My husband and I just got married a year and a half ago. We have a one year old baby. Since our wedding, we have strong ups and downs. We’ve been super stressed out since we just moved in a new state, started new jobs and with the new baby. My husband is Mexican and I’m Filipino. I didn’t think we would have problems about cultural differences at least not to fight everyday about it. I’ve had problems with him since we got married. I got pregnant from our honeymoon and my pregnancy was not a very good experience. He fought with me almost everyday and I didn’t get the emotional and physical support from him while going through it. On the delivery date, he cried and kept saying sorry for what he did to me. I thought, it was the start of our better life together and really thought that it’s true…our baby is our blessing. He still is, that’s why I’m still holding on. But unfortunately we never stop fighting and yelling at each other. I am very close to my family members. I have 4 brothers who turned out really fine good Catholic people. I’m the oldest and have been responsible since we were kids. Our biggest fight now came when I have to tell him that my smallest brother is going to medical school here close to where we live and he’d like to live with us. He got furious and told me, why can’t he ask him directly about it or why not my parents ask him about it? I have another brother who lives in an apt. close to the city i lived in and he said, why not live with him instead? He told me, why do I have to worry about it and be responsible about it. That in my culture, why is it that the oldest sister does it all the time and my parents don’t make more sacrifices to put my brother thru college. I got really hurt and I told him that’s not always the case. He’s my little brother and regardless of me being the oldest or not, I’m still going to help him. He said he doesn’t care, he only cares about me and our son…I called him selfish and coldhearted. We got into more fighting. I don’t understand why he could think so cruel sometimes. He told me that he can’t live with another man in the house and it feels weird to have his brother in law in our home. My brother is only 20 years old. My brother is a very very good boy. No exaggeration. He excelled in school and he’s the president of the Youth for Christ back home. He knows his priorites and he always listens to me. I don’t know why he doesn’t think otherwise. And he’ve always known these things about my whole family being good people and he still hates them. I don’t know what to do. I’m very depressed about this, not just about this matter but our whole relationship. It seems like I can’t get through him anymore and we don’t understand each other anymore. I do love him. But I’m always hurting. He told me I chose my family over him all the time. First of all, I moved away from them to move with him. I am at home and I stopped working as a Nurse, following what he said. I do everything for him and I defend him against my family in so many ways. What will I do? I don’t want to leave him and I especially do not like a broken family. We just started and I can’t bear to feel this failure. I pray and pray and I just don’t know what else to do. My family keep praying for both of us and I don’t think I’ll hold on much longer without my son and without their support and prayers. Please help.
I’m sorry to hear things aren’t as good as you would want them to be.
You know, it’s hard to go from single to married to living with someone to becoming a parent… marriage in and of itself is hard. And pregnancy, well, that’s another hard phase of marriage. You got married and became pregnant right away (congratulations btw), that was a huge change for the 2 of you. Pregnancy hormones make things so much bigger than they really are, and when you’re trying to adapt to this new married lifestyle, it’s not easy.
I’m Mexican too, and my dh told me about a month before we got married he had asked his sister who was about to give birth to her son to move in with us. I said absolutely no. The girl had a house to live in, and we were just about to get married. I freaked out! I understand where your dh is coming from (the being freaked out about your brother). What I told my dh before we got married was that I knew his sister (we were friends before dh and I got married, in fact, we spent LOTS of time together), so I knew her character and knowing me, we were going to fight over who has the rights as the housewife. It’s not that I didn’t want to help her, but I never in my life imagined myself living with my inlaws. My mom lived w.her MIL and SIL and they treated her terribly! So, I was afraid that’d be the case with me. You see, Mexicans love to help their families out (so in a way I don’t know why your dh is acting that way), but when you have your home and will have someone of the same sex there, it kind of makes them feel less… powerful should I say? That’s not the word I’m really looking for but I hope you know what I mean.
He might feel that with your brother moving in, your life will be a bit harder. Remember, you’re still “newly weds” and are a new family too. Things don’t always have to be bad. Arguing shouldn’t be a reason to separate unless you or your baby are in danger somehow. Have you tried some form of counseling? Dh and I went to retrouvaille (www.retrouvaille.org) and it helps a lot with your communication issues. I think all it is with you guys is communication or the lack of…
it is very stressful to be married, but remember, you took vows for the better or the worse (not abuse though)…
Oh, and cultural differences between Mexicans and Filippino’s shouldn’t be so big… they are very similar… maybe you can try and remind him how Mexican families are. Heck, most of the Mexican families I know have their mothers, sisters, brothers, or cousins living with them… it all could be that he feels your brother will take you further apart and cause more arguments. That’s what I was afraid of. In the end, my SIL didn’t want to live w/newly weds, so it turned out for the best that first yr.
Oh, and another thing about us Mexicans, we’re VERY stubborn. And men are somewhat macho… that’s just how our culture is. And usually it’s the man’s family that gets the help not the wife’s, why? I have no idea, but that’s just what I’ve noticed from my own family.
I hope things don’t get worse between you 2. It’s all about learning to communicate. Marriage is always going to have its ups and downs though… my prayers are with you!
A few things jumped out at me and I thought I would comment on them.
But I also need to say, that although you said he cried and apologized to you for being mean while you were pregnant you didn’t say if he stopped being mean. Are these up and down fights you are having as a result of the both of you or is it the same meanness as before? Also, you don’t say if he’s been physically violent so I’m going to assume he hasn’t been until you say otherwise.
Also, when he speaks meanly, do you also speak meanly?
I’m just trying to get a better picture.
Did you ask your husband or did you tell your husband that your brother should live with you?
He got furious and told me, why can’t he ask him directly about it or why not my parents ask him about it? I have another brother who lives in an apt. close to the city i lived in and he said, why not live with him instead? He told me, why do I have to worry about it and be responsible about it. That in my culture, why is it that the oldest sister does it all the time and my parents don’t make more sacrifices to put my brother thru college.
If you ‘told him’ instead of asking then, I can understand him getting upset. I probably would be just as upset if someone told me that I was going to have to live with another person that I wasn’t prepared to live with. I would also be upset if this person who wanted to live with me didn’t also talk with me or with both spouses together.
I called him selfish and coldhearted. We got into more fighting.
I don’t think he’s selfish and coldhearted (regarding this one issue) and calling him names is probably the best way to get into more fighting. So if you wanted to avoid fighting and talk it out, you needed to ask him to stop yelling and sit down with you when he is calmer.
I’m very depressed about this, not just about this matter but our whole relationship. It seems like I can’t get through him anymore and we don’t understand each other anymore.
It does probably look so very hard and unfair right now. He’s probably thinking the same thing about you. Think about it, he’s probably feeling desparatly alone that you don’t understand why he just wants to live with you as his wife and not have someone else invading his privacy especially now.
I do everything for him and I defend him against my family in so many ways.
This raised a flag with me. Why are you defending him to your family? Why are they involved in trying to put you in the middle between them and him? I would only condone your parents being involved **if **they are seeing verbal and physical signs of abuse, but if it’s anything else at ALL, then they need to keep their opinions to themselves and you don’t need to share any personal problems, decisions, discussions, etc. with them. They don’t get a vote.
It seems like you are young and possibly turning to your parents to help you out in this marriage even though they are far away. That probably makes your husband feel like you are leaving him out of the equation. If that is true, then you need to realize that you two are a unit that should rely on and work out your problems with each other.
I have to admit I did make some assumptions with my reply, that is only because I don’t have the details and I’m only working with the things you wrote and how it came across to me.
Regardless, you two need to get to a marriage counselor.
Also, you already gave us the reason why you should not have your younger brother living with you. You are a young couple with a new baby under alot of stress with a marriage that is having horrible fights. How on earth will adding your brother to the household HELP your husband work with you on your marriage?
It would be good to have your brother nearby to come and visit you and maybe cheer you up a bit, but you can’t depend on that to help your marriage out.
You need to have a serious discussion with your husband and get yourselves to a marriage counselor right away, because from the looks of things you two aren’t magically going to get better ‘just because’. You guys need help.
As for your culture and his culture…here’s the thing, Culture evolves over time, things change because people change to adapt to new problems and situations. When two people marry they BOTH need to comprimise and respect each others cultures but they should never use their cultures as an excuse to do things a certain way. Neither of your cultures are more important than your marriage.
Very well said! I agree with everything!
I appreciate the responses and advices. I did get to look at a lot of things in different perspective this time. Thank you. but I still believe that we need marriage counseling.
I didn’t really go into a lot of details but it terms of meanness, I think I grew mean towards him from reacting to his verbal abuse and just really mean attitude towards me. We were both in a lot of stress and the time when I was pregnant, it didn’t help that he should think how hormonally imbalanced and how much support I needed. I was very fragile at the time. He was not there when I needed him and he was a nurse. I, too, am a nurse and I just couldn’t understand why he couldn’t empathize with me knowing that he always bragged that he’s such a good nurse. (I never got a chance to work with him in a hospital.) When I was vomiting a lot, he told me to control my vomiting. When I got sick during pregnancy ('was too stress out from work), I started with a really bad cough that turned out to bronchitis. He told me to stop coughing, control it cuz he couldn’t sleep. I cried and cried and was very sad during my pregnancy. He cared for some time and he’ll be back with his meanness to me. It was horrible! I always tried to put it all in the past and I became really happy when our baby was born. Seemed like a lot of weight got off of me. Our baby gave me joy.
My husband had a very ugly and painful past. …
Sounds like you two have a problem with communication. Check out a Retrouvaille weekend. It’s a program that teaches couples how to really communicate with each other. It saved our marriage. www.retrouvaille.org
As a person in med school I can say that your brother would probably be better off having a place of his own. His life will be so busy that it will be hard to deal with possible distractions that come with living with others. I also second retrouvaille.
I think you probably have two separate issues. One is your resentment of how your husband treated you when you were pregnant. I can understand this somewhat because I had very bad pregnancies. Vomiting for 9 months (called hyperemesis gravadarium if you want to look it up) very bad. I lost weight and was an emotional wreck. I think my husband tried to be supportive but he got burned out. I think it was a bad combination because I was a little too emotional and demanding for what he could handle and he sometimes was not nice. That being said I hope you can get past this. We did with God’s help.
The second issue I am sorry if it is cultural but I do not understand at all. Your husband wants to live with his wife and child. This seems very reasonable. Calling him selfish does not seem fair. I know you are committed to your family but your husband comes first, period. Perhaps you can help in other ways? Maybe you can help your brother with meals or laundry or financial help once in a while? Marriages need privacy. Your husband may feel funny having your brother there because your brother will be there when you argue, or when you want to make love, or when he is taking a shower or lots of things that people like to have privacy for. I don’t know if this is a promise you made but I think your husband is being reasonable that he only wants to live with you…it means he loves you!
I will pray for you, this can be so hard. Please take care.
I think ya’ll need to meet with your pastor as a couple…he will probably suggest marriage counseling, but your husband may be more willing to go if he’s told to my a man you both respect.
I agree with the PP’s–it is not unreasonable for your husband to expect your brother to get his own place. While you may want to help your brother out, you already have stress in your marriage and your brother’s presence is just going to add to it. I applaud you for wanting to help your brothers…but your husband and child come first. I think it is much better if you try to find other ways to help your brother while he’s in school. Cook dinner for him sometimes…help him furnish his own place…
I also agree with the PP who talked about you defending your spouse to your family. If they are expressing concern over his verbal abuse, that is one thing. But if they are criticizing him because he is different, you need to tell your family that you won’t listen to their negative views of your husband. He’s your husband and you won’t take it.
About the way your husband treated you during pregancy–that is awful and I can see why it would be so hard to forgive him. I know it would be extremely difficult for me if I were in your shoes. I think discussing this with your priest and then in counseling will help ya’lls communication and help your DH to understand how much he hurt you and that saying sorry doesn’t take away the pain.
Prayers for you both!
Thanks again my brothers and sisters for sharing your point of views. Sometimes, I guess I’m just always assuming my dh should understand because my brother is my family. This really then tied to our cultural differences. I understand that my husband and my child come first. But I also have an obligation as a sister and a daughter. I believe that that does not stop when you get married. I am who I am because of my family. My family struggled a lot coming here to the US and it really made us stronger and more united that way. I just thought that he should understand that we will be always helping each other no matter what. We are all very close to each other and before we got married, my dh knew how close I am to my parents and four brothers.
In the Filipino culture, we are mostly always (or generally) like this. I never thought it’s a downfall to any family values but I even thought that it’s a good foundation to teach kids to be united and always be helpful as a family. My mother was fortunate to go through school in my country through the same thing, lived with my aunts and helped them along the way through chores etc. I did it here. I was in California with my Aunties and I did the same thing going through nursing school. They had just gotten a new family as well. But we reached out to each other. And we were never a burden…I never had problems with anyone, me living on a different house. We were blessed to have good upbringing and my parents molded us to be always respectful and considerate.
I just thought he would be ok with it. I see that it is really different in the American culture. More so, I guess in his culture. I believe that things can work out, if there’s a will. Unfortunately, I guess, for us, I never really saw some of my dh’s side before we got married. We were also in a long distance relationship. I wish we settled our differences first before we got married but it’s too late for that. I know I just have to deal about the present. I love him though and it hurts me when we fight all the time for little things. Giving too that he had a terrible family background, he said so himself, I think it will be hard for him to understand where I was coming from. He does not trust his sisters and brothers. When I was with them, they fought almost constantly about money and other senseless things. My dh could be very possessive. Sometimes, I really don’t know what to do.
Nobody’s made perfect. I don’t expect him to but I’m also scared about the things we will be teaching our son. In the past year and a half being married to him, there were a lot of issues brought up that we fought so much about. I dont’ understand how he can be so judgmental of others and then he’s super nice and kind when he’s in front of them. It’s disturbing to me sometimes. He always tell me not to trust anyone! No one! He said he’ve seen it all in Los Angeles. I might have not seen a lot of violence, deceit or anything that he’s so fearful about but I have faith in God. It hurts me when he’s like that. He seemed traumatized from the past. I am not quite happy at this time thinking about those things although I mostly think that God has a purpose why we are married to each other. My parents are the head of Couples of Christ in the valley and they always encouraged me about being God’s instrument in my dh’s life. I wish he sees that too. I may be always talking and airing my pain, sadness and worries to my parents and brothers, but I think I would not even have stood and became stronger without them.
When my family comes over, my dh is not too happy. He gets very jealous. Sometimes, when we sing praises to the Lord with my dad, playing the guitar (we’re all in the choir and everyone knows how to play an instrument),my brothers and my mom singing, harmonizing with me…he gets out of place. But I don’t want him to. Then when instances come that my family can’t do such things or somehow, can’t be themselves because I tell them, my dh doesn’t like this and that, they’re not too happy and yes, my dh is no longer miserable after that. Why can’t it be two happy sides? I can’t choose from them two. Never. God didn’t make one person to have a new family so he/she can abandon her past family. It makes no sense. Others may not understand where I’m coming from. Might not even be realistic to them but it’s real to me.
My dh tells me that my mistake is that I see my family as the ideal family and thinks of them as perfect and never had faults. That is not true. My family had faults, lots of them and we learned from it but yes they have been the ideal to me because, we exist among the few families that has this strong Christian Catholic belonging. Why can’t I incorporate that on my own? Helping my brother to live with us might be a mistake. My dh is very different. I was wrong to call him selfish. I just thought what a better way to reach out to family opening your home to them, when especially they’re in need. He is willing to open our home to other stranger, but not my brother. One because, another man in the house is not right. My brother has been nothing but obedient and considerate, I 100% have no doubts he’ll insist what he wants and act immaturely. We have such a big house, and I just really thought it’ll be a good deed to have my brother and help him. Anyway, I stopped talking to him about this matter and hopefully forget about it. But these were my thoughts and beliefs.
Does this all mean I do not love him as much as I thought I do? Is it really impossible to care for my family as much as I care about him and my son right now?
Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Thank you. May God bless us all.
I may be always talking and airing my pain, sadness and worries to my parents and brothers, but I think I would not even have stood and became stronger without them.
This is a big red flag… don’t ever go to your parents and siblings for things that have to do with your marriage. That is the worst you can do! Now I can see why there are differences between your dh and your family. My sister did this and now my parents cannot see her boyfriend, not even in a picture. I did this w/an ex boyfriend and my parents hated him, he wasn’t even allowed to put a foot in my parents’ house. I hope you stop that for your sake. Otherwise, you will always have to be faced with defending your dh…
Why can’t it be two happy sides? I can’t choose from them two. Never. God didn’t make one person to have a new family so he/she can abandon her past family. It makes no sense.
I really don’t wan to go against you or your thoughts. I know your pain is very real but God did say you have to leave your family to become one with your spouse.
**St Matthew 19:4-6: **He answered, 'Have you not read that the Creator from the beginning made them male and female
5 and that he said: This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and the two become one flesh?
6 They are no longer two, therefore, but one flesh.
You should be putting your husband and child first over your parents and siblings. You don’t have to abandon them, but you have to make a choice between them, that is why you married him. You 2 are one flesh in the eyes of the Lord.
If your husband doesn’t feel comfortable living with your brother, you shouldn’t go against him. I had a renter here at my house and you don’t even know how many problems it caused between my husband and me. My husband would take this guy’s side sometimes thinking I was being irrational, living with someone else is stressful.
Please try and put yourself in your husband’s shoes for a second.
I said it before and will say it again, please seek help. www.retrouvaille.org is a great place to start. You would never regret going to them, you and your husband will come out understanding each other more than ever and will come out more in love than ever. I know it because I went thru it.
I spotted your problem before you admitted it – you need to leave your family and cleave to your husband. You haven’t done that. That’s WHY your husband is so frustrated with you. He married YOU – not your family. You married HIM – so act like it – not like the petulant child of your family who’s only out visiting. You are married to your husband – he comes first, period.
I am NOT SAYING don’t love your family or be close to them, go ahead, but they are now second to your little family. Here’s a list of priorities for a harmonious life:
- extended family
- co-workers (if applicable) & neighbors.
My second very BIG PIECE OF ADVICE –
DO NOT SHARE YOUR ANGER, HURT, FRUSTRATIONS, CONVERSATIONS, DISSAPOINMENTS, FEARS, FINANCIAL INFO, ET ALL WITH YOUR FAMILY.
Girlfriend – you may kiss and make up, and forgive and forget – but your family: their memories are looooooooooong. They won’t forgive and they won’t forget. You are DESTROYING YOUR HUSBAND to your family. Stop it. Now.
Go out and buy The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Quit pointing fingers and get on to getting on with your man.
He was absolutely RIGHT about your brother or your parents coming to him to ask about your brother staying. Your husband is the man of the house, the king of his castle, and all he’s asking for is a little respect. He deserves it. He deserves a wife who comes to him, loves him, respects him, and confides in him – not runs back to her mom and dad when she doesn’t get what she wants or gets her fee-fee’s hurt. I know I sound harsh, but here’s to hoping my harsh words wake you up and shake you up.
Be a good wife – I know you can. Get this – you’ll actually be HAPPY! I’ll be here praying for you and rooting for you!
I think you said it better than me KC! I didn’t want to be so straight forward but you got to the point better than I did!
So if your bro is super smart and doing very well, why can’t he get his own place?
I wonder if your husband is angry not to be mean at you, but because he feels your family members are sponging of you. Probably, as your husband, it makes him really angry to see family members trying to use your kindness when they really need to just get out in the real world and figure it out themselves.
How much more does on campus living cost, anyways? Your bro is supposedly smart and Hispanic…he didn’t get a big scholarship to med school? Young people need to mature and gain experience. If your brother is ready for medical school he is definitely past the time of needing big sister. Are you going to do his exams for him, too?
I guess I could see wanting to help out family members when they are in dire need. That of course still has to be enthusiastically agreed upon between husband and wife. But at least it makes sense.
Why not get the book, “His Needs, Her Needs” and “Love Busters” by Dr. Harley. www.marriagebuilders.com. You two will continue to be angry at each other until you both figure out how to work together as a team to meet your desires and needs.
Junbee, it’s all about priorities (and I do have some insight into your culture). There is a friend who’s married to a filipino man. Guess what, he’s so dedicated to his family that he pays for his mom to live in a big and beautiful house while he, his wife, and two children live in a tiny house and can barely afford their home. Yes, he is more concerned with paying for his mom to live comfortably than for his own wife and children. No offense, but your priorities are all wrong when it comes to being a godly wife.
I come from a very over-involved Irish/Italian family but in recent years I have made it quite clear that my dd and her needs come before any of them (and heck, my own needs come before theirs). It is a difficult transition for all (my parents have had the hardest time with letting go of their control over me and what I do). But, it is a necessary transition. Your brother doesn’t NEED to live with you. Remember, he’ll be fine and still love you no matter if he lives with you or without you.
When my brother got married I made sure that I chose a volunteer organization close to home (I was living out of state before then and felt called to volunteer for a year right around the same time) so that I could take my mom and step-dad to their doctor’s appointments when needed so that my brother and his wife could have their first few years without worry and spend their time as a newly wed couple not having to take care of semi-capable adults.
It also seems as if you have some resentment that because you moved away from your family for your husband that he owes you. YOU made the choice to leave and cleave to your husband. You must come to terms with your decision (no one forced you to marry him). And yes, it is of vital importance that you forgive and move on from the past (speaking of the pregnancy treatment).
Pure gold dust KC, I loved the part I bolded best
btw, I’ve got decorators around, and we are re-doing the house, I’ll get on ichat when I have a free minute!
Oh, Junbee, I can understand your perspective and your husband’s. My boyfriend (future husband) is Filipino, and I’m Canadian. I love the way Filipinos take care of their families, and the big extended family looking out for each other… but I understand the frustration of feeling like I don’t come first. That’s what your husband is feeling now.
These are the worries I have as a non-Filipino marrying into the culture:
*]What if my husband helps his family before he pays for our own expenses?
*]What if I need something and he’s not there for me because he’s helping someone else?
*]What if we never have any time for ourselves because we’re always surrounded by family and friends? Don’t get me wrong, family and friends are great, but it’s great to be alone together too.
Those are probably the same worries as your husband has (or similar). You need to work with him to assuage those fears and reassure him that he’s your number one priority. I’m not asking you to give up your culture and your family - just take some time, preferably everyday, to tell your husband he’s at the top of your list, and to tell him you’re glad you chose to marry him. It sounds like you’re having a hard time feeling that right now, but if you think of all his good points and the wonderful things that made you fall in love with him, it should be easier to say. Once you start expressing those feelings (in words and actions) he’ll start to be more comfortable with your family relationships.
And I think your family will understand, too. You can be supportive and loving of your family in so many ways. Be the cheerleader and pep-talker. Be there to help your brother move. Call your relatives and lend a listening ear or offer advice. Have a weekly family day when you invite your brother around for dinner and play card games or something - but involve your husband in it, especially the planning, and when your brother goes home, tell your husband how great it feels to know that at the end of the day, he (husband) is there with you.
Basically, it sounds like balance is the issue right now, and your husband doesn’t seem to be confident that your heart belongs to him. Adjust the balance between your birth family and your new family, and make your husband feel like he’s the light of your life, instead of standing in the shadows of the family you came from.
I know what you two are going through. My wife is a Filipina and there can be great differences in attitude. When you marry a Filipina you marry her family too. However, the American attitude was well expressed by the priest teaching a marriage course I took at a Catholic university in the U.S., who said that when you get married, one of the big things not to do is move in with your in-laws. Both your cultures are telling you opposite things and you both are sure that that is right. Perhaps it would help if the two of you made sure to pray and go to church together.
Frankly, I myself don’t mind compromising, and when I retire in a few month and move to the Philippines, the house I will build there will have several extra bedrooms so that her family members can live there is any of them need to.
When my brother and his wife and son moved in with me, it was horrible and stressful. However, I also had an equal amount of joy having them around! That’s what a family is. I do think that you should respect your husband’s opinion and ask him if there are other ways that the two of you can help your brother out. I would also seek counseling and pray to St. Rita. She had a husband similar to yours, I’m sure she’d help you out too.