Does this seem familiar to you: you ask your husband what he wants to eat for dinner, and before you know it, you’re at each other’s throats, shouting, crying, and fighting about something that has nothing to do with dinner?
If every conversation you have with your husband has the chance of turning into an argument and making you mad at each other, one of the biggest complaints you have about your marriage is probably something like, “My husband misinterprets everything I say.”
Why does he do it? Why does he make you feel powerless and misunderstood? There are a lot of possible problems that could be behind this behavior, and some of them can be fixed if both of you commit to working on your marriage.
Here are 35 possible reasons why he does it, so let’s see what’s going on. When you figure out which of these applies to you, we’ll talk about what can be done.
Why My Husband Misinterprets Everything I Say
If questions like “Why is it that my husband misinterprets everything I say?” or “Why does my husband turn everything around on me?” have been plaguing you, you probably already have some idea of why it might be happening. After all, no one knows him better than you do.
The difficulty in dealing with this depends on why he does it, but don’t rush to break up with him just yet. Some of the causes of your problems can be solved with a little work, while others are warning signs that betray deeper issues.
To figure out which one of these reasons is the most similar to your situation, pay attention and think carefully about what your husband is like and what your fights are like. Depending on the answer you find, you might be able to solve it successfully or decide that prioritizing self-love is the best option for your well-being.
1. He doesn’t listen.
Sometimes it might seem that he’s listening, but if he always misinterprets your words, he’s not hearing what you’re saying. A common reason for this is that he’s probably waiting for his turn to speak instead of listening to what you have to say.
2. He’s insecure.
If he’s insecure about his shortcomings, he might be too focused on them. If his thoughts are always on what he feels insecure about, he’s constantly waiting for comments or criticism about that, so he’s not paying attention to your actual words.
3. He’s overly sensitive.
A sensitive person gets upset quickly if they perceive something that was said to them as hurtful or disrespectful, which can lead to confrontational reactions.
4. He’s emotionally immature.
Behavior like denying his part in the argument, name-calling, and blaming you for everything can point to emotional immaturity. This might be hard for him to accept and, therefore, hard for you to deal with.
5. He has self-esteem issues.
Low self-esteem can cause a constant state of being on the lookout for criticism because he’s hyper-aware of all of his real and imagined flaws, and he’s waiting for you to bring them up.
6. He feels vulnerable.
He starts arguments because he’s trying to draw the attention away from whatever he believes is making him vulnerable at that moment. To compensate for it, he attacks before it comes up.
7. He’s easily offended.
When his ego is fragile, a man becomes offended at the smallest slight. For example, if he thinks what you’re saying is even a little critical, he’ll misinterpret it as being much more than it is.
8. He’s projecting.
Whatever it is that he’s feeling, he’s projecting it onto you. He might not be aware of it at all and really believe that it’s you who is responsible for whatever it is that he considers a problem.
9. He’s lashing out because he has other problems.
He could be experiencing problems at work, mental health issues, or trouble with other people and feel like it’s safe to unload all his stress on you because you’ll forgive him. He doesn’t think about how it might affect you.
10. He feels unappreciated.
When he feels like you don’t value him, your husband will interpret whatever you say as a personal attack. He’ll find a way to understand your words as criticism, even if it’s something completely innocent.
11. He’s self-righteous.
Because of his holier-than-thou attitude, he thinks that whatever he does is good, correct, and moral and can’t admit when he makes a mistake. When you talk to him, and he doesn’t like it, or it triggers something in him, he’ll never accept that it’s him who’s at fault.
12. He understands but doesn’t want to deal with it.
If you’re talking to him about something he doesn’t want to handle, he’ll pretend that he’s misunderstood you because that’s easier than taking responsibility. When he gets into the habit of avoidance, it might become very hard for him to stop.
13. He’s convinced he’s right.
Your husband misinterprets what you say if they in any way clash with his opinions or ideas. He can cause problems even out of something small, such as asking him to do a chore that he doesn’t want to do and thinks he shouldn’t.
14. He can’t admit that he’s wrong.
He refuses to ever admit that his actions or beliefs might be anything less than perfect. Even if he knows that you’re right, he’ll never own up to it and accept that he made a mistake because he values his ego more than anything.
15. He was brought up to think a man is always right.
If he was brought up to hold sexist beliefs, he’ll never accept that there’s a possibility of him not being right. A man like that firmly believes that whatever he says should be heard and accepted without question and that a woman’s opinions don’t matter.
16. It benefits him.
Maybe he hears and understands whatever you say very well but prefers to pretend that he doesn’t because he gets something from it, such as when he doesn’t want to do something you ask him to or wants to get a certain reaction from you.
17. He feels entitled.
If your husband feels like it’s his right to have only his opinions valued, his whole thought process might be directed in that way. For example, you might be talking to him about something you believe is a problem, and he won’t accept that it’s a problem because he doesn’t think it is.
18. He likes to argue.
Some men simply feed on the negativity and adrenaline from arguments, and he might be causing them on purpose. He doesn’t care at all about what you’re talking about or reaching a solution, as long as you’re arguing.
19. He has no empathy.
He can’t see your point of view because he’s incapable of understanding how you feel. A man who has no empathy can’t understand that things aren’t only about him, and for this reason, he can’t take other people’s feelings seriously.
20. He wants to control you.
Whether he can see your perspective or not, if he wants to control you, he’ll use whatever means necessary to get what he wants. A man like this doesn’t even care about being right, only about how he can get you to do what he wants.
21. He’s gaslighting you.
If you’re tormented daily and can’t stop questioning yourself thinking, “Is it that my husband turns everything around and makes me seem crazy, or am I really going crazy?” you should watch out for signs that he’s gaslighting you.
22. He wants to make you feel guilty.
If he wants to punish you for something or achieve some goal, even when he knows what you’re saying, he’ll pretend he doesn’t. He’ll try to turn things around on you to make you feel guilty. It’s a devious manipulation technique that is emotionally abusive and can have long-term consequences.
A lot of the things mentioned so far could point at him being a narcissist. If you’re feeling trapped in a toxic relationship and like you don’t know what to do, you might be a victim of narcissist emotional abuse.
24. You’re indirect.
Some men are literal and can’t understand subtler methods of communication. Couple this with how women are often taught not to be direct because it seems controlling, and you get a recipe for miscommunication.
25. Your approach triggers him.
How you talk to him can be a trigger for him to stop listening and start arguing. If he thinks you sound like you’re accusing him or criticizing him, he might get angry and close off. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t doing it in the first place.
26. You become frustrated and escalate things.
If he’s slow to respond or tends to ignore you, it’s natural that you might become frustrated. This might cause you to perceive his silence as disagreement and make things worse by starting a fight instead of waiting for him to show you his actual reaction.
27. You make a big deal when it’s not.
Some things can be a big deal for you and mean nothing to him. When you have different ways of looking at issues, you can become angry because he doesn’t understand the importance of something that matters to you.
28. You wait for him to make a mistake.
If experience has taught you that he’ll misinterpret your words or blame you for things, you start expecting it every time. Even at times when he’s not doing it, if you’re waiting for any hint of disagreement, it’ll eventually end in just that.
29. You judge him.
Feeling judged by you can make him defensive and emotional. If he believes that you’re judging his behavior, reactions, or feelings, he might not know how to respond and act when something you disagree on comes up.
30. You fight to win.
A heated argument can be healthy, but if either of you is looking to win at fights, you’re damaging your relationship. If you’re using your arguments as weapons against each other instead of a tool to deal with issues, you might have a problem.
31. You don’t know how to communicate.
Feeling like you have to walk on eggshells around each other or starting fights out of nowhere can mean that you don’t know how to communicate with each other. When neither of you knows how to talk to one another, even your best intentions might be misinterpreted.
32. You’re both stubborn.
Not wanting to give in because you’re both stubborn can make you regret your actions. If you’re stonewalling each other or resorting to the silent treatment just because you won’t let the other person be right, you’re causing damage to your relationship for the sake of pride.
33. You’re not discussing the same thing.
Sometimes you’re talking about two completely different things and don’t know it. For example, you might be talking about something that’s been bothering you, and he’s focused on a specific situation, so he disagrees.
34. You’re unwilling to compromise.
When you’re both convinced that your way is the only way, finding compromise can be impossible. If you’re unwilling to make space for each other in your thought process, arguments are inevitable.
35. There are bigger issues.
Sometimes the real issue has nothing to do with what you’re arguing about. There could be resentment, anger, jealousy, insecurity, and other feelings or issues that are causing problems in your relationship.
Can I Fix My Relationship With My Husband?
The answer to this question boils down to three things: is there ill will behind the way he acts, your feelings for each other, and readiness to work on your marriage on both your parts?
If you can say with certainty, “My husband misinterprets everything I say because he wants to hurt me,” then you’re better off without him. If he hurts you but genuinely regrets it or wasn’t aware of what he was doing, then there is hope if you’re both willing to make an effort for your marriage.
1. Work on your communication skills.
Once you learn effective communication, you’ll be able to use those skills to improve all your relationships for the rest of your life. It will take time, many tries, and lots of willingness to work on it, but this is the first step you should both take if you want to improve your relationship.
2. Communicate clearly.
Don’t expect him to read your mind and don’t assume anything, and this goes for him as well. Be very clear with your words and always show good faith. If both of you focus on understanding the other person instead of proving a point, you’ll be much more successful in communicating.
3. Listen to each other.
Practice active listening and try to do your best to understand each other. Some techniques include paying attention, asking questions when you don’t understand something, and providing feedback to check if you understood what the other person was trying to say.
4. Be specific.
Being vague about what it is you’re talking about can easily cause misunderstandings. Carefully choose your words, and don’t leave space for ambiguity to make sure that the other person knows exactly what you’re trying to say.
5. Don’t blame each other.
When you blame each other, you become defensive and unwilling to explain. If you find yourself doing it, step back and try again. For example, don’t say, “You make me feel ~.” Instead, say, “I feel ~.” It makes the other person feel less pressure and lets them talk without fear.
6. Be patient with each other.
It can take time for your husband to learn how to change how he relates to you, and it can take time for you to learn how to talk to him. As long as the both of you care about your marriage and want to make it better, things can work out. Have patience while you both learn how.
7. Try to understand each other.
Truly try to put yourself in one another’s shoes. Try to understand why you’re doing the things you do, and give each other the benefit of the doubt. Becoming each other’s best friend and being compassionate can make a real difference.
8. You don’t always have to be right.
Would you rather have a happy marriage or always be right? If either of you chooses the second answer, there’s a problem. If your marriage is the priority, then the both of you have to learn to swallow your egos and try to see the other person’s point of view.
9. Have constructive arguments.
Relationship experts often talk about how arguments are necessary in relationships, but what does that mean? It means that when you argue, you shouldn’t be trying to come out on top and prove that you’re right. Instead, arguments should be a way to express different opinions and learn how to accept them and make compromises.
10. Don’t threaten each other.
Threatening each other with leaving can make you do it in the heat of the moment. It’s not the only kind of threat that creates problems, though. Any time you try to make your partner afraid of doing something by holding something over their head, you damage your relationship.
11. Avoid being accusatory.
Don’t bring up something that happened yesterday, last week, or in high school when you’re talking about whatever is bothering you at the moment. Don’t accuse each other of things that might be only in your head. Approach every conversation with openness and willingness to understand.
12. Watch your tone.
Don’t yell, scream, or use foul language when you disagree with each other. Don’t be sarcastic or mean. Don’t use words you know trigger each other. All of this will only make you angrier and less likely to look for a compromise.
13. Don’t get frustrated when you disagree.
While you’re working on solving your problems, there will come a time when you’ll disagree. Unless you let yourself and your husband make mistakes and understand that they will happen, you can get frustrated to the point of giving up.
14. Try to see each other’s perspectives.
Trying to understand your partner’s feelings and see their point of view is of the utmost importance. Stop looking at things from your own perspective and try to see where the other person is coming from to bring you closer.
15. Accept each other’s differences.
Different opinions, ideas, and feelings all happen in human relationships. Aside from some core values, you don’t have to agree on everything to be happily married – you only have to accept each other’s differences.
16. Take a break if you’re too upset.
Learn how to stop things when you see that your argument is about to escalate. Agree beforehand what to do when you notice that you’re on the way to saying or doing something that will hurt each other and stop until you cool off.
17. Don’t punish each other.
Don’t be passive-aggressive or give each other the silent treatment to make the other person regret what they’ve done. These things only make things worse in the long run.
18. Forgive each other.
When you do make a mistake, don’t let it turn into a grudge. Forgive each other everything that you can, and give one another a chance to do better.
19. Deal with underlying issues.
If there are any issues on either side, from mental health to past issues in your relationship, that might be causing problems now, try to handle them. You’ll feel better if you both do your best to face things head-on and approach your marriage as a work in progress.
20. Try professional help.
None of these solutions are easy. If your problems are deep, seeing a professional counselor can help a tremendous amount. A marriage counselor can help you see the real issues and teach you how to communicate. All you need is the willingness to work on your marriage.
To Wrap Up
Do your arguments with your husband start over small things and leave you both feeling angry, frustrated, and sorry? Are you constantly wondering, “What’s the reason that my husband misinterprets everything I say?” and trying to talk to him about it, only to cause more arguing?
I hope I’ve helped you find the answer to these questions. If you’ve figured out which one applies to your relationship and you want to work on it, I hope you’ll put my advice on how to deal with it to good use.