Get thee to a Nunnary

Just curious, Chosen…how did you meet your wife? How long have you been married to each other?

*In the meantime while you answer my first post…doesn’t sound like the teens were helping out much? Let’s see…you have two 13 yr olds and a 15 and 16 yr old? Yet, you’re frantically cooking and cleaning? You shouldn’t have been frantic and harried like this…the older ones should have pitched in and helped…but, maybe you see now how much work your wife does on her own. ;)This reminds me of wife swap…that show. :o

I look froward to your replies…and I’ll be praying for you both.

One more question…so was that comment she made about feeling punished, what did that mean? She wants to be a nun? Or she felt punished having to come home and clean? If it’s the latter, again, why weren’t the teens helping keep things together with you?*

I think she was feeling punished for daring to take a day for herself. Face it, how often do we moms really do that? And when it crashes into chaos like that… how likely will she be to be able to be grateful for the day she had? She’ll feel like she should never have done it. And should never do it again. That can lead to feeling trapped and hopeless. All moms need some respite time… more so the mother of a special needs child.

I agree with you that it seems these teens did not help out much. They couldn’t remember to turn on the oven? They couldn’t help corral young kids and clean the house? The 16 year old couldn’t run Dad’s errands for him, so he could concentrate on home? You’re right about that. But if these teens are usually unreliable or not very helpful, then he shouldn’t have depended on them to turn on the oven. Because if they are always like this, he knew that already. He knew it was a big risk. If they usually are helpful, well, we all have lapses. :shrug:

Show me where I said my trip was only acceptable because of those things. If I did not say it, I expect an apology for misquoting me.

What I said was that the joy and refreshment that came from the trip carried over when there was a plesant home waiting, it was dashed when I came home to a big pile of mess.

Points for trying.

Others say that making dinner was selfish and I should have spent the time sweeping crumbs - yes that is what they were, crumbs. Anything bigger and the babies would have choked to death.

Heh. Heh. I like that.

And as for my neice, as I said it was this weekend or a month between getting out of the institution she is in. Perhaps that was selfish - I hate to disappoint her, I have a lot of guilt over her father (my brother) - but I felt it was what she needed.

You did good by her. Don’t feel bad.

I see a chaotic house full of love and service for others. Maybe* very* chaotic.

Ladies, at a certain point, men are not satisfied with barring the door when you leave, not doing anything, just hunkering down until you get back, and calling that success. We want to continue living our lives as the father of the family, and to take care of everyone. So no pot shots at doing too much. Remember the servants who were given talents when the master went away? The guy who did nothing and buried his little treasure was the one who got in trouble where the ones who participated in life (and business) did the right thing.

I give Chosen credit for living large and serving others. How can that be wrong, even if it is a little chaotic and messy?

When it’s not done in a spirit of service, but of martyrdom, as in, “Look at ALL I did and she doesn’t appreciate it!” When a man is compromising his ability to put his family’s needs first by being unable to say no to being everyone else’s savior…

I don’t agree with you, and that’s why I posted.

Chosen was saying that while he was “Parent in Command” during the time his wife was away, he took charge. He arranged things the way that he wanted to. He did things the way he did them, including taking care of a second Downs child and his niece. Not the way his wife would, but the way he did.

My wife would have greeted the scene with bemusement and had a little laugh on my account. And frankly, I’ve come home from business trips to much worse. And I know criticism is not the correct response from the returning spouse. (I’ll never do THAT again!:blush:)

I think that both the OP and his wife sound like selfish children who want their own way and are willing to hurt the other spouse to get their own way. They certainly have some big burdens with some special-needs family members, but they’re allowing these burdens to become an excuse to battle each other and fight for prominence. That needs to stop.

Before I go on, I’ve been married for 30 years, and we’re still wildly in love. So I have a bit of experience.

OP, a WISE husband will encourage his wife to get totally away from the family once or twice a year and do what he can to facilitate it WITHOUT complaining or venting. A WISE husband will manage time well and not try to take on too much, even if he enjoys the activities. Even the things we enjoy become burdens when we try to do too much.

OP’s wife, a WISE wife will enjoy her retreat times (long and short) away from her family, but will come home refreshed and ready to dive right back into family and married life WITHOUT resentment, and she will be full of love and compliments for her darling husband who took on the care and feeding of the family in her absence. A retreat is enjoyable, but it is good to learn how to gradually “come down from the mountaintop” so that you don’t crash and burn when you land back in “the valley” again.

I recommend that husbands and wives plan “mini-retreat” experiences during each day, so that they don’t feel like their household and family is “the valley.” Examples of “mini-retreats” would be (1) a cup of coffee (or whatever) and reading the paper or a daily Devotional guide/prayer book (2) a walk, even a short one around the house (3) reading a book while you’re on the potty (4) a good morning and good evening kiss…etc. Get the idea?

God bless you for all the work you did so your wife could go on a retreat with her friend. Taking care of your own children, plus your wife’s friend’s special needs child and your neice doesn’t sound easy.

A couple thoughts: is your wife a stay-at-home-mom? While you certainly took on alot, especially with taking the friends child and visiting your neice, if the rest of what you did is similar to what your wife does every day, she may not recognize how hard it was for you. I’m a SAHM with children ranging in utero to teens. I get in my routine and I know how to manage

Also, did you see the house from 3-7? I don’t know if I understand your post correctly, but did your teens watch a toddler or two while you took some children to Mass and dropped off your neice, not returning home until 7? If so, that might explain how they forgot to turn on the oven, and maybe the house was messier than you realize. Toddlers can destroy faster than most anyone can clean. If you weren’t home to see what the house looked like when your wife came home, it may have been worse than you realize.

Lastly, her reluctance to go on another retreat may be related to her own feelings of guilt for leaving you to care for everyone while she went away. “Feeling like she’s being punished?” Does she take great pride in caring for her home and family? Does she think if things are not done to her standard when she’s gone that she’s failed at her job as a wife and mother for leaving in the first place? Might she possibly feel guilty and selfish for having left her family to take this retreat, especially if her conversion to Catholicism caused problems for your marriage in the past?

Anyway, nice job in taking care of the kids this weekend while giving your wife a chance to go on a retreat.

The last response is a good one.
But I’d also point out that a retreat isn’t just “time off”, which we all need from time to time, but a spiritual necessity which helps us further our life with God. Since those of us who are housewives do tend to become very “Martha”, focused on our house and the meals, it is tremendously helpful to be “Mary” for a little while. It may be that the OP doesn’t really see how vital this is to Catholics; this circumstance is not about her going off on her own and having fun!

Don’t be ridiculous. All the other people were his family–except for the one child. And sometimes having two together (even down’s syndrome) makes things easier not harder.

I do understand the mountaintop experience that Chosen’s wife had. But I also believe that she needed to understand his commitments–which she had to know about before he left–and not be so ungracious.

Thanks for all the responses. I appreciate all of them – even the critical ones - except for the two or three snarky ones; water off a duck’s back, that one.

So, to answer some of the questions posed. We’ve been married 27 years, we have ten children – four grown. One married daughter who has given us a granddaughter.

I did leave at 3, dropped off the two boys for mass, and came home from 4 until about 5:30 when I took my niece back to the home for wayward girls. My wife got home at 6:30 and started helping our guest find his clothes and glasses. By the time I got home at 6:45 all that was left was the floor and furniture.

Also, there was no disaster. When I left at 5:30 all dishes were done, the floors had been vacuumed and all of the girl’s bedding had been changed and washed (we have poo-artists, fun stage). My teenage boys did help with the babies some during the day, but Saturday is also their day off. I allowed them to play computer games instead of making them work all day. I did ask them to do laundry (they did some, not enough – we discussed that later), and turn on the oven.

The extent of the “damage” was a kitchen floor with dirt from someone’s tennis shoes and lots of furniture moved in one bedroom and our playroom/basement.

I can tell you that 90% of you would have loved the state of our home. My wife, bless her soul, has a very, very, very strong clean streak. Think about the state of your house if your new mother-in-law was coming over to your home for the first time along with your husband’s high school sweetheart and his childhood priest.

That’s the state of our home on most days. Yes, it is a lot of work on her part. She does work hard; we all know that and pitch in to keep things the way she likes it. No, it is not the state I would have my house if I was a single man, but we’ve been married a long time, her standards are not new to me. I knew what she’d be looking for and I knew things were not as good as she’d like. I also knew that there wasn’t a darn thing I could do about it and we’d be working in the evening to get things back to normal.

Look, this isn’t some huge issue. We did not even argue about it. I was hurt and felt dismissed and disrespected. I was disappointed in her behavior, yes to some extent I expected better coming back from a religious retreat. Perhaps I expected too much as well, shrug it would not be the first time. In spite of what some of the ladies here think, I’m not a perfect husband.

I just wanted to vent and get the last of it out of my system. I did expect some flack, after all, I am a man posting here and that usually comes with a little extra pain. I’m also not Catholic, again, a few people tend to be tougher on we heretics. OK, that was in jest for the angry crowd, not serious.

I do agree with Bella, the kind woman who jumps to my defense when I get snarled upon, a woman posting this would have a far different response.

:eek:you sound as if you had a rough weekend! All i can say is you tried your best for everyone around you. Things came out of no where and hit you right in the face. from kids not acting right, and every thing else you must have did your best. i would show your wife this thread. things some times get out of control, no matter what we do.
sounds as if you both need to get away by yourselves for a weekend.
May God Bless

I agree that I hope you and your wife are able to find time for just the two of you sometimes - however, I know with such a big family, that is probably next to impossible. I’m sure your large family is at times very stressful - but what a beautiful blessing and awesome example. Thank you to you and your wife for all of your hard work and dedication to family. And congratulations again on the adoption of your new baby girl. If only everyone were as open to life as you all.


I remember you from the other thread.

I would like to remind people the CAF is used by a lot of people to vent. That is what he was doing. Not saying his wife is horrible person and that he doesn’t love her just that he was frustrated with her at the moment. Good gracious we all do this so lets get off the high horse of calling him a horrible husband or telling him what things he shouldn’t have done for the weekend. This is not big brother so we aren’t watching him all the time so we weren’t there to see everything that happened. I think are lives our busy enough that we shouldn’t/don’t have time to live someone elses!

I have to commend you for trying to take on so much responsiblity for the weekend. I believe you were acting like a true spouse because you weren’t sacrficing your weekend to get acclaim from anyone but you were doing what you normally do. Which is take care of others.Taking in a special needs child on top of your own and then your niece is a mighty chore. I applaud you for your effort in trying. From your post it seems that you weren’t trying to win a pissing contest on who is the better spouse. You were just a little peeved that your actions weren’t appericated at all and instead it was all thrown in your face as being completely bad. That has got to hurt. Sometimes people don’t look at the little things that people do and see the acts of love behind them. From this thread and your last thread i can see that you have a lot of pain from her converision and it is still effecting your marriage. I can only say that just keep praying and give your best effort. God has a reason/plan for everything. You will be in my daily marriage prayers.

I don’t really have a suggest except to go to your wife. Hug her and say i love you and i am sorry that the weekend didn’t end as you had hoped. And don’t stop hugging her.

*I agree beckers…I ‘vented’ last week about a spat my dh and I had…and I was grateful to be able to do so, and receive heartwarming answers. I’m sorry OP if we were less than gracious…I still stand by my post however that your kids should have helped out so you weren’t so frantic while your wife was away! :stuck_out_tongue: It is nice that your wife was able to take the retreat…I hope things are going okay now, and you’ve worked things out…God bless. *

I agree with the sons helping out but some times people forget things. I bet teenage boys are good at that since my BF seems to forget things all the time and he is in his late 30’s. So maybe its a man thing??? J/k i know with school i tend to forget things unless its fresh on my mind hence why i have to write everything down. I think the dinner was just one thing on top of the other and taking outside really wouldn’t have been that big a deal. Maybe the OP could have just told his wife to go enjoy herself while he finished getting the house in order but he did say she is clean freak so maybe he knows her well enough to know that it wouldn’t have helped??? Should’ve could’ve would’ve but that is all in the past. They can only move foward.

I have thought about venting on here a few times but get held back because i think …what would people respond to…I mean how would i would respond if i saw the post i was writing. That normally snaps me out of my venting phase. Of course my main vents are stupid drivers, corporate america and law school. So not a whole lot to really discuss. :smiley:

my very simple words…way to go Chosen! :thumbsup:

I have read many, many saints’ books and I can assure there are enough that were ornery…these are saints declared by the church! Igantius of loyola, Padre pio, John Bosco, etc etc etc

Even mother Theresa!:eek:

God bless you Chosen, your wife and your children. You are an exceptional husband…certainly after reading so many horror stories out there.

You are a saint in the making. Your wife having ocd, well, I know quite a few people like that!:wink:

*haha yes, if there is one thing I hear out of my 16 yr old’s mouth…A LOT is…"I forgot.’’ I said, did you forget to text your friends? Forget to talk to your friends online? :rolleyes: Hi dad will say…’‘How can you forget something we told you to do 10 minutes ago?’’:smiley: My son, will shrug, and say…I dunno, I just forgot, alright? So, yes…you could be right.

Anywho…I still think it’s pretty great that the OP did all of this…I think that sometimes, marriages just have bumps…and this could be one of their times. *

So, OP, here’s the guidelines for next trip apparently:

Don’t create circumstances. This is all your fault. :thumbsup:
You enjoy making food? Too bad, hot pockets for everyone. :thumbsup:
Crumbs?! Why, you should have cleaned those up before they got there. :thumbsup:
Your brother sexually abused your niece and she’s a wreck and you feel guilty but you’re the only thing she has and can only see her on certain weekends; so? “See her another week (don’t mind how she feels).” :thumbsup:
(Breaks from Sarcasm)
It says we arranged for the two boys w/ DS to stay. She had knowledge of this; she helped arrange it for that matter.
She didn’t show the slightest appreciation, what does that say? I have my own demons; impatience is one of 'em, but I can guarantee that she’d never have another free weekend unless everything is taken care of in advance and you have just as little to do as she does. I’d bet my home that she’d act like that if you had been on the retreat and left her to deal with it.

OP: “I think I’d go again.”
WIFE: “Maybe you can go in 20 years when I don’t have to worry about taking care of the house by myself.”

Now that I’ve had a little venting from reading your situation, let’s see what your left with. Charity. Don’t say you did anything wrong, because you didn’t, but let her do her little charade until she cools off and then talk it out. You have my prayers.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit