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Why Are Men Always Complaining About Their Marriages?

Why Are Men Always Complaining About Their Marriages?



I am in my thirties, a single male who has hopes of having a wife, a loving relationship and children. As I get older though, I hear more and more grumbling from men about how miserable and burdensome marriage is. When I ask men about marriage, a sigh of resignation comes over them, their eyes glaze, and they say, "It's hard work!" Half of the shul kiddush jokes are from male congregants about the burden of being married.

On the other hand, women always seem much more upbeat about marriage. Do they really know what their husbands are experiencing. Is it really such a grind?


Here's my advice: Google marriage and longevity. You'll find many fascinating studies. It turns out that, for a man, being married is a more significant factor in health and longevity than income—so significant, that it outweighs the negative factor of smoking.

Yes, everyone loves to kvetch. It's the nature of man to never be satisfied. And even the best of marriages is not heaven. But take a look at the confusion and dullness that strikes any of those men when their wife leaves town for a few days.

Trust the Torah: "It is not good that a man be alone." The game of life is full of risks. If you don't want to take the risks, why bother with the game?

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Files subscription. FaceBook @RabbiTzviFreeman Periscope @Tzvi_Freeman .
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Moshe Mordecai Cohen Emanuel Israel January 17, 2014

re complaining about marriage to women complain to your husband in a way that will attract him to you, that will motivate and encourage him to improve or correct his behaviour. You can do this over a cup of coffee and cake, or a spicy tantalizing salad, or going out with hubby all dressed up etc. Playing some soothing music..etc..
Welcome womens' thoughts how to encourage one's wife..etc.. Reply

andrew australia December 22, 2013

For men, read proverbs 31, and thank G-d for a wife He handmade for you, for women, read psalm 1 and give thanks to G-d for a man He made for you. In this, your focus will always be one of thanksgiving toward G-d that you are both, now, complete. I am happily married for 27 years and can declare here for all to see and read, our love toward each other grows daily, Praise God Reply

Lisa Providence, RI May 22, 2013

Women Complain About Their Marriages, Too! It's not just men - women complain, too! People can have unrealistic ideas and expectations about marriage, and get disappointed when they don't get what they want.

Marriage is hard work, and both sides have make equal effort to make it work. Reply

Richard Forest Hills, NY October 26, 2009

Why Complain? Well... 1) Complaining is cathartic. It lets off steam. ANd since nothing is perfect, that's a lot of steam.
2)Complaining is expected of men, per one of the previous comments. I agree with this theory. You know, just to show that you're still a fiercely independent mammoth hunter at heart who quite naturally dislikes being kept.
3) Complaining soldier theory. ("The only time you should worry about a soldier is when he stops bitching", says Nick Nolte in the film The Thin Red Line). I agree with this, too. A kvetching soldier implies a busy soldier, and a busy soldier is a happy soldier, is the theory. Nothing plummets morale like idelness.
4) Complaining helps keep things in perspective. So when things happen, you'll really be able to re-assess what it is you're complaining about. Reply

Shoshannah Brombacher Ph.D. Brooklyn, NY March 16, 2009

Honestly, I am a woman and I know women are also often complaining that their husbands behave like kids, don't help etc. etc.etc. (and a ew more etc.'s)These women don't want to give them up, chas wesholom, but they complain. It's human nature? So if this article is from the point of wiew of a man he only hears the men?? Women usually complain to each other (and not at kiddush in shul but at tea at home with a friend or a sister, and no men around). Thank G-d they only complain but basically do love each other, although one should try to be more positive and complain less, even if it's human nature? Let's be happy with our spouses (would you really give him up? I bet not!!), when they sing ayshes chail for you in Friday evening you forget your kvetching! Think positive and remeber nobody is perfect Reply

c July 1, 2008

just to point out just wanted to point out that the verse is speaking about men; women are good no matter what... Reply

Anonymous East Wenatchee, WA/USA June 22, 2008

In the military... We call a complaining sailor a happy sailor. Famous words.... Reply

Anonymous April 6, 2008

Grumbling husbands...and wives. I believe "grumbling" anyones...are insecure people with their own "shtick" . This has nothing to do with who they are married to ... it is just themselves unhappy with themselves ... what sucks is the rest of us who have to listen to them grumble.

I honestly believe if both parties try and are kind to each other then there is nothing to grumble about...but you have to want to be kind. Reply

Anonymous March 18, 2008

I'm a woman, and I think women often complain about their marriages too. I didn't complain about mine, but well... my husband was my hero. (he's died now, sadly.) But I know lots of women who've grumbled about their husbands, but love them dearly. Reply

Anonymous March 6, 2008

WHY can anyone tell me why men are not satisfied with their wifes they always think that the grass is greener on the other side. But in reality the grass is greener over the septic tank. They have wandering eyes and have fantasies with other women that they see. why did they marry in the first place? Reply

Tzvi Freeman March 4, 2008

Re: Grumbling husbands The game is life and creating more life. Life that continues forever. That infinite power of life is in the hands of man and woman together. Reply

Anonymous March 3, 2008

Grumbling husbands As a single male, I'm sure I misunderstand the last of your answer-..."why bother with the game?" What is the choice you're implying? Life goes on-and matters-whether one is married or not, no? Reply

Michael Dolan Dongying, Shandong March 3, 2008

Feelings are taboo for men I think it has a lot to do with feelings being taboo for men for fear that their manhood be called into question. I love my marriage and I think that sharing life and experiences with another human being is the ultimate in experiencing G-d.

I truly think the "grumbling" is – in part – a mask set to show the world they are men, or in other words, doing what is expected of them. You're a man; therefore, you must grumble and not gush about how wonderful marriage is and how much you love and appreciate your wife.

I myself have grumbled from time to time, particularly with other married men, but the underlying and unspoken reality is a vast ocean of love and appreciation. Reply