Marriage issues w/conversion


#1

me and my husband started out liberal with no catholic upbringing.
a couple of years after we got married a major event in my life led me to catholicism and my conversion. he was fine with this . he also allowed our children to be baptized . there seemed to be no problem but i did hope for his conversion.

now, a couple of years after that, things have changed. we dont see eye to eye on most things:

i recently found out that we cant be intimate in the same ways we used to be. we are about to have our 5th child and he doesnt want any more b/c this will be our 5th child in 7 years. (i already had 1 before we were married, and our 1st we conceived before marriage) he’s concerned about our finances and my health. the rhythm method doesnt biologically work for us. he strongly thinks we should use birth control in the future, which i will not, and i’m concerned that if we stop being intimate all together he will not have as much of a reason to stay faithful as me. he will be justified to go out and cheat by his familys and societys standards.

he doesnt enjoy time spent with me, i cant participate in alot of the things he likes to do. i lost most of my friends b/c of my change in beliefs and lifestyle and he thinks instead of him spending more time with me, that i should get a job and make friends. i have to nag him to come home from work and spend time with the kids. i married for his companionship and was willing to experience anything else that came along with it. now i have everything but the companionship.

christmastime i became overwhelmed. i cant remember why i missed mass the sunday before christmas. but i never missed mass unless it was absolutely necessary. twice a year if that. christmas morning when i got up to go to mass he told me we couldnt b/c he forgot to go to the bank and we didnt have money for gas (we live waaay out). so i wasnt able to go to mass on christmas. major disappointment. the next sunday he turned the alarm off and i slept through mass. the sunday after that i think it was that i told him to set the alarm so i could get up for mass, and he “forgot”. after that i for some reason decided not to go for a while. i missed mass for about a month and a half. i think i was trying to be less catholic to rekindle our relationship. over that time our relationship got worse and worse, as it had been, but increasingly so. i cried almost every night. theres alot that went on that i wont go into for lack of time. i thought we were heading for a seperation or something. we wouldnt even sleep in the same bed, all talk was critical of eachother, u get the idea.
last week one of our kids got really sick. like hospital sick. he didnt come to the hospital cause i was already there and he didnt feel like it would be worth finding a babysitter to be there with us because i was already there and so we both didnt need to be there. sure, i was there for our child, but the whole time i was fighting back tears with all my strength so that i wouldnt scare the kid. i’ve never been so afraid and alone. our son kept waking up at night in the hospital and looking at the clock saying “dad will be here soon!” because i had told him all day that he would be, and that i’d wake him when he got there. he called at midnight to tell us he wasnt coming. i never imagined that he would leave us alone like this. we live in a different state than any family so we were completely alone.

then the guilt set in. how could i have turned my back on God, who has never ever turned his back on me or my children… for someone who constantly turns his back on me?? i prayed and cried all night and all the next day in the hospital. now i feel a major change and i am trying to recommit myself to God.

i am TERRIFIED of going to confession although i know it will lighten my load tremendously.

i dont know what to do about my marriage. it seems hopeless. i need my family, i love my husband. i need God, i cant express how much. my devotion to my family and my devotion to God rely on eachother in many ways but they conflict sooo much. i have no idea how to be the wife and the Catholic i need to be, at the same time. i have no idea how to address the intimacy issues, the lack of shared interests and beliefs in my marriage, the feeling like i am being unfair to my husband for indirectly making him sacrifice unwillingly for a religion he doesnt even subscribe to… i dont even have the slightest clue what my kids might be going through right now. theres so many issues to address here.

if i see a priest as a marriage counselor, he’ll feel it’s bias. if i see a psychologist, i feel it would be unsympathetic to my religious beliefs.

ANY help, advice, critique, support, common stories, ANYTHING might be helpful to me right now.

THANK YOU for reading this far. and TYVM in advance for any insight.

God Bless!


#2

I’m so sorry for what your going through. Don’t give up on your marriage or your husband. There was a time when I thought my marriage and my husband was hopeless, but God answered my prayers and saved my marriage. Put everything in His hands. I know that’s easier said than done, but with a little practice it gets easier.

Don’t be afraid to go to Confession! Jesus is there waiting for you and He doesn’t want you to be afraid to come to Him. He understands that you had a weak moment and He’s just waiting patiently to take you back. You will feel so much better after having a good Confession!

Do a little research into Natural Family Planning. There are several new methods out there (the Rhythm method is out of date and useless!). NFP is more effective than the Pill if used correctly! And it’s so easy to learn. :wink:


#3

I am not clear on why you would seek out a priest for marriage counseling. Priests have never been married and, I think, are not good sources on the subject. For your own counseling I would seek out the priest…but for your marriage counseling I would stick with a professional that knows the subject well.

That is just me. I hope this does not offend you.


#4

While it would be a sin for you as a Catholic to use birth control, you could still legitimately have sex with your husband if HE is the one using birth control. All you would be required to do is inform him of your objections. (I am very sure about this because I’ve seen many people ask priests if they can have sex with their contracepting spouse, and the answer is always yes, there is no sin in it since you are not the one contracepting).

For instance, if your husband of his own accord went and had a vascectomy it would be moral for you to continue having sex with him. You just have to let him know that you object to the vascectomy.

You should try going to councelling. You said you have 5 children in 7 years. I can’t imagine how you can have any time for yourself or your husband. It is common for couples to drift apart after they have children, especially if they have 5 young ones.

Try finding a babysitter twice a week and going out on dates with your husband, reconnecting, etc.

Maybe leave the kids with grandparents and go for a romantic vacation for a week. Find things to do together without kids being there, rekindle your relationship.

Also, work on yourself and your interests. Maybe you are so consumed with being with the kids all the time you have lost a part of your identity. Maybe that makes you less of an interesting person. Find something you love to do, maybe study, maybe write, maybe be involved in art or whatever it is that you are drawn to. Leave some time each day for doing that, develop yourself as an individual and you will be more interesting and attractive to your husband.


#5

[quote=maryfullofgrace]I am not clear on why you would seek out a priest for marriage counseling. Priests have never been married and, I think, are not good sources on the subject. For your own counseling I would seek out the priest…but for your marriage counseling I would stick with a professional that knows the subject well.

That is just me. I hope this does not offend you.
[/quote]

Would you seek psychological counseling from a psychiatrist that was sick with the disease you had? Of course not . But you’d seek counseling from one who had experience counseling others. Most priests are no different. They get instruction on counseling . They know how to teach us to pray and to love the way we are taught by the gospel and the church. They know what resources the church has for us… They do have experience with marriage because they are married to the church. They know how to sacrifice and love us. Sounds like a good source to me.However both partners must be willing to listen and I don’t think OP’s DH wants to get lessons on how to be a Catholic Husband.


#6

The calendar rhythm method is highly unreliable and antiquated. It is NOT the same thing as modern methods of natural family planning based on the observation of female signs of fertility. You can successfully use natural family planning. Please go to www.ccli.org and www.creightonmodel.com to find out more about NFP.

You, of course, may not sin. If your husband does so by choosing a male method of contraception, you do not have to discontinue relations with him. Your responsibility is to continue to encourage him to stop contracepting on an intermittent basis (maybe revisiting the subject every few months or so).

I am sorry to hear this. Perhaps try to find some new things you both enjoy doing that are not objectionable to either of you.

[quote=LOLBooyah] i married for his companionship and was willing to experience anything else that came along with it. now i have everything but the companionship.
[/quote]

There is a book called “When Only One Converts” or something similar-- I’ve seen it recommended on here, maybe you could find advice in that book. You should be able to find it online.

[quote=LOLBooyah] christmastime i became overwhelmed. i cant remember why i missed mass the sunday before christmas. but i never missed mass unless it was absolutely necessary. twice a year if that. christmas morning when i got up to go to mass he told me we couldnt b/c he forgot to go to the bank and we didnt have money for gas (we live waaay out). so i wasnt able to go to mass on christmas. major disappointment. the next sunday he turned the alarm off and i slept through mass. the sunday after that i think it was that i told him to set the alarm so i could get up for mass, and he “forgot”.
[/quote]

Sounds like passive-agressive behavior, he is sabotaging you. Take responsibility by getting a second, separate alarm clock and setting it yourself. Take responsibility for the transportation to/from and making sure you know the schedules for masses in your area in case you miss your normal mass time.

[quote=LOLBooyah] i thought we were heading for a seperation or something. we wouldnt even sleep in the same bed, all talk was critical of eachother, u get the idea.
[/quote]

I’d recommend separate counseling for you as well as couples counseling. Yes, it would help to have a Catholic counselor. If he think it’s “biased” so be it.

[quote=LOLBooyah] last week one of our kids got really sick. like hospital sick. he didnt come to the hospital cause i was already there and he didnt feel like it would be worth finding a babysitter to be there with us because i was already there and so we both didnt need to be there.
[/quote]

His issues far exceed religion. Clearly he has some ideas about family life that are not the same as yours. Again, counseling might help.

God is always there for us. Go to confession, go to Mass, and seek comfort in the Lord.

[quote=LOLBooyah] i dont know what to do about my marriage. it seems hopeless. i need my family, i love my husband. i need God, i cant express how much. my devotion to my family and my devotion to God rely on eachother in many ways but they conflict sooo much. i have no idea how to be the wife and the Catholic i need to be, at the same time. i have no idea how to address the intimacy issues, the lack of shared interests and beliefs in my marriage, the feeling like i am being unfair to my husband for indirectly making him sacrifice unwillingly for a religion he doesnt even subscribe to… i dont even have the slightest clue what my kids might be going through right now. theres so many issues to address here.
[/quote]

I think you should definitely talk to your priest, regardless of your husband’s ideas regarding bias. YOU need some counsel. Couples counseling should be separate, and yes I think you need that too.

if i see a priest as a marriage counselor, he’ll feel it’s bias. if i see a psychologist, i feel it would be unsympathetic to my religious beliefs.


#7

[quote=maryfullofgrace]I am not clear on why you would seek out a priest for marriage counseling. Priests have never been married and, I think, are not good sources on the subject. For your own counseling I would seek out the priest…but for your marriage counseling I would stick with a professional that knows the subject well.

That is just me. I hope this does not offend you.
[/quote]

What a completely ridiculous argument.

By that logic men should not be allowed to be OB/GYNs… since they haven’t experienced childbirth or menstruation personally, they clearly cannot give advice on the subject.

Priests are TRAINED in counseling. They are professionals, and they know the subject well.


#8

LOLBooyah–

I am feeling you! I am a convert also (only 2 years now) and my husband, while Christian, has not converted. He has no objections to contraception, although he has gone along with my using NFP for the past 3 years. We have had 2 surprise pregnancies (not really surprise… but as a result of not contracepting… if we had been more conservative during the fertile time, the pregnancies could have been avoided). I am pregnant with #4 now and he is at the end of his rope with all the babies! He loves them all when they get here, but says that 4 is enough and most certainly does not want any more. Of course it goes against everything I believe, but at the same time, it is not fair to him, or to any future children, and is just not the right thing to do, to conceive more children when both parents are not on board. I say also to do some NFP research and see if you can use that to avoid any more pregnancies, but if your husband is not comfortable with that, as someone else said, you may have relations with him while he contracepts.

I want to recommend (with caution) a book. My husband and I have recently had some very major problems in our marriage. If you are interested, you can search by my name and read my threads. My breakthrough has come through a realization that I need to do what I need to do, and stop focusing on what he is doing wrong (and believe me, there was been some wrong on his part!!) But recently, mainly through this book, I have been able to see what I have done wrong, and that has given me the opportunity to make some changes, and those changes have really helped to make a difference.

Now for the book recommendation–and first my words of caution. The name of the book is Created to be His Help-Meet by Debi Pearl. The Pearls also have a childrearing book out that I have seen alot of negative things written about on this forum. But I haven’t read it, so I can’t say. They are very VERY fundamentalist. She quotes from Scripture, always specifying KING JAMES VERSION! Also, she is VERY old fashioned! You will most likely read some things in her book and think OH MY GOODNESS that is so crazy!! I have done this many many times while reading it. But the underlying principles in the book are very good and have been what I needed to read. It is alot about respecting your husband and being submissive. It is hard. But it is doable, and once you start doing little things here and there you will feel so rewarded and it makes it easier to keep doing them.

I really hope you will get the book and read it. Maybe just check it out at the library if you don’t want to order it. Until you read it though, here is my advice. Love your husband. Respect your husband. Do NOT nag! Give Give Give… Love Christ by loving your husband. Don’t try to be less Catholic. If you treat him like a king (whether he deserves it or not) and you are a HUGE Catholic, maybe he will see something in you that he is missing. And if you treat him like a king, he will start treating you like a queen. And the first step to all of this is to go to confession. It can be your new start.

God bless you. I will say a prayer for you today.


#9

[quote=1ke]What a completely ridiculous argument.

By that logic men should not be allowed to be OB/GYNs… since they haven’t experienced childbirth or menstruation personally, they clearly cannot give advice on the subject.

Priests are TRAINED in counseling. They are professionals, and they know the subject well.
[/quote]

I don’t think it is RIDICULOUS argument. My husband has said that he would not want to go to a priest for marital counseling. I would, but I can understand why someone would want a married person giving them advice about marriage. It’s not really that big of a deal–there are plenty of Catholic counselors that are not priests.

At the same time, if you read anything that Pope John Paul wrote about marriage, you will see that he had some great insight into marriage for an unmarried man.


#10

[quote=maryfullofgrace]Priests have never been married
[/quote]

Some Priests have never been married. Some have. There are more widower Priests out there than people think.


#11

[quote=Timidity]Some Priests have never been married. Some have. There are more widower Priests out there than people think.
[/quote]

My husband and I went to marital counseling to a man who USED to be a priest! Then he changed vocations and got married.


#12

[quote=1ke]What a completely ridiculous argument.

By that logic men should not be allowed to be OB/GYNs… since they haven’t experienced childbirth or menstruation personally, they clearly cannot give advice on the subject.

Priests are TRAINED in counseling. They are professionals, and they know the subject well.
[/quote]

I am very hesitant of Priests offering marriage counceling because my fathers brother and his wife went to a Priest for marriage counceling and she ended up leaving my uncle for the priest.
Obviously that is not going to happen in Most cases.

However, her husband has not Chosen to be a devout Catholic and it should not be forced upon him. They should be counceled outside of the church because it is a neutral ground.


#13

thank you for the fast replies! it helps to air this out and get feedback. it’s good to know other peoples take on this. when u let your problems infest your mind and keep it bottled up it gets more and more confusing and hard to sort out. so any and all responses do really help.

i’m thinking maybe going to a priest that i’ll never see again might be an easier way to go to confession for this time. lol i dont know.

thank you all… plz, anyone else feel free to add your thoughts.


#14

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