I need help, y'all


My name is Tracy. I have been married for 7 1/2 years. I have one daughter, Emily, who is three years old. I am having some serious marriage problems.

  My husband Danny and I have never really been deliriously happy.  Content, perhaps, but on-fire-in-love, no.  I am rather sick of talking about this because I've told so many people the problem, and they all say, "Go to counseling and fix it.  If you can't fix it split up."  Well, I wish it were that easy.  The most practical problem we have is a huge mountain of debt that we can't seem to get from under.  Building our house has made that worse.  (Oh, but he HAD to have that house!)  It's hard to divorce when you have no money. 

  Truth be known, things didn't start to get hopelessly bad like they are until we moved into this house about a year and a half ago.  Emily at the time was 18 months old.  Building the house just about killed both of us - him from driving nails and me from excessive child care responsibilities.  I was also out of work for about nine months - five months before and four months after we got into the house.  During that time, since I wasn't working and due to the additional stress of building the house, I put on weight.  My husband basically told me one night (oh, excuse me - yelled at me one night) that if I didn't lose the weight, he'd find someone else to sleep with.  I joined LA Weight loss soon after that.  He was so kind as to print the info for me off the internet.

  That worked for a while, but then I got a job at Kohl's.  (BTW, DON'T use them.  You're better off losing the weight yourself.  They suck.)  I did that for six months and then had to find something full time because I wasn't making enough money.  All this time, Danny is, of course, being his hateful, nasty self - always looking for something to yell at me about.  He has been abusive to me.  He hasn't broken any bones, but he has done what I like to call "manhandled" me and verbally abused me harshly.  He makes more money than me, but it's not enough to pay the mortgage and all the debt we have, so I have to work.

   My job history from that point on was a blur for a while, going from one job to the next, seeing what was going to work for me.  Since I had been out of work for a while and had only done retail (where mostly women work) up to this point, adultery was not something I considered at length.  But as soon as I started working where there were some decent-looking, sweet-talking guys, adultery started to look pretty attractive.  I've been with several men since I left Kohl's, and to tell you the truth, in my particular situation, I'm still looking.  I mean, really, y'all, if I have to end up leaving my husband due to his harsh treatment, I would like a replacement.  

 Note:  We tried counseling several times.  I went by myself at the beginning of the marriage, we tried one guy later - he "fired" us, and the most recent counselor (last straw - why I'm writing this) was a straight-shooter, problem-focused sort of woman.  Guess what?  He didn't want to go anymore.  Big surprise, huh?  He also knows about some but not all of my affairs.  At first he was hurt, but here lately, he honest-to-God does not care what I do or with whom.  I'm certainly not getting any "lovin'" from him - of any kind.  If he's in a good mood, he'll hug me.  That's it.  

  I have also talked to my preist about an annulment.  He said that I cannot be considered for that until a civil divorce is complete.  I did not know that.  The Pauline privilege would never apply to me because he is Catholic as well as I am and he said that, "If anyone in this relationship is going to leave, it would be you."  It sounds to me that he just wants to treat me bad enough that I finally get fed up and leave effectively making me the "bad guy" and therefore, free to marry no one else ever unless I qualify for an annulment.  

  I love the Church and her discipline, but I'm between a rock and a hard place, folks.  Is this what Jesus really wants for people?  Please tell me how I should get through the next year or two of my life.  Any resposes to this post would be greatly appreciated.

Yours Truly,




I would suggest very highly getting in touch with Fr. Serpa about this question. I am not sure that the public forum is the right place for the in-depth conversation that this will require.





While you are on your journey and you don’t know what is ahead, at least you can go to Church with your child(vip) on Sundays, and confession and communion. Put your troubles with Jesus and ask him to show you the right way out. Then whatever struggles you have from now on will be less cloudy and your decisions will be more likely the best ones.

The Rosary once a day is a powerful weapon against any evil that you are fated to confront, trust me I know. :thumbsup:



Tracy, I said a prayer for you and Danny. It’s a tough spot. I’ve been with my wife 19 years. We have had some bad years. Most people would not put up with the stuff we did to each other. Keep it simple for a while, real simple. Jesus talks about a foundation of stone. Its one stone at a time and stones fall. Just pick it up and put it back. You have to decide where you want to build. Tim


Tracy, if you really want to fix your marriage you have to make that committment today…now. Its so easy for us these days to find a way out, but it’s staying when it’s really hard that shows courage.
You really need to stop having affairs. Besides the fact that it is hurting your marriage, you are sinning and offending God greatly. Think of your soul and the risk of losing Heaven. Think of catching something or getting pregnant to someone else, how would you explain that one?
Tracy, I can understand the hurt, the pain, years of trying and things getting worse but God can guide you through the hardest of times if you trust Him.
Go to confession, and really mean it. Don’t think of other men ever. Adultery is a mortal sin. You have one husband and you made a promise to love him for better or worse.
You also have a daughter to consider. Go to Mass, teach her the faith. Pray, pray and pray more. You want peace in your soul, we all do, and happiness. You will only find these in God. No man and no amount of affairs can give you what you are desperately searching for. Only God can.
And buy some good books to help you work on your marriage.
‘For better forever’ by Gregory Popcak
’The five love languages’ by Gary Chapman
’The Proper care and feeding of husbands’ by Laura Schlessinger
Try saying the Rosary every day for your marriage. You will see a difference.
Above all, try to become holy. Your holiness will soften your husband’s heart. You may even feel that ‘on fire’ in love feeling for the first time!
God bless you.


TracyM - Yours is absolutely a post for the Prayer Intention forum - please be assured that I will add this the the things I pray for. The advice to stop the affairs is a BFO if you are truly open to healing your relationship with the father of your child. Continue to pray for your husband; his response to you is really a response to the frustration at the hole he as the leader of your family has dug.(Blinding Flash of the Obvious.) When engaging your husband in conversation, especially when the tension is high keep Phil 4:8 in mind, then you will see Phil 4:7 take over~!

Peace be to you and Danny.


Hey, y’all,

  Thank you so very much for your responses.  It means a lot to me.  Just you you'll know, I suggested retroville to Danny several times.  He doesn't want to go, of course.  Also, I don't know how to tell Fr. Sherpa that I have something posted that he ought to read.  Thirdly, I sort of appreciate the "kick in the butt" about quitting the adultery.  Maybe it has to do with me more than him.  I had a pre-marital sex problem before I got married, so there you go.  It's funny how sins seem to be custom-made.  Some people have a problem with alcohol, others with drugs, gambling, shoplifting.  Mine happens to be the opposite sex.  I don't even want drugs, and when I drink, I know when to quit.  I'm a friendly person, so I don't even have a problem being rude to people.  I get this chastity thing licked, and I'll be close to perfect.  ;)   (I'm kidding, y'all!)

Y’all Rock!!!



This is going to sound harsh, but, it comes from the heart.

My first advice - go to confession TODAY. I’d also suggest to go face-to-face with the Priest. Don’t put it off, call and make an appointment and go.

As long as you are looking at “greener pastures”, you will NEVER work on making your marriage work. Can’t happen. So, get the blinders on. If you have “friends” at work, get another job. Change your email address and cell phone number (if those are ways that these men have to contact you).

You cannot expect to have the graces to repair a marriage when you are in the state of mortal sin, so, get yourself back in that Grace, then - start to work on your marriage.

Next, if you your your child is in physical danger - you must deal with that pronto. Only you know if that is the case. If you are, find family or check with the Parish about a safe place to go.

Many prayers.


Totally agree

I just want to add that you also really need to put yourself in your daughter’s shoes. Pretty soon she’ll be old enough to really understand what’s going on. Do you really want her to see you as an adulterer and untrustworthy person? No amount of “well, your daddy made me do it because he is bad too” is going to give her a healthy view of marriage and what being a God-loving woman is all about.

You asked in your original post if this is what Jesus really wants for people… He wants you to be faithful to His teachings. Simple. Not so easy to do, but something to strive for each and every day. I know He doesn’t want to hear excuses or justifications for sinful behavior. Especially mortal sins.

Not enough people think about the very real possibility of going to Hell. Think about it. If you were to die right now, where do you think you would be headed? Your daughter (if properly taught the faith) would live the rest of her life with the knowledge that her beloved mommy might spend eternity in hell. Not pleasant, but since you liked the first kick in the pants so much, I thought you might appreciate the bluntness**:wink:



I have no advice, but I wanted to let you know that you will be in my prayers :signofcross: May you be filled with the Peace that comes only from the Prince of Peace–Jesus!


You all sound like my parents only they would have had a frying pan battle to add to the mix. They now are both third order Carmelites and still married. I would add that they are very happily married!!! It can be done. You need to stop the affairs!!! Get yourself to a good Catholic councilor. Begin to study the lives of the Saints. Monica would be a great one to start with. Get to confession very often! Work on your own sinnfulness and be a good example for your husband. You can do it!!! I am going to pray for you!


Hey, y’all

  I said I needed help.  I didn't say that I needed to be told I was going to Hell.  Y'all should know good and well that that kind of decision is for God to make alone.  This is the beauty of being Catholic, remember?  Y'all sound like you belong in the Baptist Church up the street.  I don't have a problem going to confession at all.  I've already been for some (most) of my indiscretions.  And yes, here lately that confessional has been like a rotating door for me.  I am not proud of this, okay?  I just feel like unlike some of you (obviously) I am having a real problem laying off the male attention.  Those of you who do not have this problem, consider yourself blessed.  It's quite a monkey to deal with.  But maybe with some encouragement and prayer on my part and these folks' parts who have generously offered to pray for me, maybe I can beat it.  Thank you to those who offered to pray for me and have attempted to sympathize with me.  I know I need to quit, but right now it's just going to be hard to do.  Thank you all for your love and attention.



Dear Tracy,
We appreciate your having the courage to post and ask for advice.
There is great advice in these posts; I’m not sure what Fr Sherpa could add to it, but he could add you to his prayers.
You are very young, but you have a child who depends on you. It’s time for both of you to grow up and act like adults. Affairs, fighting, verbal abuse are immature behavior. (I’ve done stuff too, but having kids changed me.)
If your husband sees you striving for a holy life, he will change as well. Try to respect and be kind to him; he’s struggling too. Go to confession, clean up your act, and God will bless you — He says "I know my plans for you, to give you a future and a hope."
God bless.


It’s hard to give up our cherished sins. I know St. Augustine struggled for a long time “Lord make me chaste. But not yet”

But acknowledging the problem is the first step. My prayers are with you.


One more from the heart advice - go to adoration. Believe me, I’m older than you, have traveled a very similar road and thought I was starved for attention. Been there, got the t-shirt. By the grace of God I was stopped at the edge of that cliff. Have women friends who have also been down the path you are on. If I sound harsh, it is because I KNOW how you feel, and I know how lonely you can feel.

When you spend time in Adoration - the world turns back into focus. Jesus has an amazing way of letting you see what can fill your real needs.

Confess every day if you need to, go to Adoration - read the lives of the saints, all the advice every one here has said - and pray pray pray. You and you family will be in my rosary intentions.


Tracy, we are all a bunch of sinners. None of us would even know there was a heaven if God hadn’t enlightened us. I hate the fact that I caused Jesus to die on the cross and with each one of my sins I cause him more pain and sorrow. I only tell you to get yourself to confession because it gives you graces and streingth. You wanted to know how to get the monkey off your back and that is the only way I know of to do that. Believe me I have logged more time in that little booth than I care to admitt. Sometimes in my sorrow, I crave the confessional because I know it will make me feel better. It is one way we recieve healing. Know that when I say I will be praying for you that I am cheering you on. You go girl! I love my husband as I love myself. I would and do sacrifice with all my striength for him. I want the very best for him and that is heaven. He isn’t always so nice to be around but I love him. That isn’t some warm feeling that I have for him, that is my choice. I choose to be with him every day. That is love.


Hey, everybody,

  Just in case y'all were curious, I did go to confession and Mass today.  Father was nice enough to see me before Mass so I could receive communion.  He also gave me the title of a book I could read, "The Solo Partner".  I went to the library and ordered it from another library (mine didn't have it.) and I put on hold "The Five Love Languages" like someone here suggested.  I put the cassettes on hold because Danny hates to read.

  Now the real work begins, y'all.  Somehow I've got to keep this soul of mine clean.  Father told me to stay away from bars.  (Darn!)  Any other suggestions?  Also, I don't have much faith that if I change myself, that is pray and strive for holiness as y'all suggest, that this change will have much impact on my husband.  I mean hey, did Jesus ever change the Pharisees?  The Jews are still Jewish.  When do I know to really throw in the towel?  When do I know that I've tried hard enough?  I guess to make lemonade out of this lemon you could say that the strive for holiness is something I should do anyway, regardless of marital status, and I will surely benefit from it.  I just don't want to feel like a doormat, ya know?  Anyway, I hate to keep bothering y'all, it just seems that you know more than I do.  Your prayers may have been what sent me to church today, too, so I thank you for that.  

  Well, my laundry awaits.  I will write you fine folks later!!!

God bless you all,



Hi Tracy. A huge hug to you. I know a little of what you are going through. My ex is a die hard alcoholic and was very abusive. For my childrens’ sake, I HAD to leave him. I didn’t want my kids to think that was the way men treated women.

I’m not going to tell you to leave Danny. Only you can make that decision. I will give you some ideas to help yourself.

  1. Go to counciling for yourself. This is strictly for you, not for your marriage. You can’t save your marriage until you save yourself.

  2. Find a way to get your credit under control. I had to go to a credit concelor (ugh, sp?). They can help you get on track with your budgeting as well as your bills. If nothing else, just take a budgeting class.

  3. Start saving money in case you need to get away quickly. A little bit of money put into a savings account each week will add up. If you never need to leave, you have money to spend on your family.

Good luck in whatever you decide.



Great Job Tracy! When my husband is being a real pain I instantly pray a silent “Glory Be.” Try it! Don’t say anything to him just say the prayer and continue doing what ever it is that you are doing. I also began to explain to my husband that our daughters are going to find a husband just like their father because they love him so much. What kind of husband does he want for his daughters? My husband could be very verbally abusive and he had begun to become physical. He is not any longer. Keep it up! It is worth it!!!

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