Troubled marriage, please help!


#1

Hello! I need your advice and prayers!
My husband has shown a lack of interest towards me for quite some time now ( I don’t suspect he has been unfaithful, he doesn’t go out, doesn’t drink, he works hard and is responsible) . At first, I tried to be understanding, thinking it was stress from work, finances… but it seems that there is always an excuse. He rather work on the computer for long hours, and then go to bed, than spending some time, minutes, talking or just being together.
When I try to confrot him or let him know how i feel he either avoids me, saying something like: “Oh , I love very much but i am to tired today” or he gets mad and frustrated toward me, as if I am “bothering him AGAIN” , even adding name calling or mean comments about " how needy and weak i am" Simply minimizing the situation and my feelings, zero compassion or kindness. Now i don’t know what to do, this is breaking me inside…I am praying a lot more now, thats the only positive aspect of all this.
I want things to work out, our marriage to be healed. We have a son and I wish to have more children ( Thats another topic: My husband doesn’t believe in NFP, How can I explain to him how I feel and how important this is for pur relationship with one another and with God)
We go to Mass together every Sunday, but we don’t pray together as a couple. I want to sanctify my marriage…
Thank you for your time and advice


#2

I have been in a difficult marriage. At first I prayed,prayed, and prayed- and I offered everything up in union with the sufferings of Our Lord on the Cross. I didn’t really think I should go to counseling/psychotherapy because I was afraid that the therapist wouldn’t be Christian and would pressure me to get a divorce. Finally, I found I had to go, because I needed someone to talk to on a regular basis. I have been in therapy now for 8 years- with four different therapists- the first three all moved on to other agencies or retired, and I am sure that the current one will retire before I finish therapy as well. The point is this: therapy has helped my marriage tremendously. I don’t even mean marriage counseling- my husband has never been supportive of that. I have just been going for myself and my own well being, so that I can vent and not have my feelings show to the kids as much. What I have discovered, however, is kinda nifty. The positive changes in me have rippled through our family and have improved everyone’s well-being.

That’s NOT to say that my husband doesn’t or hasn’t contributed to the “problem” in our marriage- in fact he has mental illness that should be treated on a regular basis, but he refuses to go. Nonetheless, MY THERAPY has allowed me to gain the strength and autonomy that I have needed to hold him accountable for his share of the problems in the marriage. Additionally, the therapists have held me accountable for taking care of myself- something I tend not to do. Therefore, by being reminded to take care of myself (good diet, regular sleep, taking time to be with female friends, not feeling guilty about taking time for prayer and long walks) I have become a happier, stronger, more attractive wife.

Every aspect of our lives has improved. My husband has stopped being abusive (because I learned to hold him accountable and to stand up for myself-- although this does not always work in domestic violence cases–our marriage is an exception), he has stopped calling me names. I have stopped being angry at him and I make myself available to him for physical intimacy as much as he needs it now. He is more respectful of my belief in following the NFP lifestyle. As his treatment of me has improved, HIS feeling of self-efficacy has improved, which has led to a greater aura of self-confidence, which has led to him getting MUCH BETTER JOB-- his dream job, in fact. We used to be living well below the poverty level. Now he will be making very close to 6 figures.

I highly encourage you to find a source of counseling. If you don’t have insurance (which I didn’t have at the beginning of this journey), make lots of calls to find an agency that will work with you. Because he calls you names, you may be eligible for FREE domestic violence counseling. That was a breakthrough resource for me. That led to eligibility for free community based counseling and family services, which allowed me to have access to other resources for taking care of myself. That community based counseling actually led to a job lead for my husband, which led to our much increased income- and oila! We now have private healthcare insurance, including mental health. I no longer rely on the free services, but have a great therapist through the private insurance. ALL of the therapists, by the way, have been super respectful of my very orthodox Catholic beliefs. They have NEVER pressured me to get a divorce, to use contraception, or to do anything else contrary to the Magisterial teachings of the Church.

My husband is happier and making more money than he ever dreamed, my kids are happier, and I am happier. I have hope that my marriage will last now. Individual counseling affects the whole family for the better. But it takes a SIGNIFICANT time investment. The changes have been gradual, over an 8 year period. During that time, our marriage almost ended-- we were actually in divorce court during part of that time due to the domestic violence. But we have reconciled and have peace in our home.

I will be praying for you. Please message me privately if you want to talk. I feel for you. God bless you in this painful journey.


#3

You will be in my prayers, crgirl. Sounds a lot like my husband right before I discovered his porn habit with the computer. Hopefully that’s not the case with yours. Mine also went to Mass with me every Sunday, but he only chose the teachings of the Church that he agreed with to comply with. Yours sounds like that, too, in regard to yours not believing in NFP. Whatever the cause in your marriage, it definitely is very painful as a wife to be living with, so please don’t feel like it’s your fault that you would like a happy marriage sacred in God’s eyes.

You might want to try very gently and calmly asking him if he would go with you to a Priest or Catholic/Christian counselor (the more bees with honey approach can help sometimes). If he doesn’t agree, even just you going would help you tremendously. And keep Our Lord and Blessed Mother close to your heart in prayer - they will remain by your side and help give you strength through everything.

God’s peace to you.


#4

Many years ago, a priest at college gave a sermon regarding birth control. If the wife truly doesn’t want to use birth control but the husband does, the wife submits to her husband. According to him, the wife is not sinning. The sin is his. You might want to talk to your priest about this.
I think the priest who spoke was telling women the marriage must be held together. Comply and then after six months or so, he might agree to try for another child.
In the meantime, set your own goals for yourself.


#5

I will not accuse your husband of anything, but please find out if he has been looking at porn on the computer when he’s up. This behavior raises red flags for me. Also, Retrouvaille is a wonderful resource- not just for those whose marriages are at the brink of divorce, but for anyone whose relationship is struggling.


#6

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