My husband is mad at God


#1

I need a little help with this situation…

Last year my husband lost his father to brain cancer, after 14 months of struggling for his life.

My FIL was a wonderful part of our lives, and we all really miss him. His death has brought me closer to God. Unfortunately, it has driven my husband further away.

I was raised Catholic, and my husband converted when I was pregnant with our first child. My husband has not been attending mass, and I recently have starting faithfully attending.

When I leave for church, he’ll say things like - make sure you tell the guy upstairs thanks for taking my dad. Let him know how mad I am. (only his language is quite colorful) Or he’ll say things like - if he had to take my dad, why did he have to make him suffer so much. Saying that he is extremely uspet with God would be an understatement.

I try to be very patient with my husband; this is hard on all of us. I continue to pray for him.

I’m wondering if anyone might have any suggestions or words of encouragement that I can use on my husband, or even any explanation as to why we are allowed to suffer.

Thanks


#2

I don’t have much to say except that I am sorry that your father lost a man who was so important to him. Your FIL must have been a fantastic person. I can only recommend that you read books on the grieving process so that you can both cope with your own sadness and also to stand by your husband as he deals with his profound grief and anger at God. What about your MIL?

Also, when your husband makes those comments as you leave the house for Mass, no matter how “colorful” tell him in a loving tone that you do plan to take this matter up with the Lord at Mass because you have the same sort of questions. And then offer up that Mass for your precious husband. I’m grateful that he’s talking to you. May God’s mercy be upon you both.

I know that other posters will address the issue of suffering better than I can. Or you can post a similar question to one of the more spiritual or theological threads for answers.


#3

11 years ago my husbands sister and her husbands 18 yr old son was killed in a car accident, I’ll never forget it :frowning:

At the funeral my sister and brother in law seemed so strong, almost too strong, they told everyone not to cry because their son was in Heaven and this was a celebration of his life.

They seemed good for awhile but…they were not…my sister in law was dealing with it better, she joined a support group for parents who have lost a child but her husband went once and said it was so stupid and would not bring the son back.

My sister in law continued to go to Mass and her husband stopped altogether and he made the exact statements, say thanks to God for taking our son, and he asked my sister in law how she could go to church and praise a God who would take their son from them, etc.

It was a terrible time for them, and they both were in terrible pain and tears flowed for a very long time, but my sister in law kept going to church even though she too sometimes wondered how God could take her son, but she just kept trying and her husband just kept being angry and bitter at God and then one day about a year or two later, he just started going again and he started going to the support group too and now it has been 11 years and they still miss their son every day of their lives but they also know he is in Heaven waiting for them and they can be with him and they want to be with him someday. They can now tell good stories of him and laugh and enjoy those memories.

What your husband is going through is very, very normal, it is normal to get mad at God and feel these things, deep down in his heart, your husband knows that God did not do this, God allowed it to happen but he did not do this, it really makes me think of Job, he was tested over and over but he just would not turn on God.

Give your husband time, pray for him, and keep going to church and let your husband know that you know he is hurting right now but you will still be going to church, don’t push, just pray, from what my sister in law told me from the group she goes to, anger at God is so normal and God will not hold it against us, he knows we are mere humans and we can’t understand why something happened the way it did, just give it time.
Your in my prayers


#4

[quote=CLMargaret]…When I leave for church, he’ll say things like - make sure you tell the guy upstairs thanks for taking my dad. Let him know how mad I am. (only his language is quite colorful) …
[/quote]

Sounds like he is taking his hostility out on you. I don’t want to hear anyone “colorfully” telling me to “tell the man upstairs” things (thats no “man” - that’s God!) when i am leaving to go worship my Lord and my God. Where is the repsect for you??

Its one thing to have hostile and angry freelings, another to take them out on innnocent people - especially the one you are supposed to love and cherish. And its not good for him or you to let these offenses just go on as if they don’t matter.

Also, doesn’t it make you want to defend Our Lord? It seems like there are two issues here - you standing by while our Lord is being slandered, and his interior struggle with anger towards God. The latter is his thing, that he may not want to share with you as far as solutions go. He may not want to think it through outloud with you. He does seem interested in venting, at your expense. And that part is not right. That, you can protest. His interior attitude to the Lord is his business if he does not want to discuss it. It may be a comfort to him to nurse his anger towards the Lord, i don’t know. It may be part of the bereavement process? But you are a person, too, who has suffered a loss too, and you need to handle it as well as life’s other diffficulties your way (turning to your faith). And you need respect for that - not disrespect towards what you cherish.


#5

I would tell him to stop being such a pansy. People die. Mourn for them and get over it. Sounds like he’s wallowing in self pity and wants a scape goat.

I would tell him to grow up and if he really doesn’t want to face reality, he should keep his idiotic comments to himself. You don’t need to be subjected to them.


#6

I’m appalled at pira114’s post. There is so much wrong with it I don’t know where to start.

I’ll pray for you and your husband.


#7

Sorry if my post does not sound nice. Nice and reality don’t always meet in the middle.


#8

I am so sorry for this loss. I have not experienced the loss of a parent and often wonder how I will ever get through it when it does happen. Watching our loved ones suffer is unbearable. I lost a very good friend to Luekemia 7 years ago. He was very young and suffered greatly. He was also a devoted Christian and never once lost his faith. I still have a hard time understanding why he was taken from us, but it is in these times that I need God the most. Sounds like you are the same way…I think the best thing you can do at this point is pray for your husband, and know that his anger toward God is normal. It may take him a while to seek solace in God. Be there for him as much as possible…even if just to listen. I hope your family finds peace soon.

Michelle


#9

[quote=mary’s kid]I’m appalled at pira114’s post. There is so much wrong with it I don’t know where to start.

I am too, very unchristian. :eek:
[/quote]


#10

I’m sorry for you and your husbands loss. It may take some time for him to heal, but ask him to pray with you one night. That night might be a while off , but look for it. I watched my Dad fight M.S. for 8 years, then die by choking. I found my mother 2 days dead from a heart attack in her home when visiting. I would have put my finger in the air, if I didn’t think my life depended upon God, I’m in remission of stage 3 cancer right now. Tell him , God gives us just enough strength to get by sometimes, He’ll help us carry our cross sometimes, but we can’t turn away, no matter what happens. Prayers out, Tim


#11

My H’s mother died 11 yrs. ago (cancer also) and he is still angry with God…apparently he gave his most heartfelt prayer at the time and felt like he got an answer “Everything will be fine” came into his head. He assumed that this was the Holy Spirit speaking to him, and he feels like he was lied to…

I have prayed very very hard for him…and we have talked a lot about this. He was a protestant…And had never gotten a grasp of the value in suffering, and so our conversations have been about such things. His former Church are OSAS believers…but this theology has no concept of suffering…and believes that suffering is punishment for bad things done…

Without suffering men would never think about God! Without this event (mom’s death) he and I would never have met…(true a long story), and our baby would not be here…The Holy Spirit did not lie…Honey…you are fine…

Lot’s of conversation…lots of prayer and tears…and I think he is on the mend…


#12

C. S. Lewis, when he lost his wife to cancer, wrote some great things. “A Grief Observed” and “The Problem of Pain” are the first that come to mind.

In the darkest of times, I find the book of Job helps.

Praying for you!


#13

[quote=CLMargaret]When I leave for church, he’ll say things like - make sure you tell the guy upstairs thanks for taking my dad. Let him know how mad I am. (only his language is quite colorful) Or he’ll say things like - if he had to take my dad, why did he have to make him suffer so much.
[/quote]

Ten years ago, when my 7-year-old son was in decline while awaiting liver transplantation, I struggled with some of these same feelings. They are normal, understandable, and humanly justifiable feelings. I wondered what kind of God would take a child from his parents, and why He would permit such suffering if He truly loved us. To boil it all down, I finally arrived at two understandings.

  1. The only way I could view my son’s possible death as a ‘tragedy’ would be from a completely earthly perspective. We are created for eternity, not for complete fulfillment in this life, which is extremely brief by comparison. Our destiny – the ultimate reason we were created – is heaven, and if my son were to achieve that destiny, how could I deny the goodness and love of God? God’s purposes go well beyond the here-and-now, and cannot be expected to conform to our neat little definitions of victory and tragedy. His promise of faithfulness to those who love Him is not limited to the fleeting circumstances of earthly life, or to our limited interpretations of them.

  2. God did not even exempt **His own son ** from suffering and death – and showed us what lies beyond it. In a way I began to see suffering and death as very much like birth: for 9 months in the womb we are rather secure, comfortable with life as we know it. And then comes a horrible process that bears down on us unrelentingly, disrupting our comfort and security, pressuring and squeezing us out of the life we are content with (and think we understand). I imagine that if we were capable of speech at birth, we would be screaming, “What’s happening to me? Why me? This is unfair! It hurts! I don’t want to go!” And then, inevitably, we arrive in a completely new environment, to a joyous welcome in the loving arms of those who loved us all along, even though we couldn’t envision it.

I had to come to grips with whether my feelings were the ultimate truth in existence, or whether I really believed that love is greater than this world’s definition of it.

I don’t know if this will help your husband or not, but it helped me to get a bigger picture of God than I had had previously. I hope your husband will find some peace in these thoughts. God bless both of you.


#14

Almost 4 years ago I lost my brother suddenly. I too was angry with God. I so deperately wanted to turn my back on Him. To say your husband is angry is an understatement, but God is big enough to handle his anger.

I once told someone that my grief was the mental equivalent to a surgical procedure without anesthesia or pain medicine afterwards. This is your husband’s pain and pain usually isn’t pretty.

There are no right words to comfort the grieving. Maybe at some point your husband would talk to a priest to help him understand suffering.

A year may seem like a long time, but it really isn’t. Grief kinda goes like this. The 1st year is the time spent when all the important days go by and it’s the 1st time w/o the loved one. This is hard. The 2nd year is when you start to realize this is how it is always going to be. This can be hard to accept. After that there is still a longing for and missing the person who has died.

Of course praying for your husband is wonderful. I now realize how close I was to loosing my faith. I know many wonderful people prayed for me. Now when I learn someone has died, I not only pray for their souls I also pray for the grieving and their faith.


#15

this may sound a bit obsurd to some people… but tell your husband to go into a room, completely alone, closed off and away from everyone else… tell him to go ahead and yell at God, tell God everything thats going on, tell God everything he is mad about, how unfair it is… God doesnt want to hear from you how mad your husband is, he wants to hear it from HIM… what you can do is support him, and from the sounds of it, you are doing a very good job (your husband is blessed) God would rather hear him in a bad mood than not hear him at all… even Jesus didnt like what God had planned… and he made sure God heard about it… that how we live, thats how God can help us… thats how your husband will find comfort… God Bless, my prayers are with you.


#16

christophers.org/grief.html

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aquinasandmore.com/index.cfm/FuseAction/store.BrowseCategory/Category/1310/sp/0/


#17

Sis married the son of a Baptist minister and with a dispensation in our Church but he presided. She soon left the Catholic Church and both went to Baptist for a while, until his brother died of a heart attack at age 32 leaving a wife and 2 small children. BIL left church completely, refused to grieve (as did the parents, outwardly) and they practiced no religion for a long time. She continued to sing in a choir of a large Lutheran church because she loves music and they still sing the beautiful stuff Catholics tossed out.

FF 20 years, and BIL’s father and mother are both ill with devastating diseases, and the sister-in-law has MS, daughters are grown up. He is madder at God than ever, but MIL asks for prayers for family. Sis asks me for a crucifix (not a plain cross) and a rosary. I send a scriptural rosary book, a rosary blessed by the pope and a crucifix from the Holy Land. Turns out the entire Baptist family, minus the angry BIL is praying the scriptural rosary. Father has a peaceful holy death, MIL gets better, the sister in law goes into remission, daughters experience spiritual healing. All are now praying the rosary.

BIL has a bad heart attack scare, and has always neglected his health because he figures he will die the same way his brother did. Sis asks me for a statue of Mary, for Baptists, mind you. I send her a folk art OL Guadalupe from Mexico, beautiful, with the story of Juan Diego including the complete symbolism of the image. This coincides (deliberately on my part) with a highly publicized sighting of a supposed image of our Lady in a public place which attracted thousands of people.

In the meantime, sis has sung twice in choirs for the Pope’s visits to her city, and for the funeral of their cardinal who died the same year as our mother and BIL’s father, all 3 times during beautiful Masses with the whole nine yards of Catholic liturgical splendor. She also sang in a memoral Mass for Pope JP2 last year for the diocese.
bottom line Sis and BIL are now attending a Catholic Church, entire family still praying the scriptural rosary, only now they are saying the Hail Mary’s, the sister and daughters are in inquiry classes for RCIA, the MIL is sick again but has regular visits from a Catholic chaplain. BIL went through an extended grieving period, finally, for his brother and father, almost a breakdown, lost his job, and is now in the throes of a full blown conversion of all aspects of his life. bottom line God works when, where and how he wills, and when he really wants to ramp things up he sends Our Lady to do the job.

For your husbands who are grieving - pray the rosary, pray the rosary, pray the rosary. The Eucharist is the sacrament of spiritual healing. Lift up your family during the consecration and in your thanksgiving after receiving. Spend time in adoration specifically lifting up your dead loved ones and your grieving families.


#18

WARNING: This May Sound Hard And Un-Christian, But In Your Husbands Frame Of Mind, You Need To Shoot It Straight And In Terms He Will Understand

I’d say something like this

"Listen you self-centered, self-interested, selfish, egotistical SOB. You want a message delivered to God, then do it yourself! Why did God allow your father to suffer? ASK HIM! I love you, I really do, but I don’t like the way you are acting. You are not the first person in the history of the world to ever loose a parent or have one suffer. We all miss you dad, none of us wanted to see him suffer, but I have to hold fast to the belief that God’s reasons are bigger than mine. Maybe he kept you dad here so you would have more time with him. Maybe you dad’s suffering was teaching us a lesson on how to preserver. His {God’s} ways are above my ways. I don’t and can’t imagine to know what God wants or why he does things. If you want answers, they you have to talk to HIM. I love you but your self-pity is affecting the whole family. You are supposed to be the Spiritual Head of this household and you need to start acting like it. I love you and, whether or not you believe it, do does God."This was the tone and pertty much the same words my wife used with me…I thank God for her strength.


#19

I remember feeling angry when my dad died when I was 28 years old. I missed him so much and I hated to see my mom alone. There is the grief process that I needed to go through but what changed my attitude was thinking about an old roommate that I had just after my college days. Her father had a brain tumor from the time she was 3 years old and he died when she was 10 years old. How could I be angry with God when I was blessed to have my father for 28 years. I didn’t like being angry with God so this helped me turn my anger into thankfulness for his gift of a dad in my life.


#20

[quote=CLMargaret]IWhen I leave for church, he’ll say things like - make sure you tell the guy upstairs thanks for taking my dad. Let him know how mad I am.
[/quote]

“I’ll mention it to him, dear. Or, even better, why don’t you let God know how mad you are? After all, the sensible thing to do when you have a problem with someone is to confront that someone yourself.”

– Mark L. Chance.


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