Woman Explains Why Some Husbands Seem 'Content To Be Miserable' In Their Marriages

Is he miserable or is he disconnected from his own emotions?

man looking sad Mary Taylor / Pexels 

Maintaining a connection in a marriage takes effort from both halves of a couple. Yet, it’s not entirely uncommon for the bulk of that emotional labor to fall on the wife’s shoulders.

People shouldn’t feel forced to stay stuck in a relationship that no longer serves them, but it’s important to explore the root causes of a couple’s unhappiness before getting divorced. 

A woman explained why some husbands ‘seem content to be miserable’ in their marriages instead of trying to change.

TikToker Jamie responded to a comment on a post she’d made in 2021 on “Walkaway Wife Syndrome,” which she described as, “Basically this thing where the wife just leaves one day, and the husband’s like, ‘What! Oh my God, I didn’t even know, I’m so shocked,’ but in reality, she’s been trying to communicate her emotional needs not being met for years.”




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The comment declared, “Miserable Husband Syndrome,” which Jamie interpreted to mean “That the husband being miserable is why the wife decided to walk.”

She agreed and brought in her own personal experience with the ups and downs of marriage. 


“My husband will even admit that he was miserable and depressed and kind of blamed everyone around him,” she said. “And now, what he does, because we’re still together and we’re super happy — We laugh, we dance, we love going on dates, we love seeing each other at the end of the day — Now what he does is, he looks inward with curiosity” to interrogate his own emotions.

If her husband wants to say no to something or he’s in a bad mood, he asks himself which of his needs aren’t being met and moves on from there.

Woman Explains Why Some Husbands Seem Content To Be Miserable In Their Marriages Photo: Alena Darmel / Pexels 


According to Jamie, her husband asks, “Do I need to do something for myself? Do I need to communicate with somebody? How can I resolve this conflict?” 

“I will see him catch himself going to say no to something, or going to be grumpy, and he’ll just be like, ‘I’m feeling really grumpy, I’m sorry, let me think about this,’” she explained. “He recognizes that his depression is never going to get better if he doesn’t take steps to be able to tolerate discomfort and difficult emotions better.” 

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Jamie shared that her husband’s technique for checking in with himself emotionally is just one part of combating ‘Miserable Husband Syndrome.’

She’s of the mindset that “a lot of it is sort of like a socio-cultural, systemic expectation of a certain type of work commitment that is not conducive to being able to have the energy and time to connect with your family as often as necessary to have these healthy relationships.”


Those expectations “create more conflict between two partners, when both of them are working and trying to parent and trying to do all of the things.”

“That conflict can easily be mistaken for interpersonal conflict when it’s coming from outside the [family] system,” Jamie said. “It takes away your energy, your time, your joy, to just, like, constantly be commuting and exhausted with trying to meet these expectations and demands to survive.”

Woman Explains Why Some Husbands Seem Content To Be Miserable In Their Marriages Photo  THIS IS ZUN / Pexels 


She shared that a major part of their repair work as a couple pertained to understanding their different attachment styles and learning “how to navigate conflict without making it personal” while also “trying to find ways, as a family, that we can make things a little easier on ourselves.”

“I think it’s worth asking and exploring the question of why are men, husbands specifically, content with being miserable in a relationship,” she said. “Why is it easier to continue existing like that versus looking inward and dealing with their emotions and being able to approach their inner world with curiosity, and let someone in and connect in vulnerable ways.”

Men are taught from a young age to tamp down their emotions and reveal their vulnerabilities, including to themselves. 

Yet, the act of not expressing how you really feel is damaging on an individual and interpersonal level. Emotions build up and ripple outward, no matter how hard a person tries to keep them hidden. 


If men are disconnected from their own emotional experience, how can their partners expect them to stay connected on a romantic level?

The solution that Jamie and her husband found to counter that disconnect relies on his willingness to open up and dive deep into the harder parts of being in a relationship. The result of being connected to his emotions means that he can show up more fully for himself and for his family, which, in the end, is something worth striving for. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.