I got married later in life and I am in a marriage now for six years. We have no children. I got into this marriage hastily, only after knowing my husband about four months. On top of that I saw a lot of questionable things about his character that didn’t match up to his claim of being a faithful Catholic. I will admit that I don’t have a lot of backbone and have a quiet personality. When we were courting he was very attentive and charming. He was pushing the idea of us getting married within months of meeting (and his friends were “encouraging” us as well). I felt pressured and just went ahead with it. All the while I knew that I was doing the wrong thing, but didn’t have the guts to brake it off with him.
I do not believe in divorce and, despite the mess I got myself into, want to do my best to be faithful in my role as a wife. However, to work at a marriage it takes two and I feel as if I have been abandoned by my husband.
My husband was active in our parish but it seemed as if once I got the ring on my finger he started dropping one responsiblity after another. Now he just goes to Mass on Sunday and sometimes misses weeks. He is retired and just stays home and either watches TV all day or plays video games. Most nights he is up through the night until 5 or 6 in the morning. It’s like that (video games) has become his reality. When he plays his video games online he talks to other people and uses vulgar language and makes racial slurs at other players who are of various ethnicities. I have a full-time job and pay most of the bills, food, gas for our two cars, etc. as his monthly check doesn’t go far and he is very irrisponsible with money. He is not self-sufficient and can just about microwave a frozen meal. He will be verbally and emotinally abusive toward me . . . then gets all attentive and sweet-talking to smooth things over with me and this is the constant cycle we are in. I feel like I am raising a strong-willed child instead of having an adult relationship with a spouse. His only responsibiilties in the home that he will do are taking the trash out and washing dishes and there are days when he complains to me that he even has to to this minimum of work. He will complain to me that there is not enough money for us to go out to eat where he would like or to go on a vacation to the beach every year, yet he won’t go and look for some type of part-time work to help us financially. I have been in my own personal counseling and having tried to set boundaries in our relationship, but to no avail. He is manipulative and I can call him on things he does (like constant lying) but he doesn’t take responsibiiltiy for his actions and turns everything around on me. He is also very controlling and it has been a constant struggle for me to maintain friendships and to see my family, who reside in another state.
In any event, a friend of mine told me that I need to take responsiblity for my situation . . .problem is I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. Does taking responsiblity mean - - -“Okay, you’ve made your bed, now you have to lie in it” and that I just remain in this situation “treading water” as I am, remaining faithful to the vows I made and in my role as a wife, living with a man who is totally irrisponsible and has no intention of changing OR does taking responsibliity mean that I might need to, say, possibly move out and separate from him? The latter would result in him having to face consequences such as him falling on his face financially and he would not have certain “benefits” of having a wife and maybe, in so doing, this would wake him up?
I am just at my wits end anymore. I struggle with depression, my work performance has suffered on the job and when I come home I am overwhelmed by what awaits me when I walk in the door. Last year I ended up in the hospital for 5 days because they thought I had a mini-stroke, but it was just all due to stress.
I appreciate any insight you folks might have. Thank you!