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Question: Please help. I feel that my husband, who is very supportive of our homeschooling, has unreasonable expectations about the priority of a clean, neat, orderly household over all the rest of the day, homeschooling, meals, etc. I feel very down about this. I feel like if I just was more efficient, neat, organized, or more something that I could do it all. He works out of this house but is on the road and out during the evenings many nights as well. He is president of our Parish Council and our church may be building.(many more meetings). He does Conquest with my son every two weeks and is a proclaimer at church. I have cut out everything except codirecting (it used to be directing before the twins =came) our VBS for 90 children during the summer. I need to go to weight watchers and only go out to homeschool meetings once a month and help with special activities at church. My personal prayer life is nonexistent as is my husbands. Before kids it was a priority for both of us. Marriage is solid but stressed and shaky at times with no quality time to speak of for a couple of years now. Please help. I am very grateful for all of our blessings and am part of a wonderful faith community who lavished support on us during this past year with premie twins that came home with monitors. My darling son learned to read in 45 easy lessons with the Little Folks books. Praise God. He loves to read and learn as do my two girls. Just need advice and encouragement.
Answer:

Dear Mom,

It is the purity of your letter and the candor with which you describe your situation that moves me. I believe that you are able to identify the challenges that are before you and in fact you have already seen the root cause of the sorrows that are troubling you at this time. It is a witness of the power of the Lord's own empowerment that has brought you to the solution although you have not stated it as clearly as you might.

When we fail to pray together as husband and wife we fail to dip into the greatest wellspring of graces waiting for our acceptance. Think of the power of such a well filled to over flowing with the Lord's graces. These graces are powerful and able to empower us to sort through challenges in a holy and productive way.

Your life has been a roller coaster of change in the past  2 years. Think about all you have quietly taken on during this time. Think of the emotional changes that have gone through your tired spirit. It is a truly amazing witness of the Lord's power in your life that you have weathered each of these challenges. I hear in your letter the voice of a mom who knows and believes in the power of God's love and the Lord's desire to uphold and embrace you with such tenderness and strength. Your strength is of the Lord and in that I sense you depend.

Quietly speak with your husband about your concerns. Each of you take a week to pray about the challenges that trouble you the most. Spend time before the Blessed Sacrament and allow that there be time for quiet prayer. After a time come together again and allow your inspirations to be nurtured and encouraged as coming from the Lord. Be ready to give up those commitments that do not allow for a peaceful and quiet household centered upon family prayer. Do you remember in the gospels when the Lord asked that the apostles come away with Him to a place of quiet for solitary prayer? Jesus often went off privately to pray.

I find that the more extended I am outside the home the more I feel uneasy and scattered, unable to focus and identify my true challenges. Your husband is pointing to the homekeeping as the challenge but this may only be the symptom that he can address. He may actually be feeling the internal turmoil of an unsettled spirit. Think about it for a moment. When we are feeling pushed or on edge we often point to an outward sign for an inward emotion.

I admire you greatly and feel that your letter has addressed an issue that I feel is at the heart of our homeschooling journey. The difference between fruitfulness and busyness is found in the activities that give us peace and those that serve to steal our peace. I remember once hearing my husband counsel a young father who was overwhelmed with responsibilities. He told him that although all that he was doing was important not all of it was a priority. This seemed to allow this young father to sort through his list of activities and peel away those that are not priorities. Could it be that your dear husband feels a certain obligation to 'give back' to the faith community who has been so supportive to his family. Perhaps this may be on your mind as well. Could it be that the two of you need to give to yourselves at this time in order to remain healthy and able for the rigors of parenting?

Let us pray this evening for all those families that are without a faith community to surround them and uplift during times of sorrow and stress. Lord we pray that in their loneliness they seek to know Your empowerment and call upon You to empower and guide them during such times. Lord we love You and look for Your presence during times of uncertainty for it is Your touch that heals. Amen.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

   
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