How do I minister to my husband in this situation?


#1

Let me preface this post by saying that it’s a rather personal, sensitive issue and I’d appreciate posts only offering genuine advice. Also, my husband is not a believer so voicing the opinion that he’s a jerk, or any other such name, will not be in the least informative or helpful. I’m trying my best to be a Christian wife.

That being said, here’s the situation.

A couple weeks ago, in the middle of making love, my husband asked “How do you want me to f*** you?”. It completely caught me off guard and totally turned me off. Afterwards, he asked me if something was wrong and I said “I just didn’t like what you said.” Consequently, my husband has not initiated anything since and continually rejects my attempts to initiate anything.

I’m feeling very sad and rejected and I’m not quite sure what to do about it. My husand very much feels that I’m a prude and a priss and sees my attempt to live a life pleasing to God as a judgement on his immorality. Talking to him about this is out of the question unfortunately because he will, without a doubt, see my attempt to talk to him about it as a personal judgement. Any other suggestions?


#2

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]I’m feeling very sad and rejected and I’m not quite sure what to do about it.
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Important for your husband to know and hear from you.
Note that the emotions you are describing relate to how he is treating you now, not a direct reaction to the words that tumbled out of his mouth in the heat of passion.

[quote=]…My husand very much feels that I’m a prude and a priss and sees my attempt to live a life pleasing to God as a judgement on his immorality…
[/quote]

Did he tell you this–or is it your supposition? I’m not suggesting you’re wrong or don’t know your husband’s mind, but perhaps you could approach him and ask for his side, in his own words, and then work from there. More likely is that he respects you, but feels he can’t live up to the same standards (and perhaps lashes out in frustration on occasion). You obviously respect and love him, or you would not be his wife. I’m guessing his not being Catholic does not prevent him from being a good man in your eyes. He needs to hear that from you as a starting point.

[quote=]…Talking to him about this is out of the question unfortunately…
[/quote]

You’re kidding, right? How can you get naked and intimate with a man but not be able to face him fully clothed and have a conversation with him? Don’t allow him to brush you aside or ignore your questions–you have a right to bring up these issues with him. Find a downtime (not 5 minutes before he needs to leave for work) plant yourself in front of him and insist that you air this issue now. On the other hand, if the statement above is really true, then you should consider getting a professional third party involved–and if he won’t participate, go by yourself–your marriage, and perhaps your self-esteem and ability to get your own needs met within the marriage need help)

[quote=]…because he will, without a doubt, see my attempt to talk to him about it as a personal judgement.
[/quote]

It’s hardly that uncommon to hear of a “talk dirty to me” request in an attempt to change the routine into something a little spicier. That being said, your husband used a very vulgar term that had the effect of turning you off, not on. He needs to know that–as much for his own self-interest as your solidarity as a couple. After all he needs a partner, and it’s better if you’re as engaged and excited as he instead of stone-cold turned off. If you can discuss it, you could find an approach/compromise which has the effect of being stimulating for both of you. He surely can relate to that angle–and you never had to venture into moral judgments.


#3

Thanks for you reply!!

Did he tell you this–or is it your supposition?

Yes, he tells me this. He uses the words “prude” and “priss” and tells me he’s tired of my holier-than-thou attitude. An example of my holier-than-thou attitude would be this:

I was in the family room reading a book while he was watching TV. I looked up to see what he was watching and saw he was changing the channel. When he stopped on an MTV Spring Break type of a thing I moved my eyes from the TV back to my book. He saw that as a judgement on his morality.

Another example…he climbed into bed next to me with the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. I purposely made no reaction but kept reading my book. He said “oh give me a break” taking my non-reaction as a judgement on his morality and called me “holier-than-thou”.

[font=Century Gothic][size=3]You’re kidding, right? How can you get naked and intimate with a man but not be able to face him fully clothed and have a conversation with him?

Not kidding at all. Unless you’ve been looked at with disgust, walked away from, told you’re a priss, a prude and holier-than-thou seen frequent eye-rolling, and been told “I’m so tired of…” countless time then you can’t understand how much easier it is, emotionally, to say nothing.

I’m just trying to love my husband the way Christ wants me to.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile: [/size][/font]


#4

After reading your posts, what I can’t understand is why you’d want to sleep with him at all. He treats you horribly. If my husband talked that way to me, I wouldn’t be attracted to him at all.

With that being said, if you still want to sleep with him, then I’d say wait a couple of more weeks. I hate to say it like this, but he’s a married man and sooner or later he’s going to want to have sex with his wife.

Scout :tiphat:


#5

I’m so sorry. Does he view pornography?


#6

Not to be too forward in offering advice…but do you see a BIG problem with this name-calling and disrespect, entirely aside from the issue on which you originally posted?

It sounds like there is a big disconnect between the two of you–and frankly some of his “interests” make him sound immature and self-absorbed. However, he is undoubtedly picking up on the the disapproval that you feel when he does (dumb) things like climb into bed with the SI swimsuit issue. But instead of trying to ignore something that offends you or accepting his insults silently, can you turn it around and a[size=3]sk him, if he senses something he is doing upsets you, why he does it anyway?! And then… why he reacts by calling you names? He comes off more like a resentful, defensive kid caught doing something he knows is wrong by his mom than an equal, mature marital partner.[/size]

Being a good, Catholic/Christian wife does not mean being a doormat and tolerating bad bahaviour by your spouse. You need to work on finding each other’s comfort zone and/or common ground so there is peace in your household. BUT–before you can ever address the substance of the issues on which you disagree, you need to be able to speak and listen to each other with respect, and name calling should never be an option, even when you disagree.


#7

Hi Scout,

[quote=Scout]After reading your posts, what I can’t understand is why you’d want to sleep with him at all. He treats you horribly. If my husband talked that way to me, I wouldn’t be attracted to him at all.

[/quote]

When my husband and I got married I was a VERY nominal Christian. I’m the one who has changed in this relationship, not my husband. I’m not the person my husband married and he’s, understandabely, not happy with that.

If I wasn’t a Christian (Catholic in particular) I’d probably leave him. As a Christian, however, I know that’s not God’s will. It’s my belief that God reached me first (an easier job as I was the one who at least grew up in a Christian home) and will reach my husband through me. It’s been a long road so far, but I trust that God knew what he was doing when he brought us together.

I know what my husband doesn’t; that it’s not me but rather the holy Spirit convicting his heart of sin. For now, I’m willing to take the blame if it means that he will come to Christ in the future.

My struggle right now is in being a kind, respectful, Christian wife in the face of the current situation, even when I’m not feeling very kind or respectful. I sleep with him because he is my husband and I love him. I use “love” not synonymously with “affection” or “feelings” here, but as in an action; a choice. Christian love is something that we do even if it’s not something that we’re feeling. As a Catholic I believe that sex is not just a thing to do but the total giving of one person to another, even if my husband doesn’t see it that way. It’s my gift to him, even if I don’t think he deserves it, cares about it, or feels that way about it. I love him because he’s a precious, albeit lost, child of God. I try to love him as God does; unconditionally.

If y’all have a prayer list, please add Kevin to it!

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#8

[quote=mary’s kid]I’m so sorry. Does he view pornography?
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I couldn’t say for sure. Not that I’m aware of.


#9

[quote=Island Oak]Not to be too forward in offering advice…but do you see a BIG problem with this name-calling and disrespect, entirely aside from the issue on which you originally posted?

It sounds like there is a big disconnect between the two of you–and frankly some of his “interests” make him sound immature and self-absorbed. However, he is undoubtedly picking up on the the disapproval that you feel when he does (dumb) things like climb into bed with the SI swimsuit issue. But instead of trying to ignore something that offends you or accepting his insults silently, can you turn it around and a[size=3]sk him, if he senses something he is doing upsets you, why he does it anyway?! And then… why he reacts by calling you names? He comes off more like a resentful, defensive kid caught doing something he knows is wrong[/size] by his mom than an equal, mature marital partner.

Being a good, Catholic/Christian wife does not mean being a doormat and tolerating bad bahaviour by your spouse. You need to work on finding each other’s comfort zone and/or common ground so there is peace in your household. BUT–before you can ever address the substance of the issues on which you disagree, you need to be able to speak and listen to each other with respect, and name calling should never be an option, even when you disagree.

[/quote]

Yes, of course I see a big problem with it. Asking him about his doing things even when he knows it makes me uncomfortable is an invitation to be ignored for a few days, but it’s a wording I haven’t used before and will pray about trying it.

Thanks for your advice!

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#10

My two pennies (having been a not-very-practicing Christian myself when we married, I converted and agnostic DH followed many years later, I may be able to understand where you are)…

There was a time when I came across as a bit holier-than-thou to DH. We ended up separating - - thank God some wise people gave me sage advice.

As Christians, the Scripture tells us to be salt of the earth and a light on a hill, that people are to know we are Christians by our love. We are supposed to be grand advertising for the joy that comes from Christ. As Catholics, we should shine and be salty, people should want to be around us. Becoming Catholics, we should become better wives. Our husbands should go to work and say “wow, Bob, you should find a Catholic wife – since my wife became Catholic, she is more amazing than ever!”

The question I had to ask myself, if I looked at me from my husband’s eyes – was I being a good advertisement for the joy of our Faith? Nope, I was not. I had to turn that around.

That is my best advice, be the best version of you.

You will never convert your husband. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. Your job is to be the best advertisement for the Faith you can be. Make him wonder what has made you so joyful, and how he can find that joy.

So, rebuild with him. Pray for him. Offer every Mass for him… Be sure that when you come back from Mass – you let him see what a great effect Mass has on you. Keep praying.


#11

Thanks for your kind words.

I’ve been praying for him (daily) and offering Mass for him (weekly) for over 10 years now. I totally plan to continue. God has told me in no uncertain terms that I can’t do it for my husband. I know it’s in God’s hands, where it should be.

You hit at the heart of my question. I’m trying to be the best Christian wife I can be…trying to live my life joyfully and faithfully without comprimising my faith. That’s what I’m struggling with right now.

Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t have other Christian examples in his life. When he decided to get a vasectomy against my will he pointed out that his doctor was Catholic and had no problem with vasectomies so obviously it was my own holier than thou problem. The most “devout” and open Christian in his office gets wasted at parties so my dislike of drunkeness is my own holier than thou problem. I feel like I’m fighting the devil alone, although in reality I know Jesus is beside me every step of the way.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:

[quote=kage_ar]My two pennies (having been a not-very-practicing Christian myself when we married, I converted and agnostic DH followed many years later, I may be able to understand where you are)…

There was a time when I came across as a bit holier-than-thou to DH. We ended up separating - - thank God some wise people gave me sage advice.

As Christians, the Scripture tells us to be salt of the earth and a light on a hill, that people are to know we are Christians by our love. We are supposed to be grand advertising for the joy that comes from Christ. As Catholics, we should shine and be salty, people should want to be around us. Becoming Catholics, we should become better wives. Our husbands should go to work and say “wow, Bob, you should find a Catholic wife – since my wife became Catholic, she is more amazing than ever!”

The question I had to ask myself, if I looked at me from my husband’s eyes – was I being a good advertisement for the joy of our Faith? Nope, I was not. I had to turn that around.

That is my best advice, be the best version of you.

You will never convert your husband. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. Your job is to be the best advertisement for the Faith you can be. Make him wonder what has made you so joyful, and how he can find that joy.

So, rebuild with him. Pray for him. Offer every Mass for him… Be sure that when you come back from Mass – you let him see what a great effect Mass has on you. Keep praying.
[/quote]


#12

Just to follow up, DH and I were separated for a short time, he came back before he came into the Church.

Remember, not every Christian is at the same place. My DH was an athiest turned agnostic later, now he teaches CCD :slight_smile: His dad was an avowed athiest, today - my FIL sings in the Church chior. God can change people.

Try to find some FUN Christian couples/families to hang around with - that might lead him to a Catholic men’s group (some KofC groups have poker night with dollar beer or football games on the big screen)?

Keep praying, don’t critizize (that is HARD to do, I know). You might give Matthew Kelly’s “The 7 levels of intimacy” a read…


#13

I don’t criticize…that’s something I haven’t done in years. But as you can see he reads my non-reactions to situations as criticism anyway.

[quote=kage_ar]Just to follow up, DH and I were separated for a short time, he came back before he came into the Church.

Remember, not every Christian is at the same place. My DH was an athiest turned agnostic later, now he teaches CCD :slight_smile: His dad was an avowed athiest, today - my FIL sings in the Church chior. God can change people.

Try to find some FUN Christian couples/families to hang around with - that might lead him to a Catholic men’s group (some KofC groups have poker night with dollar beer or football games on the big screen)?

Keep praying, don’t critizize (that is HARD to do, I know). You might give Matthew Kelly’s “The 7 levels of intimacy” a read…
[/quote]


#14

Nancy: I have no new advice for you. I simply want to commend you on an extremely Catholic, devout, and humble attitude toward the sacrament of marriage and your husband. From what you’ve written, you are doing God proud!


#15

This is a hard one to comment on, without being a fly-on-the-wall to see how you two truly relate to each other. Can I offer you something to consider? And keep in mind that I may be way off-track, but I think you should consider this anyway.

OK. He doesn’t get where you’re coming from. I’m a former devout-agnostic myself, and I used to think that Christians were a boring bunch of killjoys. And yes, many are. Ever hear that joke about why methodists don’t like sex…because it may lead to dancing? I know we’re Catholics, but to non-Christians we’re all the same. We’re the dull people who say “Thou shalt not!” about everything fun.

What I suggest is that maybe you need to bite your tongue a little? And remember that it’s your OWN spiritual journey that’s your responsibility, and not his. I shuddered a bit when I saw your choice of words of “how do I MINISTER to my husband”. Minister? OUCH! Jesus sat down and ate with the Jewish versions of the scum of the earth. I’m sure there was plenty of coarse language, drunkedness, inappropriate topics of discussion and much flatulence. And I bet He wasn’t tut-tutting every little thing. Jesus had a wonderful way of speaking directly to the hearts of people, knowing that there was something good inside even the worst of sinners. Do you think you’re reaching your husband in this way? I suspect not.

Why not let a few things go? What did he MEAN by “how do you want me to f*** you?” YOU heard the naughty word. Know what I heard? A husband who wanted to make you happy! He didn’t express it in the most gentile of ways, but his intentions were there. Unless you can SEE the goodness in him, how will you ever bring it out? Not by shaming and embarrasing him, and hoping he feels guilty enough to change his ways. Your’e his wife! If you can’t see the good in him, who else’s job is it? When the rest of the world condemns him, it should be you who stands up for him.


#16

Thank you! :slight_smile:

[quote=TridentineFan]Nancy: I have no new advice for you. I simply want to commend you on an extremely Catholic, devout, and humble attitude toward the sacrament of marriage and your husband. From what you’ve written, you are doing God proud!
[/quote]


#17

Hi Jeff!

I learned this years ago. I don’t say anything at all anymore. Before it was what I said and how I said it that was holier than thou. Now that I’ve learned (through a lot of prayer) how to bite my tongue it’s my non-reactions that make him feel judged.

I shuddered a bit when I saw your choice of words of “how do I MINISTER to my husband”. Minister? OUCH!

I’m not clear on why this would be an “ouch”. :confused: I’m not wanting to be A minister but rather serve my husand right where he is in the best way I can as a Christian wife without comprimising my faith. I’m trying to love him as Jesus would.

Jesus sat down and ate with the Jewish versions of the scum of the earth. I’m sure there was plenty of coarse language, drunkedness, inappropriate topics of discussion and much flatulence. And I bet He wasn’t tut-tutting every little thing. Jesus had a wonderful way of speaking directly to the hearts of people, knowing that there was something good inside even the worst of sinners. Do you think you’re reaching your husband in this way? I suspect not.

Actually, I do. Again, it’s taken years to get to the point of no reaction, but that’s really where I am.

Why not let a few things go? What did he MEAN by “how do you want me to f*** you?” YOU heard the naughty word. Know what I heard? A husband who wanted to make you happy! He didn’t express it in the most gentile of ways, but his intentions were there. Unless you can SEE the goodness in him, how will you ever bring it out? Not by shaming and embarrasing him, and hoping he feels guilty enough to change his ways. Your’e his wife! If you can’t see the good in him, who else’s job is it? When the rest of the world condemns him, it should be you who stands up for him.

I didn’t offer the information about my feelings in his choice of words, he asked. It was either be honest and tell him something he didn’t want to hear or lie. And what I said I said is what I really said, nothing more, no other reaction. He asked what was wrong, I said “I didn’t like what you said”. Maybe your right though, I maybe should have said anything at all.

These are the sorts of things I’m trying to figure out.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#18

Nancy, sometimes we can speak very loudly and never use words. Your body language may be a problem.

When you said “how can I minister to my husband”…it may be seen as condescending…I know you didn’t mean it that way, but I think JeffAustralia picked up on a negative there. And your husband my feel like you seem superior to him. Your silence can be misunderstood as well.

Saying the ‘f’ word in the middle of lovemaking is a complete turnoff to most, if not all, women. Having said that, I don’t think your husband meant to offend you. And you said “I just didn’t like what you said”…I think you left him feeling very low, like he doesn’t know how to make love to his wife. Can you tell him you are sorry about the way that came out? And tell him that word caught you off guard and you didn’t mean in any way to hurt him or offend him. And let him know he is very attractive to you. And maybe make him some of his favorite food…

This is hard stuff…I understand…marriage is where we learn to die to ourselves, isn’t it? I’m still learning, too.


#19

There’s a chance that if you don’t change your behavior, he won’t change his. If you go along like everything is OK, why should he do any different? Being a Christian wife does not mean allowing someone to mistreat you. God loves you too much to watch someone treat you that way.

Pick one area that you feel strongly about and change your behavior. If he makes rude comments in bed, tell him you’re no longer in the mood. You might also try to tell him what would help you be in the mood. “I get turned off when you say xyz, but when you say abc, I really like it.”

If the name calling is a big issue, start there. “I feel like a stupid kid when you call me those names. Do you want me to feel like a little kid around you?”

It’s my opinion the person who is unhappy with the current situation is the one who needs to start making changes.
—KCT


#20

I did change my behavior. Asking him to stop did nothing but make him mad so now I try not to negatively react to anything.

I know it’s hard for all of you to comment when you really aren’t familiar with my situation. I do appreciate everyone’s help!

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:

[quote=KCT]There’s a chance that if you don’t change your behavior, he won’t change his. If you go along like everything is OK, why should he do any different? Being a Christian wife does not mean allowing someone to mistreat you. God loves you too much to watch someone treat you that way.

Pick one area that you feel strongly about and change your behavior. If he makes rude comments in bed, tell him you’re no longer in the mood. You might also try to tell him what would help you be in the mood. “I get turned off when you say xyz, but when you say abc, I really like it.”

If the name calling is a big issue, start there. “I feel like a stupid kid when you call me those names. Do you want me to feel like a little kid around you?”

It’s my opinion the person who is unhappy with the current situation is the one who needs to start making changes.
—KCT
[/quote]


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