Living Your 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

  • I'm going through some problems which are affecting my wife. She wants to stay with me but I feel guilty that she may be better off free. Am I depriving her of a happy, normal life like her friends enjoy? She deserves better. I want her with me but am I being selfish? I am tempted to say go but would that be foolish? I'm torn.

    Posted on Mar 21st, 2013 at 6:27 AM by JimmyDharda

  • Are you depriving her of taking her at her word when she says she wants to stay with you and remain faithful to her vows? Are you willing to deprive her of the opportunities for sanctification that come from suffering for love of another? "Better" is a question of attitude, yours and hers. If she embraces this life for love of you, her vows and Christ then is that not better than trading in heavenly glory for temporal "happiness". In the end this is not your choice to make. The only choice you need to make is to respond to the situation by meeting her needs as best as you are able during this time, and that includes supporting her choice to stay with you.

    Posted on Mar 21st, 2013 at 6:39 AM by Becky Le

  • I believe her, she's a wonderful wife & person. Yes, I'm guilty of doing other people's thinking at times. I mean well but it's also feelings of guilt that spur this temptation at times. You are right, I'm thinking about the superficial, material things & experiences above the eternal vows & faith we need to preserve. Not always easy, is it? Thank you

    Posted on Mar 21st, 2013 at 6:57 AM by JimmyDharda

  • Can you thank her and offer her acts of thoughtfulness (a flower, an extra kiss, a shoulder rub, it doesn't have to be big!) for her devotion to you... instead of feeling bad that she might be choosing a road that is hard for her (in your eyes)? I don't know if that is clear. What I mean is... instead of focusing on her sacrifices for you and thinking about how much it is costing her and then feeling badly... could you maybe think about those sacrifices and turn those thoughts into tiny actions of thankfulness, gratitude, and/or love by doing something tiny for her each time you have these thoughts? I have read that men often have difficulty doing small kindnesses for their wife because they feel they have to do something big or fancy. I am not sure if this is you. But if it is, may I assure you that women LOVE the tiniest tokens of kindness - pick a flower from the roadside, make her a cup of tea, write "I love you" on a scrap of paper and put it in her place at the dining room table... the list could go on but I'm sure you have your own ideas. :)

    Posted on Mar 21st, 2013 at 2:45 PM by Jen

  • My husband and I were in a similar boat recently. In fact, Jimmy, when I read your post, I thought it might've been from my husband! First of all, I recommend finding a good marriage counselor. My husband and I were blessed to find a Christian counselor who helped us talk through our struggles, particularly the issues my husband was facing. The counseling sessions have brought us closer together and closed to God and helped us address things we should have looked at years ago. Don't assume your wife wants to be free; I think my husband has assumed that at times. Give her time to process whatever hurt she feels, but trust that she's staying with you because she *wants* to be there. She loves you, she supports you and she wants you to get through the hurt/stress/problems together. If there's been a breach of trust in your marriage, give your wife time to heal. I will pray for you. And don't forget to pray for your wife, yourself and your marriage.

    Posted on Mar 21st, 2013 at 5:50 PM by Katherine

  • My husband and I were in a similar boat recently. In fact, Jimmy, when I read your post, I thought it might've been from my husband! First of all, I recommend finding a good marriage counselor. My husband and I were blessed to find a Christian counselor who helped us talk through our struggles, particularly the issues my husband was facing. The counseling sessions have brought us closer together and closed to God and helped us address things we should have looked at years ago. Don't assume your wife wants to be free; I think my husband has assumed that at times. Give her time to process whatever hurt she feels, but trust that she's staying with you because she *wants* to be there. She loves you, she supports you and she wants you to get through the hurt/stress/problems together. If there's been a breach of trust in your marriage, give your wife time to heal. I will pray for you. And don't forget to pray for your wife, yourself and your marriage.

    Posted on Mar 21st, 2013 at 5:50 PM by Katherine

  • Ack, that should say "closer to God."

    Posted on Mar 21st, 2013 at 5:52 PM by Katherine

  • One thing I noticed is that you assume her friends are enjoying a "happy, normal life". You know nothing about her friends' marriages. Never assume anything. Don't compare. Comparing leads to despair. I am very close with an elderly woman whose marriage has always been rocky. She and her husband are still married and probably in the best stage of their marriage to date. When they were younger and definitely having problems, her parish priest told her, "You have no idea how many married couples in this parish have told me that they envy your marriage." She was shocked! Marriage is beautiful but it can also be difficult at times. I went through a phase about 3 years into my marriage when I really starting questioning whether I had married the right man. There was a lot of fighting and disrespect (not abuse but still not good). When I took a good, hard look at the situation, God granted me the grace to see that the only person I could change was myself. He also showed me that I could choose to be happy and that my happiness cannot depend on another person. On my part, I made an extreme effort to be a better wife and mother. I chose to be happy. I never told my husband of my doubt because I didn't think any good would come of it. I just tried to be better. Things have improved slowly over the years. Even though we still have tough moments, my husband has shown that he's willing to sit down and discuss such moments and really work on things. I don't expect to ever have a "perfect" marriage but I am confident that with God's grace, we can and will have a great marriage. And since choosing to be happy and trying to be my best, I have fallen ever so much more in love with my husband over the years. In fact, I had a friend call me recently to vent a bit about her young marriage. She complimented me on my marriage and I chuckled to myself, remembering my elderly friend's experience. My friend assumed my husband and I have a "perfect" marriage. You just never know what's going on in someone else's marriage, so just focus on your own and things will go right in time. I have nothing else to add, really, except to echo agreement with everyone else's responses. Love is a DECISION. So just choose to love your wife every single day in whatever way you can. Loving doesn't mean leaving...it means sticking with it even when times get tough. "For better or for worse", remember? To give up would be cowardly. To press on, all while trying to be better and make things right, that is TRUE LOVE and truly courageous. Keep turning to God and to your wife. She obviously loves you and wishes to be faithful to you, God and your vows. So keep pressing on and fighting the good fight. I promise you, it is so worth it! Good luck and God bless!

    Posted on Mar 22nd, 2013 at 9:23 AM by Meg

  • Meg--thank you so much for sharing that. It was beautiful, so true, and very helpful to me where I am at right now in my marriage! I think it ought to be printed up and distributed to couples on a regular basis. (I would say engaged couples, but I doubt they are in a place to appreciate it.)

    Posted on Mar 22nd, 2013 at 9:58 AM by Grateful

  • Thanks Meg, your words were more helpful than you"ll ever know. I keep re-reading your post to help me get through a difficult time in my marriage. God works in mysterious ways!

    Posted on Mar 25th, 2013 at 10:18 PM by unknown