Newlywed Struggles


#1

DH and I have been married for 4 months and we are having some difficulties. We were married in April, moved to another country in May, and found out that we are expecting our first LO in July. I think the compounded stress of all of these things is causing the problems, but I can’t seem to turn things around.

This is the second night in a row that we have fought and ended up sleeping in separate beds. Last night he walked out and came back intoxicated 3 hours later. Both nights we’ve fought about the same thing - I have to go back to the US to deliver the baby and I want to rent an apartment for the time I will be there (about 6 months). DH wants me to stay in a vacant apartment that belongs to his parents. His parents’ apartment is 90 minutes from the hospital I will be delivering at, from my OB’s office, and from LO’s pediatrician-to-be. It is also an hour (at least, depending on traffic) from both my mom and DH’s parents.

I would prefer to rent an apartment in the same town as the OB/pedi/hospital/my mom, that is also 1 hr. from DH’s parents. I’ve looked into it and it should cost ~$900/month. We can more than afford this because it’s DH’s job that is forcing me to deliver in the States instead of here, and I get a $71 per diem for expenses, which comes to nearly $2500 per month.

DH is afraid that his parents will be offended that we are refusing their generosity. While I understand his position, I think that proximity to the doctors and hospital, when I will have to drive there every week (at least) in February when it is likely to snow frequently, is more important than his parents’ potential hurt feelings.

I just feel that overall he is being selfish about the entire pregnancy. This was not planned, NFP failed us, and we both feel hurt and a little betrayed because of that. But he is insisting that because he’s “the man of the house” he knows best and should make all of these decisions. Nevermind that he’s never been around a pregnant woman or a newborn. Nevermind that I’m the one constantly reading the baby books and looking up information online, while he’s made no effort to learn anything. Nevermind the fact that I will be the one stuck alone, away from home, in the final stages of pregnancy and then with a newborn. (DH will likely only be able to come visit for two weeks or so around my due date because he is still obligated to be at work here.) I just feel that since these decisions are going to have a far greater impact on me than they will on him, my opinion should carry a little more weight.

On top of all this, DH has relapsed into an old habit - watching pornographic movies and masturbating. I recognize that I may not be as “available” as he’d like right now, but I’m in the first trimester of an as-yet fairly uncomfortable pregnancy. He says that it’s only been a couple of times, but I am still hurt by this.

Also, DH and I agreed when we merged our finances that we’d discuss any purchases of more than $100 before making them. A few months ago he asked if it’d be alright if he bought a video game system that he said cost $250 dollars. I agreed because we had the money and I didn’t see a problem with it. Well, when we got the credit card statement it turned out that he spent $900 on the console, accessories, and games. That was NOT agreed to. Also, this past week he spent $200 on a wireless router, when we already have one IDENTICAL to the one he bought that works perfectly. And, he spent $100 on a wireless keyboard to replace the wireless keyboard he has because he claims it’s damaged, though I’ve watched him use it in the past couple of days (and used it myself) and it appears to be fine. Neither of these purchases were mentioned to me; I only found out about them because I checked our credit card statement online.

I can’t help but feel like DH is being immature and selfish. Any advice on how to handle this situation would be greatly appreciated.


#2

Your situation sounds difficult.

Your husband is being immature. Getting an apartment closer to the Hospital is both practical and affordable for you - and it makes sense to do this; particularily as you will be alone.

The fact his parents might get "offended" is besides the point; it is not a gift if they compel you to use it; it is all well and good them being generous; but if their generosity puts you in a difficult position or threatens yourself or your child then they should respect your desicion to politely decline.

Furthermore; the fact that he is watching pornography is not good; he has not got long to mature into a responsible father; and wasting his time (and money) on expensive equipment that is un-necessary and wasteful is a further demonstration of his inability to come to terms with his new-role. He is wasting money and lying about it; If this happened to me I would remove his access to funds; particularily if he is not sorry.

Praying for the restoration of trust and unity in your family; and for a happy and healthy home for your child.


#3

I'm not married, will be in less than 2 months, but for my fiance and I, he gets to make all major decisions with input from me. It works for us because I know he'll listen to my wants and needs. But there are many times when I see women fighting to be dominant in the relationship and it just doesn't work. Mature men are meant to be the head of household. Now, this perhaps doesn't pertain to you if your husband refuses to listen to you and is making decisions solely based on his own feelings.

On another side, NFP did not fail you. It doesn't "fail" It is user error in not reading signs correctly or having relations in an unsafe time when they assume it's safe. I mean honestly, babies are a gift of God, not a punishment from a "failed" method. That is the point of NFP, to leave it up to God, so that if He sends you a baby, it is a joy. This is why it's approved by the Church. It is not a contraceptive to fail.

Have you thought of talking with his parents and seeing if they would indeed be offended if you chose another apartment? I'm wondering if his mom wouldn't side with you, having obviously had a baby before and seeing that it would work out better to live closer to the hospital.


#4

Meltoine,

There are *several *red flags in your post that indicate a need for some marital counseling, ASAP. His problems with drinking, pornography, and excessive spending indicate severe immaturity and lack of self-control on his part, and I'm guessing you were to some extent aware of these things before you married.

Are you both Catholic? If so, can you make an appointment with your priest? Where is YOUR family? I would think if you'd be moving to the States for six months without your husband and having a baby, the most convenient thing would be to be close to your own mother, not his.

It's my opinion that these matters are too big to leave to free advice from anonymous members of a forum. Please, for the sake of your marriage and your baby, see a counselor.

God bless,

Mary (9 years married, 3 kids)


#5

I'm guessing you were to some extent aware of these things before you married.
... can you make an appointment with your priest? .... It's my opinion that these matters are too big to leave to free advice from anonymous members of a forum. ...... Please, for the sake of your marriage and your baby, see a counselor.

no kidding. this is a LOT of trouble for a newlywed couple to be having. a LOT. you will need significant help.


#6

As others have said above, this does seem like an awful lot of problems for a newlywed couple. Is your DH Catholic? Could he talk to a priest--either with you present or man-to-man--about some of these problems?

Insofar as the apartment, 90 minutes is pretty far from the hospital for a preggers woman. Could you talk to your mother-in-law about this, as (presumably) she's done the whole pregnancy and childbirth bit? Something like "It is so incredibly kind of you to offer the apartment, and I appreciate it more than I can say, but what with the baby I'm just too nervous about being so far from the hospital." Depending on how close you are with her, you might even invite her to stay with you for a week around when the baby comes so that you aren't alone in that apartment when a) you go into labor and b) when you are exhausted, in some pain (no matter how well the birth goes, you'll be tired and sore afterwards), and with your first newborn to nurse/care for/etc. Don't do that if she'd just stress you more, but if you're at all close she would be flattered to be asked, she could help you a great deal--and it might take away any sting about turning down her and her husband's apartment.

I'll pray for you this evening.


#7

As far as I’m concerned, that only works when your husband is 1)willing to listen to you, which mine isn’t 2) willing to educate himself on the topic before making a decision, which mine isn’t and 3)not already making poor decisions with money, alcohol, or pornography that lead me to seriously doubt his decision making capabilities.

I have been charting my cycles for more than 3 years now. I did academic research on NFP long before I was married and DH and I took a CCLI class (for his benefit) before we were married. I am well aware and intimately acquainted with the biological and spiritual aspects of NFP.

That being said, the month we conceived I ovulated on day 16 of my cycle. We abstained from day 10 through day 20. We sent a copy of my chart to our teaching couple, and they weren’t able to explain it either.

I understand that babies are a gift from God, but when you’ve been married for 10 minutes, just moved halfway around the world and have no support system and marital problems, a baby does not feel like a gift or a joy. It feels like an enormous responsibility that cannot be shouldered, especially if I’m the only one doing the work and DH insists on frustrating my efforts at every turn.

I’m reluctant to call them because I try to avoid airing my marital problems to others (who know us) because I was taught that that is highly detrimental. Is it really okay to involve his parents in our disputes?

We are both Catholic. I would love to see a counselor, but I have no idea how to go about that here. We’ve yet to find a priest that speaks English here. Most are Eastern Rite and only speak Arabic. There is one Church in our neighborhood that offers mass in Italian, Tagalog, and Spanish, but not in English. I assume if the priest spoke English mass would be offered in English. But, I could ask.

As for secular counselors, there are none through our medical clinic, only family doctors, and I know that “therapy” is not culturally accepted here so I doubt that there are many counselors available, but I will ask at my next pre-natal appointment.

My mother lives in the same town where the hospital, my OB, and LO’s pedi are, which is an hour from DH’s mom, just like the other apartment.

Thank you so much to all who offered prayers. I know I can use them right about now. You have my prayers of thanks and gratitude.


#8

[quote="meltoine, post:7, topic:207462"]

That being said, the month we conceived I ovulated on day 16 of my cycle. We abstained from day 10 through day 20. We sent a copy of my chart to our teaching couple, and they weren't able to explain it either.

[/quote]

I can explain....new research shows sperm can live up to a full week in a woman, which means if you had intercourse 6 days prior to ovulating then it's still possible.

I know they tell you sperm only lives a few days and for the most part that's true, but healthy sperm (and your DH is probably young and healthy) can live a full 7 days.

So basically, if you need to use NFP to absolutely avoid, you need to abstain until phase 3 after ovulation is confirmed. That's the only way to make certain you don't conceive, otherwise you are being open to life which is an awesome thing! :thumbsup:

And I also agree you need to find counseling, your DH has a lot of issues. Prayers for your family.


#9

I was just going to say what Gam3rchic stated. Healthy sperm can potentially live for up to a week. This isn't the case for all men's sperm or of course all women depending on their CM. But it can and obviously does happen, as in your case.

I don't think talking to your mother-in-law about asking if they minded you finding a different apartment is really airing your marital problems. You don't even need to bring up a disagreement with your husband. Just pose it as you were thinking about it, and you appreciate their generosity more than you can say, but you are scared of being so far from the hospital while pregnant. Like I and another poster stated, she obviously has been pregnant before so she may side with you and understand your concerns with being far from the hospital. And if she sides with you perhaps she can talk some sense into your husband.


#10

[quote="gam3rchic, post:8, topic:207462"]
I can explain....new research shows sperm can live up to a full week in a woman, which means if you had intercourse 6 days prior to ovulating then it's still possible.

I know they tell you sperm only lives a few days and for the most part that's true, but healthy sperm (and your DH is probably young and healthy) can live a full 7 days.

[/quote]

Is there a source or citation for this? If so, I suppose CCLI will have to change its program a bit to adjust. I would guess that it is a low-probability event; otherwise, NFP might not be effective in general pre-ovulation.


#11

I take it you're over there for your DH's job. Do they have anyone who serves as an "expat liasion" that could possibly help you get the help the two of you need? I don't think it would be that uncommon for even a healthy couple to experience stress and worry when moving halfway across the world. I would be very surprised if his company had no resources to help employees and their families deal with that.

I agree with the advice to talk to your MIL directly. She of all people should understand you don't want to be an hour and a half away from the hospital in your condition! I can't imagine why your husband would be so worried about offending his parents. YOU and baby should be his number one concern as a married man. He definitely has a lot of growing up to do in this and the other issues you mentioned.

I'm sorry you feel "NFP failed you." I can definitely understand your feelings, but I hope you come to see your child as the blessing it is in spite of the timing not being 100% perfect. God bless you.


#12

[quote="gferrer, post:10, topic:207462"]
Is there a source or citation for this? If so, I suppose CCLI will have to change its program a bit to adjust. I would guess that it is a low-probability event; otherwise, NFP might not be effective in general pre-ovulation.

[/quote]

I didn't have the time to track down a citation for this on the internet, but I'm sure if you google it you can find some answers. Generally speaking, sperm doesn't live up to a week, this is the exception, but it CAN happen as new research is showing. Many factors play into the life of sperm in a woman, the average being around 3 days but the possibility of a week exists. This is why every now and then you hear of a couple complaining that NFP "failed" because they happened to be one the exceptions where the sperm lived longer than normal. :shrug: It's not common, but it does happen, which is why if someone absolutely needs to avoid then they need to wait until phase 3 to have any relations.


#13

Hi there

I reread your post, and I have to say that your request of the apartment seems so totally reasonable that I really don't understand why your DH would object. It makes me wonder if there isn't something else going on that he hasn't told you? Are you 100% sure that finances are OK? Could he be hiding some debt from you? (Especially in light of his overspending.)

I mean, are his folks really that unreasonable that they would be offended by a perfectly reasonable explanation of why you wouldn't want to use the apartment?

I also wondered if he doesn't trust you, and wants his folks to "Keep an eye" on you? (I'm not accusing you of ANYTHING, just trying to read between the lines of his objections a bit...)

You don't mention your ages, but I wonder if your DH is young? Is all this behavior perhaps out of his fear of being a father? I know that MANY men have some fear of taking that monumental step into fatherhood...and someone immature may act out in the ways your DH is. Which puts a burden on you -- if he is acting like a child, he puts you in the role of his parent, and then he resents you for parenting him. I have seen this dynamic play out in some very close friends' marriages and it never ends well.

I would really try to discuss his feelings with him -- not to scold him for his misbehavior, but rather, to ask him "Babe, what's really bothering you? Is the baby's arrival freaking you out? What can we do to make this easier for both of us?" I know it would be hard to talk like this when you really want to ring his neck, but I think it's worth a try to see if you can find out what feelings are at the root of his behavior.

Good luck, and God bless all three of you.


#14

Can I ask which country you are currently living in? Are you in a major city or close to one?

...oops sorry, I see you are in Cairo.


#15

Here is a Catholic mission with English masses in Cairo in two or three different locations. comboniegypt.org/Mass%20time%20table%2021.htm

There is also an MA in Counseling offered at the American University in Cairo catalog.aucegypt.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=14&poid=1648&bc=1 Maybe you could contact the department and ask for a referral for an English speaking counselor locally.


#16

More info on English Mass in Cairo, a few years old so some times may be out of date whazzupegypt.blogspot.com/2006/12/churches-in-cairo.html

The American embassy might also have information for local residents. cairo.usembassy.gov/


#17

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