Difficult first year as a husband


#1

Maybe some of the nice people here can give me some guidance. I’ve basically been married for 15 months, and I’m very unhappy. I’ll just briefly list some things that have happened in our marriage that are killing me, and it seems impossible to carry a conversation over.

  1. The thing that hurts me most happened last week. Our “marital” experiences are few and far between, and I’ve been working like crazy trying to give her what she claims she wants in that area. Last week was the first time we were ‘together’ in almost two months, and when we were done, we were laying in bed talking, and out come the words “don’t take this the wrong way, but if you were ever paralyzed like Christopher Reeves was, I would never miss doing that.” It broke my heart. She insists that it isn’t me, and dismisses me as too sensitive. I shudder to think of what life would be like if I said something so disrespectful to her.

  2. To make #1 above worse, in about the 3rd month of our marriage, she began talking about how fantastic the ‘marital’ relations were with her ex-husband. Things like “say what you will about [him], but he sure knew how to please a woman.” Telling her friends right in front of me “I don’t know why [he] would have cheated on me because he could have had me at home any time he wanted.” She has even said “when I was with [him] one of the nice things was knowing that I was always going to have a good ‘marital’ (bedroom) life.” She says all this often, no matter how much I say it hurts me, and expects me to believe that it is her and not me (she says she’s changed physically, and its not my fault). Of course, I don’t get all the extra-marital practice that he had five other women (that she knows about, anyway). Still, I think it is disrespectful and kind of cold—I doubt she would take kindly to the reverse.

  3. She has started mocking me a lot in public. She, of course, calls me too sensitive when I tell her it bothers me. I overheard her mother tell her that she shouldn’t be mean like that to me, since I’ve treated her great and don’t deserve it. Her reply was 'he does treat me good, I was just trying to get him to _____." (Translation: Embarrassing him may get him to do what I want.) I never acknowledge I heard this, considering they didn’t know I could hear. I left the area, since I’m not an eavesdropper.

Anyways, it’s not my intention to complain about or insult my wife, whom I love. So I’ll stop there before this seems too insulting. I just ask for some guidance and prayers.

Thank you, and God bless you all.


#2

Wow! It sounds like you’ve got a very difficult cross to bear.

I see your profile says you’re Baptist. Is she Catholic? When you married, was she truly free to marry and were you married in the Catholic Church? Was her ex Catholic and were they married in the Church? Is he still alive, or did they ask for and receive a declaration of nullity?

There are some very basic reasons I ask these things, as it can really play in the mind-set of a Catholic as to thier true marital status.

It’s difficult for me to imagine what you are going through. I hope you will find some help in these forums, and I’m quite sure that there will be plenty of folks here who will pray for you. I hope we can help.


Same Sex Marriage and SCOTUS
#3

First and foremost, let me say say yes I am honored and blessed to pray for you. I want you to know that not matter what you are loved by God and you can call on Him and His Mother for help anytime.

Ask your wife to sit and pray with you. Ask her to hold your hand as you pray together. Ask her let you pray for her. Ask her to pray for God to bless her, you and your marriage. Ask God to give you joy and peace and to treat each other better than the day before.

Have a date night, every week. Do something she wants to do. Bring her flowers, bring her candy, buy her a little candle. Get her a nice perfume. This is my favorite: Buy her some nice new shoelaces, take the old ones off and put the new ones in for her. Do an extra chore for her that she nnormally does. Give, give give. If you get tired of giving, give some more. Give to her until you die. Give to her like Christ gives to the church.


#4

I will pray for you. Maybe if you try counseling. I could not imagine living with anyone like this. But some how things will work. With God all things are possible. But as another poster asked is there a relationship with God in your marriage, or is it simply civil. Being married out of the Church in the early years I could see the difference in my marriage when it was blessed by God and the Church.


#5

I will definitely keep you in my prayers.

What your wife has said to you is unbelievably hurtful. Did your wife receive any counseling after the end of her first marriage? It sounds like she still hasn’t gotten over the hurt that she experienced. For women, emotions are one of the biggest factors for being able to truly appreciate a sexual relationship. From the hurt that your wife received in her first marriage, she may not be able to really open herself to truly connect with you and allow herself to enjoy marital relations. Of course, when she was first with her first husband, she had not been emotionally hurt and was probably able to open herself up to enjoying the act.

I hope that you and your wife will be able to receive some counseling so that she can understand what is really interfering in her ability to enjoy sex and so that she can understand how she is hurting you. In the meantime, I would really let her know how what she says hurts you. Don’t keep it bottled up.


#6

No one should be disrespected and hurt in the way she is doing to you. You should seek counseling, together and separately. You need professional guidance, from a Christian if not a Catholic counselor. Don’t go to a secular counselor, they often undermine a Christian lifestyle.

She has some serious issues and since you’ve told her you are hurt by her words and actions, and yet she still purposely hurts you, she clearly has some emotional and/or psychological problems. I would not even begin to speculate what they are. I do know divorce can be very traumatic, and to have had a cheating spouse definitely was most likely very scarring.

I do agree that it’s not you. She is acting out in inappropriate ways. You need to call her on the inappropriate behavior while she is doing it. She is openly mocking you and saying these things because no one calls her out on it.

If you feel comfortable talk to her mom, and see if she has any ideas of what may be going on (not about the bedroom stuff but about the hurtful way she is lashing out at you). Sounds like mom is your ally.

A really good book is by Greg Popcak, called For Better… Forever. Of course, it takes two to make the marriage, she has to be willing to work on it.


#7

Thank you for the kind replies.

To answer one question, yes, she is Catholic. Her first marriage is annulled, and we went through pre-cana. I probably should change my religion from Baptist to just Christian, it was just the title I had until after college. I first found Jesus through a Baptist church that a friend had led me to. I found some problems with this particular Church’s pastor’s doctrine, so I searched elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a wonderful, sincere man, and has done great good in my life, but that doesn’t make him correct. I’ve been attending mass with my wife and her parents since 2003, before we were engaged. I’m content just loving Jesus with my family–and I am very grateful to my old Baptist family for telling me about Him.

I appreciate the comments. I certainly don’t want to make her look bad, she has many wonderful qualities. That is why I turn to this forum, seeing so many wonderful Christians for support–not knowing me lets me communicate without hurting my wife in friends’ or families’ eyes.

I hope that maybe her problems with the marital aspects are due to pain from her first husband cheating with at least 5 women, getting 2 of them pregnant 3 times (two were miscarriages, one woman who miscarried fell pregnant again and gave birth). Perhaps she has an emotional block that she may even be unaware of, and looks back at times before she had that block. I do think if she’d really listen and put herself in my shoes, she’d understand that its a very painful thing to hear so often.

Perhaps the recent mockery has been triggered by my pulling away to some degree. I feel so disconnected from her now–I mean, I think she’d feel disconnected with me if I told her that if we could never be intimate again I’d never miss her that way. It’s like there is a boulder on my chest. Mocking me may be to get my attention. Admittedly, my thoughts have wondered off a lot the past couple weeks. I try not to dwell, but it’s hard not to think about.

Thank you so much for all the help. I look forward to ‘getting to know’ more of you in the future. I think we’ll be great ‘anonimous friends’. :wink:

Blessings.


#8

I will most definitely keep you in my prayers. My marriage was difficult for nearly ten years. We were both hurtful to each other, and to this day, I am ashamed of some of the things I said to him, and he feels likewise.

Prayer changes things. And a good, Catholic counselor. It certainly does sound like your wife is carrying baggage from her first marriage into your union, causing you to withdraw, and creating a vicious circle. Perhaps she needs to discover herself.

Ask the Blessed Virgin to intercede on your behalf to touch her heart. What better model of a wife is there? I’m glad you are going to Mass with your wife, so at least there is a starting point of unity.

May God bless you and protect and enrich your marriage through the intercession of all of our prayers for you.


#9

Of course you don’t have to answer this, but are you and your wife contracepting?

Scott


#10

I’m so sorry, I can’t imagine what your going through, but, I have just said a prayer of thanks for my husband, sometimes I forget how blessed I really am and your post reminded me of that.
Of course you are in my prayers, I don’t know what else I can say except that I’m praying for you, you should not have to be treated like this, I’m so sorry :frowning:


#11

I honestly believe the first year of marriage is the toughest. My husband and I have a wonderful marriage and a dynamite bedroom life, but the first year was very rocky. We were very young and it was a big adjustment.

Tell your wife that the mockery and the comments that hurt you are not acceptable to you or to God’s plan for marriage. She needs to know that manipulating you with mockery and demeaning your manhood will never have a positive affect. Tell her that she needs to figure out exactly why she is saying those things and what she is trying to accomplish. She needs to know that manipulating her husband with mental abuse is not acceptable.

Tell her that you want to work on making Christ the center of your marriage. It sounds as if she is trying to fill that empty place that only Jesus can fill, with sex. Rather than lovemaking being a giving and beautiful expression of love, she is wanting it to fill that empty place only the Lord can fill. When a person expects their spouse to fill that emptiness, in a sense to be God, they will always be disappointed. Marriage is a vocation in which two become one with Christ as the Center. We are meant to love and support our spouses and our goal should always be their spiritual, physical and emotional welfare, to help them get to heaven… not to be perfect and fill the place of God.

Contraception results in a skewed view of marital sexual relations. No matter how you cut it, the reality is that it eventually leads to using your partner for sex. It leads to the subconscious mentality that you must “protect” yourself from your partner and your own children. I’m not saying that you should have a baby. I hope that your marriage can be transformed, but I am saying that the contraception mentality causes a barrier between God and the couple. This may be something to consider.

Your wife’s behaviour is totally unacceptable. Embarassing you in such a painful and demeaning way to get what she wants is indicative of abusive behavior. She needs counselling.


#12

[quote=Scott Waddell]Of course you don’t have to answer this, but are you and your wife contracepting?

Scott
[/quote]

No, we aren’t. She wants to get pregant, which, ironically, is the only reason she ever wants to be intimate (if you call it that).


#13

How long did you know her before you married her? I think she has more problems than in the bedroom. My first hubsand made fun of me in front of everyone about everything he could conjure up. He called me everything from the “Virgin Mary” to “whore” while I was pregnant.He took me to a porn movie and made me sit through it. I closed my eyes and cried all through it. I thought we were going to a “real” movie, but he “surprised” me. I could not satisfy him, yet I kept trying to please him in every way. I made excuses for his behavior to myself and to anyone who questioned his nasty behavior. He was an alcoholic. He had wonderful qualities too. The worst outweighed the bad. His bad behavior started the day after we were married. Does she control everything in your life? My ex took total control of my life even to the point where he didn’t allow me to have coffee with the neighbor and angered when I called any of my relatives. Does your wife have any addictions???

I will put you in my prays. No one has to accept the abuse you are taking. She is beating you up with her unkind words. Try to get her to counseling ASAP!!

Love and peace,

Mom of 5


#14

[quote=Mom of 5]How long did you know her before you married her? I think she has more problems than in the bedroom. Mom of 5
[/quote]

After listening to the rest of the story I definetely think she is trying to get back at her past through you. I am sure it was very painful for her to have an X husband like that. But why she tries to make him look like he was such a great lover is beyond me.
Perhaps she figures if you think you are a rotten lover you won’t look anywhere else as her x did.


#15

Please try to get her to go to counseling. I’m wondering if she’s not depressed (I’m talking major depression, not just the blues). Have there been other mood changes, other issues–you don’t have to tell us, but please think about that. We’ll pray for you and her, pray for her yourself. Does she like and respect your priest? If she’s comfortable with the idea, maybe the two of you can go talk to him about the situation.


#16

[quote=Achilles_Heal]No, we aren’t. She wants to get pregant, which, ironically, is the only reason she ever wants to be intimate (if you call it that).
[/quote]

She might have some trauma regarding sex that you are unaware of, or still have some trauma from her divorce. Something as simple as exposure to pornography in it’s various forms can cause a person to have difficulties with being satisfied. Even just watching “Real Sex” on HBO. An emotionally or physically painful expereince regarding sex can cause baggage that is hard to let go of. So many of my friends in highschool and college had a bad expereince with their “first time” and the regrettng it, but instead of saying “I will wait until marriage from now on” It was more like “If I keep having sex it will get better.”

I’m not saying any of this is true in her case, just trying to give you some examples of possible reasons.

Sometimes women think that if they have a baby that it will make them happy, again like I mentioned before trying to fill that hole no human being can fill, only God. Does she talk about the baby in practical terms, about childrearing, positive discipline, bringing good future adults into the world, talking about the struggles you will encounter, (this would be a positive sign.) or does it seem like she is only thinking “Baby” in only idealistic terms? Does she really want a baby with all the struggles and moments of pain and joy, or is she grasping at anything to make her feel happy?

If you think she might be suffering from serious depression, be patient with her and get her to counseling.\

A family member of mine has been dealing with depression for years. Her biggest upset and guilt was that she knew she was being downright mean to her fiance but couldnt’ stop. She has refused counseling but has been taking an anti- anxiety/ depression medication and it has helped. I wish she would take counseling along with the drugs. She had an idealized picture of havign babies, but since she has been on the meds she has a much more practical approach to what it will be like. Before the medication she was blaming her anger and depression on wanting to be married and have babies, she thought that it would cure everything and she would be suddenly happy. She doesn’ t have children yet and I am hoping that when she does it won’t throw her off.

Your wife needs to come to an understanding that her marriage and husband are too precious to degrade, embarass or treat like a means to an end.


#17

[quote=Achilles_Heal]No, we aren’t. She wants to get pregant, which, ironically, is the only reason she ever wants to be intimate (if you call it that).
[/quote]

If she wants to get pregnant then she is missing many opportunities. I find it difficult that she would say personal things in front of family or friends. That is not right, and you two need to work on that. I don’t know any answers, but this behavior is not condoned in our religion if you are wondering that. I would look for a Marriage Encounter Weekend, for that can be very powerful. Call a Catholic parish or diocese to find one near you. I can’t say enough good about it. It is not a place that you have to disclose personal things in public, but you listen to talks by other married people and then you dialogue privately. I can help any marriage get better. I will also pray for you and your marriage.


#18

First of all, the behavior that you describe is abusive. As a man, this might be a hard pill to swallow, but think of how people would react if you were a woman writing the same thing. It sounds like you need to set some clear, appropriate and respectful boundries. While I don’t wish to play counselor, you should understand that neither you nor she deserves degrading treatment. If you do nothing, than you will be saying “OK” to her treatment of you. Also, you should take a look at your side of the street - what may you be doing to cultivate this type of behavior? There’s a great Al-Anon saying: There are no victims, only volunteers. I think a good counselor can help you through some of this, and I would suggest that you obtain couples couseling ASAP before too much damage is done. God bless!


#19

[quote=Ted CharlotteNC]Ask your wife to sit and pray with you. Ask her to hold your hand as you pray together. Ask her let you pray for her. Ask her to pray for God to bless her, you and your marriage. Ask God to give you joy and peace and to treat each other better than the day before.

Have a date night, every week. Do something she wants to do. Bring her flowers, bring her candy, buy her a little candle. Get her a nice perfume. This is my favorite: Buy her some nice new shoelaces, take the old ones off and put the new ones in for her. Do an extra chore for her that she nnormally does. Give, give give. If you get tired of giving, give some more. Give to her until you die. Give to her like Christ gives to the church.
[/quote]

I need to respectfully disagree with this advise. Based upon what was said …

[quote=Achilles_Heal]I overheard her mother tell her that she shouldn’t be mean like that to me, since I’ve treated her great and don’t deserve it. Her reply was 'he does treat me good, I was just trying to get him to _____." (Translation: Embarrassing him may get him to do what I want.)
[/quote]

… it sounds like Achilles_Heal is already bending over backwards for his wife much more than she is for him and she KNOWS it but still persists with her abusive behavior. Therefore, trying to appease her and pacify her will only condone her actions in her mind and there is a good chance that she will become even more abusive.

The solution is to get mutual respect back into the marriage because from the sound of it, it appears that she does not have as much repect for him as he does for her. Now, as to how to get this mutual respect back into the marriage – I really don’t know because I don’t know enough about her. What might work for one person, might not for another person.

But Achilles_Heal needs to put his foot down and not tolerate this type of behavior – either in a firm show-down or via a mutual agreement type of set-up or some combination of the two or some other approach … depending on what he will think will work with her personaility.


#20

It sounds to me like she was sexually hurt and rejected in her first marriage and she’s punishing you for it!

Even though she makes comments about her first marriage and how wonderful the sex was…think about it…how bizzare is that? That man cheated on her…rejected her and used her. I imagine she doesn’t realize she’s doing it…but maybe you could ask her why she speaks so highly of her sex life with man who treated her so poorly.

Being a woman, I can tell you that for us sex is more emotional than physical. Your wife sounds hostile. She’s been abused sexually and now she’s taking it out on you. The things she says to you, the things she says about her ex, are really low blows and uncalled for.

You both could probably benefit from some counseling. Your wife needs to work out her anger at her ex-husband and stop directing it at you!


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