When Roles are reversed


#1

I have a quick question but some background is needed. I am a non-Catholic but with Catholic upbringing (private school for mainly the education and safetly factor). I have no wish to become Catholic and am quite moral without the label, with a close-knit family. I am engaged to a wonderful man but lately am finding myself getting frustrated with the simplest of affections. Reading through some of the posts I came across one that had to do with submission within a marraige. For starters I am a Marine, not the most feminine profession and to boot a police officer with aspirations towards moving in the justice field towards that of an anatomical pathologist (one that does autopsies for criminal investigations in laymens terms) I was always a tom-boy into sports and rough-housing. I am not timid nor submissive by any means and though my appearance may give the look of a “weak” woman, I am not. I am very close to my family and have no problem with the affection that my parents, or siblings show. However when it comes to my fiance, it bothers me a little. He also is a Marine, but very laid back. He comes from a (in my opinion stemmed in truth) disfunctional family where affection was never shown except with beatings or betrayals (by his mother). The only family He is close with is his two younger half-sisters, both of which need help in their lives as the oldest is 20 and they both have children out of marraige as well as some criminal problems. He was never affectionate until I came along. I can say this without false pride that I am the best thing that has happened to date in his life. We love each other and strive to show each other this love through small actions such as a kiss when he comes home from work, holding hands, sitting together watching a movie etc. But it is when he is constantly wanting to hold my hand (every time we are driving together) he is constantly telling me throughout the day at weird moments that he loves me, when he calls me from across the room when I am doing something to give him a kiss, etc that I get annoyed.

I know that I have gone on and on, but it was the only way that I feel that I can fully explain the situation. when I “complain” or comment about this problem to my sisters (both married) or my mother or close female friends, they are baffled as to why I have a problem when they dream that their own men would act more in that manner. Am I blowing this out of the water, or can someone else see maybe a deeper problem?


#2

Your mother and sisters should know better.

Different people have different romantic ‘styles’ so to speak, meaning they best complement different personalities of partner. What you’re talking about isn’t to do with submission at all, by the way. What it is about is physical affection, or what scientists label with the technical term of ‘the general mushy luvvy-duvvyness factor’. :smiley:

Now wouldn’t life be boring if there was only one ‘right’ way a man and woman should relate to each other? God in His wisdom has given us many different ways we can express love and affection for each other, and not everyone has different ‘tastes’ in these things just as they do in movies, music, food and what not.

Having four older sisters, all with very strong marriages as is that of my parents, I see huge variations in the level of hand-holding and so on, so I know whereof I speak. Of course, bear in mind that this behaviour usually settles down as a marriage progresses - not that the love dies, but the PDAs often do.

Now back to submission. Submission is simply the idea that a wife (as indeed a husband as well) shouldn’t seek to have the last word or the last say in absolutely everything, and should learn to sometimes graciously give in (in things that aren’t of huge importance to you) even when you’d prefer to dig your heels in. It’s based on Corinthians Chapter 13, about how love tries not to seek its own way in everything, and how BOTH husband and wife should relate to each other.

As a miltary type (thank you and fiance for your service of your country, by the way) you’re almost certainly used to taking orders. Probably not from a point of view of ‘I love this person and I want to make him happy, so at least sometimes I can back down and resist the urge to argue, to say ‘I told you so’, to insist on my own way, for his sake’. It’s something to think about.

Oh well, all the best for your future, and remember advice from your family about marrige is about as useful as advice from them about raising your children - take it all with a grain of salt.


#3

“Of course, bear in mind that this behaviour usually settles down as a marriage progresses - not that the love dies, but the PDAs often do.”

Part of the problem is that they all seem to think that it is because I have been away for so long. One thing that I forgot to put was that I just returned from a deployment in Iraq. I can understand that, but he was doing this (not to the degree now) before I left. But I understand your meaning.

From my Catholic teachings of the past submission was explained that within the household, when it comes to the final say, the man has it, in much the same way that when it comes to the relationshhip with the church and Jesus, Jesus has the final word. This is not to say that women cannot have a say, but that it matters, at the end of the day, it is the man’s decision and that the wife needs to subject herself to his decision and words. That is the specific teaching that I got when in Catholic school…oh so long ago…

This is not to say that I do not take his imput in matters…indeed I wish he would have MORE imput in matters, since most times when I ask his opinion, he turns around with “What do YOU want to do?” He doesn’t get that when I ask him specifically about what he wants in a particular matter, it means that I want his opinion so that I can digest it, the pros and cons, and decide with all the matters on the table rather than just doing what I want. I take all of these actions almost as fear on his side - fear that if he does the least thing that I don’t liike I will drop him like a hot potato, therefor he will just do and say what he thinks I want to hear. Some may want that, since they always get their way :stuck_out_tongue: but at the same time I do not want him to resent me in the future because he is somewhere that he doesn’t like but never told me, so I never knew, so I made the decision without his input.

But thank you for your response.


#4

Is it possible that you both are just getting used to being together again? My fiance lives across the country (I’m finishing up a degree), and we sometimes have issues like that when I first come home on a break. He wants to go out to dinner, but I want to cuddle up with a movie. He wants to kiss me in public, I want to hold his hand all the time, etc. We get on each other’s nerves at first, simply because we’ve been used to being alone and now that we’re together, we expect different things. It always settles down/works itself out after a little while.


#5

[quote="RobnBobA1, post:1, topic:185145"]
I have a quick question but some background is needed. I am a non-Catholic but with Catholic upbringing (private school for mainly the education and safetly factor). I have no wish to become Catholic and am quite moral without the label, with a close-knit family. I am engaged to a wonderful man but lately am finding myself getting frustrated with the simplest of affections. Reading through some of the posts I came across one that had to do with submission within a marraige. For starters I am a Marine, not the most feminine profession and to boot a police officer with aspirations towards moving in the justice field towards that of an anatomical pathologist (one that does autopsies for criminal investigations in laymens terms) I was always a tom-boy into sports and rough-housing. I am not timid nor submissive by any means and though my appearance may give the look of a "weak" woman, I am not. I am very close to my family and have no problem with the affection that my parents, or siblings show. However when it comes to my fiance, it bothers me a little. He also is a Marine, but very laid back. He comes from a (in my opinion stemmed in truth) disfunctional family where affection was never shown except with beatings or betrayals (by his mother). The only family He is close with is his two younger half-sisters, both of which need help in their lives as the oldest is 20 and they both have children out of marraige as well as some criminal problems. He was never affectionate until I came along. I can say this without false pride that I am the best thing that has happened to date in his life. We love each other and strive to show each other this love through small actions such as a kiss when he comes home from work, holding hands, sitting together watching a movie etc. *But it is when he is constantly wanting to hold my hand (every time we are driving together) he is constantly telling me throughout the day at weird moments that he loves me, when he calls me from across the room when I am doing something to give him a kiss, etc that I get annoyed. *

I know that I have gone on and on, but it was the only way that I feel that I can fully explain the situation. when I "complain" or comment about this problem to my sisters (both married) or my mother or close female friends, they are baffled as to why I have a problem when they dream that their own men would act more in that manner. Am I blowing this out of the water, or can someone else see maybe a deeper problem?

[/quote]

I am a woman and I also don't understand why this annoys you. In my personal experience, I've always wanted to constantly hold hands or maintain some kind of physical connection and show affection. This is definitely in the range of normal behavior, and him wanting to always hold your had is not a sign of a "deeper problem."

Why does it bother you? Is it the fact that it's in public, or that he is too affectionate for your liking?


#6

Maybe he’s just overcompensating. He’s been deprived of this affection and now he’s overdoing it. You are more used to a constant low level. He wants as much as he can get because it’s a new experience and he likes it, but you’re used to it and don’t have as high a tolerance.


#7

Maybe holding hands just isn't appealing to you. Nothing wrong with that...I'm not huge on it myself especially all the time and I come from a very huggy feely type of family. I've always been sort of a tomboy though maybe that's it. Just be honest suggest something else. For me what a person does for you or how they treate you is far more romantic then holding hands and such. One guy I went out with wanted to hold hands all the time and it really annoyed me. I should have just told him but I was afraid to hurt his feelings and I did like him but I tend to be of an independent nature and not real clingy.


#8

OP, you both sound like sincere, good people. but there are so many issues here.

without time and counseling, he probably has some significant residue from his upbringing. you have different ways of expressing affection and are uncomfortable with his. you’re both in an environment that has high divorce rates-- and your heading into more intense facets of law inforcement don’t increase the marriage success rates. furthermore, you’ve been separated for a long time.

it doesn’t matter if mom and the girls think he’s a dreamboat. he may not be the right husband for you. and you may be the very most wonderful thing that’s happened to him so far, but perhaps that won’t carry into the long haul?

and maybe you are both eventually be life-long, ultra-blessed spouses to each other.

i would advise you both to wait it out. don’t rush anything. perhaps downgrade the status from fiance to most beloved? that way, pressure’s off. you give yourself freedom and time to explore these things out.

someone will suggest the book “5 Love Languages” so, why shouldn’t it be me? it’s helped a LOT of people to relate to each other.


#9

[quote="Moscati, post:4, topic:185145"]
Is it possible that you both are just getting used to being together again? My fiance lives across the country (I'm finishing up a degree), and we sometimes have issues like that when I first come home on a break. He wants to go out to dinner, but I want to cuddle up with a movie. He wants to kiss me in public, I want to hold his hand all the time, etc. We get on each other's nerves at first, simply because we've been used to being alone and now that we're together, we expect different things. It always settles down/works itself out after a little while.

[/quote]

Thatis what everyone else thinks but in realtiy he was starting to annoy me a little before I deployed and we had been dating for a year already although after about 6 months we both knew of the up-coming deployment. It is kinda like the "honeymoon" phase that most married couples experience in their first year of marriage in which both parties are doing whatever they can to make the other happy and to show affections constantly, before the comfort stage comes into play.

I have talked to him already about it but cannot fully express my feeliings. I can't even explain it really to mysefl only that I know that I am feeling that way when it is happening. It is hard to do so for the simply reason that I cannot blame or find fault in his actions, because he is doing nothing wrong. Its not like he is not coming home or that he didn't do the laudry like I asked. He is just displaying his love and affection. It is almost as if he is uncertain about the relationship, in the manner that I will leave him if he doesn't please me all the time. I have tried to explain that my affection or love is not contingnet on him constantly telling me that he love me, or him wanting to hold my hand. I know he loves me without him saying it or constantly wanting to touch me.

But thanks for the advise I will take it into consideration and continue to work on it.


#10

[quote="monicatholic, post:8, topic:185145"]
OP, you both sound like sincere, good people. but there are so many issues here.

without time and counseling, he probably has some significant residue from his upbringing. you have different ways of expressing affection and are uncomfortable with his. you're both in an environment that has high divorce rates-- and your heading into more intense facets of law inforcement don't increase the marriage success rates. furthermore, you've been separated for a long time.

it doesn't matter if mom and the girls think he's a dreamboat. he may not be the right husband for you. and you may be the very most wonderful thing that's happened to him so far, but perhaps that won't carry into the long haul?

and maybe you are both eventually be life-long, ultra-blessed spouses to each other.

i would advise you both to wait it out. don't rush anything. perhaps downgrade the status from fiance to most beloved? that way, pressure's off. you give yourself freedom and time to explore these things out.

someone will suggest the book "5 Love Languages" so, why shouldn't it be me? it's helped a LOT of people to relate to each other.

[/quote]

He does have some issues with his upbringing and he is working on that although it generally doesn't bother him (that he lets on but he is very honest with his past and how it affected him). In realty because of his upbringing He should be the one that doesn't like or understand showing affection. I come from a family that cosntantly hugs and kisses and touches while he doesn't. He is uncomfortable with family get togethers that my family has (thanksgiving x-mas etc) because he never had that nor understand it while I love it. So to me it doesn't make sense his constant affection in private since he never had that.

As for the fiance thing, it is still "unofficial" meaning that we both know that most likely that is the root that we are going and have talked about it. I know that he definitely wants one and for me, he is the first man that I have ever let close to me which is Very huge for me (trust issues). I trust and can honestly say that I love him, where others in the past I did not, or realized that I didn't after we broke it off. He just has yet to buy me my ring and ask formally, since neither one of us is financially ready and I would like to start my formal career not in the midsts of planning a wedding I cannot pay for. Its also a matter of my wanting to start a family. Since my sister gae birth to my adorable nephew and is planning another one soon, I have had baby cravings :)

but thank you as well and I will try to find that book to pick up.


#11

Are you attracted to him?


#12

I’m wondering about this question and why you asked, but in response, yes. That is not to say that i do not feel attracted by the physical characteristics of others (simply liking their appearance but no romantic feelings of attraction), but with him it is more a personality issue coupled with the physical.

On a side note, since I am not Catholic, sex is important to me (can I talk aout this on this particular site?) and a vital role in a committed relationship (responsible and safer sex) so physical attraction to ones partner is also important. Its hard to have kids with someone is you don’t want to have sex with them :smiley:

but why do you ask?


#13

I was just trying to put myself in your shoes, and I guess I wouldn’t want to be touched if I didn’t find the man physically attractive. If I found him physically attractive I’d want him to be all over me and frankly would probably beat him to it.


#14

Gotcha…no I don’t think it is that…in truht we both jump each other every chance we get averaging once or twive a day if time allows with our schedules. And I am a very touchy type person, in that I constantly hug my family and friends, have no problem telling people that I love them (only those that I love I will not lie to another in that matter). Heck my dad and I are very close and even as an adult I will hold his hand if we are walking together somewhere (not romantic holding hands, much like one would do with a sister or a mother)

He is dialing it down a little, I essentially blew up one day and told him to stop smothering me (whoops) so he is trying to respect those feelings of mine, and in turn I am trying to respect his apparent need for constant touching by instigating those hugs and kisses when I want them rather than him constantly do so.

But there is a good chance I will be recalled to deploy to Haite and help out there and do not want to come home to have those annoyed feelings again. I want this to work but cannot ignore those feelings, nor do I want those to transfer to him as a person rather than simply his actions.


#15

[quote="RobnBobA1, post:12, topic:185145"]
I'm wondering about this question and why you asked, but in response, yes. That is not to say that i do not feel attracted by the physical characteristics of others (simply liking their appearance but no romantic feelings of attraction), but with him it is more a personality issue coupled with the physical.

On a side note, since I am not Catholic, sex is important to me (can I talk aout this on this particular site?) and a vital role in a committed relationship (responsible and safer sex) so physical attraction to ones partner is also important. Its hard to have kids with someone is you don't want to have sex with them :D

but why do you ask?

[/quote]

Yes, you can discuss sexual topics here. Bear in mind that there are teens who use CAF though, so no R-rated discussions please. :)

And the good news is the Catholic Church totally agrees with you - in fact to us sex is SO vital a part and SO inextricably linked with committed relationships that we consider it a distortion of the true meaning of sex to indulge in sexual behaviour outside 'committed' relationships (meaning those where the committment is expressed byway of the marriage bond.

As for 'safer' sex - by which I presume you mean using contraceptives - note that the rate of STI infections has not appreciably diminished in spite of the initiatives of recent years to make them more widely available - in high schools etc. So in exactly what sense is contracepted sex 'safer'?


#16

Since I am outside the bonds of marriage, I know that this topic and my participation in the act is looked upon as sinful.

Contraceptives does not just mean condoms, but all forms of BC or actions that preevnt pregnancy or STDs (I still cannot bring myself to use the different word usage of STIs). This is to include discussions and testing with your partner for STD’s before the begining of sexual intercourse.

And can you deny that one is “safer” engaging in sex with a condom than one engaing in sex without one? Safer sex has to do with responsible choices with one’s sex life. to me this does not include abstinence for the simple fact that one does not have a sex life, therefor the sex cannot be “safer”. That is just me though.

Safer sex means a lot of different things to different people. To some safer sex means completely avoiding those undesireable consequences such as pregnancy or disease, ie through abstinence. To others it means that when you have sex you are doing so in a responsible way that decrease your chances of said consequences, such as Bc or condoms as well as discussions with your partner(I separate the two on purpose). to another it means only engaging in sex with one person (your spouse) where that person has only engaged in sex with you.

Think of it as driving a car. If you do not want to get into an accident, the abstinence approach would be never driving a car…this isn’t really safe driving, its just not driving. Safe driving would be following the speed limit, obey traffic laws, being courteous to other drivers, wearing a seat belt etc. That would be safer driving although you still have a higher chance of injury in a car accident than the first individual that never drove, but less of one than the individual that did drive and ignored all of the above.


#17

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