I'm in a loveless marriage. Please help.


#1

Hi. I am new here and this is my first post. I need some advice as I don't have anywhere to turn at this point.

I have been married to my husband for 5 years this week. We are both in our 30's and have a 1 year old son. We fell in love quickly, got engaged after two months and were married 1 year later. I totally feel like we rushed into marriage, but hindsight it 20/20. I can't do anything about that now.

Once our son was born I feel like our marriage has taken a nosedive. First of all, he took NO time off once I delivered. Thankfully I have my parents close by to help me. He then moved himself and the dogs into the spare bedroom as he couldn't be bothered by our son waking him up in the middle of the night. I quit my very good career to be a stay at home mom. He works hard to support the family and on his days off he would rather golf with his friends than spend time with the family.

He is constantly calling me lazy and telling me I don't have a job because you need to get paid to have a job. He refuses to have any sort of conversation with me about anything. I try to have serious conversations with him and he walks away or tells me to leave him alone. He said tonight that the only reason why he is nice to me is when he wants to be intimate.

At this point I honestly cannot stand him. We still sleep in separate bedrooms, have a marriage that is lacking intimacy, we don't communicate at all and we argue all of the time. He boasts that he is such a good Catholic man. We do attend Mass every Sunday and I try to be a good wife but I don't know what to do. I take my marriage vows very seriously and I don't want to divorce as I want my son to grow up with a dad and mom but I don't know what to do. We did try Catholic Marriage counseling but he decided it was a waste of time for him.

Do you think that there is any hope?


#2

Your situation sounds so painful and difficult that while it might be easy to wonder about diagnoses and questions that might arise regarding your husband and the source of such behavior and attitudes, I would suggest that you do consider making an appointment with your priest. If you feel you can explain better in the written word, a copy of your description of your marriage in this thread may be a good way to get your story clearly across.
In your situation I might also consult a good doctor about these issues. There may be something in your husband's nature that needs to be addressed if possible.

Be assured of my prayers.


#3

My prayers are with anyone who lacks the love they need (and deserve) in their life to thrive in the Lord. Please, seek pastoral counseling - particularly with a priest that you find loving and supportive. He could very well be a catalyst in restoring the lost love. And please ask your husband to seek a men's group that would assist him with his issues as well. There are many Christian support groups that deal with just these types of issues.

That Man is You and Marked Men are groups in my area that I regularly attend that adresses a Man's spiritual condition.

God Bless you,

In Christ,

Brian:)


#4

I have no advice (except to agree with the others) but I will pray for you.


#5

Just out of curiosity, since he is such a good catholic man as he claims to be, what do you think he would say if you brought up the word “divorce”?


#6

[quote="Bflomom, post:1, topic:299026"]
I take my marriage vows very seriously and I don't want to divorce as I want my son to grow up with a dad and mom but I don't know what to do.

[/quote]

Although it's especially unpopular and unrecognized these days, it bears reaffirming that there is in fact no such thing as "divorce." Once a marriage exists, nothing can end it until the death of either the husband or wife, which does indeed mean that divorce proceedings by civil authorities would at most be a mere financial formality without any substantial, spiritual meaning or alteration. I strongly suggest that, when considering all the ways you might attempt to resolve this unfortunate problem, you definitively rule out any possibility of divorce as an option, especially when that would often add an enormous further temptation toward mortal sin (adultery) down the line for both of you.

And I'm not mentioning this to in any way add extra weight onto an already-heavy burden. I mostly remind you because, when no longer thinking of divorce as some potential sort of last resort, you'll become more dedicated to keep up whatever old or new efforts you decide upon without any of those commonly insidious hints of defeatism popping into the back of your mind with an apparent escape. Once someone in a marriage accepts that divorce isn't actually on the table for consideration at all, that's precisely when that necessary "never give-up" attitude will really strengthen and permanently take hold (as research does in fact confirm).

Re: the other details of your post, you might seek further support, say, from a priest or another wise, impartial religious authority. It'll always be difficult, though, to assess, diagnose, and/or prescribe for intimately personal cases and complicated conflicts that are just briefly summarized online by half of the parties involved. But yes, I'm also afraid you may still, after all professional consultation, end up finding you're rather unavoidably in a long, but still temporary phase that must simply be waited out with a lot of patience and prayer (especially to St. Monica). Sometimes that's just how things go. Although I know it's rarely what anyone ever wants to hear before the matters at hand are safely in hindsight, time (e.g., to adapt, to figure out the heart of the troubles) is frequently one's most reliable recourse and remedy.


#7

Sounds like your marriage might be invalid if his intentions were never to be a proper husband and father.


#8

Having a child is a huge adjustment. It can put a big strain on a relationship on many ways: financially, sexually (e.g., woman is a stay-at-home and is too tired for relations), man doesn’t want to give up hobbies for family, etc. We’ve personally been there.

Communication is the key. Since that has broken down, counseling is in order, which can be anything from a priest to secular counselor.


#9

[quote="Cinette, post:7, topic:299026"]
Sounds like your marriage might be invalid if his intentions were never to be a proper husband and father.

[/quote]

I see nothing in her post even remotely suggesting, as you seem here to be doing, that their marriage has really been founded upon a lie from its beginning. Major disputes, annoyances, weaknesses, etc., however unexpected, unanticipated, or unwelcome, are often an inevitability when humans live together in close proximity for long periods of time, not a rare, surprising, suspicion- or rationalization-inducing exception, especially throughout significant circumstantial changes like having a child. Perhaps they were unaware of or unprepared for certain tensions between their personalities or something; however, if so that would still be a far cry from either spouse lacking the basic marital intention during the vows -- that is, even if we were to grant for argument's sake that such an intention happened to in fact be naive or hasty at the time (an assumption which would itself be dubious and uncharitable in the case before us).


#10

Hi there I sympathise so much with your pain and isolation in your marriage, and especially with a little child, it must be heartbreaking to persevere under these circumstances. I have intermittent issues with my husband where he will seemingly "dislocate" himself from our marriage and act like he doesn't care, is ready to just walk, etc, etc. However, I like yourself value the sanctity of marriage and for this reason (God is a good reason) , I persevere, sometimes with tears in my eyes and praying as I go, but for God's sake I persevere and pray that his heart will eventually be converted.

I have no magic solution to offer you, as my own situation is far from resolved. However, maybe asking him to acknowledge that you (as in the two of you) have reached a crisis point in the marriage, and for God's sake and your child's sake, things need to change, before the child gets older especially and starts to pick up on things being disjointed at home. If he won't sit down to talk, then maybe a letter from yourself, explaining everything as you have done here - not blaming, maybe even asking how you yourself can make things better, but at the same time acknowledging that a toxic environment has been created that is emotionally, spiritually and psychologically poisoning you, and will have the same effect on your child if things don't change. With God anything is possible, he can change, but I think he needs to be confronted first so that he realises this drifting apart cannot continue. If he then decides to leave you, that is his decision and responsibility,as long as you can say you have tried everything in your power to make the marriage work.

Prayers for you all. Say one for my family too please.God bless.


#11

[quote="In_Spiration, post:9, topic:299026"]
I see nothing in her post even remotely suggesting, as you seem here to be doing, that their marriage has really been founded upon a lie from its beginning. Major disputes, annoyances, weaknesses, etc., however unexpected, unanticipated, or unwelcome, are often an inevitability when humans live together in close proximity for long periods of time, not a rare, surprising, suspicion- or rationalization-inducing exception, especially throughout significant circumstantial changes like having a child. Perhaps they were unaware of or unprepared for certain tensions between their personalities or something; however, if so that would still be a far cry from either spouse lacking the basic marital intention during the vows -- that is, even if we were to grant for argument's sake that such an intention happened to in fact be naive or hasty at the time (an assumption which would itself be dubious and uncharitable in the case before us).

[/quote]

FWIW, there is a lot of jumping to the worst-case scenario in many replies on this forum. Posters really should think before they reply, because some of the replies can put some irrelevant and bad thoughts in people's minds.


#12

I am praying for you and I sincerely hope you will have the courage and strength to do what it takes to reconcile this situation. God bless you.


#13

Sorry to hear you're so unhappy this early is what should still be a honeymoon period.

You're 1st responsibility is to your son so concentrate on him more when your husbands home. Hopefully that, and with daily prayers, you won't dwell on any perceived slights from your husband that will poison your mind. Offer up his slights silently and graciously.

If you think the marriage is worth saving then come up with a plan to be a** valuable wife** and stick with it. A good start could be, maybe, I dunno, don't be so contentious with him over things that upset you.

A lot of people will tell you he's a bum, you have rights, blah blah blah.

Hey marriage isn't easy and for many it can be a struggle. Remember those days when he couldn't get home to put his arms around you? What changed? You have to channel in the old Bflomom from 5 years ago. You can still be a happy and fulfilled wife if you really want to be.

The strong traditional family unit is a threat to the secular powers that be that's why they made divorce so easy.


#14

[quote="In_Spiration, post:9, topic:299026"]
I see nothing in her post even remotely suggesting, as you seem here to be doing, that their marriage has really been founded upon a lie from its beginning. Major disputes, annoyances, weaknesses, etc., however unexpected, unanticipated, or unwelcome, are often an inevitability when humans live together in close proximity for long periods of time, not a rare, surprising, suspicion- or rationalization-inducing exception, especially throughout significant circumstantial changes like having a child. Perhaps they were unaware of or unprepared for certain tensions between their personalities or something; however, if so that would still be a far cry from either spouse lacking the basic marital intention during the vows -- that is, even if we were to grant for argument's sake that such an intention happened to in fact be naive or hasty at the time (an assumption which would itself be dubious and uncharitable in the case before us).

[/quote]

*You are right and I should have been more positive and supportive. Perhaps I am spoilt with a husband of 45 years who is so good to me. I asked him a moment ago how would he rate our marriage on a scale of 1 to 10 and his answer was 10.

I am very sorry for the OP and feel that she should write down all her feelings about her marriage and present it to her husband. He considers himself a good Catholic - why I wonder? He has obligations to his wife and child and it seems that he does not attribute much value to his marriage vows. I will also pray for him.

:)Cinette*


#15

I wanted to add my prayers for your family.


#16

You may want to speak to a priest, and try the World Wide Marriage Encounter sponsored by the church. If that does not work, you have grounds for a divorce and for an annulement since his actions and his statements go against Catholic teachings.


#17

Sweetheart, there is ALWAYS hope. May I suggest trying a Rosary Novena. It has worked 2 miracles in my life in the past year. Pray so very hard for Our Lady to soften this man's heart and open his eyes to the beauty God brought into his life! You're in my prayers!!

knightsofdivinemercy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/54_Day_Novena_Rosary.pdf


#18

I'm sorry that you are having these problems and I understand. :(

From what I've seen, this is not an uncommon situation, with both a very good friend and also a relative experiencing the same problem. The concept of "manhood" has been badly damaged by the secular media and culture, the authority of the father and husband has been undermined, etc. Men basically are channeled into the position of being overgrown boys because sports, etc, are the only real ways they can express themselves. The other side of the coin is that some men just have real problems making the jump from seeing themselves as single and fun-loving to being responsible adults. Again, this problem existed before the modern era, but the culture recently has only accelerated the trend. And, the problem always gets worse after children are in the picture, because the problem wasn't really visible before then.

Marriage counseling doesn't always seem to help in these situations, because it seems to be addressing the wrong issues, and can sometimes cause people just to cling to their positions that much more strongly. Another issue is that you never win a person's heart by fighting with them. He probably experiences some level of stress on his job, which doesn't help anything. He may also feel some jealousy that you don't work and he still does, whether or not it's right to do so.

I don't know how active you are at your parish outside of Mass, but I would suggest getting more involved with parish activities and finding some way that he can be involved in things, especially something with a little responsibility or commitment. This sounds like an off-the-wall idea, but it can give the both of you some common ground to start working together on something, which in turn can start building a bridge.

At any rate, I'll pray for you, your husband, and your child that things will get better between the both of you.


#19

In my opinion, you need to learn about boundaries. His treatment of you is unacceptable. You can make changes that will help you to know you are not stuck. His words are abusive.

I think, from your description, what others are picking up on and jumping to divorce etc...is that he has flip-flopped in his behavior from when you were married. Like the true self is coming out.

It may be that he did keep things hidden and you were "ripe for the picking" and he could see that or

This is new and he is suffering from something else. It has been my experience, and the experience of my friends, that there comes a point in time where a man (or woman) has to put their priorities in order. The choice is forever in front of them. If they choose themselves (or seemingly choose themselves) then the choice is painful to you.

Part of the issue is that Jesus died for us on the cross. We are all subject to that in some form. We carry crosses that are specifically made to refine us. It is difficult to figure out what exactly you should do. You are at a cross roads.

You can take the route where you make valiant efforts to stay healthy, to work at a healthy relationship or to stay healthy and learn to see if this suffering will do you and your child and your husband any good. If his answer changed from a "YES!" to a "NO!" to you what choices do you have?

Then we are reminded of St Monica. She was amazing and endured a huge cross of a husband and son who were against her faith. I imagine it wasn't pretty.

Some things in therapy are invaluable. some just take too long to figure out. Some therapists cut to the chase, but they are few and far between.

You have things you can do to make sure you are healthy, your baby is healthy...and if he so chooses, your husband can be healthy. He sounds like he doesn't want to play any more.

Having a child is a huge adjustment and shifts the attention from him to the baby, and then as you go you have to find a balance...and if he starts trying and put's his man/father pants on, it will be ok.

You do not have to accept that kind of nasty behavior though. Do not allow him to victimize you. It can become worse if you do not do something now. Get help in setting boundaries for how you will react to his behavior, and what you will allow to happen to you.

Hail Mary...


#20

[quote="NiceMimi, post:16, topic:299026"]
You may want to speak to a priest, and try the World Wide Marriage Encounter sponsored by the church. If that does not work, you have grounds for a divorce and for an annulement since his actions and his statements go against Catholic teachings.

[/quote]

You ought to be ashamed of the fact that you even thought this might be an acceptable contribution. When you clearly know nothing about a topic, you should practice a little self-discipline and refrain from adding such ill-informed, potentially-destructive attempts at advice. Seriously, just try applying the principle behind your claim with even a minimal standard of logical consistency and you'll see that you've declared any sin, mortal or venial, to be a justified basis for annulment. If some confused sense of "empowerment" against an apparent "oppressor" is what you crave, then I recommend you not seek to fulfill this personal void of yours vicariously by fumbling for it online through the serious troubles of other women. This predictable eagerness to offer everyone an excuse for quitting on marriage whenever someone becomes a "victim of unhappiness" is reckless and despicable. Given our fallen human nature, we rarely if ever benefit from extra incentives or further brainstorming by others toward the tacit end of developing more efficient ways to rationalize our own self-interest. At the least, a defeasible presumption heavily in favor of preserving a marital relationship (with due warnings against the pseudo-solution of merely civil divorce) should not be too unreasonable an expectation on a Catholic forum.


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