Husband has never gone to Confession!

Hello, I am new here and seeking some answers. I have been married a little over two years and it’s “rocky” already to put it mildly. We were married in the Catholic Church, both catholic. This is my 2nd marriage (the first was annulled) and my husband’s first. We are mature people - (early 50’s), no children. We went through the premarital counseling, and I thought we were being honest. We did not live together before marriage.

As time went on, I began to notice little things after marriage, his short temper, lack of affection, we just don’t get along; now we have almost no intimacy and our attendance at mass has become pretty much non-existent. We don’t seem to have much in common. When I ask questions about a lot of things that I didn’t notice before marriage, his answer is: “oh I forgot” or “I didn’t think it was important”. When I discussed Advent and weere we going to Confession and get active in church again, he told me he had NEVER gone to Confession, since he had been confirmed as a child! When we were at the Engaged Encounter, confession was offered. I went, he did not. I guess I didn’t question it; before the marriage, I was under the impression he was attending mass and that he knew he should have gone in good conscience, but he did not.

I catch him in lies about other things and feel like he’s witholding the truth about other things, and I wonder if my marriage is valid now. I’m sad and I just don’t feel as if I can trust him. We are in Counseling, but my faith and hope are just not strong anymore…by not going to Confession, are we both living in a state of sin?

Cindee:(

\and I wonder if my marriage is valid now.\

**Difficulties with your husband do NOT make your marriage invalid.

This is why there are Marital Tribunals–objective arbitrators who decide if the marriage was valid ab initio. NOT you. NOT your husband.

If you all are in your early 50’s, it will be very difficult to prove lack of emotional maturity to enter into marriage (a frequent reason for an annulment).

You can do nothing about your husband’s behavior. All you can control is your own. This means, among other things, getting up and going to Mass yourself, and taking an active part in the parish without him.

And if by “lack of intimacy” you mean “lack of sex,” make sure there’s not an underlying physical cause for either of you. Men frequently have a drop in testosterone in their '50s, called the “andropause.” This is, likewise, a medical condition that only a physician can diagnose.**

Your marriage is valid until the Church declares it null. Be sure to keep up your Mass attendance and remain in counceling, even if he won’t go. Going or not going to Confession is really his business, hopefully, you guys can work this out. Pray, pray, pray.

Excellent advice, and at that age a whole lot of other causes of “equipment failure” can come into play. It’s a serious ego-crusher for men and many often become withdrawn and cold when it happens, out of fear that affection may lead to a request for intimacy that they are unable to fulfill.

If this is the case, medication may be able to treat it; the spouse’s loving support is critical.

If I may ask, who did your premarital couseling ?(titles, no personal names please). Was this counseling Catholic Church diocese related? Seems like lack of Catholic Church catechesis. I’m 45 years old, married about three years. My wife and I get into our differences and arguments, but not this kind of chaos.
Approval/acceptance of Catholic Church Teachings Mass attendance and Sacraments(especially Reconciliation) should have been on the top of the list. If your man did not go to Confession before your wedding, how could both of you consider the importance and life of your Catholic faith. I attend Confession about once a month minimum. My wife goes to Confession about bi monthly.
Continue on your Mass attendance and Confession. If you are already doing this, then you are not in sin,your husband is. He is to understand the extreme importance in this. My father-in law doesn’t attend Mass or Confession and sometimes calls my wife and I religious nuts. But you know what? he has no credibility on Catholic faith,living in sin. I’ll try to pray for his conversion.
CATECHESIS(learn your faith). We are not “know it alls” or “confirmed Catholic graduates”. We learn our faith day by day, everyday. This is not to you personally, but I am sick and tired of the “Kennedy political dynasty”. Also I’m sick and tired of Joe Biden, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi. They come from your generation of self-styled Catholics as political leaders thinking they influence the Catholic Bishops and the people below them. Their Socialist Communist idealist practices already have the Bishops stepping up to the plate and telling them where to go. And the Bishops are being mocked as fools by these politicians. Learn from Catholic Answers website. Get a Roman Catholic Bible. Get the book Catechism of the Catholic Church and read it. Talk to your priest, even if your husband refuses to go with you. And feel free to make a copy of this thread. If your priest can’t acknowldege this thread, find another priest/parish or take this to your main diocese office of the Bishop. You are doing great and Jesus Christ will always be beside you. God Bless.
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Even though, sadly, many adults in this day and age have a total lack of emotional maturity at the age of 50.:shrug: Age does not necessarily correspond to emotional maturity.

Our premarital counseling was by a psychologist for a short time, and we attended the required Engaged Encounters. Since my husband and I lived quite a distance apart at the time, he was attending mass, I was attending mass, we attended separate parishes. When we met with the priest at my parish before the ceremony we both were told of the need to go to confession before the wedding. It’s just disappointing to find out at this point, that he did not and never has. His excuse is that he “just doesn’t know what to do or expect” in confession. I know it is his right, his conscience - I just can’t help but wonder how seriously he takes his commitment to his faith and his marriage. I know I can not be the judge, but seriously…I just felt disappointed to find that out. It’s like he’s been pretending all along.

He has agreed to see a doctor and feels the arguing may be the cause of the lack of intimacy (yes, sex!) between us. I guess I kept hoping the adjustment period would pass, but it just seems to be driving a wedge. We are meeting with a new Therapist now and I am praying to move past this resentment I feel towards him.

\His excuse is that he “just doesn’t know what to do or expect” in confession.\

**Tell him to get his body there and the Priest and Holy Spirit will do the rest. He’ll find it much easier than he thinks.

I promise!**

I would not be so certain that he has never been to confession. Sadly, there are many DREs who find that candidates for confirmation in their own parishes will claim to have never been to confession, not because they never have, but because it was only the one time before their First Holy Communion, and they don’t remember it. The DREs have the records to show the students remember incorrectly, because First Reconciliation is required before First Holy Communion.

My first thought is that unless you are not capable of driving yourself to church, there is no reason to let your husband’s habits become an excuse for yours. If he elects not to go to church, then let him not go to Mass…but you go by yourself, anyway. You still have the obligation. When you confess that you have neglected your Sunday obligation, then, no excuses.

My second thought is that there is no better way to encourage the habit of lying than to try to “catch” someone in lies. Controlling behavior by one spouse is a prime excuse used for all sorts of unacceptable behavior in the other. This is even true of parents and adult children, after all. An adult not being treated as an adult will rebel, and very often will do it covertly. Rather, it should be the lies that are kept in the spotlight as the problem. As in, “Listen, you go, you don’t go, you did something or you didn’t, but why lie about it? If you make a decision, that’s your decision. I’m not going to nag you. I do want and deserve the truth.”

My third thought is this: work on your own spiritual life. Start by accepting that you may be many years ahead of your husband, that you will have to be the saint in your household for now. Give your husband up to the Holy Spirit, and lead by gentle example.

You might also consider the story of Elisabeth Leseur, and find it inspirational. I’ll post it after this.

Elisabeth Arrighi Leseur, was born in Paris in 1866. She had been pious as a young girl, but, by the time she married the doctor Félix Leseur at the age of 21, her religious observance had become rather conventional, though sincere.
Her husband had lost his faith completely, however, and though he had promised to respect Elizabeth’s practice of her religion, he soon began a relentless attack to make her lose her faith.
After seven years of marriage, she had lapsed, but when Félix tried to finish off what remained of her faith by giving her Renan’s treacherous History of the Origins of Christianity to read, his attempt backfired, as he later wrote:
“Thanks to Divine Providence, the very work that I thought would accomplish my hateful object brought about its ruin. Elisabeth …] was not deceived by the glamour of the form, but was struck by the poverty of the substance …]. She felt herself approach the abyss, and sprang backwards, and from then on she devoted herself to her own religious instruction.”
Accordingly, she began to read the works of the Fathers of the Church, St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, St Teresa of Avila, St Francis de Sales, and above all, the Holy Bible. The result was her conversion back to the faith of her youth and the renewed practice of the Christian life.
During a trip to Rome with her husband in 1903, Elisabeth had a mystical experience of the presence of God within her and of a complete renewal of her interior life. She abandoned herself to Our Lord without reserve. One of her greatest consolations and supports thereafter was in the reception of Holy Communion.
At the same time, she worked unceasingly for the conversion of her unbelieving husband. Argument availed nothing, and so she concentrated on praying for Félix and setting him a good example by her own holy life.
The more she co-operated with grace, the more God sent her physical sufferings in order to pay the price of her husband’s conversion. Constantly she prayed: “My God, wilt Thou give me one day - soon - the immense joy of full spiritual communion with my dear husband, of the same faith, and, for him as for me, of a life turned toward Thee? I will redouble my prayers for this intention; more than ever will I supplicate, suffer, and offer to God Communions and sacrifices to obtain this greatly desired grace.”
As a doctor, Félix could be under no illusion as to the gravity of her sufferings, nor to the eventual outcome of the cancer eating away at her body.

“When I saw how ill she was,” he later wrote, “and how she endured with equanimity of temper a complaint that generally provokes much hypochondria, impatience and ill-humour, I was struck to see how her soul had so great a command of itself and of her body; and knowing that she drew this tremendous strength from her convictions, I ceased to attack them.”
Nevertheless, he was not converted. As Elisabeth drew near to death, she told him one day, “Félix, when I am dead, you will become a Catholic and a Dominican priest.”
“Elizabeth, you know my sentiments. I’ve sworn hatred of God, I shall live in the hatred and I shall die in it,” he replied.
She repeated her words before she passed away in 1914 in her husband’s arms at the early age of 47, without seeing his conversion.
Rummaging through Elisabeth’s papers, Félix found her Spiritual Testament and read these lines:
“In l905, I asked Almighty God to send me sufficient sufferings to purchase your soul. On the day that I die, the price will have been paid. Greater love than this no woman has than she who lays down her life for her husband.”
“A revolution took place in my whole moral being”, he wrote. “I understood the celestial beauty of her soul and that she had accepted all her suffering and offered it - and even offered her very self in sacrifice - chiefly for my conversion. …] Her sacrifice was absolute, and she was convinced that God would accept it and would take her early to Himself. She was equally persuaded that He would ensure my conversion.”
That conversion was only to come about three years after her death as the doctor, still an atheist, visited Lourdes with a view to writing an attack on the devotion of Catholics to Our Lady.
Once again, however, his malice was to backfire. What happened at the grotto in Lordes he later confided to Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who, as a young priest, attended a retreat given by Félix after he had become a Dominican:
“As he looked up into the face of the statue of Mary Immaculate, he received the great gift of faith. So total, so complete was it, that he never had to go through the process of juxtaposition and say, ‘How will I answer this or that difficulty?’ He saw it all. At once.”
In 1919, at the age of 57, he became a novice in the Order of Preachers, and was ordained a priest at 62. Fr Félix Leseur died in 1950, blessing the memory of his wife, who had offered her sufferings for his conversion at the feet of Mary Immaculate. [After Rev. Fr Jordan Aumann, O.P. Christian Spirituality in the Catholic Tradition and Mgr Fulton J. Sheen’s talk The Woman I love, (transcription at www.catholic.org).]

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