Alternative to separation after long considertion?


#1

OK, I was here about a year ago with a not too hot story about my spouse’s intended infidelity and the support she was receiving in that from friends.

A year later we’ve stopped our counseling – it hasn’t helped, and I see on our cell bill that she is again texting the guy she had been unfaithful with.

I’ve contacted an attorney regarding separation. I’ve received spiritual direction that I should try something more Christian rather than a court-ordered separation. I’ve left for one week and a month in the last dozen years to underline the strife. Trust is zero. Our faith approaches oppose: Her: God will understand; Me: How may I serve Him better?

This situation is much more complicated than this short blurb. We’ve been in counseling multiple times in 20 years. My former pastor suggested a Greek translation: “make haste slowly.” I’m following his advice.

When is it finally time to ask God if it is time to go? I had asked Him for a time to be relieved of this life, at least for my kids’ sake. I’m mistaken. I need to be more myself and perhaps on my own. And I need to be there for my kids.

When is separation a final “hey, this isn’t working” option? I believe she believes I would never leave, no matter what she does. Separation isn’t divorce, but it does precede it. I’m ambivalent whether it is the right choice. Lots of prayers have ensued.

Thank you for your thoughts.


#2

I'm only 22 and have never been married so I don't know how much this will help, but I have been the child from two married parents who hated each other.

My parents were married for 5 years, had me and 2 years later seperated.... my father left for another country and I haven't heard from him since.

My parents lived in Ireland and could not get approved by the Church for a divorce. It took 7 years of not hearing from my father for the Church to approve it.

I know that this may not seem very helpful as I don't know or understand enough about marriage, BUT as that child I am so happy my parents got divorced. The pain that my aunties tell me my mother went through and the loneliness she suffered even before he left was awful! i am so glad that she spared me from seeing all the suffering, violence and hatred.

My mother is now happily remarried and I have the best step dad in the world and amazing younger siblings!! I don't see how God could have wanted her to be unhappy.. it was not her fault, just like it's not your fault, that her spouse was unfaithful!

I wish you all the best!!


#3

For your own sanity you may have to leave. Have you exposed her affair to everyone? Affairs are like cockroaches, they scurry when you turn on the light.


#4

[quote="iamrefreshed, post:3, topic:183462"]
Have you exposed her affair to everyone? Affairs are like cockroaches, they scurry when you turn on the light.

[/quote]

Doing so would be the mortal sin of detraction.


#5

I’m sorry - that’s so painful.
My first reaction is to – punch the guy who’s receiving the texts in the nose.
Probably not helpful.

What does your wife want? Would she go to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with you for an hour a week? Just to sit there together. Or say a rosary together.
Does she really want to hurt her children like this?
If she wants to work it out, stay and work on it,
If she says she isn’t interested, work out a visitation schedule to see the chlldren, and leave.


#6

I’m afraid you don’t understand the sin of detraction.


#7

I have told close Christian friends, and they are supportive. Not sure if throwing it out there for all is a supportive move to her. It seems more like defensive payback.

When I discovered the entirety of what she was doing, I held it in for a few days, trying to assess. At a parish event with her, I suddenly couldn’t stand being with her, so I told her I was leaving and walked home, five miles. She tried to pick me up and I refused, saying I needed to think. I walked along a questionable neighborhood for a couple miles and she didn’t want to leave me unattended, so she drove slowly beside me. When I arrived home, I told her that I was ready to talk but she said she didn’t want to then. Next day we talked and she was very matter-of-fact. I’m sure she prepared her family for my reaction then and my “outrageous behavior”


#8

[quote="Viki63, post:5, topic:183462"]
I'm sorry - that's so painful.
My first reaction is to -- punch the guy who's receiving the texts in the nose.
Probably not helpful.

What does your wife want? Would she go to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with you for an hour a week? Just to sit there together. Or say a rosary together.
Does she really want to hurt her children like this?
If she wants to work it out, stay and work on it,
If she says she isn't interested, work out a visitation schedule to see the chlldren, and leave.

[/quote]

Sent the guy an email saying I hoped he would respect our marriage himself when they next met -- they work together with a common group. Told wife when she found out what I really wanted to do was punch him.

Don't know about proposing adoration. I go now. She tried it a few years ago. Serving and loving God fully and in every way is more my "thing" then hers. We've had a year of counseling that mainly focused on our communication techniques. But there is a lot a lot of baggage that prevents trust on my side.

I spoke with a friend and he suggested separating for an indefinite period, but not taking it to court to do so right away. That's in line with what my spiritual director suggested. Weighing that idea. Thanks for the comment, btw!


#9

Let me be blunt Indy. I’m a man of action. I fully believe in prayer but I also believe God expects me to be His footsoldier. Footsoldiers get dirty.

The first thing that needs to happen here is to end this affair. You can’t have a marriage involving three people.

How to end it? Expose the affair. Call her parents, siblings, close friends and explain to them that your wife is involved in an affair and you would like THEIR advice and help in saving your marriage. Some will not want to get involved. Some will help.

The idea is to put pressure on the affair. Make it uncomfortable. If your wife is so in love with this clown she should be proud to voice it, no? Why should she want to hide it? I’ll tell you why, because she KNOWS it is wrong.

Right now she is playing you. Having her cake and eating it too.

After exposing the affair, you must DEMAND she has no contact with this person for LIFE. Every time she sees him it will hurt YOU. It will set any recovery back EVERYTIME.

End her affair with exposure. She will be ROYALLY PO’ed and tell you that your marriage is over, that now there is no chance, that she was going to end it herself but you ruined it. Don’t believe any of it.

This all seems counterintuitive and it is. Just like a wound, you must do something painful to begin the healing process.

Don’t forget, your marriage can survive her anger, it can’t survive with another man involved.


#10

*I say this to friends and family who are going through similiar things...and have on here, as well...if the person is not remorseful, and there is no desire to change...you can't save a marriage, alone. I do believe we are asked to forgive ...but the person has to WANT to be forgiven. Not all people want to be forgiven, or think they are in the wrong. But, in your heart, you can choose to forgive...and pray for your wife.

I can't tell you what to do, but if your wife wants to sleep with other men, why does she want to be married? You can't be married, and sleep with other people outside of the marriage--doesn't work. I also don't subscribe to the notion that we must be in misery for the entire duration of our marriage. We are called to sacrifice for our spouses, but at the end of the day, if your wife wishes to keep an affair going...you might have to make a tough decision. If she is willing to sever the relationship with the other guy COMPLETELY...turn her heart to God and you...and really work on things...yes, there is hope. Barring that type of about face change, you will have another man in your marriage, and you have to ask yourself, how long do you want to live like that?

I admire your desire to uphold your vows, but your wife needs to give herself to you completely and forsake all others, if it's going to be the kind of marriage you want and deserve. I will be praying for you both.*


#11

*Exposing the affair to 'everyone', iamrefreshed...hmmm...sounds vengeful. I wouldn't recommend that, OP. You want your wife back, completely forsaking all others, because SHE WANTS to...not because you forced her hand, or are making demands. She needs to want to be married of her own free accord, barring that, you won't be happy, neither will she. Just my two cents. *


#12

[quote="iamrefreshed, post:9, topic:183462"]

Don't forget, your marriage can survive her anger, it can't survive with another man involved.

[/quote]

*Yep, very true. I wouldn't expose her affair though. To me, it would be an act of revenge. Why does her mother and siblings need to be involved with this marriage? A husband and wife need to work out their differences...so her mom is going to tell her to stop sleeping around? Okay, mom. Sorry, I don't mean to sound flip, but that is not how you handle marital problems, and affairs...by dragging in extended family and friends. Plus, if/when they work out the differences...let's say they do...she will always be dubbed with an invisible scarlet letter by everyone he told. Inside their minds, they will always view her differently...

If you leave someone...then tell people why. But, I don't believe in sharing marital difficulties (the details) with family and friends... *


#13

He need not do it out of vengence but rather as an appeal for help.

Do you oppose marriage counseling? Retrouvaille? Priestly counseling? They are all outside influences on a marriage, it’s not just husband and wife.

Who cares what family thinks later if it heals their marriage?

Affairs thrive on secrecy, expose it.


#14

*Objective counseling is different than involving family, that she will have to see, should they reconcile, across from a Thanksgiving table. Even the most forgiving of families, might not easily forget the hurt that someone could cause their loved one, through an affair. I don’t think it’s necessary to expose them. My parents died when I was a kid. My husband and I neared divorce nealy a decade ago. I didn’t have anyone to turn to to ask for help, and he wasn’t going to ask his mother for help. A man leaves his mother and should cling to his wife–that is Biblical. That meaning in all times, not just good times. We worked on our problems, and did not drag family into it. No matter how well meaning, they will take sides, and it is not necessary to repairing a marriage. Retrouvaille and priestly counseling, etc are objective…and a very different appeal, than to call family and friends into the mix. I just think it’s not necessary. If you do, we can agree to disagree. But, I had no parents to drag in, and my husband and I ‘‘fixed’’ things through God’s grace. If we could do it, so can others…we were very close to divorcing, the details surrounding that, not the same as the OP. *


#15

[quote="whatevergirl, post:14, topic:183462"]
* If you do, we can agree to disagree.. *

[/quote]

Duly noted.:)


#16

I think that a change in physical residence would be call for informing the family that something is up. However, I don’t think telling everyone about an affair (I don’t think she slept with him, she told her friends she planned to) helps with the one-on-one relationship. In a bygone time when everyone needed family approval as a matter of survival, inheritance, etc, I could see announcing the breach as potentially helpful. Doing so now would just cause a division of camps, with both sides reinforcing the defense of their chosen party.

No magic bullets here. It’s been a long, long ride. Another friend suggested I just lovingly offer her her space, move out and not put a deadline on moving back. It’s my issue that I can’t abide her texting this guide. I can’t make it hers if she wants to say it doesn’t mean anything.

Thanks for the thoughts, btw, on both sides.


#17

[quote="indymb, post:16, topic:183462"]
I think that a change in physical residence would be call for informing the family that something is up. However, I don't think telling everyone about an affair (I don't think she slept with him, she told her friends she planned to) helps with the one-on-one relationship. In a bygone time when everyone needed family approval as a matter of survival, inheritance, etc, I could see announcing the breach as potentially helpful. Doing so now would just cause a division of camps, with both sides reinforcing the defense of their chosen party.

No magic bullets here. It's been a long, long ride. Another friend suggested I just lovingly offer her her space, move out and not put a deadline on moving back. It's my issue that I can't abide her texting this guide. I can't make it hers if she wants to say it doesn't mean anything.

Thanks for the thoughts, btw, on both sides.

[/quote]

*Yes, if you were moving out or she was...someone in the family might wonder. I think sparing everyone the gory details though...that is more of what I meant.

God bless you and your marriage...my prayers are with you both, whatever you decide.*


#18

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