Third P: Partner

Irregular Husband Time!

Dear Holly,My husband works very irregular hours; how do I account for his activities in my Rule, as he’s home a lot (and thusly a major part of my home life, more than most couples), but I never know when he’ll be out? I am finding it hard to find a certain point in my daily schedule for him and only him, as there’s always a decent chance he won’t be home for that... read more

Emergency Coping with a Depressed Husband

Dear Holly,My particular problem has to do with my husband. I know that I need to make our marriage a priority, but I am not sure how to do that. We have been married for over a decade and we have 4 very young children. While I stay home with the kids, he works in a very demanding professional field and I respect the great strain and stress he experiences providing for our family. However, he’s been severely depressed for years: He takes meds, has seen several therapists for a few sessions each (mainly just to placate me), is in poor health, and can’t sleep most nights. His work is suffering and he’s had a drastic pay cut due to poor performance. We’ve lost thousands of dollars due to the economic crisis and his irresponsible behavior, and he lies to me, over and over again. The only reason he has stopped is because we have no money left. Divorce is not something I will consider as I know it’s not the answer. My question is this: How can I be a good wife to a man who is so depressed, so intent on shutting me out? His job is hanging in the balance; he spends hours at the office doing nothing but procrastinating and worrying; and he refuses to talk to me about it. More than that, he gets stony and furious when I try. He only goes to church if I “make” him, and otherwise he sits at home and watches TV. My son is definitely catching on. I took my husband to confession once, and he shows... read more

When Hubby Won't Stick to Agreements…

Dear Holly,What do you do if your husband refuses to follow through with consistency-type resolutions that you’ve made regarding discipline? For example, my husband and I have time after time discussed that we will not use physical punishment until we have already done time-outs/ natural consequences etc. and the child is still defiant or thinks it’s a big joke. So I struggle to maintain my cool all day, then after he’s done work for half an hour, he’s spanking the kids and/or yelling at the first negative behaviour they exhibit. I understand that their behaviour is extremely irritating, but it’s just frustrating. Any... read more

Husband Frequently Interrupts

Dear Holly,Your book gave me real hope, but I have not been able to really establish a schedule as my husband works at home and interrupts us several times a day. I might be able to deal with that except for that I am not good at pulling things back together, so after a few times, I fade… We have discussed this to no avail, and I can’t figure out how to work around it as every time I adjust whatwe are doing to reflect the times he commonly comes in, it seems like he changes what he does. He is very people-oriented and friendly, so I can understand why he does this, but it’s hard on whatever we are doing. Please help or I too may end up screaming at the... read more

When Husband Travels…

Dear Holly,I have two questions having to do with the fact that my husband travels for work and so is out of town more than he is home. Typically he will be away for 3 weeks to a month and then home for anywhere from a few days to two weeks. Because of the nature of his job, he never knows more than a day or two in advance when he will be leaving or coming home. First question, I’m not sure how to add the “3rd P” to my rule. When he is gone there is little I can do other than be available to receive his phone calls or chat with him online. Second, I don’t know how to keep my rule and schedule intact when he is home. Would it be more realistic, do you think, to have a completely different and more “open” schedule when he is home? We are hoping he only has to work like this another year or two, but I have to figure out the best way to deal with it in the... read more

Husband is a Deacon

Dear Holly,Where would you place my husband’s duties as a deacon? Under the first P for him? What about my duty to support him in his vocation? This past weekend, I went on a personal retreat, but I struggled somewhat with my decision to go (my husband encouraged me to do so) because he had the children by himself the entire weekend, and he had to chant for Vespers on Saturday and Divine Liturgy on... read more

Husband's Schedule Mixes Up Mother's Rule

Dear Holly,As I finally get my children to bed, here I sit, exhausted and frustrated. I simply don’t know how to handle the fact that my husband’s schedule is completely unpredictable and keep any kind of consistent rule. Does anyone have a rule that doesn’t depend in some way on her husband? My first P depends on the fact that he can be here until 7 am so I can do my morning prayer. Over the last 2 weeks, I think I’ve done it twice. He is either gone to an early meeting or sleeping as late as possible because he is exhuasted. I end up doing it in the shower, or 2 hours late after the baby goes down for her nap. Also, so I can have my Adoration time, he needs to be here Thursdays by 8 pm. Every night before we go to bed I ask him where he is working the next day (he switches locations), if he’ll be home for lunch, and if he has any early morning/evening obligations. To no avail, and due to no fault of his own, something always comes up. And I do mean always! I even missed my last Confession date (a Sat. am once a month) because there was a breakfast he had to attend 45 mintues away. I’ll spare you the details, but he didn’t get home until after 2:00 pm. He has to spend time out of state, and when he comes home, we have a wonderful family evening together. but then, like today, he calls and says that there is a meeting at 6:00 pm... read more

Role of Husband in a Mother's Rule

Dear Holly,What was the role of your husband in your mother’s rule? My husband is adjusting to a new job and is working long hours. I was wondering what kind of expectations did you have for your husband? read more

Spiritually Hot and Cold Husband

Dear Holly,Life is finally starting to settle down after returning from the conference last week in Michigan. When I came home Saturday night after a five hour drive (during which I was so filled with the Holy Spirit!), it was to a really messy house! My husband obviously doesn’t have a rule and had his hands full just feeding the kids and cleaning the kitchen, etc. So I’m back in the swing of things and so totally inspired by all I heard and learned. My husband, however, is on a completely different spiritual wavelength. I’m not sure where he “is at” right now, but I think the devil is fighting tooth and nail for his soul. I have been praying for his conversion. Even though he’s a cradle Catholic, he’s hot and cold in his faith. It also seems like, since I’ve really starting storming heaven for him, he’s been more… unhappy? inconsistent? It’s like I’m the mom and he’s the kid rebelling against me, and God!?! He seems to have inner turmoil going on, and I could write a book about all the background on this situation, but I’ll keep it short and just ask for you to pray for him. I’ve changed my prayer from asking for his conversion to asking for whatever graces he needs in his life right now, and I’m also praying for the graces I need in order to help him. And I refuse to lose... read more

Motivating Our Spouses

Dear Holly,My question pertains to husbands and chores/projects around the house. My husband is wonderful in many ways, however – an area of weakness is procrastination. He talks a bit about things he would like to do (big projects like adding a bathroom to our house) or just minor ones (like fixing a screen on the porch) but to see it actually get done is another matter. I find myself steaming up inside trying not to allow my feelings to become passive aggressive remarks. I have discussed this tendency with him and he listens but often jokes about his procrastinating ways and makes flippant remarks putting himself down. I have tried honey do lists and even trying to pin down a date to get something done. Am I expecting too much? To be honest, when I pray about this problem I often find myself thinking about my husband’s relationship with his father (who has died) and how he was not really a hands on dad. But then I find myself in thinking unkind thoughts about my in-laws that grow and grow. I am so afraid that my husband will always be this way! Nothing will ever get done. Any comments/advice will be greatly... read more
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