Help in Your Time of Need: Advice Column

Fighting Constantly? Money, Sex, Responsibilities, Work, Children…

The list is endless. I am just so tired. I am tired of dealing with him and his drama. I’m tired of dealing with his yelling. I am tired of him blowing everything up into WWIII all of the time. I am tired of him being so unwilling to bend, and snubbing my efforts to meet him halfway. I am discouraged, and tired, and an inch away from being unwilling to go any further. I know you are, we all get weary. It’s your job to run your household the way you want it run. Again, you can’t control him, but he can’t control you either. Do what you know in your heart is right and don’t worry about the outcome. As far as his raving: don’t tolerate it. It’s a 3 year old tantrum and you need to respectfully treat as such. Walk away with the politest explanation that you can manage and explain that when he’s ready to speak to you like an adult, you’ll be there to listen. Childish tactics don’t work when the other person won’t participate. Not tolerating it is self preservation and good for your marriage. If we are not going to figure out right now how to save this marriage, then we need to back away now, before we do each other much more damage. Let me make one obvious observation from a long term marriage participant: you didn’t say anything that anyone else hasn’t ever said. What you have described is marriage. It’s not all roses nor is it all pain and suffering, but just like children, it isn’t always pretty. Relationships and life are mixture of both, always have been, always will be. The people in them are just that, people trying to live their lives the best way they know how. Suggestions: Counseling, counseling, counseling or at least library books, sermons, friends, parents, Dr. Berman, Dr. Phil, etc. The resources are unlimited and mostly free. Priests and pastors still counsel for free to my knowledge. Now for the practical side: You have to agree to disagree and the only way you can do that is to both grow up enough not to feel attacked when someone doesn’t agree with you. You have to realize this is a long term commitment and it is going to be a roller coaster, it just is and you can wish it weren’t all you want, but the next one will be too if you quit this one. It just is what it is. It’s life. He has what you need and you have what he needs, that’s the point. That’s why it’s so hard to get along and the 2 of you are to become 1 and it ain’t easy. Marriage ain’t easy, if it was everyone would be celebrating 50 years and they aren’t! To each problem I have made suggestions, all of which were not acceptable to him. When I say that I am out of ideas, it’s because I am. I even suggested the counseling. It was shot down because he only trusts a priest. I bought a book by Dr. Phil, it’s a workbook for relationship rescue. He won’t do it, because he distrusts anyone not of his religious background. I don’t like to think that I have come to this point in my relationship easily. I like to think that I am adult enough to know that you don’t leave a marriage over petty differences. I believe I have really, strenuously tried. I believe I have done everything that I am able, put forth every idea that I have had, attempted to squelch all emotional responses in order to provide objectively reasonable behavior and feedback. If I were to walk away today, I cannot think of a single thing else that I could have done. I don’t know what else to do. I guess I am hoping that by putting the ball in his court, he may finally be forced to either come up with suggestions of his own, or yield to one of mine. If he just opts out, well, then I guess that’s an answer all on its own, isn’t it? As to the counseling: go for it. Do it his way. It will help. Pick and choose what you want from it. We all do that no matter who the counselor is anyway. But it will help. If you get nothing out of it but the satisfaction of doing something together to try to make things better, it would be worth it. And counseling is not a quick fix and it’s not for one, it’s for both of you. Or not, the point is you can’t say you tried everything, because you haven’t. It’s dirty, messy, mean and uncomfortable, that is marriage. But it’s not all that way, all the time. I believe you took your vows seriously. That said, own them. Pick yourself up and do what you believe you need to do and what you have peace about doing and let God sort it out. And to quote the Santa Fe Good News June issue: “You are facing the wrong way. Face Me, not the problem.” God

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