Husband asking me to commit sin or divorce

I have been married 8 years. My husband and I have two daughters and one son on the way. I recently found text messages between him and another woman he was trying to have sex with. As background info we married in the Catholic Church but he considers himself atheist. As you can imagine we have huge differences in values. My question: he said he wanted to cheat because he wants me to engage in sexual acts until completion apart from the marital act, and he knows my faith prohibits it. He has made this a deal breaker and essentially said he can no longer be married if I can’t get past this. I am devastated. I know church teaching. Am I to do what he wants and keep my marriage intact and my children in a traditional home with a good father or ask for a divorce ? So lost. Please be kind. I know I made a mistake in choosing this person as my spouse, but that is my current situation. I plan to talk to a priest but I so badly need your responses to help me clarify this situation

I’m sorry. Your husband has no respect for your values or any respect for your marriage. It is completely wrong for him to pressure you for sexual acts like this.

I’d recommend marriage counseling together, if possible.

Edit - I just saw in your posting history that your husband has a history of cheating on you. His behaviour towards you is disgusting. He makes the choice to cheat, no matter how much he tries to put the blame on you. To be truthful, I don’t imagine for one second that if you caved into his demands that he would be faithful to you. I’m sorry.


He’s being a complete brat. Be strong. Pray. Talk to a priest. He’s not going to change just by getting what he thinks he wants in this particular moment of time.


Make an appointment with your priest next week. No man who is your friend, let alone your spouse, would ask such. I am sorry and pray you find peace and healing.


This must be a very hard time for you. I will pray for you. Pray, especially to the Blessed Mother. I would also recommend reading The Five Love Languages. It seems to have brought many marriages back from the brink of destruction. Also, your husband might not object to using NFP. It could be a at least short term solution. Commend your marriage to the Blessed Mother. With her help, it still could be possible to pull through.

1 Like

This is not about your religion. You’ve got yourself a sick puppy. No decent man would treat the mother of his children this way. I don’t know what could hep this situation, but please don’t let this man coerce you into any sexual act you aren’t comfortable with. The most staunch atheist would tell you the same.


Speak with your Priest and a good Catholic marriage counselor.


I’m afraid I have to agree. Please speak with your priest.


Be strong and continue to do what is right through all of this hardship. In standing for what is right, be prepared to have him walk away from you. Your angels will protect you and your children.

And I am so sorry you’re going through this.


I thank all of you for your kindness and support. It has really clarified my thinking somewhat realizing that anyone who asks this does not have my best interest at heart. We are going to marriage counseling and I am contacting my parish priest tomorrow to set up an appointment. We have had honest discussions about divorce. I know he sounds like a selfish person and it’s easy to fail to see his struggles. I see him grappling with this issue whether he realizes it’s selfish or not. He really wants to make things work, particularly for our children but he has begrudgingly tried to “get over” this issue for years and it eats at him to the point he feels no choice but to cheat. That way he has an avenue for his frustration but doesn’t break up his family. For the record what I have seen in all messages he has written between the women he has talked to and from what he has told me no physical affair has actually taken place (not for lack of trying just no woman was open to actually meeting him for sex). I am getting tested anyway for STDs just in case. Thank you again for your kindness.

1 Like

I feel very sad that your husband is subjecting you to what I can only see as emotional blackmail. Either you go against your moral conscience or according to him it will be ‘you who has the guilt of causing divorce’.

That isn’t true, it is he who is creating this situation. It is he who has placed this ultimatum upon you, the blame and guilt resides with him. It is by his will and choice that your marriage is under threat and your children potentially deprived because of a disordered desire.

And he does have a choice not to cheat, the choice made by an honorable man. To say otherwise is indulgence, even if it comes from the sympathy of a wonderful, good kind woman. A person needs to take responsibility for their own behaviour and even their manipulative attempts, and sometimes if we make excuses that ultimately make them feel more entrenched in their position, we thereby can run the risk of becoming complicit to some degree.

I pray that your husband will deepen to respect and to genuine love for you and your true good. May God bless you guide you. God bless you and your husband with effective and lasting grace of the marriage Sacrament. May God protect your children from spiritual harm.


It is shocking that he is willing to risk his entire life in order to fulfill a certain fantasy. Certainly demonic influences must be going on here. This threat, ultimatum he has given you is a sign of master manipulation. You say he is a good dad? A good father would never put his own desires over the well-being if his children’s peaceful life. You need to see that he is the one who threatens the children’s lives, not you. I’m fearful a counselor may tell you that both of you need to compromise your “desires.” But your desire is a moral standard of who you are, and his desire is a temporary sexual feeling.

I’m not sure what a priest can say in order to “fix” this for you. You need to continue to stay strong and nurture your relationship with Christ and Mary in order to face this terrible trial.


Honestly, this sounds like some sort of torture. Why on earth would you agree to read those messages?

Please, next time he wants you to read the texts, tell him NO.

He didn’t tell me to read messages. I “snuck into” his phone and found them. Not moral to snoop, I know butmy gut was telling me something was off.

I agree. I believe Satan is at work on his heart and he is launching an attack on us

It is for messages like these that I fear asking for help. I know I chose badly but I am trying to what is right in my current situation. I struggle like all of us. The compassionate messages have really given me clarity that I am in a relationship with a selfish person who does not seek my good and I need to be strong in my faith. Your message makes me angry and reminds me why Christians are so often called judgmental. Raise people up to the good. Don’t bash them

1 Like

There is always a choice not to cheat. And it most certainly does break up families. It’s just another excuse he’s making. I’m very glad you’re being tested for STDs.


This, a million times.

Your husband seems to have the impression that because of your religious teachings, you are a doormat. You need to get rid of that image, pronto. He cannot push you around, treat you this way and assume you will still be there to take the burden of his selfishness.

Stay strong. You’re doing everything you should be. He is wrong, don’t forget that for one moment.


A practical addition from the ‘kinder, gentler’ Legend:

You should consult a lawyer. He may go for a ‘no fault’ divorce, and divorce you! In the United States, he can do this. I don’t know about other countries, but if you don’t know, find out.

He will have hired a lawyer, if he hasn’t already. A lawyer’s job is to look out for his client’s interests. In such things as property division, and child custody and visitation. You need someone working just as hard, in your corner.

And it might be a blessing in disguise, if he does this. For Catholics in the U.S., you are required to be legally divorced, before even applying for an annulment.

My other post was not meant to be cruel. Although I was sort of in a hurry when I wrote it. You did say, in your original post, that you married the wrong man. Please…I know that you’re not likely to initiate a divorce, but be prepared, in case he does.

And, when you see your priest, tell him everything, and listen! Civil divorce is not forbidden, and an annulment tribunal just may be sympathetic. I really do care about you and your children, and want what’s best for you. Neither sinning, nor tolerating infidelity is. I’ll be praying.


Thank you. I truly appreciate your response.

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