Arguments before/after Mass


You know? Your husband is really struggling if all you say is really going on for him: “embarrassed” over daughter’s behavior in church, angry at the Church for your sudden unemployment. I had similar issues with my husband and sought the consultation of a priest. It was very helpful. I admit however, had the priest been a letter-of-the-law kind of guy, I would have felt even more guilt because sometimes I chose to stay home “leaving my gift at the altar” in my attempts to make him feel I was not choosing mass and religiosity over family, which was a strong value for him. So we’d have a “family Sunday,” a picnic in the park or take a day trip with the kids. At the time, I guess his faith was going through a non-religious phase and I figured it would eventually come around. It did. Now we go regularly together with our teenage sons. But, every situation is different. So, prayers for you.


I would say there is a corollary I often find to those who complain about nagging. Those are the very same people who if you don’t tell them to do (or not do something) more than once, it becomes your fault because you didn’t remind them.

Yes, he does do this sometimes (though not nearly as much as he used to) and it drives me nuts. I have always assumed that it is MY responsibility to remember my appointments and obligations, NOT someone else’s responsibility to remind me of them :rolleyes:

I have suggested he attend Mass by himself but he insists that he either goes with the whole family or not at all. I totally do not understand this, but again, maybe he’s taking after his parents again… they had 6 kids and all of them faithfully attended Mass together until hubby (second youngest) was about 4 or 5 years old, then mom and dad quit going so they ALL quit going, and hubby and his younger brother missed both First Communion and Confirmation as a result.

Whereas in my household my mom and dad attended separate Masses when my brother and I were young, and did not take us to Mass until we were about 5 years old. In fact, even when me and my brother were well into grade and high school mom and dad STILL went to different Masses a lot of the time, because my tone-deaf Dad preferred the early, non-sung, shorter Mass and Mom liked the later one with all the pretty music :slight_smile:

I think he might be open to making a visit to a perpetual adoration chapel (a nearby parish has one) where there would be only one or two other people present, and he could stay for as long or as brief a time as he wanted to.

I appreciate everyone’s suggestions and prayers; it has helped me get a better perspective on what’s going on here.


You are in a tough situation. My wife did not go to Church for a long time. It seems one of the Priests convicted in Cincinnati was her childhood Priest. So because of this reason alone she did no longer wanted to attend Mass. We had our time where I had to listen to “Where are you going” … “Mass”… “Why?” … “Because God said I should”… “Did God ask those Priests to molest children?” >>>>>> What a way to start the day huh?
Finally it blew apart. She asked the typical question. “Where are you going” I said to Mass. She said we should do things as a family. I said You are the reason we don’t. And I explained that I could go to Applebees and hang out with the guys drinking and watching football but I prefer to spend time with God and Jesus more than a Miller Lite. And told her how utterly ridculous it was that we were arguing about me going to Mass.
I often attempted to explain the Church and how welcome everyone made me feel and the Priest was one of this, “Hell fire and brimstone types” ( I like my Priests to be honest and not sugarcoat the Gospels)
She still complained and I said, "Well, you have two choices. Sit here and feel sorry for yourself. Or get off your butt, brush your hair and get dressed. Because I am going with or without you. (Not to be mean but it was the evening Mass on Sunday. So it was not like we had other choices) She griped and moaned but got dressed.
We are now both members. Have two kids now that were baptised in the same church. And we just last year re newed our wedding vows on our 10th Anniversary.
It was not a fun time but in the end the pain was worth it.
Best of luck to you,


I know this is a really old thread but I’m going to revive it right now…

My husband is giving me a really hard time today about how ashamed he is of me and my daughter’s manners (remember, she is autistic) and how much more peaceful and orderly his life was when he lived alone. Never mind that I cooked almost the entire Christmas dinner we had yesterday. Never mind that I support all three of us on MY paycheck alone because he does not have a job. Never mind that I have to go to work every day when he does not.

Yes, both of us (daughter and I) are considerably overweight and she has a way of repeating certain phrases over and over again. Daughter also tends to get attached to certain outfits that aren’t exactly in style. Also he has been lecturing me about how “dragging” her to Mass every week hasn’t done “any good” in making her behave more “normally.”

I am SO tempted to just give up and not bother going to Mass today at all, especially since we just went yesterday as it was Christmas. But I know if I give in it won’t make things better either. If it were up to me I would just crawl in a hole today because I do feel really, really, fat, old, clumsy and ugly (too much holiday food does that to you).

Well, the fact that hubby is giving me **** about fulfilling my Sunday oblication, and trying to make me feel like it’s some stupid holier than thou obsession of mine, just makes me want to go even more. Although I also feel guilty for being so mad at him and not being able to keep my emotions in check when he starts lecturing me.

Oh, we also are supposed to go see my brother and his wife today, and my husband doesn’t like either of them.

Anyway, enough of this ranting, just say a little extra prayer for us, ok?


If it's any comfort to you, my husband picked an argument en route to Midnight Mass, simply because I moved a snow brush that was in his car. We turned around and went back to the house he inherited from his mother, which is where he has stayed since Christmas eve. I went back home and hit the rack, and got up early and went to Mass in the morning.

My husband has developed alcoholism over the course of the past six years. He has been verbally abusive, passive aggressive, and on one occasion struck me. I had him arrested, he was not permitted anywhere near me for a year, and I considered divorce and seeking an annulment. This is a second marriage for him, my first, and we are middle aged with no children. I was forty-one when we got married. I wish I had had an opportunity to have met with his first wife, I am sure that would have been a revealing conversation. I think I met him at his healthiest, and about five years after we got married, things started a downward spiral.

Sorry to say, but this just seems to be a symptom of something much worse going on with your husband. This need to attempt to control and humiliate you can morph into something much worse than just passive-aggressive behavior when he doesn't want to do something (such as go to Mass.)

Other things you might want to watch for:
--Is he trying to impose distance between you and your friends or relatives?
--Are financial decisions made mutually? Or is he trying to infantilize you by making all the major (and sometimes minor) decisions?
--Does he dismiss your legitimate complaints as insignificant?
--Is your husband prone to expressing his anger disproportionately to a mere annoyance? For example, how does he behave in traffic if he is cut off by an inconsiderate driver? How does he react if he is in a long checkout line?
--Does he drink alcohol either frequently or to excess? What about other drugs? I ask this because about ten percent of the population suffers from alcoholism or addiction, and the family usually doesn't figure it out, focusing instead on the erratic, irresponsible, and unacceptable behaviors that accompany these conditions.

Make an appointment and talk with your parish priest. Tell him your responses to the questions I posed, and I'm sure those questions will provoke more thought. I am sure the priest will recommend marriage counseling if any of the above symptoms are happening. If your husband refuses to go, go by yourself. At the very least, you will learn strategies for dealing with unacceptable behavior.

Many women believe submission to their husbands means accepting degrading or inhumane treatment. It does not. It merely means deferring to the husband's responsibility for spiritual leadership of the home. If the husband is incapable or unwilling to assume that leadership in a way that reflects the love of Christ, it is the wife's responsibility to assume leadership and see to the spiritual (and sometimes temporal) welfare of her family.

And whatever you do, keep on going to Mass, regardless of whether he goes or not. Do it cheerfully and without comment, and only ask him once if he's going as well. When it's time to leave, give a five minute warning, then take the car keys and your daughter and go, whether or not he comes along.

Although, according to St. Paul, we do not know whether we might save our faithless spouses, and should try to give good example, every individual in the final analysis is responsible for working out his or her own salvation. So keep on going to Mass. Your salvation requires it. And going without comment will make him think far more than anything that you can say or do to try to make him go. Besides, you are going to need all the graces you can get to keep on dealing with this man.


I do feel really, really, fat, old, clumsy and ugly (too much holiday food does that to you).

no secret square, believing the lies of a bully does this to you.

are you fat? yes. does fat equal failure? no. does fat equal unlovable? no. does fat equal stupid? no. does fat equal ugly? no. does fat equal deserving of bullying? no.

your husband wants you to believe many lies.

is it YOUR job to try and make him see what’s true? no. so arguing, defending yourself, contradicting him is useless. pointing out your paycheck, your abilities, his unemployment etc are all riot-inciting behaviors. i suspect, though, you’re more able to stay quiet about his insults against YOU than his insults against your daughter. that would become awfully hard to do-- remain quiet while somebody was berating my kid.

secret square, i think the most important thing is for you to get really clear about how your husband’s destructive behaviors affect your daughter. THAT really needs to be a starting point for you. if she’s being hurt by this then it’s time for something to change.


I’m so glad you bumped this thread again as I read a lot of things similar to my own situation. My husband was baptised a Catholic, but has never really understood his faith and so stopped going to Church when his parents no longer made him. That was my situation too when I met him ten years ago, but five years ago I re-converted and this has caused us all sorts of issues. I feel guilty a lot of the time because of the bad example I set at the start of our relationship.

On Mass-going issues, one evening it was as if Satan was insulting me through him, he said “look at what your God did to all the people in Haiti” and swore at me like he’d never done before, I can only say that it was as though something took him over for that moment. Another time I was on my way to make my first honest Confession and he just spewed out swear words at me. Thank God there has never been such outbursts since, but I definitely believe the devil will try and put as many obstacles in the way as he can to prevent you from practising your faith. It is like a moment of battle, where the enemy will play all his cards to make you believe that maybe you’re better off staying at home.

Pray. That is the only answer, because that is how you will be enlightened as to how to handle these situations, and gain the strength to face them in the future. I’m still praying about my own situation - praying for my husband’s conversion, for wisdom as to how to handle Mass situations, how to balance encouraging him to come to Mass vs. pressuring him into it so he resents me and God, and also how to play it all out in front of our children so that they remain unawares in their world of blissful innocence.

Keep fighting. Keep praying.


Can you ask a relative or friend to take your daughter to Mass sometimes.? Maybe your husband still has some problem with going to Mass with your daughter. I’m not saying that he is justified to feel this way, but if the goal is to get him back into Mass attendence maybe he’ll go if it’s just the two of you. If this works, from there you can work on going to Mass as a family. Your daughter sounds like a lovely, charming young lady… I’d be glad to attend Mass next to a young lady who cares so much as to dress nicely for Our Lord.


Thank you all for your replies. I guess I’m not the only one who goes through this. My daughter and I did go to Mass, and ironically, it was the Feast of the Holy Family. When we got home, everyone was in a much calmer mood.

My husband decided not to go visit my brother, I just went with my daughter, and I think we had a much better time that way anyhow. My daughter’s manners were actually quite good today, up to the end of visit with my brother/her uncle, when she started to get bored and keep saying “It’s time to go home!” Which was just as well since it was getting dark and I don’t like to drive long distances at night anyway.

As for his claim that “dragging” her to Mass hasn’t done her any good, the thought did occur to me that she’d probably be even worse with regard to manners if we DIDN’T go to Mass every week. I do not have any family in the area that could take her to Mass, it has to be me or she won’t go at all.

He doesn’t drink, and I handle all our finances, so those aren’t an issue. I suppose he does feel kind of bored and useless at times though. There is not much work available in the field he trained for, plus, he has injuries and health problems that prevent him from doing manual labor.

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that we did go to Mass and things got better. Thanks for all your prayers and support.


I think this has gotten to the point where you need professional help. It doesn’t sound like any of the underlying issues (your husband’s bullying and ridicule) have been resolved. You may go through calm periods, but until you find out what is really going on your marriage will continue to have these problems.


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