How could Henry go from love to hate?

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16 thoughts on “How could Henry go from love to hate?”

  1. Amber says:

    I’ve read somewhere that the best way to describe Henry was as someone “in love with love itself.” He wanted to be in love all the time. Naturally, the heated passion that he and Anne had in the beginning probably waned over time (as it often does). As he set his sights on more new and exciting women, his feelings for Anne grew colder and colder. Eventually, he probably felt stronger (and newer) feelings for Jane Seymour, and the fact that Anne couldn’t give him the one thing he desired (a son) sealed his feelings on his “cursed” marriage (great way to describe it, by the way!).

    This is all conjecture of course, but it might explain a tiny portion of why he could go from loving to hating Anne so “easily.” Had she given him sons, I truly think she would have been able to ask for the moon and Henry would find a way to give it to her.

  2. Eliza M. L. says:

    Mmmm…I’ve always thought that Henry missed her. Just a little bit. He spent so much time fighting for Anne that I can’t believe he would just forget her altogether. He must’ve missed Catherine of Aragon when he sent her away, because she’d been so faithful for so long. He obviously missed Jane Seymour, and quite possibly longed for Kathryn Howard (well, the days before she was arrested).

  3. Elizabeth-Rose says:

    One of the main reasons that Henry fell out of love with Anne was because he felt betrayed by her, as she promised hm a son and did not give him one, that was one of the main reasons she was made queen. And in Henry’s eyes, she did not uphold her end of the bargain. To Henry Anne was also one of the most intelligent women of her age, that was one of the things which attracted him to her, as Henry was vain and believed that he also was intelligent. So the games began, but due to this fact as well, this showed Henry how deceptive and scheming Anne could be, thus he fell out of love with her. This only increased when she failed to provide a male heir.

  4. Chelsea says:

    I think the failure of baring of the son had the greatest impact on how Henry felt about Anne, but also that the passion, feistiness, out spokeness, opinionated, stubborness, involved in the political proceedings and views, and not looking away blindly when Henry dallyed with someone else may have been exciting and different and alluring in a mistress standing on her virtue and promising a son at first, but in a wife Henry was used to (as were all men in those days) the submissive, baby maker, smile and nod, you can do no wrong oh perfect handsome king. And Anne could not be that wife becuase it would be denying who she absolutely was and who Henry fell in love with. I am sure that when she saw Henry oggling Jane she could have tried to appease him and become more “english rose” more “turn a blind eye” but then why try to recapture the man who doesnt want you. I have literally yelled at my own boyfriend during a fight when asking why I couldnt be more sweet, less firey, more “taking the womans role” I have said “you want Jane seymore and got Anne. Dont ask me to be what I am not.” I like to think Anne felt the same. And this is the most rambling comment I have ever made…sorry about that.

    1. Chelsea says:

      OH yeah. I also agree that Henry was “in love with love”. He enjoyed the chase but once he captured his prey it became boring for him. Instead of the “7 year itch” henry had the “whats new and exciting” itch. Too bad that every woman becomes familiar as you become closer. Typical bachlor.

  5. margaret says:

    women of course had to turn a blind eye to any shennanigans going on when the other halfs did this espicially when they were pregnant,it must have been hell on earth for any woman to stand by and watch this behaviour going on it really was a mans world,as i believe they the women on announcing the the happy forthcoming event had to be sort of put away with their ladies in waiting and basically wait for happy event to happen all the while as in annes case hoping to god that the child was a boy her life for instance depended on it ,a very harsh and ignorant time to live in

  6. Sandra says:

    I think that Henry VIII had many narcissistic traits. I once asked a psychiatrist friend of mine if someone really had the power of life and death over others, could that person be a narcissist? He said no, because the idea of being all-powerful wasn’t a fantasy. But, Henry did have all those ideas which today would point to a personality disorder: The thought that he was special and so didn’t have to follow the rules, the thought that he could not be judged by others as they weren’t “special” enough, the anger at others for having “failed” him when they were merely being human, etc. Now, I realize that monarchs today don’t have the power that he did, so they can’t afford to behave in the manner he did. And today life is viewed as more precious and there are laws to protect people. But still, it’s that anger towards Anne that is so intense. People with Borderline Personality Disorder have a fair degree of narcissism in them and they go from love to hate in the time it takes to snap your fingers. Say “no” to someone with BPD and you could end up dead (as with a true narcissist). There are lots of people in prison with these personality disorders and/or traits. The difference was that Henry VIII had permission to behave this way, people don’t have that permission from others today. Henry VIII ended up killing many of the people he loved or claimed to love. Anne of Cleves was the most clever, because she survived by helping him see there was a way out of the marriage. If he had truly felt trapped by her, she would have been dead. And Cromwell’s reward? Death. You see, for a narcissist, people are like furniture. When they’ve worn out their usefulness or become a burden, they are gone. Any excuse will do.

  7. Baylie says:

    Some of these comments show a lack of understanding of the times, the culture and the norm of court marriages. Anne could be ruthless in her own right, and often was in her quest to be Henry’s wife. Dalliances outside marriage were completely and totally normal and even expected; I’m quite sure Henry was not faithful physically from very soon after he married her. He was known to have been disillusioned once they were married as Anne was apparently not as innocent as he had been led to believe. So much of the interactions between these people was political. I have never seen this marriage as nearly as romantic as some commenters here seem to want to believe. Anne played the game and when she could not produce the boy she had all but guaranteed Henry, he quickly began to resent all that he had given up to have her, and as her value to him fell, her overbearing ways grated on him. He was cruel in how he disposed of her, but in truth she was cruel to his 1st wife and she ended up losing her life in the same game of political maneuvering that she had used to ruin others.

    1. Lori says:

      I agree about Anne Boleyn, what goes around comes around.

  8. Baylie says:

    Also, the comment about Anne of Cleve’s was wrong. Anne of Cleves survived because he didn’t want her, their marriage was never formalized, and she was offered a quiet easy way out, which she was smart enough to take.

    Jane Seymour was probably his favorite because she gave him a son that survived, and she was a proper, submissive wife. He had her painted into later portraits even when subsequent wives were in the picture. She died early in the marriage and he was known to have genuinely mourned her. Kathryn Howard was only about 18, stuck married toa by-then old and fat Henry and she was caught in dalliances with boys her own age.
    None of these marriages is nearly as romantic as people like to pretend. Too much fiction getting accepted as fact and the movie which was completely fictionalized. Henry was a man of absolute power, even relationships of love would have been very political and marriage was not regarded as it is today.

  9. Verity says:

    It is quite obvious that Henry was a classic narcissistic sociopath.

  10. Daphne says:

    I wonder whether much of Henry’s public and political face was different from the real man within. I have often thought that the over egging of the visible personality and character was done for effect and to confirm his position as king – after all the Tudors were a new dynasty. I think he was a romantic and I think he had a naivety where women were concerned. My feeling is that he was genuinely in love with Anne but gradualy came to fear her temper and strong opinions. Like many men he wanted an easy domestic life and she was not up for that. So much of his public image depended on his good looks, intellectual skills, and being the best at everything and being liked and feared in equal measure that when he was up against Ann’s strong views, increasing self confidence and sharp tongue he felt inferior to her in many ways.Thus he was persuaded that Anne had ridiculed and not really geunuinely loved him and his world collapsed into insecure fury and resentment. He had gone through hoops to please her but nothing really worked. She became more imperious and accusatory and drove a wedge between him and his daughter Mary which he may have secretly resented. Until he married Anne I think he was terrified of losing her but once she was Queen he feared the monster he had created and it all became too much to cope with on a personal level. No sons and half the country critical of him and in favour of his first wife. He must have felt he had gone too far and couldn’t extricate himself. I do believe he intended to keep her as queen until Cromwell brought the news of her so called crimes. Perhaps Henry was grateful for a way out, ever the self deceiver. However I also think that once she was gone and especially after Jane Seymour died, there must have been moments when he reflected on her power and attractiveness and some of their conversations and good times together and would have blanked out his part in her demise. No doubt looking at Elizabeth brought her memory back often and once the anger was spent perhaps he recalled better times hence his reputed remark to EIizabeth when she requested to meet Ann of Cleves that her mother had been so different from this woman she should rather not wish to meet her. Henry may have been an over strong king to compensate for the fact that he was also a man with failings and frailties he could not admit to.

  11. Maureen DIlley says:

    In those days women had no say about their lives. You have to remember, that Katheryn, Anne and later Jane were not in the “catch the king for a husband” game for themselves. They were in it for dynastic reasons, specifically their families. Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain in their somewhat newly unified country, The Howards (who were the ones that really mattered in Anne’s world, her mother was a Howard, The Boleyn’s were basically nobodies), The Seymour’s. These families were out to secure– political alliances against a common enemy, France or power for their own families.
    And It worked, Spain withstood France’s machinations, The Howards still hold the Dukedom of Norfolk, The Seymours still hold the Dukedom of Somerset right down to the present day.
    Childhood as we think of it didn’t exist in the upper classes, Children were political pawns from the day of their birth, markers in a game of marriage for profit. To think that the principles in the “Courtly Romances” were not aware of the stakes, not scheming and jockeying for position continually is naive.
    “Courtly Love” had its rules and counter moves. poems, gifts, lavish expressions of adoration.. and no one thought they were any more than that.
    Except perhaps Henry himself, who like most men, even today, secretly long for that woman who will make everything right with the world, give him children, nurse him in illness, sit adoringly at his feet, anticipate his every whim etc etc. Most men, however, recognize that what they yearn for is a fantasy. Henry, used to getting everything he wanted, never really was able to separate the fantasy from the reality.
    Kathryn of Aragon, except for numerous deceased children, probably had the fantasy role down the best of all of them. Trained from birth as a royal princess she knew exactly how one behaved as the wife of a ruler. The rest of Henry’s conquests were “social climbers” totally unsuited to the task at hand , much the same position the late Princess Diana found herself in.
    Jane was adored simply because she died at the height of Henry’s bliss with his new son, Had she lived longer and produced girls ( likely since the man decides gender and Henry was obviously really good at producing female sperm) or no further children she too would have become disposable.
    In short Henry was tilting at windmills in the love department, destined to be permanently frustrated in pursuit of his dreams at the expense of his unlucky brides.

  12. Davetee says:

    Henry VIII…has been described by some as a murderer, a serial killer and a psychopath.

  13. michelle says:

    I have to agree with just about what everybody has posted. They sure didn’t think like that like They do now and life sure was much harder.

  14. Angela Cannington says:

    The above answers are all excellent. There were numerous reasons Henry was no longer enchanted by Anne and that he fell out of love with her. I have a theory of why he came to hate her so much that he wanted to obliterate her memory.
    I imagine that the pressure put on Anne by Norfolk and her father to have another child was immense, coupled with the fact Henry did not desire her anymore would have caused Anne frustration, anger (especially with Jane in the picture) and fear.
    Anne was heard telling George that Henry had neither the stamina nor the skills to please a woman. In addition he would have heard that Anne would laugh at Henry’s poetry and mock his style of clothing. These words are a reflection of how angry Anne was with Henry. I believe this was the nail in the coffin for Anne.
    It became Cromwell’s job to find a reason to get rid of Anne.
    These words are a very sharp knife into the heart of any man’s masculinity. When Henry heard this and thought of everything he had done to marry Anne, any love or good memories left turned to sheer hatred. Thus as history books state “Anne’s fall was swift”.
    Cromwell was instructed to orchestrate the fall and to be found guilty. The sword was ordered.

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