Marital issues


#1

Hello,

I am new here but really in need of some Catholics to talk to about this. I have terrible trust issues regarding my husband and his loyality to our marriage of 15 yrs. We are not happily married and it is only in recent years that things have been tough. He returned from a deployment(military) and has not be the same since but that is not the cause of his sexual behavior issues. They have been an issue much longer.

He thinks masterbation is perfectly normal and thinks I am acting righteous and prudish to not agree with him and be understanding about him doing it. He lies about it and frequently gets angry if I bring it up. He has on occasion gone to the strip clubs and doesn’t tell me unless I somehow find out. He does use porn but sometimes tells me he is done with it until I catch him again. It isn’t a healthy relationship at all.

I have very little trust, just when I think I can trust again, I find some small detail that leads me to wonder more. He wants me to trust him, though it seems to me that is asking alot considering he has lied and does this. He gets angry with me.

He travels for weeks out of the month and is alone with his computer/tv/magazines whatever. He tells me he won’t masterbate and will wait for me when he gets home, but it just doesn’t happen.

He was raised Catholic, although doesn’t believe anything right now. We have a large family and he does attend Mass with us but does not participate, except oddly enough, he does receive communion. He does not go to confession. When he is away for work, he does not attend Mass, even when able.

I’ve prayed about this for years and want to have faith that it will be ok in God’s time. The sexual side of this has been going on almost as long as I’ve known him though, probably not constantly though. I believed him when he said he wouldn’t do it back when we got married but apparently he has not stopped and goes back to it. When asked, he says he is not addicted. Claims not to do it much or at all when he is home. Not sure I buy that, it could just be me not trusting.

I just don’t know what to do. I am in a bad relationship, Catholic(though not married in a church) and this is just one of many things effecting our family. I don’t feel comfortable with my husband and really resent him. I am the bad guy in our house for not trusting him. He always manages to turn it on me and my righteousness. He attacks my beliefs and wants me to defend them. I want to and do, although sometimes for me, trusting in the churches rules or ways isn’t always clear as to why I do it, it is just something I do as a Catholic. I know I need to learn more (and am constantly) to defend myself better but this is my husband for goodness sake!!!

If nothing else, will you pray for us? I am open to advice, things can’t get much worse right now. I am home alone, with all the kids, and of course, not feeling very trusting. :frowning: I apologize if this is rambling as my thoughts are scattered and this isn’t easy to talk about. Thank you.


#2

Strip clubs and porn is just a lack of respect for women in general. It has nothing to do with you. He sees nothing wrong with it and it's his problem; his issue; not yours. He just lacks respect for women. Then he masterbates thinking about these fantasies and that's all they are...fantasies. These women are not real. They will only perform if paid; no money - they walk away and find someone else willing to pay up.

Porn on the computer is the same thing; not to mention the PC viruses he could download when he looks at porn sites.

Honey, he just has a disrespect for women in general. It could be that he had a bad relationship with his mother; I don't know. There is definitely something lacking.

He is also lacking in compassionate love for you. He doesn't care that he's hurting you or maybe he does, but he has become "addicted" (if you will) to the adult industry in general. He's in a rut and he doesn't know how to get out of it.

I never ever advocate or recommend divorce on a website; but have you thought of a trial separation where you are both living in a different house and then you could work towards getting him to go to marriage counselling with you while separated? Perhaps if he feels like he's losing you, he will learn that he values you and will then want to work towards changing his behaviour and breaking bad habits.

Your job as a Catholic wife is to help him get to Heaven and by separating, you may help him see what man he has become and how he is failing you as a husband. In doing this, you may help him to become a better person and help him journey towards holiness.

Once you and he have resolved your issues (if possible) you guys could work towards moving back together as husband and wife.

I really can't see things changing for the better unless you take drastic action to let him know you will not put up with it, you're serious and you mean business.


#3

[quote="MO4MO4, post:1, topic:199715"]

I just don't know what to do. I am in a bad relationship, Catholic(though not married in a church) and this is just one of many things effecting our family. I don't feel comfortable with my husband and really resent him. I am the bad guy in our house for not trusting him. He always manages to turn it on me and my righteousness. He attacks my beliefs and wants me to defend them. I want to and do, although sometimes for me, trusting in the churches rules or ways isn't always clear as to why I do it, it is just something I do as a Catholic. I know I need to learn more (and am constantly) to defend myself better but this is my husband for goodness sake!!!!

If nothing else, will you pray for us? I am open to advice, things can't get much worse right now. I am home alone, with all the kids, and of course, not feeling very trusting. :( I apologize if this is rambling as my thoughts are scattered and this isn't easy to talk about. Thank you.

[/quote]

I'm really sorry that you're going through this right now, I don't have a lot of practical advice for you but will remember you in my prayers. The part I bolded stood out for me; have you had your marriage convalidated (blessed) in the Church? Or did you receive a dispensation to marry outside of the Church? I'm asking because that's objectively grave matter, and if you work to resolve those issues, you may feel closer to God. If you haven't had your marriage convalidated, maybe going through the preparation to do so will open your husband's eyes? :o I don't know for sure, but I think that it would definitely be wise to work towards correcting this.

Again, no other practical advice, just prayers for your situation. :(


#4

Praying for you and your family.


#5

Thank you all for your responses and prayers. They certainly are appreciated more than I can express.

Our marriage was not convalidated by the church. We just eloped,(after dating for 3 years)when we were young. I know, not the best situation. I did however call my previous priest and ask about it, he simply said it was no big deal. Just bring our Baptism certificates and maybe one other thing, (I forget exactly) and come by the office and he'd take care of it. No mention of prep work at all. We also have a large family of children so he probably didn't stop to consider that things may be less than ideal and there would be issues to work through. Being it was so simple and yet it seems so serious to me, I opted to wait. I don't feel like we are "worthy" in our current state, nor does he have any real interest in going through with it. He will do it but I suspect it won't mean much. More of a formality for him. (DH)
We have since moved and have a new parish, not sure but it seems pretty relaxed as well. Only one Catholic church to choose from in this town. :( I will do as you suggest though and at the very least talk to our Father about it and see what he recommends. Since DH is so far from the church though, I can't imagine them being willing to ask him to say vows that he doesn't mean. Does that make sense? Doesn't this also mean that I am bound by Catholic matrimony and would have a hard time if we ever did split. I have a feeling at some point that he may decide to move on...

He does know that I don't believe in divorce and maybe it taking advantage of that fact. I have spoken of leaving but really don't have anyplace to go, especially with all of our children.

I think you are right, drastic action is necessary but feel like I am backed into a corner. I worry about his soul, have spoken to him about it. He blows me off. Perhaps deep down he knows he should care, he was raised by a strong Catholic mother(but never especially close to her) and also (Catholic) father that ended up being atheist and influencing my Dh more than I was aware when I met him. He is a selfish man, there is no doubt that is part of his need to satisfy himself and it is more than just sexual. He is selfish in most everything lately.

I worry about his influence on our children, especially our boys who want to model their father in everything he does. I see very negative tendencies in the boys especially, since they are looking up to him so much. I also worry that my girls will look for a man like him someday and right now he isn't a man I'd want any of them to marry.

Thank you again for letting me work through my thoughts here with fellow Catholics. I'm not close to anyone in this new parish so really can't speak directly to anyone about this, nor would I want to. It is so uncomfortable.


#6

I can't imagine preferring all that solitary stuff to making love to a loving wife. He sounds quite selfish and as though he might have problems sharing sexuality with others, and unfortunately his behaviour sounds to me like he may want to leave you.

I'm sorry your marriage if having problems.


#7

[quote="MO4MO4, post:5, topic:199715"]
Thank you all for your responses and prayers. They certainly are appreciated more than I can express.

Our marriage was not convalidated by the church. We just eloped,(after dating for 3 years)when we were young. I know, not the best situation. I did however call my previous priest and ask about it, he simply said it was no big deal. Just bring our Baptism certificates and maybe one other thing, (I forget exactly) and come by the office and he'd take care of it. No mention of prep work at all. We also have a large family of children so he probably didn't stop to consider that things may be less than ideal and there would be issues to work through. Being it was so simple and yet it seems so serious to me, I opted to wait. I don't feel like we are "worthy" in our current state, nor does he have any real interest in going through with it. He will do it but I suspect it won't mean much. More of a formality for him. (DH)
We have since moved and have a new parish, not sure but it seems pretty relaxed as well. Only one Catholic church to choose from in this town. :( I will do as you suggest though and at the very least talk to our Father about it and see what he recommends. Since DH is so far from the church though, I can't imagine them being willing to ask him to say vows that he doesn't mean. Does that make sense? Doesn't this also mean that I am bound by Catholic matrimony and would have a hard time if we ever did split. I have a feeling at some point that he may decide to move on...

He does know that I don't believe in divorce and maybe it taking advantage of that fact. I have spoken of leaving but really don't have anyplace to go, especially with all of our children.

I think you are right, drastic action is necessary but feel like I am backed into a corner. I worry about his soul, have spoken to him about it. He blows me off. Perhaps deep down he knows he should care, he was raised by a strong Catholic mother(but never especially close to her) and also (Catholic) father that ended up being atheist and influencing my Dh more than I was aware when I met him. He is a selfish man, there is no doubt that is part of his need to satisfy himself and it is more than just sexual. He is selfish in most everything lately.

I worry about his influence on our children, especially our boys who want to model their father in everything he does. I see very negative tendencies in the boys especially, since they are looking up to him so much. I also worry that my girls will look for a man like him someday and right now he isn't a man I'd want any of them to marry.

Thank you again for letting me work through my thoughts here with fellow Catholics. I'm not close to anyone in this new parish so really can't speak directly to anyone about this, nor would I want to. It is so uncomfortable.

[/quote]

I don't want to add burdens to you right now, but if you are having marital relations (you don't have to answer that here, it's really none of my or anyone else's business) you shouldn't be receiving Communion either. But receiving Our Lord will really help you through this so I urge you to go to Confession, and live as brother and sister so that you can receive Our Lord in a state of grace. I know that often in these situations people are not having relations, but I just want to put that out there because I think if you can get yourself into a state of grace, then you will be better able to help him and your family. You may have already done this, and if you have, just ignore this paragraph. :o

How old are your daughters? Have you tried asking him how he'd feel if men were viewing his daughters in this way? That those women he is looking at are someone's daughters and maybe he should look at it through the eyes of a father and not just a man. I don't know if this works, I'm just putting this out there.


#8

God bless you! You can do what Jea recommended; she’s right about it and b/c you feel unworthy, God is blessing you. Remember what we say before we receive the Eucharist. “Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the words and I shall be healed.”

Not feeling worthy can also be seen as pride; that you continue to punish yourself and won’t accept that God loves you and would forgive you in a second if you went to Confession.

If you have children, it’s very difficult to separate until they are adults. God bless you for putting you children first before your own happiness. They are very blessed.

Have you read about St. Monica and her unhappiness? She converted her husband and St. Augustine (her son) to the Catholic faith by prayer alone. She prayed her whole life despite being in an unhappy marriage. She followed St. Augustine around begging him to believe in God. She died a happy woman when St. Augustine was finally converted. Now she’s a saint.

Us women have a very difficult job in marriage. So much pressure is put on us by our children. Children expect so much from their mothers; more so than their fathers. Is it fair? No, but it is the way God has made it. Women are often the glue that holds families together.

What if St. Monica had left her husband? Would we now have St. Augustine (one of the doctors of the Catholic church)? Love can be measured by the sacrifices that we are willing to make for others. You love your family. Pray pray and pray.

See your priest and get him to pray with you. Make your marriage holy; for the sake of your children; set an example. Can you be the next St. Monica? I think so!

God bless you and I will pray for you sweetheart.

Love,
Serap


#9

Kinggal86, Jea9, Serap,

Thank you all for your kind notes. They help me realize that I am doing the best thing, staying put, being loving and patient, though it isn’t always easy. He is indeed one of the most selfish people I’ve ever met. His family said he has always been that way, unfortuantely I never really saw that when it was just us, pre-kids or maybe it was just less of an issue. I will continue to pray, have been praying for years already. Sometimes I wonder if I need a more powerful novena, or why my prayers haven’t been answered. It seems like God would want my DH to believe and be a good, honest, moral man. He is a good man, in many ways, but weak in others and those are the problem areas that are tearing us apart.

I have actually used the same arguement about these ladies being someone’s daughter with him and mentioned our own girls. He was angry, but I think it made a valid point. I actually left him a message on his cell phone while he was at the strip club and just simply said that those girls are someone’s daughters-how would you feel if it was some man oogling over YOUR own daugher? He felt bad. (but not bad enough apparently) :rolleyes:

I am a huge fan of Saint Monica now! I’ve been trying to read more about her. One of my young daughters is into Saints so she and I can study her together.

Thank you all for sharing your wisdom, prayers and encouraging words!


#10

[quote="MO4MO4, post:9, topic:199715"]
Kinggal86, Jea9, Serap,

Thank you all for your kind notes. They help me realize that I am doing the best thing, staying put, being loving and patient, though it isn't always easy. He is indeed one of the most selfish people I've ever met. His family said he has always been that way, unfortuantely I never really saw that when it was just us, pre-kids or maybe it was just less of an issue. I will continue to pray, have been praying for years already. Sometimes I wonder if I need a more powerful novena, or why my prayers haven't been answered. It seems like God would want my DH to believe and be a good, honest, moral man. He is a good man, in many ways, but weak in others and those are the problem areas that are tearing us apart.

I have actually used the same arguement about these ladies being someone's daughter with him and mentioned our own girls. He was angry, but I think it made a valid point. I actually left him a message on his cell phone while he was at the strip club and just simply said that those girls are someone's daughters-how would you feel if it was some man oogling over YOUR own daugher? He felt bad. (but not bad enough apparently) :rolleyes:

I am a huge fan of Saint Monica now! I've been trying to read more about her. One of my young daughters is into Saints so she and I can study her together.

Thank you all for sharing your wisdom, prayers and encouraging words!

[/quote]

A sinful lifestyle can seem very glamorous from afar....having fun, drinking, partying, girls, men, whatever. I will bet my life on it that he's just as unhappy as you. Don't let him fool you into thinking that he's any happier than you are. He is living an empty life and he will feel just as empty inside. He may put on a happy face, but inside he's insecure and needs to re-affirm himself by disrespecting women; it makes him feel like he's better than them.

My father used to go to strip clubs, see hookers, etc., and when your children are adults and truly begin to understand the sacrifices that you have made for them, they will respect you and want to stay close to you. They will resent their father and he will have to pay that price, not you. Divorce never benefits children unless they are being abused too. If he is not abusing them, then sacrificing for them will be worth it in the end.

I hope for your sake though that he's only looking at these women b/c of the potential of a STI. I'm sorry to go there, but I hope he's not putting your health at risk.


#11

Is your husband still in the military? You might want to make an appointment with your base Chaplain to discuss your concerns with him. Unfortunately, your husband's behavior and attitude is common in the military, and the Chaplain would be in a good position to give you some advice. You can't change him, he has to want to change himself.


#12

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