Always letting my wife down

Reaching out for some help right now as I have no friends or anyone I can talk to.

For four years my wife and I have been married and throughout our marriage the same thing keeps happening. Every few months she breaks down in tears and tells me I don’t try enough, that I’m not proactive, that I leave everything for her to do and that she feels she is the first one to come up with ideas in our marriage and that she’s tired out by it.

And all I can do is apologise and say I’ll do better going forward, and sometimes I think I am doing better but then again she’ll break down in tears and it’s about me not pulling my weight again, but it’ll be something I didn’t even notice I wasn’t doing.

This time it was because she has come up with some ideas of things she wants to do around the house, paint some walls, paint some furniture, amend some curtains, and she is distraught because she has to start on it herself. That it’s never me.

I could give you a list as long as my arm of these instances.

But the problem is I do try! When she lets me know I’m not pulling my weight I try and change things. She used to get upset that I didn’t do housework, so now I do a lot of, if not most of the day to day housework. She said I don’t come up with ideas of things to do for the two of us, so now I come up with ideas. I always go to the supermarket. I’ve always had a full time job, although she gets paid more than I do, which she is also upset about.

For all of my adult life I’ve suffered depression and I know I am a useless person. I have no qualifications, I have no talents, no skills, no interests really. Some things I used to enjoy doing I no longer do because I literally cannot sit down and do it. I’m rubbish at sex. I hate the look of my face, my body. I am quite a useless member of society.

I sometimes wish I could feel suicidal but I can’t kill myself because I’m scared of dying. I wish sometimes that my wife would just walk out on me. Because everything I do isn’t enough so she should just go find someone who can be what she needs. Even though I love her, that’s obviously not enough for her to be happy.

I have no one I can talk to about this, I have no friends and I can’t open up to my brother fully because it may taint the way he thinks of my wife and the problem here is me and not her.

Does anyone know how I can change so I can do the things my wife wants me to do and be the person she needs? I don’t know how to make this right.


Hey friend,

Man that’s really rough. To be trying so hard in your relationship but be left feeling like what you do is never enough. I have certainly been there. It sounds like there is a huge communication struggle.

It’s important in a relationship to be open and value each others feelings and thoughts. And communicating what that means for you is also important. Sometimes working as a team to set goals with each other to work on can be a good thing, but it has to be team effort. You both have to be able to share your heart and how you feel. Why you feel how you do and talk about how those feelings can be improved upon.

You are not useless for battling with depression. And you are not useless just because ideas may not come to you as naturally as they do her. I’m sorry that you are feeling so hard on yourself. I can certainly relate to no longer being able to enjoy the things you used to. That is something I have battled with off and on. And as far as intimacy, communication is important there too. In order to know what feels good and works for the other. Ask each other questions. Be open minded to what works and what doesn’t. Learning each others bodies takes time and willingness to explore and listen to each other. Try new things talk about it. My ex husband never heard me when I tried to express to him how I felt in intimate matters. But my current partner and I are very open about what we feel. Do you think maybe you and your wife can talk about the things that feel good? Are you guys close and open? The thing about being “rubbish” is there is always that ability to learn and grow within each other. All it takes is communication

You are not useless my friend. I don’t think you want to feel suicidal. You just want to be able to feel better about you, where you are in life, your relationship. I have been there. I have just felt so broken in so many places, I just wanted to die. But deep down I didn’t really want to die, I just wanted to know how to feel better. I wanted to be able to feel better than how I did. To be happy. To break through the things that were holding me down and making me feel so small.

I’m going to leave you a few resources okay?

Come join us. Talk to us. Be a part of our community. Hang out with us in general chat or share your heart in real talk and connect with others. Sometimes we just need to be heard and have people to connect to. Especially right now, with the state of the world.

Dwarf Planet: A Practical Guide Through Depression

Heart Support has a 7 day FREE trial for online counseling through BetterHelp. I highly encourage you to take advantage of this if you need another space to talk to. Even if temporarily.

Some exercises that are worth reading and doing:

Friend, I’m sorry that things are feeling hard between you and your wife right now. I have been there. I was married and together with my previous relationship for 14-15 years. We went through a lot of trials. I know how lonely it can be. But you don’t have to be alone. I truly hope that things get better and can heal in your relationship.

Sending love

  • Kitty
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Thank you so much for your kind reply and for reading my message. I was feeling very desperate yesterday and it truly helped to read your encouragement. Time and time again I find that I’m my biggest critic and I do have really low self-esteem, so when my wife says things like that about me I do immediately feel as if she’s verifying the worst things I’ve ever thought about myself.

Communication is a massive issue. I listen to my wife all the time when she needs to talk about her feelings and when she’s low as I know it’s vital, but I suppose I don’t open up to her and talk about the way I’m feeling. If I was to try and make excuses I would say that I feel as if she shuts me down when I try to, claims that they’re not valid concerns, sort of belittles me in a way, but not nastily. It’s hard to explain. Maybe it’s just because she doesn’t indulge me when I’m wallowing in my own self pity. She’s the kind who’ll listen, then tell you to shape up and do practical things to get through the way you’re feeling. I don’t always find that I can do that, and end up wallowing more, so I tend to keep that stuff to myself. I suppose it then makes me fall further into the fug inside.

Anyway, thank you. Our communication does need to improve so I’ll try and find ways to do that and speak with her about it. It just felt such a relief to have someone listen to me and give a little encouragement. Thanks.

I’ll take a look at the references you left.

Sending love back.


Hey man, not sure of your age or how long you’ve been married. I’ve been with my wife since we were 17, now we are both 28. Been married for 6 years. It’s not always easy, for sure and I would argue that we aren’t even really that compatible but we’ve had to go through a lot to make it fruitful and meaningful, to be able to take care of each other and communicate.

Something that has helped take our marriage to new heights was a marriage group we had at our church. We met with these couples for 18 months and we had to directly face and discuss issues in a positive, non-threatening environment as opposed to arguing about it when the issues occur. We also read something like… 8 books about different aspects of marriage, and we also went to a marriage retreat one year.

We didn’t do all of this because our marriage was failing, it never got to a point where it was that bad, we did it because we knew it would enable us to be greater people for each other.

With that said, I have felt EXACTLY how you feel before. I was often in your wife’s position though, and I was upset because I had to initiate everything and I had to figure everything out, etc. I’ve also been on your side, especially in regard to emotional intelligence and trying to respect and understand my wife’s emotions even when I think they are absurd. It only got better when we started to understand each other, what the other person REALLY needs, and what we can actually do to make that happen without just shooting in the dark or putting a bandaid on a wound that needs stitches.

I would encourage you to find a group. A lot of churches offer some great programs and usually FOR FREE. Some will even provide the books for you. There’s also a test called the SYMBIS test which sends a test to you and your wife, you both take it independently, and it will give you a report of your answers, how they compare, what it likely means about you, her, and the way that you interact. It is SUPER helpful. There’s a book about love language that is also extremely helpful.

Love Language:

The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller:

5 Love Languages:

I hope some of this helps. There are many people out there who have already learned so much about marriage and interacting positively with your spouse - there’s no need to pave new roads when the city has already been built for you. <3