Please help me. I need advice. This can't go on


I have been searching this forum for threads related to my marital problems, but there are so many and have spent hours trying to find what I need, so I have decided to post my own thread in hopes that there is information out there that can help me. I read a post where someone responded to the OP that it sure seemed "all about you." That saddened me. This is from my perspective, my emotional distress, and I need as much information and support as I can get. This is long, so please hang in there.

Here is my story. I was 26 and had not been living according to God's Will for a while. I worked several jobs, attended college at night, and was pretty happy. I also realized that the nagging feeling that I had was that I wasn't sharing my life with God and began to seek Him, His guidance and love. About that time, I met a great guy. He was Catholic, from a very strong Catholic family, and was very strong in his faith. I loved that!! He grew up in a very devout Catholic family. Right is right and wrong is wrong. My dad was a strong Catholic, I was raised Catholic, but lived with different family for a while (mother put in care facility after major stroke.) I went to several protestant churches with extended family and friends, so I have some other influences. Although his family wouldn't really know of these as I had already embraced Catholocism whole heartedly. We dated for almost two years before we married. The time we dated wasn't without problems though. We got engaged after dating almost 14 months. His parents didn't seem thrilled at our announcement. (They lived in a different state,and had only met me two times.) Five months after our engagement, I was at his apartment and found a letter (15 pages or so) from his parents. I wasn't snooping, I found it on his desk when I went to write him something. In short, I wasn't a good enough Catholic girl to marry him. We were too different. Educationally, socially, financially, etc... He had a masters, I was just in college at night. He grew up with some money (his parents worked hard and saved), socially, I was not whatever they thought he wanted. They were really upset that I didn't go to communion while visiting, that I didn't care enough about my faith, relationship with God to make sure that I wasn't separated from God by sin. He went up to communion. I didn't go to confession, so I couldn't go to communion. I didn't go to confession because I knew that I didn't have a firm purpose of amendment. It wouldn't be a vaild confession and I knew it. I called it all off after finding the letter. I told him that I was not going to marry into a family that didn't like me and was not going to make him choose between us. After a couple of weeks, he told me that he and his parents had it out, they didn't know me, I was a great girl, etc... He told me that he knew what he wanted, chose me, loved me, wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, wanted to have children with me, etc... His parents even called me a week later to tell me how sorry they were. That they didn't know me well enough to make those kinds of judgements. They were so sincere in explaining how they knew that being judgemental was their greatest sin. That they realized that they had been critical and judgemental and that they gave their blessing for our marriage. Knowing that they were "right" in some of their judgements, I told them that I understood, agreed with some of their concerns, am working on being the woman that I want to be and that I loved their son. I forgave them. After that he told me that he did not want to move the wedding, that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and that we should still get married in six months. He is a very low key kind of guy and everything seemed to be fine.

Continue to part 2


Part 2

Fast forward to after the wedding, he was distant, disconnected, something didn't feel right. I tried to talk to him, nothing was wrong. He was not mean, just not attentive at all really. Didn't support me continuing my college educatoin b/c of cost. I didn't feel love, acceptance. I was so happy to be his wife. Did my best at cooking, learning how to be a wife, taking care of the home, chores,etc. He watched football and sports and didn't have much to do with me. At 8 months of marriage he told me that, "I was an embarassment to him. That he didn't like taking me to friend's parties because I was an embarassment to him." I asked him what had I done? Gave him a few examples, he said, "No, you didn't do anything. You just are an embarassment to me." I kept inquiring, no, I didn't do anything. This was crushing. Something didn't feel right. I couldn't figure out what was happening. He chose me, he told me he loved me. He married me. He told me he loved me. I believed him. Emotionally, I was hurting. Sexually, I wasn't as open and was really closing down. At the year mark, I found porn bills. It wasn't just after I had begun closing down, He had been doing porn our whole 1st year of marriage, 3-4 times per week. He said he was sorry and promised to never do it again. I was understanding. I thought he was this good man that had this problem and promised to love him through it. This has plagued our whole marriage - almost 17 years. I became depressed, but stayed strong. I was a very bubbly, happy, open, loyal, hard worker who believed that anything was posible if you worked hard enough. I am very understanding and forgiving. I have a huge heart, which I know is a gift from God. I lost sight of that for a while, but I know it again now. We now have 3 children, boys. he is not a family man. He has no real role in their lives. He plays his poker, watches his games, plays on his phone, does whatever he wants to do. I get criticism if I ask him to help out or do anything with the kids. As time has gone on, I have become more depressed. He treats me badly. He is very verbally and emotionally abusive. Everything is wrong with what I do, what I say, how I do it, how I say it, how I should have done it, how I should not have done it, how he would have done it, etc.. Besides the "I am an embarassment to him statement, he has told me that, "I am a failure as a mother, that I should just go back to work because I have failed as a mother." "If we weren't married, we wouldn't even be friends." "I am socially unacceptable." "No one likes me." "He doesn't have a relationship with his brother and that is my fault." And so much more. Daily criticism. I have never had any issue with his family. Despite my continued attempts, a relationship with his brother has just never begun. His mother and father seemed to love and accept me for who I was. They told me many times that they love me and appreciate my understanding, forgiving nature. He began gambling six years ago and we are in major debt. He began talking to other women on his cell phone. Hiding his phone, etc. Come to find out a woman that he didn't want me to know he was talking to bought him a cell phone (she is married, lives in a different state.) This was over three years ago. I found a phone, he didn't let me see it and told me that he wanted to talk to whoever he wanted to talk to without me giving him a hard time. I didn't know she bought him that phone. I have found his work phone several times, I thought he ended things with her, then I found another phone she bought him last June. He had had it for a while. I told him that we needed to start over. I was taking blame because I had been closed down. I am not saying that I have been an angle in all of this, but I can tell you that I have been more of a reactionary than anything else. Besides, this is my side of the story. I NEVER turned out of the marriage. I never cheated. I have waited for him to choose me, love me, see what he has done and is doing. Anyway, he told me that he wanted our marriage to work. He wasn't turning to me though. I tried to be patient. Months went by, nothing. He told me that he wasn't attracted to me. He didn't delete "her" from his facebook (he still hasn't) he has passwords on his phone and work phone. He is not showing me any remorse for his actions. He is still living what I call his secret second life. He has not been forthcoming about his relationship with her, he has not admitted to anything. He says that he has never had an affair with her. He says that he has not cheated on me. He says that he has never slept wtih her. After a few months, I call the other woman. Ended up talking to her husband and found out that she had been at a work conference that he told me that she would not be attending. It was just them representing their company at this special conference. Her husband also told me that he found a love card that my husband had written to her while they were at that conference, and a few other bits of information. In August, she leaves my husband I love you messages. He continues to maintain that he isn't speaking to her.

Continue to part 3


Part 3

I forgave him (there is a lot about his critical, judgemental, holier than thou upbringing that you are just going to have to know that really hurt him and caused holes.) He has yet to ever really show remorse, turn to me, delete her from his FB account, disclose anything, explain anything. He does not want a sexual relationship with me. He still maintains that he did not have sex with her. He will only admit what he knows that I know. I forgave him, clean slate, and he just acted like he wanted things to work, but he did not value my forgiveness. He does not love me anymore. I finally approached his parents about this. If anyone could help, they could. He was spiralling and was hoping they would help. They told me "We told you you should have not gotten married." "Now look at what you have done." "This should have been over with a long time ago." After calling "her" husband, I tried his parents again, they said, "We don't believe his addictions are causing your bad marriage, but that your bad marriage is causing his addictions and that when hs is out of this bad marriage with you, he will get better." He is now drinking a lot. I am sorry this is so long, I just want someone to understand what I am going through and maybe you can give me the information and advice I am so needing to hear. I pray that there is someone who will take the time to read this and give me something I need to deal with this.


I think you need to see a counsellor or a priest: in the end someone like that can give you much more personal advice and it will be much easier for you to explain things than it is over this sort of forum situation. Though of course there are people here who will be able to give you advice based on their own lives and experiences, but also a counsellor or a priest will be able to see both you and your husband and try and help you work through your problems. His parents are inevitably going to side with your husband and try and make excuses for him, it is in the nature of a parent to do so. For your sake and the sake of your children, find someone who will be able to be honest and impartial. You are in my prayers.


You are not causing your husband to seek out other women, to drink to excess or to gamble with funds he doesn't have. Do not let him or anyone else blame you for that. You are only accountable for your own actions and inactions, not his.

Granted, I've only seen one side of the coin, but it sounds like you've tried to make this work. I think you should schedule a meeting with your Priest and your husband to discuss everything you've written here, and anything you haven't. If your husband refuses to attend, so be it. That alone will tell you more about his attitude towards the Church and your marriage than anything on this board will.

You are in my prayers.


Wow, my heart and prayers go out to you SO MUCH!!!! I can't even begin to imagine 20ish years of living like that. Your husband sounds like a real prince charming... NOT! I read every single word of your story and I am truly amazed that you have hung in there. It's actually amazing to me and to do it with a loving spirit is beyond noble.

I've read a million "My husband/wife is a jerk and here's why" threads but what stood out to me about yours was how quickly he changed after marriage. It doesn't sound like he ever wanted married life. That's why the beginning of your story is so odd to me. The way he stood up to his parents and was so adamant about marrying you. What happened? Seriously... do you have any ideas? Do you think he had active but concealed addictions during your courtship? Can you look back and see red flags that you missed? I ask mostly because I have a big fear of marriage changing my own relationship although I have no reason to believe it will. I just get nervous when I hear stories like this!

As for advice, well I just don't know what to even say except that what you describe is OUTRAGEOUS behavior on his part. He does this because he can. He has no consequences. I hope you know that his porn, cheating, coldness and telling you that you're an embarrassment has nothing to do with YOU. This guy is truly ill and he needs serious help. You didn't cause him to choose to live the way he is living. It's not YOU. The only advice I can give you is to persevere in prayer and take better care of YOU. You can't change him but you can work on yourself. You deserve it. Can you find a catholic counselor? Have you talked to your priest?

God bless you and I am praying for you!


I guess I should add that we have been to therapy. Many times. Therapy will never work unless both participants are willing to be completely open and honest and one doesn't have hidden cell phones with another woman.


your situation is beyond the scope of these forums which are primarily for discussion and sharing, but we are terrific at prayer and will be holding you in ours while you seek professional and pastoral help.


Thank you all for responding. I have been seeing a counselor for quite a few years. I have spoken to my parish priest about this quite a few times over the last couple of years. I didn't for a while because my husband was embarassed and mad that I told the priest. He didn't go to church at our church for two months until he had to usher. I know I didn't do the best job of explaining everything. It would have made the post wayyy too long. He didn't stand up to his parents really. I didn't know it, but they had been hounding him about it, pointing out my flaws for over 5 months before I found the letter. Only when I broke things off with him, did he tell me that he had it out with his parents. I believed him. I just found out last summer when they their true colors came out that he never did. It just seemed like he did because they called an apologized. They said he never had it out with them, went two weeks without talking to them and that he didn't give them an ultimatum. He told them he still wanted to marry me. So they called me.

Puzzle Annie, please forgive me, but I am hoping that my situation is not out of the scope of these forums. I have read others similar, but not the same as mine and there have been many positive responses. I want people on here to help me with this if they wish to.

I truly appreciate all of your prayers. My family really needs them. I am praying for God to soften his heart and to please gently let him see what he has done and what he is doing.


your husband is having an affair. he's causing grave scandal. he's destroy(ed)(ing) his marriage and family.

you need to talk to a priest right away. continuing conjugal living with your husband gives tacit approval to his adultery. continued non-conjugal living with him may harm your children. it's always detrimental to children to routinely see their mother's dignity insulted.

and see his parents for who they are-- people to be avoided.

you have a tripod of wrecked people to pray for, OP.

here is canon law:


Can. 1151 Spouses have the duty and right to preserve conjugal living unless a legitimate cause excuses them.

Can. 1152 §1. Although it is earnestly recommended that a spouse, moved by Christian charity and concerned for the good of the family, not refuse forgiveness to an adulterous partner and not disrupt conjugal life, nevertheless, if the spouse did not condone the fault of the other expressly or tacitly, the spouse has the right to sever conjugal living unless the spouse consented to the adultery, gave cause for it, or also committed adultery.

§2. Tacit condonation exists if the innocent spouse has had marital relations voluntarily with the other spouse after having become certain of the adultery. It is presumed, moreover, if the spouse observed conjugal living for six months and did not make recourse to the ecclesiastical or civil authority.

§3. If the innocent spouse has severed conjugal living voluntarily, the spouse is to introduce a cause for separation within six months to the competent ecclesiastical authority which, after having investigated all the circumstances, is to consider carefully whether the innocent spouse can be moved to forgive the fault and not to prolong the separation permanently.

Can. 1153 §1. If either of the spouses causes grave mental or physical danger to the other spouse or to the offspring or otherwise renders common life too diffcult, that spouse gives the other a legitimate cause for leaving, either by decree of the local ordinary or even on his or her own authority if there is danger in delay.

§2. In all cases, when the cause for the separation ceases, conjugal living must be restored unless ecclesiastical authority has established otherwise.

Can. 1154 After the separation of the spouses has taken place, the adequate support and education of the children must always be suitably provided.

Can. 1155 The innocent spouse laudably can readmit the other spouse to conjugal life; in this case the innocent spouse renounces the right to separate.


I went to see a gambling and alcohol and drug abuse specialist to try to understand him better and to get information and therapy thinking she could help. She was a wealth of information and is a great counselor. It is a 30 minute drive and I couldn't continue to see her and my regular therapist, so after a while, I just continued to see my regular therapist. She explained his narcicistic (spelling) behavior, his upbringing - cold, critical, judgemental, comes off as conditional love. Even if he was never completely rejected, he feared it. He feard conditional love his whole life. His parents loved him. But, they cut people off if those people did anything they felt was 'ungodly." She explained that this type of upbringing creates holes, insecurity, fear of rejection, fear of loving, inability to be emotionally intimate, etc... I have learned a lot about addiction and see it in him now. I have to protect myself and my children from futher abuse. I don't want to get into the divorce argument. I know that is an option, which I am considering. I am just really hurt and need to explore everything.


I don't have any great words of wisdom for you, but I am so sorry you are going through this. You are in my prayers.


I know this is very difficult for you, but in addition to the therapist, you really need to see a lawyer. With his drinking and debt, you need to find out what to do to protect yourself and the children whether you divorce or not.

And no matter what he or his parents say, do NOT blame yourself.



It sounds like he's married but not at all engaged. He's got so many issues going on it would be difficult to handle any one of them. I deeply resect you're staying and wanting so much to work it out with him.He's not dead, so there's always hope, but it'll take a lot of changes and some miraculous help. Always start where you're at. With you. Decide first - is this dangerous? If it is, you absolutely must leave. If not, move on to the next step. Acknowleging where your feelings of betrayal come from. It doesn't matter if HE admits he's cheating at this point. You have to know that every time he viewed pronography, every time he sought the affections of another, accepting a phone.. he has cheated on you and broken his vows. That's why it feels like he's cheated. He really does sound like a Narcissist and suffers from many addictions. He is responsible for those addictions. He has to choose to get help for them or they will remain. My heart is brokem for you and I'm sending you my prayers. There are so many powerful prayers.. An hour a day for a week in private adoration before the Tabernacle in your local Catholic Church, handing your life and the outcome completely over to God and asking Him to resolve it. Asking God to give you healthy boundaries. Novenas to the Sacred Heart, The Holy Spirit, The Divine Mercy.. The rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Roary of God the Father... intense counseling for you, the healing Sacrament of regular confession, weekly meetings with your parish priest. But ultimately he may not choose to conform to God's will and restore your marriage. Personally, I could not have stayed 17 years. You aren't equally yoked. But at the same time, something in you has allowed this to go on and escalate for so long. You need deep healings. Only God alone can reach those places inside of you that need Divine healing. Only God alone can rescue him and change his heart. If you decide to stay, fasting and prayer. Constant prayer. Perpetual priase to God for His goodness, His righteousness.. and asking Him to take over everything. each time you hit the wall - which for me would be moment to moment under those conditions - giving your will completely over to God for the salvation of your husband's soul and his freedom from demonic influence. Read God's word every day and live on it as your nourishment. [But not your only mourishment, please eat healthy and get your rest.] Try Proverbs and Sirach. They will form your conscience and build you up in righteousness. May Jesus build a fortress of protection around you and your children. And call on the Blessed Virgin Mary, and consecrate yourself to her. That's my best advice. If you need any one of those prayers I mentioned above, please leave me a personal message and I'll get them right out to you. But most of all, I'm going to come into agreement with you about your tag line - "This can't go on."


I believe your husband is fighting a very intense spiritual battle. The last thing Satan wants is a good, holy family unit. Pray pray pray, is all I can tell you to do. Personally, I don't think his heart is in this marriage. Not because of anything you've done, but because he seems to have strayed from you. He's allowed addiction to take your place, in a sense. I'm so very sorry you're suffering so. St. Rita is a good saint to pray to in your type of situation. Read up on her. What a woman! I'll pray for you to find peace and happiness and I'll certainly pray for your husband.


Hi. I started to take some of your post out as to not take up room, but ended up not taking much out. Thank you for your kind words. This is part of what I am looking for. I really want to hear and know that I am not the cause. I have been trying to take on blame and responsibility that is not mine. I have been blamed and put down for so long, it has messed with me. I am just trying to feel my way through all of this. I know of some of these prayers. It is ironic that my in-laws actually are the apostolate leaders for the Adoration we have at our parish. I will read Proverbs and Sirach again. I have been praying, but with 3 boys and a lot of responsibility, I probably don’t do it enough. Thank you for your response and prayers. I am truly appreciative.


[quote="always for him, post:16, topic:240519"]
hi. I started to take some of your post out as to not take up room, but ended up not taking much out. Thank you for your kind words. This is part of what i am looking for. I really want to hear and know that i am not the cause. I have been trying to take on blame and responsibility that is not mine. I have been blamed and put down for so long, it has messed with me. I am just trying to feel my way through all of this. I know of some of these prayers. It is ironic that my in-laws actually are the apostolate leaders for the adoration we have at our parish. I will read proverbs and sirach again. I have been praying, but with 3 boys and a lot of responsibility, i probably don't do it enough. Thank you for your response and prayers. I am truly appreciative.


You are not to blame!

You are not to blame!

You are not to blame!!!!
His choices are his own and have nothing to do with you!!
Addicts do this, as you know!!!

You are not not not to blame!!!!


I agree with the other posters, this is not a "normal" marital issues situation. This is far beyond being inattentive, lazy or even just a porn issue. Your husband sounds like he multiple serious issues. He needs a lot of help spiritually and mentally. If he is not willing to get help should talk to your priest about how best to protect yourself and your children. There is a a real concern that your children will learn to behave like him if they are male or search out husbands like him if they are female. The situation has to change one way or the other.

I am going to pray for you guys.


Now that you know you are not to blame, go to Al-Anon. It's primarily for spouses of alcoholics, which you say he might be, but other addictions work in the place of alcoholism.

You didn't cause it.
You can't change it.
You can't cure it.

Whatever "IT" is, it belongs to that person.

Your husband is a very damaged person. He may well be a narcissist and not have the ability to love. I don't know why he hooked you in the first place but you must have represented something he wanted. Then once he got you on the hook, he just disengaged and did whatever he wanted to do.

It's HIS problem to fix, not yours. I know you love him but he probably doesn't love you. If he is a narcissist, he really can't love you. I would also advise you to get all of the bank account information, if there are any assets that you can freeze, do so immediately, see a lawyer ASAP for advice.

If he is just the way you describe him, your sons have been damaged by his lack of caring, and you may have to watch them for the same detached narcissistic traits (I believe there is a genetic component although as far as I am aware, there has been no research on this).

Prayers will be said on your behalf and for your children. I am so sorry.

P.S. Welcome to this forum. It's a great one. Has helped me strengthen my own faith immeasurably.


You are so right. My 14 year-old speaks very rudely and disrespectfully to me. My husband doesn't have my back, defend me or demand better of them. My next is 7 and following in his older brother's footsteps already. I think I have pretty much accepted that our marriage was really never a marriage, and is over. I don't hold out any hope really that he can or will change or stop because he doesn't want to. The only thing that he has committed to and has gotten better at in almost 17 years is his deceipt to continue to do and get away with what he wants to do. In the last couple of months, I feel that God has finally helped me pull my head out of the sand to face these issues. The pain, rejection, abandonment, verbal and emotional abuse, deceipt, disrespect, constant criticism and blame for everything was just so painful, it beat me down and I also just couldn't face it. So, I just put a lid on it, didn't look at it, and tried to focus on the boys, what I needed to do. That worked for a while. The verbal and mental abuse continued to worsen. The demonizing of me to everyone he knows, even people I know, really hurt. I still understand that I have not handled it all well. I went from being bubbly and always positive to boring, sad and more negative. My children have witnessed this over the years. I try to protect them from hearing me say anything negative or us in a heated discussion, but every once-in-a-while they will hear something. My oldest snuck down the stairs to hear our conversation when I confronted my husband about the other woman. I don't know how much he heard, but we think he heard more than enough. These last years, my husband has treated me with such contempt, disrespect as if I don't deserve being treated with dignity and respect. He is doing all these bad things, and he is treating me with hatred. I don't want my boys to witness this any longer. The contempt is so strong that there is no mistaking it.

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