Third P: Partner

Hubby Won’t Help at All…

Dear Holly, My husband does not and has not helped me ever with morning or evening routines, caring for the kids, housekeeping, no dishes, no trash out, no nothing. Thank God for my faith!! He has some psychological issues. He also works hard, and he drinks every night and is extremely unorganized. Of course, I have asked him to help out. I have begged him!!!! He never had to do that stuff in his home. I married him when I was very young. We have had our share of rough roads and I seek counseling whenever I feel stuck. He is against counseling and thinks it is just a money-maker and that he can do it on his own. We have actually come a long way. Unfortunately, my marriage is my cross. I became a member of one of the lay movements in the Church a few years ago and it brought me so much deeper into my faith and prayer life. It helped him too. I feed my soul with the sacraments and I say my rosary every morning on the treadmill. I hope that things will change, but he has to change. I can’t make him. So I just continue to look for ways to be better for God and for my kids and for him for that matter. I pray for the grace of God to give him wisdom and healing. I do know that I am permitting this situation where he won’t help at home….. but it is very exhausting when I rock the boat. I left once… My struggle has always been being the... read more

Does Hubby Have “REAL” Authority?

Dear Holly, I love your book and have read it several times. I recently pulled it out again to refer to the section you wrote on pages 87-90 about, as you called it, “The Submission Issue”. I wanted to read this again because I recently discovered that a woman I have a growing friendship with seems to always defer to her husband in major and minor decisions about their family. She referred to her husband as the “spiritual head of the household” in explaining this. I have great respect and admiration for this family – my purpose in researching this issue is only for my own understanding, not to take issue with the way that they make decisions. In one of your comments in your blog you said, “A husband… does have real authority given by God for the smooth running of the home and proper education of the children.” Could you elaborate exactly what you mean by this? Does this mean that a husband has a greater authority than his wife in these matters? If so, could you please site some helpful references (Church documents, etc.) to help me understand this? It seems to contradict the way you explained the “submission issue” in your book and the way you described that decision-making in a marriage when there is disagreement should be “satisfactory compromise”. I also looked up the document you referenced in your book, “JOHN PAUL II ON THE DIGNITY AND VOCATION OF WOMEN” and found what I believe to be your “counter edge gripping moment” (page 89 of your book): “in the relationship between husband and wife... read more

When Our Husband Has A Vice…

Dear Holly, I was reading older posts on the blog and read that you quit smoking after 27 years, 13 of those ‘trying’ to quit…  My husband is a smoker and it has been an issue in our relationship since we met over a decade ago. He has tried to quit several times and has been successful for a few months at a time, but always starts again. I used to nag him to quit and realized through prayer that this was not effective whatsoever. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for things that I can do as his wife to support him in quitting without nagging him? I have been praying for him daily and I don’t get on his case about smoking anymore. Would you mind sharing what finally worked for you and any suggestions you may... read more

2nd P, 3rd P, 4th P – The Ps are for “Priorities”

Dear Holly, I am a young mother of very young children. I am training for a half marathon and have to fit running somewhere into my schedule. The mileage increases which means the time does as well. I have been running in the morning before my husband goes to work or in the evening. When I go in the morning right now I am up at 5:30 and just make it home for my husband to leave for work and then I get breakfast going about 6:45. All good an well until the mileage increases. The flip side of this is that when I go at night it’s usually after at least the baby is to bed (I put her to bed) and then my hubby puts the older two to bed. It gets late and that means it gets dark, it cuts into marriage time and well, I am not one of those night owls. I wish I were. When it’s evening it’s hard to fit the 3rd P in. UGH. This only happens 3 times during the week and then on the weekends for a long run. I’ve been going on Sunday whenever I can fit it in the day. I love the running and it’s awesome for the 2nd P but it can be hard to schedule. I purposely signed up for a 1/2 marathon so I would keep committed to the running schedule. This, among other important projects I have in mind, I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. I’ve made my schedule kind of loose because I’m a little scared to... read more

Mom Time a No-No with Hubby

Dear Holly,I have a significant issue that I wouldn’t mind hearing your thoughts on. I’m a stay-at-home mom of three small children and another on the way. My husband and I have struggles in our relationship so it’s not always a peaceful existence. My husband is emphatic that the problems in our marriage are completely my fault – I’ve heard those specific words a number of times. At present, I have family close by and I can leave my kids with them once a week to go for lunch on my own and then do whatever shopping or errands need doing, almost exclusively for the household, rarely for myself. My husband disagrees with this use of my time. He thinks I should take the kids with me on any errands and stay home to get stuff done because so much could be accomplished without the kids here. And to go out to a restaurant? Wasteful and selfish. He’d never do it. When my relatives are away, fairly regularly, that’s it – I don’t get out. Hubby won’t step in to watch the kids so I can have a break. My problem is, we are planning on moving and I won’t have family to help me. I’ve talked to my husband about the possibility of a mother’s day out every second week when we move and he says no. He says it’s selfish and a mom should want to be with her kids. He is always telling me what ‘other women’ do, and holding them up as an example to me. I feel at the end of my rope with... read more

Husband "Plays" All Evening Long…

Dear Holly,Here’s my BIG issue: I often feel like a single parent. My husband does work, but his schedule varies from day to day, and there are days that he works for a few hours, and he’s done for the day. Sometimes he will go to a movie before coming home, or shop for a new computer game, which isn’t a really big deal to me, other than the fact that we do need to be saving money as much as possible. I think he may feel guilty about doing this, though, since he won’t call me before, and doesn’t tell me about it till days later, or if it slips out, or if I just happen to see his new game on his desk or computer. Anyway, no matter how long he works in a day, whether or not he’s had “play” time before coming home, he comes home and does the exact same thing…spends the rest of the day on his computer. He does do finances, or faxing paperwork from work, but a HUGE majority of the time he spends on his computer is gaming or watching movies or tv shows. Of course, his computer is in a separate room (a HORRIBLY messy and disorganized room…HIS room), and there is no way his “office” would fit anywhere else, so that means that he is separated from the rest of the family the entire time he is home and on the computer. We have an “almost” 4 year old, too, and she often goes in there to try to get his attention, but he won’t budge from where... read more

Husband Adds to Clutter…

Dear Holly,I recently had a new baby so my frustrations are much more obvious right now. Although I have not yet established my own rule, I have been working toward that for a while now, especially in the area of reducing clutter, which would be EXTREMELY helpful, especially since we have a rather small house. And I’m TIRED of tripping on stuff, and having to move stuff off surfaces to cook dinner, or eat dinner or whatever!! But this seems to be a losing battle. I clear off a surface, and something immediately gets placed there again, rather than being put away, and it’s usually my husband who does it, the one person who knows how frustrated I get by that, and the one person who should have enough self control, or thoughtfulness, or whatever, to help me by not un-doing the work I have just done. That’s a huge pet peeve, and I am not sure what more I can do to keep that from continually happening. I’m not a nagger, which wouldn’t be helpful anyway, but my husband doesn’t respond well at all even if I try to calmly and simply tell him how I feel or what I need from him. So how do I deal with the bigger issues, if I can’t even approach the little things without him “shutting... read more

Husband as Head of the Household???

Dear Holly,I am a homeschooler and I am in a circle of tons of homeschool moms with large families. One very big concern I have is that as I read through your blog, it seems many of these moms follow this “order” but from my view is very disordered and destructive at times: for instance I can think of 4 moms raising about fifty kids between them affecting about 500 people around them. The husbands don’t necessarily “bring home a paycheck” and the wives are reluctant to tell them how to make a living so they live on donations, in-kind gifts and a whole lot of out-reach from the community. Their homes are in one section neatly organized while the rest of the home, yard, garages are a total disaster. The moms refuse to direct their husband in any capacity and hence they live like chaotic people avoiding hard subjects. I hear things constantly like “I must ask my husband”, “My husband has not told me if I could do that yet” or “I’m not going to lead”, meanwhile the children are suffering from seeing their father do whatever he wants whenever he wants while mom looks like she has been hit by a truck every day. I read through your blog and it seems to replicate so much of these families. I love my husband, I have a child in seminary and I have battled my husband on very important issues – the good news is that battle ends in an awesome resolution. Avoiding the battles and wars makes them grow in other ways – hit, hit head... read more

Husband Has Issues with Her Rule…

Dear Holly,I am writing to ask what I am to do about my third P. My husband is a bit disturbed at my changes. This is not what he is used to and as a man of deep habit, it is very unsettling that I have almost taken on a new personality in my days. He seems so distraught by it that he has been fighting with me, and though we had our fights before, they seem to be even more angry now. I am afraid that my third P does not care to join me or be supportive in my mission towards Our Lord. I have not asked him to change anything about himself, nor do I think that I should expect him to “keep up” with what I am doing. But it is causing a great distance between us, and I am finding myself thinking that he is in the way of my relationship with God. He is almost purposely discouraging me, and I don’t know how to continue with my Rule and my conform my will to better goods when I feel such tension with my husband. I honestly feel pushed away from him, but I don’t know exactly who is doing the pushing. Is it him or me? Or is this the natural progression when turning so directly towards God? Any advice? My husband is a convert but clings tightly to his comforts and habits. I would love to be a leader by example, but it could take years. How do I keep my third P in line on my list of priorities when I... read more
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