husband says polygamy is a good thing

Some of you already know me, I’ve been married for 10 years to the same man (our only marriage) and am around 31 weeks pregnant with our 5th child. Anyway my anti-Catholic Anglican husband lost his Christian faith entirely just after Easter this year. He has since told me that after 7 years of being overweight (we have a 10, 4, going to be 3, and 1 year old and I’m pregnant with #5) that he’s fed up with my weight. He says he loves me, and wants to be with me always but in an argument spewed out that he thinks polygamy is a good thing (he’s been making comments favorable to polygamy for the past 8 or so months) and threw the name of some woman (the boss’s daughter) who he works with. I was devastated. I’m not only overweight, but I’m nearly 38 years old and she’s rich, late 20’s, and “sweet/nice”-his words. She supposedly doesn’t know how he feels and has only had work related/one personal conversation with him about me being pregnant. He claims that he gets a vibe from her that she likes him too. I cried and cried and am still crying over this. He told me this first in July around the 2nd. He apologized for hurting me and said that he would drop it and it was “over” (his polygamous minded things towards her) but just yesterday in another fight he tells me that “the lady I like at work” (noticed not past tense) and I said “like?” and he said very matter of factly “yes I do” and that real monogamy is to see and like others around you and choose one person to be with and that he has no intention of going after her because I disapprove and it would upset me.

AM I NUTS OR DOES THAT SOUND LIKE “I like her still as much as before and still think polygamy is a good thing but I chose you and will be faithful to you and you should be happy with that and trust me.” He claims that he can’t just “shut it off” and that it’s normal to be attracted to other women and even to “like” them (in a way he likes his wife) but that real monogamy is to choose one person and be with them. I feel like I’m getting scraps. I want my husband’s heart and want him to love only me and “like” only me. He thinks that’s not healthy and or realistic. He just shrugs his shoulders and throws up his hands and says “what do you want from me? What do you want me to do? I can only tell you how I feel and let my actions speak for themselves.”

I feel like he’s going to cheat on me and really still wants to but can’t (yet) from some sense of childhood trauma/morals that he doesn’t want to be like his mother for cheating and leaving his dad and brother and sisters. He’s told me that polygamy isn’t cheating. I reminded him OVER AND OVER AGAIN THAT HIS VOWS WERE MONOGAMOUS VOWS…he said that means nothing to him in that that’s not going to make him do what’s right but his sense of right and wrong that he doesn’t want to be a jerk to me.

How long though until he doesn’t care about wanting to hurt me? How long???

I told him just 10 min. ago bawling that what he said is cruel and that his polygamous comments and those comments about that woman were devastating to me. (again I got the shrug and hands thrown up) He said I can only tell you what I have and you need to trust me. He thinks his “honesty” was a good thing that being secretive is worse. But now I feel like I can’t trust him at all. That he will never love me the way I deserve to be loved me and me alone. He says that’s Hollywood romance love. Not real love. He’s told me that “since I worship YHWH”-his words that I shouldn’t have a problem with polygamy since David and Solomon did it. (he thinks Jesus was a false prophet)

comments please…

PS I’ve suggested counseling but he said that, “150$ an hour to argue is worthless and I don’t think any counselor will see it your way which is why you want to go.” He also cannot stand the Catholic Church still (even though he’s agnostic) and is super hostile to me even being Christian anymore. I don’t want a divorce but I’m wondering when the bomb is finally going to drop. (when my feelings won’t be enough to stop his lust) :frowning:


I don’t know what to say.

If this is sudden behavior, could it be that he is suffering from some mental/physical illness causing him to radically change his behavior?

His behavior is cruel, especially since you are pregnant.

Married people can and do get tempted. When a spouse is tempted, they need to avoid temptation, pray about it, go to confession.

He should not disclose this to you and make you feel vulnerable and insecure.

Are you close to his parents, maybe tell them what’s going on. Then perhaps you can figure out if he really is physically/mentally ill.

I’ll pray for you in the mean time.

I don’t know but I have wondered for a while if it’s diabolical because he was just psycho about how much he hated the Catholic Church. He still hates it but now it’s accompanied by a hatred for God himself and this after 10 years of being a good protestant Christian. I have never been comfortable about him being alone with any other woman but it was much to avoid a general uncomfortableness but now I don’t want him around them because I feel like I can’t trust him. He has just been so callous he acts as though I should be happy that he told me that being honest was best. And reminds me that if I don’t like my fatness that he shouldn’t have to like it either and yet tells me he enjoys sex and loves me and that I need to have some self respect. I told him it’s hard to have self respect when your husband of 10 years tells you that some young pretty rich “sweet” chick at work he “likes”. All that does it make me feel worse about myself. Like if I were thin and fit he wouldn’t be looking around. He just shrugs that off. That’s his main reaction lately to my bawling, yelling and pain to shrug it off and throw up his hands. Like I’m ridiculous…he seems to lack any real empathy and yet tells me “I understand I get it” (my feelings of monogamy). Yet I don’t feel like he’s sorry at all. He just looks at me bawling and shrugs and walks off.

Multiple things at play here, clearly.

Your trust in your husband has been greatly undermined, causing you to be extremely worried about every comment he makes and every time he makes any kind of questionable statement. Because he is right that he can’t control being attracted to other people, but Mary Gail is spot on that he should not tell you. That’s not being “honest.” That’s bringing up objects of temptation for no reason other than to make you nervous. Or to win an argument. Or something.

Face it. We’re all human. We all sometimes have vague physical or even emotional attractions to people not our spouses. We also generally leave it at that and don’t talk about it because talking about it will make our spouses wonder if there’s more to it. Your husband has zero filter.

That lack of filter coupled with his hostility to your faith and your insecurity about your weight is a recipe for big trouble. And worse yet he doesn’t seem to care about what he’s cooking up.

I’m guessing that he doesn’t actually see polygamy as a good thing… except for the fact that he’s frustrated with what he has at home. So yes, he’s trying to devise a way to justify to himself what actions he might want to take in the future.

I don’t actually have any great advice about what to do in this situation. You have to know that you can’t control what he does so… what do you do? I think you just have to do what you can do. Try to get more physically fit which I know is going to be tough with a baby but perhaps you can tell your husband that you want to join a gym after the new one comes and that a gym membership would be a good birthday present for the new baby since it would ensure that his/her mom is healthy. Appeal to the side of him that at least wants to protect his children. If he has that side.

You all obviously need counseling… so maybe try to find something that’s free or at least very much discounted. Cost is not his real concern but it’s tough to argue against free while trying to keep the “moral high ground.” He doesn’t actually have that high ground but he thinks he does. Rejecting free or very cheap counseling would undermine that thought process and such services do exist.

There’s absolutely nothing you can do about his faith life except pray and let God handle it.

Outside of genuine mental illness, this sounds like either A) frustration with his relative lot in life and blaming it on God or… B) addiction.

Addiction of some kind. Addiction to sin. Sounds a lot like me when I was in the depths of my pornography addiction. I was completely oblivious about how my actions affected people and really didn’t care either. It was just me, me, me, me.

I was thinking mental/ physical illness. Addiction could be a cause as well.

Your problem isn’t that your husband likes another woman, it’s that he’s determined to hurt you and shut down all positive communication.

The truth is that married people do experience attraction and crushes, and that is perfectly normal. Our brain chemistry does not shift with vows. But when married people experience those things they remove themselves from the distracting situation, focus on their spouses, and keep the inappropriate feelings to themselves for the sake of their partner’s feelings.

This means that your husband needs to stay away from this woman, and I would say that since he’s already hurt you so badly he needs to find another job out of respect for you and to show how seriously he cares about your marriage.

You also need some sort of counseling, and if he won’t go then go by yourself. He may not mean those polygamous things he says, he may just want to hurt you, and you need to figure out why. And if he does mean them you need a serious sit down about the life you guys want and what your marriage means to each of you.

As much as I believe that spouses have a duty to stay in shape for each other and that letting yourself go can cause so many problems, right now this is all secondary. She needs to work to have a marriage where no one wants to hurt the other. Losing weight will only give her an artificial sense of that relationship, because she will have done what he asked under emotional blackmail. Getting in shape is not the way to get things back on track. But once things are on track she certainly needs to make that effort for him.

The way I see it we all have an obligation to work hard to be attractive to our spouses, but we are also obligated to love them unconditionally even when they fail at it.

Now if she wants to lose weight now for herself then that’s great, and could be the self esteem boost she needs to get through this.

First and foremost I am SO very sorry you are in this situation, you are in my thoughts. If your husband is not willing to do counseling I strongly suggest you do it yourself. It sounds like you have several problems not just one. Your husband seems to be very cold and cruel to you and doesn’t respect your feelings the way a human ESPECIALLY a spouse should, hopefully counseling can help come to the root of why that is and repair it.

Your husband sounds manipulative and he seems to be using two different and unrelated things to bully you into finding his acceptance of polygamy acceptable. I do agree with him that it is normal to have attraction or notice people outside of your spouse, and that love and monogamy are a conscious choice. What that doesn’t mean (in my opinion, or that of most monogamous loving people) is that it is okay to feed those attractions and to use them to hurt your spouse, that behavior is unacceptable and there is no excuse for it. There is a huge difference between I find that person in the grocery store attractive or that platonic co worker or acquaintance is really nice, charming etc there is a world of difference in noticing and FEEDING It and your husband is feeding it. Not only is he disrespecting you but also his poor co worker who has no idea of his thoughts and potential advances.

While you are in the counseling you so desperately need to parse this situation make sure you come up with a contingency plan in the event your husband is cheating. I pray he is not and is just being bizarre but a sudden STRONG interest in other women is disturbing and you need to be prepared with some ideas on how to deal moving forward. Also you say all of this has been going on for the last 8 months or so, was their a significant event around the time this behavior started? You speak of your husband losing his faith but for most people their faith is not the only thing that gives them a moral compass.

You have my thoughts and prayers.

You’re husband should never have said those things to you and I am so sorry you’re having to go through this. Counselling is the best way to go in this scenario. If cost is his issue (although I think he knows they’ll agree with you and that may be why he’s refusing it) there are several places that will offer cheap rates. Check and see if there is a Behavioral Health in your area. They offer counseling based on income. If there is a college in your area, most services through their students who are getting their degrees in psychology and these places are extremely cheap. I went to couples counseling at one of these and only paid about $10 a session. Even though they are not religious based, they may also be able to help your husband sort through his anger at God too. You may also consider trying to make him understand how much this polygamy idea hurts you by asking him how he would feel if you wanted to be with other men. While I certainly don’t suggest you actually be with other men or make him think you will, sometimes a little conversational role reversal can help the other person see how you feel. I wish you luck in enduring this situation and will be praying for your family.

I’m sorry that your husband is a Class A Jerk. That must be so difficult, especially with your pregnancy.

Has he always been anti-Catholic?

Yes he’s always been anti-Catholic VERY anti-Catholic. He thinks he’s just an honest guy that feels differently than I do (most people actually) about marriage. The worst part is when he uses the example of our kids of how his love works with two women. Example: “I don’t have a favorite with the kids and it wouldn’t be that way with you or my second wife either.” I’ve tried vehemently to explain to him that familial child love and spousal love are two different things and are apples and oranges. He just shrugs…

Is being against polygamy a non negotiable? I ask because if he genuinely feels that way but is happy to forgo other partners and that lifestyle because he loves you and has made a commitment to you, would that be so bad?

I’m personally not opposed to polyamorous relationships. It’s not what I want for me and that’s not the marriage I have. But if my views changed and I could see myself in a non monogamous relationship I still wouldn’t because I love my husband and made a promise to him. I don’t necessarily think that’s wrong.

Because you are a catholic and he is an angry agnostic you will probably never agree on what marriage inherently is, but if you can get the help you need you may be able to agree on what your marriage is and the nature of that relationship.

Taking everything said at face value, he’s right. Faithfulness is an act of the will. It is not good to invite these thoughts and feelings in to one’s mind, but, if they come to his mind, he is not sinning by speaking them, as long as he does not act on them. He may display a lack of social tact by speaking, but he does not sin until he sins. It is not sin to be attracted to other than one’s spouse: it is sin to act on that attraction. I do not see why the truism “love is not a feeling, but a choice” can not be generalized to this: “monogamy is not a feeling, but a choice”: as monogamy is only one facet of the multifaceted love.

To think polygamy is good while actually being monogamous is like not understanding the Church’s teaching on divorce or contraception, or believing the teachings wrong, but still following them. The sin is in the doing, not the thinking (albeit Jesus said, “He who looketh at a woman with adultery in his heart, hath committed…”, but this standard is that of the perfectly-sanctified *, not of mortal men: he also meant this, that a thought itself come unbidden to the mind, no matter how heinous or sinful its content would be if acted out, is no sin if a man tries to banish the thought from his mind, or does not actively pursue thinking about it: that is, the sin is located in the will of man [which can include a sinful act of the will {decision} to think of something sinful], and not his intellect.)

Now, I am opposed to polygamy; and I am celibate. But I find women attractive, and have no reason to believe that if I married one of them, that the act of marriage would render the rest of the women of the earth unattractive. I also have no reason to believe that I would be committing any more of a sin by continuing to find women (plural) attractive after I married a woman (singular), than I currently sin by finding women (plural) attractive but being vowed to celibacy.

Now, I could see that if he is a manipulative man, etc. the words of his may be nothing more than a thin mask for cheating or an attempted a priori justification of adultery. This is the worst possible interpretation, while my first is the best. The truth may fall somewhere in the middle.

Now, in every other matter you discuss (those of religion, his general behaviour, etc.), he ranges from dead wrong to as wrong as humanly possible. But his one train of thought about his honesty is accurate, and, even as you reproduce it second-hand, evidently tightly reasoned (from that I assume that either your husband is of no mean intelligence, or that you inadvertently made his argument stronger in repeating it), even if very rude and inconsiderate (“honest to a fault”, or, as they say today, “TMI”, if there ever was).

You are in my prayers.*

I’d echo Bucket. I would be very surprised if there was not a porn addiction here.

I’m glad you said it first. I’m sure I’m not the only one to agree.

And I’d like to add my 2 cents worth of advice. If I were in the OP’s shoes, I’d give my husband just 2 choices - either he would go to counseling with me, or he could support me and the children while he tries to live out his fantasies elsewhere.

Go to counseling for yourself.
It is irrelevant at this time if your husband goes with you or not.
He may never go; but you need and deserve support.

Dont let the fact “he wont go” stop you from getting the help and support you so desperately deserve.

Can we all just make a pact to lay-off the pregnant women? Jeez, Societal WMD in the family. Tie a ferret to a cat if you’re into torture. That’s like the testosterone irresistable force meets the immovable object, or vice-something-versa. To heck with concern about fetal alcohol syndrone, why not everybody just have a darn beer.

My heart ached – ached – as I read your posts. I hope I’m not speaking out of turn but your husband sounds absolutely miserable. And his misery is not caused by you. The dead giveaway is his insistence on blaming and disrespecting you. Feeling anger toward the faith that grounds his wife does not display love. He doesn’t have to accept the Catholic faith to respect that his wife accepts it. As for his comments about polygamy, I could be wrong – but they really sound rooted in his desire to hurt you. I don’t know you or him but I’d really like to shake him hard and snap some sense into him.

What I can suggest may not help to heal you but here goes… First, PRAY. Pray the rosary as often as possible. With little ones around, I can’t hang onto a rosary or even make it through a decade in one shot most times. But I say a Hail Mary whenever I can. Sometimes I just outright beg Our Lady for help. Do the same with St. Rita, St. Monica, or any other saint to whom you feel a kinship. These women knew pain. They knew deep hurting. They’re with you always. And they love you. I’m guessing you need to feel some love right now. Second, seek counseling on your own. As I think someone mentioned earlier, many therapists offer a sliding scale – some insurance carriers cover therapy, as well. Contact your priest or diocese and ask for the name of a Catholic therapist (or check out Do this for yourself and your children-- get yourself as strong as possible.

I’m adding you to my prayers – get the CAF prayer warriors working for you, as well!

This is simple: He needs to learn to keep his mouth shut. He obviously does not say everything to his boss or his coworkers that pops into his mind, because he knows that his “honesty” wouldn’t be appreciated and could get him fired or worse. If he were to be “honest” about what goes through his mind when he sees a beautiful woman walk by, she would deck him. He needs to get off the stupid “honesty” kick, learn to control his appetites, and learn to say things to his wife and the mother of his children that are supportive and kind. If he doesn’t like that, tell him to go check the price tags on marriage counselors (yikes!) and divorce lawyers (EEK! :eek:) and ask himself whether he shouldn’t stick with the good hand he’s been dealt instead of throwing his chips in with a fantasy.

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