Need marriage advice and prayers


#1

Hi everyone, I am new here, so I hope you won't mind me posting a question right away. I assume that since this is a Catholic forum I will mostly be treated with charity :)

My husband and I have been married for less than two years but we argue so often and so passionately that I am starting to become very depressed and disillusioned. For some reason we are able to be best friends one minute and then tearing each other to pieces the next. I just can't figure it out.

I've been going to counseling and it's helping some but I think we really need couples counseling but we can't really afford it and my husband doesn't really want to do it. He doesn't seem as bothered as I am about the bad arguments. He thinks we can just say sorry later and everything will be fine (until next time that is). Honestly a lot of our problem just seem like immaturity--never in a million years would I have expected myself to turn into a yelling, name-calling, hateful person like I am when we're arguing. It's like we both know intellectually what we should and should not do, but it just goes all down the drain the minute one of us is in a bad mood or something.

Adding to all of this pressure is we have serious financial worries. But I just don't understand why we can't be loving and supportive to each other. I just don't think this is normal for newlyweds. I am also so eager to have children but I'm terrified to bring them into the picture with our current financial and emotional situation. I don't know what else to say. I'm feeling so sad and isolated. Please tell me if you had a similar experience early in marriage and if it can get any better. Please also pray for us.
Thank you.


#2

I don't know why you haven't had any responses yet, but do not be discouraged. Yes, you will be treated with charity here!! :)

First of all, did you and your husband go through any type of marriage preparation? You didn't mention if you are both Catholics, or one of you is, or neither of you are.

Second, as for counseling, I think you both do need it, and Catholic Charities offers income-scaled counseling, so find the number in your area and call them. I have just found out that there are counselors available at one of the parishes I attend, maybe you will have the same good fortune.

Fighting like this is not good for either of you long-term, as you say, it is discouraging and hurtful. But usually we argue in the same style that we saw our parents arguing, so if you both had volatile parents, without working at it, you are going to default to that style. It would not be good for children to see that. Nor are you both likely to change your style and deal with your children kindly - you will likely yell and scream at them when stress comes along (comes with children!).

So work this out, with help. You can both change if you want to. Even if he doesn't want to change, if YOU change, he can't help but change as well - after all, it takes 2 to tango and if you walk away, he can't continue!

:hug1:


#3

Call your parish office and ask them about the Marriage Encounter program. It is a communication workshop for married couples. You meet in a group, over a weekend and learn how to more effective communicate with your spouse.


#4

if you think your vicious arguing constitutes serious reason to avoid pregnancy, then i believe you. use licit means to avoid pregnancy until this issue is fixed and stays fixed.

we didnt have any reallly poisonous issues like drinking, drugs, gambling or porn addictions, or adultery. we just money struggles and undisciplined personalities and a great big God-shaped hole in our marriage. and we (specially I) didnt have a lot of talking skills. we both could talk up a storm, but we were bad at saying what we really meant. instead of saying, "i feel worried about this," i'd say, "i'm blaming you. this must be your fault."

in my 20s and early 30s i was a pretty mean scrapper with my husband. everything turned into a street fight with me. but i felt guilty, and spent a lot of time wondering "why am i like this?" and "why cant i change?" and more useless still, "why doesnt he change" when he'd fight back (which increased over the early years of marriage.)

those were the wrong questions. analysis paralysis had set in and i just spun my wheels wondering "why" about me? and blaming "why" about him.

after some time, motivated by my husband's surprising decreasing volatility and humiliating increasing apathy toward me, i began to say, "what can I do to change my behavior?" that's when real solutions became more clear.

despite any of his bad behaviors, i could shut up.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could stop trying to win.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could lose. yeah-- try that on for size. i could LOSE an argument.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could walk away from arguments.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could walk away when i was feeling ignored or insignificant.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could talk nice.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could stop calling him out and cutting him down.

it was only after i began to master some really good behaviors, i was freed from the cycle of trying to undo/ understand/ decompress from bad fights.

free from the cycle of trying to decompress from bad fights, i began to be able to see things about me that started to answer the "why?"
fear and pride drove a lot of my bad behaviors-- but that information was SO MUCH LESS VALUABLE than my initial revelation to simply behave better despite any of his bad behaviors.

and lo, his bad behaviors decreased markedly anyway.

and those critical times passed. he got nicer, more interested, more attentive. i got kinder, less demanding, less critical. we're still poor-- money is always rough for us. but 23 years into this thing, we're happily married and intend to remain so.


#5

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:2, topic:247469"]
I don't know why you haven't had any responses yet, but do not be discouraged. Yes, you will be treated with charity here!! :)

First of all, did you and your husband go through any type of marriage preparation? You didn't mention if you are both Catholics, or one of you is, or neither of you are.

Second, as for counseling, I think you both do need it, and Catholic Charities offers income-scaled counseling, so find the number in your area and call them. I have just found out that there are counselors available at one of the parishes I attend, maybe you will have the same good fortune.

Fighting like this is not good for either of you long-term, as you say, it is discouraging and hurtful. But usually we argue in the same style that we saw our parents arguing, so if you both had volatile parents, without working at it, you are going to default to that style. It would not be good for children to see that. Nor are you both likely to change your style and deal with your children kindly - you will likely yell and scream at them when stress comes along (comes with children!).

So work this out, with help. You can both change if you want to. Even if he doesn't want to change, if YOU change, he can't help but change as well - after all, it takes 2 to tango and if you walk away, he can't continue!

:hug1:

[/quote]

Thank you for your response. Yes, we are both Catholic though I am more "formed" than he is. His family was culturally Catholic and he didn't really start practicing until he met me. We did do pre-marital counseling. I am trying to get us into marital counseling so I hope it works out.


#6

[quote="monicatholic, post:4, topic:247469"]
if you think your vicious arguing constitutes serious reason to avoid pregnancy, then i believe you. use licit means to avoid pregnancy until this issue is fixed and stays fixed.

we didnt have any reallly poisonous issues like drinking, drugs, gambling or porn addictions, or adultery. we just money struggles and undisciplined personalities and a great big God-shaped hole in our marriage. and we (specially I) didnt have a lot of talking skills. we both could talk up a storm, but we were bad at saying what we really meant. instead of saying, "i feel worried about this," i'd say, "i'm blaming you. this must be your fault."

in my 20s and early 30s i was a pretty mean scrapper with my husband. everything turned into a street fight with me. but i felt guilty, and spent a lot of time wondering "why am i like this?" and "why cant i change?" and more useless still, "why doesnt he change" when he'd fight back (which increased over the early years of marriage.)

those were the wrong questions. analysis paralysis had set in and i just spun my wheels wondering "why" about me? and blaming "why" about him.

after some time, motivated by my husband's surprising decreasing volatility and humiliating increasing apathy toward me, i began to say, "what can I do to change my behavior?" that's when real solutions became more clear.

despite any of his bad behaviors, i could shut up.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could stop trying to win.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could lose. yeah-- try that on for size. i could LOSE an argument.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could walk away from arguments.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could walk away when i was feeling ignored or insignificant.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could talk nice.
despite any of his bad behaviors, i could stop calling him out and cutting him down.

it was only after i began to master some really good behaviors, i was freed from the cycle of trying to undo/ understand/ decompress from bad fights.

free from the cycle of trying to decompress from bad fights, i began to be able to see things about me that started to answer the "why?"
fear and pride drove a lot of my bad behaviors-- but that information was SO MUCH LESS VALUABLE than my initial revelation to simply behave better despite any of his bad behaviors.

and lo, his bad behaviors decreased markedly anyway.

and those critical times passed. he got nicer, more interested, more attentive. i got kinder, less demanding, less critical. we're still poor-- money is always rough for us. but 23 years into this thing, we're happily married and intend to remain so.

[/quote]

Thank you for sharing your experience--it sounds very similar to what we are going through. We're both very very proud and stubborn. We want to change but have been caught in a very vicious cycle with bad habits. I don't mean to make excuses; I actually just can't believe it has turned out this way. That's why I feel so discouraged--I've never had such a hard time before with trying to improve myself.

Anyway, I'm going to continue with more prayer and counseling. I hope that God will intervene soon so that we can have children and not mess them up with all of this.


#7

I'm praying for you ma'am. Welcome to the forums.


#8

Learning to fight fairly is a very difficult thing to do. Accepting other people's opinions is quite important. I suggest Matthew Kelly's Seven Levels of Intimacy... Find out what is REALLY important in your marriage communications before someone just doesn't care.


#9

[quote="Schieffelin, post:6, topic:247469"]
Thank you for sharing your experience--it sounds very similar to what we are going through. We're both very very proud and stubborn. We want to change but have been caught in a very vicious cycle with bad habits. I don't mean to make excuses; I actually just can't believe it has turned out this way. That's why I feel so discouraged--I've never had such a hard time before with trying to improve myself.

Anyway, I'm going to continue with more prayer and counseling. I hope that God will intervene soon so that we can have children and not mess them up with all of this.

[/quote]

Your statement tells me that you are probably operating from messages you got from your parents and he probably is too. When your default is to argue and fight and get angry and hurt, you are not operating from the love and concern for your spouse that you may really feel. You can't access that emotion or that caring when your default switch hits "Let's go!" Counseling will help you both figure out which parent you are channeling and give you new ways to communicate so you don't have to scream at each other.

:)


#10

I agree with everything Monicatholic said. My case was just about identical (except I can't say I thought about it with such depth).

Our early years were quite volatile and I hated being that way because I always thought I was a reasonable person. Hubby started to pull away and lose interest and I realised that if we didn't fix things, we'd be finished. So I had to pull my head in.

We're heading for ten years this year and getting better all the time.

I really think that a good marriage doesn't come easily, and the nore we work for the good of the marriage, rather than for our own rights, the better the marriage gets. We can't change the other person, but we can change ourselves, and by changing ourselves we can make a difference in the other. I also think that we get better as we get older and in our twenties it's hard to get a rein on our emotions.


#11

I have come to understand that the important things in any marriage is Love and Respect. Men need respect and women need Love. Your husband has done something to hurt you or upset you or it may be something he didn't do right and you want to bring it to his attention. However you do it and whatever words you use it must come across as showing respect to him. So you've got to stop and think ' is what i'm going to do or say show respect for my husband?'In showing respect to your husband it will lessen the nasty arguments and then he will be more loving to you. That's the cycle all marriages want.Her respect motivates his love and his love motivates her respect. Give this a try.


#12

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:9, topic:247469"]
Your statement tells me that you are probably operating from messages you got from your parents and he probably is too. When your default is to argue and fight and get angry and hurt, you are not operating from the love and concern for your spouse that you may really feel. You can't access that emotion or that caring when your default switch hits "Let's go!" Counseling will help you both figure out which parent you are channeling and give you new ways to communicate so you don't have to scream at each other.

:)

[/quote]

Yes, you are very insightful. We both had very volatile relationships with the parent of the opposite sex. Unfortunately my father passed away before I could fully heal the relationship with him, but I pray often about it and counseling has helped with that issue. My H also has that style of arguing with his mom and unfortunately she has not been a good example at all when it comes to relationships (he was born out of wedlock and she's been married and divorced twice to two other men besides his dad).

Anyway, we are dealing with some very jaded pasts--I suppose it's helpful to remember that these things don't change overnight and we just have to take it one day at a time. Sometimes I almost despair that we can ever change these habits, but I am trying hard to have faith that God can change us.


#13

[quote="admonsta, post:10, topic:247469"]
I agree with everything Monicatholic said. My case was just about identical (except I can't say I thought about it with such depth).

Our early years were quite volatile and I hated being that way because I always thought I was a reasonable person. Hubby started to pull away and lose interest and I realised that if we didn't fix things, we'd be finished. So I had to pull my head in.

We're heading for ten years this year and getting better all the time.

I really think that a good marriage doesn't come easily, and the nore we work for the good of the marriage, rather than for our own rights, the better the marriage gets. We can't change the other person, but we can change ourselves, and by changing ourselves we can make a difference in the other. I also think that we get better as we get older and in our twenties it's hard to get a rein on our emotions.

[/quote]

Thank you for sharing this--it has given me tremendous hope. I need to know that we can put hard work and prayer into it and will come out with a stronger marriage. Some of the advice I hear from people had made me believe that it shouldn't really be this hard and that it's a bad "sign" for our future. I can't tell you how much of a relief it is to hear that you can actually get past it and have an even stronger relationship.


#14

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