Husband Asked for Divorce and I am Conflicted


#1

My husband of 12 years asked me for a divorce. His reasoning is, "it's just not working out." He wants a no fault. But I am conflicted, my heart says "divorce" but I read about the Church and it's teachings and I question myself because the teachings are confusing to me.

My husband and I are both Catholic, although he doesn't attend Mass and never did. He does not take part in the sacraments expect when I "make" him go at Christmas. If I were hard pressed to pinpoint who he worships, I'd say it's money. Everything he does in his life centers around money. Before we were married, we talked about having children, after we were married he said, "no, they cost too much money." He did agree to have one child, but no more.

He said one of the specific reasons he wants to divorce me is because I don't make enough money and don't take my career advancement seriously enough because I have no desire to be a CEO. I raise our daughter, do all the housework, do most of the yardwork, work fulltime at a decent paying job.... so I am not a lazybones. While I work fulltime, my primary job is mother and I put my daughter over the job--I don't want to be a CEO when I have a child to raise. But by doing that did I wrong my husband in some regard? Was I putting my needs and our child's over his (forsaking all others?)

He also had what is called an emotional affair. I suspect it was more than that, but that's all I can prove. I found train tickets in another woman's name, found out they shared hotel rooms together on multiple occasions, he would go places and "panic" when I asked to go along, and I suspect some of his "late night working" is seeing her or someone else. He often remembers us having sex when we did not (I think he's mixing me up with other people). He says they are just friends and I am making too much out of it. He's had other such relationships thought out marriage.

I asked him to try marriage counseling. At first he went, but he joked about it and then decided it was too much money and stopped going. It was at this point that I "Gave up" on the marriage. I felt like I was putting all this effort and self sacrifice into trying to preserve it and he wasn't doing anything. When I stopped trying to appease him at the sake of everything and everyone else, the house of cards fell down.

I slowly grew to hate him too over this time period of trying to preserve the marriage. I mean really hate him with a loathing I never felt before. This hatred seemed to consume me from the inside and it spread to me hating his family members as well (for no reason!) I confessed this sin often, but it wouldn't let go of me. Finally, the day he asked for a divorce it seems to vanish. I felt free from this hatred (and I feel guilty for that hatred now--where I didn't before). I know it might not be the correct things to say, but it's like a demon in me was banished.

Now that we are separated, life seems good to me again. I feel happy and loving for the first time in years. I no longer hate anyone and it feels so good. And it feels so good to be off the "keep up with the Jones" treadmill with his money and martial possession obsessions. I don't have to worry about STDs anymore too.

But I worry that I am doing the wrong thing. What about our daughter? I feel badly because she too seems happier now that her father is gone. I try to preserve their relationship, but she wants to distance herself too. She cries when I bring her to him to spend time. She said she hated the way "daddy yelled at you all the time." (he didn't really "yell" but was very sharp toned and condescending... like the way you'd scold a "bad dog.") I worry how a divorce in the future will effect her--maybe it will be good or maybe bad. I don't know.

And what about God? It says in scripture that he hates divorce. But I can't imagine why a loving God would want me to stay in a situation where I was so miserable where (frankly) my husband abused the marriage (not me, but the marriage itself) and where I sank to despair and hatred. I wonder, maybe it's supposed to be my cross to bear and I am letting myself get lead astray by this separation and pending divorce?

I also think about annulment now. I think I might seek one on the grounds that he never wanted to have children (where before we were married we sat in front of a priest and agreed we would!). I want the annulment because I think I might like to be free to marry again at some point and have that large family I want to have. But is it sinful for me to want this now? We aren't even divorced yet--but at the same time I feel like we were never even married.

I think he'd go along with an annulment because on our wedding day he said to me, "if this doesn't work out, we can just get this annulled right?" Although in retrospect, that should have been a red flag for me.

Anyone have any advice or insight... please? I want to talk to my parish priest, but I am afraid at the same time of what he will say or think of me. I think I need some time to get the guts to face him.

Thank you all, and God bless you all too.


#2

[quote="truoc, post:1, topic:205913"]
My husband of 12 years asked me for a divorce. His reasoning is, "it's just not working out." He wants a no fault. But I am conflicted, my heart says "divorce" but I read about the Church and it's teachings and I question myself because the teachings are confusing to me.

B]I think you answered your own question here

[/quote]

I felt like I was putting all this effort and self sacrifice into trying to preserve it and he wasn't doing anything. When I stopped trying to appease him at the sake of everything and everyone else, the house of cards fell down.

I slowly grew to hate him too over this time period of trying to preserve the marriage. I mean really hate him with a loathing I never felt before. This hatred seemed to consume me from the inside and it spread to me hating his family members as well (for no reason!) I confessed this sin often, but it wouldn't let go of me. Finally, the day he asked for a divorce it seems to vanish. I felt free from this hatred (and I feel guilty for that hatred now--where I didn't before). I know it might not be the correct things to say, but it's like a demon in me was banished.

Now that we are separated, life seems good to me again. I feel happy and loving for the first time in years. I no longer hate anyone and it feels so good. And it feels so good to be off the "keep up with the Jones" treadmill with his money and martial possession obsessions. I don't have to worry about STDs anymore too.

I*f someone said the below statement to me on my Wedding day I would have walked out.*

I think he'd go along with an annulment because on our wedding day he said to me, "if this doesn't work out, we can just get this annulled right?" Although in retrospect, that should have been a red flag for me.

/QUOTE]

I really don't have any answers for you but I'll pray for your family.


#3

Definitely speak with your priest. Do not be embarrassed to see him.

Prayers for you and your family.


#4

[quote="truoc, post:1, topic:205913"]
I think he'd go along with an annulment because on our wedding day he said to me, "if this doesn't work out, we can just get this annulled right?" Although in retrospect, that should have been a red flag for me.

[/quote]

Yes, it should have been a red flag. It seems you picked the wrong man. From the outset of the marriage, did he intend it to be permanent, did he intend to be faithful, did he intend to be open to children? From your post, it seems not. I think that any one of those factors, if present from the beginning, would be grounds for nullity. Speak to a priest about this. And I would not force your daughter to visit him. It is no more pleasant for her than it is for you.


#5

[quote="truoc, post:1, topic:205913"]
I think he'd go along with an annulment because on our wedding day he said to me, "if this doesn't work out, we can just get this annulled right?" Although in retrospect, that should have been a red flag for me.

[/quote]

If your husband really said that on your wedding day, then yes, you probably can get a decree of nullity. But one thing at a time....

Is it even possible for a valid marriage to be made of the relationship you have? If the facts are as you say, I think your divorce is a foregone conclusion. Talk to a priest about it, because this is not something you get from a stranger on the internet.

I would not be worried about talking to your parish priest. He will not say anything about you, and what he will probably think about is how he can help you. Priests do not give up family for a celibate life so they can gossip about the Catholics who come to them with help on their problems. In the meantime, you are still being tormented with guilt over having feelings. I think you'd benefit very much from scheduling a time outside of the scheduled confession times to talk to your pastor or confessor. You need a good-sized chunk of time to talk about this, not just the five or ten minutes you have to confess your sins. If he suggests you find a Catholic counsellor for more in-depth counselling, do it.

My advice to everyone who wants a divorce is to get counselling to figure out exactly what happened. This may or may not take very long. I say this because a) I got the original advice from a man who only realized when he got into his second marriage that his first had failed because he was a jerk, and who felt that had he realized that earlier he could have saved the first one and spared a lot of people a lot of pain and craziness and b) even people who are not in a valid marriage profit from figuring out how they mistook that vain attempt at marriage from a true one. You don't want to get into a second vain marriage before you figure that one out.

As for Scriptures, remember that the Lord told the Apostles that what they held bound on earth was held bound in heaven. If the Church finds that your marriage was invalid, you are not bound. You made an attempt in good faith, but the attempt did not result in a valid marriage. That happens, sometimes.

I think it would be a good idea to get counselling for your daughter, as well, and too bad what your husband thinks about the cost. Your marriage may or may not have been valid, but you entered into it in good faith. Half of the wealth you and your husband has amassed are yours because of it, both legally and ethically. Use that for your daughter's good, too.

Also, consider that the Church does not forbid legal separation or civil divorce if the reasons are grave. If the parties cannot live in peace, even a valid marriage may go through a civil divorce, in order to allow the parties to live in peace and divide their belongings and responsibilities justly. If your husband is prone to greed, it is not reasonable to believe you will reach justice without a court's help. It is not sinful to seek justice.

By all means, have the marriage investigated for validity as soon as the divorce is final. It does not get easier to find the facts as time goes by.


#6

Even if you decide that you want the divorce, talk to a lawyer before you agree to anything.

And talk to your priest as well. I think it's important to realize what is worth fighting to save and what was never really a marriage to begin with.


#7

A year or so ago my dh got abusive was leaving me - I fought for him, started counseling, an things were working out. Well, then my health took a turn for the worse. Now he is saying I am not productive and showing no compassion even though I am filing for disability and he now is telling me he wants to leave two days after my grandfather died. I have steeled myself for it and decided I will miss my stepdaughter and the dog even though I still love him. Besides that in my case I have decided the best moral action for me is inaction. I will not file for divorce. If he files I will be keeping every asset I can. If he files for anullment - I will write response to a) protect the validity of the marriage and b) to make a case that if the marriage is found to be invalid he not be allowed to enter into another Sacramental Union without permission of the local vicar. No one else deserves to be a victim of this man and only my action will allow them to be. I hope you got something out of that. BTW> Ther is a still a part of me that hopes he wil truly enter idividual counseling and gethelp. If he does this with God's help it can be all avoided but it as all God's plan.


#8

I suspect he'ss going to divorce you one way or another. You can make it quick, easy, and reduce the pain, or you can draw it out and he'll make it ugly, nasty, painful, etc. Try to work out a settlement and get this man out of your life. It sounds like he doesn't want to be with you in any way. Your child is happier. Anyone who doesn't think that they pick up on basic, oppressive unhappiness is sadly mistaken. Divorce him, make sure he takes good care of his daughter financially and move on. It's not good "Catholic" advice, but it's the reality of the situation you described.


#9

The Lord doesn't promise an easy life - He promises us a wonderful life in the next. Doing whatever we can to honor our marriage vows sure seems like something we should do in this one regardless of the ease it gives us in this one.


#10

What a jerk!

To simply claim that "if things don't work out [the way I want them to work out] we can just get an annulment."

About the time he mentioned that, the guy should have had about four knuckles full of "annulment" for his lunch, and an appointment with a dentist for dessert... http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/ponyguy/No-no.gif

"Truoc," Like the rest of the advice that's been offered, I urge you to have serious conversations with both a priest and an attorney... and know that you'll be receiving prayers from the folks at CAF...

Stay tough...


#11

Thank you all for your comments.

I am not without blame for this of course. The whole, "if things don't work out we can just get an annulment," should have been a red flag for me, but I ignored and forgot about it until recent events. I wish I acted on it then. I also had a ex-friend of his tell me, "don't marry him" but I figured he was envious (and frankly, I was also worried about my biological clock as I was 27-years-old at the time and wanted to have many children).

I didn't see how he really was until after we were married for a while. When I did notice it, I just ignored it again. Most of this really took off after I had our daughter. It's almost as if he wanted a playmate, not a wife/mother and once I became a mom, he left the marriage even though we were still together. It's just taken a few years for him to ask for a divorce.

And Luthernteach is right on one thing, he will divorce me one way or another. He's said so. I would like it to be as quick and painless as possible (plus he can afford a lot more lawyering than I can).

I am not worried about my priest gossiping... I am worried that he will blame me or tell me to try harder. I know I won't be able to try harder. I've done my best and I give up. I guess that's silly, but that's what I feel.

God bless.


#12

[quote="truoc, post:11, topic:205913"]

I am not worried about my priest gossiping... I am worried that he will blame me or tell me to try harder. I know I won't be able to try harder. I've done my best and I give up. I guess that's silly, but that's what I feel.

God bless.

[/quote]

You are confusing your priest with your husband.

Your HUSBAND created in you the habit of doubting yourself, blaming yourself, ignoring
your own needs and rights - even your rights as a Catholic wife and mother. Your priest
will likely NOT echo the behaviors of your neglectful and abusive husband.

"Greed first" kills relationships - your huband's greed is killing your marriage.

God bless you. See your priest!


#13

[quote="truoc, post:11, topic:205913"]
...And Luthernteach is right on one thing, he will divorce me one way or another. He's said so. I would like it to be as quick and painless as possible (plus he can afford a lot more lawyering than I can).

I am not worried about my priest gossiping... I am worried that he will blame me or tell me to try harder. I know I won't be able to try harder. I've done my best and I give up. I guess that's silly, but that's what I feel.

God bless.

[/quote]

Um, if you've been married 12 years, you can afford just as much "lawyering" as he can. Get yourself a good one. It is wrong to be vindictive or greedy, but looking for a just settlement is no sin, especially as far as your daughter is concerned. But if it is as you say, he may be willing to get to a just settlement sooner rather than later, in order to save himself the cost of two teams of lawyers.

Be particularly concerned about how it is going to be handled when your husband decides he isn't going to hold up his end of the agreement, though, particularly when it comes to paying for your daughter to go to college. The women with horror stories to tell of wealthy ex-husbands who tired of them and who tired of being financially responsible for their own children are legion. Leave nothing to the "honor system."

I don't know a lot of priests who are into the blame game, but I suppose there might be some who insist on beating a dead horse until the corpse is cold, in the interest of leaving no stone unturned. Marriage is sacred, and priests are human beings. You can talk to your priest the way you would talk to a physician who insists on treating a cancer when all hope of recovery is long past. It is just as foolish to "priest shop" as it is to "doctor shop", but if his diagnosis does not fit your marriage's realistic prognosis, it is OK to seek a second opinion.

I think that a priest who hears what you told us, unless he turns up facts that you're hiding or thought too unimportant to mention, is going to say much the same thing.


#14

truoc: Your husband sounds much like my ex. The marriage was going well until I became pregnant and then he just checked out. It seemed he was always jealous of our son even as an infant. As if my attention had to be on him (husband) always and he was very resentful of the baby.

"I worry how a divorce in the future will effect her--maybe it will be good or maybe bad. I don't know."

I worried about this too.

It turned out well for my son but this did take some time. He did struggle with the way his dad would speak to us or treat us even after the divorce. However, he learned really quick how not to treat your family. Some day I think he will make a great husband and father---at least I pray he will. The big thing he learned through this was that there is always a positive from a negative and how to be a survivor. Know that I am praying for you and your daughter in the midst of all this turmoil. Put your trust in Christ and all will be fine.


#15

[quote="truoc, post:11, topic:205913"]
Thank you all for your comments.

I am not without blame for this of course. The whole, "if things don't work out we can just get an annulment," should have been a red flag for me, but I ignored and forgot about it until recent events. I wish I acted on it then. I also had a ex-friend of his tell me, "don't marry him" but I figured he was envious (and frankly, I was also worried about my biological clock as I was 27-years-old at the time and wanted to have many children).

I didn't see how he really was until after we were married for a while. When I did notice it, I just ignored it again. Most of this really took off after I had our daughter. It's almost as if he wanted a playmate, not a wife/mother and once I became a mom, he left the marriage even though we were still together. It's just taken a few years for him to ask for a divorce.

And Luthernteach is right on one thing, he will divorce me one way or another. He's said so. I would like it to be as quick and painless as possible (plus he can afford a lot more lawyering than I can).

I am not worried about my priest gossiping... I am worried that he will blame me or tell me to try harder. I know I won't be able to try harder. I've done my best and I give up. I guess that's silly, but that's what I feel.

God bless.

[/quote]

I think you should speak with a good attorney. It will cost you and your daughter far more not to in money and future regret. Do not assume your husband can afford more lawyering than you. Also, if your husband is so money focused, than he may be more agreeable to a fair settlement vs. loosing a ton of money in a fight.

I hate saying all that, but from all that you described I really do not see that he is giving you the option of a marriage together. I will pray for you, your daughter and husband.


#16

[quote="lutherlic, post:15, topic:205913"]
I think you should speak with a good attorney. It will cost you and your daughter far more not to in money and future regret. Do not assume your husband can afford more lawyering than you. Also, if your husband is so money focused, than he may be more agreeable to a fair settlement vs. loosing a ton of money in a fight.

I hate saying all that, but from all that you described I really do not see that he is giving you the option of a marriage together. I will pray for you, your daughter and husband.

[/quote]

I'll second that. Also, don't assume "no fault" is the best solution. True, it is simpler and cheaper (esp. for him) but it may leave your daughter in an unfavorable custody arrangement or without proper support.


#17

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