Please help me get through this


#1

My dh and I have been married 28 years. Unfortunately our lives are currently filled with
more stress than usual and it’s taking a toll. We have 3 children.
Dh kicked our oldest (age 22) out of the house back in November alot due to son not wanting to take responsibility and work or go to school. We’ve not heard from him though he has occasionally contacted his 17 year old brother and 14 year old sister.
I miss my son terribly though I don’t miss the unaccountability and the example he was setting for our younger children.

My dh and I are also self employed and although our business is faring well considering the economy there is still alot of stress. This last year we have only been sleeping in the same bed maybe once a week. One of us usually falls asleep on the sofa and no longer bother to go to bed. Tonite my husband left after a brief argument.
This has happened a couple of times before this last year and I always call an ask him to come home. It’s usually only a few hours he’s gone. Tonight he told me he wasn’t coming back and I angrily said it was getting easier for him to leave. As sad as I am I am also very tired. My husband is a very loving man but can also be very immature and suffers from low self esteem. No one would ever imagine this because he has been very successful but he is very humble and doesn’t take anything for granted. I feel his low self esteem comes from his childhood, his father abandoned his mother and siblings and they suffered much. His mother became an alcoholic and died when dh was 19.

I love my husband and children and I do value our marriage. However his low self esteem
and perfectionism is taking a toll. I know after awhile I become very sad and will want
him to come back home. But part of me prefers I could just stay fed up and angry and not want him back for either myself or our children. I know that it is wrong to think that way but that is how I feel. I need prayers, advice and hope someone can give me words of wisdom. I also need help to get through the situation with our oldest son. I know tough love is what he needs right now but there are days it is very difficult for me not to want to
call him though he doesn’t want to talk to me or his father.
Thanks again for listening and for your prayers.

God Bless

Abbey
But part of me wants to stand my ground and just say enough is enough. I


#2

Abbey,

I feel your pain about the detachment from your son. I had to distance myself from a loved one recently because he refused to do anything with himself, and we all know that we have talents and skills to both share and nurture in this life.

Low self- esteem is a serious issue that often leads those with it down harder paths in life, that they could have been spared.

I believe his perfectionistic behavior is his mask for his lack of self- esteem.

This clearly is a problem that has to be dealt with. He may be resistant to working on it because he’s probably rather comfortable in that state, but it will only get worse, and it sounds like it already has. And he may be prideful and may not want to ‘talk out his problems’ with another, because then he would feel weak, when it is really the opposite.

If you are both attending church, I suggest you both sit down and speak to a priest that you are comfortable with. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so at your home parish, go to another parish for spiritual counsel.

The priest may be able to offer referrals to Catholic therapists, or you could contact your home diocese for that.

Bear in mind that Satan relishes in tearing families apart.

Don’t let your anger get the best of you. Sit down and take a breather, and remember that when you two became husband and wife, you became one unit.

Love your husband as yourself. Bite your tongue if you have to. Apologize for anything you may have said out of line. Hopefully he will come around and finally recognize what he needs to work on, and invite you to help him lovingly break this obstacle.

I will pray for your family.


#3

Hi Abbey i hear your pain and im so sorry you are suffering.Gosh where to start.
I would advise you to have a confidential chat with your priest tell him everything you have said her.Is ther some form of marriage counselling available in your area or through your parish or diocese? perhaps you could ask the priest about this also.

Regarding your son who was thrown out.Is he safe?Do you know if he has somewhere to stay and where it is?
Im sure he is safe its just you don't mention it.

I had to do the same thing with my sons at one time or another. for a short period of time.They went to stay with a relative.This of course was after telling them that they left me with nochoices they either did.....whatever was necessary..get a job or further education etc or they would have to live elsewhere.I can assure you i have an excellent relationship with my sons.They all came through this fine.It is important to maintain contact with your son to show you do love him but will not tolerate the behaviour.Perhaps if you could all meet up somewhere independent for a chat,you hubby and your son, perhaps in a cafe.You could ask how he is and state you are missing him & is he prepared to try to do whatever it is you need him to do?

If things don't go well (don't forget he will feel affronted in his own way that he was thrown out and thats hurt him,he won't see this from your point of view yet) just try to stay calm and say'im really sorry that you don't see this from our point of view but we do love you and would like to resolve this.Explain how hard it is to be a parent and the challenges you face are sometimes dufficult and you are looking forward to him undertsanding this.

Pray for help from Our Blessed Lord.He hears and answers prayers.I will pray for you all.

Your marriage and family life are suffering under stress at the moment.This is understandable with all the financial and family pressures.I sincerely hope things improve for you.Make that appoinment to spak to your priest.God blessxx


#4

Abbey,

I hope I am not imposing as I do not know you personally but if you will allow me to I will offer my simplest advice. Assuming this is your first marriage (please excuse this but modern life does get excessively complicated) there is no trial that is capable of severing your affection and commitment to your husband. This is true on a doctrinal and on a functional level. I think you will find that once your irritability wears off you will be in a much more consistent and welcoming frame of mind. You and he were basically soldered together for a reason and it would be ungracious to God to reconsider His wisdom. Not only that but all the alternatives are horrifying. You don't want to live as half a person your earthly life, and spiritually and psychologically that is the result of separation, no matter how people mask it. Independent of the fact that every following relationship would be categorically defined as adultery by Christian standards. I would classify marital separation as the most prevalent social epidemic in Western culture, and it has resulted in a mass of wounded people. I do not mean to be making assumptions about your intentions, it just seemed that this was what your message implied, and I was moved to dissuade you. One last word on this topic, my own birth parents separated when I was 3 and my mom started living with someone seriously when I was seven. I am currently 31 and have been entirely unwilling and unable to accept the man she lives with as a parental figure because my natural father is still alive and to accept them both would be both redundant and a betrayal. So the entire situation is extremely fractured and, to my mind, irreparable. In other words I would advise you to take the only sensible option and work tenaciously with God and with your husband to seek out the roots of his less desirable qualities and your own dissatisfaction. Love always wins so it shouldn't be too treacherous.

As far as your son, he sounds young enough that if he has not been enrolled in college he should be encouraged. This would reorient him out of your house and to a productive establishment. Probably the worst thing you could do for him is allow him to sink into a pointless existence in your family home. Less for the example he sets than for his own sense of self-esteem. He will feel imprisoned and lacking value, and I know this from a wealth of personal experience. It's easy for me to say, living comfortably in my mom's home until I move, likely later this month, but it is true that at a certain age being on one's own requires one to adopt the skills to fend for oneself. He is probably out surviving, which is a required skill in the world. You will probably find him a more sincere and developed person. So I wouldn't worry too strenuously. You may like to invite him back for the occasional family dinner.

Thank you for reading this. I hope I wasn't too longwinded or severe. Best of luck, and pray always, and I am sure God will guide you.

God Bless,

Nate


#5

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#6

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#7

Hi Abbey,

Listen to that part of you that wants to stand your ground. It seems so easy to forget the way that you are hurting right now, but you aren’t going to make any progress on making things right for you and for your children…or for your husband for that matter if you don’t work on finding a way to address the real problems.

What was the role in the family of your older son that got kicked out? Did he ever do well in school or have any area in his life where he shined, or as he always seemed like the family scapegoat?

I think talking to your priest would be an excellent idea. I also think talking an individual therapist would also be good. It sounds like you are going through a lot and knowing how to negotiate the course with tough love is pretty difficult. Getting some outside perspective from someone who has helped others under similar circumstances would probably be really helpful.


#8

If I was to read between the lines of your post, I have to wonder if you resent your husband for kicking your son out? It appears to be your husband’s decision and you had no say in the matter.

Has your husband’s low self-esteem become more of a problem after your son was thrown out? Or less. I put myself in your husband’s shoes (not to excuse his actions but to give you some perspective on where he might be coming from). When your husband was 19 he was left alone to care for himself. His mom was dead and his dad had nothing to do with him. And now he is the father of a 22 year old. He had no role model on his job of being a father to a 22 year old. He has no clue how to go about it. Not to mention, there could be jealously that at 22 he had been on his own for 3 years and here this kid has it better than him. That would be hard to take

It does seem however, that your husband does still love you. I pray you will find a solution

CM


#9

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