Advice on Marital Separation, Therapy

I visited a priest for advice about my marriage, which has been deteriorating pretty much since my husband and I took our vows, and he said it is okay for us to see a marriage counselor because at least we both want to work on our marriage. The problem is, I’ve become so jaded and cannot believe that this marriage can be saved. Has anyone had any experience with marriage therapy having any positive results? At this point, I think we would be better separating for a while. What does the Catholic Church teach about separating? I have a 7-week old baby and I don’t want our marriage to damage her as she becomes older and more alert. Please help…

Alot of this depends on why the marriage is deterioating. If there is no abuse then you owe counseling a try as the affects of divorce will be far more deleterious to your child than you attempting counseling. I am confused how you can say that counseling should not even be tried unless there is abuse which if you had brought up to the priest may have lead to a different conversation. With this information it is hard to say. A marriage is a vow - it is a solemn vow. What are you fighting about?

Please do give therapy a chance. Your baby is brand-new and your hormones are probably not settled down yet. Could you have post-partum depression? I am not saying that your husband is treating you right, but if you feel hopeless and down, it might be a physical problem as well.

I can tell you for SURE that if you go into therapy believing it won’t work, then it won’t. You have to want things to work, and put in effort to help your relationship. You are pretty newly married to be feeling and believing it’s time for a separation.

It seems as if you have expectations of what your marriage will be like, and perhaps your husband helped create those, and maybe you have your own expectations too. You two have to learn to communicate and work on things, you have a little daughter now, you can’t just up and leave.

If your husband is willing to work on the marriage, count yourself fortunate! My husband goes thinking that the therapy will fix ME, because I’m the broken part and he is just fine! :mad:

I will add you to my prayers.

Ok, I am of a young age so I have not gone through marriage counseling. :slight_smile: But I can answer what the Catholic Church teaches on separation. If by separation, you mean divorce, she teaches it is not right. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man put asunder” Matthew 19:5-6 No man can break apart a marriage God has put together. You can’t break the flesh. Now many people say an annulment is like a catholic divorce. It is not, it is saying that the marriage never took place and that the two persons were never one. That is OK, but it can take longer. Just contact a local priests after looking up to see if you are under the correct circumstances for an annulment. I really hoped this helped, if it didn’t sorry for wasting your time! Well, I am praying your marriage gets better! God Bless!

No, by “separation,” she means, separation. Not divorce, and not annulment. A separation is not always a precursor to divorce. Sometimes it allows both people to take a look at what they are doing wrong, and to really realize what the problems are. Many times if there are addictions, adultery, or abuse, separation is the safest thing to do, especially if children are involved.

But this poster is not at that point yet. She has lost some amount of hope about her husband but there does not seem to be abuse. Counseling will probably help the couple if they are both ready to give it a shot.

Can I remind you that you are 7 weeks post partum and your hormones are still going crazy… I would not make a life changing decision in that state. If you are being hurt then by all means, yes… otherwise NO, not at this time.

I am dealing with emotional and verbal abuse. Tearing me down whenever I exhibit confidence. Criticizing me and making me feel unattractive because he doesn’t want anything to do with me sexually. That is why I have been brought to this point of desperation.

I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. (by the way congrats on baby!)

I have a 2 week old and have to have your back on the hormone thing. My husband was not very supportive through my pregnancies. He tended to brush off any pain/tiredness/emotions I might have and went as far as making comments about my weight and lazyness (very seldom true. usually I was just plain exhausted. 12+ hours a day at work plus working on our farm and remodeling our house and chasing our 2 year old…) Men don’t think. They act. they open their mouths and words come out with no filter.
I think my husband also knows how to push my buttons and set me off and for some reason he does it all the time. then when I blow up it’s ME being moody and irrational. I don’t buy the hormone thing. yes, that may be a part of it but more of it (in my case) was him. sounds like your husband is similar. I have considered seperation as well, no one should have to deal with such BS. :frowning:

I have a girlfriend or 2 that I vent to. just getting it off your chest (posting here works too) helps you feel better–or at least rationalizes your feelings. I also keep a list of the rotten things he says/does written down. not sure why, I don’t go back and reread it, but it just helps me to vent my frustrations on paper I think. I have threatened divorce/seeking an annulment and he doesn’t take me seriously. it’s tough, I know how you feel. you feel stuck in a rut you can’t get out of, and having a kid makes it way more complicated. You can’t spend your life miserable for her sake but you do owe it to yourself and your daughter to try counciling. I would look into that retrouville. I have thought about it. But I think the first thing is to really make HIM see you are serious and hurt. I can’t quite get this through my husband’s head without a complete breakdown and the cold shoulder for days… then he asks a stupid question like “whats wrong with you?” or “why are you being such a &^*$?” which at least opens the lines of communication for a fresh argument.

good luck and many prayers and heartfelt hugs for your situation.:hug1:

This does change things quite a bit. Was this something you spoke to your priest about? Have you asked him directly why he does not wish to do anything with you sexually? Have you called him on his behavior? Have you suggested counseling and/or separation and what has been his response?

Since you are still dealing with a lot of life changes due to the new baby (Congrats), I would think that it may be time to take a look at how that has changed things. How does your husband feel about this? On the surface it does not seem like issues that warrant seperation, but I am not there so I am not saying that there is not a need for that at all, I just do not have all the details. If you are thinking this way, please research some options at Help Our Marriage and Catholic Therapist as these would be 2 great resources.

If he will take some time to read, I suggest "The Good News About Sex and Marriage’ by Christopher West or “Holy Sex” by Gregory Popcak.

Prayers for you and your family.

In your original post, you asked if anyone had been successful with therapy - the answer is YES! My husband and I had issues that I didn’t think could possibly get better. Our therapist taught us how to communicate and gave us rules (no bringing up past hurts while fighting, no name calling, etc). We actually learned how to resolve our issues. That was over four years ago and we are very happy.

Congratulations on the new baby! I have three young kids at home and can confirm what the other replies said - that hormones can do strange things to us. I am not suggesting that you ignore the abuse, just that it might be prudent to see a therapist before separating. I’ll say a prayer for you.

It’s good to know that so many of you are out there offering prayers and words of advice. The no-sex, no-affection issue is abusive in and of itself. He also hasn’t put the house in my name because he says he doesn’t understand the paperwork to do so. Sometimes I feel like a maid living with her brother and not a wife and mother living with her husband in THEIR house. I’ve mentioned separation, but even today, he said we’ll never split up because “I’m stuck with him.” I don’t want to be stuck. I want to be in love and a partner in all things with my husband.

Are these things that you discussed prior to marriage. While no-sex, no-affection can be rough that in itself is not necessarily abuse. Now the I’m stuck with him - make an appointment for yourself to start counseling and leave the appointment for him and offer him an invite to go along. Make sure it is a Catholic counselor that shares your values in marriage.

That sounds so much like me! I am seriously thinking about leaving him for good but the struggle is that it’s against everything I believe in. I don’t know of any close relatives that have gone through a divorce…It’s an idea very hard to come to for me but my marriage is not giving me any hope of “bettering.” Our local priest has gotten involved when my husband went from verbal abuse to physical abuse but I have to say I feel he isn’t as much concerned with my struggles than the next door Mormons trying to get me into their church…
My depression and frustrations I am afraid are impacting my caring for my daughter. I am currently pregnant and couldn’t been unhappier…The only reason I am still alive is because I fear for my daughter alone in this world; how would she fend for herself. May God help me soon before I lose myself!

If you are being physically abused, it’s time for him to go, or for you to go. You shouldn’t put yourself and your children in danger if your husband is an abuser. There are resources in every town and city, or you could seek shelter with a friend or family member. Please do not delay. I hope you have access to the family finances and can take money out to care for yourself and your children.’

Praying for you.

I beg to differ. Witholding the marital embrace absent serious reasons is indeed abuse.

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