Need Advice From Older Women Who Live in Loveless Marriage


#1

Hello. I am really seeking some advice and encouragement from any older ladies out there who have been married at least 10 years and can help me. (I’ve been married about 17) --and have 3 teen boys. I need tips on how to endure life with a man you chose to marry (maybe who was not God’s choice for you) who is not a believer, who is aloof, who you know is not capable of real love (for whatever reason). I am a new Catholic, and don’t think divorce is ever the answer, as I never felt this was the way out. I believe divorce messes up kids way too much, so I would never go that route, even though many have told me I should. I just am heartbroken, disappointed, my husband has hurt me tremendously, put our family through severe financial turmoil, and has had a few “emotional” affairs. He is passive, and basically somewhat of a wimp.

I just need to know where to turn or what advice someone could give me who has lived through this, and believes in marriage. Yes, I pray for my husband. By someone’s advice, I put a scapular under his pillow. I praise and encourage him alot. We attend Mass together every Sunday. He takes the Eucharist, but I can tell is totally not into it. He says “he gets nothing out of it” concerning Chuch, sleeps through it, and rushes to get home. He’s a couch potato completely. He never holds my hand, never kisses me, never tells me he loves me, he only wants S__ now and then. I feel so emotionally unfulfilled.

Lately, I’ve been feeling I should buy a little teenie puppy dog-- for comfort—or perhaps find an intriguing romance novel to escape in. We’ve been to counseling. Nothing makes any difference. We both don’t believe in divorce. Yet, what can I do to make this marriage more bearable? This is my DIRECT QUESTION HERE i! I cannot fathom the next 30 years like this!! I’m so emotionally lonely,and wish some rich nice Catholic man would come into my life to take me away from this emptiness. My boys are all busy growing teens! Last nite in a slightly heated argument over our computer, my husband was so passive and saying he doesn’t care about something or other, I said “Is there anything you do care about in life?” He said “Certainly not you–that’s for sure.” AWWW That hurts.

Please --any thoughts? I know I could probably use some weekly Mass going and Adoration more! Also I want to sign up to be a Eucharistic Minister at my church to take my eyes off myself and help others. Like the shut-ins, etc. What else? Are there any books written on “How to Survive A Loveless Marriage”?

Thanks.

Sparkle


#2

Even though I am not in a loveless marriage, I think I may have some advice for you. There may be a physical cause for your husband’s lethargy and inattention to you. If I were you, I’d have him get a complete physical check up to see if there is any strictly natural cause for his lack of general interest in life. Or he may be suffering from chronic depression. Either way, he needs help, and you need to know what is actually going on in your situation. God bless you and your family. :heart:

Edit: I’ve been married 22 years and am approaching the end of my 50’s. I hope I am old enough for your criteria, at least. :wink:


#3

[quote=sparkle]Hello. I am really seeking some advice and encouragement from any older ladies out there who have been married at least 10 years and can help me. (I’ve been married about 17) --and have 3 teen boys. I need tips on how to endure life with a man you chose to marry (maybe who was not God’s choice for you) who is not a believer, who is aloof, who you know is not capable of real love (for whatever reason). I am a new Catholic, and don’t think divorce is ever the answer, as I never felt this was the way out. I believe divorce messes up kids way too much, so I would never go that route, even though many have told me I should. I just am heartbroken, disappointed, my husband has hurt me tremendously, put our family through severe financial turmoil, and has had a few “emotional” affairs. He is passive, and basically somewhat of a wimp.

I just need to know where to turn or what advice someone could give me who has lived through this, and believes in marriage. Yes, I pray for my husband. By someone’s advice, I put a scapular under his pillow. I praise and encourage him alot. We attend Mass together every Sunday. He takes the Eucharist, but I can tell is totally not into it. He says “he gets nothing out of it” concerning Chuch, sleeps through it, and rushes to get home. He’s a couch potato completely. He never holds my hand, never kisses me, never tells me he loves me, he only wants S__ now and then. I feel so emotionally unfulfilled.

Lately, I’ve been feeling I should buy a little teenie puppy dog-- for comfort—or perhaps find an intriguing romance novel to escape in. We’ve been to counseling. Nothing makes any difference. We both don’t believe in divorce. Yet, what can I do to make this marriage more bearable? This is my DIRECT QUESTION HERE i! I cannot fathom the next 30 years like this!! I’m so emotionally lonely,and wish some rich nice Catholic man would come into my life to take me away from this emptiness. My boys are all busy growing teens! Last nite in a slightly heated argument over our computer, my husband was so passive and saying he doesn’t care about something or other, I said “Is there anything you do care about in life?” He said “Certainly not you–that’s for sure.” AWWW That hurts.

Please --any thoughts? I know I could probably use some weekly Mass going and Adoration more! Also I want to sign up to be a Eucharistic Minister at my church to take my eyes off myself and help others. Like the shut-ins, etc. What else? Are there any books written on “How to Survive A Loveless Marriage”?

Thanks.

Sparkle
[/quote]

Im not one of those elder ladies you are looking for an answer from. But I puppy or a kitten wouldnt hurt at all if you are up to raising one. because I work lots of hours and my wife gets lonely much easier than the average person. our new kitten keeps her great company because the kitten is always up to something and like to play with her or nap with her. I cant give the deep answers the others will give you in time on this question, but a little puppy or a kitten is a great idea if you know how to take care of one.


#4

[quote=Della]Even though I am not in a loveless marriage, I think I may have some advice for you. There may be a physical cause for your husband’s lethargy and inattention to you. If I were you, I’d have him get a complete physical check up to see if there is any strictly natural cause for his lack of general interest in life. Or he may be suffering from chronic depression. Either way, he needs help, and you need to know what is actually going on in your situation. God bless you and your family. :heart:

Edit: I’ve been married 22 years and am approaching the end of my 50’s. I hope I am old enough for your criteria, at least. :wink:
[/quote]

Hi Della! Thank you. I do realize this. My husband was in an accident several years ago and had a head trauma. He does take medication for it. But doctors say “there is no way to determine what actions or behaviors are from the accident and which ones aren’t.” Still, it’s hard having your mate be so aloof and unfeeling. I do think this could play a huge role in his behavior though. And still, how does one cope with the behaviors all the same? It’s like I live with an empty shell. This was always his basic nature --quiet, passive, maybe it’s worse now though. Could be the accident, could be our marriage is dead.

Wow–22 years. I think that’s awesome.


#5

:dancing: You are not in a loveless marriage. Your commitment is deep and touching. This is what real love is-and you have it. The kissing - hugging thing is not real love-it is nice if you have it. Come-on now-you are a woman-men do not kiss and hug unless they are stimulated to do so. Make some changes, liven up your life and maybe his will reflect it. Boy, your DH goes to Mass on Sunday-what an absolute blessing. I do not think you appreciate how blessed you are. You can do it!! Change your man’s attitude!! :smiley:


#6

[quote=Rebecca New]:dancing: You are not in a loveless marriage. Your commitment is deep and touching. This is what real love is-and you have it. The kissing - hugging thing is not real love-it is nice if you have it. Come-on now-you are a woman-men do not kiss and hug unless they are stimulated to do so. Make some changes, liven up your life and maybe his will reflect it. Boy, your DH goes to Mass on Sunday-what an absolute blessing. I do not think you appreciate how blessed you are. You can do it!! Change your man’s attitude!! :smiley:
[/quote]

Hi Rebecca. What do you mean “how blessed I am?” Just because his “body” goes with me to Mass? It’s almost better to have a man who’s at least passionate about NOT going-because it shows he has an opinion. My husband is a fence-sitter. Un-opinionated about everything!!! UGH. Usually the passionate types who “refuse” to go to Mass, or say “they’ll never be Catholic”–once the Holy Spirit gets ahold of them, wow, then they’re passionate Catholics and on-fire leaders in their home. For my type of husband-he’d rather go through life, in dullsville…I do thank you for your encouragement Rebecca. You’re so kind to respond.:smiley:


#7

Matthew Kelly’s (he is a great Catholic speaker/writer) new book

matthewkelly.org/7lev/7lev_index.html

Get it, read it, read it out loud to your husband!

Do not read a romance novel. That just sets up yet MORE unrealistic expectations in your mind.

The puppy - it will chew your shoes and poop on the floor. If you can deal with that, then - get a puppy. Do not get a puppy to fill a void, get a puppy because you want to care for a puppy.

Get the Matthew Kelly book. It will not chew your shoes either :slight_smile:


#8

[quote=sparkle]Hello. I am really seeking some advice and encouragement from any older ladies out there who have been married at least 10 years and can help me. (I’ve been married about 17) --and have 3 teen boys. I need tips on how to endure life with a man you chose to marry (maybe who was not God’s choice for you) who is not a believer, who is aloof, who you know is not capable of real love (for whatever reason). I am a new Catholic, and don’t think divorce is ever the answer, as I never felt this was the way out. I believe divorce messes up kids way too much, so I would never go that route, even though many have told me I should. I just am heartbroken, disappointed, my husband has hurt me tremendously, put our family through severe financial turmoil, and has had a few “emotional” affairs. He is passive, and basically somewhat of a wimp.

[/quote]

if the marriage is currently loveless, you be the one to supply the love, even if it is unilateral. Simply choose to do loving actions each day for your husband and children, without expecting thanks, appreciation or reward. Not only the daily tasks that are part of the territory–which you should do with love, not as a burden or chore when you are able–but find some extra little thing to do when the opportunity arises. By love I am not speaking of any emotion or warm fuzzy, I am talking about a willful decision to act, speak and conduct yourself in a certain way. in other words fake it until you make it. Speak pleasantly, don’t nag, don’t act depressed even when you feel that way. Don’t talk about your situation to friends, relatives, sister, mother etc., only to counsellors who can help you.

As far as the practical problems - his financial and other indiscretions and misdemeanors, under no circumstances are you required to accept and condone them. Simply state in firm unemotional tones (when the kids are not around) what you will and will not tolerate. Insist on getting the finances taken care of professionally or you may find yourself in hot water with creditors and IRS. Get spiritual direction as well as counselling and prepare for what may happen if a legal separation becomes necessary to protect your rights and especially the rights of your children.

But your internal misery and how you handle it is up to you, and the way to bear the situation is to recruit and tend to your own spiritual and emotional maturity. Do not rely on your husband or anyone else to give you happiness, satisfaction or self-esteem.


#9

I lived in a marriage somewhat like that for 10 years. However, the husband was not passive or dullish, believe me. He was overbearing, demanded things, hardly affectionate at all. He’d bark off orders, and expect you to follow them. He had an opinion about everything. He refused me to go to Mass. He told me I could get the blank out if I went to Mass! Imagine that?! Does your hubby have a history of depression? I felt alot like he is.But I was depressed at the time.No joy in life, being controlled by my ex, no hello honey, how are you today? just comes home from work and barks at me, and never took an interest in me at all. Just came home, barked about the job, and when I asked what was bothering him, he’d let it rip, four letter this, and four letter that, four letter about his boss, his co workers, ext. I lost all sense of what a marriage was supposed to be, affection, real love, talking to each other, sharing, caring, compassion. I was very depressed, and I went to a very good therapist. I went for 2 years off and on. It was good for me. Iam not saying your hubby should go. He might not be depressed. I was though because I never had the love I was entitled to. I gave it, and the ex never appreciated it. He would only whine and complain about his job, and refused to talk about it. I never harped at him, and never told him he had to tell me. I just couldn’t handle being married to him, he had an opinon about
my family and me being Catholic, he had an opinion about how women should work as hard as a man, and they should always
bring home as much money as a man, how they can cook and
clean on top of it. Super woman is what he wanted. I was not it.
We parted friends. The thing I can tell you is, your hubby and you need to have a very long talk. Heart to heart. You’ve been together
for 17 years, and you must know him pretty well. Has he always been like this? Right from the start? If not, when did it change?
Try to iron out where the change occured, and what were the circumstances that sorrounded the change? Would he be willing to open up to a priest? I think a 17 year marriage is worth fighting for. You obviously love him alot, and that is great. I will pray for you and your hubby. God bless you both!


#10

[quote=puzzleannie]if the marriage is currently loveless, you be the one to supply the love, even if it is unilateral. Don’t talk about your situation to friends, relatives, sister, mother etc., only to counsellors who can help you.

[/quote]

Thank you! This is just how I believe too! That God wants us to love, regardless. He wants us to BE faithful, no matter. And believe me, I do do this! I just need some tips on how to endure–that’s all. How to ease the pain. Understand? One friend suggested reading something on suffering and offering it up. I offer it up daily. Does anyone know of a good spiritual book on suffering? I really would like to read one, and have never thought of it before. Thx! Also the Matthew Kelly book, I’ll look for tomorrow. Is he a Christian I wonder KageR? I really find Catholic books much more beneficial, because they are written from so much more (our faith) than just a psychology perspective. I just can’t get much into all those new-age psychologists today.

May I ask you puzzleannie, why do you think is it not a good idea to discuss this with any of my siblings? One sister is like my best friend.


#11

Wow Sparkle, how did you get my husband’s younger clone?

I have been married over 30 years and have been very lonely much of that time. A priest advised me that if I couldn’t love him, then I should love Christ in him.

I know I shouldn’t complain about him because he is the instrument God has given me to aid me in becoming a saint. :slight_smile:

Even when ‘friends’ or family have told me that I should leave him because of the ‘emotional abuse’ of his indifference etc., I know that it will never happen.

And that’s the reason you shouldn’t discuss your husband with your siblings or friends, because they will take your side and weaken your resolve to stay with him. I know that is hard advice but complaining about your spouse to a friend (family) is being disloyal to your marriage covenant.

Instead, go to the third member of the Covenant - GOD. You will find Him in the tabernacle at your Church, just waiting for you to go and talk to him. Spill your guts, then listen to Him for His answer. Oh yes, before you leave the Church, pray the Stations of the Cross.

Peace.


#12

[quote=sparkle] Also the Matthew Kelly book, I’ll look for tomorrow. Is he a Christian I wonder KageR? I really find Catholic books much more beneficial, because they are written from so much more (our faith) than just a psychology perspective. I just can’t get much into all those new-age psychologists today.

.
[/quote]

Matthew Kelly is a well known CATHOLIC speaker and author, he wrote the fantastic “Rediscovering Catholicism” (among many other books). Catholic authors can get on the NY Times Bestseller list :slight_smile:

Go to his website, you will get more of an idea of his apostalate.


#13

[quote=sparkle]Hi Rebecca. What do you mean “how blessed I am?” Just because his “body” goes with me to Mass? It’s almost better to have a man who’s at least passionate about NOT going-because it shows he has an opinion. My husband is a fence-sitter. Un-opinionated about everything!!! UGH. Usually the passionate types who “refuse” to go to Mass, or say “they’ll never be Catholic”–once the Holy Spirit gets ahold of them, wow, then they’re passionate Catholics and on-fire leaders in their home. For my type of husband-he’d rather go through life, in dullsville…I do thank you for your encouragement Rebecca. You’re so kind to respond.:smiley:

[/quote]

My husband is and always has been one who does not give opinions. He is quiet and does what is asked of him. There was a time when I was hurt by his quiet reactions to things. When we first met it was his quiet manner that attracted me to him. Funny it was this same quietness that made me crazy at times. But, I have learned to be glad for it.

We balance each other in our personalities.He is the responder and I am the reactor. I am working on my reactive ways daily.

“Dullsville” is something many women in abusive family situations would find a blessing. I thnk God daily for the wonderful peace he has provided my husband and family.

In the 38 years of marrage to him I have seen him angry three times. If I think about our life together I can say I feel his quiet joy at births and his sadness at the deaths of family and friends. He has a hard time putting his thoughts in words. But, it is the little things he does that reminds me how much he loves us all.

Look at what is good and ignore the other things. That is my best advice.


#14

Sparkle, I’m almost certainly not older, but I’m in a similar situation, right down to the married 17 years and having teens part. He also goes to church with us every Sunday, and even backs me up in dressing the kids in Sunday clothes, although it means little to him.

On the plus side, my husband currently does do many loving things for me, both small and sometimes extravagant.

On the downside, it’s a sudden attempt to undo 13 years of damage: being critical, and making sure I know how poorly his family, friends, and co-workers think of me; putting his family first; running me down with them and to them; looking for the worst possible spin to put on anything I say, think, or do; keeping secrets and outright lying, regarding BIG things like money, credit cards, and friendships with other women; setting up secret e-mail accounts; calling me names if any of this upsets me (‘irrational’ is a current favorite, along with ‘chemically imbalanced.’); smearing my name to those he works with, and separating me from my friends. And did I mention more lies?

On my part, the love is gone. I have thought a lot about divorce this past year. I don’t want to do that to myself or my children. I’m seeking ways to live with it.

I can’t say I’m entirely successful at this point, but I can tell you what I’ve been doing that has at least given my children another few months of an intact family:

I’m trying to pray. Sometimes the best I can do is spit out the Rosary in about the same manner I’d punch a pillow. Not great, I know, but better than throwing his things on the street.

I try to understand why he does these things. I think all the running me down is his insecurities. I try to have compassion for the scared, hurt little boy in him lashing out.

I admit 13 years of it has left me resentful that I should be the one attempting to “understand,” but it does make it a little easier not to be hurt if I can manage not to take it personally. Mind you, the damage is done. There are people all over the place who must think the worst things of me without ever having met me, and that really hurts. I try to remind myself that if I live my life right in God’s eyes, the truth will eventually win out, and even if it doesn’t, I will stand right before GOD.

I keep telling myself to help others and pray for others. I’m not very successful at that yet, but I do think you’re on the right track.

I’m practicing the ideas of ‘self care’ and ‘get a life’ found on www.divorcebusting.com and in The Surrendered Wife. After years of sacrificing (I buy the cheapest possible teabags and stretch each one out to get 6 days’ use, lol!!) while he buys himself daily lattes, I’ve finally started buying myself some of the things I want. After years of racing straight home after work while he wanders in late, I’ve occasionally stayed out late, too, and it woke him up. After years of sacrificing so he can make very expensive visits to his family-- and then still being accused of ‘separating him from his family’!! :confused: – I have told him the next trip to Europe is mine. I bought an exercise bike (at the thrift store, of course) and worked off 70 pounds since the last baby. I have put more energy back into my interests (13 years ago, he and his sister effectively forced me to drop everything and sit there being available to him :frowning: )

Anyway, enough details. I’m sure you get the idea. When I’m researching music therapy or practicing harp or writing, I’m far less likely to be fuming about his latest lie. I also feel better about myself.

I started a site on www.43things.com to give myself focus on what I want out of life. It helped a lot to focus on positives and direction and myself instead of on my disappointments with him.

I TRY to be grateful for what I have-- a decent house, a large family, healthy children; a husband who, the other things notwithstanding, DOES bring me gifts and treats and is a loving and involved father, and is NOW at least trying to make this marriage better. (Although he still doesn’t believe that lying is a problem, and STILL believes that if he sticks to his story, I’ll drop it.)

I try to thank God constantly for the many good things in my life.

I’m trying to see things from the perspective of eternity. I once had a dream that I was in Heaven with an angel, looking down on two people who had died an awful death, and slowly realizing that was ME. That dream over the years has been a reminder to me of how vast eternity is compared to our lives here, and that what happened here will look SO different, almost meaningless, from there. All that will matter anymore is that I behaved with integrity and honor.


#15

PART II

I’m trying hard to emotionally detach-- another concept from divorcebusting. Although I really need help with that, and I can’t help but think there’s not much of a marriage left when one person is totally emotionally detached. But I think their idea is, be big enough to love, without letting his behavior affect you.

Along these lines, I often think of the scene in CS Lewis’ Great Divorce where the woman in Heaven is holding out her hand to Frank, her husband, who is still angry. She loves him, she wants him to share her happiness, but as he continues being angry, making himself smaller and smaller, she regrets his choice to be unhappy, but isn’t made unhappy by it herself. Some days I think I’m Frank :frowning: , but I try hard to be the woman, instead.

I’ve tried to focus on MY purpose in life: being the person GOD wants me to be, regardless of what my husband is doing. Again, I’m really struggling with it (I blew up again this morning about the tramp), but at least it’s a moment here and a moment there when I see that clearly and lose the urge to throw his things out in the street. :thumbsup: And I’m trying to take heart that those moments will become more and last longer, and finally become a way of life.

I think about Mary and the Saints, and how patient and loving they were no matter what people did or said.

I’m working my way bit by bit through The Imitation of Christ and will move onto other Saints’ writings after that. They are at www.ccel.org if you’re interested. Hopefully I got that address right. The ccel should be right, but it might be net or com. It’s got a great collection, all free online.

I wear my scapular, because a part of me desperately wants to (and even frequently decides to) go find a secret ‘friend’ for myself. It’s really hard to do that when you’re wearing a scapular! :cool:

I’m doing the positive self-talk thing.

I’m trying to see the situation clearly, instead of taking it so personally: so his co-workers think badly of me? Maybe they only know what they’ve been told, or maybe it’s just another lie and they never actually said what my husband says they did. So his sister doesn’t like me? Looking clearly at her behavior, why would I care what someone like her thinks? GOD knows I did everything I could for her, and that’s what should count.

I have gotten better at accepting the truism that I can’t change him, and it does help that I’ve quit banging my head against the wall of getting him to see. I have accepted that I can only change myself, and long ago made a list of what I CAN do to make myself happier: I’m mad that he always gets the trips to Europe, while I put off year after year my desire to visit Fatima or Medjugorge? Well, I’ve got a job and a credit card. I can tell him I’m going next time. So I did.

I agree with those who said don’t talk to your family too much about it. Now, I confess, after years of being treated like a mangy cur by HIS family, while mine treats HIM like a king, I’ve started letting my family know he’s got secret e-mail accounts and is telling the office tramp how CUTE he thinks she is. (Do I sound bitter? NO! NOT ME!) I have convinced my sisters he’s not such a winner. Yes, I’m sure I shouldn’t have. I guess in my human weakness, I’m evening the playing field.

But so far, I have resisted the urge to throw in his face that MY sisters don’t think much of him now, either. I’ve resisted because I know how deep the damage is from him doing that to me. He has, by his behavior, made it impossible for me and them to be one big happy family. It affects and hurts all of us, including my husband. I’m not going to impair my relationship with my family by impairing HIS relationship with them. Let’s face it, the marriage MAY survive, in which case I’d like him still to have positive feelings toward my family so that I can maintain a normal relationship with them.

And I guess, too, the more I tear him down to my family, the harder I’m making it for HIM to save face and admit his part in this stuff. (is there an icon for shame here? I’m doing my best and it’s often not good enough.)

I take to heart Dennis Prager’s belief that happiness is a duty and responsibility to others. What good are we to the world and others if we’re miserable all the time? I am cheerful around my children, at least, and that helps all of us and is good for THEM.

I often wonder if I’m just making myself angrier by talking about it, but writing it all out has helped re-focus me on my core beliefs and what I SHOULD be doing. It’s so easy to forget in anger and pain. If you think we can be of any encouragement to each other, feel free to PT me.


#16

[quote=ktp]On my part, the love is gone. I have thought a lot about divorce this past year. I don’t want to do that to myself or my children. I’m seeking ways to live with it.

[/quote]

Dear Friend ktp: I was so moved and touched by your reply. May God surely bless you today my friend, and yes, I do understand totally your situation. I think it’s totally neat how you have made some attempts to be happy despite your situation, and how you believe divorce is NEVER the answer. I feel the exact same. It’s merely a cop-out. I worry about the website you’re going to though, that it’s just another “I deserve to be happy”, sort of thing. Doing what’s right , (in God’s Way, I might add) is THE only sure way for true happiness and real joy in this life, IMO. And that means, yes, choosing to love our husbands, even though we have been hurt, lied to, been the victims of whatever unfaithfulness, etc. It’s a hard task, but a worthy one, IMO. You’re so right, our marriages are perhaps the ways our dear Lord (who knows us best) is giving to make us a saint. Just perhaps.

I think you’d be my friend if we lived near each other. This is the kind of support I need and you too. Someone who has a Godly picture of marriage and what our suffering means for all eternity. Right? I think it’s also totally AWESOME how you play the harp! WoW! That’s THE most beautiful instrument in the world! Keep it up. Keep up your interests too! I just travelled alone for a week to Europe last month, to get away from my pain. It really rejuvinated me alot, but then back to the same old emptiness of a distant spouse.:frowning: Oh well. This is my cross, and your cross too. It’s so neat we have our Lord, in the Eucharist and in Adoration to sustain us isn’t it? I’m planning on buying the 3 books recommended on this site, you should too. Also to look for some writings on suffering. This friend, can be the way we can help other wives, and I just know what we are going through, God will use for His glory, to perhaps another.

Thanks again for replying. You’re a great wife and mom. Don’t forget it!


#17

[quote=Eileen T] A priest advised me that if I couldn’t love him, then I should love Christ in him.
Peace.
[/quote]

Thank you dearest Eileen for your response to my post. When I went to see a Priest at my wonderful parish, he said: “It seems you have every reason for an annulment, etc., and your husband has not fulfilled his husbandly responsibilities.”…wow----Ugh and sigh here…

I choose, however, to believe God, even before him. I choose to love Christ in him, as you say. Thank you for the reminder to do such! Sometimes in this life, we have to know humans are humans, and not even take their advice, as much of it could be wrong–gosh–even a Priest. Your Priest, Eileen gave you the right advice, IMO. You are very lucky for this.

Thank goodness for this, for you, and your commitment.! This really touches my soul. Even in this world, even among Catholics, you will find everywhere so many who choose not to choose the narrow road, which Christ says to choose. I so want to choose it! Don’t you??

Matthew 7:13: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”

I know my marriage (and yours Eileen and others) can help someone maybe younger, maybe just starting to have similar problems. Let’s all of us pray, our examples can do some good for someone else, that WE can be examples of how we have endured, carried on, when we were hurt, lied to, deceived, ignored, and heart-broken.

God Bless You Eileen! You’re a Saint!


#18

[quote=sparkle]Hi Della! Thank you. I do realize this. My husband was in an accident several years ago and had a head trauma. He does take medication for it. But doctors say “there is no way to determine what actions or behaviors are from the accident and which ones aren’t.” Still, it’s hard having your mate be so aloof and unfeeling. I do think this could play a huge role in his behavior though. And still, how does one cope with the behaviors all the same? It’s like I live with an empty shell. This was always his basic nature --quiet, passive, maybe it’s worse now though. Could be the accident, could be our marriage is dead.

Wow–22 years. I think that’s awesome.
[/quote]

Ah, I had a suspicion this might be the case. I saw a TV special about people with such head trauma. They are simply incapable of showing emotion for others. That part of them has been taken away by the brain injury–it’s defined clinically as “APATHY: A direct result of brain injury to frontal lobe structures which concern emotion, motivation and forward planning.”

They said that most spouses of such people usually only stick it out about 5 years after the accident because living with someone who seems soulless is just too hard to bear. It’s not anyone’s fault. It’s a very sad situation, but just knowing his isn’t being deliberately cold and unfeeling but is simply incapable of having such emotions, let alone show them, may help you cope with it.

I strongly suggest you contact your local health provider to see if there is a support group for families dealing with a loved one with this condition. It could go a long way towards helping you understand what has happened to your husband so you can deal with living with him as he is now. You have my prayers.


#19

[quote=Della]Ah, I had a suspicion this might be the case. I saw a TV special about people with such head trauma. They are simply incapable of showing emotion for others. That part of them has been taken away by the brain injury–it’s defined clinically as "APATHY: A direct result of brain injury to frontal lobe structures which concern emotion, motivation and forward planning."
They said that most spouses of such people usually only stick it out about 5 years after the accident because living with someone who seems soulless is just too hard to bear. It’s not anyone’s fault. It’s a very sad situation, but just knowing his isn’t being deliberately cold and unfeeling but is simply incapable of having such emotions, let alone show them, may help you cope with it.
I strongly suggest you contact your local health provider to see if there is a support group for families dealing with a loved one with this condition. It could go a long way towards helping you understand what has happened to your husband so you can deal with living with him as he is now. You have my prayers.
[/quote]

Hi Della! Thank you for your response, and taking your time today to do so. That means so much to me. Well, it’s been 6 years now since my husband’s brain injury and subsequent “craniotomy” (head surgery). I went to a “head injury support group” once–they were all folks with parents in “homes” and I really could not relate. One gal said: “I could not imagine if this was my husband…I couldn’t handle it.”…this made me cry. And then after his doctors said: “we have no way to tell if his behaviors are a result of the accident or otherwise”…I just said “forget it”. But maybe Della, I should pursue it further. There really isn’t a group for head injuries I’ve found yet, other than old folks who have had a serious stroke. I haven’t thought of now for a few years, but maybe you’re right, and I should go back and pursue it further. You see, everyone who knows and sees my husband, sees no changes whatsoever. They all have said to me: “You’re so lucky your husband is totally healed”. Not so. I live with him. I see the void in his life, the lack of emotion. Well, he was always passive, non-emotional, etc., but I suppose since his head injury it’s gotten so much worse.

Thank you Della for your reminding me of such. If it wasn’t for you, I might not have looked into it any further. I appreciate your reply more than you know.


#20

probably use some weekly Mass going and Adoration more! Also I want to sign up to be a Eucharistic Minister at my church to take my eyes off myself and help others. Like the shut-ins, etc. What else? Are there any books written on “How to Survive A Loveless Marriage”?

My dear women, you are in a great deal of pain and as well you should be with what you discribed. I doubt you would have ever come in this forum and wrote all that if you didn’t feel you have tried everything you possibly can do. I am in no way advocating ending a marriage as this should be the very last resort. But I do not believe in staying in a marriage that is loveless. I have been married for 20 yrs tomarrow and sure there are some things that drive me crazy about my husband and we have had our ups and downs but the love and respect he has for me and the gentle way he treats me always makes up for this. It’s possible this is a rough patch but it sounds like it’s been going way too long.

No one should ever be suffering in a marriage like this. I really suggest trying marriage counseling again and start having open dicussions. I realize you don’t believe in divorce and I honestly respect this but please don’t put yourself through undue emotional pain.

You have my prayers sparkle :frowning: :gopray:

Love is patient; love is kind
and envies no one.
Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude;
never selfish, not quick to take offense.
There is nothing love cannot face;
there is no limit to its faith,
its hope, and endurance.
In a word, there are three things
that last forever: faith, hope, and love;
but the greatest of them all is love.

~ 1 Corinthians 13 ~


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