I Hate My Wife – Should I Cheat Or Leave Her?

By: Robert Porter

Updated December 02, 2019

Medically Reviewed By: Avia James

Once marriage stops being a bed of roses, you begin to wonder why the two of you made the commitment in the first place. You feel stuck in a relationship that seems like it was a mistake. Perhaps you are considering that the only way you can find happiness is to leave or find a lover. Let's review the options.

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"I Hate My Wife, but I Loved Her Once"

Love and hate are strong emotions. It can be very difficult to tell one from the other. Love and hate are distinct rather than opposed experiences; they are similar in certain aspects and dissimilar in others. Hate is not the opposite of love; indifference is. This hate continues to reveal a pretty intense and emotional attachment. When you loved your wife, you noticed and embraced all her good qualities. You liked the way she laughed. You liked her impulsiveness. You loved her personal drive to succeed and how she would seize every new opportunity and explore it. Now that you hate your wife, her laughter sounds loud and brittle. Her impulsiveness has caused more difficulties than rewards. As an opportunist, she has become loud and authoritative.

Ironically, many of the exact attributes which once attracted us to our partners can become sources of annoyance later on. This is often because we can be drawn to those characteristics which we deny, or do not allow, in ourselves. For instance, someone who is very frugal may be very attracted, initially, to someone who is much freer in their spending habits. There is a sense of adventure, throwing caution to the wind, living in the moment, embracing the opportunity. But once you are in a committed relationship, you tend to revert back to what is more comfortable, and acceptable, to you. In this example, that would be financial frugality.

A man might love and hate his wife at the same time. It creates a dissonance in the relationship because the two feelings seem incompatible with each other. They are more akin to flip sides of the same coin.

The reality is that love is both a feeling and an action. Relationships are either growing or deteriorating. Without intentional attention, care, and effort, virtually any marriage will certainly become less satisfying, and may very well end as a result of neglect.

Consider the Consequences of Cheating

You may be thinking that pent-up energy needs to go somewhere or that you deserve some satisfaction. Just because you are married does not mean that you don't have sexual needs. It's important to understand that you will continue to notice and be attracted to other women. This is not necessarily a sign that you should end your marriage or choose to cheat. Noticing other women is not wrong. Neither is being attracted to someone other than your wife. The problem is choosing to act on those thoughts, inclinations, and temptations.

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There are many problems involved in cheating. Committing adultery always adds more stress and conflict to a marriage. Betrayal has one of the most damaging impacts on intimate relationships of any stressors due to it being so very personal. It is incredibly difficult to have a healthy relationship in which there is no trust. The vast majority of us want to be trusted and need to feel safe with our partners, especially when we have reason to believe we are in a committed arrangement. If you are aware ahead of time that you're considering stepping outside the boundaries of your marriage, this suggests that you have the opportunity to take a healthier and more mutually respectful action, rather than betraying your wife's trust in your commitment.

If you have any hope of remaining successfully or happily married, cheating is not the way to go. While it certainly is possible for marriages to recover from adultery, it is a long and difficult road, requiring strong commitment and effort from both husband and wife. If your marriage is already struggling (it certainly is if you feel hatred for your wife), being unfaithful will only add to the problems between the two of you. In other words, your choice to cheat could be your indirect choice for divorce, whether you realize it or not.

It is very unfair for any marriage to be compared to an affair. In a new relationship, you experience the intense emotions and excitement of any new romantic relationship, along with the emotional intensity of guilt, fear of getting caught, etc. Think about how each of these emotions and experiences feels, literally. You experience them almost exactly the same, right? A racing heart, flutters in your stomach, sweaty palms, perhaps some anxiety or uncertainty, just to name a few. So an affair feels more intense than an above-board new dating relationship. How can any marriage fairly compete with that?

Beyond the damage done to your marriage, cheating also involves defining a new relationship. One-night flings can be very risky. There's no way of knowing the degree of the new woman's trustworthiness, sexual history, intentions, or expectations. If you allow an intimate relationship to develop with another woman, now both your emotions and body are involved. This only creates additional complications in your already painful marriage. If the other woman knows you're married, you can quite reasonably wonder about her own personal character, and if she's worth the entanglement.

If You Feel Confused About Whether You Should Leave Or Cheat, Let's Talk
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When You Sort it Out

One potential risk of leaving your marriage as a result of cheating on your wife is that once the two of you have gone your separate ways, you might re-discover that you still love her. So before you cheat or leave, do yourself the favor of seeing if there is hope for the two of you. Sometimes we just need an opportunity to address our issues head-on. Many of them may be very fixable, but only if we allow ourselves, and our spouses, that chance. Cheating on her while still with her is irrational. It just means you're trying to hurt her, and if you want to hurt her, you probably still ambivalently love her.

Here are some ideas for ways to give your marriage, you, and your wife, the chance you all deserve. You can always leave later. But you may not be able to recover from cheating.

  • Talk it out. Many couples spend less than 15 minutes per day talking. One of the most common sources of conflict in relationships is a misunderstanding, much of which is a result of miscommunication. Choose to enter conversations with your wife, assuming that you do not have all the facts or perhaps you misinterpreted the facts. This allows room for your perceptions to change, which can lead to automatic changes in your feelings. You might even want to agree to a specific time each week for potentially serious dialogue. All relationships need both: timely processing of issues and plenty of fun, playful, harmonious time, with a strong emphasis on the positive time together.
  • Be sure to date again. Some couples stop dating after marriage. Dating is probably all the more important once you're married. Treasure each other. Prioritize each other. Look for things to do together that you both enjoy.
  • Consider yourself. Often, the greatest sources of frustration we find in our partner, are also present in us. It is always reasonable to ensure that we're doing what is in our power to be the person and spouse that we want to be.
  • Treat your wife like the woman of your dreams! I know, it sounds crazy, right?! But you may be astounded at the results of such an experiment. Commit to just 30 days of this activity and see what happens. What do you have to lose?

Whether you choose to give your marriage one more chance or leave, do so with integrity, kindness, and mutual respect. This will help you have fewer regrets with the results. If you need personal guidance as you go through these difficult relationship stages, don't hesitate to contact the expert therapists at BetterHelp.com. They will be ready to help you go over what is bothering you and you'll be able to move on with your life. If you wish to attempt to save your marriage, then know that online couples counseling is available. Below are two counselor reviews for you to review, from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

"Absolutely brilliant! He helped me out of a pretty dark place and was nothing but helpful! For men who are looking for a counselor who understands what it is like to be a man in today's world with a family, with kids and responsibilities, job, etc, I was extremely impressed with his ability to get down to it and understand what I was talking about. He's great at getting to the root of the issue too. No need to slog through 8,000 words to find out what point he's trying to make. He has a knack for asking exactly the right question in about 2-3 sentences. If you're looking for a counselor who isn't the typical counselor, he's your guy!"

"Stephanie is a gem! She's very thoughtful, thorough, honest, insightful but most of all helpful. This is coming from a person that never wanted to do counseling and just "knew" I didn't need it. She's been key in helping my wife and I find our better place. She made us grow as a couple and individually. Thanks Steph!"


Whether you choose to give your marriage one more, fair, fighting chance, or leave; do so with integrity, kindness, and mutual respect. This will help you have fewer regrets with the results.

If you need personal guidance as you go through these difficult relationship stages, don't hesitate to seek help from an expert. Take the first step today.

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