Could Use Some Encouragement/godly Advice From Women In Unhappy Marriages


#1

:confused: Catholic women friends: What keeps any of you gals going out there who are in marriages less than happy? not headed for divorce court or anything, but not happy? where you have a husband that doesn’t “really” love you like you wish he did? or that is is unable to? I know I’ve mentioned perhaps in a similar post certain specific problems in my marriage, etc., but I’m talking in general now. There is no real case for divorce, no abuse or abandonment, or affair, specifics are getting ironed out, just in general I don’t think my husband loves me. Guess at first, there were warning signs that I didn’t heed, the way he was, and is.

I remember once at a party when we were dating, before we ever were married, he paid me no attention, rather went off, oggaling at one of his friend’s sister.!!! Then we married, got instantly pregnant, and now we just do what we need to, but I feel so unloved. He never kisses me or hugs me, is cold, distant, and in a fog half the time. He’s said many times, he “never should have gotten married”, etc., that he “hates being responsible for anybody”, etc., etc. But we have our family, which is generally happy, it’s just me. The counselor we saw asked if he wants to continue in the marriage, and he said YES. Out of duty I think.

We have seen a Christian counselor several times about some details, but in general, this is how it stands. NO amount of counseling can make someone love another or change.

What comforts you wives who have endured the same thing? Any Saints? anything you could tell me? outside interests? Being “unhappy” is a lousy excuse for divorce. I try so hard to BE loving, but am so lonely every day, there’s no emotional connection 80% of the time. Is this how all marriages become after so many years? How to you get along in a unloving marriage, with a spouse who doesn’t love you or know how??? Tell me!

Would appreciate some thoughts. Thanks. And God Bless You All.


#2

Dear Sparkle,

I hear your pain and sadness, and I wish there was an easy way. Although things with my hubby are better today, it is not always easy. Here are some thoughts that keep me going:

  1. Pray, pray, pray!
  2. I need the Sacraments on a regular basis, especially Reconciliation.
  3. Did I mention prayer? (smile!)
  4. Remember all the good, wonderful qualities of my husband. I have a list on the really bad days when the only thing that comes to mind is,“He’s not abusive.”
  5. Surrond yourself with good women friends that can give love and support. Al-Anon works for me for this one. Friends at church are also good because for the most part, they do not hand me the name of a lawyer.
  6. Take as much time for prayer as possible :slight_smile:
  7. I’ve also taken a good, long look at why I married my husband and forgave myself (which is an on-going activity) for not be more strong, mature, and faith-filled at the time. I’ve also forgave all of those people who kept telling me how “perfect” we were for eachother.
  8. No matter how bad my husband is, I know men that would be far worse!
  9. I think I mentioned prayer, but I really have to pray a lot!
  10. Individual therapy has helped me. I can’t change him, but I can work on myself.
  11. My favorite saints for marriage issues are Monica and Elizabeth of Portugal. Jane de Chantal (note my name!) and Francis de Sales are also great aids! I hear St. Joseph can be helpful as well. Besides reading their stories, I pray to them as well!

Hopefully we have other “sisters in arms” on this subject and we can be here for eachother. God bless you!

Live Jesus!

JaneDC


#3

[quote=JaneDC]Dear Sparkle,
I hear your pain and sadness, and I wish there was an easy way. Although things with my hubby are better today, it is not always easy. Here are some thoughts that keep me going:

  1. Pray, pray, pray!
  2. I need the Sacraments on a regular basis, especially Reconciliation.
  3. Did I mention prayer? (smile!)
  4. Remember all the good, wonderful qualities of my husband. I have a list on the really bad days when the only thing that comes to mind is,“He’s not abusive.”
  5. Surrond yourself with good women friends that can give love and support. Al-Anon works for me for this one. Friends at church are also good because for the most part, they do not hand me the name of a lawyer.
  6. Take as much time for prayer as possible :slight_smile:
  7. I’ve also taken a good, long look at why I married my husband and forgave myself (which is an on-going activity) for not be more strong, mature, and faith-filled at the time. I’ve also forgave all of those people who kept telling me how “perfect” we were for eachother.
  8. No matter how bad my husband is, I know men that would be far worse!
  9. I think I mentioned prayer, but I really have to pray a lot!
  10. Individual therapy has helped me. I can’t change him, but I can work on myself.
  11. My favorite saints for marriage issues are Monica and Elizabeth of Portugal. Jane de Chantal (note my name!) and Francis de Sales are also great aids! I hear St. Joseph can be helpful as well. Besides reading their stories, I pray to them as well!
    Hopefully we have other “sisters in arms” on this subject and we can be here for eachother. God bless you!
    Live Jesus!

JaneDC
[/quote]

Thank you so much Jane! I guess in this life we aren’t always promised happiness, but God does expect us to remain faithful. doesn’t He? It’s funny —2 of my friends were going through very difficult marriages and both divorced their husbands, now their lives have been chaos. I told them to “stick it out”- well lo and behold, problems, galore and unhappiness come my way. Now it’s really a challenge for me, God is making me “eat my words” so to speak and putting me to the test–that’s for sure! I know it’s only with God’s Help–I could!


#4

What about going to a Marriage Encounter or if things are worse, Retrouvaille? Both of these are geared to give you help with your marriage in communication and just how to be in love.

My husband and I have been married 36 years and we just went to Marriage Encounter and it was a wonderful weekend. Just getting away from other problems and trying to learn to focus on each other more was what we needed.

God Bless


#5

…as I get older, I realize life is too short to be trapped in an unhappy marriage.
I mean won’t you folks regret staying in such a horrible situation for such a long portion of your life.


#6

[quote=porchwork]What about going to a Marriage Encounter or if things are worse, Retrouvaille? Both of these are geared to give you help with your marriage in communication and just how to be in love.
My husband and I have been married 36 years and we just went to Marriage Encounter and it was a wonderful weekend. Just getting away from other problems and trying to learn to focus on each other more was what we needed.

God Bless
[/quote]

Hey this sounds great to me! What’s the difference between the two? We’ve been to 2 Protestant marriage conferences and 1 parenting conference, and it was great!!! Many years ago------think we could definately use another one–thx for the mention!!!

We are looking forward to the Catholic Family Conference again this summer which we went to last summer. It was SO NEAT!!! Kids in their age group, adults with many seminars to choose from. Hubby slept in the hotel room for all but 1 or 2 of them, think this time when he’s awake I’ll go to one on marriage!!!

THX:)


#7

[quote=Lilyofthevalley]…as I get older, I realize life is too short to be trapped in an unhappy marriage.
I mean won’t you folks regret staying in such a horrible situation for such a long portion of your life.
[/quote]

No, I won’t cuz I know I’m following God’s plan-- “FOR RICHER OR POORER, BETTER OR WORSE”, etc…However, I’ve discovered Lily, that life is not just about ME, being happy, and if I"M NOT, just movin’ on---- It is more about being faithful and sticking to our committments, especially ones we make before God, which is what I did so many years ago.

Trouble is, it is so hard at times. Just need some thoughts/advice/counsel/Saintly help/wisdom, etc…and venting!

Thanks for writing dear Lily!

God Bless~~:)


#8

[quote=Lilyofthevalley]…as I get older, I realize life is too short to be trapped in an unhappy marriage.
I mean won’t you folks regret staying in such a horrible situation for such a long portion of your life.
[/quote]

You are advocating divorce, an abdication of your sacred vows before God? What next in the name of seeking greater self-fulfilment? :frowning:


#9

[quote=Lilyofthevalley]…as I get older, I realize life is too short to be trapped in an unhappy marriage.
I mean won’t you folks regret staying in such a horrible situation for such a long portion of your life.
[/quote]

The first 20 years of my marriage were hell (well, purgatory: DH never cheated on me or beat me, and he paid the rent). Then something happened. Who knows what? The man I now live with (same guy) is the most wonderful man on planet earth.

A friend of mine relates a similar situation in her own marriage to the wedding at Cana: they had to run completely dry of the ordinary wine before they could get a crack at the good stuff!


#10

My mom’s name was Rita, and I pray to her patron saint for one of my sisters that is in an unhappy marriage. This saint was in an unhappy marriage and persevered. She is the Saint with family troubles from around the 1300’s. She can interceede for you with compassion. Here is the Novena to ask for her help.
**God Bless you and help you in this matter. **

NOVENA TO SAINT RITA,
PATRONESS OF IMPOSSIBLE CASES

**O holy patroness of those in need, St. Rita, whose pleadings before thy Divine Lord are almost irresistible, who for thy lavishness in granting favours hast been called the Advocate of the hopeless and even of the impossible; St. Rita, so humble, so pure, so mortified, so patient and of such compassionate love for thy Crucified Jesus that thou couldst obtain from Him whatsoever thou askest, on account of which all confidently have recourse to thee expecting, if not always relief, at least comfort; be propitious to our petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of thy suppliant; be lavish to us, as thou hast been in so many wonderful cases, for the greater glory of God, for the spreading of thine own devotion, and for the consolation of those who trust in thee.We promise, if our petition is granted, to glorify thee by making known thy favour, to bless and sing thy praises forever. Relying then upon thy merits and power before the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we pray thee grant that… (Make your request here…) as soon as God deems fit. Amen. **This Novena must be said for nine consecutive days.







#11

[quote=Lilyofthevalley]…as I get older, I realize life is too short to be trapped in an unhappy marriage.
I mean won’t you folks regret staying in such a horrible situation for such a long portion of your life.
[/quote]

My marriage may be less-than ideal, but I don’t feel “trapped.” Part of it is really exploring (in mind only) the idea of leaving (forget it – no way!). The other part is realizing that “trapped” is a state of mind. God give us the freedom of looking at our marriage through His eyes. I read and re-read the First letter of St. Peter. St. Paul (I think) also says that we may be the witness our spouse needs (typical Catholic: can’t quote, no Bible in sight, but hopefully I got the sentiments right!).

Live Jesus!
JaneDC


#12

[quote=Fitz]My mom’s name was Rita, and I pray to her patron saint for one of my sisters that is in an unhappy marriage. This saint was in an unhappy marriage and persevered. She is the Saint with family troubles from around the 1300’s. She can interceede for you with compassion. Here is the Novena to ask for her help.
**God Bless you and help you in this matter. **

NOVENA TO SAINT RITA,
PATRONESS OF IMPOSSIBLE CASES

O holy patroness of those in need, St. Rita, whose pleadings before thy Divine Lord are almost irresistible, who for thy lavishness in granting favours hast been called the Advocate of the hopeless and even of the impossible; St. Rita, so humble, so pure, so mortified, so patient and of such compassionate love for thy Crucified Jesus that thou couldst obtain from Him whatsoever thou askest, on account of which all confidently have recourse to thee expecting, if not always relief, at least comfort; be propitious to our petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of thy suppliant; be lavish to us, as thou hast been in so many wonderful cases, for the greater glory of God, for the spreading of thine own devotion, and for the consolation of those who trust in thee.We promise, if our petition is granted, to glorify thee by making known thy favour, to bless and sing thy praises forever. Relying then upon thy merits and power before the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we pray thee grant that… (Make your request here…) as soon as God deems fit. Amen. This Novena must be said for nine consecutive days.

[/quote]

Oh Bless you Fitz for supplying this prayer~~:D I will copy it and put it somewhere!


#13

Yes, I can relate. My husband doesn’t share my faith and that is my biggest challenge.

I believe what one of the posters said - that it’s not about me. It’s about keeping my vows and living out what God has planned for me.

I also pray to St Rita. I have special beads that I got from my Great Aunt a long, long, long time ago when I was a teenager. I’m not sure why she ever felt compelled to give them to me. :hmmm:I’m sure God was working through her.

I like this advice, too - pray, pray, pray!

I think it definitely helps to know you are not alone. And, trust me on this - you are NOT!!!


#14

Definately PRAY! also try and get your husband to go to retrouvaille with you. it works. trust me. there was a poster on here named Kaisash, i know her very well outside of the message boards, her and her husband went and things have been great for them. its a miracle it really is.


#15

[quote=Fitz]My mom’s name was Rita, and I pray to her patron saint for one of my sisters that is in an unhappy marriage. This saint was in an unhappy marriage and persevered. She is the Saint with family troubles from around the 1300’s. She can interceede for you with compassion. Here is the Novena to ask for her help.
**God Bless you and help you in this matter. **

[/quote]

I was just checking to see if someone posted on St. Rita! I chose her as my patroness because my marriage and motherhood have been very difficult at times. Every woman in a hard relationship should know St. Rita. :thumbsup:


#16

Felra don’t you have someone to go trip??

Sparkle, somehow I don’t think God intended us to live in absolute misery with psychological or physical abuse. Those who psychologically abuse or physically abuse are forfiting their vows.


#17

[quote=sparkle]:confused: Catholic women friends: What keeps any of you gals going out there who are in marriages less than happy? not headed for divorce court or anything, but not happy? where you have a husband that doesn’t “really” love you like you wish he did? or that is is unable to?
[/quote]

Dear Sparkle,

Go to Jesus. He will comfort and help you through these hard times.

I was in a similar situation. Married in the Church and then my husband didn’t want to be intimate. He asked me to move into the spare bedroom, I turned to Jesus for comfort and He was there for me. I pray He will be there for you too.

I spent hours praying, in and out of Adoration, trying to understand things. Using the holographic Shrowd picture helped, to visualize Jesus. I began to journal and talk to God and ask Him questions, vent, write poetry, pray, do what I felt led to do. I studied scripture and looked for Jesus there. I joined the lay Carmelites and found great solice in attending monthly meetings and going to confession with a good spiritual director. I went on pilgrimage to Medjugorge, Georgia and Achill Island seeking God’s desire for me there.

We tried councesling but my husband wasn’t too interested in making any changes in our marriage.

I’ve got to go now. Will try to write more later.

Peace and I will be praying for you,
Elizabeth


#18

[quote=TarAshly]Definately PRAY! also try and get your husband to go to retrouvaille with you. it works. trust me. there was a poster on here named Kaisash, i know her very well outside of the message boards, her and her husband went and things have been great for them. its a miracle it really is.
[/quote]

Retrouvaille saved my marriage, I can’t recommend it enough. Marriage Encounter is very good too. It runs on the same principles. Retrouvaille is for troubled marriages, Marriage Encounter is for stable or good marriages.


#19

As a guy, I shouldn’t be posting on this thread, but could not resist. Reading all the responses has been most motivating. I have been going through the opposite situation for a number of years. My wife is nominally Catholic and does not believe in counselors or retreats.

I am far from an ideal husband – I work too much…am not a handiman…do not like romantic, reality or sexual type shows on TV…I am neither strong nor consider myself handsome…have no desire to be macho…am quiet and don’t talk much…and although I do put the “seat down” I do not help with the housework as I should. I am sure I can go on, and my wife could add a list a mile long! Unlike my wife, I have never had a sexual relationship outside of marriage. I provide well for my family. I love my family and want the best for them. I love my Catholic faith and strive to remain faithful to it; sacredness of my marital vows is certainly prominent (although I must ask if I really love like I vowed). Over the years I have withdrawn into a shell because I feel so hopelesat times. I am always afraid of doing or not-doing something that will set off my wife’s rage.

I know that I need to do better and do more. I am making an effort to come out of my shell and return good when I preceive evil (altough this is hard because one of my big faults is this male ego!). This weekend I have a group of old friends whom I have not seen in years coming to a nearby town for a get together. My wife was upset at me going off, so I have decided to stay home and drive back and forth each day rather than stay with my friends. On Friday night rather than hangout with my friends, I have decided to take my wife out. This is hard on me because I have not seen these guys in such a long time. It may not be very much, but it is a start. I know that I cannot change my wife, but I can certainly be a better husband…changing myself!

As one poster said…pray! pray! and pray more! Then live as Christ as best we can!

I do hope everything works out for you. I believe you are doing the right thing by sticking with your marriage. I also hope you forgive me for posting on this thread and being so open.

Love & peace in Christ,
Bob


#20

love your husband. truly, the biblical kind of love described in 1 corinthians 13. that is be patient, kind, gentle, long-suffering etc. that is, suffer without letting the whole world hear about it. treat him as you would if he were the most wonderful friend and lover in the world, the biggest hunk in the world, the wittiest and wisest man in the world. At every opportunity, respond and act with love, which will be more perfect because not motivated by physical attraction, bonds of affection, but disinterested. YOu will see amazing results, trust me.


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