Marriage is meant to last forever—according to wedding toasts, love songs, and various religious texts, anyway—and given our ever-lengthening average life expectancy, forever is a long, long time. It"s one thing to pledge eternal love as you stand fresh-faced and beaming at your bride on the day of your nuptials; actually living out that promise twenty, thirty, or forty years later can be quite another.


Even the happiest, healthiest marriages require a certain amount of work to stay that way, but what happens when your relationship has you saying, "I think I hate my wife?" Not the boiling, toxic hate that leads to the ugly crimes of passion recounted in Dateline episodes, but a...strong dislike. The type that leaves you struggling to remember the last time you enjoyed your wife"s company, and even has you entertaining thoughts of infidelity or divorce.

Here"s the complicated brew of feelings actually at play when you feel like you hate your wife, according to experts, and what to do if you want to save your relationship.

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It"s actually normal to "hate" your wife sometimes.

"Every long term relationship has the opportunity to become a breeding ground for resentment, hurt feelings, anger, disappointments," says Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, marriage counselor, therapist, and life coach. Bobby says that"s especially true for midlife couples who"ve worked to achieve the conventionally-agreed-upon markers of successful adulthood: Kids, busy careers, and homes that demand regular maintenance. It"s easy to forget that romantic love needs maintenance too, or it withers.

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"Just like a neglected garage can become a spidery, dirty mess, a marriage that doesn"t have intentional compassion and nurturing sweeping through it regularly can descend into a dynamic with dark corners," Bobby adds.

You may miss the fun-loving wife you used to know.

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It used to be all late weeknight dates and pulse-racing adventures with you two. These days, fun seems like the furthest thing from your wife"s mind, and that leaves you perpetually bored and frustrated.