…Or perhaps break down???
A member of my family has not had much to do with the Church for a long while. She got together with a really intelligent guy with great career prospects (not religious) and they lived together for about 7 years before getting married eventually in her Parish Church. At the outset of the relationship (ie when they first started seeing each other) she found he had gone out one night and slept with two other girls (at the same time) and this caused her lots of hurt and anguish- but they worked it through and carried on seeing each other.
Throughout the relationship, she has had to push him into doing everything- moving, renting a flat, buying a house, everything. He feels she is trying to control or manipulate him and refuses to make concessions as far as appologies etc are concerned.
They both used to go out and get silly drunk etc. But as time has gone by, she has become more mellow and as they think about starting a family it appears her position is changing. She’s even started coming back to mass (although tentatively and infrequently). She has lost both parents and I think in many ways she longs for the foundation faith provides. With no parents and no common family position with her husband, she’s a bit of a lost soul, bless her. She has lots of standard lefty reservations about Catholicism which I have been gently eroding over the last four or five years.
About a year before they got married they went to Australia for a year. She was pushing to get married and he was dead against the idea. He wanted kids and couldn’t understand why she felt they had to be married in order to do that-- perhaps the Catholic in her would not break that taboo? Huge rows ensued and on return from Aus, perhaps drawing strength from her proximity to my wife and I as her closest family, they split up…Then a couple of weeks later they got back together and marriage was in the air.
The perfect marriage ensued- I was surrogate father of the bride, the event was rather flash and meaningless for a prayerfull person, but expensive and everything todays homo-consumo wants. Today it’s about 18 months down the road and it appears to be all over. She’s coming round tonight and my wife feels that it’s to tr and secure our “blessing” to leave him. She argues she is not happy and truthfully it is hard to see things ever really improving. They bicker constantly and there seems little love between them-- God only knows how they ended up here! They should have split up years ago! Now she is mid thirties and, well you can guess.
Jesus never condemned sinners in the Gospel. He never condoned sin either, but he didn’t condemn them. What do I say? Do I tell her she can leave him? Or do I tell her to go back and work at her marriage?? Telling her to pray etc is pointless at this stage and believe me, I have prayed and prayed that I wouldn’t end up in this position!
Any words of wisdom for me?