Is this really a marriage?


My husband and I are both catholic, met at a retreat, and we married 2 years after we started dating. I was expecting my second child and was requested to keep bed rest for the duration of my pregnancy due to health complications. Once during this time, I caught my husband watching pornographic images of men. He quickly shut the computer screen and thought I had not seen anything, I was so shocked I was not sure about what I had seen I pretended nothing happened and tried to calm myself down because I was afraid I could miscarriage. Two weeks later, I had a full box of old papers delivered home from my inlaws and I asked my husband if I could see through them to sort what was important and meant to be kept, and what could be tossed away; he agreed. I found a tightly bound package wrapped in paper, I first thought it was old invoices, but when I unwrapped it, it was a book about overcoming homosexual inclinations. My heart just dropped and I read it cover to cover to find the book underlined and noted in a sort of secret script my husband uses sometimes for his notes, and the book describes my husband perfectly. Now I could understand a lot of things that had baffled me through the years we were dating (he was my first serious boyfriend and I had no sexual experience before marriage, I though he was being respectful and chast). At the moment what I thought most important was the safety of my baby and I felt myself incapable of confronting him without losing my temper, so I kept silent, and I have been silent for six years. I thought I had forgiven him for not telling me about this, I understand it is not easy for him to admit to his inclinations; I thought that him being a faithful husband and a good father would be enough, but this is eating me up a bit more everyday. I fear that if he finds out I know this, our relationship is over, and I can’t think about breaking the stability of our seemingly “good marriage” for our children. I do love my husband, he is a kind man and a good father, but intimacy with him is a real burden for me. I wonder if living this way is laying down my life for others, or am I just being plain stupid.


From what you have said, this has been on your heart and mind for over six years. That has to be burdening and no doubt may have caused additional conflicts and strains in your relationship. I my own opinion, bringing it up now, without some preparation, would seem like an attack out of the blue for your you’re husband.

You didn’t mention any steps you have taken, so may I suggest: talk to your pastor or priest about your feelings pent up inside and the facts of the relationship, try to locate a Catholic counselor (if the priest does not recommend one) who may help you both address your emotions and help ypu to address the situation with your spouse.


It sounds like , if that book did belong to your husband, he has worked hard to overcome this and fall in love with and marry you.
Place that same trust in him. Work just as hard to overcome this shock. Speak to your Priest , it will help.
As far as pornography goes, it is a sin, everyone sins. You could broach the topic with him, hey honey, could we speak to our Priest to put my mind and heart at rest that you have chosen a good and holy marriage over other options.


Speak to your priest. Prayers.


Thank your for your kind words, but if I chose this way to relieve the pressure this secret causes me through this forum, is because I do not feel I can say this to anyone face to face. My husband is in close relation to many of the priests I know, and I just could not stand them knowing, because I feel so stupid for holding silence for so long. I have made a lot of research and I try to find comfort in knowing that my husband has tried to overcome his inclinations, but it is still not enough, there is a void in our relationship that he will never be able to fill.
I think he should have been open to me and tell me about this before we married, then it would have been a choice for me to accept it or not. Since he did not, I feel trapped, I can’t just break down the home we have for our children, but then again, I should be able to teach them to speak out when something is not right, but instead, I kept quiet.


I don’t know what to say about this. I feel like your anger about him not telling you about this book is a bit out of proportion. For one thing, there could be any number of reasons for him reading that book. I don’t think I would defiantly conclude that he’s gay and keeping it from you. Since it’s bothering you so much, I guess the best thing to do is to talk to him, tell him that you saw the book, and ask him what it means. I certainly don’t think you should accuse him of anything because it doesn’t sound as if he’s really done anything.


But yes, even if he was secretly gay, I would think it would still be a marriage. A married man only has to complete the marital act, not prefer it to other forms of sex. Also, I hear of some people who suffer from same sex attraction that still can’t stand the idea of actually being in a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex. The desire is purely carnal, while their heart wants a normal relationship and family. I don’t know how common that is though.


I am really sorry you’ve been put in this situation. The rug was pulled out from under you and you’ve been on shaky ground ever since.

You really must talk to someone about this in real life. This anger and suspicion you’re feeling is putting up a wall between you and your husband. I’m sure he can feel it. If you want your marriage to succeed, you have to try and resolve this.

I would suggest finding a priest in a neighboring city that doesn’t know your family and also speaking to a marriage therapist alone.

You said that you feel if you speak to your husband about it that the marriage will be over. This is a huge red flag that your marriage is in trouble, if just asking him about this could spark you two separating.

So, for the sake of your marriage and children, see a therapist. Privately at first, and then hopefully you can bring him and discuss the issue.

You can’t just ignore this. Your anger will just grow and grow. He was wrong to keep it from you, and your bitterness will just fester without intervention.

I know you don’t want to lose everything, and your husband is a good man apart from this issue. I really pray you can get good marriage counseling and that it helps.

Pray, pray, pray for God’s forgiveness to work through you before talking to him about it. God bless.



I can understand why you are upset. It’s still honestly possible that your husband is attracted to you and loves you very much. Some people have a curiosity as well as perhaps a slight attraction to the same sex. They have no desire to live a gay lifestyle, just a small attraction. I’m not saying this is your husband, or that is your dream marriage, just that it seems he had an attraction and tried to work against it. You’ve also been married a while and there was only one incident? Granted it was significant and it hurt, I’m not trying to diminish. Just thinking there’s hope here.

I’m trying to encourage you as that is what you seem to be seeking which is a good thing! Jesus loves you so much, turn to Him to help you through this struggle.


I’m wondering why you’ve kept this secret, and made no complaint for so long. It seems that you’ve had a good marriage, so far. He wasn’t under obligation to tell you about his problem (If he has one), as he obviously has been able, and willing, to complete the sex act with you (you mentioned at least two children).

So, you have, in effect, discarded the idea of involving priests and counselors. Has anything occurred recently, to cause you to doubt the validity of your marriage? Or…is there anything that has happened, recently, to cause you to seek a way out of your marriage?

Your question isn’t about your husband’s trouble with SSA, or, really, with anything to do with him, and him alone…why would you question a relationship that has produced two children, been blessed in the church, and seemingly has all the appearance of a marriage, now?


Perhaps you could have a confidential word with your priest, even in the confessional.
We all have to overcome sin. No matter what it is.


I have put all my effort for the last years in being a good wife to him because up to now, even though I am doubting, I consider marriage as sacred. I am only mentioning the spark that led to all of this issue. This happened in my fourth year of marriage, and as Allegra mentioned, I thought I might be overreacting over only one incident and one book. What angers me is that since day one in our marriage there has been something missing and I just couldn’t point it straight. Then this situation flared up, and six years later I feel like he is only pretending to love me, I am almost sure he does not find me sexually attractive, I think he performs sexually out of physiological need, and I am sure that is not an insecurity in my head, and that is not my fault. Have I tried discussing this issue with him before? yes, I tested the waters but without even telling him or insinuating anything about my findings, he became very defensive and secretive. I did confront him about his secretive behavior, he said he just felt anxious and stressed at work, but still he keeps quite secretive. I have forced myself to trust him but this void in our intimacy just grows bigger and bigger. In my opinion, there is much more to intimacy and marriage than just intercourse, and that is what makes me doubt if this is actually a valid marriage. I feel he values me as a friend and supporter, he loves being a father, but he has a hard time being a husband, and that is not fair to me.


A PRIEST CAN’T REVEAL ANYTHING SAID IN CONFESSION. Talk to t a Priest ASAP. You need this to be settled for the sake of your marriage and children.


Love grows.


You are making a lot of assumptions about what he’s thinking and feeling and what’s missing in your marriage. You have got to stop brooding in secret over this; it is poisoning you and your marriage. The devil loves secret hurts.

Talk to your husband. Approach the conversation from an assumption that you love him; he loves you; you are and will stay married. Frankly, I think your current course is a lot likelier to lead to marital breakdown than discussing your suspicions with him, and he won’t know why.

I wish you the best of luck.


While this is true, that’s not the way to use the confessional. This has nothing to do with HER confession. Counseling is not confession.


Thank you for directly pointing that out. Yes it would be better to schedule an appt. with a Priest.


And we confess only our sins, not the presumed sins of others.


It could be that with this problem you husband could still have been chaste.


I suggest a daily Rosary, if you are not already praying one. If you are praying a Rosary daily, ask your husband to join you. I have also heard and experienced good things increasing it to 3-4 Rosaries daily (praying all the mysteries). This is great spiritual protection and can help you eventually overcome what is basically a spiritual battle.

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