1st Year Marriage Struggles


#1

Hello,

My husband and I were married in January and since then have faced a number of financial struggles. Our car has needed major repairs such that we aren't sure we can afford it anymore, and my husband's medical school application process was also quite expensive. To top it off, straight out of graduating college I faced months of unemployment. I was employed for a short few months after our wedding, and am now unemployed again, leaving us budgeting out our remaining savings to stretch from now until August (when my husband will receive loan money for medical school, and before which we will be relocating to a new, expensive city.) In short, we are very poor.

Funny enough, that is not our issue! (Or, I don't think so.) I feel very blessed and continually feel God's mercy and love, despite that we don't have many "things" or that we don't have much savings. I trust in God's plan, whatever that may be. Yes, it is difficult because I badly wish I could find employment. But I am only human, and God is greater than I. My husband's attitude about God and our finances could not be more different. He is constantly stressed, angry, and does not trust God to provide. He does not see our many blessings (having a roof over our heads and food to eat, and the love of a caring God.) Instead, he has outbursts over "how little" we have and how we've spent "all of our savings" this year. When I explain that, yes, we have little but we are still blessed and that, yes, we spent a lot of our savings (getting married, graduating, applying to medical school, car troubles, life is expensive!) but that God gives and takes away as he sees fit and WILL provide all we truly need, he gets even angrier. As he sees it, he "earned" the money we have, God did not provide it. He does not think God has anything to do with money.

I've instructed him to pray, to deepen his relationship with God, and to appreciate all he has. I know there is a lesson he needs to learn in this struggle, one that he is fighting. It is so hard for me to see him be ungrateful and angry and unappreciative in this, as he is normally good and loving. It is hard for me to see him struggle and not offer it up to God. It is hard, too, because he resents me for insisting that we still tithe. I deeply believe that all we have is God's, and so I don't feel the pinch as much as he does when I see the dollars go into the coffer. But, this is also an issue for him.

Background: he grew up in a VERY stable, comfortable home, one where money was never a problem. His mother was always able to stay home with the children, and all kids were sent to elite private schools. He now is in his senior year at Notre Dame, and his lifestyle has been provided for by his parents (he didn't have to pay his way through school.) My background is a little different: my mother was extremely poor when I was born, and my father was not in the picture. We received help from the Church food bank at times, and money was always very tight. My mom eventually worked her way to become a financially successful nurse, but is constantly giving praise to God for all her blessings, for seeing her through her financial troubles. She has tithed my entire life, never short-changing God although at times she worried about paying the rent.

Does anyone have any advice/resources/ways for me to reach out to my husband? He laughs when I say "how blessed we are!" and "we'll get through this. God will provide." How can I get him to worry less, and trust more? Maybe another pair of eyes will help me to figure out our mess.

In Peace,
Sarah

p.s. I do pray diligently to God about this issue, but any specific prayers or saints to intercede would also be helpful.


#2

praying for you…

Do you pray together with your husband?


#3

You sound like an absolutely marvelous woman: a rare jewel in a sea of uncut rocks.

First, I would suggest daily Mass for both of you two.

It sounds like your husband is a good man, but one who God needs to refine. It seems that this may be a tremendous grace that God is providing you two that will confirm you in your faith and help him recognize the gift of faith perhaps for the first time.

In addition to Mass, I would suggest that you two pray the Liturgy of the Hours each day, as well, if you’re not doing so already. Although a full Breviary is expensive ($150-$200), you can find all of the psalms and readings on line. There are a number of sites listed in the CAF Liturgy Forum.

I also would suggest a book with some short meditations by St John Chrysostom called “On Living Simply” (Liguori, ISBN 968-0-7648-0056-6).

Finally, I would suggest that you two (particularly he) devote himself to performing some corporal works of mercy, to the extent that his schedule allows. Particularly focused on the destitute. Note: I am **not **talking about doing community organizing, I am not talking about helping with government program referrals, I am talking about actually doing the “Mother Theresa” thing and washing their wounds, feeding them, and so on. Go find a holy priest or some Missionaries of Charity working in the roughest part of town and work directly with them…to the extent that your obligations allow.

The reason I suggest that is that he will be blown away with their faith. That will be an inspiration to him and will help in grow in his own faith.

I really feel sorry for your husband. He had a very tough upbringing from what you describe. And God needs to clean a lot of that junk out of him. He should count his blessings being married to a holy woman such as yourself.


#4

We just got through a very rough first year of marriage and are closer than we've ever been. Trusting in God's providence has been tough, but right now we're better off financially than we could have ever planned for all while now having a beautiful little girl.

I would urge you to respect your husband's struggle. Don't try to turn it into a thing about him not knowing how to live without the luxuries of life. It may be more of his fear of not having the financial resources to meet his financial moral obligations. Its one thing to not want to donate to the Church in order to be able to pay for cable, the internet or video games. Its entirely another to simply be afraid that you will eventually find yourself tempted to get yourself into uncontrolable debt to be able to pay for the basic necessities in life. I would also say that it is very hard to watch a nest egg that you spent years of labor on dwindle away as you build up your student loan debt and wonder how you'll ever pay that off, create an emergency fund etc.

My advise is not to try to tell your husband how he needs to change and what attitudes he needs to acquire. The both of you need to simply come together in prayer.


#5

I second the opinion of not telling your husband what to do. The only thing he will feel is nagged.

Now, here is where my personal opinion comes in. Your husband is about to start medical school:eek: That sounds like a VERY stressful thing. He knows there will be a lot of work and if he fails a lot of twinkle in people’s eyes as they lie through their teeth ‘Oh I am so sorry’. The pressure of knowing there are years ahead of hard work and constantly being graded is scary. Sure he made it through his first degree, but this one will be a lot harder. And he probably is much more aware of what is in store then he was when he first left high school. Perhaps showing him yoy believe in him and love him pass or fail is what he needs

Second, when a man comes from a well off family, the space to do better is small. He has a lot of pressure not to ‘go down the ranks’. Men have their pride and and it not fun for them to have to admit to themselves they earn less than their fathers. Everyon wants their kids to have it better than them. So if his dad is well off, there is a subtle pressure for him to be better. Not a fun place to be.

I think if your husband could learn his value as a person before God, the money issue would take care of itselfs. But again, don’t tell him that. He needs a wife not a psychiatrist

CM


#6

[quote="ESMDHokie77, post:2, topic:237120"]
praying for you...

Do you pray together with your husband?

[/quote]

Yes, we do pray together. We were blessed with a priest who recommended that early on :)
It continues to be a bit difficult because my husband feels 'unheard' by God. but I do believe that each day brings us both a little closer to Him.


#7

Thank you. Such true and simple advice! I truly do need to work on supporting him and being understanding of his struggles instead of expressing shock that he doesn’t feel God’s blessings. We’ve looked up a few prayers to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which I think touched my husbands heart. In God, all things are possible. :slight_smile:


#8

I will bring these ideas up with my husband and see what he thinks! We are lucky enough to have access to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame. Nowhere better to attend Mass or Adoration, eh? :wink: I especially like your advice to perform corporal works of mercy. This is something we have lately been led to pray for. We both someday would like to do missionary work abroad, but as I see it there is no better time or place to help others than here and now.
I thank you sincerely for your many compliments, but I am just a sinner like everyone else.


#9

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