5 Reasons You’re Scared Of Your Wife

If you're anxious around your wife, it may be for these reasons.

woman of all emotions, man scared nicomenijes via Canva |Karolina Grabowska via Canva |

Many men are terrified of their wives, which is why I wrote my posts encouraging men to "stop caring so much what your wife thinks."

These men are terrified of their wives being angry, disappointed, or withdrawn, and walk on eggshells around them.

Sometimes, this is merited and sometimes it is not. This post distinguishes between the reasons you may be anxious around your wife and what to do about it.


Here are 5 reasons why you're scared of your wife:

1. Your wife suffers from untreated depression

If your wife genuinely struggles with rage or mood volatility related to depression, then your reaction of fear around her is entirely understandable.

Many women do not know that anger is a symptom of depression, and therefore they just assume their husband is so frustrating that "of course" they yell at him all the time. When someone is irritable or enraged regularly, this is a major symptom of depression, post-partum or otherwise.


Many men find themselves unable to stand up to their raging wives and are terrified to upset them.

The men who have the worst time confronting their wives about angry behavior are men who grew up with parents who had mental illness/addiction. The role of enabler and placater is familiar to them, and so is the pattern of walking on eggshells at home.

RELATED: I Refuse To Let My Wife's Depression Ruin Our Marriage

2. Your wife has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

As discussed above regarding depression, men are more likely to put up with the chaotic and angry behavior endemic to BPD if they grew up with a parent who was abusive and unpredictable. Lower self-esteem men who grew up thinking that they somehow "deserved" a parent’s anger will end up assuming that this is also the case in their marriages.


They try to be "better" and get everything "just right" in order to appease their wives, when of course this is impossible because of very real mental health issues that need to be directly addressed.

3. You have very low self-esteem and preoccupied attachment

When men think that they don’t deserve their wives, or that their wives are better than them, due to their own low self-esteem originating in childhood, they are terrified to rock the boat and assert themselves in any way. They fear that their wives would leave them if they obstructed her from getting her way in any area because they think that their wives are already out of their league.

If your low self-esteem or attachment anxiety precludes you from ever telling your wife your opinion when it differs from hers, this is a "you" problem and you could very much benefit from insight-oriented individual therapy.

RELATED: 4 Ways Childhood Trauma Haunts You As An Adult (& How To Move On)


4. You are scared of emotions in general

Men who grew up in homes where nobody expressed emotions openly are usually terrified or contemptuous of their wives' negative emotions, even if these are expressed normatively (e.g., crying every few weeks about some issue for a few minutes, versus daily crying which would be indicative of a mental health issue).

They were trained as kids to avoid conflict at all costs, so they will feel a very visceral fear or disgust reaction toward their wife’s anger, and withdraw and/or placate her in order to stop her from overwhelming them.

Therapy can help you understand the origin of this fear/disgust and work on it before you end up shaming your kids for their emotions too.

5. You are a workhorse and take your wife’s issues personally

Men who have workhorse personalities assume it is their responsibility to keep their wives happy. They take their wives’ negative emotions as an indicator that they are bad husbands in some way.


Sometimes they also become defensive because they take their wives’ unhappiness in any domain as evidence that they are not performing well. For example, a wife’s unhappiness with her job will get a response like, "I told you that you don’t have to work! I am more than capable of supporting this family." 

These men have been trained since childhood that their role is to outwork any issue, and when they can’t control their wives’ emotions by working harder in some way, this scares them because this is the only solution they have ever been taught (rather than seeing their wives as separate people with their own issues and empathizing with them).

Therapy can help you learn to engage differently if this is your dynamic.

RELATED: There Are Only 2 Dynamics That Work In A Long-Term Marriage, According To A Therapist


Note that couples counseling can help with many of these issues, but many men respond that their wives refuse to go to couples counseling.

If you can’t get the courage to push her on this or believe her reaction will be explosive and damaging, then individual therapy can help you understand what in your early life has contributed to your part of this dysfunctional marital dynamic.

Working on your own insight and self-awareness can dramatically change your interactional style and help you empathize, self-assert, and move the marriage forward in healthier ways.


And till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, Nobody Should Be Scared In Marriage!

RELATED: 10 Signs That Tell You It's Definitely Time To Go To Therapy

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.