that porn is an outlet for frustration and the wrong way to handle things, but your information is very refreshing.

    • Mike says:

      It sounds as if both you and your wife should skip the Christian counseling and find a werl trained psychologist in your area.

  7. hi says:

    I’m enjoying my singleness. It’s underrated.

  8. Truth Is says:

    Well today many women are really at fault when it comes to cheating. Been there.

  9. A husband who is trying says:

    Lots of profound thoughts here. Good stuff…thank you.

    Now it’s the ladies turn to gripe…I’m kidding.

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Marriage and Relationship Coaching

Over the Phone
Call Us at 1-888-642-3036
Talk Now - Live 24/7 Help
Order Our Marriage Book
How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another


  • Learn our 2-step Process to Solving Marriage Issues
  • Use for your next Bible study
  • A Biblical and Refreshing Approach