Deacon Paul and Helen McBlain write the Marriage Matters column for CatholicPhilly.com. Members of St. Joseph Parish in Collingdale, they have been married more than 50 years and have seven children and 21 grandchildren.

Deacon Paul and Helen McBlain write the Marriage Matters column for CatholicPhilly.com. Members of St. Joseph Parish in Collingdale, they have been married more than 50 years and have seven children and 21 grandchildren.

She says:

Amy says: Vince and I have been married seven wonderful years. We have two beautiful daughters, six and four years old. Just recently, to help with the finances, I took a part-time job, three evenings a week, working for a writer, processing his manuscripts and other paperwork.

Our children are always fed and prepared for bed before I leave for work and I am always ready for them each morning.

This man is single and works out of his apartment. Most evenings, I am finished by 9 p.m., but a few times a month, I need to be there until midnight to meet a deadline for him with his publisher.

Vince is not happy with this arrangement, especially the late evenings.

He says:

Vince says: I trust Amy and believe that she is sincere when she says that her time spent at this man’s apartment is totally work related.

However, being alone with a single man in his apartment at midnight seems to me to be inappropriate and creates a risky environment. Why can’t this guy get his act together and produce his flow of work in an evenly balanced way?

Amy says I don’t understand the way a writer works, and am acting like a “control freak.” I love Amy and our children very much and I will not tolerate our marriage being broken apart over this part-time job.

“Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22).

What do they do?

Issues of control are often the source of conflict in marriage relationships. Matters of trust are at the cornerstone of any relationship.

First and foremost, this issue must be discussed by Amy and Vince when they are not angry with each other. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).

Deciding on whether it is appropriate for a husband’s wife to be alone in an apartment with a man, whether at noon or midnight, is something only Amy and Vince can decide together. They need to examine what else in their lives may have led to this seeming “mistrust” in their relationship.

Does the condition of their finances necessitate that Amy take a part-time job? Is Amy seeking a measure of self-esteem by working in the literary field? Is Vince displaying indicators of control disorder?

If Amy and Vince have trouble discussing their problems on their own, it would appear a marriage counselor would be necessary to help Amy and Vince safely put on the table any issues in their marriage and address them in a constructive manner.

“Likewise, you husbands should live with your wives in understanding, showing honor, since we are joint heirs of the gift of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).