Marriage Advice


Hi Everyone—I’m hoping to get some advice with regards to my marriage.

I’ve been married a little over a year and my husband and I lived together for just over 4 months before he sent me to another state to live with my parents. We have been apart since (about 9 months). During this time, we’ve communicated with each other, but my husband has not asked me back home. I kept praying that things would get better (as my husband was dealing with some other issues at the time that I thought were part of the reason our marriage was not great).

Recently, I grew frustrated and went to my parish priest to ask for advice. Almost immediately, he told me that I should pursue divorce and then annulment. This shocked me, as I never believed in divorce and never considered initiating one. I told my husband what the priest said, and he said that he wanted to give it another try. He is in the process of switching jobs and moving, so it was agreed that we would start living together again once he got settled in his new job.

However, we still argue about many things. Things that I feel are important to me. My husband was born and raised Catholic, but now says that he does not have any beliefs. Additionally, he wants me to use artifical birth control to avoid having children. I disagree with artificial contraception and because he does not “have” any beliefs he thinks that it is not a problem to use it. He is also saying now that he does not ever want to have children. My heart is breaking, as I consider children a part of a marriage. Finally, because I will not use artificial birth control, he refuses to have sex with me and does not think there is anything wrong with that.

I keep praying that he will convert or that God’s Will may intervene and we will finally be able to live according to the Sacrament. I feel as though deep down he is a good person, but that he just has so much anger and so little beliefs that he can’t see what’s really important.

Am I being stupid in trying to save my marriage?? Should I really immediately pursue divorce and annulment?? Or should I give it another chance??

Please help.


Sounds kind of controlling to me. Does he want to make it work with or without outside help? —KCT


I’m sorry, really sorry, but I believe your priest is right. There are many possible grounds of nullity (there’s no annulment in the Catholic Church, as you cannot make a valid marriage null: there’s only declaration of nulity; annulment is a bad word):

  1. The man doesn’t want to have children and it doesn’t look like he wanted any when he was marrying you. Exclusion of progeny is a nullity ground.
  2. The sudden change of beliefs is so unlikely. It’s possible that there was simulation on his part, as in not intending sacramental marriage. You might also have been induced into error, perhaps on purpose, perhaps not.
  3. His issues make clear the possibility of mental or personality problems or immaturity. It’s possible he doesn’t understand marriage, is unable to perform marital duties (I don’t mean sex by this, it looks like cohabitation is a problem), or to make valid oaths in the matter.

I’ll pray for both of you, but if the marriage were in fact null, I wouldn’t want to convalidate it in such circumstances. Your life may be better without him. However, you surely aren’t stupid for trying to save a marriage, surely not. Or to make a contracted marriage work. However, it’s possible that no marriage was contracted in fact.


I was thinking of how to phrase my reply, and then chevalier went and said it all. Very sound advice.


I agree:thumbsup:


you have the right views of marriage. It is a sacrament. It is holy. It is forever.

But if you don’t have a valid marriage, then maybe it is a blessing that you found out so early on and before children became involved?

God may be presenting this opportunity for you to fix your “mistake”. But that is for you and God (along with a trusted spiritual advisor) to figure out.

I will pray that you find clarity in this matter and that God’s will is done.



I agree with the previous posters. The phrase, “he sent me to another state to live with my parents” was a red flag for me. Then the statement about him never wanting children started lights and sirens.

Please know, I absolutely never encourage divorce if there is a chance the marriage is valid. I also believe it is imperative to only live in a valid marriage. If a marriage is invalid, it is so from the beginning. As someone else said, a marriage cannot become invalid. Declaration of nullity is a statement of a fact that has existed since the beginning. An invalid marriage can be made valid through the action of convalidation, but a valid marriage can never deteriorate into an invalid one.

Please seek out your priest again and make sure he holds the proper understanding of marriage. (Meaning he fully understands and embraces Church teaching on marriage.) If he does, then prayerfully follow his advice. He knows you better than anyone here can. If what you present here is the objective view of your situation, then you are NOT in a valid marriage. Seek to rectify that situation. Pray, pray, pray and trust that God may want something else for you.

Praying for you now. :gopray:


I couldn’t agree more. The previous posters said it all.
Trust in God and prayerfully follow your priest’s advice.
I’m going to add though, That ,yes, you should pray for your husband’s salvation.
My prayers are with you.
God love you!


i am sorry but I do not understand what you mean by

he sent you to another state to live with your parents???

whats the reason for him to do so? again… no marriage is great from the very beginning… please understand that… the first couple of years are very difficult as you are adjusting to each other…

if possible, see if he will go to retrouvaille but if he wont, then that means that he clearly is not ready for marriage… also if he does not want kids due to no other reason but his own selfishness, then he does not understand what marriage is for…
my prayers will be with you… God will guide you through these bad times my dear… rest assured…

but please do not give up without a fight…
remember when you do let go the pain will be immense… i was around the same place as you were when we separated… we had been married for a year and together for around 5 months…
but when you do let go, you should know in your heart that you did everything possible to make it work…


Thank you all for your advice. I will keep praying that I know God’s Will for me in this situation and that I will follow it.


When my pastor suggested a divorce for me, I thought the world had gone mad. A Catholic priest recommending divorce! But, he was totally right. I didn’t have a valid marriage even if I couldn’t see it at the time. In my pastors defense… that was at our second meeting, the first meeting was reconcile, reconcile, reconcile… only after I did everything he told me to do and reported my ex’s reaction did he recommend divorce and annulment.

I know it is hard to imagine this happening, but loving a person, no matter how much does not make the marriage valid. I agree with the poster that talked of red flags, bells and flasking lights… It does seem like this would not be a valid marriage. Please don’t wait until you have 4 kids and 12 years have gone by like I did! You don’t deserve that heartbreak!

If you are still not sure, pray and seek guidance from another priest, but you will probably get the same advice! I am sorry for you! I know how it feels, but it does get better in the end. Don’t compromise your beliefs, your faith is all you have sometimes…


also I have to say that not having kids is kinda good in this situation as you are not bring misery and sadness into more lives…

keep praying and the holy spirit will guide you…


Let me ad from a man’s view, you sound like a wonderful woman. The man’s a fool. Run!


Sounds like he wasn’t ready to be a grown-up. When I got married six months ago I was freakishly immature, even though I was trying hard to be the opposite. Then we ran into some truly disheartening challenges. (I knew she was a little bit of an A-type, but seriously, can’t that spoon stay on the counter until we’re done EATING DINNER?!?) But hey, you just have to remember your vows, man-up, and work it out. Your husband seems to have a lack of willpower in this department.

One thing, though–he’s willing to forgo sex just like that? Really? That’s a huge red flag to me. He’s got something else going on in his head…


It’s possible he has a low libido (comes with certain personality disorders such as schizoid, for instance) or that he’s using withdrawal as punishment. Happens with people with issues. Doesn’t have to mean he’s looking at a different relationship.


I’m a bit late to this thread, but I completely agree with this.

Keep praying, you will find your answer.


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