I have really been struggling with something lately…In a nutshell…my H left me and our 3 kids last March and is living with another woman. Without going into too many details, we have all been through the ringer. To this day my H denies that their relationship is romantic in nature, but I don’t buy it. I have recently cut off all contact with my H (with the exception of text messaging and only regarding child and financial issues)

Here is my delima…how do I forgive my H while he is still hurting me and our kids by continuing his behavior? I know that forgiving him would set me free, and if he were to come to me and ask for forgiveness as well as do all that needs to be done to fix our marriage, family and his alcohol issues, I would forgive him (with the strong stipulation that he enter major counseling etc…) But how do I forgive while he is in the midst of sinning? I have prayed for him night and day and I realize that he may never face the issues he has produced, and for this reason I am stuck in my torment. Any advise on how to forgive, or if I even need to forgive…I mean as long as he is in the grips of sin, is there even anything to forgive at this point? Any advice would be most appreciated


Forgiveness requires that an offender understands that s/he chose a course of action that was hurtful, destructive or immoral; accepts the responsiblity for such conduct by recognizing that s/he has caused damage to a relationship and/or another person; has expressed regret for their error and taken the initiative to remedy or alleviate the damage they caused.

From what little information we have about your situation, it doesn’t sound like anything close to that has happened. Your husband is either in denial, too self-absorbed to appreciate or recognize the damage he has and continues to cause or is too sauced to know the difference. Either which way, your primary concern should not be worrrying about forgiving him, but rather focusing on caring for the needs of your kids (and yourself) as best you can.

What you “feel” is rightous indignation and anger at how profoundly your husband has failed you as a father and betrayed you as a husband. For the sake of your own conscience you should make every effort to avoid wallowing in despair or harboring hatefulness or feelings of vengence towards him. But until he removes himself from this scandalous situation and takes the initiative to apologize and take responsibility for his family again, frankly, he doesn’t care about nor does he deserve your forgiveness.

I am sorry for this sad situation and hope you have family or close friends upon whom you can rely for support now.


You are absolutely right Island…at this stage it is futile to even consider forgiveness. I guess I was just trying to do the right thing and be forgiving. I have already found an Al-anon meeting to go to in my area tonight!

I still have the question: is alcoholism and adultery-betrayal connected? I mean would he still have committed adultery if he wasn’t an alcoholic? For some reason this is a very important distinction for me. A very small part of me feels like I am unlovable in his eyes and he just wanted to get rid of me regardless of his drinking because he found a better person for himself. I know the reality is much different than the romantic vision of them that I have in my eyes, but it makes me wonder. And no, I NEVER thought he would do this to me and our children. The only sort of apology he made was in the beginning and it was half baked at best. He told me that he wouldn’t blame the kids and I for hating him after what he has done, but in retrospect, I think he was just trying to cut the ties to us once and for all and probably wants us to hate him so he doesn’t have to deal with us anymore…It is just so heartbreaking, but we will get through this with the love of Jesus and the comfort of our Blessed Mother…and of course the guidance and support of the people in this forum :thumbsup:


no matter whether he asks for your forgiveness or not, you want to forgive him and move on… it is for your own good…
i know i am trying to… remember you cannot make someone love you or want you. the only thing you can do is love them… but if they do not want that love, what do you do?
let it go my dear. For your own sake and your childrens sake. I know there are people out there who say that you should stand for your marriage and i assure you that you have done that… but at some point, you have to use discernment and ask Jesus to help u move on…
I have felt a lot of peace recently from Mary by praying the rosary… and the way I pray is that if HE thinks that this marriage should be upheld, let HIM bring my husband back and restore the marriage but if the divorce is finalized ( the date is april ), then i know that it is not HIS will and i need to move on… which I have accepted and will. Pray all you can but set yourself a deadline please!!!
You have to set a deadline to end your mental agony. I feel your pain and i admire your fortitude to have endured so far.


Excellent…you are sure to find some good support there from people who have already walked this road.

[quote=]…I still have the question: is alcoholism and adultery-betrayal connected?.. A very small part of me feels like I am unlovable in his eyes and he just wanted to get rid of me regardless of his drinking because he found a better person for himself.

Ah, sweetie…don’t go there. Let’s just think about this for a moment… He found a woman who was so desperate for a man she chose an active alcoholic, was willing to crawl into bed with a married man, participated in the lies, deceit and destruction of a family with 3 innocent children…and you think for even a moment he “found a better person”??? I would suggest this pathetic creature is in need of as many prayers as your husband.

And do we think the adultery is related to alcoholism? Al-anon will help you understand that one better than I can, but consider how self-absorbed, emotionally imbalanced and physically sick one has to be to poison yourself daily with alcohol. It is no surprise the destruction carried into his relationships and responsibilities. He may need to hit bottom–wherever and whatever that is for him–before he can be restored to the man he once was. But no one, including you, can make the choice to turn things around for him. I would make sure you are protected legally from any financial damage he could do to you (running up debt, unpaid taxes, borrowing against joint assets) even if that means a legal separation. The future of your marriage depends on his ability to get well. I would also second Mariam’s advice in the last post to get close to the Blessed Mother. I have never faced your circumstances, but She has proven to be a faithful source of great strength and comfort. I will pray for you as well.


Thank you both so much…your words are both comforting and realistic…funny thing also, I have been praying the rosary for almost a week now and I totally look forward to the end of the evening when I crawl into my warm comfortable bed and my dog sleeping next to me and I pray the rosary. It truly is such a comfort and I know that our Blessed Mother will guide and comfort me.

Also, about the OW, I have prayed for her as well (although with not as much vigor :wink: ) but I can see how damaged she also must be to get herself into this situation. When this first happened, I sent her a letter letting her know that me and our children love him very much and I was willing to do whatever it takes to make our marriage work and that what she is doing is wrong. I haven’t had any contact with her since then, and I will not…she is not worth my time and I said my peace. To speak with her would give her more value than she is worth in my opinion and I will not justify her position by doing so…my H never takes her out to see his family (his mother will not have her in her house, she made that very clear) he NEVER brings her along when he is out with our kids, our kids never go to her “trailer” and all of this is done on his behalf. I think he is so ashamed of her, of himself and of what he is doing that he can’t bring himself to declare his love for her in public.

He truly is stuck in his perdiciment…doesn’t know how to go back, can’t move forward. It really is pathetic and part of me feels so sad for his torment, but I have 3 wonderful boys to raise and myself to take care of, I don’t really have time to coddle him. But…at this point, I will not file for divorce. Jesus will make it loud and clear when and if that time comes…


Hi Kelly,

I am in a similar situation to you, only I gave my ex an ultimatum a year after finding out about his adulterous behavior. He had to choose us (his wife and three children) or his adulterous life. He couldn’t have both. I couldn’t live with the uncertainty and profound disprespect any more …over the year, I found out that he had actually been engaging in adulterous behavior for the previous five years, and had become so accustomed to lying that he could no longer discern the truth.

He choose his new lifestyle, not us. Do I feel rejected? Yes. But you know what? He is the one with the problem, not me. He is not thinking rationally, and I cannot help him with that. I gave him a year of my best, and he still chose to leave. So the ball is now in his court.

I understand the need to forgive, but he never asked for it. I am praying to forgive him, nonetheless, but I am also feeling very hurt, and that is normal. The kids and I are able to move forward and heal now that he has made his choice. We are all going for counselling through our Catholic services, and that will be a big help in letting go of this travesty of a marriage. A man in a true sacramental marriage does not do the kinds of things my ex is doing. My conscience is clear about both getting a civil divorce, and an anulment. He is the one who chose to leave, not me.

You may need to put that choice to your husband, so that you and your family can move forward and begin healing. It is not easy, but the alternative is not a real marriage, is it?


It is my experience with an alcoholic husband that abandoned me and his 3 children that the man in question is ill. You are fighting for the attention and affection from a man who is incapable of giving you and the children his attention and affection because his disease tells him it is more important to seek comfort from a bottle than from you. While it is natural to feel betrayed and even unloved by this man, please understand that he is sick. It isn’t that you are unloveable or his children are easy to cast aside…it just isn’t so! I went through all the same feelings too. What helped me was setting up a time every day for the children and myself to pray for their dad. Praying made the children feel like they were doing something to help their dad and lo and behold, I found that my attitude changed too. You can’t harbor grudges against a person that is ill and you are praying for. When I realized this fact, I found that it was much easier to forgive and move on as a single mom. Yes he still makes me angry on occasion, but it isn’t an all consuming, never ending, self depreciating anger it once was. It is a regret that things couldn’t work out the way God intended and it’s a gratitude that my children didn’t have to see their dad hit bottom. There are some advantages of course… like I have total control when making decisions concerning their education and household rules. After the annulment I found the freedom to date and found a God loving man that absolutely puts us first in his life. This took years, and yes, I swore I would NEVER date let alone marry again. But God had other plans for me in my life. Trust in God… trust that his plan for you is better than any plan you could make for yourself, it may be God’s will that you reconcile after he gets sober, or it may be God’s will that you raise those blessings without a dad, or it may be that the one God truly meant for you is waiting for you to be healed to enter your life.

Take care of yourself, take care of your kids, let God take care of as much as possible…you won’t be disappointed. Praying for you!


It saddens me to hear of so many marriages ended in divorce. I can sympathize with what you are going through. My sister had her ex ask for a divorce after he found another woman. He did not think of the 15 years of marriage. He did not think of this two children. He just thought of himself and how happy he will be with this new woman. One month after the final divorce, he remarried his lover. He denies having this woman while married to my sister, but the evidence tells another tale. Now his children suffer and still a year after the divorce have not accepted all this and think they are in a nightmare. Just today my little nephew was sick and I took him back home after his father dropped him off at school. My sister, his mother, was there at the school bringing coats for her children for she knows her ex would not put his coats on the kids. It was 36 degree outside and sure enough the kids showed up with no coats or jackets. While in my car, my nephew looked at me and said, “My sister and I have a plan to get daddy to divorce ______.” He said he wants his dad to divorce this woman and remarry his mother. I told him that even if his dad did divorce that so much has happened that his mother may not take him back and he was so sad. He said he doesn’t understand how his dad can have another woman when he was married to his mother. The dad lived with this woman immediately after leaving my sister and so the kids had not time to get use to the divorce before seeing their dad with another woman. Divorce just hurts the kids so much.

I will keep you in prayer for I know that you suffer and your children suffer as well. Just show your kids so much love and the counseling is going to help them as well. My niece and nephew can’t even see a counselor for their dad doesn’t allow it for my sister has shared parenting with him. If you know that your husband is an alcoholic, before you do get a divorce try to get sole custody which allows you to be the only one to make major decisions about your children, until your husband gets sober. I am so sorry that your husband, like so many men, have chosen the other woman instead of their own family. He will reject it some day. My ex BIL is not happier with this new wife. In fact the kids tell of a vey angry household at their dad’s. Your dh has alcoholism to fight but is in denial and nothing can be done until he admits he has a problem. I will pray for him as well to see that he does have some problems. I will pray that the Holy Spirit will touch his heart for conversion and healing. He needs this to occur before he will ask you to forgive him. He has to come to the knowledge that he did hurt you and his children and continues to hurt you and his children.

If you don’t mind me asking, how old are your children? May God bless them and heal all of your broken hearts.


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