An Open Letter to My Husband

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"An open letter to my husband" by Anonymous (CatholicMom.com)

Detail from “A wretched man with an approaching depression” [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Dear Husband,

A few nights ago you opened up to me about increased stress you’ve been feeling lately. You tried to hide it, but I saw you dabbing at the tears welling in your eyes. I’m sorry if I haven’t taken your stress seriously enough. I’ve been so busy nagging you about being home late, unfinished house projects, and the toll this life takes on me that I’ve forgotten about the toll it takes on you.

Stress has already long overstayed its welcome in our house. As a small business owner, your job is a juggling act of one stressful situation after another. We’ve become accustomed to you working late nights, weekends away, being called in to work over holidays, during birthday parties, and in the middle of family dinner.

So the kids and I have gotten used to your absence, but even I can see that it’s gotten worse lately. In the past I’ve watched fondly while you play “Daddy’s a snake” writhing around the living room floor to the shrieks of children. You’ve read them stories in silly voices, looked in their eyes and asked about school, and convinced me to let them stay up late for extra snuggles. Lately, their fun, engaged dad has been replaced by an anxiety-ridden shell of a man who never really leaves work since the phone is always vibrating. Not only that, the stress is even taking a physical toll. I say this not to shovel on more nagging, but because I’m worried about you. I’m worried that you’re going to look back on your life and realize you’ve missed so much in these precious years.

As stress weighted you down, you faced another crisis — a crisis of faith. A few bad eggs in our church leadership have shaken the foundation of your faith. I don’t blame you; they were hypocrites. I’ve goaded you along to mass a few times in the last few months and reminded you that God can work through sinners, but your heart has hardened towards the Church. Some Sundays I just give in and let you off the hook, but that doesn’t help your faith either, does it? We need to get to the root of this. Call me crazy, but I don’t think these two crises are unrelated.

I believe you’re under spiritual attack. The devil uses the stress of daily life as a way to kick you when you’re down. He whispers in your ear, “You have so much work to do. You don’t have time for Mass.” When the kids act up he says, “You can’t handle this. You should get sterilized.” And then when a few church leaders failed you, he pounced. “See, you can’t trust them. You can’t trust the Church. You can’t trust the Bible. You can’t trust Jesus. You’re in this alone.”

But let me tell you, you’re not in this alone.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-33

Turn your eyes towards Jesus. Set your priorities. Only He can give you the grace to reject the Devil’s lies, trust that He will take care of us, trust in your ability to handle whatever life throws at you, trust in my love enough to be vulnerable with me … and hopefully, eventually trust again in the Church. If you can learn to lean on Him, you will find the peace you seek, for His “yoke is easy and burden is light.”

So I’ll share this letter with you, but I’ll also post it anonymously because I know there is a whole community of loving, faithful readers who can offer their advice and prayers. We are not the first family to go through these trials, and we won’t be the last. Let’s lean on each other, lean on our community, and most of all, lean on Jesus.

With so much love,
Your Wife


Copyright 2018 Anonymous

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9 Comments

  1. Very well said. We are all human. Holding on and keeping each other is the most wonderful thing to do. More power!!!

  2. Sandy Eighmie on

    This wife expresses what so many of us have faced. Her spiritual faithfulness has opened her heart to the real source of the problems. Prayer, drawing close to the congregation, and setting the example of trust in God’s ways plus remembering her position is a partner and helpmate to her husband with patience will allow him to find his way back to his position as a loving, involved husband and father. Don’t give up, stand firm and trust in God’s path and timing.

  3. This letter could have been written about my husband, except that he works for in someone else’s retail business. Please don’t get too discouraged, God has a way of helping us when we least expect it. Often when I have felt that things couldn’t get worse, they have, and then God does something amazing and beautiful in my family’s life that makes everything we have suffered not matter so much. I am praying for you and your family, but I also hope that you will do something for yourself, take a walk, paint your nails, pray a Holy Hour, just something to take care of yourself. Sometimes our husbands are reminded to take better care of themselves when we show them that it’s okay by doing it ourselves.

  4. Prayers for your family! We are a one income family drowning on purpose trying to make ends meet in order to prioritize family time. It is also very stressful. You indeed are not alone! Lifting you up to our Blessed Mother!

  5. Margaret Dwyer on

    Someone shared this with me recently, and it seems perfect for this – maybe just start by praying with him. At night when the kids go to bed, or in the morning getting up 1/2 hour early before the kids get up over coffee. Sometimes the hardest step is the first step.

    The devil fears prayer. Imagine this scene. He sat in the back of the room during a strategy session. A dozen demons had gathered to hear a report on the life of a particularly stalwart saint.

    “He won’t stumble,” groused the imp responsible for his demise. “No matter what I do, he won’t turn his back on God.”

    The council began to offer suggestions.

    “Take his purity,” one said.

    “I tried,” replied the fiend, “but he is too moral.” “Take his health,” urged another.

    “I did, but he refused to grumble or complain.” “Take his belongings.”

    “Are you kidding? I’ve stripped the man of every penny and possession. Yet he still rejoices.”

    For a few moments no one spoke. Finally, from the back of the room, came the low, measured voice of Satan himself. The entire council turned as the fallen angel rose to his feet. His pale face was all but hidden by the hood. A long cape covered his body. He raised his bony hand and made his point. “It’s not enough to take his purity. It’s not enough to take his health. It’s not enough to take his belongings. You must take what matters most!” “What is that?” asked the subordinate.

    “You must take his prayer.”

    Prayer slaps handcuffs on Satan. Prayer takes problems out of the domain of the devil and into the presence of God. Prayer confesses, “God can handle IT. Since He can, I have hope!”

    When we pray in the name of Jesus, we come to God on the basis of Jesus’ accomplishment.

    Since we have a great high priest (Jesus) over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. – Hebrews 10:21-22

    Author Unknown

  6. I can understand why your husband is disillusioned with the Catholic Church. Here in Australian many Catholics are fed up with the sexual abuse scandals . An Adelaide bishop was charged with covering sexual offences of priests and moving them onto other parishes. Trouble is the bad ones give the good priests a bad name. I think you have to separate out the human frailties of the church and take the good bits that Jesus created and hope for the best. Most of us have long nights of the soul.

  7. Many Catholics in Australia are disillusioned like your husband with the church here due to to the sexual abuse scandals. Even a bishop in Adelaide has been charged with covering up the sexual offences of his clergy and moving them onto new victims in new parishes. The bad priests have given the good priests a bad name. I think you have to accept the human frailties of the church because it is an institution and such things corrupt and just hold onto the good bits that Jesus gave us. I still think there are many good things about Catholicism and learn to be a bit cynical and realise nothing is perfect. Hold onto the good and disregard the imperfect and hope for the best as a family.

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