Spouse Standards


You see no difference between personal hygiene and vanity? A person who showers once a day and a person who can’t leave the house–literally–without three hours of applying products, high price products? That’s what I am referring to here.

And again, I hold myself to the same standard!

The point about appearance was not specific to my husband either. I know families who spend thousands of dollars on landscaping every year. Thousands. Every year. If landscaping is important to him, we can add it to the budget, or he can spend as much of his money as he desires, but I am of the mind that money could be better spent. College funds for example.


What I see is you trying to control the exact way that he chooses to live. He has to be exactly right where you put him. You are demanding that he stay exatly in your target of what you think is normative.

It sounds like a permission list that a mother gives a teenager. “You have to take a shower every day but you can’t spend more than 30 minutes in the bathroom”


Yeah, of all the things I think Lillian is being a bit too specific on, this one seems pretty reasonable. “Good hygiene without being overly vain” seems like a pretty fair request.


It can work out for you anyone to whom God is calling for this. It’s good to have standards, but the amount of “non-negotiables” should be kept to a minimum, and there should be just reasons for them. Flexibility in some areas is important.

You never know when God will toss a homeless vagrant into your life and you end up marrying that person.


I said neither thing, and never would.


But she belabors the point because she has several other points that have to do with personal cleanliness. My whole point is that she turned what could be a 10 point list into a 100 point one by vaguely defining the same things over and over and over to make the picture into exactly what she wants and not simply a “fair request”.


I would date someone who was homeless. :slight_smile:


But again, this is what having several points on the same exact topic accentuate. Your need for control.

You have several points on parenting AND one where you state that you want to know you can leave him alone with your children. If one is a gentle, active, etc etc etc parent then one should automatically be able to be left with children.


This is a list of standards I would expect a person to meet before the engagement/wedding. Within marriage, I am flexible on many of these points, as long as we start off with the same values and lifestyle, we can grow together, and with our children.


Active isn’t on the list. And gentle people can be incredibly irresponsible babysitters. Good, loving partners can be entirely overwhelmed with a baby. That is an entirely separate skill set.

Of course I have points on parenting! One of the purposes of marriage is the procreation and education of children. If we go into marriage with opposite philosophies, all hell will break lose. And there may be custody battles.


My need for compatibility. Because compatible relationships are stable havens for children, lasting relationships, happy relationships.


You used past tense there, “you would date someone who was homeless”. “Was”.

I am not referring to the past tense. Two and a half weeks after we started dating, I was on the streets. When I couldn’t couch surf, I was sleeping in bus shelters.

I didn’t let her know how bad things were, but she knew I was “between living arrangements”. It was also clear things were bad, between the poverty and the untreated eating disorder, I was withering away to nothing.

No one would blame her for cutting her losses, we were only 2.5 weeks into dating. But she didn’t break things off over that, nor did she break things off because I didn’t meet any of her desired requirements.

Nine years of marriage, all because she looked past what she “wanted”, and focused on what God wanted.


My mistake. I would date someone who is homeless.



No. You’re trying to control every last detail of how he is to act.

Parenting is not all on you.

Parenting philosophies evolve over time and with every child. And you can marry a man who fears being left alone with kids but is perfectly capable of caring for them when he is called to it.

My point is that your list is excessively controlling because you have a need to elaborate on every aspect of every point. It’s not about talking points it’s about the military precisceness of how you want things to turn out. Part of it is your youth and immaturity. You don’t have enough life experiance to understand why repeating yourself is revealing. It also points to your own need for healing, since you seem to think that general maturiy is going to fail you on many of theise points.


Wow. I’m so sorry you had to do that.


Interesting - you wouldn’t date a devoted, faithful Christian who wasn’t Catholic, but are open to dating a (presumably) Catholic who is currently living on the streets?


We agree on that.

I understand you think I am controlling. I have explained I don’t want to control anyone. You think the list is too specific. I will go through and examine where I could summarize. The fact I am being precise may be because of my age. It is certainly because of my past.

Have you considered that I simply have higher or more unusual standards because I have life experiences that are vastly different from yours? Our experiences shape who we can live with and how we can live.


Correct. I would be more than happy to have a personal partner of any faith or no faith. But when it comes to who will raise my children (who will be my spouse) I believe in the truth of Catholicism, and I would not endanger the kids’ salvation by marrying a non-Catholic.

CCC 1634 But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated. They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome. The spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home. Disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties. Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage, but also different religious mentalities, can become sources of tension in marriage, especially as regards the education of children. The temptation to religious indifference can then arise


You mention past trauma.

I think this list is going to end up being more of a burden than an asset. I think that taking this list to a counselor would have them identify and work through many things with you.

You are young, so hopefully you see the folly of these things with time.

I do not think this is a healthy way to approach a marital relationship, at all. In the end it appears to be a list of all the ways you think men could be lumbering jack (rear ends) and not really respect their humanity.


Yeah, the list can definitely be heavily condensed.

There’s an old military adage that the battle plan never survives first contact with the enemy. I think that applies here as well. You can only plan so far. Any relationship is going to involve growth, change and compromise.

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