I have been married for almost 1.5 years. It's my first marriage and my husband's second marriage. I am 45 and my husband is 50.
My husband grew up in a close knit immediate family, with a large extended family. Everyone was born, raised, and stayed in the same small town. Their family are their friends and their friends are their family. I knew some of this before we got married, but it seemed like much was hidden from me until we got married.
My issue is that my husband is very, very close with his sisters and their families - to the point that it can interfere with our marriage. I'm happy that he is connected to them, but he puts them before me. He will get upset at me for something he completely dismisses with his sisters. Both his sister and I have very serious and similar illnesses. He told me that he cries for her, but he thinks nothing of pushing me to the brink with my health. It isn't intended to be malicious. In fact, he isn't aware that he is doing it.
His knowledge of Christ and Christianity is limited. His Catholic faith taught him what he is not supposed to do and did little to teach him what he's supposed to do. I mentioned to him this morning that my Christian faith always taught me that marriage comes after God and the Church and before anything else. He looked at me like I had been speaking another language. Clearly, he had never been taught this. In his heart, his family comes first despite his claims that the marriage does. (We have discussed it numerously.) I believe that actions speak louder than words, so that's why I believe his family if #1 for him. I should also mention that my husband is a territory sales manager and has to travel with his job. On top of that, he has a demanding hobby job that requires significant time away from home.
I know you are going to ask, so let share first. My relationship with his family is cordial. Our conversations are boring. His mother and sisters tell me all about people from the town that I don't know or care to know or celebrity gossip. I come from a family where politics, ideas, and current events are discussed. My family (parents, brother and SIL) would rather walk on their tongues than discuss the Kardashian family.
One last thing...My husband has told me that his ex-wife had issues with his sisters. He would never elaborate. His sisters refer to her in very unkind words. I wonder if she experienced the same feelings of being the last on the priority list.
I guess my questions are: 1) do you think a person, at the age of 50, is capable of making a marriage the top priority? 2) If so, any suggested readings, ideas, comments?