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


  • So, how do you handle things in your marriage when there is no "middle ground"? When one of you is on one side, and the other is on the other? Sometimes one cannot give in, because there is no way to compromise...homeschool versus public; more children or not; live in the city versus the country; paying off debts versus investing in real estate; etc. So, for years I have given up things that I thought were fairly to greatly important, and allowed my husband to make the decision as head of the household. I'm not a doormat, and I thought it was best at the time. Now, there are some decisions to be made that have brought us to a cross-road of sorts, and I believe I am better equipped to make family decisions that will be beneficial to most of us. Husband doesn't agree, and is not ready/willing to allow me to be the decision maker. So now what?

    Posted on Mar 14th, 2013 at 11:17 AM by unknown

  • I've been there too, and still am there on some issues. The only thing that has gotten me through is lots of prayer, and realizing that so far, the issues we're dealing with are not moral ones, but essentially personal preference or personal opinion. For some time, I would literally picture myself as sticking out my hand and having the Roman soldiers pound nails through it: to be clear, I did not feel it was my husband driving the nails, rather, it was an opportunity for me to crucify my own will and desires and offer that to Christ (even when I feel I am right and he is wrong). While I still feel some decisions would be more "beneficial" if done my way, we are not truly being "harmed" by doing it my husband's way, and the peace of not arguing is better than any 'benefits' I might imagine if we changed course. It is tough, but know you are not the only one, and I will keep you in my prayers along with my own struggles.

    Posted on Mar 14th, 2013 at 1:16 PM by Me too

  • Is your husband completely unwilling to "give in" to your preferences sometimes? Have you been unwilling to assert yourself more fully and let your husband know exactly how much your preferences mean to you? If there are some bad communication dynamics going on, it might be worth seeing a counselor or trusted priest to mediate discussions on some of these topics, especially the ones that will significantly impact your family life for a long period of time. Outside of that option, it seems to make sense that the spouse that will be more greatly impacted (like the stay-at-home mom that will also then have to homeschool) should have a greater say, though not necessarily the final or exclusive say. For other decisions, the person who has greater knowledge of a situation should have a greater say. Also, the person who feels most strongly about something should get a little more weight, too, though it sounds like these are pretty big decisions and you both feel strongly.

    Posted on Mar 14th, 2013 at 3:32 PM by Andrea

  • Actually all the things you mentioned can be compromised on. For example, homeschooling vs. public. There are people who homeschool but have their kids take some elective type classes in their local school. Also there are public homeschool curriculums like K-12 which are free and run by the state. More children vs. not: A possible compromise with that would be to not do NFP and just let what happens happen. Paying off debts vs. investing in real estate: a compromise would be to pay off some debt and invest in some real estate. Living in the county vs. the city: the compromise is called the suburbs. However, when there really is something that is absolutely impossible to compromise or neither is willing to compromise, then the next step is mediation. This can be a priest if it's a moral issue or a hired counselor if it's anything else.

    Posted on Mar 14th, 2013 at 4:00 PM by Monica (momof2)

  • I have to say in the past I have screamed and yelled to get him to give in to my input. Like mostly him charging too much and acquiring too much cc debt. Getting my very old kitchen done over without putting us in debt even further. Or there is the lack of him defending me against his family. Twenty years of this has brought me to saying nothing for the sake of peace. But I have to say I pray without ceasing for my heart to not harden. Because the kids are going to grow up and it will be me and him and I don't want to not like the man I have to look at for the rest of my life.

    Posted on Mar 14th, 2013 at 5:35 PM by unknown

  • Unknown - I'm sorry you're going through that. Have you thought about going on a Marriage Encounter? Or maybe starting to pray with your husband if you don't already do that. Maybe if you both prayed together, his heart would soften......? However, if that doesn't work, I do like the idea of a marriage/family counselor...

    Posted on Mar 14th, 2013 at 7:39 PM by JM

  • Unknown, I think you used to post over on F&F, right? And I agree that a counselor would probably be helpful, along with a Dave Ramsey course. If he isn't willing to do counseling, you could go on your own. Absence of open conflict isn't the same as peace - and it doesn't sound like there is real peace in your home. You can't make him respect your view on things, but you can still learn not to be either angrily reacting to the problems nor pretending nothing is wrong so as to avoid a fight. Neither of those approaches is healthy for your kids to bring into their own marriages, so you want to be able to model what is healthy while there's still time.

    Posted on Mar 14th, 2013 at 10:12 PM by Anna