Dead marriage


I don’t really know why I came back here. I posted a long time ago about my marriage problems. I don’t see a way to save it and I feel so alone.

I don’t have the heart to repeat the difficulties that led to my coming here the first time. Since I left to concentrate on my marriage, we got into counseling. The counselor said he needed individual counseling and I needed to start thinking about if this is all futile. My husband was outraged that the counselor implied he had issues that needed counseling and he refused to return. Not like it mattered. He didn’t do a single assignment, no matter how easy.

The bad priest was supposedly out of our lives, but that meant he was sneeking around with him behind my back for months. The priest would call him at work so I wouldn’t know about it. Real godly.

He didn’t go to church anywhere for a long time, then went to a non-Catholic church just to spite me a few times. We just started going to church together at another Catholic church. He makes his opposition well known every week. He doesn’t participate at all. Except he still receives communion. I commented once about confession, but he didn’t care. This is a guy who was talking about being a deacon and he doesn’t pray at all anymore1

We tried coming up with lists, spiritual counseling, retreats, marriage books, but nothing has helped. It all makes it worse because he doesn’t want to do any of it so he resents me. It is a never ending cycle and it is driving me crazy! He insits that he wants to do what it takes, that he will do whatever it takes, that he can do what it takes and he doesn’t need any help, and he’ll start tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and goes, he says sorry at the end of the day, and says he’ll start tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. He’s really lying to buy himself time and doesn’t intend to do anything.

He’s living out of the house now. He doesn’t want to be because it hurts his pride and is inconvenient. All I asked is that he start working on things. No big miracles. Just take a step. He won’t. And it is all my fault. Everything is my fault. He says he’s been perfect. What kind of person says he is perfect? A lier or a delusional one.

I found out the perfect guy has $50000 in credit card debt. He had like 8 cards in only his name and had no clue how much debt he’d accrued. It was all stuff like restaurants, an ipod, gas, clothes for himself. The restaurants were either with large work functions that he could have opted out of or with the priest he wasn’t seeing. He doesn’t think he needs to change his lifestyle despite the debt. His parents offered him $20000 to leave me or $5000 if he stays with me. They’ll keep the other $15000 set aside in case of divorce.

I gave him an ultimatum yesterday. He had to start today. We talked about concrete ways he could do it. Call me over lunch, be on time coming home, be attentive to conversation, pray morning and evening prayers together, log in to simpleology and do one exercise. He didn’t do any and went out of his way to insult me. Then said sorry, he’ll start on Saturday. And t was my fault he didn’t start because he’s sure there is something I could have done differently even though he can’t say what.

It ended with him leaving saying he doesn’t feel like doing what is right, he knows and doesn’t care that what he’s doing is not godly but he isn’t “there” yet so oh well, but he’s willing to negotiate terms with me if he put his own wants and feelings first that he’ll consider informing me of most of what is going on with his life. And after he does whatever he wants, he’ll get to our marriage. Always tomorrow.

We have no communication left. He has a small handful of circular lines he’ll endlessly go through if I try to talk to him about anything.

We have another counselor set up for next Friday, but I don’t see the point. I’m done riding this roller coaster trying to rationalize with irrational and selfish feelings. I’m facing the fact that our marriage is over. I’m going to be a single mom. My dreams and goals are not going to happen. There is nothing more I can do. I feel so empty and alone. I grieve for my son’s future. I’m so tired.

Yet this little voice inside me says to try this or that again, like it might work this time. Why can’t my heart catch up with my head? All I wanted was for him to try. I guess I really came here to know that someone hears me and I’m not crazy to want a healthy marriage.


I don’t have any wisdom to offer, but I’m sending prayers your way. Strength and peace.:gopray2:


MissMaryMack, I feel so sad for you. This post has absolutely cut me to the heart, because I see so much of my own behavour in what you write about your husband. So much about my relationship with God and my neighbour fits exactly this pattern. Nobody deserves to be married to someone like me.

The truth is, your husband is made in the image of God, which means one good thing and one bad thing, from your point of view. On the up side, it means he still has the potential to become the Christ-like man God created him to be. On the down side, it means he has free will, and so may choose to reject that promise as long as he wants, sadly even forever.

I am going through the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola at the moment, though am really stuck on the examen of conscience - I know I should get into it, but it’s hard and scary, so I’ve been putting it off until tomorrow, just like your husband. I think something like this might just be the spiritual discipline I need to turn my life around, but of course I have to want to do it, which I now do, I don’t want to end up like your husband. Maybe it would work for him too, but only if he takes it seriously, which it doesn’t sound like he wants to do.

I’m really sorry, I don’t think I have any advice for you, though I thank you that you’ve given me the admonishing I need. Praying for you.


I am very sorry at what you are going through.

There is no harm in you deciding to do what you need to do for yourself and your children. If you “give up” and stop negotiating with him and start working on how to be alright as a single mom, it doesn’t mean that you’ve actually thrown away your marriage. He will still have the option of getting his butt into gear and making things right. What it will do is free up your time and energy so that you can stop struggling with him over what he’s doing and start focusing on what you and your children need. If anything, it may give him a wakeup call.

In the future, you can have a policy of “No more talk about tomorow, we’ll talk when you can show me what you’ve done YESTERDAY.” As in, if he changes his ways and shows you that he’s done so and stuck with it, then maybe you can start to concern yourself with how he is doing. But, being jerked around, waiting for a tomorow that never comes is a way of putting today on hold.

God bless you and your family.


Mary, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

Yes, it IS driving you crazy. He is dangling false hope at you to manipulate you.

I really wonder if this is a situation of two men who are in deep denial about their orientations and once your husband is given his “freedom” the inevitable will happen.

Because this is NOT a normal male friendship.

Your vocation as a mother still stands. Your child needs you. It’s time to build your future. What you describe is not right, not normal at all, and it’s a harmful example to your child of what marriage is supposed to be.


Praying for you.

One thing that stands out, the tone of your message does seem like your opinion is that you have made no mistakes and been perfect in your marriage. I’ve yet to meet anyone who has never made a mistake or had part of the respolsibility for marital problems.

You cannot change him, you and the Holy Spirit CAN change yourself.

Prayers again.


Although that is true, she is not responsible for her husband’s orientation. No spouse drives his/her spouse into the arms of another–same sex or otherwise. Yes, we all have flaws…we are all works in progress, but the problem expressed here is deeper than the marriage, in my opinion.


Hi Miss Mary, I’m glad you came back. I have thought of you from time to time and wondered how you were going. Did you take some time to paint your toenails? :slight_smile:

I remember being so hopeful when I read in your original posts of how hard you were working to save your marriage…how you told of how your DH stuck up for you in the early days when his family was unsupportive of your relationship and he was your knight in shining armour…how he said he was willing to work on the marriage and do whatever it took to improve. I thought that if anyone could make it these two can - with lots of prayer.

You shared how you had forgiven him many many times for hurting you and insulting you and humiIiating you, particularly in front of the bad priest. I was so struck by your patience and humility and your capacity for forgiveness.

Now that so much time has passed however, I think you are right when you say “there is nothing more I can do”. You have given the situation your all and you can rest in that knowledge. I agree with the other posters that it is now time to look after your son and yourself and concentrate on stabalising your life.

Perhaps you needed to return to CAF just to hear someone confirm what you already know with your head - that you’ve done all you can do - and just allow your heart time to catch up and accept that the situation is now out of your hands. While your dream is for your husband to turn himself around and strive for a healthy marriage (of course a perfectly reasonable, godly desire) he seems unable/unwilling to do this.

I will be praying for you and your son…I wish I could offer more than that. :o


I meant to add too that you are in my prayers, marymack.


I’ve not been perfect and I’m more than ready to list the areas I can improve. I took four pages to the counselors when he asked me to. My husband literaly told the counselor he had reflected on it and decided there was nothing he can imporve! I was more than happy to learn new ways of communicating and interacting. The counselor asked my husband how I did them and said I was doing them the way I should from whenI learned it in counseling the first time. He kept trying to understand why my husband resents my efforts to have a marriage. The difference is that I am doing it. I am putting my marriage first. I am doing the best I can and looking to improvve myself. I don’t want him to be perfect. I want him to try.

I don’t think sexual orientation is a problem. I think the priest is co-dependent and my husband a passive agressive escapist and the two feed off each other. But, at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised by anything. My husband always has a holdout. Whatever is hurting us the most is what he won’t discuss. He clings to it out of spite. he can’t tell you why. He’ll say it is pure emotion and anger and that he wants to see that I’m willing to give him what he wants before he’ll give me what I want. I’m not asking for what I want. I am epecting what our marriage needs. He doesn’t see it that way.

The counselor talked to my husband seperately and after that is when he said my husband has childhood issues he needs to work through in individual counseling. This was a deal with the present, learn new ways to speak and act counselor who didn’t address childhood issues, so for him to say that confirms what I’ve said all along. This is all about his mommy.

And yes, there’s some resentment there. The first counselor we saw years ago said his mother is toxic and taught him how to set appropriate booundaries. He resented that and stopped going to her, too. I firmly believe all this craziness stems from that.

He is on his way here now. Angry and begrudging, but coming. I’m praying that I have wisdom and strength to do God’s will and that my husband have the humility and courage to do it.


Yikes! If someone said my mother is toxic, I would also leave. While it is quite vogue to label people as “toxic”, every person was created by God. We as Catholics are to have respect for the dignity of other people. This label is an offence to that dignity.

People may commit actions that have toxic results, but, we need to be careful to label the action not the person.

Will pray that you can both find a loving caring, Catholic counselor.


I am so saddened to read your post. At the same time if two people are in a boat and only one is rowing, the boat will just spin in circles, not move forward–no matter how hard the one person works the oar.

Time for you heed some of the good advice here and focus on yourself and your child, not “fixing” or changing your husband. Your energy will be much better spent and perhaps when he sees you are moving forward with or without him, he will choose to join you. If not–at least you are moving in a positive direction and not wasting your energy or wallowing in frustration. Know that prayers and are with you in this very difficult time. As you can see from the many threads that appear on this topic, you are not alone in facing these challenges.


WHERE did you get that idea??? This is a woman who has, humbly and prayerfully, practically stood on her head to try to save her marriage, gone to counseling, etc. Nowhere does she remotely suggest she has been “perfect”.

MissMaryMack, I will pray for you and your difficult situation.


I’m sure the counselor meant that the relationship the OP’s husband had with his mother was toxic. And from the OP’s posts, the husband can’t accept that he has issues - even a loving, caring Catholic counselor will be rejected by him at this point.



I will keep you in my prayers. I read both of your posts in this thread and it sounds to me like you have done all that you can. Place your husband in the Lord’s hands and take care of yourself and your child. Your husband definitely is manipulative and has issues he needs to work on. We all have some kind of baggage. Rest in the Lord’s loving arms and trust that he will provide you with all that you need to get through this.

I will pray for our Blessed Mother’s intercession.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Mary, I am so sorry you are stil going throught this, I have wondered how you are. Never in any of your posts have I felt you representing yourself as perfect! you are in my prayers.


I’m in basically the same situation. Your husband has always lacked the capacity to enter into a marriage because he is gay. This is valid ground for an annulment.

I think you should get out of the marriage. But I know its difficult because I haven’t gotten out of mine.


I am very sorry to find out that your husband is struggling with homosexual feelings, hummingbird. That must be an awful burden for you! I’m going to pray for you and your husnabd. If it is a problem in my marriage, only time will tell.

I had a really bad day on Thursday and I was up all night discussing or praying. On Friday morning, I sort of forced my husband to come over. I really was not being myself. The stress was mounting and I had nothing to lose. I told him he had made a vow and he was going to keep it. I said that I’d get in touch with every person who knew him to encourage him to make holy decisions. He didn’t want me to so he came over. In hindsight, that wouldn’t have been helpful and I shouldn’t have threatened him. I was so desperate that I ddidn’t care. he did come and proceeded to ignore me and do his own thing. He said he’d get our son dressed, then didn’t. He said he’d put up the food he was getting out for himself, then kept making food. I can’t explain how I felt. It was like I was talking to nobody. Like I didn’t exist! I about had a nervous breakdown. I felt myself so close to the edge that I went and put on some headphones, turned the classical station up really loud, and let him do whatever he wanted. I couldn’t face it any longer and keep my sanity. Trying to do everything right when it is all falling down around me was too much to keep up and I just said I had to take time away.

After a few hours, we picked up the marriage books he said he’s been reading. He hadn’t actually started any of them yet. I told him to pick one and we started reading. He tuned it out and was upset that I wanted to review and discuss. Then he got in a good mood all of a sudden and acted like everything was perfect. That lasted from Friday night until Saturday morning. By Saturday, he was done. He slept until 2 and then wandered around eating and playing on the computer until 2 AM. Then he didn’t want to go to church on Sunday.

Going to the other church means a really long drive so we have to get up very early. I said I was going without him then, so he got up and came. Then he ignored me the rest of the day.

I still can’t face it today. I read story books to my son, ate healthy meals, and made myself a cup of tea so I can read a book I’ve been meaning to get to for over a year. I’ve made it to today, and that’s accomplishment enough for me right now.


MissMary, I’m no expert in marriage problems but I think it’s time to take a break from meetings such as these with your husband - at least for a while. He seems to be playing games with your sanity - and possibly even enjoying it??? You have done all you can and going through the same situation again and again would drive anyone over the edge. It doesn’t mean that you can’t work on forgiveness and seeking God’s will…it just means you won’t allow him to manipulate and play you anymore. Surely that is not God’s will for His precious daughter.

You need to look after yourself and your dear son because your husband certainly isn’t at the moment. If I were in your shoes I would not allow him into the house for now. Perhaps arrangements can be made for DS to visit his Dad outside the home? Create a sanctuary for just you and your son where you can nuture yourself and try to bring some peace and quiet into your lives. Don’t let your husband intrude into this.

Put all troubling thoughts aside for a while, lay them at the foot of the cross and take some time to pray quietly, perhaps a rosary or another favourite devotion. Play the music you love best, burn some lovely essential oils, freshen up the house, maybe do a clean-up and a de-clutter.

Cuddle up on the couch and read some favourite stories with your little one, make some popcorn and hot chocolate and watch a favourite DVD. After you put DS to bed, take a long hot bath, light some candles and begin that book you’ve been wanting to get to. Take the time for a face mask and a pedicure or any other girly stuff you’ve been meaning to make time for. Most important of all, allow yourself to relax and enjoy it.

You mentioned that you’ve poured all your energy and focus into your marriage and husband for so long…it would seem you have been running on empty for a long time. You need to reserve that energy and focus for yourself and your son now. Your husband doesn’t deserve it. I am reminded of the scripture passage “Do not throw your pearls before swine”. Your husband seems to be incapable of realising what a jewel he is throwing away and trampling on. Honestly I just feel like taking him by the shoulders and shaking him and shouting “Wake up to yourself!” You have been blessed with a wonderful gift of faith, thanks be to God, with Him you can make it through this. God bless you and your son.


Hi Mary–I’m sooo sorry this is happening. As I read your words…something struck me. My mom had a depression problem when I was little. (she passed away when I was 10) I do remember though, her ups and downs. Sad and depressed one day…eating a lot the next…not eating for a day or two…not speaking for a few hours, then non stop giggling and elation for another few hours. I don’t know, but could it be that your husband is battling some form of depression?:frowning: I’m not excusing the behavior–please know this…but his behavior seems rather up and down…I just thought that that might be a potential problem?:confused:

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