Husband wants me to divorce him but he won't do it, trying to drive me to divorce him


I hope I’m posting this is the right place.

I don;t want to divorce, I take my vow seriously. But my husband does not want me around and his abuse, neglect, hyper-control of me, occassional abandonement, disregard, degredation, putting his adult children first before me and our minor children, humiliation, dishonor of me and even neglect & abandonement of our toddler are the by products of what he tells me all the time. He has no shame except he seems to be ashamed to divorce me. He “divorces” me everyday in our day in day out life but to make it legal, the shame and stigma of it stops him. So, he often tells me to divorce him, which I won’t do.

I don’t understand. Is it more acceptable for a husband to abuse a wife to the point that she is driven to escape by divorce instead of the shame of him divorcing your wife?

Is there not some teaching from the Church against abuse of a wife and child just as strong and shameful as the teaching of no divorce?

I am not being petty when I speak of abuse. My toddler & I ended up in a “safe house” because of my husband’s abuse and neglect and at this point, he has put us in a camping trailer and abandoned us in a campground while he goes on with his life as though we don;t exist and only his adult daughters matter.

By the way, I am pregnant with our next child & was just diagnosed with placenta previa.

Thank you in advance for your replies…and prayers for our family.


the Church permits divorce in cases of abuse if it is the only legal means to separate and protect the rights of the innocent spouse and of the children. Why have you remained with him when he is a threat to your children?


"I don;t want to divorce, I take my vow seriously. But my husband does not want me around and his abuse, neglect, hyper-control of me, occassional abandonement, disregard, degredation, putting his adult children first before me and our minor children, humiliation, dishonor of me and even neglect & abandonement of our toddler are the by products of what he tells me all the time."

"I am not being petty when I speak of abuse. My toddler & I ended up in a "safe house" because of my husband's abuse and neglect and at this point, he has put us in a camping trailer and abandoned us in a campground while he goes on with his life as though we don;t exist"

Please re-read what you have stated above and then be honest with yourself on why you insist on allowing yourself and especially your toddler to be treated so poorly.

Taking vows seriously is admirable BUT at some point, when the safety of your child especially is concerned, you have to pull it together and start to make wise decisions.

Does it really matter, from what you have written above, who divorces who? Your responsibility now is to protect your toddler and your unborn baby.

Please speak with a Priest and seek assistance and guidance from the church.


I know that it is incredibly hard to leave, but I think that for your safety and the safety of your children it would be wise to get out. This doesn’t mean that you have to file for divorce - there is such a thing as legal separation - but your marriage vows do not mean you, or your children, have to put up with abuse.

The legal stuff can come later - right now, take care of your children (and yourself).

I will be praying for you!


[quote="silicasandra, post:4, topic:245678"]
I - there is such a thing as legal separation - but !


in most states in the US the only recourse is civil divorce


Perhaps I’m reading too much into the pp, but in all the states in the US I’m familiar with there should to be a filing of legal separation to protect both parties financially and to put custody and support orders in place. If the OP is going to leave her husband, she definitely needs to be legally separated before the divorce comes through, which could take years. In any event she needs to retain a family law attorney ASAP, and I’m sure the shelter she was in can refer her to one.

To the OP, if he’s already landed you and your child in a domestic violence shelteer once and he has received no treatment directed to help him deal with his anger and violent tendencies, he’s only going to batte you again. And the next time you might end up hospitalized. Or worse.

Also, if your child(ren) are being raised in an environment of domestic violence it’s almost a sure bet they’ll end up in abusive relationships as young people and adults, both as batters and as victims.


I agree with a pp, that you need to seek guidance from your priest.


Hi Boo,

I am with the other posters. The only thing I would add is a distinction between having recourse to divorce as a matter of law, and remarriage as if you had not had a marriage to begin with. Those are two different things. In the future, if remarriage is a possibility, you need to start thinking about annulment, but that's something that you'd need to discuss at another time in your life, with someone who is both qualified and spiritually wise. It is by no means necessary to remarry to have a great and fulfuilling life with two (or three?)beautiful children.

I would agree that separating from a spouse is a very serious step that should only take place for the gravest of reasons, but you clearly have those. Get out, get yourself and your children well and in the best situation possible. That is the direction that life is taking you now, and it's all you need to be concerned about.

God Bless,


If anything happens to you, your husband will be in control of your minor children. Right now, your children, having seen what has happened to you, live in fear now that they are back in his home.
You need to listen to the counselors at the shelter. You need to give them all photos of bruises etc suffered durning any physical abuse, make a diary of all instances of abuse…physical, psychological, emotional, financial, and sexual, and threats…see a lawyer (he/she shouldn’t charge for a consultation).
A nun in our county started the battered women’s group so I think the Church is well aware of the problem.


Is there a legal reason why you do not want to divorce him or file for a civil separation? I don't know where you live and the laws vary from country to country (and in the United States) from state to state.

With all due respect to the vows you *took, it seems as if there is reason to question *his vows.



I realize that right now you are racked with fear and confusion---that is understandable.

Please believe me when I tell you this, that there really is a much better life waiting for you and the children. A life with no fear and with peace of mind and respect. A life where you and the kids will not be afraid.

Please speak with a Priest and ask for help in moving toward a safe and happy life with the kids.


Hi to all,

I am still thinking about it. I tend to see the idea of trying to just “smile and kill her with kindness” as a mild form of enabling. Not that she has such major personality flaws as some of the posters described in their relations, but neither does she have an objective need to be here for three weeks. She is quite capable of changing the visit’s length.

I do understand her value to myself and my family, which is why I have opened my home to herself and my father in law each and every year, for a month to six weeks, for over a decade. I have made more accomodations than I can count, so this is not a matter of not being willing to recogize her legitimate role in my life. Its’ a matter of setting boundaries. I had understood that the visit was to be for a couple of weeks, but she chose to book for over three. It is my position that she needs to be told (with tact and kindness) to change this back to two weeks (maybe an extra day or two for travel days). It’s true that the ball is more in my husband’s court than anywhere else.

I am not a flyer with anything like frequency, so I don’t really know how hard this change will be nowadays, but it seems to me that it can be done with only moderate inconvenience to her. She plans to visit again at Christmas, so to me it is very reasonable to ask that she make the visit short enough so that we are not getting stressed with each other and the situation.

And thanks again for the time people are taking to share their opinions.

God Bless,


To everyone who replied I would like to thank you so very much. I feel so alone even though I know I am not. Some things are clear to me but some I remained confused over and it helps to have this forum to come to.

I need to clarify something, though. Because I did not say "physical" abuse, I figured it was clear but obviously not by the amount of people that thought he beats me. Please forgive me for not making it clear that my husband's abuse of me & our son is not physical; although the intensity of what he does so permeates every breath I take that it absolutely has taken a physical toll.

My son & I ended up in a safe house because even though he makes btween $5,500-$13,000 take home per month depending on overtime, he kept us trapped in a dilapidated mobilehome trailer full of water leaks and toxic black mold. My son & I were always sick and because my husband does not let me have access to any of our accounts and money, the money he does give me is not enough for me to have moved my son & I out to someplace healthy & safe. The emotional and verbal abuse was escalating and with dangerous living conditions that he refused to repair (the state even wrote him up fo rnumerous health & safety code violations) I felt I had no choice but to go to the women's shelter for help and they put us in the safe house for 6 weeks. He still hasn't repaired the trailer but bought a 23 year old camping trailer to get my son & I out of the safe house and then has left us in the campground while he just goes on with his life back at the trailer as though we don't exist. Within 2 weeks of my son & I staying at the safe house, my son & I's stopped coughing and the sore throats and upper respiratory symptoms went away.

The shelter staff came close to presses charges against my husband for at least, child abuse and endangerment, for basically trapping us in such unsafe living conditions. They did tell me that if I go back to the trailer to live, they will have my husband arrested and the child removed from the home. Obviously, I would never go back to live in that toxic mess again. This 23 year old camping travel trailer is actually in better shape than I ever remember seeing the mobilehome trailer in even before it got as bad as it is now.

But to clarify, my husband's abuse is all emotional/mental/verbal/financial and abandonement & neglect. Most folks don't seem to appreciate "abuse" until it becomes physical but ask most physically battered wives what was worse...the beating or the emotional & verbal abuse. Most would tell you the emotional & verbal took longer to heal and cut deeper that the broken bones did.

Not that it makes him any prettier character-wise or his cruelty less cruel because he hasn't physically beat me but still, I just wanted to clear up the picture.

Someone asked, what is keeping me with him? I do love him, though I don;t know how I still can after some of the things he has been capable of doing to me and saying to me. But my number concern is custody of my son. At least right now, he leaves me alone about our child...he doesn't take any responsibility for our toddler at all & he knows I do not trust him alone with him. But as soon as I take ANY sort of legal action where he would be forced to pay child support & spousal support, whether divorce or legal seperation, then I am sure he'll fight for some custody SOLEY to get off with paying less in child support, not because he wants to be an involved father.

My husband is a very skilled manipulator and deciever; trickery is an addiction for him. He knows a lot of people in our small town & it would be very dangerous to let him have a voice in family court in regards to custody issues. That's probably one of the biggest reasons, besides not quitting on my vows, that I don't leave him. At least this way, I am best able to control & protect my son's exposure's to my husband.

Also someone thought my son was back living with my husband. I would never let that happen , as long as I have any say or ability to prevent that from happening.

Again, please forgive my lack of clarity in my post.



Do you have any family or friends you can contact that might consider helping you get out of this situation?

It's obvious you have internet service in a camping grounds?

Have you spoken with a Priest?

Have you had a consultation with a lawyer?

You may discover that your husband will have little ability to pull the strings as he wishes.

So, are you just going to live in the trailer, in the woods, pregnant and with a toddler waiting for that person to come by with a bag of groceries every now and then ?

What makes you think he would get custody of a child---because HE told you so?? :D
This guy is a comedian and doesn't even realize it.:cool:

Time to grow a backbone and be proactive so your child can have a normal life.

I mean it's ok if YOU want to be treated less than a backyard dog but that's not right for your child to be kept in this manner and YOU know that.

YOU are the only one that child has and you cannot fold like a deck of cards and allow this to keep going on.

PM me and let me know what state you live in. Thanks


everything you describe is most definitely abuse physical and every other kind
your child is in danger
you are the mother, you are required to act first and foremost for his safety and well-being, so get your feelings out of the mix and make decisions on that basis
you know where the safe house is so move
if you have access to the internet you can contact authorities who can help you
The Church allows for divorce in such circumstances so that should not stop you although the sooner you speak to a priest, the better, and he can also refer you to Catholic Social Services.

If the shelter staff, and you yourself, do not file charges or make a report to CPS about your husband they are in dereliction of their duty and legal obligation, and so are you.


You have grounds and you have proof. The shelter told you they'd file charges. I don't know what state you are in, but child protection should be called in to keep checking to make sure you and the children are still safe. All of this documentation serves to help you. Use it.
Photos help and witnesses too. If you have any, give them to the safe house. If you can get pictures now of the old trailer, do it. You must have relatives and/or friends who saw the trailer.


Thank you horselvr and the others.....

RE: deriliction of duty and my respsonibility to protect my son-

Perhaps it's a matter of opinion but I, indeed, am doing that very thing - protecting my son. I did state that I refuse to go back to live in the mold house, therefore not exposing my son to it.

No, I do not want to live permanantly in this camping trailer but it is a big safety & health improvement over where we were, if just left up to my husband. And no, I do not wait for strangers to bring us bags of groceries.

Everything you have told me to do based on what make sense to you involves legal action which would immediately put my child at risk because it would create a situation where custody of him (and the new baby) would likely be shared and for my children to be exposed to my husband outside of my presence and control would be the worst deriliction of motherly duty I could do.

At least right now, he acknowledges that I am the sole caretaker and nurturer of the children and he leaves me alone re: them. Yes, it's weak, pathetic, unmanly abdication of his fatherly responsibility. But, he is not capable of any better as long as he remains a narcissist unwilling to get help. He does give me some money, although he is often "jacking around" with what he gives me and often plays games with me in order to get, but eventually, I do get it...or at least some.

Ya, it sucks, very, very much so. But what would be the worst thing of all, would be that in an effort to gain a more secure mode of financial support by him by the courts enforcing it, I end up putting my children at great risk because of having to share custody with an emotionally dangerous man who is not governed by any sense of good conscienous or fear of God.

You say what makes me think he'd get custody? No, not because he said so or threatens it. It's easy for others to sideline it and think FOR SURE a guy like that couldn't get custody but I know him. I know his power and skilled deceptive ability. I know this small, good-ol' boy town we live in. He also has been through this before having gone through a divorce years ago in this town when his now adult daughters were small. His ex had all kinds of proof, too, yet he managed to decieve the court and get joint custody and even get her in trouble during times when she'd call the police on him.

It's naive to think this is a open and shut case. It's a that he knows how to play very well.

Horselvr, you said I should grow a backbone. What do you think it takes to sacrifice more common comforts in order to provide for and protect your children alone & pregnant in a camping trailer that is at least clean & healthy? You may think courage only comes by way of a court system, but I tell you, I don't think most women would have the strength and courage to sacrifice in this way. I don't mean to pat my own back but I'm just trying to get you to understand courage may come in ways that are foreign to you but that does not make them less courageous. I don't expect you or anyone to understand that but I do think you are out of line to think I am not a responsible mother without a backbone.

A more regular, court-enforcable income in exchange for the emotional & mental health & safety of my children and possibly their physical safety? In the name of responsible, dutiful, self-sacrificing, courageous mothering - I say, no thanks. 18 years is a short time for my children to be under my not-perfect but at least God fearing influence and care...that's number one.

While I appreciate the kind and thoughtful input that people have given, please do keep in mind my question was not, what should I do but simply trying to understand if the Church (spoken or unspoken) is more accepting of mistreatment of a wife but at least staying married to her as opposed to divorcing her. I ask that question trying to understand my husband's motivation for trying so hard to drive me to be the one to do it but his refusing to be the one to file the paperwork.

I do know that he and his brothers (all except one, divorced and unable to keep women married to them) maintain the notion of "Poor men, it's just another story of another woman doing her man wrong" type mentality. Perhaps his motivation truly is to be able to say in the end, "Yep, another woman did me in by divorcing me. She did it, not me." Maybe it means that much to him.

One bit of his childhood background that will help understand him a bit more: although they had a strong, Catholic upbringing, the father was horridly abusive to the children, my husband getting the worst of it, for some reason. The mother always just looked the other way and prides herself in that she never left her husband, staying married to him (in the home) through it all. You can see traits in all the adult kids of how they just create their own realities and are knocking & judgemental of everyone else except themselves, lie and decieve because that's the only way they knew how to survive the pain of childhood. To this day, all the kids worship their mom, even though she never protected any of them from their father. Her glory and pride is that she never took the kids and left and they literally, just about worship her. She is an awful, arrogant, cold, prideful in a very bad way type of woman and yet she seems to be the measuring stick for the sons.

Anyway, I'm sorry...I can take a lot but when someone starts attacking me as a mother, the one single most important thing that keeps me fighting (albeit unconventional for most) the best I know how to protect my kids from exposure to their father outside of my presence, that's where I don't do so well. Constructive critiscism, absoluetly. Condescending remarks, please, keep them to yourself.



Yes, I’ve involved the church - they’ve gone so far as, here’s this book or program to follow, try this counselor, now try this one… but they won’t step out of their offices and intervene or rebuke him or disfellowship him.

Yes, I’ve consulted an attorney. Yes, I’ve picked the brains of the staff and legal people in the domestic violence community, all of which is why I feel that if my #1 goal is to protect my son & new baby from their dangerous father, then I cannot risk giving him a voice in court where custody considerations are a mandatory part of any child support pursuit.

As long as I don’t try to undertake any legally binding financial enforcement upon him, he leaves me alone regarding the children. I don’t think that is a good trade either, but what it is is the safest bet for my children’s emotional, spiritual, mental & physical well-being and that makes it the better choice.


Ya know---I typed a whole page why women like you tick me off and I decided that no, you are right. The church never helps and neither does the legal system.

"“But my husband does not want me around and his abuse, neglect, hyper-control of me, occassional abandonement, disregard, degredation, putting his adult children first before me and our minor children, humiliation, dishonor of me and even neglect & abandonement of our toddler are the by products of what he tells me all the time.

That’s YOUR opening statement on the abuse your husband inflicts on you and the toddler.

Here's some more:

" he kept us trapped in a dilapidated mobilehome trailer full of water leaks and toxic black mold. My son & I were always sick" But I do love him".

And still you insist that you are a "GOOD MOTHER". NOBODY keeps anybody trapped---YOU kept yourself and your toddler trapped. How sad for the baby to have to live like that.

You are bent on living in abuse and squaller and allowing your child to be in the same situation because you are such a "GOOD MOTHER" and more concerned with "understanding" your poor husband and his past.

I am praying for your children, that someone finally sees how you are allowing your toddler to be treated and that social services steps in.

Jesus, please protect the children.


My prayers are with you and I just sent you a PM.

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