Miserable in marraige...seeking advice


I’m really not sure where to start. My “handle” pretty much says it all. I’m lost. I’m very unhappy, almost miserable in my marraige. I feel like I’ve done everything wrong in my life. A lot of factors played into it. Some outside, but mostly my own doing. My mother died when I was 11, and even though my dad raised us afterwards, I have been emotionally on my own since my mother’s death. Was a “goody two-shoes” all through high school, totally cut lose after I moved out, and have finally come around to wanting to get back to that “goody two-shoes” way of life for lack of a better way to describe it. The hard part is, I am faced with a huge, life changing decision. I am married to someone whom I do not, nor have ever been in love with. I married this person for the wrong reasons. I not only do I regret the way we got married (Las Vegas) but the fact that we got married at all. I have been hurt by men many times, by my father and my first “love” that subconciously chose someone whom I didn’t love just so that I would not get hurt again. However, 5 years later, I’m dying inside and am a stay at home mom with no education, so even if we did get a divorce, I would have no way to support myself or my two young children.

Overall, he is a good man and a good father, but we ourselves are clearly not meant for each other. We fight more than we get along. I have never truly been attracted to him physically. At the time when we were dating I thought I could “learn” to love him. At first we seemed to have the same goals, to have a family where the mom stayed at home, so that was what I was attracted to. I just want to know what the right thing to do is. I had abandoned my faith for a while, and have finally come back around, and don’t know what to do. I long to have a real, loving, faith-filled marraige, but know that it will never happen with the man I am married to. He was raised without religion in his life. He joined the Catholic church “for me” however does not practice, and has no real interest in it.

So the answer I’m searching for…is which is the better alternative. Given the Church’s teaching on divorce, is it better to stay married to someone whom to do not nor ever did love, or to try to “correct” the wrongs I’ve done by divorcing/annulling the marraige and start over? I don’t even know if “start over” is the right way to say it…but hopefully someone out there understands what I’m asking/trying to say. I know that I have made a lot of mistakes, and believe me I am paying for them. I just don’t know where to go from here, and what the best path would be for me to take…

Thanks in advance…



You were married in Vegas, then he converted. Was your marriage convalidated?


Yes. We did have our marraige blessed/validated by a Priest. The problem is that I did not enter into that with a pure heart. I was still not in love with him, but continued to go through the motions.


For the sake of your kids, fake it. He’s a good father. Frankly, you have no right to take them away from that. You have no right to tear up their family and their happiness. You are not being abused. Your husband is not gambling away the family finances, or drinking at all hours, or using or dealing drugs.

It takes two people to fight. If he picks a fight with you, don’t fight back. If you pick a fight with him, you can choose to stop fighting. Act like you love him. Do loving things for him. He will most likely feel good from you treating him well, and may start to treat you better. On and on you will go, treating each other better all the time, and who knows what can come from that?

Besides, be honest. Don’t you love him as the father of your children? You wouldn’t have those wonderful little people if it weren’t for him. He helped give you that gift. That right there is something to love him for. Being a good father is another thing to love him for. So many men abandon children, so many stick around but are bad fathers. You have a good father for your children, and a man who is willing to support all of you so that you can stay home to raise your children. Do you know how many men, brainwashed by the feminist culture we live in, REFUSE to be the sole support of their families? There are women who want to be SAHMs who can’t because their husbands won’t step up to that much responsibility.

You can choose how to see your life. You can keep dwelling on what you don’t have, or you can choose to see what you do have and be grateful for it. Every time you are tempted to run down your life, think about something good that you do have. Do something nice for your husband every time you think of something good in your life that you wouldn’t have without him.

Some things can’t be fixed. Once you had children, you gave up the right to pursue “happiness” on your own terms, unencumbered. Divorce is NOT inconsequential to children. If you want the long, nasty, emotionally damaging history of even an amicable divorce on the children, PM me, and I will tell you. You are obligated not to damage your children if you can avoid it. You are obligated not to rob them of a good father living in their house, loving them every day.


Yes, I say “overall” because I do feel he deserves respect as their father. And I know that it is hard to fully grasp the situation, especially since with my original post I tried to keep the long story as short/sweet as possible.

Would I call my husband a scumbag? No. Have our fights gotten heated and at times physical? Yes. I also grew up with a father who had a rotten temper, so my tolerence for this behavior is somewhat higher than it should be. If anything, I would say I am the scumbag, for accepting his marraige proposal eventhough I knew I didn’t love him. At the time, I honestly believed that it was as good as it would get, that I would never truly be happy. After losing my mother at a young age, and having to help raise my two considerably younger sibblings, I have always felt much older in terms of what “I wanted out of life” with out the experience of actually knowing what that meant. At 20 I was dating someone who was 30, and thought I was ready to settle down and start a family. When that fell apart, I was devasated, but didn’t get any proper help or guidance from anyone to get past that, and continued to look for a way to fill the void that had been a part of my life since my mom died…which I thought would be to have a family. So I felt my “biological” clock was ticking (at 20!!) However no guys I dated seemed the least bit interested in family life. So when my husband came around and expressed interest in starting a family soon, that is what I latched onto. I didn’t love him, I was in love with the idea of being married and having children. Was this immature…YES. Did I truly fully understand the responsibility of being married and having children? No, unfortunatly I did not, and unfortnately I cannot go back in time to tell my younger/immature self to make better choices.

As far as the kids are concerned, they are the only good thing in my life right now. Is staying in a unhealthy marraige really the better option for the children? Is it really fair to them to set this kind of example for them? The fact that I have never/do not truly love my husband will not change. I know now that getting married to him was a mistake. I accept that, and I do my very best to shelter that from my children so that their lives may be as happy/pleasant as possible and to do my best to not let my past mistakes effect their future.


The studies have been done, the facts are in… in any but the most unhealthy cases, meaning active addictions, constant physical abuse, sexual abuse, or constant emotiona/verbal abuse, it IS better for your kids to have an intact family. You can research that very easily on the web.

Interesting how once a couple people indicated that we think you are obligated to stay for your kids, suddenly your husband goes from “overall a good man and good father” to a guy who has hit you while you were fighting. We didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear, so you are escalating with how bad he is.

Is he physically abusive? Or was it a one or two time isolated incident that has not been repeated? It is never OK for spouses to hit each other in anger, but there is a difference between something that got out of hand and was never repeated and a pattern of physical abuse. If he is truly abusive, of course you should not stay. But that is not what you told us about him.

Your marriage does not HAVE to be unhealthy or look so to your kids. You can choose to continue the bad behaviors on your part, you can choose to keep fighting with him. And then you can use the “unhealthy” marriage as an excuse to do what you want to do in spite of your children’s well-being. Or you can finally grow up for real, sacrifice your idealized vision of the perfect marriage for their sake, and do whatever is in your power to improve the marriage you already have.

Like I said, he can’t fight with you if you don’t fight back. Just don’t say anything when he tries to fight with you. Take any opportunity to do something nice for him. People who feel valued don’t lash out and pick fights.

Do you treat him well? Or do you use your unhappiness and disappointment as an excuse to be unpleasant? If you do the latter, then you are contributing to the marriage being miserable, right? So stop, if you don’t want to be miserable.

It may take a few weeks or months of being nice to him to get him to thaw, if he is not used to that from you. But eventually, it will have an effect. For your kids, at least try.


For the sake of your kids, fake it.

In theory, that is great advice. In the real world, not so much. You can fake it all you want, but that’s just what it is, fake. Not a great example for kids.

Besides, be honest. Don’t you love him as the father of your children? You wouldn’t have those wonderful little people if it weren’t for him. He helped give you that gift. That right there is something to love him for.

Actually, I am being honest…that’s why I posted my original thread in the first place. I honestly do not and have never been in love/felt love for the man I am married to. I can tell by the tone of the responses that the people responding that they are very defensive/agressive with their feelings. I am VERY well aware that I have made VERY LARGE mistakes. I am paying for them everyday. I don’t need people to tell me/imply that. I am also well aware of how lucky I am. However, please keep in mind that there is plenty more to the story that is not being said. No, he’s not gambling or drinking the family finances away, but that does not mean that his is good with money. Money is a huge stress factor in our marraige, but an entire different story, and issue.

You can choose how to see your life. You can keep dwelling on what you don’t have, or you can choose to see what you do have and be grateful for it.

Again, this “faking” it only works for so long. The real issue that I’m looking for advice on is the Catholic view on what is the lesser evil. Staying in a marriage that was entered into under false pretenses or getting a divorce to “correct” that wrong.

Divorce is NOT inconsequential to children.

Neither is staying in an unhealthy marriage.


Why is it that you can not love this man? Does he have some very deep character flaws? Love is a choice, not a feeling and we can choose to love people. I am wondering what it is about this man that makes him unlovable?


Interesting how once a couple people indicated that we think you are obligated to stay for your kids, suddenly your husband goes from “overall a good man and good father” to a guy who has hit you while you were fighting. We didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear, so you are escalating with how bad he is.

Acutally, I never said that he hit me. I didn’t say that he didn’t in the first post. Yes, I said “overall” he was a good man and a good father because I do think that it is true. Overall is a very general term. I chose to keep the original posting a short and to the point as possible, and choosing to elaborate and go into more detail does not mean that I am “escalating” anything to portray a different picture, ESPECIALLY when I am being equally “damming” to myself and my choices.


You said in your second post that your fights had gotten physical. If that doesn’t mean he hit you, then does it mean you hit him?


I was not trying to mislead by saying “physical.” Again, I was just trying to keep my explanations as short as possible. I was using physical to describe acts of a violent temper, that has gotten better over time, which is why I still describe him as an “overall” good man. The physical things that I was encompassing were things such as over turning of furnature, breaking of various things in our house such as doors, fists through walls, things of that nature as well as him using his physical stature to overpower me to prevent me from leaving a room during an arguement. Is any of that hitting? No. Physical? YES.

This truly has proven to be another mistake on my part. This was not the spiritual/loving/nuturing/understanding environment I envisioned when I initially joined this site.

My appologies…I do appreciate and thank you for your time spent, but this will be my last post, and the last time I will visit this site.

Regards and Best Wishes to you -



There has to be something that you loved or even at the most, liked about this man.

I am curious to know your ages. Maybe you said so, but maybe I didn’t see it in anywhere.

You sound like a depressed person and my advice is you can’t love someone who don’t love themself first.

Do you love yourself? You sounded like you were beating up on yourself.

Have you been to counselling? Have you honestly tried to love him.

Picture this, what if your husband died tonight, how would you feel. Be honest, the cop car just pulled in the driveway and you hear. “Mam’, I am sorry to report…”

Are you depressed and just want out? Are you saying you never “really ment” to marry him to get out? If it is truely the case, then I think you need some deep counselling, with a priest, a counsellor, before you jump to quick. Coming here and posting tells me that you are deeply thinking about this. However I doubt any of us is going to truely say "Yup, get ou, you have “JUSTIFICATION”

To be honest, that is what it seems you are looking for.

Your husband is a person, don’t toy with him.

Does he love you?

I have just prayed for you and will continue to pray for you. I was in your shoes at one time in my life. If the marriage is invalid, it is invalid, I would say don’t live a lie, however don’t just up and say, Oh well.

I was stayed in an invalid marriage for 10 years, I tried, and tried, and tried and in the end I left it in God’s hands.

Hang in there. :o


I think you might overestimate the happiness you could have if you free yourself from this situation, presumably to find a “true love”.
If you think that marriage for the rest of us is filled with intimate friendship, fun and you-know-what, you are mistaken. My marriage is tough, but not because my husband is abusive or irresponsible, but because it’s just plain tough living with another person. He’s a good husband and dad, but he’s not perfect 'cuz he’s not me.:stuck_out_tongue:
Years ago we got rid of TV and I stopped listening to pop radio that had sappy love songs, because inevitably it gave me false ideas of love and made me down on my own relationship.
Sometimes our lives seem to be unfulfilling as SAHM’s, but the rewards are far greater on the other side.
Barring abuse, you need to stay where you are and go to Adoration and Confession to ask God’s assistance in loving your husband. Honestly, I believe Adoration is the quickest and most effective solution to your problem. Concentrate on all of the things he is, and ignore all that he isn’t.
With God, you can do this and be happy with it.


I replied before I read the last post. I pray for this lost soul. :frowning:

I understand exactly what she is going through. I am not telling her to stay, I am not telling her to leave, she needs some DEEP, DEEP soul searching. Something like this is not a one time, YES or NO answer.


no matter how cliche it is, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I am a “been there done that person”. Although I have very good reasons to file for divorce, I wish it wasn’t something I had to do.With that being said, I looked for happiness in another man, it was more miserable then my marriage was.


Lost it sounds like you expected to be told “yes you should leave him and pursue your own happiness” and since you haven’t been told that the posters are now not spiritual, loving, nurturing or understanding. I have no doubt your situation is difficult, but you brought children into the world with man and they are innocent of the mistakes of their parents. All children want mommy and daddy together - if you can make it work, then make it work. Marriage is work even when you marry your “soulmate” it’s work. Go to counseling, go with your husband to Retrouvaille, use whatever sources that are available to try and salvage your marriage. You owe that to your kids.

I married at 18 to my highschool sweetheart, who also happened to be an alcoholic. Within five years our marriage was crumbling, but we already had a child by then. For my daughter’s sake I was determined to do anything and everything to make things work. I was willing to fake it if I had to. Luckily my husband also put his daughter first, we attened Retrouvaille, Marriage Encounter -we worked hard. He’s now been sober more than a decade and our marriage is awesome. No one would have blamed me for leaving if I had with all we had been through. But I look at the relationship my daughter has with her dad and how she would have missed that had I chose to leave. And how much I would how happiness I would have missed out on. If you can avoid breaking up your children’s family, than do it.
God Bless.


Lost, I know you said you wouldn’t be looking in here on this site anymore, but there is just one last thing I want to say.

What offends me, personally, about your situation is that you want to make your children pay the price for your poor decisions. You want to stop paying the price and transfer it to them. This may not be how you see it, but it is exactly what you are doing. I am sure you sensed this behind my posts, which is why you reacted the way you did. But I will not apologize for it.

I speak from experience. My mother thought that she made a mistake in marrying my father. She was miserable. So she decided that in order to relieve her own misery, she would break up our family and put the suffering down the line onto us just to get it out of herself. Guess what? Didn’t work. She succeeded in causing us misery, in that we had to live through the breakup of our home, followed by the loss of our father when she took us two states away. He tried to stop her in the courts, but fathers had absolutely no power in family court in the mid 1980s. My mother’s misery was not caused by my father. I have come to learn through the years that she is the source of her own misery. She is still holding onto hurt that happened 50 years ago, and she dwells. She chooses to live in the bad things that have happened to her. She lives alone because she cannot stand to have her preferences impinged upon by another person in even the tiniest degree. So, she took all her misery and problems with her, but now she had no convenient husband to blame. Only herself and two dependent children under 10. She withdrew so far into herself that I ended up parenting my younger brother. The consequences of that time have basically destroyed the once close and loving relationship I once shared with my brother. We haven’t spoken to each other for nearly a year. And this is just the latest time… Because she withdrew and dwelt on her misery, she became depressed and made horrible decisions, to the point that she got so deep in financial trouble she had to send us back to our dad. Then she dropped off the face of the earth for a year and a half.

When she came back, she promptly started throwing monkey wrenches into our relationship with our father. After a couple of years, she succeeded in prying me away from him. She used my own teenage problems and a healthy dose of feminist BS to do this. Then, once she had me living in her orbit again, she made me an inappropriate confidant and “friend.” Well, of course, I felt so grown up and important… Mom’s best friend. She needs me! I couldn’t see how unhealthy it was until I started wanting to really grow up and have my own life. I started to pull away from her when my DH, then only a friend, pointed out how negative I was and how much I complained. I wanted this guy to think well of me, so I began to really examine that and toned it way down. When that same guy became the center of my life, she was OK until I decided to move out of state to be with him. I had turned down nearly a full-ride college scholarship and stayed close to home because my Mom “couldn’t live without me.” I regretted it, and that was what really started me on wanting out. Plus, I missed my by-then-fiance so much. So I transferred schools and began cleaning, packing, and having yard sales so I could move to Chicago. My dad was ecstatic… he wanted me to get out of our town and see some of the world. My mom spent the whole summer punishing me. She alternated between cold and forbidding to yelling at me and accusing me of abandoning her. I finally had to tell her to knock it off or I would stay the rest of the summer at my fiance’s parents’ house. When I finally left, I felt so FREE. I really, finally grew up that day.

My relationship with my mother is difficult and will stay that way. It takes two people to try. And she doesn’t. She just keeps on living alone, blaming the fact that she has no friends on everyone else, and refusing to do anything that requires anything of her. She wants to lose weight but will not join a gym, because “accountability pisses her off.” (her words) She hates the Church, but will not learn about it when I point out that she is hating the Church for something it doesn’t teach.

My point with all this is that if you divorce your husband, you will not solve your misery. You will only take it with you, because your husband is not the cause of it. You may say, “but he does A, B, and C!” I am sure he does, but you chose to marry this man, knowing it was a bad choice when you did it. You chose to have children with this man, knowing you made a bad choice when you married him. So, now, it is not fair to punish the only innocent souls in this whole thing for the choices you made.

Sacrifice for the well-being of your children. Stop being bitter about it, and saying you deserve something better or something else. Willingly give all that up for the well-being of your children. It’s a small thing to give up. Some mothers have to give up much more for the sake of their kids. Their welfare is supposed to be ABOVE ALL ELSE.

As for the fighting, throwing chairs and such…STOP IT. Just stop. You choose how you act. So stop acting like an angry child. You may not be able to stop his part in it, but you can stop yours. And if you don’t scream and throw things, maybe he won’t either. We help each other escalate in fights. If he tries to argue with you, just don’t argue back. These are all things you can choose. And each time you do, think to yourself, “I am doing this for my kids. I am doing this to give them the best chance. I am proud of myself for sacrificing for my children.” You, like my mother, are the source of your own misery, because you choose to dwell on what you don’t have that you think you should. You could have less misery by choosing to see the positive and being thankful for it.


You misunderstand the definition of Love. Love is a decision not an emotion. Another word for the love between man and wife is charity. It is giving yourself to your spouse when you don’t getn anything in return. The infatuation/lust emotion that people confuse with love comes and goes in the marriage.

Pray and give yourself to your husband. you have to learn to love someone it does not come naturally. We should aspire to love others because we aspire to God who is love. That is what salvation is all about. Taming the body and emotions and teaching the sould to Love. It is hard.


You’re not always going to feel “in love” no matter who you search out.

Maybe it is not an issue of love so much as you are interested in things (you mention education) and on some level you feel you have to leave this man to obtain those things.

Do you think enrolling in the local community college or taking some online courses will alleviate this feeling? What is his level of education? Do you feel unequal in the relationship?

www.marriagebuilders.com has a lot of resources. You might enjoy reading “His Needs, Her Needs.” You can get it from the website, although eBay might have cheaper. This book might give you ideas on how to communicate to your husband what you would like and perhaps you will gain insight into what he likes.

Just because you feel incompatible with him right now doesn’t mean the ending is definite. You can both choose to do things that can change feelings. Since you have children, it is certainly worth a try.

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