advice on dealing with lifestyle and parenting differences

Melissa - posted on 06/28/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I love my husband and he tries so hard to be a good dad. he's open to hearing my suggestions, but when it comes to certain lifestyle choices he is very stubborn. i enjoy drinking cocktails in moderation, but he would love to have a pool party every weekend if i would let him. i attend church with my 7 year old daughter every other Sunday and he comes occasionally to make me happy. I would like to be more involved in the Church. i tell him to be an effective parent you have to look beyond your own needs and desires and do what's best for that child. sometimes i feel like a prisoner in my own home. if i were raising our child alone, i'd certainly have something more productive planned than these constant parties. And while my daughter seems to have a lot of fun playing with the neighborhood kids at the parties, I wonder what impact all the drinking will have on her. i've told him that we need some balance. What makes me happy is to get out and explore the city, take on new adventures, learn new things, meet new people, get more involved in church. husband gets angry when i express my concerns. what do i do? it just seems like we're going in different directions here. and yes....we've tried counseling.

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Linda - posted on 07/04/2011

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I think parenting is one of the most difficult aspects of marriage--especially when the husband and wife disagree. There needs to be a lot of communication and prayer. It becomes especially difficult when one person is a Christian and the other is not. Compromise is important. Could he still have the pool party while you went to church? Instead of saying, I don't want another pool party next weekend, maybe you could say, "Let's go to the Science museum Saturday!" Saying you want to explore the city is so vague; planning for a fun family activity is engaging and I doubt he'd disagree. Would he get upset if you attended church every Sunday? It is important to go to church, especially if there is little reinforcement at home. Maybe you could split the weekends and he decides what to do on Saturday and you decide on Sunday? Just some ideas.

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Carla - posted on 07/05/2011

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Trying to push or pull a spouse to be a believer is impossible. All you do is alienate them. People that don't 'get' church will not understand WHY you want to spend time at church.



I assume you guys are very young. Partying every weekend is the mark of immaturity. Couples with children understand there are other things that need to be accomplished besides having a good time.



You say he tries so hard to be a good dad. Being a good dad involves way more than bringing home a paycheck and making sure he has food and clothes. It's constantly teaching them, whether how to tie their shoes or how to walk a dog or how to kill a spider without freaking out. It's modeling, through example, what married life is like, and what adult life is like. Even putting Christianity aside, these are things every child needs to grow up to be a decent adult. Dad teaches the lawn needs to be mowed every weekend. How to fix the car, how to fix a drain, and the list goes on. If done consistently, there isn't TIME for a lot of partying! If he truly wants to be a good dad, his priorities will show the child as #1, not partying.



Parties are usually planned and executed by both persons. How about a compromise? 'Hey, hon, once a month we can throw a party, and I will help you plan it, but the other 3 weekends, let's take Johnny to the park, or go hiking, he just LOVES hiking', something like that. You have to put a thought in a man's mind, let him mull it a little, and ultimately he will agree.



I attended church for 20 years by myself. Every Sunday I got the children up, and we went. When my husband was ready, HE got up and got dressed and went with me (kids were grown by then). In the meantime, pray for him, treat him as you want to be treated, and have faith that God has him in the palm of His hand, and he will come to faith in time.



God bless, honey

Angela - posted on 07/04/2011

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Create some non-alcoholic cocktails for your parties! Offer them to the adults - but also to the kids. Decorate with fruit slices, sugared rims and little umbrellas. Kids will love it!!

I am not teetotal but I rarely drink and really enjoy non-alcoholic cocktails. I found though that they were very expensive in bars - prices were on a par with alcoholic cocktails.

Kids can have a good time at parties attended by adults without missing out on things.

Too many parties isn't really great for anyone's health, whether alcohol is consumed or not though. Look for other activities and encourage your child and your husband to develop hobbies.

Attend Church more regularly if this is what you and your daughter would like. Forge friendships within your church community and get your husband to accompany you.

You can have too much of a good thing and whilst parties are great, they surely would get boring if you went to one or held one every single weekend?

You need to communicate with your husband and come to some agreement which is beneficial to both of you and your child.

Rebekah - posted on 06/28/2011

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Compromise is a wonderful word... there comes a point in a couple's life where you have to actually "compromise". Sounds like you two are different people in the same pea pod - which is great, but at times it can be hard.

My husband is one of those people that likes to observe and enjoy nature - I mean seriously, he could look at mountain scenes for HOURS! Me, no, I can't do that - it bores me within 15 minutes... I like to be the life of the party and around lots of people and out in the center of it all. But we've had to learn to do the things each other likes to do... my hubby took dance classes with me... and I learned to sit and enjoy the breathtaking nature scenes.

Don't give up here. You're marriage isn't coming to an end... it's transforming into something new. Look at it like a butterfly breaking free from it's cocoon... you are in a hard place that once the freedom comes it will be a beautiful thing. But this is one thing you and your hubby have to breakthrough with together.

My advice to you is, if you want that closeness with God and want MORE of Him in your lives... Pray! Get in the Word! Tell God your heart's desire... the Bible says, He will give us our heart's desires! Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father and let Him intervene. Look up Scriptures of promise for your family and pray them over your daughter and your husband... and watch God transform.

Now, I came from a home with a dad that was a partier - drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc. I saw it growing up. My mom was always frustrated with my dad and their fights were nonstop. The funny thing, the partying didn't affect me... but my parents bickering did. My mom's constant badgering on my dad about his lifestyle and my dad's constant negativity towards my mom... affected both my brother and I. Neither my brother or I delved into alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes... we saw what it did to people and neither of us wanted that for ourselves. Not to mention I had a praying mother that plead the blood of Jesus over us every second of the day. But our parents bickering broke our hearts and because the fights ended up being "you shouldn't do that because it's a bad influence on the kids" made us feel horrible because we felt like it was our fault.

Our words have the power to give life or to bring death... be careful.

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