Connecting Spiritually with your Spouse


#1

So my husband and I have been married for 10 months and been Catholic for 7 months, and the other day it hit me that we're not really connecting spiritually. A lot of the problem is my fault I think. I have difficulty praying in general (or reading the bible for that matter) - its good for me, I know that, but its hard for me to enjoy, and really hard for me to get into the habit of doing. Its even HARDER for me to do these things with someone else, whether that's a close friend or my husband. Every so often, we try to read in the evenings or something, but usually by day 3 or 4 I'm dragging my heels and by a week and I'm all out refusing to participate.

Its terrible I know.

A few weeks ago I had started making myself do some prayers/devotions again. I was working through Acts and saying a few prayers, including a recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and every so often DH would walk in and try to sit by me while I did it and I totally hated it. And I really can't explain why.

We go to Mass together every week, and sometimes make it to a daily Mass. Every so often we go to Eucharistic Adoration together. As another bit of background, my husband does like praying the rosary, but its not a prayer form that speaks to me (or that I can really get into).

So my question is a) How do I get myself to do this? and b) Is there anything you can suggest that might be a good way for us to connect on this level? I can't figure out why psychologically this is so difficult for me.


#2

In the morning, before you both leave for work (either before you even begin the day, or over coffee in the kitchen)… pray together. Hold hands and pray an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for starters.

Pray before meals ALWAYS.

Start a family rosary or DMC, pray for others together.

Maybe pick up The Little Blue Book For Advent and share it together

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#3

I think your heart is in the right place.

The suggestion given is very good about praying in the morning and I would add praying at night before going to bed.

I would encourage you to pray that the Lord would give you a love for the rosary so that you would want to pray it with your husband as you say he has a special feeling for the rosary. I believe that once you start praying it and praying for a special love for the rosary that you would soon start to find yourself blessed by the rosary.

I don’t know if you have a priest who acts as your spiritual advisor but he would be a good one to talk to.

Your heart is in the right place and I believe you will be blessed.

Chrisy


#4

I tell you what I would do, rather, have done just a month ago…

I couldn’t pray, read the bible and soon, I stop attending mass. It is so easy to get in that rut. What happened to me was that I realized I was not going to God anymore for anything, I was trying to be in control.

So…

I went to confession. Rather than behind the grate, I looked Father face to face and confessed that I had not been loving God with all my heart.

I can’t begin to tell you how it helped. Just a suggestion.

God bless!


#5

Unless I’m in a meditative state/mood I struggle with “scripted” prayer for more than a few minutes.

I really like free-form prayer better. Perhaps you can encourage your husband to pray out loud just simply prayers of the heart. This will also help you bond with him becuase he will be taking the lead, and you’ll be able to glimpse the spiritual life he has. As far as the rosary…do a decat to be fair to him, and then move on.

As far as the Bible. Most people try to gobble it up as if word count actually matters. Realize the Bible is made of BOOKS and those BOOKS have CHAPTERS. It may do you good to even find a daily Catholic devotional. I think its called “Living Faith” its pretty orthodox and it’s thoughts, anacedotes related to that day’s Gospel. Its much easier than shoving a Bible down your throat and it also provides the Catholic guidance so you don’t feel as if you’re going to convert to sola scriptura.

Also, remember that while God loves you there is someone out for the ruin of your soul.


#6

Hi there
My husband and I have the same problem. It sounds like you don’t really like these fixed forms of prayer like the rosary. I think it is a good idea to try and pray “personal prayers from the heart” together with your husband. That is a way of connecting. I think all these long fixed prayers are not good if you have to force yourself to pray them, you have to develop a personal relationship with Christ and then maybe you will want to talk to Him, also together with your husband. It does not have to be long or every single day on fixed times, less will do…
May the Holy Spirit guide you and give you a thirst for prayer alone and with your husband
Amber


#7

Our paths of spiritual growth are different, and to expect that you will be in the same place with your husband might be unrealistic. You can express this to him in a loving way, and agree to a set time each day to pray together. But prayer alone is also important, and you should ask him for that time by yourself.

Maybe you aren’t ready to read the Bible. Try getting a Bible Study on CD. These can really provide a good explanation of the written Word, and create in you a hunger to know more. When you simply read without any commentary or explanation, it’s hard to grasp the deeper meaning. Remember in Acts the Ethiopian who was reading the scripture and one of the apostles (Philip, I think) asked if he understood what he was reading. The answer was, How can I without someone to explain it to me. There are great programs available - Scott Hahn has several available through St. Joseph Communications, and Jeff Cavins has the Bible Timeline series, which takes you through salvation history from the beginning to end of the Bible.

Maybe you need something else to nourish your faith. Consider the writings of some of the saints, or conversion stories, or Amazing Grace series of books. There are many great resources to grow your faith. Think about what interests you and follow that path for a while.

My husband and I have different interests, so we don’t usually talk about what we’re reading. He has a more scientific mind (how does science prove the Bible and existence of God). I am more focused on the spiritual side (miracles, meditation, contemplative works, etc.). It is okay to have a different focus.

It’s also important to reach out to your husband, to share your faith together in some way. You may not “feel” the emotion you “should” but that’s okay. This is a gift you are giving to him. He is so excited about his faith journey, and he (naturally) wants to share it with the one person most important in his life. Ask him for patience, and give him some time in a devotion he likes.

At the same time, don’t give up on your own spiritual development. Find something that feeds your spiritual needs right now. Commit to spending a certain amount of time each day with just you and God. You can pray a recited prayer, talk to God, read the Bible, or sit quietly. Start with 15 minutes. Then work up to more. Choose an amount of time that is realistic for you, but a little bit of a stretch. And do it even when you don’t feel like it.

Last thing, ask God to give you the desire that you lack.


#8

Faith is a gift from God. Ask God, and ask in the name of Jesus, to increase your faith. Then, actually make yourself do things. Adore the Blessed Sacrament. Go to daily mass. Pray the rosary. Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Pray for your spouse. Do extra penance for the benefit of your spouse’s soul. Speak with your spouse about spiritual matters.

Pray together! At first it will feel awkward, but over time you will both grow in deeper connection with each other.

God Bless,


#9

Thanks kage_ar! We did the Little Blue Book a few years ago - I think I might try to get my hands on it again this year. Regular times for prayer can be difficult for us because DH has such a weird schedule. He almost never works the same hours two days in a row :frowning:

Thanks Chrisy. Every so often I pray that Jesus will help me love his mother the way he does. Perhaps I’ll ad a love for the rosary. DH doesn’t mind not praying the rosary together (although he would probably enjoy it). I think he’d be perfectly happy praying more free-form together. Usually that’s what we try anyway. I find it difficult to pray spontaneously, especially out loud though. I always have. My mum would get a little frustrated with me as a child, because I’d make my own “set” prayers and just pray them over and over - because praying out loud was difficult.

That being said, I’m sure God can help me with it.

Thanks DJgang. I’ve confessed this (face-to-face) I don’t know how many times. :o I wish it helped more than it has. I’m a big believer in confession. I love the sacrament and have really felt its grace in my life. And I always walk away wanting to do better. But this seems to be the place where I really struggle. I put up distractions and other priorities so quickly. I wish I could do better at this.

Hey purplesunshine - I’m actually the opposite. I like not having to come up with the words to say - its easier for me to really mean the prayers when I’m not struggling to figure out how to word it. I do both, but I actually prefer the scripted ones

In addition - when praying together, my husband and I usually do pray “prayers of the heart” as you so eloquently put it. We pray for our friends and family, for situations in our lives. It just feels so awkward, especially when I pray :shrug:

When I was going through Acts, I was keeping it small. I’m definitely looking for good commentaries. I’ll have to check out “Living Faith” although I often find “devotionals” to be more trite than I’m looking for. I like to dig in deep - and I really want to know what the Church says about things (I quite willingly left sola scriptura behind when I converted!).

I actually love fixed prayers - just not the rosary. I think its probably part of my protestant upbringing rearing its head (although I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the rosary, its just not comfortable for me). Having a “personal relationship” with Christ was always difficult for me - even as an evangelical protestant. Talking to Jesus just never flows for me. Its something I’m working on. As my priest says, I’m always praying that I’ll fall more deeply in love with Jesus.

(tbc)


#10

Thanks tedfay. My gut reaction is that I have faith - just not devotion. But the rest of your suggestions are good. I really need to make myself do those things that are good, even when I don’t feel like it.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. If anyone has any others, that would be great too.


#11

Elisa, you didn't owe me an explanation at all...sweet of you to reply though.

fwiw, I do believe the Holy Spirit is working in you...hang in there. You are in my prayers tonight.

God bless, Dana


#12

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