Husband wants a divorce


I have a call in to my priest, I’m hoping I’ll hear from him today. I’ve been keeping tabs on my husband’s e-mail since I found out in December that he was e-mailing prostitutes (his e-mail popped up in front of me while I was logging into my own, it was an accident at first). When I discovered the mails to prostitutes, I was able to get him to go with me to see a marriage counselor. That was just before the holidays, so the therapist was not available again until a month later. My husband canceled his appt., and now refuses to return. Yesterday I checked his mail and found out that he plans on seeing a divorce attorney this Friday. I am a stay at home mom with no income, we have a two year old son.

I don’t know what to do. I’d like to leave and go stay with my parent’s for a while, but if I do, he could file abandonment charges against me. I don’t want a divorce, I want to get counseling and save our marriage. He acts like everything is fine between us, won’t talk about our problems, but in secret he plans on seeing an attorney. He says the marriage counselor is too expensive, but the attorney is probably just as expensive, probably more expensive.

We’ve been together for 14 years. We lived together for 6 years, then married civilly 4 years ago, and had a convalidation in the church in 2006. I came back to the faith 3 years ago, after we decided to be open to children. He hates the fact that I practice catholicism. We desperately need counseling. I can’t force him though. I don’t know what I can do.

I pray for his conversion every day, and I have done so since my own conversion.

Why do married men go to prostitutes?

I am so sorry this is happening to you. It must be devastating.

Only you can know if your heart if he has firmly turned his back on your marriage. But, planning to see a divorce attorney is a pretty good indication.

Because of that, I suggest you look in the phone book for a local domestic violence or crisis pregnancy center and call them. While you are in neither situation, you are a stay at home mom with no income and the potential for a legal battle. They will have referrals to legal aid type agencies and/or lawyers who work for women in these situations for sliding fees or pro bono.

If he is set on divorcing-- DO NOT take the “I’ll be nice” route when it comes to getting pushed around in court. Get a barracuda lawyer who will take care of all this FOR YOU so you stay totally out of the negotiating, the fighting, etc. You need to protect you and your son financially. And, if I were you-- I’d print out and keep those emails to prostitutes.


Have you confronted him about his appointment with the attorney? Maybe that would be a good idea.

I’m so sorry you are going through this right now. I’ve been in your situation before and I know how scary it is! Don’t give up on your Faith, God WILL take care of you and your child if you trust Him. Keep praying, and in the mean time, schedule an appointment with an attorney of your own to see to protecting yourself.

Hang in there!


Thanks for the advice on finding legal help. I mailed an attorney yesterday, but he wanted $200 just to sit down and speak with him. I’ll make some phone calls today and see if there’s any help out there for me.

I have the mails saved. I did this when we went to see the counselor. I have plenty of evidence against him, not just the prostitutes. I have so much evidence against him that I could possibly severely limit his time with our son. That’s not what I want for any of us. This is just a nightmare.


I only know about it by snooping around in his mails between himself and his dad. I wouldn’t know how to explain how I found out about it. He can’t know that I have access to his mail account. It would enrage him if he knew.

I’ve tried talking to him, he just becomes defensive, we must have a mediator. We’ve had problems for a long time. It’s just now we must get them fixed for the sake of our son. If fixing our problems means divorce, then I’ll live with that. I hoped and prayed for something better for all of us though. It’s difficult to believe that my prayers are being answered with a divorce.


Is there any reason that you fear for your safety or your son’s safety?


Okay, the facts:
14 years together, no kids until you converted 3 years ago. Now he’s seeking out prostitutes…I find that very telling in itself, I don’t know but perhaps you fell in love when neither of you wanted kids, you were ‘happy’…then you convert, tell him you want to be ‘open to life’ all of a sudden…you fall pregnant and have a child, you STILL want to be open to life…A lot of non-Catholic (and Catholic) men find that very scary! And if you’ve ‘restricted sex’ to ‘only if it’s open to life’ (i.e. only if he comes inside you) he may well feel you’ve ‘spoilt all his fun’. He can’t have free-and-easy anthing goes sex anymore, all of a sudden there are RULES:eek: No wonder (in his mind) he’s trying to get the kind of no-kids-anything-goes sex with a prostitute…For him, you are no longer the woman he fell in love with…you’ve ‘changed’…in a way he doesn’t like…Now, from HIS point of view, he wants to go out and find someone who WILL go on the pill for him and have ‘kids-free-anything-goes’ sex again…in his case a prostitute!

I don’t know if you could ‘fix’ that…you are different now as a Catholic, now most of us on here would say ‘different-in-a-good-way’…but, that’s not how he sees it! Talk to your priest, but also be really open and ask him: did you prefer me before I converted, do you want ‘that woman’ back. You probably won’t want to…but at least you’d know where you stand! If he wants to rewind the clock to BEFORE your conversion…I can’t see a future for you both together. Then it may be kinder to you both, to let him go.



If you have the money in your checking account to pay a retainer for an attorney, pull it out in cash now to secure your own before your husband spends it on getting his own representation and leaving you without funds or the ability to spend the money yourself, and secure the cash outside of your home. You don’t have to go get an attorney yet, but you do want to have some cash set aside before you are hit with a restraining order on the finances that is going to benefit him as the income earner.


I’m sorry this is happening to you. I know how frightening it is to be a stay at home mom with no income of her own, and to be facing a divorce.

You do need to get an attorney if your husband plans on divorcing you. He’ll suggest that you use the same one, but don’t do that - hire one to look out for you. And hire the most aggressive one out there, just so that one can’t be used against you. Find the money somehow; ask your family if you can’t take it from your budget. Try to stay in your home if you can.

Hiring an attorney doesn’t mean that you are filing for divorce; it means that someone will help you to look out for you and your child(ren).

Something in your post makes me feel like you are afraid of your husband. If that’s the case, contact a domestic violence agency or a women’s shelter.

Let us know how it goes.


No, none at all.

He said he never liked me being on contraception in the first place. He didn’t think it was natural. But he didn’t want children either. I didn’t stop using contraception until after we discussed having children. He was the one who brought it up, he said he felt it was a responsibility to have children, so I told him I needed to start going back to church because I felt children needed to be educated in the faith. I told him then that I never expected him to convert, and that was fine. I do not force him to practice NFP. He has taken a class with me, and he understands that I chart my fertility signs so I know when I’m fertile and when I’m not. I’m the one who initiates sexual relations most of the time based on my cycle. We have condoms which he understands he can use anytime he wants, and it does not reflect badly on me with the church since he’s not bound by church law as a non-Catholic.

The prostitutes are a manifestation of his low self esteem, not his need for non-procreative sex. If we could get counseling, we could sort this out. But he’s not interested. Maybe he’s not interested because it would mean giving over a certain amount of control to the therapist.

He’s always threatened to leave, even before my conversion. I shouldn’t have married him. I asked him. I’ve made my bed, and it’s a bed of nails. I hoped better for us.

And before anyone suggests it, I did not have this baby as an attempt to save a failing marriage. We had just married 8 months before we started talking about having children. I thought that things would get better between us when we married, and in some ways they did, but in other ways things got worse. I was committed to doing whatever needed to be done to have a good marriage. I had always wanted children, but didn’t think it was a good idea financially, in addition to the fact that we were not married, but living together for so long. I was living outside of God’s grace for many many years, and I didn’t even know what I was missing.

I have a small retirement account which he has no access to, it’s certainly not enough to fund a court battle though. We maintain separate finances.


Probably because I used the word “enraged” when I described how he would react to knowing I was viewing his e-mail. “Enraged” for my husband equates to shutting down, not acting out. He’s never been violent with me. Even when I shoved him once, out of sheer frustration, he did not reciprocate. I did apologize to him for that, and it’s never happened again.

I’m probably going to go over the the women’s help center here in just a little bit to get some advice. I’m thinking about dropping the baby off at my mom’s for the night too.

I appreciate the input I’m receiving here. I hope to hear back from my priest soon. I feel sick to my stomach.


How far away do your parents live? Do they live in the same state or county that you do?


They’re not far, my old room is still there for me with a double bed and a crib. Their house is actually closer to my husband’s work than our own home is.

I’d like to leave, it would wake him up to what life will be like for him without me. But if a legal battle is impending, then the decision to leave will probably do me no good. And I’ll still be sad whether I stay or go. At least my parent’s house is nicer, and the neighborhood is much nicer. We were actually talking about buying a house in their neighborhood, and now I find out about him contacting an attorney. He doesn’t make any sense.

Please pray that his visit with the attorney may lead him to seek counseling. If only he knew the evidence I had against him. But if he knew, he’d just dig his heels in for a fight.

Since he became the sole breadwinner, the power has gone to his head. Sometimes he’s really benificent and generous, but he has a lot of inner demons.

His father is a major complication for us as well. This is the person he’s talking with about the divorce. They seem to be enjoying discussing the drama of it all.


I am very sorry. I will pray for you. :frowning:


Could he be having a bit of a mid-life crisis? Either way…yes, get your hands on as much money as you can and get legal advise! When my BIL secretly went to get legal advice, he DID go through with the divorce and my ex-SIL is still picking up the pieces 3 years later financially…I suppose, from what you write here…it’s his loss if he divorces you…Praying for you!!!

Anna x


I’m sorry for what you are going through, especially since I know what it is like, having separated two years ago. I do know what you mean about being the sole source of income going to their head.

It’s really helpful that your family is close by. You are blessed in that regard. I’m glad you have a safe place to go.

What is really important right now is to give your husband no information. Do not give him a clue as to what evidence you have. It is kind of nice in a way that you know what is coming. You can brace yourself emotionally and gather up your strength and courage. I also recommend gathering up any evidence you have of what the assets are, make sure you have a copy of your marriage license, your son’s birth certificate, and any health records. Don’t be in a rush to leave either if he does file. Just take your time and think things through each step of the way.


Consider again if you or your child are in any danger. If you are, leave. That’s very important.

Call another lawyer. Most will have an initial consultation without a fee. If you can’t find one and have to pay, go ahead and do it, if you can. Remember, he’s seeing one, there’s no reason you can’t. It’s very important you understand rights for your and your child. If you can’t pay for one, try to find a legal aid lawyer.

After you’re sure you’re safe and have some facts, consider your options. Talk to a priest again to help you work through what you want to do. Remember, you’re an adult charged with the care of your child. Sometimes you have to take action that is difficult. Jesus will walk through this with you.

God bless you. My wife and I will be praying for you.


Thank you, I really appreciate that advice. I want to flee, run away, forget all about this, bury my head in the sand. Can’t do that though. The next feeling instead of fleeing is to flip out, have a crying fit, and start begging! So the advice to keep cool, maintain my composure, keep my information to myself is exactly what I need.

He could be only half hearted in this inquiry. But it’s too important that I take it seriously and find legal assistance and advice.

I went to the Women’s shelter today and I was given some referral services. I sat on hold for an hour and didn’t get anywhere, so I’ll try again tomorrow.

Right now I’m vacillating between total numbness, utter despair, and firm resolve.

Thanks for the advice, and especially your prayers.


Get as much documentation on anything and everything you have before he gets before his counsel on Friday. Run copies of any of the e-mails to/from other women you can access; download/make copies of your joint bank statements, credit card statements, earnings/W2/tax filings, etc., to document the status of your finances; copy or print off any other data that could be relevant to the divorce, finances or his potential claim to custody of your child.

Unlike some previous posters I would not advocate secretly emptying your bank accounts–that could get you in as much trouble as it could get him. You might want to put some emergency cash in reserve for yourself. You can also negotiate payment with attorneys when your husband is manipultating the finances IF you have proof of your means and his ability to pay.

I’m sorry to even have to make these recommendations, but they are in your best interest, are not destructive, but proactive and will have you prepared since he is unwilling to talk or attend counseling and is pursuing legal advice.


Would it be possible to get a part-time job and have your parents look after your child while you are at work? It might help relieve some of your anxiety about not having finances and who knows, maybe it might make your husband sit up and reconsider if her wants to go through with this.
It ‘seems’ like he feels that he’s in a position of power having you totally dependent on him and his actions of divorcing put you at his mercy. Maybe if he were to notice beforehand that you have your own resources he might not feel like his powertrip is the most fullfilling for him.

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