Categories
Ink Slingers Marriage Maurisa Vocations

I Hit the Jackpot

My dear husband, Chris, and I joke around and tease each other regularly. Recently, after making some outrageous, teasing comment, he asked, “Tell me the truth. Everyday you tell yourself, ‘I really hit the jackpot when I married Chris.’” I just gave him that look which expresses just how ridiculous I think he is. He is very familiar with that look. Throughout the day I kept coming back to that playful conversation and it really caused me to reflect on just how blessed I am in my marriage.

Conversion

We were not practicing a faith of any kind when we were first married, but after the birth of our first child I got the profound feeling we needed to “get right with God.” When I expressed this desire to Chris he suggested we look into Catholicism; the faith of his childhood. Secretly, I had always been drawn to the Catholic Church. I jumped right on board and within two years we were both confirmed and firmly planted on the right path.

Living the Life

In June, Chris and I celebrate 29 years of marriage. We have co-created seven living children and lost two in devastating miscarriages. We’ve moved six times and survived countless deployments and absences during his military career. We have endured colicky babies, tyrannical toddlers, defiant teenagers, and strong-willed adult children. We’ve homeschooled, sent children to private schools, and at the end of May, we will have successfully graduated five of our seven kids. We’ve advised when asked and then stood back to watch our adult children discern vocations, college, and jobs. We joyfully celebrated the sacrament of matrimony for our eldest 15 months ago and recently welcomed our first grandchild. It has all flown by so fast. Married and family life has definitely had it’s ups and downs, but I thank God I had my best friend by my side through it all.

Often I reflect upon how graced I’ve really been to have been made a Catholic by God’s Grace. Honestly, I know I did not deserve any of it and yet here I am, abundantly blessed and striving everyday to live a holy life out of gratitude for the favor bestowed upon me. None of this would have been possible without my marriage to Chris. He has steered and led this family down this road for 25 years without faltering. We would not be where we are without his headship. What a Divine favor that he took the reins without hesitation.

Gratitude

That evening, after he had led our family rosary and we had put our youngest to bed, we retired to the media room for the evening. I turned to my beloved husband and said, “Truly, I want you to know that I do believe I hit the jackpot when I married you.” He gave me that look which expresses just how ridiculous he thinks I am. I’m very familiar with that look.

If you are married, today might be a good time to reflect on how fortunate you are to have your spouse. Look back over your married life and see the hand of God working throughout it. Not everyday is a “jackpot” day, but you may find that overall you are deeply and wonderfully blessed by your spouse. If, like me, you feel you hit the jackpot with your spouse let him/her know. Say it. Show it. Shout it. God is so very good!

Categories
Faith Formation Ink Slingers Marriage Martina Relatable Series Vocations

How I Love My Spouse Well Enough

RELATABLE-LoveActually

Welcome to this installment of RELATABLE: LOVE, ACTUALLY. In this series, guest authors* share about all the challenging realities of marriage.

Marriage today is rarely presented realistically or positively. Hollywood and the media promote Disney fairytales where couples “live happily ever after.” Or marriage is demonized as an unnecessary complication when hooking up and cohabitation will do just as well.

But what about the Catholic who still believes in the sanctity of marriage, including its permanence? Is it even possible for couples to remain connected to one another through all of life’s struggles and suffering? YES. In RELATABLE: LOVE, ACTUALLY, we will feature authentic, honest, and hopeful stories by real Catholic women about the journey of marriage. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, after all, and we want to give a voice to those couples struggling with infertility, infidelity, miscarriage, mental illness, addiction, and financial stress. We want to give hope by sharing stories of those who have weathered those crosses and come out stronger for them. These stories will reassure strugglings wives that you are not alone. And that with God’s help, there is a way forward, even if you just take baby steps, one day at a time.

*While some authors may post anonymously for privacy reasons, we assure you that each story is authentic and reflects the journey of a real person.


Expecting #8 in December, I thought now might be a good time to reflect on my marriage and, in particular, the man I married (because duh, right?). It also helps that today, September 23, is our anniversary. 

Padre Pio knew exactly what he was getting into with the two of us when we chose that day.

The thing is, neither of us was really entrenched in the Faith at the time we married. That would change over the years, as children so often challenge us to do, but one thing we had going for us then still works in our favor even to this day. And the one thing that was our biggest stumbling block would prove to be our single biggest challenge time and again.

THE TEST THAT WOULD SET THE MARITAL TONE

You see, our wedding prep classes involved a very lengthy test that covered several areas of our lives. The goal was to highlight the important things we’d discussed together as a couple as well as uncover areas we still needed to…dig into. Our results were scored like any regular test, 0-100% and of all our tests, our lowest scored test was still pretty dang good – 86% if I am recalling correctly. We scored 100% in communication and 86% in domestic responsibilities.

What that resulted in was the ease of communicating about the one thing we both disagreed about – who would do the dishes and take out the trash?

Through the years, our communication method would became dated. What once seemed sufficient enough to convey wants and needs became a source of stalemates and cold wars. Or hot wars and too many unnecessary words were said. Though we often talked about finding outside help to assist us in healthier ways to communicate, opportunities never materialized.

It was too expensive.

We didn’t have sitters for the weekend away.

It didn’t fit into our already busy schedules.

The desire to better ourselves as spouses and as a united couple remained in spite of those obstacles, so we just kept chipping away at it.

We weren’t professionals. We didn’t really know what we were doing. But we knew what the end goal was and that laser focus was what helped and continues to help guide and shape our marriage goals.

We aren’t perfect. Far from it. And there are a lot of days when we get it 100% all wrong and have to regroup. And were it not for the knowledge that we have the same end goal regardless of current frustrations and life to work through, we might have given up.

But giving up has never been an option, though there have certainly been moments and hours where the next steps were unknown. And giving up will never be an option. Though we are not the same people who stood on that altar, making a vow to God, self, and spouse, we have continued to travel in the same direction – sometimes hand in hand and sometimes separate paths side by side, but always within view of each other. Not only has sacramental marriage left an indelible mark on each of us, so has life as we’ve each faced challenges through the years. I wouldn’t want to be the young lady at the altar anymore. She wouldn’t be able to handle all of life’s challenges as I do. And the love I feel for my husband today is very different from all those years ago. Like a fine wine, it’s aged and the enhanced by all the years. Our experiences and challenges have caused that love to grow in ways we couldn’t have foreseen.

So, just how exactly are we loving each other this many years into marriage? And how are we guarding and protecting our marriage from spiritual attack? It’s all ebb and flow over the years, but this is where we are now.

  • Pray. And pray well. Whatever you do for the day, make sure you have built in time for that touchpoint with God. Individual, of course, but also as a couple. There is nothing more eye opening – and keeps your intentions more grounded – than to know your spouse’s needs and gratitudes. At a loss for what to do? There’s a plethora of options – off the cuff prayers, rote prayers (rosary, novenas), Lectio Divina using daily Scripture, contemplative prayer, spending time in Adoration or in front of the Tabernacle in the church, turning off the radio and letting your mind float toward God, videos and podcasts…anything that gets the wheels turning toward prayer. 
  • Go to Mass…together. Think about your witness in the pews to those around you. I get it, kids get sick, spouses travel, we have events and things that come up, we get sick ourselves, too, but make the default be to go to Mass together as a couple and family. I invite you to compare and contrast the experience of going to Mass with and without your spouse.
  • Keep the stagnant at bay. Though we are both introverts and homebodies drawn to relaxing evenings at home with nothing more than some store bought steaks (usually a filet or ribeye), mashed or baked potatoes, jalapeño poppers, and a beer or Mike’s in hand…where was I going with this? Now I’m hungry, lol. Oh yeah, connect with your spouse through simplistic activities that can be done in the home.
  • Daily check ins. This took some time to cultivate with intention, but it is something we now do on the daily. No more being self absorbed or thinking the other doesn’t care. We each share how our day went and since we are both problem solvers by nature (I’m weird, I’m not the typical gal who just needs to vent to be heard or validated first…I like solutions and I like to give solutions), we end up problem solving and trouble shooting things as they come up.
  • Affection – lotsa affection. One of us has affection as our love language. And one of us struggled for years trying to be that affectionate, loving tender spouse. But you know what? After lots of prayer and Come to Jesus internal talks, it finally happened. The one of us who craves that touch is now met by a spouse who actually wants to receive and initiate those hand holdings and random hugs. 
  • The little things that say I love you. Knowing each other’s love language is gold. It’s not to say the execution is perfect, but the end goal is clear. If you are someone for whom service is important, then perhaps your spouse getting you coffee in the morning is like the CAT’S MEOW. That would be me. And I tend to speak in that same love language. I am forever asking the kids and my husband what they need from the store when I put my curbside grocery list together. It’s not so much that I don’t want them to be without as it is making sure they don’t have that added stress of not having the things they need to get through the day – like deodorant or toothpaste, lol. Or creamer for the coffee…oof! 
  • Talk about money. And talk about it often. Even if only one of you directly handles the finances, both spouses really should be on the same page and in the know about finances and financial goals. Try opening up a discussion ON payday. See what bills are coming up and, if you are dealing with debt, come up with a game plan to obliterate that debt. The more you talk about money, the more freeing it is, even when there’s too much month at the end of your money. 
  • Go OUT on dates. It doesn’t even have to be fancy, like a dinner out or a movie! Go to Costco, to the outlet mall to walk and window shop, even to a furniture store to think about the next piece of furniture you are considering, just having that time together is valuable. The last two don’t cost anything…the trip to Costco might be a serious temptation for you – I know it is for us, lol. Go in for one thing, yeah RIGHT.
  • Remember, you are a TEAM. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in all the mom things and all the dad things. We are first and foremost a COUPLE and everything flows from that. When you care for your marriage, only good things flow from that love. The current push in society is to put the kids first, but I’m here to gently, but firmly remind you that you married your husband/wife, not your children. Taking care of yourself, your marriage, and spouse – spiritually and otherwise, is putting the oxygen mask on FIRST. Children are not harmed by two parents who truly love and sacrifice for each other.

And there you have it. These are but a few of the ways that we currently nourish and love each other well. It’s what I call a rolling discernment to assess how best we can love the other. What are some things that work for you, dear friend? I would love to read your suggestions and tips in the comments.


SPIRITUAL RESOURCES AND HEALING

WHERE TO START?

RETROUVAILLE – A Lifeline for Married Couples

THE ALEXANDER HOUSE – Offering Hope & Healing for Marriage, Family & Relationships

BELOVED: FINDING HAPPINESS IN MARRIAGE – offered through FORMED.ORG (ask your parish for the code to access this program for free)

PODCASTS
BOOKS/WEBSITES
CLASSES

In the privacy of your own home, you can begin to heal your marriage. CLICK HERE to start the process.

PRAYER

Novenas

Prayers

How I Love My Spouse Well Enough

 

Categories
Current Events Matrimony Same Sex Attraction Victoria K

Seven Things Catholics Can Learn from Pride

Note: This is not an article about what the Church teaches about homosexuality or gay marriage.  I’m just focusing on take-aways Catholics can have from the month of June as “Pride Month.”  I believe very strongly that Catholics are called to acknowledge and affirm the Truth wherever it may be found.  I stand by the Church’s teaching on traditional marriage.  Full stop.  But I believe that there are ways that we can better love and serve the LGBTQIA+ community.

If you’re looking for posts about the Church’s teachings on gay marriage, Jason Evert has an AMAZING video on this topic.

Seven Things Catholics Can Learn from Pride

 

  1. LGBTQIA+ suicide and self harm is a pro-life issue.  As a youth minister, I believe strongly that priests, youth ministers, young adult ministers, DREs, and a variety of lay people should be equipped with knowledge of how to help struggling LGBTQIA+ persons.  At the very least, we should know how to help people get the help they need.
  2. We should raise our kids to stand against bullying.  This includes standing up for LGBTQIA+ peers and reporting bullying to trusted adults.  Bullying is not OK.  It is never OK.
  3. Watch your speech. If we want to show the LGBTQIA+ community that we love and care about them, we need to remove “gay,” “fag,” etc as derogatories from out speech and remind others to do so as well.  And it doesn’t stop there.  When we talk about LGBTQIA+ topics, do our words shine with love and the truth?  If not, don’t say anything at all.
  4. Understand where many are coming from.  One thing I’ve seen so strong from people posting about Pride is that many members of the LGBTQIA+ community have been hurt by (or know someone that has been hurt by) someone who supports traditional marriage.  This hurt could have been in many forms: emotional, physical, etc.  You may not have been the aggressor, but they now associate those who espouse traditional marriage with aggression.
  5. Ask loving questions.  One way that we can approach with charity is by listening first.  Not too long ago I reviewed Everyday Evangelism by Cathy Duffy.  She made the phenomenal point that:“…while an understanding of doctrine and worldviews is helpful, more often than not, the most valuable skill you bring to the table for an evangelistic conversation is the ability to listen.” We are called to become active listeners, because through listening we show that we truly care about the person as an individual.  Duff continues later to say: “Most people recognize that if we really care about someone, we should want to listen to them.  And, conversely, if we don’t care about someone, we convey that message by not listening to them.  The challenge for us is to improve our listening skills…” Before we do anything, we should listen.
  6. Be so careful as to what you post on social media.  I love social media.  But proceed with caution.  What you say is a public pronouncement to everyone and can be so warped out of context.  Fellow inkslinger Maurisa Mayerle wrote an incredible guide to interacting over social media which you can find here.
  7. Stop talking about “straight pride parade.”  This is a specific thing but it’s cropped up this particular pride month.  It feels like we’re drawing battle lines as opposed to forming relationships.   This is not how we show love, or start open, loving conversations.

 

At the core of all of this, sisters, is Love.  During this Pride month, a story went viral.  It was about a man wearing a  “Free Dad Hugs” t-shirt (you can read it here).   He shares about people who would come up to him, crying, desperate for that “dad hug.”  So desperate for that love.  It’s heartbreaking to think of someone who feels so hated.  Especially when we all have a Father in heaven who longs to give them the Love that they seek.

Sisters, many of those who participate in Pride truly feel like Catholics hate them, look down on them, refuse to love them.  We are called to re-write that script.  We are called to be the Love.  

Categories
Ink Slingers Krista Steele Series The Ask

Loving My Husband

The Ask

Welcome to the next installment of The Ask – a series devoted to taking your questions rooted in Catholic living and providing solid, orthodox advice you can use in your everyday. How does it work? We take questions from you, our readers, and Krista marries the spiritual and practical to give you ways to apply the advice given to help you walk with Christ. Have a question? Email KRISTA to submit your question.


Hi Krista! My husband and I have small children and it’s hard making time for each other. We know it’s important, but it’s a big struggle – not gonna lie! Do you have any ideas for us that would help us connect better?   

~ Loving My Husband

+++

Dear Loving My Husband,

What a time to be alive. The little years bring so many unique joys and challenges. All too often it can seem like the challenges outnumber the joys. I love that you and your husband desire to connect more deeply. It’s easy in this season of life to believe the lie that your primary vocation of marriage can be put on hold. I’ve seen the damage and destruction that can cause in a family and your question makes it clear that you are committed to navigating the challenges of this time that get in the way of connecting with your husband.

When they were parenting two small girls, my grandparents had an evening ritual that worked well for them. They taught my mom and aunt early that the first 30-45 minutes after my grandmother got home from work, they were expected to entertain themselves while my grandparents sat down at the table or on the patio with a glass of wine or a cocktail and talked. My mom is about to be a grandmother for the first time and clearly so much has changed about the pace of our culture since she was a girl, but I think a rhythm like that is within reach if we’re willing go against the crowd.

Perhaps start by picking a night this week to sit down after the kids are in bed and take inventory of everything that is taking your time and energy as a family and make some cuts, a “not to do” list if you will, so that you and your husband can have some set time every day or at least every week to connect before you’re not too exhausted from the hustle of everyday living to do anything more than stare blankly at the television while one of you scrolls through facebook on your phone and the other one dozes off, not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

I don’t know if you have family close by and if you do whether or not they are a supportive resource for your family. If so, take every advantage of that blessing! As a kid, I spent a significant amount of time with loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends, both near and far. Those experiences gave me memories, confidence and a sense of adventure that I treasure now as an adult.

When those same grandparents I told you about earlier were young parents without family close by, they traded babysitting hours with several other couples. They called it the “babysitter’s club”. On the rare occasion they had a few extra dollars to go on a date, they would cash in a few babysitting hours with one of the other couples in their group. They got a night out, able to rest easy knowing their daughters were in the hands of trusted friends and my mom and aunt built healthy relationships with a community of caring adults and their children.

My husband and I are getting ready to meet our first child in the next couple of weeks, so we are in a different stage of life than you. I won’t even pretend to know what’s going to work for you this week, this month, this year, because I’m not living your life. Anyone but God Himself who positions themselves as an expert on your life should be promptly ignored unless they’re offering to take your children and pay for a long weekend away for you and your husband. That is my prayer for you — an all expenses paid weekend away with free childcare. It’s easy for people to offer “solutions” from the outside looking in, but that suggests that you aren’t smart enough to have considered those same options yourself.

John Gottman recently wrote a book called “Eight Dates” that would be worth checking out. He offers great resources for married couples to continue to grow and improve their relationship. Also, if you haven’t done so already, check out Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages. Knowing each other’s love languages is so helpful in connecting in a more meaningful way. My husband knows that a clean kitchen, hidden love notes and a foot rub go a long way to make me feel seen and loved and I know that initiating sex, speaking well of him in front of our friends and family and packing his lunches makes him feel respected and appreciated.

The voice that says there is no solution, no extra time or money or energy for you and your husband is the voice of the one who seeks to divide. The Devil hates strong marriages, hates that you want more time with your husband, and he’s going to work hard to convince you that getting that deeper connection is impossible in this season, of how selfish you are for wanting that in the first place, that your marriage can wait. The Devil is lying. Your marriage is your primary vocation. Your children are a miraculous product of your vocation. I heard Fr. John Ricardo say once that children need to know that their parents love each other even more than they need to know that their parents love them. By prioritizing each other, you are giving them an incredible gift.

God has put the desire on your heart to connect deeply with your husband and He will provide the resources and village of people to make that happen. Trust and seek His guidance as you and your husband explore your options for getting the quality time you want and need. Kudos to you for continuing to seek your spouse during these chaotic little years. It matters more than you know.

 

All Love In Christ,

Krista


RESOURCES

For inspiration – pulled from CS archives

Loving My Husband

 

Categories
Faith Formation Guest Posts Marriage Matrimony Offering your suffering Prayer Relatable Sacraments Series Vocations

…Unless He’s Addicted

RELATABLE-LoveActually

Welcome to the next installment of RELATABLE: LOVE, ACTUALLY. In this series, guest authors* share about all the challenging realities of marriage.

Marriage today is rarely presented realistically or positively. Hollywood and the media promote Disney fairytales where couples “live happily ever after.” Or marriage is demonized as an unnecessary complication when hooking up and cohabitation will do just as well.

But what about the Catholic who still believes in the sanctity of marriage, including its permanence? Is it even possible for couples to remain connected to one another through all of life’s struggles and suffering? YES. In RELATABLE: LOVE, ACTUALLY, we will feature authentic, honest, and hopeful stories by real Catholic women about the journey of marriage. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, after all, and we want to give a voice to those couples struggling with infertility, infidelity, miscarriage, mental illness, addiction, and financial stress. We want to give hope by sharing stories of those who have weathered those crosses and come out stronger for them. These stories will reassure strugglings wives that you are not alone. And that with God’s help, there is a way forward, even if you just take baby steps, one day at a time.

*While some authors may post anonymously for privacy reasons, we assure you that each story is authentic and reflects the journey of a real person.


Most marital advice comes with the caveat “unless he’s addicted.” Share the deepest secrets of your heart … unless he’s addicted. Be joint owners of all your possessions … unless he’s addicted. Stay together forever … unless he’s addicted. So, what do you do when normal rules don’t apply? I can’t give you the answer. But I can tell you what happened to me and what I did about it.

For ten years, I had a model husband and a model marriage. We barely fought over anything. We talked things through reasonably, we prayed together, and we stayed together. Then he found a drug he loved more than me. That drug became the center of his universe, more important than his wife, his kids, his job, or his career.

He started disappearing for hours at a time, with flimsy excuses as to where he had been. Money flew out of our joint bank account as he made ridiculously unnecessary purchases we couldn’t afford. He left one job under a cloud and the next one because they told him to resign or be fired. He overdosed once, twice, three times. The hospital staff told me, “Your husband is an addict.” I responded, “I know.” When I begged, pleaded, demanded to know why, my husband said, “Because it feels f**king awesome.” My life and my marriage would never be the same.

Drawing boundaries

When the reality of my husband’s addiction finally sunk in, I collapsed into a sobbing mess. Over the ten good years of our marriage, we had become so interdependent, so united, so “one” that I had no protection against the menacing invasion of addiction. My emotional and financial health was completely intertwined with his. 

Relying on the relationship as it used to be, I peppered him with questions whose answers left me raw and shaking. “Don’t you love me any more?”  “If you’re searching for happiness and pleasure, wouldn’t you rather have sex with me than get high?” His bald-faced response to both: “No.” Every rejection hurt me, but it also hardened me and made me stronger. I had to block out what he said. I had to start building walls around my heart.

His moods grew more and more erratic. Seemingly simple things enraged him. I became adept at keeping my tone of voice steady and calm, as if I was approaching a wild animal. I deflected by changing the subject, using gentle humor, and sometimes apologizing and backing down. I learned not to provoke him. My home had become a lion’s den, and survival demanded that I become a lion tamer.

The kids started noticing that he was no longer their carefree, happy-go-lucky dad. They asked me what to do. I explained that in life, we can behave passively, assertively, or aggressively. In most situations, assertiveness is best. But with their dad, they had to be more passive. Depending on their basic personalities, this came more or less naturally to my kids. My strong-willed child had a harder time with it. “Passivity is not weakness when you choose it deliberately,” I told her.

The biggest problem with addiction, though, is it almost always gets worse. Strategies that worked before start failing. A soft voice may turn away anger, but it won’t evade the catastrophe looming on the horizon. 

Seeking support, not a “savior”

I started looking for ways out, and there weren’t many. I was in my 40s, frumpy, and out of the workplace for fifteen years. I wanted someone to save me, preferably another husband. For a while, I poured out my troubles to a male friend of mine. The daily phone calls and texts made me feel better, but they also made me fall a little bit in love. I wasn’t fixing the problem. I was just creating a new one. I broke off that friendship, and the next time an attractive male friend offered to be my sounding board I refused.

I also realized that I had very little to offer a man except an ego-boosting neediness. So I joined yoga classes, dyed and straightened my hair, bought a new wardrobe, and got a job. 

At the first job I accepted, they paid me one quarter of the salary I had earned more than a decade ago, barely enough to cover child care. I was over the moon with happiness anyway, because they provided excellent re-training. Within nine months, another company offered to double my salary if I jumped ship.

In the meantime, I tried therapy, but it cost a lot and didn’t help much. What I needed was the affection and emotional intimacy that I had lost when my husband went off the rails. Al-Anon, the support group for family members of addicts, helped me far more. Collectively, the people at Al-Anon knew a vast amount about what I was suffering and how to endure it. Their main goal was appealingly simple: to be happy whether or not your loved one is using.

One of Al-Anon’s credos is that addiction feeds on silence. For months (more like years, to be honest), I was afraid to tell my parents anything about my husband’s problem. I felt humiliated and sure they would shame me. I never dreamed they would help, because I assumed they would consider any assistance to be “enabling.” I was shocked at how much they supported me once they knew.

With the knowing support of Al-Anon and my parents and the unknowing support of my new employer, I realized I didn’t need a man to save me. And I began to accept deep down what I already knew on an intellectual level — that the only person capable of saving me was God himself. 

Rebuilding trust

I had always given God credit for bringing my wonderful husband into my life. Incomprehensibly, God was now taking my husband away again. “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” said my mother. So why was God doing this to me? Even worse, how could he be doing this to my children?

I yelled at God. I prayed that he let me die. Then I prayed that he make my husband die. My husband had so many close calls that his staying alive appeared utterly miraculous. God clearly did not want my husband to die, but it seemed that God didn’t want my husband to get better either. Stuck in a nightmare, I stopped praying at all.

I never abandoned the angels, though. St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael became my constant companions. I imagined them flying over the roof of my car and snuggling with me in a heap of heavenly goodness while I slept. When I walked around the block to clear my head, one of them held my hand.

I haven’t stopped going to Sunday Mass, but it is still hard for me to pray. I can’t shake the feeling that God has betrayed me and let me down. And praying for the husband who has hurt me so much seems like a task for a saintlier and more compassionate person than I. A friend from Al-Anon has encouraged me to keep praying anyway, not because it might please God or help my husband, but for my own sake. “Keep praying, because prayer will help you,” he said. So, clumsily and awkwardly, I try.

I can finally recognize that God has sent blessings into my life. My children are stupendously fabulous and dealing so much better with this horror than anyone has a right to expect. My job keeps me sane (when it’s not driving me crazy). As my husband spins faster and faster out of control, I can hold on to the hope that God has a plan even if I can’t see it. I can rebuild my trust in God whether my marriage survives or not.


REFLECT

Let’s dig deeper. Did this witness resonate with you? If so, we invite you to continue on below and consider starting a journal to jot down your answers. PRINT several copies of these questions to start your own journal based on different posts. 

  1. What was my spiritual life like before the experience?
  2. How did the experience negatively impact my relationship with God?
  3. How did the experience negatively impact my relationships with my spouse, my children, my coworkers, my relatives, my friends?
  4. Was there anything that helped to alleviate the suffering I was going through? (e.g., counsel from others, professional help, medication/supplements, devotions, lifestyle changes)
  5. How did this experience positively impact my relationships, either during or afterward?
  6. How did this experience positively impact my spiritual life, either during or afterward?
  7. If I could go back and change how I responded to this experience, what would I do differently?
  8. What would I say to someone else in this situation to give him/her hope?

SPIRITUAL RESOURCES AND HEALING

WHERE TO START?

RETROUVAILLE – A Lifeline for Married Couples

THE ALEXANDER HOUSE – Offering Hope & Healing for Marriage, Family & Relationships

BELOVED: FINDING HAPPINESS IN MARRIAGE – offered through FORMED.ORG (ask your parish for the code to access this program for free)

PODCASTS
BOOKS/WEBSITES
CLASSES

In the privacy of your own home, you can begin to heal your marriage. CLICK HERE to start the process.

PRAYER

Novenas

Prayers

Unless He's Addicted