I am looking for insight from other practicing Catholics regarding a question of marriage and divorce. I have been married 12 years to a man who turned out to be emotionally and psychologically abusive. We have 2 children and a 3rd on the way. Until the most recent episode of abuse, my opinion was that divorce is not an option and my wedding vows leave me stuck with this man until one of us dies. During the good times, I found ways to make the best of it; during the bad times I hoped and prayed one of us would die sooner rather than later.
The most recent episode of abuse involved a significant escalation in both private and public humiliation, among other things. This has left me wondering how to weigh the effects on our two daughters, ages 8 and 4. Do I wreak havoc on them by tearing our family apart with a divorce, in order to keep them from growing up with the idea that women should tolerate being abused in their marriages? Or do I find a way to stay married for the sake of their stability? In light of our faith, how do I weigh my options? (This assumes that divorce is the only way for me to escape the cycle of abuse in my marriage. Many, many years of counseling at a number of different counselors has been tried, and the results unsuccessful. Retrouvaille has been recommended, but my husband is not interested as he sees it as repetition of the counseling already attempted. I have also just learned that couples counseling does not work when one of the partners is an abuser, which probably explains all the failed counseling experience.)
I would appreciate your feedback.