Give her the divorce or not?


#1

Hello, I am new here and I’m not Catholic. However, my wife of 17 years is Catholic and we are raising our 3 children Catholic. Although married in a protestant church, our marriage was approved by the Catholic church. And even though I have never converted, I have always respected and supported my family’s Catholic faith. My problem is that without my realizing it, my devout wife lost her faith about a year ago. This all came to light on Nov. 30th when I came home early one day and caught her with another man in our bedroom. At first, she was in denial and said nothing happened and was desperate to repair our relationship. However, in the last few weeks it has come out that she has actually had sexual relations with 2 other men in the past year - possibly more. I know that one of them was only 20 - my wife is 40. I think she is having some serious issues, and although I am deeply pained at the thought of her being with other men, I am willing to work on the marriage. I think it is important for the 3 kids (ages 15, 13, 11), and I believe that we married for life - for better or worse. She now wants no part of it and keeps insisting she wants a divorce. I took her to see our priest, but that didn’t change her mind. Also, I didn’t realize it, but she had quit going to mass and wasn’t taking the kids to CCD. As of 2 weeks ago I have assumed responsibility for getting them to CCD. Even so, my 13 year old son is so far behind in it that he won’t get confirmed this year with his class. I was never a suspicious husband. My wife had such a deep faith that I always felt our marriage was secure. She was even in charge of the pro-life committee at the parish. She refuses to go to counseling or to even talk about ways to improve the marriage. Is this a lost cause and am I fighting a losing battle? Should I just go ahead with her wishes? Or should I keep stalling and trying to talk to her. Also, she is still sneaking around with another man - I caught her talking to him on the phone the other day. They also email each other.:confused: Finally, if I were to finally convert, would I have to get an annullment (could I get an annullment?) if I ever wanted to remarry. I pray it doesn’t come to that. Your prayers and advice please…


#2

Prayers.

Never give up.


#3

If only half of what you said was true, I’d have already been in the process of getting rid of her. For her to mess up is one thing. To not try to make amends & try to hold the marrage together is another. A woman that does that is not worth keeping.

I already anticipate a rash of comments aginst me for what I just said. To those folks I say … I will not comment back, because I do not care about what you are saying. You obviously have never had to undergo this kind of thing.


#4

Your wife is having some serious issues going on! She needs therapy. Might not hurt for you to get some yourself. While your at it you should be tested for STDs to be on the safe side.
Kids! They will suffer the most through this ordeal more then you and your wife. I don’t know what I would do in your case sir because of the kids. I certainly wouldn’t want to live with a women who did what she did and no longer loved me. Continue seeing a spiritual guide for support. You will need it. Take it one day at a time and trust that the Lord will see you through this mess.
God bless you and our prayers our with you and your family
Dang


#5

*** Praying for you, wife and children…

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
on earth as it as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread and
forgive us our trespasses as we forgive
those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil.
Amen

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.
Blessed art Thou among women,and
blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us now, and
at the hour of our death.
Amen

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, as is and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins,save us from the fires of Hell,
lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Your Mercy.
Amen

Hail Holy Queen
Mother of mercy
hail our life our sweetness and our hope
to thee do we cry poor banished children of Eve
to thee do we send up our sighs
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears

Turn then O Most gracious advocate
thin eyes of mercy towards us
and after this our exile
show unto us the blessed fruits
of thy womb,Jesus

O Clement O Loving O sweet Virgin Mary
pray for us O Holy Mother of God
that we may be made worthy of the promises
of Christ
Amen

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,
be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou,
O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander
through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Adding prayers for the intercession of St. Dymphna and St Edward the Confessor for you and wife. Also prayers for the intercession of Servant of God Father Nelson Baker and St. Monica for family’s needs/intentions…



#6

So sorry to hear this. Your wife has apparently some major mental health issues right now. Her behavior is risky and self-destructive in the psychological sense, but she is risking and could destroy your whole family. What I mean is, she could catch some STD and she risked infecting you. What about the finances? Is there a risk she will suddenly charge your credit cards, empty your savings, retirement accounts?

I think you need to talk both to an attorney and to a mental health professional. You will probably need to take some immediate action to get the situation under control, to control the immediate risks and limit the damage your wife could potentially do to your family. I wouldn’t even trust my wife with the physical safety of my kids, in this situation. If she is having random promiscuous relationships, God forbid, one of those men could attack your kids. I know I would physically separate and take the kids with me. Get the lawyer. I think it’s urgent.


#7

I can relate to your situation in so many ways minus the affair. Married 17 years, 3 kids, and he lost his faith (war related issues) and wants a divorce.

Hold on tight and don't let go. Pray, pray, and pray some more.

My heart goes out to you.


#8

[quote="georgetheseeker, post:1, topic:180936"]
Hello, I am new here and I'm not Catholic. However, my wife of 17 years is Catholic and we are raising our 3 children Catholic. Although married in a protestant church, our marriage was approved by the Catholic church. And even though I have never converted, I have always respected and supported my family's Catholic faith. My problem is that without my realizing it, my devout wife lost her faith about a year ago. This all came to light on Nov. 30th when I came home early one day and caught her with another man in our bedroom. At first, she was in denial and said nothing happened and was desperate to repair our relationship. However, in the last few weeks it has come out that she has actually had sexual relations with 2 other men in the past year - possibly more. I know that one of them was only 20 - my wife is 40. I think she is having some serious issues, and although I am deeply pained at the thought of her being with other men, I am willing to work on the marriage. I think it is important for the 3 kids (ages 15, 13, 11), and I believe that we married for life - for better or worse. She now wants no part of it and keeps insisting she wants a divorce. I took her to see our priest, but that didn't change her mind. Also, I didn't realize it, but she had quit going to mass and wasn't taking the kids to CCD. As of 2 weeks ago I have assumed responsibility for getting them to CCD. Even so, my 13 year old son is so far behind in it that he won't get confirmed this year with his class. I was never a suspicious husband. My wife had such a deep faith that I always felt our marriage was secure. She was even in charge of the pro-life committee at the parish. She refuses to go to counseling or to even talk about ways to improve the marriage. Is this a lost cause and am I fighting a losing battle? Should I just go ahead with her wishes? Or should I keep stalling and trying to talk to her. Also, she is still sneaking around with another man - I caught her talking to him on the phone the other day. They also email each other.:confused: Finally, if I were to finally convert, would I have to get an annullment (could I get an annullment?) if I ever wanted to remarry. I pray it doesn't come to that. Your prayers and advice please....

[/quote]

*Hi george;

I'm so sorry you're in the midst of this marital crisis. :(

I would seek ways to protect yourself and the kids, legally...just in case. I am not an advocate of divorce, it should always be a last resort if all trying fails. But, you can't be the only one trying...if your wife refuses to stop seeing other men, if she refuses counseling, you might have to make some difficult choices. I will pray that she chooses the marriage, you seem like a very loving and patient man to wish to work on things with your wife, despite how she has treated you. Your love is what we're called to do...love when we're not receiving anything back. But, make sure you protect yourself, in case things go sour. I am praying that your wife will come back to her faith, and you. :gopray:*


#9

If she is of the mind where she simply does not want to be married, I'm not sure there is much that will change her mind. And, if she is of that mind and stays married just for the kids it will show and they will be able to tell. If you two stick it out and divorce when the kids are older, it will be the worst. They will figure it out and wonder: if mom and dad's marriage was a lie how much of the rest of our childhood was a lie, too?

I'd push for counseling, etc. and there is always hope, but it does sound grim.


#10

I want to stress this: this week, a little girl was kidnapped and murdered in Maryland. The offender? The BOYFRIEND of the girl’s aunt.

A few weeks ago, there was a lot of media coverage about a predator in Oklahoma who sexually assaulted two siblings, a little girl and a little boy. Who was this predator? It was the BOYFRIEND of the children’s single mother.

Just how difficult is it to understand: you must not bring men with shady backgrounds into your home! THIS WIFE WAS FOUND INSIDE THE FAMILY’S HOME, WITH ANOTHER MAN. And she is messing around with multiple men, and with men who have no problem sleeping with someone else’s wife, in the couple’s bedroom, no less. WHAT IF ONE OF THESE GUYS IS A VIOLENT SEXUAL PREDATOR AND WILL ATTACK THE CHILDREN??

PLEASE REGARD YOUR WIFE AS IF SHE IS MENTALLY UNSTABLE AND CANNOT BE TRUSTED WITH THE SAFETY OF YOUR KIDS!!!


#11

Prayers ascending for you and for your marriage.

Adultery does not nullify a sacramental marriage.

It sounds like the marriage was valid from the beginning, and has hit a rocky place. Don't forget, the sacrament comes with graces to weather the most difficult of storms.

But I am only reading this anonymous forum post, I have no special knowledge.

God's graces be upon you and your children. Sounds like your wife needs the rug pulled out from beneath her.


#12

I’m so sorry to hear this. It really seems bizarre that a woman active in her parish would suddenly start to behave like this. But if she won’t go for help, there is little you can do, unfortunately.

Your wife is putting your children in danger by allowing strange men to be in the home. She is also endangering their spiritual life by not taking them to Mass or CCD. She has put you at risk for STD’s. If I were you I would take the children and leave. It is a matter of health and safety. Do what you need to protect your assets. One of these men could wipe you out financially.

Get a lawyer. Make sure you and your children are protected.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t pray for your wife and be open to her getting help and realizing the error of her ways. You sound like an awesome husband who has great love for his wife and family. Just the fact that you are willing to fight for the marriage says a lot about you. But for now, you need to get the kids out.

I will keep you in my prayers.


#13

Dear George,

I’m sorry you are going through this. I wouldn’t know what to do in your situation either. Keep praying that God help you make the right decision. Divorce is very hard on children, but your wife is not providing a good example either. Do your children know what’s going on?

I think it’s admirable you are willing to work things out with her and that you believe marriage is for life. You are right, but I think she will have to earn your trust back. Whatever is causing her to behave this way, it seems odd that she would be so far gone so fast. The situation does not sound promising…

It sounds like your marriage is valid; so it probably can’t be annulled, but I would still talk to a Catholic Priest about it.

I hope everything works out for you. You seem like a really nice guy.


#14

Let’s not rush to judgement on the validity of Georgetheseekers’s marriage. We need to leave this to the tribunal that will investigate the matter completely if George pursues this route. Our prayers are with you, George. You sound like a wonderful man who is fulfilling your obligations and responsibilities even if your wife is not. You are not Catholic, but agreed that your children would be brought up in the Church. Since your Catholic wife is not doing this, you have stepped up to the plate for the children. I am sure that the Lord will bless you for this. Please take the advise of the other posters to take care of your health. When women find themselves in this situation, they are always advised to see a lawyer, and to take what ever steps are necessary to protect themselves financially. I hope that you have done this as well. Your poor wife has gone off the deep end for whatever reason. You need to protect yourself and your children.


#15

I go with Joseph. a tribunal investigation is not even on the radar yet so don’t even be worrying about that now. follow the advice, professional help, call Monday morning early. Your children are at risk as long as she stays in the home. She is going through some type of psychological or even mental health crisis and needs treatment. If you found out her problems stemmed from a bacteria or cancer how would you deal with it.


#16

Thank you to everyone who has responded to my question. I really appreciate all of your comments and advice. As you can imagine, all of this has happened so suddenly that I am not even thinking clearly yet. My whole world has been turned upside down. The children do not know anything. I am going to get some legal advice this week. Never thought I’d have to deal with this.


#17

No one can force someone to stay in a marriage if they really want it to end. I agree with others who pointed out that this woman has brought people into her home for adulterous sex and that is potentially dangerous. For her to be unrepentent, admitting multiple affairs and refusing counseling, it sounds like the marriage has been a sham on her part for some time. Protecting one’s mental health and the childrens’ needs to be a priority while also seeking legal advice. Counseling can be of help for the faithful spouse and the children even if the wife refuses to go to marital counseling.

May God hold everyone involved in His hands, especially the children.


#18

Hello George, as your wife's behavior changed so dramatically I talked to my husband who is a Neurologist to ask if anything could trigger the change you describe. He said yes anything going on with the prefrontal area of the brain which controls our impulses. A brain tumor for example, or early dementia or a severe blow to the head such as a car accident (although an exterior injury would be bad and obvious). He asked what reasons your wife gave for her behavior. He said if she doesn't have much of a reason or denies things happened when there is obvious evidence to the contrary then that could indicate further medical investigation.

He recommend that your wife see a Neurologist and have an MRI (brain scan) to rule out any serious physical issues.

Of course her personality change may have no physical cause but such a dramatic abandoning of all her moral structure can point to Neurological issues. At our last parish the Principal of the school started to display very strange behavior that initially had people thinking that she was having a mental crisis. It turned out she had a brain tumor.

It would be wise to rule out any physical reason for her behavior. We'll be praying for your whole family.


#19

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.