I feel the Lord is asking me to give up my wife and kids


I have a hard story, and would appreciate an ear and any prayers you have.

My wife an I just had our 9th wedding anniversary. The same day is also the third anniversary of when I revealed to her that I had been using pornography for most of our relationship, since I was 18 and had started college, which was about a year and a half after we met, and really started when I found the internet though as a child (age 11, I believe) I had found a pornographic video and thereafter started a horrific masturbation habit.

My wife never knew any of this about me until 3 years ago. In fact, we had never even talked about whether I found women besides her attractive. I always felt as if she held me up on a pedestal, but it was a pedestal that I had created for myself through concealing my sin.

Three years ago I came clean and told her what I had been doing. For agonizing days and nights I saw how my sin destroyed her spirit and led her to ask questions and questions about all sorts of different things. She insisted that I never lie to her again, and I answered these hard questions and gave up my pride (although at times I didn’t want to). We went through 2 cycles of my truth telling, then realizing how I’d hurt her and trying to protect her by lying, then coming clean and telling her the truth again. Until this February, when, by the advice of a good friend, was told to “cling to the cross” and revealed to her that, yes in fact I did find the female form attractive. She said that I was demon influenced, that I was trying to destroy her and she started weeping uncontrollably.

She in the past few years had developed adrenal fatigue, likely due to the stress of the situation as well as other stressful factors that had occurred in her life prior. When under stress she would get hives and there was (and still could be) true concern that the hives could form in her throat and she would be unable to breathe. So I changed my story then and over the past 9 months have set up a horrible net of lies in order to a) not lose my wife and kids, b) protect her from stress so that she wouldn’t die, and c) because I thought it would be easier to live this way, I wanted her to be happy and I wanted to be happy myself. I’m not sure which motivation was the greatest.

But God has been after me. In her heart I know that she knows that I am lying, and something will not allow her to accept the lies, so she has to ask constantly for reassurance and I constantly have to lie to keep up the charade. But I really feel that God is calling me to sacrifice my wife, my kids and everything to follow him. I heard a sermon on the radio today about this. I have to know that she is God’s, my children are God’s and I cannot hold onto them without him or I will lose them for sure, and he might ask to take them from me anyway, and I know in my heart that I should let him. But it is so very very very hard. And my wife is not fully cured yet, and my children are so young and beautiful, and I love my wife and my kids so much that I could just burst.

I am so afraid. I am in slavery to my lies right now, and I feel that by telling her I might be released from that slavery and grow in faith and let God do his work, but I know that it would be beyond traumatic to go and take everything back for her and leave her with the knowledge that she was so deceived for all these years, that I so denigrated her dignity and spit upon our marriage, and that now she has to live the rest of her life outside of the marriage that she wanted. She has told me, during this time of lying, that “if (she) had known the things” (which are actually the truth) “about me that she never would have married me” and “(she doesn’t) know how (she) could love someone like that”. I was, in reality, the “perverted frat boy” that she “detested and loathed”.

She never would have married me if she had known about what I had done. And now I have to tell her that its true.

We have three beautiful children, 6, 3 1/2 and 17 months. Please pray for them. Please pray for me. Please pray for my wife. Any encouragement is appreciated.


Praying my heart out for your family.


God is NOT asking you to give up your family. He is asking you to die to Him. That means giving up your vices the way of the flesh.

I was, in reality, the “perverted frat boy” that she “detested and loathed”.

You do not have to remain so. GO to confession and follow the priest advice. You have wrecked your marriage but it is not beyond repair.


Hi adrift,

That’s just the thing. From the day I confessed the sin to my wife, and to a priest, I have been clean from p & m. The Lord has given me a special grace that I don’t believe that most people receive to resist these things. I have been absolutely clean for three years now.

But that doesn’t seem to matter to my wife. Her heart was so hurt that she continually is traumatized by the past, by what I did, and it seems in particular by the person who I was, and in some ways am. Because it would hurt her tremendously at this point to even know that I still find the female form attractive on anyone but her. Know that, though I do have the feelings I still guard my eyes and am faithful to her in every way. But that would be so completely insulting to her that I even have to guard my eyes. I just can’t be myself, it seems, without hurting her. At least that is how it feels.

I feel like now my family is the idol that he is asking to give up. The Bible talks about those requirements, the willing to give up your spouse and your children (or other people) to be his disciple. I feel like he has been calling me to be this kind of disciple. That maybe he will not take my family away, but rather I have to be willing to give them away and accept the suffering from my sin in order to free me from it, and also to free my wife from the codependency that I see has developed for both of us.


I concur with adrift that God is not asking you to give up your family. I would recommend talking to your priest and getting help from a solid Catholic Marriage Counselor.

I will pray for you and your family.


Great advice.

Here are some books to read:

“Be A Man!” by Father Larry Richards

“Holy Sex!” by Gregory Popcak

“The Good News About Sex and Marriage” by Christopher West


You confessed your sins to God, you repented and were forgiven. Confession to your spouse is not required. Stop telling her your past sins.

God designed you to find the female form attractive. You cannot keep the birds from flying overhead, you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.

Get a spiritual director, fast and pray and start acting like the man God wants you to be.


Your vocation is the vocation you have–even if it’s hard, even if it’s almost unbearable at times. Your vocation is marriage. The Lord would never call you to divorce your wife and leave your kids. God hates divorce. It’s in the Bible. You cannot leave it, you cannot abandon it. Your family is your calling.

Now it may seem to you that you screwed it up royally. Well, we all mess things up pretty bad. But just because it’s a difficult fix, doesn’t make it impossible. You have to be like Christ right now. Your wife, as you say, continually traumatized by the past. She’s letting that happen, and her lack of forgiveness is your cross now. Be Christ to her. This is tough, this will take A LOT of prayer on your part. Everytime she seeks reassurance, tenderly give it to her–with words and actions. And pray pray pray.

I know you have tried, that is the next thing you will tell us. I understand that, and it’s been a few years, and still things are tough. Well, my friend, this is when your vocation is the most pleasing to God–when you don’t give up no matter what. Keep going. We run the race to win, this race is not a speed race–it’s an endurance race.

On a practical level, think of how the adrenal problem she has may contribute to this. There are many hormones either missing or in too much abundance in her body. Also, if you haven’t started already, consider a good marriage counselor, a Retrovaille weekend, and meetings with your priest.

Praying for you.


My prayers are with you and your family. :gopray:


I cannot offer you any advice. But what I can do, is pray for you and your family which is what I am going to do for you now and I will pray my rosary tonight with the intention that God strengthens your relationship with your wife and heals you of your addiction …

Hail Mary,
full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.


Thank you (and everyone) so much for your posts so far. I daily try to be like Christ to my wife, and she senses that, she senses that things are so much better. And some weeks she is happy. So happy. And I know that she loves me, and I don’t think of those things of what I used to do as who I am. I know that I am a fallen person and I am less than human, that Christ and the BVM were the only perfect humans. Yet I aspire through to, through virtue, mortify all my passions and give them all up. I truly do and I have made good progress through God’s grace and the sacraments.

But yet I am suffering greatly under the burden of my lies. I don’t think that Jesus would be lying to his spouse. How can I be like Jesus completely (by no longer lying) without completely breaking my wife’s spirit?


Could you be a bit more clear about the nature of these lies?

Are you telling your wife you are at work while you are really at strip bars lusting over women?


I can clarify the lies. Save for the lie I tell her that I don’t find the female form attractive (except for hers), all the lies are about what are now ancient history. She can’t bear the thought that I ever got anything from seeing pornography, so I have lied and said that I “just had it on” but was not watching it. She can’t bear the thought that I ever got anything from hearing pornography, so I have lied and said that “it was just on but I didn’t listen or get anything from it”. I feel a little bit like Bill Clinton when he said that he didn’t inhale.

I also was very honest with her during certain times. I told her the nature of videos I saw in particular the types of videos, also the times that I had lusted after women that I saw walking around, even weaknesses when I would see some suggestive pictures, that they bothered me. I told her all these things and now I have had to craft a string of lies to take them all back. And she grills me on whether these lies (the lies to cover up the truth that I told her) are true. Nearly daily.

I no longer lust, I no longer use porn. I have never committed adultery, only adultery in my heart, which is just as bad to her, and I no longer commit that either, by the pure grace of God. I’m not lying to hide sin now. I’m lying to regain my dignity in her eyes, and her own sense of her own dignity.

Does that make sense?


Then this is the answer “Honey, my past sins have been confessed and forgiven in the sacrament of confession. The confessional is between me and God and my Priest. Please, do not ask me again about confessed and forgiven sins in the past. They have been cleansed by the Blood of Christ.”

Find a good CATHOLIC marriage counselor who can help her understand confession and forgivness.

www.exceptionalmarriages.com does telecounseling.


Yes. Please clarify. If you haven’t been involved in porn for 3 years and have been totally honest with your wife since, then what are the lies and what is the charade? Instead of bailing out on your family, it is time to get to marriage counceling, start building trust between you and move on.


I believe too that God never asks us to leave our family
Praying hard for you and family.

Our Father who art in Heaven,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth, as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.


I understand what you mean. It really isn’t fair of her to grill you almost everyday on that sort of stuff. But, again, she’s been lied to and feels betrayed, so she is just reacting to pain on the inside. This is where marital counseling will help you both. And I’ve heard that Retrovaille works wonders (I’ve never been to one, but people tell me that it’s great for marriages that have trouble).

And what kage-ar said…you have confessed your sins. After telling her that, tell her love her and that she is so beautiful to you. Keep praying, and she will become the only woman you find so beautiful.

Still praying you and your marriage…


Ditto to what Adrift & Mirror Mirror have said
Can I also recommend a book:
***Every Man’s Battle ***By Steve Arterburn and Fred Stoeker.



I also had a problem when I was young in ref to the female form and sexual desires. Growing up while serving in the military which at the time was very male chauvenist, women were belittled in typical day-to-day conversation. It wasn’t until I married that I tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to control my thoughts. When I swam the Tiber in '08, I asked a priest in confession what to do about this. He stated that the thought impulses in males is genetically linked to look for mates; we males have to learn to control this thought process. For the most part we will always have problems when out in daily life but the trick I use to not look at women as sex objects is to look at them as displays of God’s art in the world…a painting if you will. Now sometimes this doesn’t work so I rely on the the old stan-by ‘what if this was my mother/daughter/sister…’. As for the computer porn, sorry but you’re going to have to “Man Up” and either control your will and not surf for it or have your wife put child locks on it and not tell you the passwords. You can do this…you can get over this…if you WANT to…

O Lord, Holy Father, omnipotent and eternal God, I give You thanks and I bless Your holy name. I know I’m a poor miserable sinner but hear a cause that is just, pay heed to my cry, turn your ear to my prayer, no deceit is on my lips. Amen

For your intentions

Continued prayers……

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Lord Jesus, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for help. Amen

“If God brings it to you- God will bring you through it.”


God is most likely NOT asking you to leave your family.
See a Catholic counselor and go together to talk to your priest.

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