I really don't want a divorce, but I feel I have no choice..

Hi all…I feel so sad as I write this but have an appointment with a divorce lawyer tomorrow. My husband is financially irresponsible and driving us to bankruptcy. He has lost 3 good jobs since our 5 yr marriage due to his outbursts and temper, has been diagnosed with depression, becomes defensive if I try and talk about finances with him and I am at my wit’s end.

When creditor’s first started calling, he ignored their calls. I tried to set up payment plans but he lost his job and income; all of the bills, house payment, utilities, food all of the expenses fell to me. I pleaded, begged, screamed, yelled at him to look for work and he would promise to do so; he spent maybe an hour or so looking and yes I know it’s hard. But he would lay in bed drinking coffee and watching TV while I left for work in the mornings! I sent resumes, looked for jobs for him - basically had to force him to be responsible. I grew resentful of his failure to understand what was going on. Every cent I make goes toward running the household. We have not been intimate in 2 years. I just don’t see him the same way. I don’t want to kick him out because I know he has no where to go. But I would like to feel better again. We are in our 40’s and I am depressed and can barely focus on my job.

The bulk of the credit cards are in his name that he had before marriage and now they are threatening to sue. He still acts oblivious to what is going on. He found a part time job but it doesn’t cover much. I don’t want to file bankruptcy, but he doesn’t have a choice and I will be affected as a result I feel I have no choice but to leave him to his own devices. We tried Retrouvaille and marriage counseling and he does not take it seriously. We were married in the church and it just hurts me to do this. I try talking to him and he cuts me off, claims he’s going to do better, but does not listen, blows up at me, so I just avoid talking to him - it’s easier. Besides, I am even tired of hearing myself nag! I am just angry but feel he is dragging me down.

I feel guilty, sad at the same time and just don’t know where to turn. I don’t know what has happened to him. He was not like this when we married. I feel he’s gotten worse or he hid his true personality. I don’t see any other way out but divorce yet I feel like crying.
Any advice would be appreciated.

does he take medicine for the depression? continue to go to therapy? If he is on medicine and it isn’t working then something else may need to be tried.

You do need to take care of your health too. it seems as though you could also use support, spiritual, emotional, physical and mental…financial.

What does your priest say?

Could he be suffering from pornography addiction?

You feel like he’s dragging you down because he is dragging you down. You need to get away from him and bring yourself back up. You have a responsibility to secure your welfare and your future. If I were you, I’d start with a civil divorce and if that doesn’t wake him up, I would talk to a priest about everything from beginning to end and see if you have grounds for annullment. I fear that the situation you describe is going to ruin you if you don’t help yourself. He’s mooching off of you. You need to cut him off.

rence, not to be argumentative…I suggest the priest first. She needs spiritual support too…sooner the better.

From the Catechism:

2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.

If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.


Consumerism and materialism - finances - are no reason for a divorce, especially if he’s not driving you to homelessness (that is, a true threat to security). A reason for separating financial accounts and responsibilities, and divesting yourself of stuff that is jointly owned? Yes. If he is repeatedly driving you to the point of absolute destitution and can not be or refuses to be treated multiple times, there may be a call for separation or civil divorce - but, you are posting on the Internet. How bad can the finances be? Wasting away extraneous income may not be wise, but it’s not an offense.

A disease - depression - he is struck with is no reason for a divorce. A reason to seek therapy, or medication? Most likely.

Losing jobs a reason for divorce? Everyone loses jobs. You were lucky that he was able to find one in the first place. If he has a disease, as real as epilepsy or multiple sclerosis, that affects his work performance or ability to hold down a job, a reason for divorce? No. A reason to seek therapy? Maybe.

Adultery a reason for divorce? No. A reason for separation: most definitely (and a civil divorce). Lack of sex a reason for a divorce? God forbid! Try to see it as a blessing to live in celibacy, a call from God (who uses other people much more often than he uses divine power).

This drives home a point that I was talking of earlier in another thread, that the State should have no business with nor interest in marriage, which should be a purely ecclesiastical matter.

Is this entire situation a clarion call that both of you should be seeing therapists and receiving spiritual counselling? Yes. It sounds that most options haven’t even been considered, let alone exhausted. It sounds like the finances are a rationalization or defense of, not the cause (or sole cause of), of the “feeling differently” or “lack of chemistry” or “lack of compatibility” or “irreconcilable differences”.

Not to cause offense, but to merely tell what I see.

If he’s been diagnosed with depression than meds with therapy have a much higher success rate then either meds or therapy separately. As someone else mentioned, it is not uncommon to have to try several different meds before finding one that works.

Here’s a good website with links to resources for depression:

www.depressionfallout.org I found Anne Sheffield’s books very helpful.

another addressing the physical changes from depression:

It sounds like you’ve tried all of the right things, it takes two to truly make a marriage and you can’t force him into working at it. However, before jumping straight to divorce, have you considered doing a separation first? It may be the wake-up call to him that you are truly serious about this. I would think you could go to his counselor/therapist and discuss this, setting specific goals for the separation.

  • He gets a job
  • Holds the job for some set period of time before you’ll consider reconciling
  • He establishes a plan for addressing his depression
  • Both of you get counseling/advice from your priest

It is not unsual for a partner of a depressive to become depressed themselves. You can’t help him if you start going down the same spiral. Think of separation not as the first step to a divorce but an opportunity to recharge, regroup remove some of the day to day stress, and evaluate how you’ll move forward. Exercise and therapy have been shown to have the same chemical affects on the brain as anti-depressants. I hope you’ve got a good circle of friends for support or to just go hang with.

I’m sorry for what you are going through. I had some similar (but not quite to this degree) issues with my husband early in the marriage but things have turned around.

This might sound stupid but is there any way to protect yourself financially (make sure everything is separate) but then continue searching for ways to make things work? I don’t want you to be ruined financially but I do hate to see someone give up on a marriage :frowning:

If he is depressed and you are angry that’s an explosive combination. Sometimes people need us to love them even when they don’t deserve it. My husband and I have both loved each other through things when the other didn’t deserve it at all and now we are stronger.

If I were you I would get into counseling, psychological, spiritual, and financial. Do it for yourself and you might be surprised at the changes in him when you set the good example.

What? Pornography “addiction” doesn’t do that; actual addiction (i.e. to heroin or alcohol) and mental illness does. I’d assume even the most absent-minded wife would notice if her husband was always in cups or was nodding off on dope with holes in his arms.

It seems from your post that you’re not married in a community property state, never been married to someone suffering from a drepressive disorder, and have never been married to someone who’s driving your family to wrack and financial ruin.


I suffer from clinical depression, and from where I’m sitting it seems to me your husband is in the middle of a textbook depressive episode. Has he been seen by a physician? If not, he needs to ASAP.

It also seems as if you’ve been both of the adults in this marriage for a long time. Looking for a job him? Going off to work while he’s in bed drinking coffee? Really?

You need to do whatever you need to do to protect yourself financially in this situation, and the only person who can give you the advice you really need is your attorney. If you don’t act now to guard whatever financial resources you have left, you’ll be working into your 70s and beyond with no hope of a secure retirement.

Your husband needs to do a lot of work on himself and take some financial and marital responsibility here. If he can’t or won’t do that, you need to do whatever you need to do to protect yourself.

I’ve been in your shoes, Cindee. It’s a miserable way to live.


Everything else in your post follows from this. He has been diagnosed with depression. If he is taking antidepressants, they don’t seem to be working very well. He needs to talk to his doctor or therapist to change/adjust his medications. The temper - from depression. Inability to act on his own behalf? Depression. He has gotten worse, because he’s depressed. Please do not think that he is doing this on purpose. It is his brain that is causing a chemical imbalance. I hope he doesn’t drink on top of being depressed, it is the worst thing people can do but it happens not infrequently.

If it were me, I would sit him down and tell him that he needs to get better treatment for his depression, and that is a condition for the marriage to stay together. Otherwise, a separation might be necessary. I would not threaten divorce. I would seek counseling for both you and your hubby because living with a spouse who is depressed is not easy nor pleasant. The spouse can get angry and frustrated. Do you have family that you can turn to?

p.s. Having depression does not mean one gets a free pass to abuse others or act like a total jerk, or just give up on life. Your husband should get understanding, but not excuses. He still needs to get up and help himself to get well.

I am terribly sorry you are going through this. I don’t like to see someone give up on their marriage either, but I do think you would be justified if you chose to go the divorce route. You just can not be a mom to an adult man. It sounds like he just won’t try and you deserve better than to be dragged down financially


sickness and health, this is the sickness clause.

It is not fun, but, what you can do is take over all of the finances for the family. All of them. He gets the spending money you give him and nothing more. You see a lawyer, work out what you can and get control of your lives.

At the same time, counseling and good medical care. Lots of prayers.

This is an unbelievable amount of destruction from his depression in only 5 years of marriage! I see you are being urged to continue to hang on. Until you drop dead from nervous exhaustion? Then will you have hung-on “enough”?

Separating seems in order, so that you can regain some sanity. Your staying with him seems to be making him more dependent and useless - he does not have to do anything because you do it for him. Maybe if he is not being carried by you, and becomes homeless and destitute he will either get help or get moving on holding it together somehow…

For him to be this far gone after only five years of marriage, it appears he had serious problems when he made his vows. Has he ever in the marriage made any attempt to be like a husband, to love and serve and honor you? Or is it just you doing that for him the whole time?

Yes, you marry for better or for worse, but was there* ever* any “for better”?

That you have tried Retrouvaille and counseling tells me yuou have gone the distance in trying to make something out of this.

You can get very good Cathoic advice by calling Gregory Popcak’s counseling. Google it. Call them and see how they think they can help. I think you will be encouraged. Even a one-time phone consultation can give you some really good, psychologically sound and throughly theologically correct Catholic advice. Popcak was a daily Mass attendee for most of his life and God has generously bestowed wisdom on him. He and his wife have been on EWTN radio and TV as well speaking on Catholic marriage. I really think you will get good help and truly wise and godly perspective for your current situation!

There is no arguing, you have the right to your opinion. My thoughts are that she is on a downward spiral and no one is going to help her but herself. She doesn’t need to put up with the kind of abuse she is being subjected to. That is not required of us. She’s already been to Retrouvaille and a marriage counselor.

I don’t really think you and I are disagreeing. Since marriage is supported on Church teaching and priests are supposed to know both pastoral and theological, a priest would be able to help her and support her in a way that is actually helpful.

The problem is bad enough and it may open the husband’s eyes to want help.

The pastor may say the same thing you are, but she still needs pastoral care. sooner than later.

The above is not just a matter of finances, she is on the brink of bankruptcy and WILL end up homeless if she continues in this way. She is already paying for their current living expenses, AND HIS previous credit card debts. They’re going after her because she is married to him. If she doesn’t separate herself financially from him, and start building a savings account, she will be in a very bad place, which she can’t do if she’s supporting both of them. You can’t help people who do not want help. I hope she saw her divorce lawyer when she said she was going to. The lawyer might be able to suggest ways she can help herself out of this mess.

I agree that she needs to see a priest, but for the sake of her welfare, I’d start the civil separation/divorce proceedings asap and separate myself from him financially and legally before it’s too late. I’ve seen this way too many times to count, and it ruins people and leaves them on the street with nothing. A civil divorce does not make one not married Sacramentally. It’s a legal safety net. She can talk to the priest about her options (including annullment) after she’s secured her safety, and the risk of homelessness is a very real threat to her safety right now. She will probably still be making payments for her husband’s financial neglience for the bills he wracked up while they were married, even after she gets a separation and/or divorce, but at least that amount stops right there instead of continues to grow. People like him end up getting alimony from the victim as well…so I hope she has a good lawyer.

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