Is it ever proper to separate or divorce?

To be with God: enthused

Before you ask: we have talked about all of this.

For the last several years I have wrestled with my marriage, and it came to a head last year. A series of nearly providential events pushed me to a conclusion that I should quit full-time work to focus entirely on my children as the best rationale to continue in my marriage, or separate. This, after years of raging fights, and numerous counseling sessions. Providence interjected in a way that canceled that plan.

There are no cardinal marriage breakers driving my thinking – just years of lies upon lying, misrepresentations, some theft, and calculated behavior. I no longer trust. And, it is to the point that I no longer challenge misdeeds or misstatements. I don’t want to prompt the violent eruptions that have in the past shaken the children. As one priest suggested, it seems like I do not really know my spouse; and I add, that this state exists regardless of my futile attempts to rectify it. I am at my end, physically and mentally. Only my faith keeps me at it, but I am quite shaky.

On the interior, I am hollowed out. Now, I see no future past the kids leaving, and would likely leave tomorrow if somehow the kids were gone. It is less a marriage than a cross that I constantly pray to cope with. I am so torn on doing what’s right for kids first, then for her, and, lastly, me – and it was only when one priest said “God does not want you to be unhappy” that I considered my part in this. I ask God internally: can I simply cope and patch result that occur? Is that Your will? I do not sleep well. At times, I am definitely hanging at the end of my rope. Another priest suggested that my real goal is to find peace. Amen to that!

I do not want to go into details here. Suffice it to say that the majority of Godly friends consulted over the past three year, who know us both, suggest separation or divorce. The three priests I’ve consulted, who, likewise know us, suggest: a) separate/divorce and “love her in a way other than in marriage;” b) try separation, but consider well both more counseling and the children; and c) discuss my feelings of separation, because we appear to already be separated, but living together.

I am going to present c) this week, with the understanding that a) is a definite possibility if there is no change. I pray for God’s will here: to cope with all the pain, if necessary, but to seek to know the whether the situation might warrant leaving. I don’t seek to leave to find a new “happier” alternative. I want to serve the vows of my marriage, if possible, the best welfare of my children, and God, above all.

Thank you for thoughts and prayers.

My prayers are with you.
Tom

I am going through a similar situation with my husband. After he attempted a violent suicide, I have found out that he has been very verbally abusive to my daughter, his step-daughter. We have been married 11 years and she was 6 when we married. Her real father abandoned us. I do not know that man I have been married to for 11 years and do not know what to do. He is no longer in the house. I would not let him back in the house after he got out of the hospital.

I cannot lightly advocate separation or divorce, but there are times when it is absolutely necessary. Only you can know if this is one of them, for you.

Physical safety is certainly one of those issues, and so is non-physical safety (from emotional, psychological and verbal abuse). In order to protect yourself or your children from immoral influences (porn, for instance) would be another. To avoid “enabling” an addict would be still another." I have a friend who is in process of divorcing a man who is severely mentally ill, and consequently just downright mean and manipulative; I do not in any way condemn her, but I admire her for trying as hard as she did for as long as she did.

Separation can be an extremely difficult issue for a woman wanting out of a bad marriage. You may have to sacrifice more time in order to plan “how to leave.” That could include financial issues that need to be addressed. You might also have to consult an attorney to force the issue, if your husband does not want to leave your homeplace, by filing a Complaint for Divorce From Bed and Board (a legal separation and a forced move).

If you feel you cannot continue in your present circumstances, I can only offer you my greatest sympathies, and vigorously urge you to do some research before you take a step out.

May God give you wisdom.

Separation and (civil) divorce are allowed in serious circumstances and some of what you describe seems to meet that criteria. You have discussed the matter with priests and they, or at least some of them, seem to agree.

Keep in mind that, no matter how painful the situation may be, a sacramental marriage cannot be dissolved and that a civil divorce is only to protect yourself according to the law of society. If you feel that you were misled into the marriage, you can discuss whether or not you have a case for annulment.

I will pray for you in this matter.

Pray always!

I will keep you in my prayers also, during this, your difficult time. Many blessings.

Proper or not, I am not staying with my husband until old age. When my children go off to college, I am out of this marriage.

if there is violence, threat of violence, or strong probability of violence, leave now, the sooner the better. Get a lawyer involved now to protect the interests of your children and your claim to marital property you need to support them. A man who abuses his wife, physically, verbally, psychologically will eventually abuse the children, not to mention the damage they suffer through seeing their mother abused.

Yes, It is proper to separate if it is truly needed for personal safety or another such pressing concern. It is also okay to use the legal system to secure a future for your children (divorce, etc). Only you know what it is that is happening at home. Your friends may or may not be right, but you will be.

If you are too emotionally drained to care properly for your kids, they will suffer. Consider your available means to recharge yourself.

It is possible to remain married to a liar, but it is a cross indeed. :frowning: I will say a prayer for you today.

I also think that as you say “violent erruptions” if you feel unsafe or your children----this is cause to GET OUT. Do not wait. DO NOT take abuse—either physical or emotional. You are loved much more by us, your friends and family and by God to take any abuse whatsoever.

Read the book “Safe People”–by either Townsend, Meyer or one of those guys from 1-800-Newhope. They also might give you some great advice as it is a call-in counseling show on daily.

Good Luck and God Bless You~

Don’t forget how much God Loves You~~He has a special plan for you and your life~

I don’t think that it’s ever ‘proper’ to separate or divorce (if the marriage is valid). It’s possible to argue that it might be necessary in extreme circumstances. The danger is 1) that we see separation/divorce as cure all; it is not and invariably leads to more, unforeseen problems 2) once separated/divorced, loneliness can lead to vulnerability to more abusive relationships and/or irregular marriages 3) It is a fact that children fare better with both parents even if the relationship is tempestuous. Separation/divorce always harms children 4) Some are called to suffer, with Christ, for the salvation of their spouse.

  1. Some are called to suffer, with Christ, for the salvation of their spouse.
    ==========================
    Oh please.

[quote=Lilyofthevalley]4) Some are called to suffer, with Christ, for the salvation of their spouse.

Oh please.
[/quote]

Lily, I see in your Public Profile that you are Protestant. That explains why so many of your posts reflect views that are not in keeping with the Catholic Church’s teachings. Your comment here is not an issue of Church teaching but rather inappropriate disparagement of Jim’s very valid and devout sentiment.

Dear friends

If you are personally suffering in your inner peace or your personal safety you are NOT called to endure that

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

[quote=Teresa9]Dear friends

If you are personally suffering in your inner peace or your personal safety you are NOT called to endure that

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa
[/quote]

Teresa–On what basis do you make such pronouncements? Since this is a Catholic forum, perhaps you could support such statements with references to Scripture and the Catechism. Certainly, personal safety is fairly clear cut, but “inner peace”?? So any married Catholic whose inner peace “suffers” from being married is authorized to separate or divorce, and they are not called to endure? I don’t think so.

I know God works in my heart, and I have seen my wife’s levels of affiliation to our faith grow. The violent outbursts have not involved injury, although lots of profanity and small things get thrown (her reply: “I don’t throw to hit you, and I haven’t done it in awhile.” my reply, “I don’t challenge your views/actions like I used to because of your responses and their effects on the kids.”).

[font=Arial]Yes, it is a cross, and I hope to find peace in bearing it, if I can. Thank you for prayers, especially.[/font]

[quote=La Chiara]Teresa–On what basis do you make such pronouncements? Since this is a Catholic forum, perhaps you could support such statements with references to Scripture and the Catechism. Certainly, personal safety is fairly clear cut, but “inner peace”?? So any married Catholic whose inner peace “suffers” from being married is authorized to separate or divorce, and they are not called to endure? I don’t think so.
[/quote]

What is it with you? I think it is fairly clear what inner peace is, if someone is mentally bashing you, you do not have to endure that, neither do I have to endure you

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

[quote=enthused]I know God works in my heart, and I have seen my wife’s levels of affiliation to our faith grow. The violent outbursts have not involved injury, although lots of profanity and small things get thrown (her reply: “I don’t throw to hit you, and I haven’t done it in awhile.” my reply, “I don’t challenge your views/actions like I used to because of your responses and their effects on the kids.”).

[font=Arial]Yes, it is a cross, and I hope to find peace in bearing it, if I can. Thank you for prayers, especially.[/font]
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enthused–My brother and his wife had a very similar situation, though it involved injury. When he went to the emergency room because his wife threw things at him, my brother knew he needed to do something. Yes, his wife has a volatile temper, is out-of-control and violent (throwing things, hitting, kicking, scratching). But I know my brother and he has behavior that I suspect exacerbates the situation. He was blaming his wife. But I encouraged him to get counseling for himself, and when he was perfect and could improve no further, only then should he consider divorce. I know him well enough to suspect that he was scapegoating her as a way of not addressing some of his own behavior which fueled the situation. That was two years ago, and I understand that they both are going to counseling and have benefitted immensely from it. There are no children involved (because they married late in life) and they live overseas so we only see them a few times a year. Those few times a year were enough to see clearly that they had very significant issues that were eating away at their marriage. They tried to hide and deny their problems but the problems were so obvious to his family. Only when he broke down and was honest with us, did my brother fully acknowledge the situation and start to take positive action.

I don’t know your situation. But I would suggest that you do what you can to address your own issues. Get counseling for yourself, change your behaviors in a positive way, continue to love and forgive your wife. Over time I believe things will improve. If you loved her enough to marry her, there is something there that can be rekindled. (Also, consider the possibility that she has medical issues. My SIL had a medical condition, thyroid insufficiency, which she treated with “holistic” methods and would not take medication. Once she agreed to take her medication, she was significantly more even-keeled emotionally.) God bless you and your family. Keep at it and keep praying.

General Reminder:

The charity level of this discussion appears to be deteriorating. Please self-edit for tone and content. If the charity level does not improve, this thread will have to be locked. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Lily, I see in your Public Profile that you are Protestant. That explains why so many of your posts reflect views that are not in keeping with the Catholic Church’s teachings.

What’s your point La? ? You are somehow the big bad Catholic in cybar space policing my posts?I doubt you are the mouth piece of The Vatican.

Your comment here is not an issue of Church teaching but rather inappropriate disparagement of Jim’s very valid and devout sentiment

His comment is foolish especially if a woman or a man is in an abusive situation.
Furthermore if my Protestant posts offend you and your illusions of your greatness try ignoring me.

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