Newlywed problems


#1

Hey everyone!
Saw this website and it looks so helpful, so I thought I would post here! I'm newly married (about a year and a half now) and we have a lot of problems that are causing me to doubt.

I wanted to specifically go to this site of Catholic members, since I've seen so many other forums "dedicated to marriage" that seem to suggest divorce or separation at any sign of trouble. I've also looked into marriage counseling and can't seem to find anyone in my area that offers it (well, we went to the only person who did, she was very wishy washy and said she is divorced.). I also don't feel comfortable talking to my mom, even though I know she will have sound advice, since I don't want to involve my parents in any way (so no one picks sides, etc). As a result, I've felt very lonely not being able to express my concerns or ask for help, besides discussing it to my husband, who is about as lost as I am on how to resolve these issues.

Now i want to start off and say that my husband is a caring, loving, respectful man who wants to lead a very good life and makes such an effort in helping our relationship and always providing for me. He is a gem amoung men and I remember when I first dated him after previous failed relationships, I felt like I had finally met a "man" and not a "boy". He is chivalrous, sensitive, fun and hilarious. I love him so much, so I feel guilty just stating these concerns out loud. He is committed to our vows and tells me he will never stray and will work on marriage always with me. He tells me I'm beautiful at least once a day, even when I'm in my sweats. :) Anyways, here goes...

Here are my main concerns:

  1. We feel like roommates now. I know love isn't always about sparks but it worries me that we've lost alot of that in such a short time in marriage. Sometimes I feel guilty because I feel bored.

  2. During the first few months of marriage, we really clashed (very opposite in nature) and would always get in very heated arguments. I would run away as a response (taking a walk or driving, many times considering driving to my parent's house)...I feel like that was a terrible way to start off a marriage and now I feel like my walls are up and I can't let go of the hurt.

  3. We are very bad at arguing. We don't fight alot now, but when we do, one person blows up and yells, the other yells back, sometimes we act like we can't deal with each other anymore (once someone mentioned divorce), sometimes he talks down to me (example "why can't you do this one thing I asked you right?"), I storm off or leave the house and drive. He does admit to have a temper and he says he is going to work on it, but I also hold onto things and always want to be right in the end (comes from my mother, who is the same way).

  4. We are opposites and it's hard to find common interests. I feel like we are growing apart and I'm so worried, since his parents grew apart for 20 years and just recently divorced. Part of me hears all the stories of "perfect couples" and buys it, even though I know that perfect is a fantasy, so when I think of how different we are, I sometimes doubt if we were the right fit for each other.

  5. I really am worried about his temper, since he always tends to blow up. He also cuts people off in his family when he is continually disappointed in them (he is angry at his sister for relapsing again with alcohol, so he won't talk to her...this seems to be normal in his family, his dad also won't talk to her). I come from a family where everyone is accepted, no matter what, and family unity is the ultimate goal.

  6. His mom cheated on his dad before the divorce and is still with the man she cheated with, so while he does visit his mom on her own, he never wants to meet this man, since he just can't respect someone who pursued a married woman. I understand his side, but I'm also worried that when we have children, it will become a difficult ordeal with having them visit their grandmother.

I think that about sums it up...Oh and if you can't already tell, I'm a chronic worrier! :P Thanks so much, just writing this all out is a bit of a relief!


#2

[quote="marykate2623, post:1, topic:249353"]
Hey everyone!
Saw this website and it looks so helpful, so I thought I would post here! I'm newly married (about a year and a half now) and we have a lot of problems that are causing me to doubt.

I think that about sums it up...Oh and if you can't already tell, I'm a chronic worrier! :P Thanks so much, just writing this all out is a bit of a relief!

[/quote]

Well, I could say this are normal occurrences in a marriage. The key is to keep trusting in the Lord and to keep on loving each other.

I would suggest that you inquire in your parish about Retrouvaille, it is catholic church supported.

Here is the website: retrouvaille.org/

And if you wish, inquire also about this group (a Catholic Lay group), I do not know where you are but here is their website and see if they are present or near your area:

cfc--usa.com/v1.2/


#3

Thank you for sharing all of the positive attributes of your husband first. Good start.

[quote="marykate2623, post:1, topic:249353"]

Here are my main concerns:

  1. We feel like roommates now. I know love isn't always about sparks but it worries me that we've lost alot of that in such a short time in marriage. Sometimes I feel guilty because I feel bored.

[/quote]

Marriage sometimes feels like that, and we have to work on putting the sparks back in the marriage. Try to remember what your husbands likes, does he like you to make any intimate advances towards him? Try to spend some time alone with him without TV, computer or other distractions. Ask him to go for a walk, the simple things.

[quote="marykate2623, post:1, topic:249353"]

  1. During the first few months of marriage, we really clashed (very opposite in nature) and would always get in very heated arguments. I would run away as a response (taking a walk or driving, many times considering driving to my parent's house)...I feel like that was a terrible way to start off a marriage and now I feel like my walls are up and I can't let go of the hurt.

[/quote]

Good girl, you are noticing that your responses to an argument we not the best. Try to keep arguements on the subject and try not to say anything hurtful. If you don't like something he did, keep it to that subject, refrain from comments like "You always do that..." Try to may comments like it really hurts me when....... And you may have to teach him how to do the same thing.

[quote="marykate2623, post:1, topic:249353"]

  1. We are very bad at arguing. We don't fight alot now, but when we do, one person blows up and yells, the other yells back, sometimes we act like we can't deal with each other anymore (once someone mentioned divorce), sometimes he talks down to me (example "why can't you do this one thing I asked you right?"), I storm off or leave the house and drive. He does admit to have a temper and he says he is going to work on it, but I also hold onto things and always want to be right in the end (comes from my mother, who is the same way).

[/quote]

Try writting him a letter, but always end it that you do love him, even though the behavior is bothering you.

[quote="marykate2623, post:1, topic:249353"]

  1. We are opposites and it's hard to find common interests. I feel like we are growing apart and I'm so worried, since his parents grew apart for 20 years and just recently divorced. Part of me hears all the stories of "perfect couples" and buys it, even though I know that perfect is a fantasy, so when I think of how different we are, I sometimes doubt if we were the right fit for each other.

[/quote]

Opposites do attract, that is how you got together, but that means both people need to compromise in decsion making. No marriage is perfect, I have 23 years experience with that, it takes a lot of work.

[quote="marykate2623, post:1, topic:249353"]

  1. I really am worried about his temper, since he always tends to blow up. He also cuts people off in his family when he is continually disappointed in them (he is angry at his sister for relapsing again with alcohol, so he won't talk to her...this seems to be normal in his family, his dad also won't talk to her). I come from a family where everyone is accepted, no matter what, and family unity is the ultimate goal.

[/quote]

Since you have concerns in this area, try to talk to him about it when he is not in the heat of anger. Try to present ideas of how you can help that person instead of avoiding them.

[quote="marykate2623, post:1, topic:249353"]

  1. His mom cheated on his dad before the divorce and is still with the man she cheated with, so while he does visit his mom on her own, he never wants to meet this man, since he just can't respect someone who pursued a married woman. I understand his side, but I'm also worried that when we have children, it will become a difficult ordeal with having them visit their grandmother.

I think that about sums it up...Oh and if you can't already tell, I'm a chronic worrier! :P Thanks so much, just writing this all out is a bit of a relief!

[/quote]

People who come from families who have had cheating or divoce do have more problems with this. Try to talk to him and let him know once you have children there will be times when you have to see family members at birthdays etc that are not your favorite people, but you can do it graciously.

It definately sounds like you have some issues to work out before having any kids. I will be praying for you.


#4

Oh sweetheart! If you only knew how similar your situation sounds to my own! Especially the bored and nothing in common aspects. My husband and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary next month. We go through ups and downs all the time. We go though periods of feeling intense attraction and affection for each other and then that fades and we're not as "in to" each other. When we were dating, he even said to me "don't you think it's weird we don't talk about a lot of deep things?" I told him it wasn't weird, although now I know he was right. Bottom line is this--he and I are CRAZY about each other, and that doesn't mean you have to have common interests. I know how you feel though--it would be less "boring" and much more enjoyable if we had common interests and wanted to do everything together. That connection is important. BUT, that connection doesn't have to be there every second. Marriage takes work. It is a decision to love more than a forever FEELING of love. It sounds to me like he really loves you. I'm sorry to hear about his temper. In my marriage, I'm the one with the temper. As far as him not speaking to family, my father is an alcoholic. There are times where cutting ties would make life easier, but it's not in my personality to do that. But, I definitely understand where he's coming from on that.
Best advice I can give: it's only been a year and a half. Give it more time. Don't run away during fights (I'm a runner, too). Talk about things honestly before they escalate (i.e. His temper, feelings about family, nothing in common). Pray for his temper, your boredom and communication. Marriage is an adjustment, so take some time to adjust! You're in my prayers :)


#5

I'll ditto the retrouvaille suggestion. I have heard very good things about it, and I believe the main thing about it is learning how to communicate. You can ask your parish priest about it.


#6

[quote="marykate2623, post:1, topic:249353"]

  1. We feel like roommates now....

[/quote]

In my experience, this is totally normal. Things are all hot-and-heavy and first, then it lets up and you start to feel bored. Then, after a while, things heat up and again and cool off. It's a constant roller coaster. During the "cool down" times, find other things to do together. When hubby and I were at the 1.2 years' mark we were in a dry run for several months. We talked about it, had a long discussion even considering the possibility that we made a mistake. This took place in a 2 hour car drive. We got home and....well best in 2 years ;). Things were good for a while (3-5 months) then it crashed again. When it did happen we admitted it happened and focused on living like best friends. After months of living like friends who occasionally came together for so-so relations the spark was lit again. From our experience though - the roller coaster evens out. The lows aren't as low, but the highs are still pretty high. It's like we're gradually leveling out at a higher level. Give this one time and communication but know this - it's totally normal.

  1. During the first few months of marriage, we really clashed (very opposite in nature) and would always get in very heated arguments....t.

This happened to us a lot. Well, a lot for us anyway. I remember one time I got so mad I went to the gym and ran and ran and ran until I almost passed out because I was so angry. When I got back, we talked it out. Blow-ups happen but you gotta cool down and then talk about it. Have you told him you're still hurt? I would. It sounds like you have a good husband, and I bet he'd be willing to work these things out with you.

  1. We are very bad at arguing....

I think in the first 3 years of being married divorce was brought up a lot. I think we felt safe talking about it because we knew we wouldn't do it but we thought about how that would play out and how it wasn't what we wanted. We fought bitterly for a long time. The thing is - fighting is a learned skill. Yes! It's true! You have to learn how to fight and how to fight fair. A successful relationship fights ALL the time, they just know how to fight constructively.

  1. We are opposites and it's hard to find common interests....

I admit - this isn't as much of a problem for hubby and I. We have a lot of similar interests but since I've been healthier my interests have changed. We have our "together" stuff now and our "separate.' For example - I love fishing. He hates it. So, every once in a while I'll take the boat and spend a day on the lake and he'll stay home and play games. It's hard when you're first married - spending time apart. But it's something you will probably learn to do. So you should have your separate interests - but be sure that you are doing some thing together. It may be only a few things, but that's all it takes.

  1. I really am worried about his temper....

I can't speak to the temper thing, but about the alcoholism...I can. My mother is an alcoholic (recovered...kind of) and the pain that comes with that is a tremendous burden to hold. If my mom relapsed back into alcohol, I would cut her out of my life until it stopped. I don't have a temper, and I am all about family, but I personally couldn't deal with the pain of that. He maybe has the same problem there. As far as his temper - talk to him about it. The best thing you can do is not expect him to change but rather develop ways to deal with it in a healthy way.

I think that about sums it up...Oh and if you can't already tell, I'm a chronic worrier! :P Thanks so much, just writing this all out is a bit of a relief!

Pretty much everything you described sounds totally normal to me. Granted - your worries are unique to your own situation - but I think everything is based out of all the questions and battles that come with being newly married. I asked myself all those things, my friends have....it's just part of the adjustment. That's why marriage is a commitment, rather than "feelings." You have to make the decision to stick it out no matter what and find out how to live with the things that annoy you. When hubby and I realized that, things got a lot easier for us. Oh, and the real funny thing is that I thought I was alone in the relationship feeling the way I did. Turns out he was too. When we found that out we started laughing like crazy, and we've been talking thought it all since then. It's all part of the learning curve and you gotta fight though it and fight for one another.

If it's too hard for you guys, or if you feel like progress isn't being made - see a marriage counselor with specific goals. Example: We want to learn how to fight fair and productively. Things like that.


#7

Thumbs up on the above posts. Marriage involves growth and growth can be painful. Communication is important and it sounds like you are communicating...even if it is angry yelling...you have to start somewhere. As was mentioned, try your best to stay on topic when arguing and don't hit below the belt.

This will get personal and I appologize ahead of time: As to your husband's temper and the history of his parents...has he considered counseling? Or even couseling for the both of you? A great deal of his anger may stem from what happened with his parents. My wife and I both had counseling (before we met) (mine was for anger and depression), it is SOO helpful.


#8

Alot of this s normal stuff. My wife and I have been together as a couple for 4 years, and married for 14 months. The hot then cold stuff is normal, and to an extent so is the arguing. You are learning to love someone forever. It is an overwhelming experience.

I would caution you about one action you mentioned. The driving or walking away. This can be hurtful. It may make your husband feel you are running away or abandoning him, also it closes the door on communication.


#9

[quote="Jay417, post:8, topic:249353"]
Alot of this s normal stuff. My wife and I have been together as a couple for 4 years, and married for 14 months. The hot then cold stuff is normal, and to an extent so is the arguing. You are learning to love someone forever. It is an overwhelming experience.

I would caution you about one action you mentioned. The driving or walking away. This can be hurtful. It may make your husband feel you are running away or abandoning him, also it closes the door on communication.

[/quote]

I agree about the silent treatment being very hurtful. It makes one feel shunned and unloved. It is serious emotional abuse


#10

The above suggestions are great and I applaud you on wanting to make things better. I would suggest that instead of trying retrouille (a very good program) you may wnat to consider a marriage encounter weekend. Marriage Encounter is about making a good marriage better and I think Retrouille may be a little more intense. ME is ab out learning to share feelings. It is not touchy feelly and there is no group sharing, it focuses on the couple, between the couple. In my prayers, God bless.

www.wwme.org


#11

Normal.

Married 40+ years.

The only person you can change is yourself.

But, if you change yourself, then everybody around you, including your husband, will change in order to accommodate the new you.

No marriage is perfect.

But what you can do is find some tiny thing that you admire in someone else and adopt just only that tiny thing for yourself.

One of the places where I worked moved to new quarters. And there was a nice Catholic church across the street. And they had a lot of guest priests say Mass. And one of the guest priests was the coolest guy I ever met. Never got to know his name. But all kinds of things would go wrong on a random basis. Somebody lost the key to the vestment cabinet … so he just laughed and found some things in various drawers and put together some semblance of a “liturgical vestment” … and joked about it … and then as part of his “pre-homily” explained about vestments and the Mass. And then another time, there weren’t enough hosts. It seemed like everytime he was there, the was something … and he just smiled, made light of the problem and incorporated it into his Mass … and I was inspired by his attitude.

So, whenever some kind of thing goes wrong or inconvenient, I just remember back to one or another of the situations he was faced with … and how he just smiled and continued on.


#12

[quote="Dorothy, post:9, topic:249353"]
I agree about the silent treatment being very hurtful. It makes one feel shunned and unloved. It is serious emotional abuse

[/quote]

There needs to be a distinction here - walking away to "cool off" is healthy for some people. Now if we are talking continual silent treatment then sure...but taking a time out is perfectly normal and healthy. Just make sure you let your hubby know you need to cool off. In my relationship I am the one that needs to cool off, and he's the one that wants to talk about it immediately. It's a constant give-and-take. There are times I have to stay and talk it out, there are times he has to give me my time-out time.


#13

Thank you for coming here and sharing your story, please be assured of my prayers.

Don't feel guilty because you feel bored in your marriage, only feel guilty if you feel bored and then leave your husband because you are bored! As far as fighting the first year or so normal...normal...normal. I have heard it said that the first year of marriage is one of the hardest and there is some truth in that I have lived it. That doesn't mean you don't need to work on problems but your marriage is not out of the ordinary from what I read.

Please consider re-evaluating the way you view your husband's treatment of his sister. You were a bit critical of him in your post when you wrote that both your husband and your father-in-law cut ties with his sister because of alcohol use. You even mentioned that in your family "everyone is accepted." Acceptance does not obligate you to an ongoing relationship. Please know that with some people, especially when there is alcohol abuse...it is the healthy thing to cut ties. There is nothing un-Christian about this and I hope you have not been pressuring your husband to contact her (although you never mentioned that you did.)

Sadly, the difficulty with your mother-in-law will likely always be there as long as she is in a relationship with the man she had an affair with. Will this be difficult when you have children? Yes. Will you have to make some tough decisions? Yes.

I agree with what others suggested about counseling to help with communication and especially trying to control tempers. This may be quite helpful.

The nice thing about all of this is that if you keep Christ in the center of your marriage he will give you the grace needed. Jesus knows all of your weaknesses, he knows all of the worries of your heart and he knows exactly what you need to make your marriage strong. Turn to him, he loves you so much! Hope this helps a little.


#14

Hi MaryKate,
You are not alone... My wife and I have been married 34 years and because of problems in our marriage, just completed a Retrouvaille Weekend... I would highly recommend either Retrouvaille or World Wide Marriage Encounter... Both programs will help you communicate with each other like you never thought possible... And as for your Mom, I think it's wise for you and your husband to make this decision on your own... Your Mom loves you and wants the best for your marriage... The best gift you could give her would be to have a happy marriage!
In Retrouvaille and Marriage Encounter we are taught that we all have a stake in each others marriages... We will be praying for you and your husband!
Love Crabbie Man


#15

First of all, thank you all so much for your advice! Giving help and reassurance to someone new to this board really moved me! Sometimes, when I’m alone with a problem, I feel like it’s enormous and can’t be overcome, but this discussion really helped me see the bigger picture and see what a blessed marriage I do have. Our problems definitely need to be worked on, especially with learning how to argue, but to hear that this is normal and that others who are happily married have felt this way is so comforting! Sometimes I would think that there was something wrong with us to have such a rough first year, since most people act like newlyweds are walking on sunshine all day. But I’m definitely looking into the programs to see what is a right fit for us, definitely a step in the right direction. There are some things too that you pointed out, that I didn’t notice I was doing, like being too critical and misunderstanding his relationship with his sister. I’ve never been in a situation like that, so sometimes I would wonder why it had to be this way for him. I also do storm off to cool down, but I never realized that it could make someone feel abandoned. I did it as a protective gesture for myself, not thinking it would affect him at all! So I’m definitely going to try to be more supportive and aware of his side of things.

Thanks again, I’m so glad I found a community that I can confide in that believes in the sacrament of marriage and is so willing to help!


#16

I also forgot to mention in my last response above…
My husband is agnostic (was raised that way), but is fully supportive of my faith and the upbringing of our future children. The problem this poses is that some of the Catholic marriage counseling is sometimes lost on him, since he isn’t familiar with the Bible at all and can’t relate to it as much. Also, for example, sometimes we would read marriage help books together (Catholic) and their advice to solve most problems would be to “ask Christ for guidance in your marriage” or “both be united in the Catholic faith”. These don’t help in the basics of solving our communication problems and sometimes it makes us feel more distant, since it feels like they are teaching that the only way for people to have a happy marriage is to have the same faith/upbringing.

I noticed that retrouvaille.org/ welcomes agnostics and atheists on their site, but I wanted to hear your opinion on what Catholic programs are best for our situation in giving sound advice without laying too heavily on the religious side. Or possibly a secular group or a marriage book you’ve read in the past?

I want to point out that I don’t want to be misunderstood as saying that I don’t think religious advice on marriage isn’t useful, I really think it is very useful, and I read these books on my own time and translate them as best I can to him from time to time. But I also know that there are two people in this marriage, and in order to fix our problems, I don’t want him feeling alone at any time during this intense process of healing and learning. Thanks so much again!


#17

Do you use NFP?

It may seem that such things may not have much to do with the types of problems you are experiencing, but it has been my experience and the experience of many others that placing a true focus upon maintaining chastity in marriage relieves much of the things you describe. Its not magic, in fact it can be quite difficult and irritating at times, but it really helped the relationship between my wife and I on so many different levels.


#18

[quote="marykate2623, post:15, topic:249353"]
Our problems definitely need to be worked on, especially with learning how to argue, but to hear that this is normal and that others who are happily married have felt this way is so comforting!** Sometimes I would think that there was something wrong with us to have such a rough first year, since most people act like newlyweds are walking on sunshine all day**.

[/quote]

BTDT... (from a soon-to-be-married-for3-years perspective) :
- YES, a rough first year of marriage happens more often than not
- NO, nobody warns you about it
You're just "learning to walk" as a couple. It's SO worth it to invest time and energy to adress the problems you see now, instead of pretending no to notice them too much because "that's not how a first year is supposed to be". Go on ! :thumbsup:


#19

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