Troubled Marriage...need advice

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by mhoward1999, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. mhoward1999

    mhoward1999
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    Hi everyone. I originally posted this in the prayer requests section, but it was suggested that I move it here.
    Hi. I am seeking Godly counsel. I do not want a divorce. I feel that I have had about all I can stand, though. I have been married for 5 1/2 years. When we were married, my husband had been at his job for 11 years, and he was 28 years old. Pretty awesome, I thought. He was kind, considerate, a hard worker, punctual, I could go on and on. Since we married he has had 4 jobs and each job has been a cut in pay. We are in debt over our ears. Last Spring we made an agreement with his parents that we would build a house(one room studio apartment is more like it: 500 sq. ft.) on their land (It would be paid for by us, but would be theirs after three years.), live in it for 3 years, and during that time we would work to become debt free and then save to build a house of our own. I was promised that we would be in the house by the end of August, at the latest. We have been living with his parents since May. I have severe allergies, and his dad is a chain smoker. The man even wakes up in the night to smoke! The house is so filthy that I won't even go barefoot in it. I run air filters in our bedroom to try to combat the polluted environment. All this is to explain why I am so frustrated. My husband is not working on the house- at least not much. Two hours in the past two weeks. His income is half what it was when we married. We agree that when we have children, that I will stay at home. Maybe even homeschool them. Yet we aren't even making ends meet now, with no children. My clock is ticking and I am fed up. I cannot in good conscience bring children into this marriage as it is. I am not willing to face the thought of a childless life. I was an only child and my dream is a house filled with the pitter-patter of little feet. My husband has turned into a lazy, grouchy, selfish man. I just don't know what to do. We have been through counseling, he clammed up- wouldn't talk. Basically, the counselor told me we were wasting our time and money if he wasn't going to open up and talk about things. This is a "quick" snapshot of how I see our marriage- to try to show where we are. I covet your prayers and advice. I am at the end of my rope.
     
  2. PastorGreg

    PastorGreg
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    Many, many people here will be praying for you. Satan would love to see your marriage destroyed. God hates divorce. Tie a knot at the end of that rope and hang on! Do you have a solid Bible-believing church? if so, try talking to your pastor - if not - it's really essential to find one.

    I know this can be misinterpreted, but for anyone to offer specific Biblical counsel, they would need more information. Don't intend for this to imply anything or to sound unkind, but was your marriage the only change in your husband's life? You're telling the story of an industrious, stable man who has completely changed in a few years. One major change in his life is that fact that he got married. Is it possible there were some problems in the relationship that preceded this change in him? Is he a believer? What are your spending habits? Why did he change his job the first time? Did he start drinking or some other sinful habit? None of these are implications, just questions that would have to be answered.
     
  3. chipsgirl

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    Are you all in church or at least just you? I suggest some counseling at your church or finding one that can help you. I wish I could offer more comfort for you but until he's willing to change and work on your marriage, then it will be one-sided. Pray everyday that God will show your husband how to be a better man to you and himself. Prayer works! It takes time, sometimes more than we like but I have never had a prayer not answered in some form or another. A big thing I have learned over the past year is patience. If I have patience and live on God's time then things will work out. We just have to leave it all up to him. I am praying for you. I am here if you need to talk. Feel free to send me a private message and I can even give you my email address if you wish.
    Take care of yourself today.

    ~allie
     
  4. mhoward1999

    mhoward1999
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    Thank you so much for your encouragement. I will try to answer the questions as best as I can. Sometimes when you are in the midst of things, you can't see it all, you know.

    We are members of a church, but relatively new ones. Finding a church we are both happy with has been a marriage long struggle. We have finally found one we both liked and joined, but within a few months he stopped attending regularly. I think he grows dissatisfied very quickly. Our pastor is a wonderful, Godly man, but he is several years younger than my husband, and neither of us feels that he has a lot to offer in the way of counsel. I would love to be paired with an older couple who could mentor us, I guess.

    My husband and I are both professing Christians. I was saved at age 5. He at age 24. We met at a really bad time in my life. My parents had divorced 8 months prior. I was 21 at the time. My father talked me into going with him to a bar. I truly didn't want to go. He gave me the lecture: "You're too straight-laces, you need to lighten up, relax, etc." I followed this horrid advice. Now I tell people every chance I get that you never stop parenting your children!!! Yes, I was 21, but I was not truly cogent of what I was setting myself up for. Anyway, I met my husband that night. He asked me to dance and I said no, I don't know how. He asked to just talk, then. I was impressed by that. We dated for a year and two months, got married on the one year anniversary of our first kiss. When we met, he was going through the final stages of his own divorce. His ex- had an affiar and became pregnant by another man. We were "just friends" until the divorce was final. A major piece of the puzzle is that my dad re-married 8 months after we met. When that happened I was left without a place to live. I could not support myself alone. I was working as a cashier at Wal~Mart but that didn't even come close to rent, utilities, etc. I felt my only solution was to move in with him. I had my own bedroom. I'm sure you can tell how long that lasted! So... we had pre-marital sex and lived together before we were married. I felt trapped. I was frustrated with the choices I had made, but saw no way out. I knew that I loved him and since we were already married in God's eyes, I had no hesitation about going ahead and getting married. We lived together for six months or so before our wedding.

    The reason my husband left his first job is because he wasn't getting along with his co-workers. He said the whole place had turned into one big soap opera. He said there was a lot of backbiting going on. He made it very obvious that he wasn't happy with his job anymore, so I encouraged him to look for a new job. His only education is a high school diploma, so it was hard to find anything that was as good financially as what he had. In fact, he couldn't. We had to cash in his retirement and pay off a bunch of stuff in order to make it on what his new salary was.

    Spending habits: Relatively okay. My husband buys lottery tickets, which I disapprove of. He hides them from me. I have told him that I don't want that. I would rather him be honest and not have deception in our relationship. I have said, "You are a grown man with a job of your own. I can't control how you spend your money." Recently I found a statement from a payday loan store in the floorboard of his truck (I wasn't on a hunt.)I worry about what he spends money on that I don't know about, but those are the only things I know about. There have been two times in our marriage that he has spent large amounts of money ($600, $300) and either couldn't or wouldn't tell me where it went.
    I'm certainly not perfect. I will pinch every single penny for months and then it's like I lose control and splurge, but my "splurges" are in the $50 or less category.
    He is unrealistic about ways to spend discretionary funds.(Which we really don't have in the first place.) He wants to join an organization called S.A.S.S. (Single Action Shooters Society) It's a very expensive hobby. We make $2400 a month combined! He also likes to hunt, which I encourage, but he spends a lot of money on "gadgets" for hunting that aren't strictly necessary.

    My husband doesn't smoke, has an occasional drink, but I have never seen him drunk. He has never cheated on me that I am aware of. He has never physically abused me.

    I think that's probably a long enough novel for now.
     
  5. dianetavegia

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    M, why did your husband lose the first job? Did he quit or was it outside of his control?

    Please don't think I'm being harsh but every complaint you've listed about hubby has been 'stuff'. Just 'stuff'. Marriage is much more than that.

    I'm pointing this out because my own husband of 34 plus years lost his job 3 years ago this past Oct. when the company had to downsize to just the owner and his wife. In 2003 we made $11,700. In 2004, probably less. Is it hubby's fault? No way! He's worked as many as 3 jobs at a time to earn even that and he's got an Engineering Degree but in a field that no longer exists. Computers do the work now.

    I see you're a teacher. I'm sure you make okay money. That might be part of the problem. Many men are hurt when they cannot earn more money than their wives. A poor self ego results in lower and lower paying jobs.

    Share some more, please, so we can be more specific but at this point I see reasons to be disappointed but no reason for divorce.

    Diane
     
  6. mhoward1999

    mhoward1999
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    Diane, You are correct in saying I have no right to divorce him. Hopefully my previous post will help clarify. I guess the things that are really getting to me is two-fold. First he talks about being lazy all the time. Makes jokes about it, says I'm lazy and I'm not ashamed of it, I hate to work, etc. Secondly, I feel uncared for because of the housing situation. It is his fault (in my opinion) that I am living in his parents house. They are non-Christians, smoke, keep a truly filthy house. I am MISERABLE there. I cry almost every day. I don't feel he understands or cares. The FACT is that if he really cared, we would have been in our house months ago.
     
  7. Pastor J

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    Mhoward,

    Your wedding vow state "For Better or For Worse". Pray for him, God can change him during this "for worse" time.
     
  8. mhoward1999

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    Actually, they didn't...(weird preacher) But yes, I am bound by my marriage covenant per what the Bible says.

    I am praying almost literally constantly. I am so preoccupied with the situation that I start crying(not break down crying, but getting tearful) in the middle of teaching and have to step away and gather myself. Not good.
     
  9. chipsgirl

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    I promise God can change this for you somehow. Please don't give up.
     
  10. mhoward1999

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    Thank you chipsgirl. I know that He can. I don't pretend to think I am perfect. I know there are things that God can change in me that would make me a better wife. I really, truly, sincerely don't know what I need to change. In counseling the only thing my husband would say that was negative about me was that he wished that I cooked more. I have tried to do that. In our current sitaution it's impossible. I have promised him that as soon as we get into our house I will cook nutritious meals for us daily. I don't know what else to do but pray.
     
  11. Pastor J

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    Prayer is a great start. My wife and I lived with my parents for 18 months when we first moved back to CT. It was probably one of the roughest parts of our marriage. Once through it, we have become much stronger for it.
     
  12. mhoward1999

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    Pastor J: This is/has been the second hardest time of my life. The first being my parents divorce and all the complications that ensued. Thank you for the encouragement that it is survivable. Oh man, 18 months... I feel like dropping with my face to the floor and begging God to save me from this situation right now, only it would terrify my class, I am sure! (I am half kidding, half not! [​IMG] )
     
  13. Scarlett O.

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    You said your husband says things like, "I'm lazy and not ashamed of it."

    I think he is ashamed of it. He is probably embarrassed by the same things that are making you angry. People, both men and women alike, say things like that when they don't have control anymore.

    You know...

    ..."I hate her and don't care who knows..."
    ..."I know I'm a jerk and who cares..."
    ..."I'm obnoxious and proud of it..."

    He's not proud of being lazy and hurting your marriage.

    Sometimes people dig themselves into such a low place that they think they can't EVER get out.

    That might be why he won't talk at counseling sessions or has begun to make a joke out of himself.

    He looks up from the bottom of the hole that he has dug for himself and it's too high for him to climb out of.

    And to top it off, all he sees when he looks into your eyes, is a reflection of the way he feels about himself.

    You are disgusted with him, so he thinks he must really be disgusting.

    I can only say this. Grit your teeth and reverence him inspite of himself.

    Find something, SOMETHING, that you still find wonderful about him and tell him. Often.

    When he starts having that little "pity party", walk up to him and put your hand on his mouth and tell him that you know he is not lazy and that you love him very much.

    You have a tough situation. And it's not going to change easily.

    Initially, you may have to do more of the "work" than he does even though he needs the change more.

    And when someone is in a place of anger and feeling like the "victim", doing most of the initial work to salvage a relationship takes a spiritual backbone of steel and grit from the gut to lay the anger down and leave at the cross, but that is often the beginning of healing.

    I pray that both of you are healed from the forces that are attacking your marriage.

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    <><
     
  14. mhoward1999

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    Scarlet, thank you so much. I hope you are right. I am already trying to do some positive affirmation type things like, when he makes a joke about being lazy I tell him to stop talking about my husband that way. I give him a concrete example of something he has done that a lazy person wouldn't do. Trouble is, that's usually something from the early years of our marriage. Nothing recent. I will pray for God to reveal this to me. I want to be his mouthpiece. I had a friend suggest that I pray for God to love him through me. That was a really neat idea, I thought. Never occurred to me to do that. So I am trying it. I take your advice to heart and will be trying my best to implement it. The hardest part is reverencing him.
     
  15. dianetavegia

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    Scarlet, Where is your post about husband and wives that you posted a week or so ago? That was one of the most intense and best presented posts I've seen. I think it would fit well here if you can find, copy and paste it!

    Women need security.... Remember the thread??
     
  16. Scarlett O.

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    Well, I'm going to admit my ignorance and tell you that I don't know how to copy and paste.

    But the post was under stereotypes that women hate. I think it was in the General Discussion.

    Peace-

    YSIC
    Scarlett O.
    <><
     
  17. dianetavegia

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    I'll find it.

    Left click and either select all or hold down the mouse button and highlight what you want to copy. Click on copy. Come back here and open a post, right click again and click paste. That's all it takes.
     
  18. dianetavegia

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    This is Scarlett's post. I'd love to have said it but can't steal her credit. [​IMG]

     
  19. mhoward1999

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    Wow! Can I print this off and give it to my husband? ...or would that freak him out right now? Scarlet, you are so eloquent! That defines pretty much all of my problems!
     
  20. dianetavegia

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    Doesn't that just 'hit the spot'? I thought it was excellent!
     

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