Failing marriage


My name is Alicia, my husbands name is Tom. We have been together since 1999 and married since August 6th, 2005. We have been through a lot together. I have had 8 miscarriages in total. I was raised by my grandparents from about 3 weeks old. My grandpa walked me down the aisle and gave me away. In 2006, they both passed away just 4.5 months between each other. I lost my parents that year. My mom and I didnt have a relationship until I was 13 and my dad still doesnt want one to this day. My husband and I went on to have our two children, Adam Thomas Gerald named after my husband Tom and my grandpa, Gerald, he was born on his due date, November 16th, 2007. My daughter then came along, Grace Margerry named after my grandparents also, Margerry is Marge and Gerry combined, she was born 7 days late on October 7th, 2008.

Tom and I have had our fair share of issues in not only the marriage but also the relationship prior to the marriage. There are things I cannot move past, for example, he had cheated on me with a few of my friends in 2001 and then again a couple years later, before we were married. I am trying to keep it behind me, but I cant forgive and forget. After 6 years of trying to have a baby, Adam was born. We did want another however Grace came faster then we were hoping. Tom then decided he didnt want two children. When Grace was born, he neglected her completely, only talking to her when she was crying (she had Colic very bad) and in an upset tone. I was on the fence with a divorce. I couldnt handle how he strived to keep Adam happy yet pushed Grace away. I believe if you’re going to be a father, you need to be one, there is no picking and choosing. He has gotten better but still has a lot to work on in the parenting area. With him and I though, there is no communication, there is no feelings being shown and he doesnt seem to want to spend time with me or the family. Hes too busy doing things, working on the house, puttering with the car, etc. I dont feel he loves me and I havent for years. I get up with the kids, Grace still wakes throughout the night. Im up in the early morning with them and take care of them, alone, through out the day with little to no help from him. I clean the house, laundry, etc etc with no help from him. Infact, he often will leave a trail of stuff for me to pick up!

Its hard for me to stay here feeling like Im always getting the cold shoulder from him. I dont know what to do or where to go from here. I bought The Love Dare books, but he didnt want to do them with me. He doesnt believe in counsellors and Im personally afraid to seperate/divorce.
I dont know what to do.


I know there are problems - have you tried dating again. It can be very difficult with the kids but it may open up some communication channels.


Dear Alicia,
Your children are still very small. Marriage with little ones is tough, even when the relationship isn’t broken. I remember having similar feelings when my older two children were small. It seemed like I did everything and my husband did nothing but provide a paycheck. Not only that, he didn’t seem to be very interested in ME…no conversation, no affection. It was pretty awful and I, too, contemplated divorce.
One thing that really helped me through that time was that God knocked me in the head and made me realize how negative I was being. When you are experiencing such isolation, it’s really easy to only focus on everything your spouse is NOT. Honestly, one day as I was praying for direction, it occurred to me how far from perfect I was. (I’m not saying that you think you are perfect.) I thought about how hurt I would be if all HE ever thought about was my negative qualities. From that day on, I decided that I would try to focus more on his positive attributes…his strong faith, his handyman abilities, his hard work ethic. Every time I was tempted to dwell on something that was negative about him, I made myself think of something positive. Believe me, some days it was hard to come up with one thing I was happy about! But, the more I focused on his really good traits, the more he began to respond in kind. I’m happy to say that we now have 22 years under our belts.
We didn’t have some of the issues you mentioned…infidelity and miscarriage. I don’t want to minimize those in the least. If he won’t do counseling as a couple, is it possible for you to get some for yourself?

Praying for you,



Maybe it’s worth looking into whether the marriage is valid before considering anything.

Maybe talk to a priest about how likely it is that an annulment would be granted before doing anything.


Is your husband a practicing Catholic? Were you married in the Church?


It’s easy to remember all the bad when things aren’t going well. It can make it seem like everything is going wrong, when really it is us that aren’t seeing things in the proper light.

Give it time. Divorce is horrible, nasty, damaging to children, and rips the soul apart. Pray for your husband (give you more grace to love him), pray for your kids, and pray for your marriage. Be brutally honest and tell him how you feel, even as honest as the fact that it’s making you want out of the marriage. He may not realize how badly you are hurt in all of this.

He may feel that he is doing his part by providing, and leaving it at that. He may be doing the best he knows how, help him realize you need more.

Divorce should never be an option. You made a commitment to one another. I saw someone suggest looking into annulment, I highly discourage this. Instead of looking for ways out, look for ways to fall into mad passionate love with your husband again. It can happen. Also remember that every marriage goes through rough spots. With the grace of God, strength of Christ, and will of your spirit, and love you show to your husband, things can turn around.

I saw you mention the love dare books. I don’t know what those are, but I am guessing they are related to the ideas presented in “Fireproof.” I’d say instead of trying to make him do them with you, you just do them for HIM. Yes, it’s not fair and asks a LOT of you, but I know when my husband and I are fighting, if he pulls away and I work doubly hard to show him that I love him, and go above and beyond for him, it gets his attention like nothing other, and it sets his heart in a good place for the necessary discussion. But you can’t do it in a way that lays guilt on him or shows that you EXPECT something in return. Just stupid silly things like making him his favourite dinner, or just backing off him entirely about any and all housework. Say something nice to him every day, and compliment him every day, not expecting ANYTHING in return.

Don’t look into ways out, look for ways IN.



I’m sorry to hear about all this, and since he doesn’t do counseling, it puts you in a bad situaion. The thought of divorce/seperation is repulsive to me, but sometimes you might need to use it as an intervention. Maybe your husband could see it as a rock bottom and straighten himself out.


I dont really believe in divorce either, however I do believe in whats best for the two married people and the children. I saw how it effected my son when Tom and I were dealing with his actions toward Grace. They definitely feel the stress between us. I havent fallen out of love with my husband. I love him with all my heart. I have since the first day I met him 10 years ago, that has yet to change. I love him more then I ever have. I know my love for him will never end. I do worry though about his love for me. I know how we are raised has a lot to do with how we turn out. We are both still young, he will be 27 in November and I turned 24 in May. He was raised in a non religious home with his grandparents who made him believe that you take care of you, you do not show your feelings and no one has your back except yourself. I do understand its hard for him to see past that, but we’ve been together for 10 years. I have clearly voiced my concerns many times and yes, sometimes he does concider it, but after a week or so, everything goes back the way it was.

Tom now is still not religious, though he does now believe in God. We are both not in any certain religion. I come from a Catholic family. My grandparents who raised me were Catholic, my mom, uncle and aunt are all Catholic, though all non practicing. Tom doesnt see a point to going to church, but I have decided that I need to start at least getting in contact with a local Catholic church and some Catholic people. There are of course many things I need to learn about this religion. I need to know that God didnt take my grandparents so I could have my children, I need to know that He is here with me through the tough times and most of all, I need to know He is real and there is a Heaven. I question Him a lot since my grandparents passings. Perhaps its me dealing with a depression I dont want to face? Regardless, Ive lost tough with Him. We were not married in a church either. We had a little outdoor wedding, it rained as we were trying to light the unity candles. :slight_smile: To be honest, I questioned it, the marriage thing then. Until I saw him as I started to walk down the aisle. His face covered in tears, I know then that he loved me. I just dont know if he loves me like that still. I need to ask my questions to God, I feel I can only find my answers in Him. I live out of city limits and dont drive, so its very hard for me to go to church, I did email the Sacred Heart church here in town about 4 days ago, I have yet to hear anything back. I think Im too nervous to call. The last time I was doing anything regarding God and religion, I was about 9 years old in Bible School. I moved shortly after and my grandparents didnt get me into anything else here. I dint really know where to start.

Its always been a dream of mine to have my children babtised, though as far as I know, it isnt possible unless we are both practicing Catholics for at least a certain amount of time, including Bible study, attending Mass, etc. I would also like to be babtised. I think it may open a new door or at least a new window for me and the way I see life, death and also love.

Anyway, I havent given up on my marriage yet, I do want to keep trying. Hes the one Ive wanted since I was barely 14 years old! I still believe in the vows we said on August 6th, 2005, and I believe that there has to be SOME way we can make this work. God did not created marriage to be seperated, it was to become one. I dont want to leave him at all, it breaks my heart to even think it, but sometimes, I dont know if it would hurt more with or without him.

Thank you all and God bless!


Have you thought of seeing a professional counselor to discuss these issues?


Learning about your faith, getting back to Mass and into friendship with God is the most important thing you can do.

As you are Catholic (I assume you were baptized as a Catholic?) and attempted marriage outside the Church, that is very key.

The grace that God gives to a valid, sacramental marriage cannot be matched.

See a Priest.


Hi, Alicia! I think it’s wonderful that you are here and asking these questions. You obviously are on the right track to solving your problems, learning about your faith, and hopefully restoring your marriage.
It can be very scary to ask for help and forums like this are “safe” so they are a good first step. Take time and look around, ask questions, etc. I’m sure there are people who can recommend to you some good books and so on.
At some point though you will need to talk to someone. A previous poster recommended you talk with both a priest and a counselor. I agree but only you know which is the more pressing need, hence where to go first. My prayers are with you that you find someone trustworthy who can help you and give some guidance that you need. Take care and God bless!


My heart goes to you and you are brave for coming here and trying to make things better.

I hate it when people jump to giving advice about divorce and annulments without even knowing you :frowning:

My feeling is that you suffer from fear of abandonment. Your father wants nothing to do with you. This has a huge impact on a woman’s ability to have healthy relationships with men. You are young and my heart burns for you b/c I can feel your sadness and confusion.

Your husband is also young and I think he’s pulling away from what he feels is an overwhelming about of responsibilities. He feels that he’s doing his duty by putting money on the table, but he feels overwhelmed with the responsibility of a new baby daughter. You mentioned that he’s getting better with Grace. Perhaps when Grace becomes a toddler, your husband will warm up to her even more. Give it time and be patient with your husband.

My hunch is that you guys can get through this. Just pray like you’ve never prayed before. Go and chat with a priest about this also. Take it one day at a time and I agree with another poster; begin looking and focusing on your husband’s good qualities.

Every morning when you wake up…think of one kind thing you can do for your husband that would make him feel loved by you…something special in his lunch…a romantic dinner when he gets home…put on some makeup and a nice dress and give him a big hug when he gets home…tell him you missed him…tell him you are happy to see him…focus on how good of a father he is to your son and tell him so…tell him how much better he’s doing with Grace…tell him sweet things that Grace did that day…

I believe that in these situations it is the woman who can glue a marriage back together if she is forgiving of her husband and committed to making it work.

I would recommend the self help book For Better Forever:

It would be such a helpful book for you at this stage in your marriage. I think it will change your whole perspective on marriage if you read it.

I also agree with Kage_AR that perhaps making your marriage into a sacrament would be good, but I think that firstly you need to work on building your marriage.

You can do it. He sounds like he’s a nice guy…he’s just young and overwhelmed. Nuture your relationship and help calm his anxiety.

I will pray for you!


Kage_ar, I have never been to Mass before, but I do want to start attending. Yes, a friendship in God would be good for me right now. Im not actually Catholic, I come from a Catholic family, I wasnt babtized because my parents werent married and my dad isnt Catholic. My mom also doesnt practice. I would like to get babtized, along with my kids, but my husband isnt Catholic and wont go to church at all.

philialeaf, I wasnt sure where to start sine the Sacred Heart church here didnt email me back. I thought a Catholic forum might be a good start. I would like to start going to church, I can get my lisence in April if I pass the driving test. If I do, I would like to start going. Unless I can find someone to car pool with, that might be possible. I just dont know anyone who goes.


The FIRST thing is to make the marriage valid.

That is what she needs to talk to a priest about.

Sacramental will follow if her husband will become a Christian.


But the problem lies in the fact that her husband at this moment wouldn’t agree to it YET. She needs to work on her marriage and I also mentioned her seeing a priest in the mean time and of course to pray pray pray (hence a friendship with God).

This will all take time. It took St. Monica a lifetime!

St. Monica went through a difficult marriage and perhaps to the original poster, reading her story would be good for you too. I have a link about her life. She was an amazing wife and mother…she eventually converted her husband to Christianity as did she convert her son who became a huge saint and father of the church: St. Augustine.

Hang in there and talk candidly with a priest. If you can’t get transportation, the priest could come to your house to see you. “Ask and you shall receive.”

Don’t be shy. God loves you very much and wants to help you. Our priests are wonderful vessels from God. Some of the best advice I have ever received is from priests while in Confession or counselling.


Serap, thank you. I did ask for advice and didnt give my life story. I appreciate everything everyone has said. :slight_smile: Im still new here, no one knows me yet. Theres still time for that.
Yes, I know I have a fear of being alone. My dad tried to kidnap me when I was about 4, and then tried to kill me when I was 13. I, for some reason, still want him in my life and though he has made some drastic changes for the better, he still doesnt know how to be a father. He doesnt call, nothing. He lives 8 hours away. Since losing my grandparents, I cant help but want to be close with everyone in my family, make sure that everyone understands how much I love them. I was far from ready to lose my grandparents…the only parents I knew. So close together. My grandma had a brain injury when I was 13, she had fallen and hit her head on June 5th, 2006 just after my birthday on May 29th. That day, she slipped into a stage 4 coma and was put on life support. The brain surgeon down south said “he could fix her like bread and butter.” So she was flown to Vancouver only for the surgeon to say it was too late. On June 6th (6/6/6…very bothersome to me) we left to go take my grandma off life support after having her last rights read to her. She was able to breathe on her own. She was flown back home the morning of June 10th, she passed away at 7:11pm that night. I sat with her while everyone left, I held her hand and I talked to her. I had all the faith in the world when she fell that she would pukk through, even while laying there in the Hospice, I thought shed snap out of it. When she did die, I was in denial and still thought she would just wake up. It was at her viewing that it clicked, and again, as everyone left, I stood there looking at her. My hubby wanted to leave and I started to cry and asked him how I was supposed to just walk away. I still dont have the answer to that and still havent been able to get on with life.

My grandpa had had a big heart attack in March 2006 and then was going through testing because he was having miniature strokes. He was in the hospital when my grandma fellm, she had actually just gotten home from seeing him that morning. Anyway, July 10th 2006, exactly a month after my grandma passed, my grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread covering 3/4 of his brain. They gave him 6 months without chemo and radiation, and a year with. Amazingly, he chose to fight, even after losing his wife of 45 years. November 18th he turned 65 years old and had a good meal…that was his last meal. He passed away at 11:54pm on November 24th. I stoof there looking at him at his viewing, thinking that I was selfish for wanting them back since they are both free of pain and together again. That love was meant to stay together. It just hurts so much to be living life without them. All the firsts without them were heart wrenching, the special days like the births of my children for example, I cried while in labor because I wanted my grandma. I know that sounds childish, but she was my biggest support and to have both of our dreams come true, it wouldve meant the world to her.

That could be part of my abandonment issues also. I already feel alone.

Grace is an amazing little girl. I am so amazingly blessed to have not only one but two precious miracles here with me. I had given up hope after 6 years, I thank God for them everyday. Grace is great at crawling and walking with furnature and what not. She should be walking by her birthday Id say. Hes definitely been better now that shes mobile, but he has a short temper with her and still pushes her aside to play with Adam…when he plays with Adam.

Tom is a great man now. He has made his mistakes like cheating and he hit me a couple times in the begining, but hes not that person now. People really can change if they want to. When hes with the kids, he is an amazing daddy. He will do the work to the house when needed, also to the car. I know he has been stressed with work. He works for a shipping and recieving company, they just moved locations, to a warehouse with another company who happens to be their compitition. Not only that, but with the economy the way it is, its hard to think you have a secure job, which is a hard thought with a stay at home mom/wife, 2 small children and a mortgage. He has voiced that to me, I do understand him, but he fails to see that it scares me too. My grandparents went without so I could eat. I know how it feels, bt also know that there are places to go to get help if we need it.

I will take a look at that book, thank you. I wonder if Books & Co. carry it.
Thank you. :slight_smile:
God Bless.

Thank you for the link, I will definitely read over her story.
For what its worth, Tom and I do want to be remarried if we can work through this. Im not sure when, but we do want to if possible. Perhaps then we could do it in a church in front of God.


I don’t really have much advice to give on marriage, but you don’t need to both be Catholic to get the babies baptized. I’d call the Archdiocese to find a parish near you, and talk to the priest there. He will let you know what the policy is on baptisms, and most likely can give you counseling for the marriage as well.


Oh really? I had no idea. I would still like to become Catholic, to be closer to God and to know that He is with me through everything. I would also like my children to come to church with me when they are able to. Its a choice I had been thinking of for many years and am finally right to dip my feet in.


I hope you’ll let us all know when you get the chance to talk to a priest and maybe start going to church. We will be praying for you. God bless! :slight_smile:

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