You married for better or worse, but lately, you only see the “worse” part of your vows. Your husband finishes dinner and retires to his man cave to play video games, leaving you to clear the table and do the dishes.
He makes plans without checking with you first; he spends his paycheck on a new phone when you were supposed to put it towards your family vacation. All the signs are there: he is a selfish husband.
All these signs of a self-centered husband make you want to scream! But there are better, more productive ways to deal with a selfish man in a relationship. If you are saying to yourself, “My husband is self-centered!” keep reading. We’ve got some solutions.
The short answer depends on the degree and length of time your partner is displaying signs of a selfish husband.
If it is short-term, for example, he has a deadline to meet at work; it is normal that he focuses on that. Perhaps he is working late into the evening and on weekends and not being able to contribute to the household chores.
But there is a difference between this type of selfish behavior, which has an endpoint, and general selfishness that seems to be an inbred part of a person’s character.
“My husband is inconsiderate,” says Kathy, age 27. “He never does a load of laundry, barely helps with the kids, and expects sex on demand. Why is my husband so selfish and inconsiderate?”
What could be behind your husband’s selfish behavior
There are multiple reasons driving a person to be selfish. Some are based on childhood experiences, and others are formed due to the dynamic in a relationship.
Was your husband an only child?
Only children may grow up to be self-centered adults. They never had to share any of their toys or parents’ love and attention. They got used to being viewed as incredibly special, talented, and precious.
As an only child becomes an adult, they may continue to display self-centered characteristics. These characteristics can be modified, often by a loving wife, who insists the selfish husband become more outwardly focused.
It is common in some cultures to view men as being exempt from all chores considered “women’s work.” Take the Italian culture, for example, where mammas dote on their sons, never asking them to lift a finger in the house, yet teach their daughters how to cook, clean, and be “good wives.”
If you are dealing with a selfish husband, it may not be his direct fault if he was raised in a male-dominated culture.
Past relationship experience
Some men become self-centered because they felt taken advantage of in a previous relationship. By shutting down all generosity towards their partner, they feel they are protecting themselves from this bad past experience.
If you are still hesitant and unsure if your husband is selfish, here are 20 signs of a selfish husband.
1. Doesn’t express gratitude
Don’t expect the selfish husband to express gratitude for something you have done or put efforts into. He might fail to acknowledge them.
He thinks it is normal that you do these things. It’s part of your job being a wife. If you remind him to say thank you for these things, he just looks perplexed because he has been taking things for granted all this while.
2. Prioritizes himself
Self-absorption is but one of the many selfish husband signs.
He never thinks about your well-being or comfort. Their world revolves around one person: themselves. He will not ask you about your likes, dislikes in terms of decisions, big or small. He decides your future plans based on what works best for him.
Your husband comes home angry at something that happened at work. Of course, you are there for him. Listening to him releases his emotions and calms him down.
But should you need him to be there for you when you just have to let it all out, his eyes glaze over in boredom, or he just tunes you out. He has no interest in being there for you as a sounding board and would certainly not think to comfort you when you are under stress.
4. Doesn’t accept his mistakes
Admitting he might be wrong would be too much for his ego. Considering he is so self-centered, he cannot see from any other perspective but his own. This means he is always right and will not consider your opinion, even if it is backed up with fact.
He highly overestimates his sense of self and underestimates your intelligence. This is why his default position is, “I’m right, and you are wrong.”
For such a husband, you don’t hold a priority. This, however, can be gradually fixed by putting your foot down whenever you feel you are sidetracked. Marriage is a relationship between equals, and if you don’t feel you share the same space, you must put forth your concern.
Long gone are the days that he pretended he was interested in your interests. Not only does he never take an interest, but he doesn’t even ask about them. This is just one symptom of the selfish husband’s level of self-absorption.
He has no idea of what makes you smile and brings you happiness. He just assumes it is him and him alone.
8. Shows complete lack of understanding
“For my birthday, my husband gave me a salad spinner,” complained Mary, 30. “A salad spinner for a landmark birthday! What I really wanted, had he asked, was a nice bracelet, earrings, anything to mark this occasion. My husband is inconsiderate!”
The selfish husband is so out of touch with what might bring you delight that he just picks up things with little thought, which he might find at his convenience, not considering if it is something you might want.
He hardly makes an effort in knowing you, and this results in having an inconsiderate approach towards you.
If you feel he often fulfills his needs by getting this or that for himself but isn’t really considerate about your needs, that’s the sign of selfishness on his part. For instance, you will spend a lot of time thoughtfully picking things for him and end up finding something he likes.
But your effort is something he naturally expects from you but doesn’t do the same for you.
10. Never owns his mistakes
Apologies are a sign of weakness, according to the selfish husband.
He will never apologize because he never thinks he is in the wrong. Even if something is clearly his fault, he will find a way to blame you for it or look for ways to push it on someone else. His ego always stands in the way.
Does your husband go from the dinner table to the couch without bothering to clear his plate? Is the laundry basket overflowing, and all he can say is, “Hey, why don’t I have any clean workout clothes?” Remind him that being his maid is not part of your job description. Then, educate him.
But most of the time, husbands might not purposely ignore the chores but simply not be aware of them. So, it is essential to bring things to your husband’s notice and then gradually begin involving him in the process.
12. Makes the least efforts for you
He isn’t mindful of expressing love in any way. He promises things but fails to fulfill them. These are the signs you are dealing with a husband who is selfish.
You feel sad as you see other husbands bringing home flowers for their wife or taking time to select a surprise gift “just because.”
If you and your husband have differing viewpoints, don’t expect him to meet you in the middle. There won’t be any compromise, and it will be his way or no way. The selfish husband does not understand the concept of compromise because his way is the only valid way.
Moreover, he will not even consider thinking about compromising but expect you to do the same because that’s how things have been all along.
So, don’t expect him to notice. All he sees is himself and has likely not learned to balance the priorities and giving you a priority in the relationship.
16. The only display of affection he shows is when he wants sex
The selfish husband’s kisses are just a prelude to sex. Kisses, hugs, touching you are just his way of signaling that he wants physical intimacy. How you long for just some lovely cuddling or a massage that puts you right to sleep, without every physical interaction, meaning he wants to make love.
Once he is done, the game is over, even if you are left unsatisfied. It is usually his means to gaining satisfaction and would not care about your needs.
He never worries that he might be a lousy lover. If you do not climax, that is your problem, according to the selfish husband.
18. Disregards your opinions
Even if you are an expert on the subject, he knows more than you do.
He will often disregard your opinions on the matter. In the mind of the selfish husband, you know nothing, and he knows everything. The issue is that he has always seen you with such a low regard that even a good advice or a suggestion from you does not have a value. He is likely to do that even in front of other people.
The romance has died, and he hardly makes an effort to bring it back.
While your friends are still enjoying date nights with their husbands, your selfish husband doesn’t understand why a romantic evening would be vital to you. “I’m here, aren’t I?” he responds when you ask if he still loves you.
20. Doesn’t do relationship check-ins
The inconsiderate husband doesn’t ever ask you, “How are we doing?” because he is so self-absorbed.
He doesn’t even realize his selfishness has relationship consequences. If you attempt a relationship check-in with the selfish husband, he looks at you as if you are crazy. “What are we even talking about?” is his attitude.
What to do when your husband is selfish? Are you seeing some of your husband’s characteristics in the above list? Don’t be dismayed! There are some ways to change his behavior.
Discuss with him
Pick a time where you know he will be rested and in a good mood.
Bring up your feelings, using ‘I’ statements rather than releasing a barrage of complaints (which will only alienate him). “I feel unsupported in household chores, and I’d like that you help me clear the table after dinner each night.”
Be specific in your needs as the selfish husband will not be able to guess what these are.
Notice when he isn’t being selfish
Did he take out the garbage? Tell him how much you appreciated that. Positive reinforcement is a good way to keep this going.
Considering he is less likely to offer a helping hand, make sure you appreciate him every time he does to bring it to his notice. Besides, appreciation always encourages people, no matter what.
At times, it is important to put your foot down rather than suffering or bearing the pain on your own.
Remember that your selfish husband may be unaware of the extent of his selfishness. It is important you use your voice to let him know, from a place of respect and love, how his actions are affecting you.
Stay positive and shift focus to yourself
Sometimes we focus on all the things our partners do that annoy us to avoid looking at ourselves.
One way to reduce the impact your husband’s selfishness has on you is to pull back and invest in your own self, independent of your husband. Choosing to make yourself happy is one of the most important life lessons you can learn.
In the video below, Stephanie Lyn discusses how you can stop overthinking and allow yourself to be happy amidst the relationship stress:
If your husband is selfish, rest assured there are solutions to improving this behavior!
Incorporating these tips into your discussions will help. Not only will it get the discussion going, which is always helpful in building a bridge towards a better relationship, but it may open your husband’s eyes to behaviors he had no idea were impacting the marriage in such a negative way.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.