I don’t know which folder this should go in. I have two real issues, my priest and my husband, and I haven’t been able to discuss them with anyone. I guess I’ll focus on the more important one.
My husband and I have been married for almost 5 years. We have a 3.5 year old son. My husband was the ideal man when we were dating. His parents weren’t happy with me, but he still pursued me. I wasn’t looking to be caught, but I was. His cute dimples, his passionate faith, his sparkling eyes, I was sold. His parents threatened to disown him for dating me. They wanted him to marry up to a doctor or lawyer or someone. They also wanted him to marry a Protestant who would want him to spend most of his time with them while she pursued her own goals. They were hoping his conversion to Catholicism was a stage he’d outgrow and dating me obviously meant that wasn’t going to happen. They were vicious. Through it all, my husband-to-be was my knight in shining armor. He defended me, protected me and loved me. I was thrilled to say yes when he asked me to marry him.
Then he decided that maybe his mother was right. He said he loved me, but he didn’t see how it would work. I was devastated. After some sadness and some anger, I prayerfully decided to fight for us. After pre-marital counseling through the church psychologist, many books, and lots of fasting and prayer, he asked me to marry him again. He said he knew he had a lot to work on still, but that he wanted to do it with me. We married in the church soon after. I’ve been waiting since then for our springtime. I’m so miserable. I’ve sobbed myself to sleep every night for months.
He’s built a wall and shut me out, and nothing I do can get in. He ignores me. He refuses to discuss major decisions with me. When he does, it is only a formality because he’s already made up his mind. He’s switched jobs and decided on a new car without me, even against my wishes. I’m not a nag or a shrew. I’ve done everything I can–and I mean everything. If I could do it or offer it, I have. I am pleasant, and I’ve had such hope. Whatever it was he decided on that day 6 years ago has never been reversed.
So one day two months ago we had a huge breakthrough. He decided that he had messed up and he needed some help in getting things right. I prayed with such joy and thanksgiving while he was gone! So he went to our priest and told him the many things he’s done wrong and how he has hurt me so deeply. I expected the priest to guide him through a confession, offer a penance directed to the issue, reccomend certain prayers or saints readings, and to want a follow-up to hold him accountable for it. None of that happened. He and our friend are priests. The priest was dissapointed because he thought our marriage was so strong. He didn’t want to face it. So they went out to eat pizza and the priest said nothing else to him except that he should try to get me to go to a Marriage Encounter weekend. Then they talked about baseball and the priest gossiped about other parish families as if my husband hadn’t said any of it. Since then, my husband’s been completely gone. His appearance, his tone of voice, his stance all say he’s shut me out completely. That one opportunity, and a man of the cloth turned him back to this! I am so angry and sad and dissapointed and scared. I have been fighting for us, praying and fasting, never speaking ill of him to anyone, loving him, and soaking my pillow night after night.
Today I asked him if he’s willing to do anything, any one thing, to help re-establish our marriage. Any little thing. He couldn’t bring himself to answer. He shrugged. He’s moving everything of his to the guest room. It doesn’t seem to bother him. Is this what I have to go through every day for the rest of my life? I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown as it is. I can’t keep this up year after year, pretending to have a wonderful marriage to a nonexistant husband. Is there anything more to do? My knees are worn out from praying. I begged God to tell me why he guided me back to him only to go through this. I had such a sense of dissapointment and He said, “I intended for you to have so much more.” If only my husband would respond to the grace I know God is showering on him… It hasn’t happened yet. I feel like the only thing that can save us is a miracle. Is there hope for a dead marriage?