Marriage Thursdays

Enter your e-mail address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

By Rebecca Teti


Thursday: Marriage

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

Struggling in your marriage? Have some relationship advice to share? Have a marriage success story to share? Have a man/woman question? This weekly thread is the place to do it.

Come on in and join the conversation!

Rebecca Teti

Comments

  • Do you know about the website For Your Marriage? (http://foryourmarriage.org/) You can sign up for a daily marriage tip. I bet we can come up with our own list though. What's a little something you recommend to keep your marriage fresh?

    Posted on Jan 17th, 2013 at 11:01 AM by Rebecca Teti

  • Smiling when our eyes meet.

    Posted on Jan 17th, 2013 at 12:01 PM by unknown

  • I try to do at least one nice thing specifically for my spouse everyday.

    Posted on Jan 17th, 2013 at 12:42 PM by Mc

  • Hoping for some encouragement, advice... I have been married for 7 years. My husband and I met at a church-sponsored study group, got engaged after a couple of months, and got married several months later. I guess you could say it was a whirlwind courtship/engagement - and I got pregnant one month after being married. The early part of our relationship (meeting each other through the birth of our child, I'd say) was spent mostly in church-related activities and volunteering for the pro-life cause. My husband was a revert to the faith at that time, and we both had a great zeal for the faith then. We eventually fell off of participating in the pro-life activities as we became focused on our baby and my husband more and more on work. Seven years into marriage, my husband is SO, SO focused on work and his career (he has a full time job and multiple side jobs [not necessary for us financially]). I had visions/dreams of us being this great, pro-life family, but the reality is so different. My husband still goes to Mass most of the time. Currently he is traveling A LOT for work, and he doesn't bother to go when he is traveling. It has become a hot-button issue, so I try not to bring it up anymore. I also should mention something very important - I suffer from chronic depression and just don't have the high level of energy and vigor for life that I had during our courtship (I have been on medication for a long time). My husband has even admitted that a few years ago he immersed himself even more in his career when he realized that I probably wasn't going to change or get better. Obviously, there is much more to the story than I can share here, but I am just so disappointed in how our marriage has turned out. I cry a lot, which I know is a turnoff to him, but I am just sad. We seemed to be on all the same pages when we got married, but I feel we have just drifted apart from there. I put GOD and faith on the top of my list and he puts career advancement on the top of his. I'm sorry for the sketchiness of detail and I'll be glad to fill in some details if anyone would like more specifics...but I am hoping someone can offer some advice or hope to me. I know I am not easy to live with because of my mental health issues, but I just want some hope for the future of our marriage. Yes, we could continue living the rest of our lives like this and things wouldn't be too terrible, but I know things could be so much better. At the very least, thanks for letting me share here. There's really no one I can share this with in real life.

    Posted on Jan 17th, 2013 at 1:14 PM by Disappointed

  • Disappointed: Since mental health issues are entangled with marital issues I think you both need professional help, preferably from a Catholic or at least Christian marriage counselor. Also I would recommend either doing a Retrouvaille or Marriage Encounter weekend. Also get another psychologist or psychiatrist since it seem your medication isn't working (crying all the time, etc). It seems you two are stuck in a vicious circle: the more depressed you get, the less your husband wants to be around you and the less he wants to be around you the more depressed you get. Yours is a common story and professional counselors are able usually successful at turning things around.

    Posted on Jan 17th, 2013 at 1:47 PM by Monica (momof2)

  • We try to spend 15 minutes a day (sometimes it is just before we fall asleep at night) talking. We try to have a date once a month. Sometimes we actually go out. Other times we wait until the little ones are in bed, we send the older ones to their room and tell them they can read until bedtime, and we have wine and dessert and sit and talk.

    Posted on Jan 17th, 2013 at 2:32 PM by Jenny

  • Monica, thank you so much for responding. I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately, my husband can't go to counseling because it could affect his job (that is legitimate). He won't go to see a priest either, though that would supposedly be okay. I know I need to look for a new therapist - the last one didn't help at all, so I quit going. It is so hard to find a good one, but I do need to look again. I also e-mailed one of our priests and he said he would be willing to talk to me about my marriage difficulties. To clarify, I apparently feel things are "much worse" than my husband does. He is happy that his career is taking off and that he is getting his PhD (etc, etc) and doesn't seem to share my disappointment about our marriage. I know that *I* will have to be the one to change my perspective and look on things in a more positive light. It is so hard to get a foothold outside of this "vicious circle" as you so aptly termed it. I have let depression rob me of so much over 10+ years - I pray that one day I can recover at least some of my former zeal for life.

    Posted on Jan 17th, 2013 at 2:45 PM by Disappointed

  • I know that what I'm about to say is not comprehensive in terms of how to get through this rough stretch. I think there are so many things to say.....But, talk to your doctor about a change in meds or some meds that will augment whatever you are taking. Eat a healthy diet - it's amazing how much better you will feel when your body is getting the right nutrition. Get good sleep. Ask your husband once or twice per week to take all nighttime duties and put in a pair of earplugs. It's amazing how much better I feel when I get a really good night sleep. Get exercise 2-3 days a week. Go outside in the sun. Go to confession. In short, take care of yourself first since it's hard to take care of the marriage right now. Then, we you are feeling a little more like yourself, start working on the marriage. Go to ForYourMarriage. Do something nice for your spouse. Try to pray a short prayer with him every night(even just the HailMary and Our Father). This is a marathon - not a sprint. So look at where you want to be in 5 years and start making very small changes to get there. Also, start treating him like the man you want him to become. Sometimes, men will step up to the plate when he sees what he could be. Also, when you follow your faith, he may just follow along so participate actively in your faith..... So much to say, so little time. Good luck!

    Posted on Jan 17th, 2013 at 3:05 PM by J

  • Disappointed, try catholictherapists.com; you might be able to find someone good there. Retrouvaille isn't counseling, just a couples' retreat, so I don't think the company could complain about that. Also, it seems to me that it isn't legit for a company to discriminate against an employee for seeking counseling (and if it's on his own time, it's not like the company has to know); but would it be possible, if counseling seems like it would create problems, to get a drs. note stating that you're both going due to your depression (even though that's not the whole story), if the company wants to be sure that he's not violent or on drugs or something? You stated that you "will have to be the one to change and see things in a more positive light"; while it's true that we can only change ourselves, it doesn't sound like, in your case, that has to amount to just getting over your expectations already and cheering up. Maybe you didn't mean it that way, but that's how it sounded to me - like nothing will change so you have to learn to be happy with the problems. I do think it's common for spouses to end up with very different views of their marriage, but the fact that he seems content doesn't mean that all is really well; that's how people skate along for 30 years and then split, not knowing quite how they got to that point (things seem okay on the surface, but aren't okay at any deeper level). At any rate, perhaps meeting with the priest would be a good first step; if payment is a problem with counseling not being able to go through company insurance, Catholic Charities uses a sliding scale, and it's confidential, so dh's company wouldn't know. Prayers for you: depression is a tough place to be, as I know from experience, and it's impossible to imagine what it's like on the other side - but it really can get better!

    Posted on Jan 17th, 2013 at 3:38 PM by Anna

  • The fact that your hubs turned to JOB makes me feel there is MUCH HOPE for a happy reversion to what you desire! Just think of all the things men turn to when disapointed at home: drink, affairs, gambling, etc. etc. Your husband dove into working harder... and so he is still VERY invested in your family!!! Hooray for that! I think if you are able to just set aside your diappointment for a few months and try to get YOURSELF back to what you "were" in the days of happiness (that you look back to), things would totally turn around!! Your husband is still so devoted your you and yours, just not the way he was or the way you want!!

    Posted on Jan 19th, 2013 at 11:57 AM by unknown