I don't want a divorce

Roughly a year and a half ago, we were married in my home state of Arkansas. We had a covenant marriage because my old Church stressed getting one. Having been a recent graduate of FSU, and met my husband in Tallahassee, we dedcided to stay there.

18 or so months later, he has filed for divorce. I have begged, pleaded, and cried for him not to, but he refused. He filed a court order for me to leave, but by then I didn’t wait around to be that humiliated. So I packed up what things I had, and moved back to Arkansas, got a new drivers license, and am staying with an old freind. My parents won’t let me stay with them; all I get is “Why should we take you in when you have a husband?”. I still work in Tallahassee, and am waiting for a job to come through in Arkasnas. Ironically, my boss has been the most supportive, letting me work Mon-Wed and then going back to Arkansas.

Since I am now a resident of Arkansas, he should not be able to throw me out so easily because of the covenant marriage. But, as my life never works out anymore, the judge at our first hearing looked at me and said “This is Florida, not Arkansas. Where do you think you are?”.

I don’t want a divorce. There is no abuse, there is nothing that can’t be fixed. I don’t want to end up like 50% of other couples, and fail at this. I don’t succeed at most anything I do, but I can’t fail at my marriage. Every petition filed by my Arkansas attorney has been denied. He told me that unless we go to the US courts, then Florida’s laws take precedance, and I have no way to stop it.

Anyone have any suggestions? For 18 months I have tried and tried. I’m not ready to give up, so why should he be able to just throw me out, even when the Law says he can’t? I start crying every time I think about it, and it’s so hard to type and sob…

I am so sorry and will pray for the situation you find yourself in.

Marriage is a partnership. If one person decides to not participate then there is nothing you can do. We all have free will. Your husband is exercising his.

**Try and find a good spiritual advisor who can help you make sense of all of this and advise you on how to heal. **

If you have no leagal recourse, stop fighting the inevitable. Pray the serenlty prayer (with special attention on “accepting things we cannot change”.


Seminolegirl -

Having followed your posts for some time, please know my prayers are with you. I’ve lived in Arkansas for quite a few years, and there are some great Catholics in this state. Please know I’m praying for you!

For those outside of Arkansas - here is some info on Covenant Marriage:


**Covenant Marriage - Act 2001 **

Act 1486 of 2001 created an option for couples in Arkansas to choose a Covenant Marriage. The couple entering into a Covenant Marriage agrees to be bound by two limitations on obtaining divorce or separation which do not apply to other couples married in Arkansas:

  1. The couple agrees to see marital counseling if problems develop during the marriage; and
  2. The couple can seek a divorce or legal separation only for limited reason, as set out in the Act, outlined in the following brochure.
    Additionally, couples bound by a Covenant Marriage, unless judicially separated, may only sue each other for certain causes of action.

Couples who are already married may execute a declaration of intent to designate their marriage a Covenant Marriage. They must sign a recitation and an affidavit after receiving counseling, to which the counselor must attest. This intent to designate their marriage a Covenant Marriage must be filed with the official who issues marriage licenses in the county in which the couple is domiciled.

Why do you want to be married to your husband? Does he show you respect, tenderness, devotion…? Is he someone that you trust?

My advise is to go to the US courts and to keep on praying (which I assume you’re doing).

Your plight is why there ought to be consistent marriage laws for the whole country. In any case, you have my sympathies and my prayers.

I agree with Della that you MAY have certain rights in US Courts to have the terms of your marriage enforced. This is a legal matter for which I’m not qualified to comment but your attorney is.

I disagree though with regard to the merits to having universal marriage laws. Thank you very much but I’m not interested in the people of California, New York, Vermont, Nevada, Oregon or Massachusetts having any say in the marriage laws of my state.

i am very very sorry for you and i feel your pain… i am going through a divorce myself and i know the feeling where you want to still work at the marriage and he doesnt…
it brings you down but can i tell you something?
this is from someone who was in a black hole a few months ago… LET GO AND LET GOD!! i know it is so difficult…
even now there are days when i am not able to do it…
send me a PM if you want to talk and we can email each other… i know what it feels like to be alone… i am sorry that you do not have the support of your parents… i have the full support of my parents which made things easier on that front atleast…
god bless you!!!

Why do you want to be married to your husband? Does he show you respect, tenderness, devotion…? Is he someone that you trust?

Since when are these prerequsites for remaining within a marriage?

Hi Seminolegirl, first of all you went to a college my husband loves, or at least use to like the way the football team played.

First of all, I am so sorry that you are going through a divorce and like the others I will keep you and your marriage in my prayers. My sister just went through one about a year ago and still fights with her ex about their children. It is a sad situation to say the least.

I do agree with others that your husband does have free will. My sister tried to say married, but he wanted out and could not be convinced to stay. I don’t think anyone could change his mind and that may be the case of your husband. I never heard of a covenant marriage though.

Hold on to your self respect and pray to see what the Lord is asking of you and call upon those who have gone through this for support and help. I too am sorry that your parents are not supporting you during this difficult time. I will keep them in prayer also.

Jesus loves you and is holding you in the palm of his hand during this time your going through. Trust in him and he will help you, just remember that it may not be in what you want. As so many people have told me as I pray for a miracle, it is all in God’s timing and his way. It is so hard to accept, but the Serenity prayer helps me to understand that I do need to accept things I can not change.

They may not be, but I don’t know that I would particularly want to stay married to someone who didn’t exhibit them.

To the OP, why on earth would you want to be married to someone who treated you the way your husband does? I would hope you think more of yourself.

i understand where you are coming from and i dont agree with the PP which says why you would want to remain in such a marriage. It is becos of the vows that you have taken in front of God. It does not matter what he is doing. What matters is what you are doing.
However, i would say do not hold on to him if he has already gone away as that woudl just cause you a lot of pain.
If you are in contact with him, let him know that you are ready to reconcile and will do everything to make this work. Do not let PRIDE stand in the way of doing this. Believe me even if this does not work out, it will give you great peace to know that you did everything to reconcile.
Remember, there is God’s will and there is Free will. You cant do anything against Free will but if you follow God’s will, He will bring you through all adversity to greater glory.

Would you not agree that these are prerequisites for entering INTO a marriage? Go back and look at the OP’s first posts on this forum and see what kind of a man her husband was when they said “I do.”

They may not be, but I don’t know that I would particularly want to stay married to someone who didn’t exhibit them.

Their is a difference between wanting to do something and then keeping your obligation.

To the OP, why on earth would you want to be married to someone who treated you the way your husband does? I would hope you think more of yourself.

Again, who would WANT to be married to a person that treats you bad? No one would WANT this. However, if you enter into marriage this is not good enough reason to end it. I doubt this woman vowed before God and man to remain married to this man only unless he treated her with respect, tenderness and devotion.

Katie, for you to say “I hope you think more of yourself” is really a slap. It is not that a woman thinks of herself as not worth it but that she views her vows and promise as worth it. This is the difference.

Would you not agree that these are prerequisites for entering INTO a marriage? Go back and look at the OP’s first posts on this forum and see what kind of a man her husband was when they said “I do.”

I would say these are VERY important to figure out before marriage and I would not marry someone that does not show them. However, it does no good to go back to the beginning of the marriage to see if her husband exhibited these qualities or not. It would not make the marriage invalid. The marriage would still be valid.

Maybe I should also say this. Marriage is about one thing. Love is about one thing. Sacrifice. Whether good feelings or fun times follow is not the point. Sacrifice is what it is about. Is sacrifice always fun? No. The problem here is that both parties must be willing to sacrifice for the other in order for a marriage to work. I think we all know that.

another thing i would like to emphasize is sometimes God has something better in store for you. Turn to the Lord and pray/get angry… do whatever it takes. He will help you… remember he is our Father. We can never do anything to make Him let us go.

Dont think that you are a failure just because your marriage is breaking down. You are not the one who quit. You have been trying for 18 months. Please do not be hard on yourself. Love yourself just as God loves you.

Try to go for marriage counselling even if he is not there. It will give you a better view of what happened in this marriage. Do not judge yourself without knowing what God has ordained for a marriage.

Based on everything else you’ve shared on this forum, I really disagree with this statement. Your marriage has been full of abusive, unloving behavior. I’m sure you’ve had a lot of people praying for the Lord to send you enough wisdom to remove yourself from the awful situation you’ve described in previous threads. Evidently He has answered our prayers in a roundabout way. God doesn’t make mistakes, sweetie. Even though you feel miserable, what’s happening right now is exactly what you need.

The Church has no problem with separation and/or civil divorce when necessary to protect oneself. I’m sorry you didn’t see fit to try to protect yourself sooner, but I’m frankly glad that God has allowed this situation to be taken out of your hands for now. I hope and pray that you will be much better off, and I really think you will be. Later on the tribunal can investigate whether this really is a sacramental marriage, but that’s not the issue right now. Even if you have to live the rest of your life celibate in order to be faithful to your vows, I daresay you’re better off without this guy at your side to humiliate and degrade you at every turn.

I know first-hand what it’s like not to want to leave a bad marriage. It’s very humiliating when it appears that you have failed at something so important. It’s especially hard when it really wasn’t even your fault and you have to carry the cross of someone else’s failure. But life isn’t about looking holy. It’s about being holy.

“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)

You’ll remain in my prayers.

We can certainly be expected to sacrifice our pride and preferences to make a marriage work. :yup: In a normal marriage, trials are to be endured and the marriage preserved.

But the Church in her wisdom finds it permissible for married people to separate for the sake of their safety and well-being (or for the well-being of the children). Remarriage is of course out of the question if the marriage was sacramental. But that is -not- the issue in a situation like this one. We should never attempt to guilt trip people who are emerging from an abusive situation, or separating from a partner who is cruel or mentally unstable.

St_ignatius110, I know you’re trying to emphasize that marriage is for life and that it isn’t always about the warm fuzzy feelings and, like any other vocation, requires sacrifice. And in all that you are right…

But…I think you should be more supportive of the difficulties facing SeminoleGirl22…if you read her previous posts you would have found that her husband has been a great sacrifice for her…and she has really tried to make their marriage work…

Let’s keep her in our prayers,


If what you have posted in your past has been true of the context of your marriage, I’d say take the divorce and run away. File for an annulment. I don’t say that lightly, for most I’d say work on the marriage.

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