Third P: Partner

No Time for Spouse

Dear Holly,I’m having difficulty finding a regular time to give attention to my spouse. He is a busy doctor and busy coaching hockey, so evenings get too late. We do attend daily Mass often at 7:00 a.m. but then we have no alone time in the mornings. Also do you have any Catholic resources for helping us to learn to pray as a... read more

Husband Wishes Wife Would Do a "Mother's Rule"

Dear Holly,I am a father of four children , ages 8 to 1. Our life has always been very disorderly – much of what we do as a family is very spontaneous. When I read your book last year, my eyes were filled with tears thanking God. I have taken extensive notes on your book and have even written up a set of “Dad’s Rules” based on your book in regards to how I should love and care for my children. My wife posted it above the kitchen sink as a reminder. I truly want to jump into all of your suggestions. The problem is that my wife continually refuses to read the book. She does not want to be tied down with a schedule. However, the stress has caught up with her this week in a way that rivals your turning point. She expresses her desperation to me, but she still can’t bring herself to read the book or let me tell her the specifics of it. I took today off work to help, but all we were able to do was make a list of things that need to be done and make a draft family schedule to try-out. Unfortunately, she could not even look at the schedule. She feels that it is too intimidating, and told me that it would not work. She has asked me many times before to hire either a nanny or a housekeeper, but we simply cannot afford one. I have always cooked all three meals, but with school I must attend now, she has to cook two dinners a week now.... read more

Similar MROL Resource for Dads?

Dear Holly,I’m beginning to make changes in my stay-at-home life since reading your book. My husband is excited for me, but he would love a resource/book to help inspire him as your book did to me. Do have any recommendations? He’s facing challenges every day in the work force. He’s trying to get himself organized with his real estate career while strengthening his roles as husband and father. If you have any ideas that can help get him started, we would appreciate... read more

How Do You Pray with Your Husband?

Dear Holly,I have wanted to pray daily with my husband for years, but it never happens. He doesn’t seem comfortable – he even seems reluctant to pray with me. We already do a family rosary, and personal conversational prayer to God with him doesn’t work. How do you pray with your husband – as a... read more

Can Spiritual Direction Hamper Marital Intimacy?

Dear Holly,Our entire home schooling family has greatly benefited from a Mother’s Rule. Life is indeed better, more God-centered than before. Now my wife seems to be considering placing herself under the discipline of a”spiritual director” and as I read what is involved, specificallyThomas Dubay’s book on spiritual direction, I am deeply concerned that this might violate the sanctity and unity of the marriage, to be, in effect, a form of spiritual adultery.Doesn’t the obedience and submission of a married woman to another man violate a relationship what God has said should exist only between husband and wife? This is in no way a challenge and I do not fault the role of a spiritual director in the life of young priest, for example. I am genuinely perplexed and have serious doubts about the benefits of such an arrangement within a marriage, regardless of the “other” man’s rectitude and holiness. You talk about your spiritual director in a Mother’s Rule and, I gather, this causes Philip no... read more

When Both Spouses' Personal Needs Conflict

Dear Holly,I’m not getting much time to myself and it is wearing on me. However, my hard working husband has a time intensive hobby and just asked me for additional one to two more evenings a week to do it. He currently goes at least one evening a week and some time on the weekend. It is a seasonal sport, so it will let up in a couple of months. But I’m feeling pretty strung out and although I want to say yes, I am rebelling. I don’t feel that I’m up to trading babysitting right now. We can’t afford a babysitter. I want to die to self, but I am not a good mother and wife when I don’t get time to regroup. I’ve tried stealing sleep time so I can have time after I put the kids to bed, but I am irritable the next day. I know that he will feel resentful if I don’t give him the time. And, he does seem happier and more giving when he is able to spend time at his hobby. So, how do I do... read more

Can I 'Assign' Tasks to My Husband? 🙂

Dear Holly,I have a question. I noticed in your sample rule in A Mother’s Rule of Life, that you don’t have a column for your husband [of chores]. Why is that? There are things that I would love to “assign” to my husband. But perhaps, this is a wrong way to think. I am primarily thinking of when we are trying to get the kids to bed or on... read more

When My Husband and I Disagree about Family Size

Hello Holly,I am almost done with A Mother’s Rule of Life and it has already helped so much. I know I will need to go back and attack each of the P’s and make my lists, but I can already see fruits just from the few changes I’ve made this week.I have a question that I didn’t see addressed in the book. You were talking about not getting involved in things like if your husband watches too much TV, and also working on mutual submission. Everything you said make sense, but I did see one qualifier about letting things go, and that was as long as it wasn’t a moral issue.Well, I am dealing with the fact that my husband, also Catholic, has decided four kids is enough and no longer is open to life at all. We just adopted a little boy, but this was a difficult process and he said it was too hard and he won’t consider, pray about, or in any way be open to more. Although I am very sad because I do want more, I am most sad because he is so closed to the idea. I feel like our relationship is very strained because I am so hurt by this. Any advice for dealing with this other than the obvious,... read more

When a 'Schedule' Doesn't Work

Dear Holly,My husband’s schedule changes with little notice. As a consequence, I have a lot of trouble getting into a daily routine. I don’t even know if he’ll be working the weekend until that Friday. Although work is good now, he’s also been unemployed for weeks at a time. I have 6 kids including a three month old. We homeschool, too. I have a general schedule, but it seems like my husband throws it off when he’s home during the day. I am not sure how to handle it. If I insist on following the schedule, I can miss out on spending time with my husband. He doesn’t slide himself into the routines. I try to take time to myself when the opportunity presents (this also throws off the schedule), but it is nearly impossible to plan time out for myself. I even have a lot of trouble getting to Confession. However, the thing I am missing most in my rule is time to myself to pray, regroup, and exercise. I feel like the Holly in Chapter one and I can’t really see how I can ever be joyful... read more

Chastity in Marriage

Dear Holly,I was reading one of your earlier posts about discerning the right time for pregnancy in cooperation with God’s intent. Could you comment on the thought that if God isn’t calling a couple to have more children at this time, He’s not just calling them to “abstain”, but to increase their self-will by practicing the virtue of... read more
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