I think I messed up


Hi everyone, I actually need some advice from you, because I don’t know if I messed up or not. As some of you may have known, my wife and I are having problems with our marriage. My wife’s best friend has known about the situatiuon from both of us. I decided to seek some advice from my wife’s best friend considering that she knows more about what my wife is going thru than I am, since she doesn’t want to talk to me about what is going on, you know, kind of like from the horses mouth? Well I told the friend that my wife’s b-day is coming up and I would like to throw a surprise party for her and was wondering if the friend can help me out. She said ok, all fine and dandy. Well one day my wife decided to tell me that she wanted to seperate. Naturally, I felt saddened about this. I went to the friends house and told her to forget about the party. She asked why, I told her that my DW wants to seperate. She seemed upset about what occured. But that was the end of the conversation. The friend calls my wife and they start talking at her house. The friend told my wife that I was crying and had told her that my wife had left me already, I don’t know why she said this, may be to make her feel bad? Of course my wife was upset. She came home and told me what happened. I told my wife that I didn’t cry and I had told her that she wanted to seperate, not that we have done so already. My wife started telling me if that is what i wanted, for her to lose her friend. My intention was never to break her friendship, but to seek advice from the friend to find out what i can do. i don’t feel guilty about what happened, but I do feel bad, because I didn’t want her to end her friendship. As far as i can see, may be i messed up by telling her friend that my wife wanted to seperate, but my intentions with talking to her friend were never bad. Should I feel guilty about what happened?


Don’t worry about it. I can’t see that you did anything wrong.

I hope and pray that you can save your marriage.


Firstly, your wife is wronging you by the whole thing with separation. If she had a legitimate cause like cheating or abuse, that would be different. But without it, it’s just abandonment.

It sounds particularly ironic to deprive one of his wife and complain about a friend. Especially if the thing with the friend is made up.

The friend was moved by compassion to you, not by any goal-oriented action on your part. Additionally, she in no ambiguous terms pointed out to her friend (your wife) that she was screwing up badly. That’s what friends do.

It looks like your wife wants to make some changes in her life but feels guilty for it, so she wants everyone to stop bringing up the matter because it hurts her conscience. Similarly, she doesn’t want to accept what the friend is saying, but is willing to blame it on your malice instead. She basically wants to do what she wants and dodge the blame, it seems. It’s also possible that she’s trying to manipulate you into feeling guilty, so don’t allow her. It’s her actions that estrange her from her friend and it’s her choice what effects the separation, not yours. You don’t need to feel guilty for her own choices. Just pray for her and do what you think is right, try to help her in some ways you can, but you don’t owe her the separation or approval or acceptance of anything she does.


you both messed up by putting a friend in the middle of your private life and the middle of your disagreements. You both broke trust in your marriage by sharing these things with an outsider who cannot offer competent pastoral or professional guidance. don’t beat yourself with a stick, this is probably the most common offense marriage partners make against each other, bringing friends and relatives into what should remain private. If you are going to seek advice and help in any area of life, would it not be better to go to someone who has competence in that area and whose job it is to give such counsel? The sooner you get pastoral and profesional counseling together the better for both of you, and let the poor friend off the hook. Retrouville can work miracles for a troubled marriage, ask at your diocesan family life office for a Retrouville retreat coming up.


just my 2 cents…do not bring anyone else into your marital issues…other than a priest, or a counselor. yes, you can talk about things with friends, but when friends start intervening, that’s not going to help your marriage. this is between you and your wife. it’s like the ‘telephone game,’ by the end of the line…the story is twisted and not anything of what you said.

i would stop ‘confiding’ in this ‘friend.’ no offense, just it’s truly none of her business…and frankly, at this stage, i wouldn’t trust what she might say…and you don’t need anything else to upset the apple cart. just keep it between u and your wife. you will thank me in the end. :slight_smile:


i echo this!:slight_smile:


Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t, I don’t see that it really matters. You had to tell the friend to call it off, you probably just went with the normal way of saying why when asked. As they say in marriage two become one. The problem comes when you try to break it back into two, it’s quite messy. In the end, chances are if the seperation would occur, her friend would find out. Seperations are always hard on friends, when the friend would find out why, she might not want to be friends anyway.

I just read something on a blog that seems to fit this situation when breaking off a bad relationship (the blog is just in general) expect:

"Tests – while you are working towards a successful exit strategy, expect to be challenged emotionally with ‘unreasonable’ requests. I used quotes because it is important to remember that the other party is likely fighting for their own financial/emotional survival. In these situations, people can do some strange things."

Things will be pretty messy, if things don’t get better and the seperation happens. She can try to make a smooth outcome, but she isn’t exactly going to get it.


I Appreciate All Your Help, I Certaínly Feel Better. You Know, I Have Tried To Convince My Wife For Us To Seek Help, But She Doesnt Want To. All I Can Do Is Pray For Our Situation And Hope That Our Lord Heals Her Heart. I Have Posted A Thread For A Prayer Request And I Am Trying To Get As Many People As Possible To Pray For Our Situation, Because I Know Prayer Works! My Wife Has Told Me That I Am Fine And She Is The One With The Problem. Like Mentioned Before, My Wife Knows He Needs Help But Doesnt Want To Do Anything About It. She Said That She Doesnt Feel Ready To Revert Back Into The Faith. I Know That This Would Beate A Giant Step Forward In Our Relationship. From There We Can Start Working On Healing Our Wounds. I’ve Tried Talking To Her But She Tells Of That She Feels Pressured. So I Just Pray For Her.


Did you tell her that the reason you were talking to her friend in the first place was because you were trying to do something nice for her (throw her a b-day party)?

I know that would soften me a little bit.


It probably wasn’t ideal, but then it would not have happened if not for the complications from things your wife is doing that she should feel guilty about and is instead trying to pin blame for the repercussions on the comparatively innocent parties. Its certainly not your fault that you called off throwing a surprise birthday party after she indicated she wanted to separate.

A question based on my own experience - is it just your wife retelling that the friend told her you were crying and that she’d already left, or do you know from the friend that is what she told your wife? I woudn’t be surprised if your wife wildly exaggerated your friends retelling to try to create distruct between you and her confidant so you would not compare note on what she as telling who.

My ex was/is also mad at me that she ended up losing most of her friends because they ended up being sympathetic to me because of how strange her thinking was on how marriage should work, etc. If your wife is angry that the same thing seems to be happening to her friends, it is not your fault (or theirs), but a clue she is ignoring that her behavior is unreasonable.

That being said, you need to get professional help for yourself even if your wife isn’t wanting to. I’d also look at one of the specialized groups like divorcebusting.com/ focused on what you can do to help your wife consider options other than just ending the marriage.


Well I haven’t talked to her friend to find out if that is what she really said. But my wife has told me that she is tired of everyone telling her what she is doing wrong and what she should do. She also said that no one takes time to think what she really feels. But everytime I want to talk to her about our situation, she goes on and tells me that she doesn’t want to talk about it and she feels pressured into coming back as my wife. She doesn’t feel ready to take that step because of all the pain that i have caused her before, which I understand. I have shown her with actions that everything is diffrent and I have changed, that is why she said that I’m not the one with the problem and I am fine. She recognizes that she needs to heal those wounds, but doesn’t want to take a step foward. There isn’t anything physical between us. The last time we had sex was in February, she doesn’t even want me to hold her hand. I feel bad about the situation, but to me though sex isn’t a priority at this time, even though i do feel the need. I manage to control if by seeking the Lord’s help, What I would really like to feel from her is a warm loving hug from her. But sadly, I can’t get that right now because of the situation that she is in. I mean, what else can I do, I can’t do much but pray and continue to pray. I’m willing to go to the ends of the Earth to fix our marriage, but if she doesn’t want to, there isn’t much I can do.


you are right!! if she doesnt want to fix the marriage, there is not much you can do except pray.
anyways, sometimes remember that it is not even God’s will that is being done but the person’s will.
God cannot force someone to do something. He can only show her the right way and then let her decide what to do.
God Bless…


That is pretty much the underlying attitude I suspected. There is not much you can do to directly foster a desire in her to want to work on things. Right now she is fully in a mode of denial and blaming others for her troubles while seeking excuses for ditching the responsibilities she knows are hers. On top of seeking out a good, Catholic, solutions-based counselor for yourself and keeping up a good prayer life, you need to GET A LIFE. The thing you can do that might help is to get to a point where she realizes that if she leaves, your life will go on without her, and that you will be doing better than she would be. It is not an overnight fix, but about the only approach that has success in practical application. Instead of waiting for her to take a step forward, what you want to cultivate is an environment where she will realize (on her own) that she has to start trying to keep up in order for her fits to not become irrelevant. Once she starts moving at all she’s going to be more likely to want to try to fix things, and eventually it becomes her idea to actually work on the relationship, but until the trick is figuring out how to guide her growth not by pushing her to discuss things, but creating a distance where she want to be part of what you are doing.


Yeah, and that is what I have been doing. I’ve stop talking about our situation, and started to attend a prayer group on wednesdays, going to mass every sunday, go to the marriage group we use to belong to on monday’s. I just decided to get on with my life, but continue to pray for our situation.


PUSHING is not going to get anyone anywhere. You are right to pray for God can heal all things. Just an idea, try to put the negatives in God’s hands and court her all over again. Remind her of what she admired and liked so much that she married you. Show her what she loves about you. It is hard to be in this position but if you can also remember what it was about her that you loved enough to marry then maybe you will both be able to see the positives. Things happen in relationships, I know first hand, and sometimes when we put our energy into reminding ourselves of what brought us together in the first place we realize what it is that will keep us together. The traits and virtues that drew us together can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, keep us lovingly strong together. Prayers and peace be with you.

closed #16

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.