Is my husband committing sin?


I have a knee injury that’s quite painful. My husband has also refused to provide me with any health insurance, even though we can afford it. He controls the purse strings, and has done so ever since I got laid off earlier this year and lost my own health coverage. Now I have a painful knee injury, which I’ve been attempting to have diagnosed and treated. I do qualify for ‘charity care’ through our county hospital, which is better than nothing, but which is also overwhelmed. Thus far, I have not yet gotten an accurate diagnosis of the injury after 3 months. However, I have been prescribed a mild prescription pain medicine which is ‘stronger’ than over-the counter meds. This medicine also works very well in combination with Advil (ibuprofen), a good example of ‘1 plus 1 equals 3’. Now, I can afford to buy generic Advil at the dollar store, where I can buy a small bottle for $1. But the prescription medicine costs about $10 (my copay on the county plan), and I don’t always have the $10. I don’t have it now, as a matter of fact, and I am in need of a refill. The pain wakes me up at night, and the Advil isn’t always enough to keep it sufficiently at bay to allow for a decent night of sleep.

He is refusing to give me the $10 or buy the medicine. He is refusing to add me to his coverage at work or help me to pay for a policy. Without decent and timely access to quality care (and possibly a ‘simple’ arthroscopic surgery), I am essentially disabled. But if I can get care and if surgery is needed, have the arthroscopic procedure, do my rehab therapy and get my knee better than it is now, I can work again or at least do a more thorough job search. This man won’t even help me with gas for the car or a bus pass so I’m trying to do what I have to do by riding a bicycle (very painful but necessary if I expect to do laundry or the grocery shopping that he asks me to do). That includes riding my bike to Mass and Cantor/Choir practice-- a 9-10 mile trip. Today he didn’t even leave me $5 for the bus so I could renew my county health plan. I ended up riding my bike 25 miles round trip to the hospital business office and back. If I hadn’t, it would have been another 3 months before I could have gotten an appointment, and I would have had NO coverage at all. Note, I am trying my best to care for it myself and am doing some home remedies like ice, gentle exercise, wearing a brace, resting it as needed, and so on. But the diagnosis is leaning toward a torn cartilage (meniscus) and a ligament injury/tear which probably cannot heal on its own.

I agree that if I was working and making money, I should be able to pick up the share that I could handle, within my honest ability. But right now, my honest ability is about zero even though I am trying to find a job that I can do with my hurt leg AND that I can get to on foot or a bike until a paycheck starts coming-- then I can bus t work or put gas in the car and buy some insurance. Note-- I DO NOT qualify for Medicaid because of his income, and the fact that we live in a state that has not expanded its coverage… Texas. So that is not an option. I can’t afford plans like Medi-Share or any of the faith-based plans since I can’t afford to contribute my fair share right now. I have handled my own health issues in the past when I had my own coverage, but I don’t have anything other than the county plan right now. I’m blessed for that much, but I can’t afford my meds or small co-pays out of my own pocket right now. I pray that will change soon… just NOW I am in pain and experiencing a ‘temporary and fixable disability’.

Summary-- he is refusing to meet my basic, ordinary medical needs during my ‘down time’ when I’m not able to meet them myself. There are other issues for which I am fervently praying. But is his refusal to help me in this matter a sin, or is it my ‘lot’ as he says and points to Thessalonians as his ‘proof’? (Yesterday’s second reading, for instance).

Thoughts? Is this a sin? :confused:

In Christ…



I feel terrible for you. In my opinion, yes, it is sinful. I can’t imagine a man treating his wife that way.

God Bless


St. Paul, the same Apostle who wrote Thess., also wrote [Ephesians 5:25], “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Similarly and more to your situation, he wrote [Ephesians 5:28], “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

It seems to me that he is neglecting you at best, and even abusing you by making you ride a bike so many miles with a knee injury and not giving you spending money.

God bless you, and may God soften his heart toward you and make him generous.



You are in an abusive marriage. What kind of husband leaves his wife in such a state? How dare he neglect you so?

Do you share any love, any intimacy? What is the reason for him treating you so?


Thank you all for your thoughts and Scriptural sharings. I think that HE thinks (boy, that’s awkward wording) that he’s helping me somehow to ‘strengthen myself’. And while I am very much an avid cyclist with or without him, it is hard to ride so far with my knee like this. Were it not for this bum leg, such a distance would actually be a leisure ride. I’ve always been a long-distance rider just like some people run marathons or take long backpack trips, and riding makes me feel great inside.

I still try to praise God, even in the pain, that I can still ride, even though it hurts. Many people are worse off than I am, and I still am grateful to God that I’m not ‘worse off’. I try to keep my spirit up by keeping in my heart that ‘the pain makes me even more grateful for the goodness’. But yes, I know that this is only to keep from becoming abjectly depressed and losing faith, a coping mechanism, and that God gave us people whose ministry is medicine and healing.

I have contacted our local SVdP group to see if they could help, but they are really strapped and unable to provide much more than food and other resources that I really am not in need of right now. They were the ones who referred me to the DV shelters and abuse groups that were not able to help with getting me out. In our county, the only medical help is what I have now and even that requires modest copays which I can’t always afford. If I could pay, I would; that’s only fair and right.

I try not to become angry in a harmful way with my husband, but it IS a form of abuse. Perhaps not in the sense of actively hurting, but it is neglect. I’m not in a position to leave this situation. I contacted some DV hotlines, and while they do day it’s wrong what he’s doing-- it doesn’t rise to the level that qualifies me to access a shelter. I have no family to turn to, and while my friends are good spiritual support, they aren’t able to offer me a safe refuge. So I just have to put up with it emotionally. As harsh as it is, I have been reluctant to provide the marital gift of intimacy. My rationale is if he is withholding basic needs, then he doesn’t deserve the ultimate marital gift. That’s not to say that I mistreat him in return; I do care for him when he’s sick to the ability that I can (comfort, nourishment, a kind ear, etc.) but the actual marital act is something that signifies a ‘melding of the heart and the flesh’ that just doesn’t seem to exist.

Hmm, now that I think about it, he hasn’t given me even an unsolicited kiss or hug in… well, I can’t recall. :confused:



Yes, he is. As has already been said, you are in an abusive marriage. I’m betting the “other issues” you mention also relate to some form of emotional/verbal/psychological abuse.

Please speak to your priest as soon as possible (preferably by phone, rather than further injuring your knee with a bike ride). And stop riding that bike to do things for him – he’s an adult, he can pick up groceries and do laundry. Next time you go to the hospital, ask for a social worker. They may be able to help you with transportation, and maybe even a source for some free legal advice. Because you really need to speak to a lawyer to find out what your rights are, both if you stay in the marriage and if you don’t.


Is your husband a Catholic? If he big on quoting Scripture to justify his neglect, how about getting your parish priest to talk to him?

God Bless


I am utterly flabbergasted. I have never heard of such casual neglect. His nonchalance toward his refusal to meet your basic needs is shocking. Yes, he is sinning. Please talk to your pastor or deacon at your earliest opportunity. Saying a prayer for you.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory be…


Uh, that sounds really messed up. Of course he should be buying you medicine.

Since we’re only hearing one side of the story, please remember that you need to always be kind and charitable in the marriage, including (and especially) when your spouse is not acting charitable in turn. Only being charitable when the other person is charitable means very little. If you’re being provocative or giving the nonproductive kind of criticism, then you’re just contributing to making the problem self-repeating. You ultimately can’t control what he does or doesn’t do, but you can make yourself blameless, which he’ll hopefully recognize and it will sting his conscious.


‘Husband’ can’t be bothered, and no he is not Catholic, though our marriage is sacramental. He was brought up as a Nazarene although he isn’t currently active in that chuech, either. He promised to ‘make the swim’ years ago at the time of our convalidation, but hasn’t done so yet. He used to come to Mass with me, but he quit doing that a while back. Indeed, at times, he is very hostile toward Catholics and often brings up our ‘less than honorable’ periods in history as a way to ‘excuse himself’ from his promise to join the family, and even try to make me ashamed of being a Catholic myself (but that last part doesn’t work, LOL!)

To him a Rosary is ‘beads-rattling and repetitive prayers’; Mary… oh, don’t go there, very offensive; consubstantiation is a myth and what Jesus said is ‘symbolic’ (sorry, Jesus said what He meant and what He said at the LS was ‘this IS My Body; this IS My Blood’. If Jesus meant, ‘this SIGNIFIES My Body and My Blood’, then He would have said it-- He used simile and the word ‘like’ or ‘as if’ in His sermons all the time when He wanted to express that. He did not say ‘like’ or ‘signifies’ at the Last Supper… sorry, I digress!

I have spoken with our pastor on this, as well as our Family Life deacon but only in a general sense. I had issues with allowing my anger about the situation to manifest in ‘unholy’ ways-- name calling, etc… Father and Deacon have helped me to be able to express my feelings to ‘Husband’ in more appropriate ways in the hope that by MY willingness to change my ‘manners’ and be more Christlike-- ‘Husband’ might try to come around on his own. But they also reminded me that even Jesus got angry… remember when He turned over the moneychangers’ tables in the Temple? By that, they were telling me that it was okay to FEEL anger and EXPRESS anger, but there were better ways to do that. I’m trying my best, but I feel like it’s falling on a hard heart.

Perhaps I do need to meet with Father again, maybe before choir practice some week, perhaps ride with one of our cantors when they go in before we meet for choir, rather than ride my bike.

Oh, and if I refuse to do the bike errands, I do get a ration of grief, belittled, called ‘lazy’ and ‘no-work bum’ among other things, and basically I have to deal with a petulant and ‘other P-worded’ man who will then be even LESS likely to grant my requests. Basically, if I do what I’m told, so to speak, I MIGHT get the thing I ask for. If I don’t ‘do what I’m told’ (his words), I get nothing. Danged if I do, danged if I don’t. :frowning:


I never enjoy suggesting this, but I am honestly beginning to think you need to get out of this abusive situation.

Do you have family or friends nearby who would be willing to care for you until you are able to care for yourself?


I wish I did… reposting this since my typing today is horrid…

I contacted some DV hotlines, and while they do say it’s wrong what he’s doing-- it doesn’t rise to the level that qualifies me to access a shelter. I have no family to turn to, and while my friends are good spiritual support, they aren’t able to offer me a safe refuge. So I just have to put up with it emotionally.

Please note that I am in no immediate physical danger. That is, he is not physically violent. It’s all emotional, verbal and controlling. Nonetheless, it’s inexcusible, AFAIC. :frowning:

But if it got to that point, I’d have the cops on him faster than he could spit.


Ah, I must have missed that part. :frowning:

Very sad. :frowning: Well, I pray that God will give you the grace to push through this with fortitude.


Yes, it is. Please see if someone can get you in touch with Legal Aid or something similar. I’m not telling you to file for divorce, but you need to know your rights and your options.

BTW, making you bike with that knee is physical abuse, even though it might not be under the legal definition.


Too bad you couldn’t get to counseling…individual, first, marriage, second.
However, for a marriage to actually work, or counseling, both partners need to be cooperating, not just one.

I heard there’s also Retrovaille.

However, you’d probably need to come up with gas money at least to get there and more for the rest!


You sound like a wonderful compassionate woman. IMHO I feel like the first stop should be a Priest, second stop should be a marriage counselor. This is abuse, not just sin. Please note that I am not a health care professional.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.


This man is very intelligent, and in many ways I respect him for that-- but that intelligence is a double-edged sword. I am sure he knows what he can legally get away with and what the police and agencies won’t bother with-- thus making me look like a ‘baby’ if I ask for help or try to report him (which is why he doesn’t commit ‘obvious’ forms of abuse such as hitting). What he is doing is more subtle and clearly driven by Satan (St. Michael, Mother Mary-- HELP!!)

Anyone looking from the outside and seeing the dynamics-- such as when I have the buke loaded with laundry or groceries is going to think that we are a physically fit and industrius couple. To some extent, that’s true… but not for the reasons that an observer would first think. And to be honest, I kind of have to be somewhat ‘pleased’ (for loss of another term) at my own God-given fortitude to put up with this though of course I shouldn’t have to. I’m grateful for the strength, physical and internal, that God has given me; the creativity that He has given me to come up with a way to carry the amount of stuff that I do carry on a bike, etc. Indeed, if it were by choice, I would gladly do errands by bike, go to Mass by bike, etc. willingly. Happily, the store, the laundromat, and even church are all easily accessible this way; our area is very bike-friendly and bike-heavy compared to many parts of our city. But it ISN’T all by choice, and it ISN’T all my choice… especially with this knee as it is.

The pain woke me up again and I can’t get back to sleep. I’m out of Advil AND tramadol so I’m using non-medicine means to get some comfort. I asked him once again for the money for the pain medicine, and he ‘forgot’ to give it to me-- and of course, I would still have to make the 6 mile round trip to the pharmacy and back. I’m up now because I can’t sleep. I do have a buck that I found in an old coat late last night so I can go to the dollar store in a few hours and get that. He said that he’d give me the laundry money when he goes to work-- he WILL do that much, so maybe I can carefully pack and sort the clothes in order to ‘stay under budget’, thus hold back a few dollars for emergency Advil money or a bus pass. I know that it’s dishonest… but is it really ‘wrong’ under the circumstances? I mean, the clothes WILL get done properly, and in a marriage, all money should be shared. I’m rationalizing it as ‘enforced sharing’. I should NOT have to do this, but it would only be a couple of dollars. Maybe I can partially fill the script, get a half-order, so that I at least have something to last a few days, then figure out a way to get the rest. Sheesh, I hate scheming! :rolleyes:

Now, on a positive note-- a very devout neighbor is speaking with a few people at work. She is not aware of the extent of what goes on here, but she knows that I’m looking for work. She works at a big well-known college, and there may be an opening in their print department. She’s putting in a good word for me. This college is well-known as a dental and medical school, and has a hospital system that’s top-notch in the nation, very well-known in this state. If I were to be blessed with a job there, I would then have excellent insurance and access to ‘primo’ doctors. I’d also have an income of my own and a ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ out of this mess.

PLEASE pray that I can be blessed with a job at this college. If this particular job is not God’s Will-- please pray that He finds something suitable and guides me to it very soon. I do have a college degree and many years of experience in veterinary nursing. Even a receptionist job at a vet clinic would be a blessing-- I’m not up to going back into nursing (technician) work yet until my knee is better, due to the physical nature of that job. But I can certainly work a front desk, assist clients, answer phones, etc. I have done it before and was told that I was very good at it; with my tech/nursing experience, I would be a good asset to the front desk. I am also bilingual, an important plus in Texas. Don’t mean to sound braggy… but trying to say good things about myself in order to keep some sort of healthy self-esteem, because God made me good, even though this dunderhead tries to tear me down. Let’s say it this way: my skills and knowledge as a tech would serve me well as a receptionist.

Prayers! Gotta scoot before he wakes up!

Blessings, and thanks for listening to my ramblings… as I said to my neighbor, ‘May God’s blessings shower down upon you like rose petals from Heaven… St. Thérèse of Lisieux, pray for us!’



From a practical perspective, it seems perhaps you are not on the bank accounts in any way. I am not sure why that would be, but if it is the case then you cannot access the money in those accounts.

In absence of that I would do a couple of things and then get the hell out of there:

I would sell or pawn all easily convertible items in the house itself-- valuables such as jewelry, collectibles, tools, or whatever I could find that others would buy locally. I would take whatever cash was on hand in his wallet, jacket, car, change jar, etc. I would take whatever money he “gave” me and not do laundry or buy groceries. I would apply for and get a credit card and charge everything i needed. I would not pay on these cards, I would give the bills to him.

I would then leave and get a lawyer and sue the cr*p out of him.

And no, taking things including money or selling things in your own home is NOT wrong. Texas is a community property state, and I would take everything of his I could and liquidate it, bike included.

But that’s me. I am a scorched earth kind of girl.


You are in an abusive marriage and your husband is abusing you. Talk to a priest and sincerely you should consider separation from him.


:thumbsup: agree great advice

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