Marital Healing - Offering Masses


#1

I am wondering what others have experienced. Here is the scenario. I have a distressed marriage with my wife.

Many marital hurts.
Previous family or origin issues.
Minimal positive communication.
Unwillingess to acknowlege mutual hurts or seek healing.

I believe that only thru God and the supernatural can true healing occur. I have been fasting, fervently praying and frequenting confession. Asking for intercession by Virgin Mary & St. Joseph. Learning how to offer up my hurts and forgive. I have had a couple of Masses said for my wife and prayed with others for healing of our marriage. I have also done a lot of soul searching and become much more honest with God and trusting in God.

Even with all this, I fully acknowlege my failures and sinful nature and trust God to give me the strength to love and strength to forgive. I certainly have learned that I cannot do much on my own.

During this time, things in my marriage have heated up even more. I see some indications of good things but the wounds are seeming to open more.

Do others have experience with the painful process of healing of deep resentments and hurst for a spouse and within a marriage? Is it typical for things to seem to get worse during the process?

I know we are dealing with human will here. Grace and love are offered by God but must be accepted for true conversion & healing. I guess I am looking for words of encouragement and reason to hope that things will improve.


#2

Are you in counseling? Sometimes counseling brings things to the surface which for a very long time have been buried deep within us. We may think it’s better to keep things buried, but that just means the wound is very deep but still unhealed. It is better to bring those hurts to the surface, break them open and let all the infection out.

If you’re not in counseling, I suggest you go. Guidance during what you are speaking of seems it would be very necessary.

The only other suggestion or perhaps comment I have is that love is like a warm fire and can melt even the coldest heart. Remember if she has grown cold to you that it wasn’t arbitrary and that there are legitimate hurts and complaints on both your parts. But someone has to choose to stop the cycle. Someone has to decide that loving their spouse as they vowed before God is more important than nursing the hurts and resentments. Perhaps if you could love your wife with patience, understanding and consistancy–she might start believing in the authenticity of your desire to restore the marriage and love her as Christ loves His Church. Start with the small things, the little considerations that make us feel so loved and cared for. When you see an opportunity to serve her, even if your heart is not so moved to it, do it anyway. Soon it will become habit, as virtue is habit, just as vice happens to be. The joy in serving her will eventually be enough to you, whether or not she appreciates or acknowledges your efforts. But at least you will know you are doing your part, and at some point she might believe it enough to trust you again.


#3

[quote=C S P B]I am wondering what others have experienced. Here is the scenario. I have a distressed marriage with my wife.

Many marital hurts.
Previous family or origin issues.
Minimal positive communication.
Unwillingess to acknowlege mutual hurts or seek healing.

I believe that only thru God and the supernatural can true healing occur. I have been fasting, fervently praying and frequenting confession. Asking for intercession by Virgin Mary & St. Joseph. Learning how to offer up my hurts and forgive. I have had a couple of Masses said for my wife and prayed with others for healing of our marriage. I have also done a lot of soul searching and become much more honest with God and trusting in God.

Even with all this, I fully acknowlege my failures and sinful nature and trust God to give me the strength to love and strength to forgive. I certainly have learned that I cannot do much on my own.

During this time, things in my marriage have heated up even more. I see some indications of good things but the wounds are seeming to open more.

Do others have experience with the painful process of healing of deep resentments and hurst for a spouse and within a marriage? Is it typical for things to seem to get worse during the process?

I know we are dealing with human will here. Grace and love are offered by God but must be accepted for true conversion & healing. I guess I am looking for words of encouragement and reason to hope that things will improve.
[/quote]

Oh C S P B - Let me tell you there IS hope! There is always hope in the Lord - but also from personal experience, which is what you are looking for here - I can tell you that God is STILL in the miracle business! :thumbsup: I am living proof!

I/we have been where you are at. Not all that long ago.
Living nearly as just roomates. Not much communicaton, let alone intimacy -which was nearly non-existent. Undercurrents of resentment toward each other. Just not happy.

And then - after twenty plus years, seemingly out of the blue, a spark was planted in my heart. A healing was beginning to take place that only God in his majesty can ignite.
And that healing grew. And grew. Until the chains that bound me (from childhood), that caused me to have skewed views of marriage, sex, my husband and many other things I’ve yet to comprehend - simply broke apart and fell to the ground! Or into HELL where they belong! :yup:
I hardly knew what hit me - let alone my poor husband who had resigned himself to a life of crumbs of love and affection from me. :frowning: How different it is now! Praise God! :amen:

What prompted this you probably ask?
Prayer.
And faith. And hope.
I’m not talking continual novenas, rosaries, Masses - although in hindsight that would have been a very GOOD thing!
But simple prayer.
God DOES hear us. And he wants our joy more than we do.
Scripture tells us that ANYTHING we ask “in Jesus’ name” that is in accordance with God’s Will - He will grant.
Claim it.
Have faith.
It might not be tomorrow - or this year.
But it WILL happen.
And you will look at your wife and she at you again with the starry eyes of your early ‘in love’ days!
I am living proof and believe that God blessed me/us with this incredible undeserving gift - to share hope with others. Like you.
God Bless you my friend and I will pray for you and your dear wife.
:blessyou:


#4

We have started counselling. Going separately to the same counselor.

The advice given is good and that is what I am trying to do. I have learned to love regardless and recognize that the animosity directed at me may not have been entirely caused by me. That helps me to maintain my self-worth and offer it up to God. Certainly I sometimes act badly in the heat of the moment, but with God’s help am doing better. None of this is recognized, but lack of recognition does not change my responsibility to act lovingly.

I do get angry but anger in itself is not a sin. It is what a person does with the anger that can be sinful.

I cannot reach my wife thru conversation or kindness. I never measure up in her eyes. Nice things I do are “to be expected” so do not need to be acknowledged or appreciated. Things not done are evidence of my neglect, abuse, selfishness and so forth.

Therefore, I have decided (thru much prayer and seeking God) that I must lead and help to heal her thru prayer, sacrifice and trust in God. As I have deepened my faith and better become a spiritual warrior and intercessor on her behalf (without trying to dictate or control), things have really heated up. Communication has deteriorated even more.

I am constantly evaluating my course of action because there is so much suffering on both our parts. Still I can not find a better course of action but prayer sacrifice, intercession, and trust in God.

It is really hard to discern how to be a “real man”, a servant-leader, a compassionate-protector and avoid being either a weak man or a tyrant.

These terms are seemingly contradictory, yet I believe that finding the balance is what men are called to achieve.


#5

[quote=C S P B]We have started counselling. Going separately to the same counselor.

The advice given is good and that is what I am trying to do. I have learned to love regardless and recognize that the animosity directed at me may not have been entirely caused by me. That helps me to maintain my self-worth and offer it up to God. Certainly I sometimes act badly in the heat of the moment, but with God’s help am doing better. None of this is recognized, but lack of recognition does not change my responsibility to act lovingly.

I do get angry but anger in itself is not a sin. It is what a person does with the anger that can be sinful.

I cannot reach my wife thru conversation or kindness. I never measure up in her eyes. Nice things I do are “to be expected” so do not need to be acknowledged or appreciated. Things not done are evidence of my neglect, abuse, selfishness and so forth.

Therefore, I have decided (thru much prayer and seeking God) that I must lead and help to heal her thru prayer, sacrifice and trust in God. As I have deepened my faith and better become a spiritual warrior and intercessor on her behalf (without trying to dictate or control), things have really heated up. Communication has deteriorated even more.

I am constantly evaluating my course of action because there is so much suffering on both our parts. Still I can not find a better course of action but prayer sacrifice, intercession, and trust in God.

It is really hard to discern how to be a “real man”, a servant-leader, a compassionate-protector and avoid being either a weak man or a tyrant.

These terms are seemingly contradictory, yet I believe that finding the balance is what men are called to achieve.
[/quote]

My heart goes out to you.
You are doing all the right things.
It seems to me your wife has alot of built-up resentment in her heart and mind toward you and each attempt and loving action you make is simply an opportunity for her to “punish” you and minimize your efforts as insignificant.
Of course this hurts.
But - do NOT give up. God will hear your prayers and answer them.

One thing I suggest you pray for specifically.
Ask God to place in her heart and mind those feelings of old that she had for you that made her fall in love with you. :love:
He CAN re-ignite those deep buried feelings.
For her and for you.
Along with this specific prayer, ask God to break down those walls and chains of resentment and hurt that have bound each of you and prevented that love to flourish.
St. Michael the Archangel is a great one to ask for intercession.
As well as St. Rita and of course the Blessed Mother.

As hard as it is to remain faithful (spiritually) and loving toward someone who rebuffs you - she is not unaware of your efforts and they WILL reap the benefit at some point. :thumbsup:

A great book that has helped many women in the marriages and how they view and treat (mis-treat) their husbands, is Dr. Laura’s book called, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands."
It is a gem and I would recommend you consider purchasing this for her and leave a copy lying around or just hand it to her in love (after you’ve read it yourself) and tell her that perhaps this book will help her see how you are feeling.

God Bless you both and you are in my prayers.


#6

Yes, that book is good and I did give her a copy of the audiobook on CDs. I think she basically believes that she was that type of woman but I have messed up all the good things that were present in her. It has been completely unproductive (and counterproductive) to give her things like that. It gives her reason to think that I am trying to shift the blame all on her. She resents it and discounts everything in those resources. She consequently does the opposite because she will not be blamed or controlled.

Also all the emphasis on the sexual satisfaction of a husband just does not compute and if it there is any truth to it, her perceptions of past use and misuse cloud everything. In many ways I think this is a deep “father wound”. My actions are cast in that light and my failings bring to mind the feeling that a man cannot be trusted to love and protect her.


#7

[quote=C S P B]Yes, that book is good and I did give her a copy of the audiobook on CDs. I think she basically believes that she was that type of woman but I have messed up all the good things that were present in her. It has been completely unproductive (and counterproductive) to give her things like that. It gives her reason to think that I am trying to shift the blame all on her. She resents it and discounts everything in those resources. She consequently does the opposite because she will not be blamed or controlled.

Also all the emphasis on the sexual satisfaction of a husband just does not compute and if it there is any truth to it, her perceptions of past use and misuse cloud everything. In many ways I think this is a deep “father wound”. My actions are cast in that light and my failings bring to mind the feeling that a man cannot be trusted to love and protect her.
[/quote]

I think you might be on to something when you say the root of her problem may be a deep "father wound."
She may be misplacing her anger at her father onto you.
Without even realizing it. :frowning:

Have you - or has she - read Theology of the Body?
Or Christopher West’s excellent book "Good News About Sex & Marriage?"
If not, I highly recommend them. :yup:
The key to the heart of marriage is revealed.
God’s true design and plan for it.
A far cry from the world’s secular notion of marriage and "love."
Love is a decision - not a “feeling.”


#8

I have studied quite a bit of ToB. I have shared a bit of it with her but she claims she knows all that stuff from growing up Catholic. She says it contains nothing new and if I actually practiced it, then our problems would be over.

She is right that there is nothing new. In reality the ToB resonates so strongly with natural law and God’s plan, which is written on our hearts, that the whole ToB can seem obvious and not revolutionary. Actually studying the ToB really helped me understand the true meaning of marriage (and the Eucharist as well). ToB allowed me to heal some of my twisted views and has given me the ability to love thru this difficult time. ToB gives me hope for what can be!

We also have the Christopher West’s book “Good News About Sex & Marriage?” although she has avoided reading it.

I agree that love is a decision and not a feeling. This is a very rational concept.

Deeply hurt and unconscious wounds can cause women to focus on the emotional side and be unable to accept rational concepts. Men and women are equal but not the same. Men have other tendancies that arise during difficult times… mainly withdrawal.


#9

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