What to do When Your Husband is Nice to Everyone But You?

I’ll never forget the day my friend Sarah (name changed to protect her privacy) called me up in tears. She was sobbing so hard she couldn’t get the words out.

When I finally got her to calm down enough, she asked me to meet her at a nearby park. She looked over her shoulders nervously and didn’t speak until she felt like no one else could hear us.

She then told me her husband Mark (name also changed for privacy) was being horrible to her in private. I have to admit I was surprised myself since Mark was always friendly and kind and seemed to really adore her.

But I know all too well what can happen behind closed doors. She hugged me and said I was the only one who believed her. Her own sister and parents told her she was just not trying hard enough. I say that’s a load of crap.

It’s one thing to have disagreements and such. But when your husband treats you differently around others, it indicates something else is going on.

Why does my husband act differently with his family?

I will say this…different circumstances make us show our different sides. Everyone does it. After all, you wouldn’t speak to your boss in the same way you would your bestie, would you?


It’s pretty common for people to act differently in front of their families. And it may be because they have a certain comfort level with their family or are trying to project a particular image.

Some of this two-faced (or even many-faced) nature is found in all of us. If he wasn’t acting this way before marriage, something has changed. You need to figure out what so you can know what to do next.

Why does my husband treat others better than me?

If you keep feeling that your husband treats other people better than you, from the children to his coworkers or even the family dog, please consider the possibilities.

Each of us has different circumstances, so I can’t personally speak for you. All I can do is tell you what could be going on and what to do about it.

He’s fallen out of love

Ouch, Leslie, harsh much? A man that doesn’t love you anymore but is afraid of confrontation will act like a jerk to get you to break things off. This takes guilt off of him.

But! Just because he can be mean or different with you than others isn’t a sign he’s stopped loving you. Does he still do nice things for you in other ways? Maybe he’s not nice all the time, but if he still does things like wash the dishes after you’ve made a big meal, thank you for the item you do, and stuff like that, he still loves you, so don’t sweat it.

He’s got anger issues

And they likely have nothing to do with you. If your husband sees you as his partner, he may explode around or at you. Not healthy, of course, but he trusts you enough to see him at his worst. If he’s having problems at work or his parents are making him nuts, you may see this side of him. I suggest coaxing him to talk to a therapist about it and helping him find better ways to express his feelings.

He’s angry with you

husband and wife not talking

Did you accidentally throw out his baseball card collection or do something to make him angry? Even if you tried to make things right, he might not have forgiven you fully, even when he said he did. So, if something has happened between you recently, this could be the reason.

Hormones (yes, really!)

When was the last time hubby had a checkup? If he has low testosterone, it can cause him to be angry, depressed, and irritable. Try to encourage him to get a physical and see if there’s an imbalance causing this because that can be fixed!

He’s self-centered, controlling, and narcissistic

And that’s not a good thing. A selfish man makes for a poor husband. So does a controlling one. If everything always revolves around him and his needs, you may have a dud who will never change.

His background may play a role

Certain cultures and religions are prone to treating women poorly. If this is how his family is, guess what? This is how it’s always going to be for you.

He’s cheating

husband and wife fighting

Men that pick fights with their wives over trivial things may be doing so because they are cheating. If there have been no issues in your marriage and things have suddenly turned out this way, he may be doing it out of guilt for what he’s doing. He’ll treat you badly and then hide things from you. If his grooming habits and exercise habits have picked up, this is a huge clue he may be sneaking around with someone new.

He’s going through something

Work can really stress men out, especially if they’re the primary breadwinner in the family. He may have a big presentation looming ahead or there maybe talk about scaling down the team, which could put him on the chopping block. No, he shouldn’t take it out on you, but if he feels you’re his safe space, he may erupt on you because he doesn’t know how to handle it.

What can I do about my mean husband?

Because there are many reasons why your husband may be mean, you’ll have to figure out the why behind it. As you do, don’t show him your fear. Stay calm when he vents and encourage him to seek help for his anger issues.

Also, as it can be hard to reason with someone in the middle of their rage, wait until he’s calmed down to approach him about finding better ways to express himself. He’ll be more receptive to it. But if the problem is that he’s cheating, he’s not in love with you anymore, or it’s a religious/cultural thing, I’m sorry to say that he won’t change, and you’ve got to love yourself more than that and move on. You deserve better!

And if that husband of yours is abusive instead of just plain mean (either verbally or physically), you need all the help you can get. Please contact the Domestic Violence Hotline Support by clicking here and they will help you. 

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