Let's Talk Marriage!

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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

  • My husband acts jealous of me, puts me down to the kids. Rolls his eyes when I talk, leaves without kissing me goodbye when he is mad at me, blah blah blah. I try to ignore it but it is really taking its toll on me. Help, any advice!!

    Posted on Jan 3rd, 2013 at 7:04 AM by Patricia

  • Patricia - I'm so sorry to hear about your marriage! When's the last time you went on a date?

    Posted on Jan 3rd, 2013 at 7:20 AM by Thewhitknee

  • Sunday with another couple. That's when he rolled his eyes at me.

    Posted on Jan 3rd, 2013 at 7:24 AM by unknown

  • Believe me there is nothing to b jealous of and I think it's his own insecurities but just the same hard to live with.

    Posted on Jan 3rd, 2013 at 7:25 AM by unknown

  • Any 10 year anniversary ideas. It is the end of May.

    Posted on Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:02 AM by Jay

  • Patricia - yuck!! Sounds like his sense of respectfulness (towards you, but also maybe towards himself) has diminished for some reason. Hmmm... I would do two things right away: first, take all the steps you can to boost your own sense of respect for yourself. Whatever makes you feel a bit better about yourself: get your nails done, a new haircut, decluttering around the house, etc. Do something right away to put a little smile on your own face and a little bit of bounce back in your step! Then I would gently probe to see if there is anything making himself feel like less of a man in his own eyes. Is the boss failing to recognize your husband's skills on the job? Mid-winter nasty weather making it impossible for him to get out and do some outdoor activity that makes him feel refreshed? Etc. I would take the personal approach of making RESPECTFUL CONCERN (sympathy) towards him your 1st approach (along with a little step up in personal grooming. A little extra care for make up and hair on my part always seems to re-remind my husband that I exist, lol!) But #1, melt his hardness with your concern for & pride in him. Works in my marriage, anyway. It takes the wind out of his [irritated] sails. If this indirect approach doesn't work very fast (and sometimes it doesn't because he's so wrapped up in himself at the time), I usually start crying at some point. But I don't think of this as a fail. It is LOADS better than confrontation / "having a talk" with him because then *he* initiates a conversation instead of me being the one to say "hey, we need to talk about something." If the conversation was his idea, he's so much more open. Okay, that's what we do. Can you tell I have experience with this? Its one of my pet peeves.

    Posted on Jan 3rd, 2013 at 10:32 AM by not today, ladies!

  • Today is our anniversary. My parents were going to watch the kids so we could go out this evening, but they just phoned to say they are sick. I had no back-up plans. Ideas, anyone??? Its a little late to plan/cook a nice dinner (unless I buy ready-made stuff in the deli). But I'm drawling a blank. Other than foods, what's a nice way to celebrate at home with the little kids?

    Posted on Jan 3rd, 2013 at 12:06 PM by Jen

  • Family movie-night we rent a movie on cable make some popcorn. And snuggle on the couch!!

    Posted on Jan 3rd, 2013 at 1:18 PM by unknown

  • Thank you. Not today, ladies. For the advice!!

    Posted on Jan 3rd, 2013 at 1:19 PM by unknown

  • Hi Jen, you could do dinner in tonight if it is a necessity and reschedule your dinner out when you have babysitting.

    Posted on Jan 3rd, 2013 at 5:13 PM by Jay

  • @ Jay. For our 15th anniversary we spent a day together on a mini "staycation" of sorts. We were able to get a babysitter and spent the day doing things that we weren't able to easily do with kiddos in tow. We started the day with Mass. We toured a few museums and were able to look at the paintings, toured the botanical garden and enjoyed the flowers, took a paddle boat ride for two, and followed it up with a nice dinner for us. It was nice to be able to just spend the day together and not rush through the things we once were able to leisurely enjoy. Happy anniversary.

    Posted on Jan 3rd, 2013 at 5:36 PM by Theresa

  • A little late for the anniversary date but for our 20th we stayed home and watched the video of our wedding with the kids. I wanted to do something more elaborate but it didn't work out and this is what my husband came up with at the last minute. Turned out...it was beautiful.

    Posted on Jan 4th, 2013 at 9:47 AM by RealMom4Life

  • Questions if anyone is still reading...I have a couple friends who don't have great marriages. At least four completely different situations. I feel at this point that God is asking me to reach out to them more than just the sounding board/support I've been. A couple of them already feel so low...but I really think it's not completely the husbands fault. Do I point out their part? Two are more acquiantences so I don't have that strong relationship where I would feel right doing so. The other is close but lives across the country and is so alone I'm not sure if I should try to help or just listen. Any ideas? I've always appreciated it when I get advice (years ago a priest gave me the advise Not today, ladies gave and I am so grateful.) WWYD?

    Posted on Jan 4th, 2013 at 9:54 AM by RealMom4Life

  • Re: Anniversaries My husband and I have been married for 31 years. We have 5 children. There have many anniversaries where we just did a candlelight dinner at home either because of budget constraints, one of the kids being sick, or just can't get a babysitter. Those are some of our best memories. Sometimes simple is better. Just saying. :)

    Posted on Jan 4th, 2013 at 4:57 PM by Joan

  • To Ms. 31 years married.... what is your budget? I mean doesn't everyone want to just get away and celebrate each other? Then plan for it. I am shaking my head. Typical dinner out for two people is no more than $30 bucks. In Florida, $30 is not a lot of money. Neither is $180 for two nights out with meals. $12 bucks max is a bottle of wine. NO beer. Putting away $200 during the year is about a buck 82 a day. We have a bagel jar and use coupons and put the savings away for each other. And we set boundaries with kids that we are going to foster and the agency, and the inlaws and outlaws. God bless you and try it and have 4 back ups and their phone numbers. Make them sign that they know they must be reliable. Do it for each other.

    Posted on Jan 4th, 2013 at 6:21 PM by Wondering in Florida.. now really wondering.

  • @Jeanne, yes, plan for it is a great idea. Especially because once you have a plan, life always goes according to that plan. @RealMom4Life, I'd say your instinct is probably right with the acquaintances: it's just hard to navigate something so sensitive with someone you don't know as well (though Jen Fulwiler has a good Yaya story [IT AIN'T OUT THERE!] too, so if you could possibly be a Yaya-type, maybe you could get away with it, lol! (Though if you were that type, you'd not likely be asking us.) But for the people you do see often, could you ask them gently if they'd like your take or if they just want to vent? Or, if the venting seems to go on endlessly without any actual good being done, maybe you could (gently again) point out that the only person one can change is oneself. And then acknowledge the frustration with the dh, but give a few suggestions that you think could be helpful for them to do regardless of dh. You could be specific to their situation here or keep it general ("get counseling" "read the 5 Love Languages") depending on how receptive you think they'll be.

    Posted on Jan 4th, 2013 at 7:02 PM by Anna

  • @Anna, thanks for the suggestions...nope...not the yaya type :) but you've suggested a good way of letting them know I can try to help if they want me to and leave it to them to tell me if they want it. As far as weddings...anniversaries...date nights...etc go I think it's important to do what is right for you and your dh. Everyone is different. My sister and her dh surprise each other by taking turns planning a night away on their anniversary every year. I think it's really neat. I have no desire to do it though. Neither my dh nor I enjoy going out, we didn't go out much while dating for 7 years and still don't enjoy it 20 years later (if we weren't out doing something like biking or skating we usually went to one of our homes...and we both lived with our parents). So forcing date night would be no fun. We get time together after the kiddos are in bed. Sometimes we stay up late talking. Tonight we went snowmobiling for an hour from our home. That's us. (BTW: sorry, didn't mean to be misleading about my desire for more elaborate 20 yr anniversary plans....I wanted a special dinner with just the 2 of us while the kids watched a movie in the other room ;) ) and our video....a friend of my parents owned a VHS camcorder...that was their gift to us. I think the challenge with online comments is the point doesn't always come across as intended...we are pretty simple people...and happily married.

    Posted on Jan 4th, 2013 at 10:31 PM by RealMom4Life

  • arggg...not used to the "lack of formatting" most of my response wasn't meant to be directed to Anna. But this is so much better than when it was all down!

    Posted on Jan 4th, 2013 at 10:33 PM by RealMom4Life

  • Thanks, all! I ended up buying a mini-cheese cake sampler at the grocery store and everyone (even the toddler) had a piece (extra fun was the fact that the sampler had four mini-slices in a different flavor, so the kids had fun choosing which flavor they wanted!) It was really nice, somehow... maybe because after the dinner plans (yes, plans, Jeanne!) fell through, my husband wasn't expecting anything at all.

    Posted on Jan 5th, 2013 at 10:40 AM by Jen

  • Hello... Call him on it every time his behavior is disrespectful. Don't blame him though!! Just say that this behavior (I.e. eye rolling or whatever) hurts your feelings and is unacceptable. Say it WITHOUT anger!!! Then walk away. Be consistent. Don't change who you are. Remain kind and loving in all other usual ways. He may not change his behavior but at least you know you've stuck up for yourself. God said for our husbands to treat us with love and kindness...the foundation for this is respect!!! Good luck and God bless!!!

    Posted on Jan 7th, 2013 at 1:47 PM by unknown