On verge of divorce - need non secular advice



I'm hoping there are a few God centered people out there that will read this and reply from an objective, holy perspective.

I will try to be brief although the problem is compounded by many issues. My first marriage was annulled, we had 2 children. The guilt over the end of that marriage was unbearable for many years. We both are to blame for a lot of it but I am the one that left and was unwilling to work on it. The guilt of that haunted me for a very long time.

I remarried a man from a different cultural background although I fell in love with him because of his "devout" catholic faith, which I believed to be true. We have two young children. Since we have gotten married he has pushed me away physically and emotionally although I strived very hard to make him happy although I'm no saint. I'm sure I got on his nerves always nagging him for help with the kids or his attention. he spent a LOT of time on the internet and phone. He went back home to visit his family last year and I thought little of it. Through December and January he was acting very strange and paranoid which escalated into a full blown psychotic episode during which time he confessed his multitude of sins to me, including his long term affair with a woman at home who was expecting his child (she gave birth last week). He has been with her since before we got married but he is not married to her. He lied about his family origins, his father was a polygamist and his mother was wife #4. He told me he had one sister, but he has 14. He told me he was a virgin when we met and waiting for the call to the priesthood, turns out he's been quite a lady's man. All of these confessions have been verified. He was a "devout" catholic who wanted me to move back to his country and live "in harmony" with our children, his gf and their child. WHAT???!#$%##@

I put him into the hospital (302'd him) twice. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia. There was no sign of it until recent events. He has never hurt me or the kids to date. He's medicated now and back in his home country after I was having trouble coping with daily life and just bought him a plane ticket to get away from us for now. His family doesn't believe he's sick. They are convinced he is being attacked by demons. We've been down that road, he's been to all kinds of churches for prayer and fasting despite my insistence that he stay away from non Catholic answers to his problems. This is not demons. I believe that can happen but in this situation, it is mental illness. Given the fact that schizophrenics often stop taking medication because they think they're fine, it is crucial his family stop telling him he's not sick. They don't listen to me.

He claims to have repented, confessed and sees how wrong he has been ... now that he's losing his family of course. He does seem truly sorry although the issues are too plentiful for me to believe there's any future. Trust has been broken so badly. How can I trust he's really sorry and these things will not repeat themselves? If he were just sick, we could see psychiatrists, adhere to therapy, be faithful with the medication etc. If he were just a cheater or lies/secrets, we could go to retrouvaille or another Catholic marriage program and work on it. It's not that simple and there are four children involved now.

I keep reading about saints who have suffered through terrible marriages and they didn't divorce. (St. Monica, St. Rita Cascia, etc.) They stuck it out and continued to pray for their spouse. I feel that I must forgive him as a Christian. I also feel that I have to care for him, he is sick. Of course my friends and family insist that I leave him and never look back which is easy for them to say. They've never loved him. They never married him. They're not committed to him through the bonds of marriage. My priest even said I should run away.

I know many of you will agree with them. That's fine. The majority of the time, I also agree with them. I'm not afraid of being alone. I'm not afraid of raising the kids by myself. I want what's best for the kids and I want to do what's morally right here. I've been praying and fasting also, the answers I get from God are all about forgiveness. If we can overcome these things, anyone can overcome their marital difficulties lol. The question is, what is the right thing to do here? (Before you say it, I realize I need counseling and am searching for one.) I think I have more secular advice then I cared for. It seems everyone has an opinion. I'm really interested in spiritual advice here.

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide to me.

God bless



Pack your bags and get the heck out of there. 5 minutes ago. I hate to say this, because the break up of a marriage is terrible. But this is henious.

I’ll be praying for you. We all will be.


I'm assuming that all four kids are with you. You can forgive him. You don't have to live with him to forgive him. You have a responsibility to these four kids. Don't let them live through this hell. Your priest told you to leave. I'd say that's the best non secular advice you could find. Leave. You must dedicate your time to these children. YOU are not your husband's healer. You must get into counseling and find out why you ignore the signs. You are not capable of helping anyone until you take the first step by helping yourself. LEAVE.


I cannot fathom that this man gave vaild consent when you married, he was planning polygamy, mentally ill or both.



I was married to my ex wife( borderline personality disorder and manic depressive) for 18 years with the attitude that you stick at it and work through it. That never stopped her from leaving.

People with mental illness can ruin your life ( and drive you insane) if your prepared to put up with that, well stick at it.

You will never cure him and and don't let him drive you mad.

It may be for your own sanity to leave first and get some control of your own life before he totally destroys it.


Working on a marriage is one thing…but you are not called on to be “God”…you can’t fix this…and for all you know maybe God has been working on him…but he won’t completely cooperate with His graces…like maybe God inspired him to not lie to you…and thus make his marriage vows invalid (in my judgment)…by lying to enter into the marriage covenant.

All agree that physical abuse of a spouse is reason enough to split/depart…emotional and verbal abuse also count as criterion to leave…especially when the foundation to marry him was clearly not based on reasonable human truth.

Pray for him…offer your sufferings for his spiritual, corporal and temporal well being…but I would seek guidance/validation from a Catholic marriage counselor re: leaving him. Remember, your spiritual well being and your soul can be put into grave danger trying to make this work…you are not God (I know you know this…but you need to apply this reality to your current situation).

My simple guidance to my sons and daughters re: serious courting relationships for: possible marriage is always the same: …when someone shows you who they really are…don’t “wish away” that reality…believe them…when they tell you and/or show. Take action on that reality…not what you wish or hope for in a person!

In prayer for you…Pax Christi


You can be sure you have an invalid marriage on your hands. Don’t feel guilty at ALL. Trust your priest. God bless you!


It appears as though you have grounds for another annullment, with his dishonesty in entering into the marriage. Secondly, with his adultery, which is the sole reason Jesus gave in the Bible for divorce.

However, the bottom line here are the children. You need to take legal action, now while he is in a state of mental disorder to secure yourself as their sole guardian. It will make it easier, “if” you chose the divorce route later, plus make it more difficult for him to take the children “on vacation” out of the country, and never return with them - and divorce you from afar. The US Government cannot remove a child from a parent, but they can remove a child who has been kidnapped, which if you were the sole guardian, would be the case.

Thirdly, you need to become a subject matter expert on the mental issues your husband has. You need to study many such case examples to determine if there is a physical threat to the lives of the children. The children are the innocents, they cannot know or do for themselves, they do not know how to protect themselves - that is your job. If there is even a small percentage of probability of him harming the children, then you have no choice but to leave. Despite your desire to “offer it up”, which is good and virtuous, but you cannot “offer up” the lives of the children.

If you could leave the house and not think twice for the children being home alone with him, than “offer it up” and do your best. If you cannot do that, you have to leave - or have him leave.


How many of the children are legally his? I say this because if he is a citizen of another country he may take them to “visit” and you’d never see your kids again. Till they were old enough to come look for you.

Get a very good lawyer and consult with his doctors. Your priest has already warned you.

You can’t fix mental illness. And being around that… to adjust, YOU have to warp your view of reality to keep the peace. And it has a way of making YOU nuts too.

Do the kids love him? Is he a good attentive father? Or is this a good time to suggest he just leave and become a father to his “new family.” That woman and baby may have done you a big favor.


i add my agreement on several fronts:

*the marriage is probably not sacramental and valid.
*be aware of the risk of kids being brought into another country-- perhaps one not sympathetic to you as the mother
*you can forgive him and live apart from him.

mother teresa said, “God puts people in our lives so we can do something for them.” can you heal him of mental ilness? no. can you heal him of generational corruption and scandal (polygamy)? no. can you undo his ***other ***family? years of affair? no.

but you and your children can pray for him. fast for him. offer masses for him. in a very dis-interested way-- meaning you pray for him with NO INTENTION of ever re-joining your lives again.

THAT’S sacrifice. to always pray for a guy with whom you will probably NEVER enjoy a sane or sacramental moment in this life. you pray for every good grace from God Our Father to be his. you pray for his healing and conversion. you pray for his eternal soul. you pray he finds wonderful doctors who treat him appropriately. you pray he takes his meds. you pray the list of families and people left in his wake doesnt grow.

and, even with an annulment, consider staying single for a long time. your **partner-picker **would seem to be pretty broken.


partner picker lol I like that and it’s true. Being single sounds blissful! Finding a Catholic therapist has been a nightmare. They are far and few between and insurance doesn’t cover it.

He is no longer in the country and I can prevent him from ever returning although if I did that, I would be doing it out of anger. I have enough documentation in my possession to prove he entered the country through illegal means. I brought him here through a marriage visa. He clearly lied on the paperwork where it asks, do you believe in polygamy and he checked “no”. He also lied about other things that I came to discover later.

In a few days his medication will be gone and he will be trapped there with no help. They don’t really believe in mental illness there, they believe everything is supernaturally caused… generally diabolical. It’s mass schizophrenia. Once he is off the meds, he will have a psychotic break. He will spiral within a few days and he will never be permitted on an airplane. He will most likely be pushed from one family member to another until they all pretend they don’t know him. That’s how his country deals with incapacitated people of every type. It is difficult enough to feed yourself there, they don’t waste resources on those who can’t help themselves.

Two of the kids are his. One has a passport which I hid in someone else’s house and he can’t get the baby one unless I’m present. God bless America and it’s plethora of laws :slight_smile: My children will never again set foot in that God forsaken stinkhole he came from. I suppose another moral question is, is it wrong that I intend on never letting them find out they have a little brother there? The last thing they need is to search the world for their long lost brother. And yes, it is a country in which the wife has no power. The father owns the child. He can marry as many women as he wants, although not legally unless he’s muslim and women can’t just get a divorce if they want. Again, God bless America! When it comes to immigration laws, I am much more versed then he can ever be.

The more I learn of this illness, the more I see that a lot of his lies and beliefs (like believing I would someday agree to live a polygamous life) were part of the schizophrenia… inability to distinguish reality from delusion. Apparently, they are often habitual liars as well. This isn’t necessarily a moral dysfunction but a mental illness issue. Could be both.

I do believe the marriage is invalid. I suppose I needed someone outside the situation, someone with faith, to tell me that this is a nightmare and all the love in the world isn’t going to fix it. I do love him. It would be the greatest sacrifice to pray for him and continue loving him knowing that we will never be together, I may never even see him again for the rest of my life.

Thank you all for your advice and prayers. I’m still digesting everything that has been said. God bless you all for the charity you have offered by way of speaking the truth.


Are you children dual nationals? (In other words, do they possess passports from his home country?) If so, he can legally take them out of the country without violating the law so please be very careful. I know he is not in the country now but you cannot be too careful.

I understand your husband is sick. But he is unable and unwilling to resolve his own problems. Please follow the advice of your priest. You can forgive him, you can pray for him, and you can still love him. But that does not mean you should remain legally married to him. It sounds like it is in the best interest for you to remain separated from him given his record of deceit.

One of my family members is married to someone who is bipolar among other mental illnesses and she has tried to stick it out for years which has negatively impacted her children, ruined their childhood, and probably permanently damaged their understanding of men and how a father and husband should act.

Your children need to come first. I recommend following the other poster`s suggestion to permanently seek sole custody. Please also follow the advice of your priest.

We will keep you and your family in our prayers.




I have 2 bi-polar relatives, one was diagnosed a schitophrenia (sp). Their parents remind me: “you cannot expect normal behavior out of a mentally sick person”. Do not forget this. Love sometimes has nothing to do with it. Of course you love him. And you always will. But he is incapable of loving you back. It’s very sad, but true. He is very very sick. He needs help.

May i ask what country is he from?

All the advice above was wonderful. I especially like what MonicaCatholic says. Re-read it.

I wish you all the luck and strength to go forward with dignity and with the peace which only comes from above. God will take care of you and your children. He will never leave you or forsake you, unlike humans.


Getting sole custody, although important and will be sought ASAP, is virtually useless. His country does not issue passports for children, their details are put into the parent’s passport. I did find a falsified birth certificate for my son claiming his country of origin is my husband’s country although he was born right here in the good ole’ USA. This is one of the documents I planned to take to USCIS (United States Customs and Immigration Services). If he were to enter the kids’ info into his passport, I really can’t see the ticket agent asking for custody papers. I have traveled with my son out of the country alone before and no one asked me for any such thing. I had no trouble leaving or coming back. My best hope is to have him flagged at all points of entry/departure by notifying USCIS of the danger of abduction.

Thank you for sharing the information about children growing up with a mentally ill parent. I can’t prevent them from being effected by this. No matter what I do, they will be hurt by this. No father or a scary father. Granted the former is the favorable option, it is still far from ideal.


Understand this: When you married a liar with mental health issues, your option for “Ideal” completely ended. Now you have to think of “lesser of two evils” in every choice you make.

Call Immigration immediately and do whatever it takes to make sure he is NEVER allowed on a plane to come back to this country. Let me give you a scenario that should make you do this NOW: He comes in with another forged birth certificate from THAT country (which he gets in his stay THERE.) You go to pick your children up from school one day and they are not there. Their father has already come and gotten them and they are on a plane to that country before you are aware they’re not at school anymore.

Show them the faked passport for the kids. (Has he EVER made derogatory comments about this country or the people, or issued terrorist threats… you can get him on a no-fly list.)

If there is an ocean keeping your kids from his illness and his lies, do it. Don’t tell them about long-lost sibling that they wouldn’t have had if your husband had been honest about his views of bigamy. (He may have secretly married that woman over THERE and you don’t know about it.)

As someone who was completely deceived by lies herself, I agree about the People Picker. Stay single for a good long time.

It is NOT your obligation (Or the obligation of the welfare and medical community of the USA) to cure your husband’s medical issues. His country isn’t completely off when they attribute demonic causes for some things. In a non-Christian country, the demonic is often more entrenched than you know. Do they make use of people with diminished psychological capacity to effect evil in the world? Probably. Can you fix it even with medicine? You haven’t been able to thus far. You were deceived into marriage and lied to during it. Let him live over there under the conditions of that place. He had a choice to make. HE chose wrong by going over there to his paramour and baby. Let him live with HIS choice. And let his family live with HIM.

Personally, if I were you, I’d move while he’s stuck out of the country so he can’t find you if he ever gets back.


With the risk of abduction you may also wish to get a restraining order for the children. This will keep him from picking them up at school and I can't see this as being difficult with the history of involuntary committment. Good luck.


i agree with everyone on here. i don’t think your marriage was ever valid in the first place…in fact, by Catholic stance, it is not vaid since he was so deceiftful to you :/.

i know what i am going to say doesn’t reflect your situation but i am 25, and bipolar. i am totally functioning and take med every evening. i am a teacher. i know very much about bipolar and what it has and can do to other people. i am very well aware of my emotions, maybe too aware haha…what i am trying to say to everyone, in a loving manner, is that there are healthy bipolar individuals out there in soceity, such as myself. am i terrified of having children? yes. but i have prayed for years and have to put my trust in the Lord or i will start to freak out. does it freak me out when i hear stories of other people that are bipolar that do crazy things? yes. but i have to have faith. i didnt ask to be bipolar :frowning:

ok sorry for this rant and that it doesn’t pertain to your situation…but you are in my prayers today!
god bless you and your children! i can’t imagine your anguish and pain.


Psalm42 - Congrats and welcome. You have a lot of wisdom and none of us should confuse you who is aware of your condition and takes responsibility for it with someone like the OP’s husband who is schizophrenic which is a totally different disorder and blames outside sources and takes no responsibility and lies about the condition. Sorry if you feel that others have not welcomed you.


Hi, Psalm 42. That’s one of my favorite Psalms and I love when I get the chance to sing it at Mass. My son is also bi-polar, not medicated but better this way than the zombie he was in high school, and a functioning adult and excellent husband to a clinically depressed woman. There are times when I want to clobber one, the other or both of them, but they’re mostly ok. My mother had a rare condition called porphyria. Most people, including nurses in hospitals, have never heard of it. Sadly, I see it on TV once in a while in the worst possible form, the kind where you lose your mind. My mother had two of the eight forms, but not that one. She did take something usually prescribed for schizophrenia and “got looks” at the pharmacy sometimes. It’s hard enough to deal with any kind of mental illness, but it’s even harder when other people don’t understand it’s not all the same thing. Best wishes to you.

OP…one more voice saying you can’t fix him. Don’t ever feel guilty about taking care of yourself and your kids. That’s your priority, not him. Protect yourselves every way possible.


It is very rare that everyone here agrees on the same thing - this may be one of those times where you might want to take that for what it is worth and really listen to that advice.

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