Husband doesn't want anything to do with our children

Hi! I need some honest opinions here. I am a traditional catholic, and I was married to my husband for 18 months and had to leave him because of emotional and physical abuse. I had a 9 month old baby and I was 3 months expecting. Both of my children were born with a rare disease that causes muscle deterioration (pompe disease). My husband was never interested in the children and was angry when I told him I was expecting our Second Son. Prior to marriage he actually thought he was sterile, which he did not reveal to me until 5 months of being engaged. actually, I did not want to marry somebody who could not have children but at that point I felt obliged to marry him. I was 21 and very ignorant about many important things. I grew up being abused by my father and I never thought I would end up marrying somebody just like my father, but I did. (BTW my husband is 15 years older than I am) anyway, my husband makes loads of money, of which I never saw of course. I moved back to my home state over a thousand miles away from my husband and I was working odd jobs because he was not paying child support. We went through a divorce and he told me I could have full custody of the children if I agreed that he was to pay only half of the ordered child support. My husband is obsessed with money, and I wasn’t allowed to use any except for groceries. My husband is a very severe control freak. And I mean very severe control freak. I could not budge, even the way I fed the baby and what I fed him made my husband angry.
The day our first child was born my husband was very angry, he did not want the responsibility of a child, he threw around pots and pans in the kitchen cursing and using God’s holy name in vain. He starved me after I gave birth and I had a very severe infection. he was screaming and yelling at me and telling me I should never have married him. And on the way home from the hospital, he almost killed us from driving recklessly. I am still traumatized from that event.
And now it has been three years since I have left. And now here is where I want a pinions. I am trying for annulment because during these past three years my husband has never given any effort to see the children, he never asks about them, he has never seen our second son, he doesn’t even know the color of his hair or his eyes, he never asks for pictures and he never asked how they’re doing with their disease. I wouldn’t tell him any information because I want him to ask, I want him to be interested. I did send him a picture of the boys after I had given birth but he did not make any comment except criticize me that are older son’s clothes did not match.

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When my second son was born I called my husband and I begged him to be the father that he was supposed to be to our sons and he told me that he couldn’t do it because he wanted time only for his video games and TV and we would only be in his way. I know that we live quite a ways from him, but he has a lot of money and there’s no way I could stop him from seeing the children if he wanted to. He purposefully gave up full custody and has not exercised any of his visitation rights. I have invited him many times during the past three years to come see them oh, but he refuses. He tells our priest though that he wanted children and that he does not want an annulment. He denies everything that he has done, and he keeps lying to the priests and Parish. My husband is very concerned about his reputation, reputation and money is everything to him. If my husband wanted to see the children I would not stop him. could it really be possible that a man could want children and then after their born choose not to have anything to do with them? He tells the priests and the parish that it’s not his fault because I’m the one who left. I had to leave though, I could not take the abuse any longer. He would even pick up our older son by the head when he was a newborn baby, and he injured his neck, he had to wear a helmet for half a year because his neck injury caused him to favor one side of his head and now it is odd shaped. The people from his Parish are causing me great grief saying that I had done my husband Wrong by leaving him and that I need to be like Saint Rita. I was trying to be like Saint Rita before and during the marriage.

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Those people are wrong and misinformed so don’t listen to anything they say.

You should find a good priest that your husband has not met before and ask for help.


Speak with Father and see where the situation leads. I would almost suspect that your husband may not have entered into the marriage with full Catholic knowledge and/or consent. But, that is based on very limited information.

So, my advice is to speak with Father and whomever he directs you to.


Oh Acorn, I’m so very sorry for what you’ve gone through. You’re a fantastic mother to your two boys.

You got it exactly right - the man you married is a horribly abusive, controlling man who doesn’t care about anyone or anything other than his reputation. Ignore the parishioners, they have no idea what he’s really like.

Talk to your Priest and trust him. I also think it would be good for you to get some counselling, to help you work through all the trauma and abuse you’ve had. I’m so sorry, you and your children deserve so much better. Build up a support network at home and be kind to yourself. You and your children have each other :heart:


Talk to your priest, and a counselor and an attorney.

Your children deserve the financial support that the courts determined. With special needs come expenses.

You do NOT have to be abused. Getting your kids out was the smartest thing you could have done. You do not want them to think this is normal.

Do not expect this man to ever change. He is telling you who he is, believe him.


It must have been terrible to go through all that. And then to have him lie on top of all of that.

Get a lawyer. You should receive FULL child support, whatever you “agreed” to if it wasn’t part of the decree isn’t relevant. Press for ALL that is lawfully yours. And thank GOD every day that this crazy, abusive person doesn’t want to have anything to do with your children. Keep him AWAY from your children!

Get a recording device (after talking with a lawyer on whether one party consent recordings are legal in your state of residence). Document everything by using recordings, email and/or text to communicate with him and print and keep his responses.

This is a war. You need to be strategic and plan well for documentation for your decree of nullity regarding his craziness, his lies, etc. Not that those are grounds for nullity, per se, but it sounds like there are some real psychological issues as well.


This is where you need a professional outside perspective to be able to identify why this happened. Generally people who’ve had a healthy relationship with Dad, would have red flags upon meeting someone like your husband. But it is possible through counselling to heal those past wounds and be able to live a healthy reality.

Is he part of a traditional community too that makes him not want an annulment? I believe that I have heard that you don’t need to involve the ex spouse in the process if it is dangerous. Someone might have to correct me on that though, but look into that aspect.

I’m really sorry you’ve had to endure so many betrayals in your life. May God keep you safe.

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Was it a feeling of obligation or force or grave fear?

Latin Canon Law (CIC):
Canon 1103 A marriage is invalid which was entered into by reason of force or of grave fear imposed from outside, even if not purposely, from which the person has no escape other than by choosing marriage.

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I felt obliged to marry him because I took being engaged very seriously and at the time I thought that it would be a sin if I broke the engagement because it would hurt him. I thought that he would feel that he is not worth loving. Also because I went through great measures for him prior to marriage. I met him online and was instructed by my Parish priest to move to his parish and live there 6 months prior to the wedding day. So I was 21 and lived there alone without knowing anybody and without anybody knowing me for 6 months.I was very shy and could not fit in the parish so I had no one to turn to. There were many times where he treated me very badly during those six months but I did not tell anybody because I was afraid of sinning of gossip. Two days before the wedding I reached a point where I told him that I could not marry him and that I was afraid to because I did not want to be treated badly, but he convinced me that he did not mean to treat me badly and that he tries not to take me for granted. I believed him and went through with the wedding.

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@Acorn—I’m so very sorry for what you’ve experienced. Members were spot on in telling you to see a priest and to see an attorney. Please seek counseling, too, in order to heal and become strong, so that he is less likely to manipulate or intimidate you in the future, and so that you don’t fall for a different man of his ilk again.

Please keep us updated. We’ll do our best to try to help keep you positive and strong. Best wishes to you and your beloved little boys. I’ll keep you in my personal prayers. Keep the faith, Acorn!

It sounds to me like it is a blessing that your husband wants nothing to do with your sons. If he is as abusive as you say, I would be happy that he is not around them, influencing them in any way. If he is showing no interest in seeing them, I would even bother sending him photos any longer.

The less contact the better. Get a lawyer and get the support your sons need and be done with your husband. Ask your priest if he thinks you have any grounds for annulment.


It sounds like you have through a lot of difficulties, and that as a result, you might need some help healing. Sometimes we get into ways of doing things in abusive situations and then need to learn how to do things differently. For these reasons, I agree with others that counseling would probably help you.

As to the issue of getting an annulment, a lot of parishes have a person who is the contact point for starting the process. The person may or may not be the priest. Call the parish to find out more.

There are several grounds which tribunals consider when examining a request for an annulment. The grounds can come from either spouse.

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Thank you all for your prayers and support and kindnes, they really mean a whole lot to me!!! I have just barely started the annulment process and there’s already so much pain and control coming from my husband and his friends. I realize now that the discouragement is coming from the devil. I just spoke with a priest in a nieghboring parish and he was very kind and consoling, I feel more courage now. I just hope this is all over with soon and receive the answer if I could be granted an annulment or not. Again, thank you everyone!!!


You don’t need to have any discussion with your husband or his friends. Should your priest decide you should go forward, they will contact him, you don’t have to. And if he says he won’t participate, whatever. The tribunal will rule whether he answers the paperwork or not.

Again, the less contact with him, the better.



His friends sound like people who need to be blocked on Social Media, from contacting your phone, etc.

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There is no need for you to be in contact with your ex during an annulment process.

There are two things at stake. Fighting for the rights of yourself and children (including full child support) and getting the declaration of nullity.

Get a civil lawyer to ensure your rights and those of your children who may be entitled to special services, etc.

Re: annulment process: Make sure you get a real advocate for yourself in the annulment process (either degreed canon lawyer or someone specially authorized to write briefs on your behalf… some tribunals label “helpers” as “advocates” but they merely help fill out the initial forms and are not true advocates who fight for you every step of the way). Insist that your tribunal assign a real advocate to you.

Mother Therese, OCV, JCL
Specializing in theology and law of consecrated life.
This communication does not establish a canon lawyer-client relationship.


You’ve received some great advice here! Definitely continue working with a priest that doesn’t know him, and that will listen and help you through this.

I also agree with IrishMom2 that him not wanting to see the kids could be a blessing in disguise. Growing up without a father may be rough, but not as rough as growing up with an abusive father.

I would also make sure to seek counseling to ensure that you can heal on a personal level. I’m by no means a medical professional but the way he is acting including lying to the priest, friends, and others about you almost makes it seem like he has narcissistic personality disorder or something else similar. Obviously a professional can help you determine this, but many times these people cannot and will not be helped and you’re better off praying for him but moving on.

Counseling can also help you break the cycle of abusers in your life so that one day you can have a healthy relationship (if of course that’s what you desire).

I pray that you will succeed in receiving your annulment so that you and your children can move on to live a healthy life!!


This is a good resource as well:

They have been on Catholic Answers Live many times

St. Rita never had to worry about her husband physically abusing her or her kids. She only had to worry about him engaging in criminal behavior. There is a difference.

If the two of you are legally divorced (which is sounds like you are) he cannot stop you from seeking an annulment. Contact your local diocese and get the ball rolling.

Did you guys agree to an arrangement without the courts & lawyers? Did you ever talk to an attorney regarding this? If you never did, I highly recommend that you do speak with an attorney, at least to know what additional options you have.

God bless! Please know that you & your boys are in our prayers.

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