I recently heard of a wife who was being hurt by her husband’s constant comparisons between herself and other women. Sometimes he compared her to his sisters, friends, co-workers, or acquaintances. Other times, he compared her to complete strangers. She had been trying to ignore this for a while, but lately, it had been making her so angry and annoyed that it was affecting her marriage very negatively.
The wife said in part: “My husband compares me to everyone. And comparisons are never favorable. I am not as thin as my sister. I do not earn as much money as my co-worker. A mother like our neighbor. I am not as good a cook. like his best friend’s wife. I’m not as good of a lover as his old girlfriend. I get to a point where I shudder every time we pass or talk about another woman and he’s going to open his mouth. At first, I used to ignore it, but this is starting to happen all the time and it becomes much more painful. And it makes me so angry that I am afraid to respond with something equally unpleasant. How would you like me to compare you to other men? I would never do this because it would hurt his feelings and him he’s my husband. But he doesn’t give me the same consideration. And when I call him on this, he says I’m too sensitive. He’s gotten to a point where he’ll openly look at other women right in front of me. This is hurting my marriage and I’m not sure how or uch longer I can take this. What should I do? “
After a bit more clarification, it became apparent to me that the husband would make these comments and the wife would turn away and turn her back on him for a short period of time afterward. Over time, she had learned that mentioning this would only make her husband accuse her of being overly sensitive. And if she tried to answer him, he would get mad and things would get worse. So instead, she would say nothing and calm down. This caused resentment and deteriorated their marriage. Increasingly, she had been avoiding spending time with her husband due to this and other issues. So this was something that I felt had to be addressed and I couldn’t leave it with the hope that it would resolve itself. In the following article, I will offer some tips to understand why a husband can constantly compare her to other women and how to better deal with it.
Why a husband might compare his wife to other women: The wife could not understand why her husband would be doing this. He didn’t act this way when they were dating. It was only in the last five years that this type of behavior had started. There are several reasons why a husband might act this way. Sometimes this is their passive aggressive way of drawing their attention to something that they wish was the case. And they may be saying it’s about your parenting skills or your work ethic, but usually it’s about something else entirely.
Many men criticize you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. They are often trying to get your attention in the hope that you will pay more attention to them or to things at home (as unlikely as this may seem). Therefore, they will often hit you with very low blows in an attempt to press their buttons. just to get a reaction.
Other times, a man will point out his perceived flaws because he is so aware of his. Sometimes a man’s comparison of you is really motivated by his own lack of self-esteem or his own concerns. Sometimes when I talk to the men on the other side of this situation, it is clear that they are trying to bring down their wife because they do not feel they deserve it. They secretly worry that if she knew how special he really was, she would leave him, so one way to make sure this never happens is to point out her flaws. And sometimes men react to stress by criticizing who is more convenient.
I am not advocating this behavior. I’m just trying to let you know that if you find yourself in this situation, you can be sure that these comparisons don’t reflect it. They are a reflection of him and you have to decide if you want to change him, continue living with him, or get away from him. (My recommendation is to try to change it if you can).
How to handle it when your husband always compares you to other women: The wife in this situation did not want to leave. She insisted that there were other redeeming qualities in her husband. But she didn’t want to go on living this way either, nor did she deserve it. And every time her husband did this, their marriage deteriorated further. I know you were hesitant to face this because it seemed like it was only making things worse, but ignoring it only ensures that it will keep happening.
I suggested that the next time her husband compared her to someone else, she should take note of it and promise to bring it up at a time when things were quiet. If you try to approach it when you are hurt or angry, you risk making it even worse. So when things are going well and you are calm, that is the time to address it.
I would suggest saying something like, “I need to discuss something with you that has been weighing on me. I’m telling you this because I love you enough to care about our marriage and I don’t want to let anything spoil it. Yesterday, you compared me to (fill in the blank. ) This was painful and unnecessary. Honestly, this happens a lot. You may not realize it, but you compare me a lot to other people. And when you do, it makes me feel like I’m not making you happy or that you wish me to be different. . If there is something that bothers you about me or our marriage, then let’s talk about it. But I cannot let you continue with the comparisons. I worry that, over time, I will become resentful. damage. So from now on, when it happens again, I will get his attention and ask him what is really bothering you. “
It’s just a suggestion. You can use the words that are most appropriate for your husband and your situation. But the important thing is to approach it constructively, open the door for it to tell you what is really bothering it, and let it know that in the future you will address it every time it happens. This lets you know that you can no longer have a free pass to keep comparisons.
Sometimes just addressing it when both of you are calm can inspire open communication that allows you to get to the real root of the problem. Because comparisons are usually a good indicator that your husband is trying very hard to get your attention and this can sometimes indicate some issues in your marriage that should not be ignored.