Saint vs. doormat (?)


#1

Ok, here’s the deal… I have been struggling with the decision to leave my husband for a while, but always seem to be defeating by guilt just before I get him out the door.

I’ve caught him cheating on me a few times, and actually separated from him for a month after catching him for the third time. I’ve caught him making 2 attempts to meet women online since. Every time I try to leave him though, he reminds me that he’s unemployed and can’t afford to stay here if we separate and so he’ll have to live with his parents in another state and will never be able to see his kids. He tells me how sorry he is and how much he loves me and that he’ll never do it again… By the time he’s done I feel so lousy that I end up letting him stay.

I know that God wants us to forgive, but at what point does it stop being mercy and start being nievity? How do I get past the guilt long enough to stand up for myself? Or is it really “Til death do us part?” Am I supposed to stick with him and try to help him through his problem? I’m really struggling here…


#2

It sounds like you are in a very tough situation. I will pray for you.

Here’s what I think. I think there is a difference between forgiving him, and forcing you and your kids to continue to endure his poor treatment of you. You can forgive him and still ask him to move out, hopefully temporarily, for everyone’s own good, including his own. I think it is your duty to seek out marriage counseling, but if he refuses to change you are not obligated to endure him. You’d still be married to him of course but maybe permanently separated :frowning:

Definitely see some professional help for this.


#3

why would you want a guy that cruises the internet looking for babes (and who knows what else) and does not support his family, and treats you like a doormat to spend time with your kids? Send him back to mom and dad, let them pay for his AOL account. The definition of sainthood nowhere allows for lying down and accepting abuse, infidelity and exposure to STDs. A man who treats his wife this way is a threat to their children, and their is no virtue in allowing him to continue his behavior. If you still love him the best way to show that love is to give him no reason or excuse to persist in this behavior by your passive acceptance of the abuse.


#4

[quote=LadyTempest]I know that God wants us to forgive, but at what point does it stop being mercy and start being nievity?
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It’s mercy when the husband feels a true repentance and works to change his ways. It’s nievity when he feels no repentance and is only working harder on not getting caught the next time.

Is he really miserable at the thought of his own actions, or is he only upset that those actions might actually have some negative consequences for him if you get up enough will power to leave?

[quote=LadyTempest]How do I get past the guilt long enough to stand up for myself?
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You need to look inside yourself and understand why you allow yourself to be treated in such a horrible fashion by your husband. Cliche question: Did your father repeatedly cheat on your mother when you were growing up?

Your inability to stand up for yourself shows a worrisome lack of self worth that will continue to plague you until you figure it out and overcome it.

[quote=LadyTempest]Or is it really “Til death do us part?” Am I supposed to stick with him and try to help him through his problem? I’m really struggling here…
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If he’s really interested in working on his problem, then you should stick with him and help him. Has he been working on ways to avoid temptation in the future? Has he researched Sexaholics Anonymous or Sex Addicts Anonymous?

Being a doormat isn’t a good thing, either for you or your children, and the Church doesn’t require anyone to remain in such a situation. Separation and divorce are allowed under these circumstances. Remarriage depends on whether your marriage is valid or not (i.e., if it can be annulled); however, it is too soon for you to be concerned with this.


#5

Oh Oh Oh. I’ll tell you my story because I think we married the same man!!!. I believe God sometimes does not want us to stay in situations that are harmful to our spirituality.

I was married to a man for 10 years. He did not work 8 of those. We have 2 kids. In those years he had a horrible internet porn addiction, had an affair, had no belief in God, suffered from horrible depression but would not seek help or medicate, became the world’s best liar, and far too many other things here to write.

For years I felt sorry for the very reasons you have stated:

-he would have no where to live
-he has no way to support himself ( but does not try either)
-His parents live 1000 miles away so he would never see the kids
-he says he is sorry every time I catch him doing things but he never changes

  • I took my vows seriously and need to suffer to make this work
  • I will look like a failure to my family if I divorce

Well, one day God gave me the courage to kick him out. I believe this man was my choice and not God’s choice for me. While I am left to suffer for the consequences of not listening to God, He has been next to me helping me and sorting out my mess.

Now, I am not an advocate for divorce. I believe you stay and make it work if you have problems. But there are times when to leave is also the right thing to do.

God had blessed me with an annulment and I have been trying fervently to live my life for God and my children. To follow His will for my life no matter how hard that can be at times.

I have been bringing the kids up as God would want - with family prayer, Adoration, monthly confession. These are things that did not take place when we were together.

Our lives ( the 3 of us) have been spiritually blessed.

I will pray for you to discern God’s will for you.

You need to be strong for your children and focus on your life with God as your spouse.

Please feel free to PM me anytime you want for emotional support.


#6

[quote=LadyTempest]Ok, here’s the deal… I have been struggling with the decision to leave my husband for a while, but always seem to be defeating by guilt just before I get him out the door.
[/quote]

Just out of curiosity, what’s the sacramental status of your marriage? I see that you’re in RCIA, so you obviously weren’t Catholic when you got married. It sounds like he was. Did you get married in the church?


#7

[quote=puzzleannie]why would you want a guy that cruises the internet looking for babes (and who knows what else) and does not support his family, and treats you like a doormat to spend time with your kids? Send him back to mom and dad, let them pay for his AOL account. The definition of sainthood nowhere allows for lying down and accepting abuse, infidelity and exposure to STDs. A man who treats his wife this way is a threat to their children, and their is no virtue in allowing him to continue his behavior. If you still love him the best way to show that love is to give him no reason or excuse to persist in this behavior by your passive acceptance of the abuse.
[/quote]

Go puzzleannie! :slight_smile:

I agree, don’t walk- run!

You deserve more. Good luck & God bless!


#8

In my experience, it’ll only get worse.
When I was a police officer, we would gat the same calls to the same places on the same nights of the week, week after week.
Many times it would just be a loud argument, or the bum was drunk, but for too many, it became violent.
I didn’t understand at the time why these women would stay with lazy or verbally abusive or physically abusive men. Age and a little wisdom from the Holy Spirit have taught me about self esteem and the ingenius way these guys apply psychology to induce guilt in these women.
KICK HIM OUT! He will continue to use you as long as you let him
You will probably feel lousy for a while, but when the realization of what he’s been doing and the self-confidence kick in, you’ll be fine.
Be tough and stand your ground. Get your life back!


#9

[quote=Strider]In my experience, it’ll only get worse.
When I was a police officer, we would gat the same calls to the same places on the same nights of the week, week after week.
Many times it would just be a loud argument, or the bum was drunk, but for too many, it became violent.
I didn’t understand at the time why these women would stay with lazy or verbally abusive or physically abusive men. Age and a little wisdom from the Holy Spirit have taught me about self esteem and the ingenius way these guys apply psychology to induce guilt in these women.
KICK HIM OUT! He will continue to use you as long as you let him
You will probably feel lousy for a while, but when the realization of what he’s been doing and the self-confidence kick in, you’ll be fine.
Be tough and stand your ground. Get your life back!
[/quote]

Amen! This is very good advice and I could not have said it any better myself! Good answer, Strider. I was one of those women and I am so glad I made the decision to get out. My life improved immensely once I stood up and made the decision to move on. Thanks be to God! Listen to him, Tempest! and I’ll be praying for your wellbeing. God bless you, friend.


#10

It’s a very personal decision that requires an intimate knowledge of what your husband is made of.

Having said that it is my opinion that if you want to deliver God’s mercy to your husband give him a taste of God’s Justice which would spit him out for living a lifestyle in full knowledge that it is wrong.

I would say this will show both of you a thing or two.


#11

I’ve read and thought about what everyone has been saying, and want to sincerely thank each of you for taking the time and energy to help with this situation. I really do appreciate all of the great points you all made. Thank you especially for your prayers…

To answer everyone’s questions… A Justice of the Peace performed my marriage almost 5 years ago. We were planning to have it blessed by the church just before Easter so that I can complete my acceptance into the faith. My father never dared even look at another woman for a long as I can remember. My mother was *very *controlling, and although I don’t think she would have left him, she’d make his life so miserable that he would have left her. To JRABS, everything you said about your ex sounds almost exactly like my husband.

You all gave me the courage to ask him to leave last night. He seemed to accept everything I had to say… for about 15 minutes. Then he just refused to go. We got into a big fight and then he started in with “What do I have to do to make you trust me and want to keep me? You’re my soul mate.” I told him that it wasn’t that simple, but he wouldn’t go. It basically ended the same way it always does, except that this time I think I truly realize how big of a problem it really is. I’d always told myself before that it wasn’t really a big deal. I thought I was just being overly sensitive and making a mountain out of a molehill. I would tell always think how much worse it could be and how much worse other women have it.

I am admitting now that this is not something I can handle on my own. I feel too emotionally exhausted to fight him. I am going to seek professional counseling… today. No more procrastinating. God bless all of you, and you are all in my prayers also. I know that I haven’t exactly made a big leap towards a better life, but it’s a start. Thank you…


#12

[quote=LadyTempest]I’ve read and thought about what everyone has been saying, and want to sincerely thank each of you for taking the time and energy to help with this situation. I really do appreciate all of the great points you all made. Thank you especially for your prayers…

To answer everyone’s questions… A Justice of the Peace performed my marriage almost 5 years ago. We were planning to have it blessed by the church just before Easter so that I can complete my acceptance into the faith. My father never dared even look at another woman for a long as I can remember. My mother was *very *controlling, and although I don’t think she would have left him, she’d make his life so miserable that he would have left her. To JRABS, everything you said about your ex sounds almost exactly like my husband.

You all gave me the courage to ask him to leave last night. He seemed to accept everything I had to say… for about 15 minutes. Then he just refused to go. We got into a big fight and then he started in with “What do I have to do to make you trust me and want to keep me? You’re my soul mate.” I told him that it wasn’t that simple, but he wouldn’t go. It basically ended the same way it always does, except that this time I think I truly realize how big of a problem it really is. I’d always told myself before that it wasn’t really a big deal. I thought I was just being overly sensitive and making a mountain out of a molehill. I would tell always think how much worse it could be and how much worse other women have it.

I am admitting now that this is not something I can handle on my own. I feel too emotionally exhausted to fight him. I am going to seek professional counseling… today. No more procrastinating. God bless all of you, and you are all in my prayers also. I know that I haven’t exactly made a big leap towards a better life, but it’s a start. Thank you…
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Good for you! Don’t feel bad about not getting him to leave. You may have to leave him yourself. Do your parents live nearby? Are there friends with whom you and your children can stay for a while? In addition to seeking professional counseling, I also recommend seeing a priest. Have you made your first reconcilliation yet? If you have, then go to confession again before you make any more big moves. Being in a state of Grace will make you more open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Do you have some close friends and family you can talk to for support? You said you have admitted you can’t do this alone, so please talk to a trusted person who will stand by you and be there for you.

I also recommend getting a lawyer. You may have some legal options as far as separation and who gets to live in the house, and who has to leave. A lawyer can also advise you as to what you should do to collect proof of his infidelities.

When you confront your husband, don’t let him draw you into the same arguments. Tell him a soul-mate wouldn’t do to you what he’s done, and that you are not going to argue about it. Each time he tries to draw you into an argument, just say “I’m not going to argue with you about that.” Tell him there’s nothing he can do or say to change your mind, and that you want him to leave. Keep saying that to him every day. Be civil, be polite, just don’t give in.


#13

[quote=MamaGeek]Good for you! Don’t feel bad about not getting him to leave. You may have to leave him yourself. Do your parents live nearby? Are there friends with whom you and your children can stay for a while? In addition to seeking professional counseling, I also recommend seeing a priest. Have you made your first reconcilliation yet? If you have, then go to confession again before you make any more big moves. Being in a state of Grace will make you more open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Do you have some close friends and family you can talk to for support? You said you have admitted you can’t do this alone, so please talk to a trusted person who will stand by you and be there for you.

I also recommend getting a lawyer. You may have some legal options as far as separation and who gets to live in the house, and who has to leave. A lawyer can also advise you as to what you should do to collect proof of his infidelities.

When you confront your husband, don’t let him draw you into the same arguments. Tell him a soul-mate wouldn’t do to you what he’s done, and that you are not going to argue about it. Each time he tries to draw you into an argument, just say “I’m not going to argue with you about that.” Tell him there’s nothing he can do or say to change your mind, and that you want him to leave. Keep saying that to him every day. Be civil, be polite, just don’t give in.
[/quote]

Nice job MamaGeek. May I add that seeking professional help is great but remember who is sick in this case and who realy needs help.
He does - but since you cannot change others, you need to focus on yourself.

LadyTempest, I am proud of you for attempting to change things. No one said it would be easy, and I think you know that. You may need to be the one to pick up and leave with the kids.

When I asked my husband to leave, he pulled out a butcher knife in front of me and tried to kill himself while the kids slept.

On another occasion, he refused to leave before putting up a scene for the kids.

And yet another occasion he would break down in tears and sob like a baby how much he loved me.

Please let God talk to you and block out the noise from everything else around you. Pray for God’s courage and faith. If this is God’s will, He will help you when you lean on Him.

I will pray.


#14

[quote=jrabs]Nice job MamaGeek. May I add that seeking professional help is great but remember who is sick in this case and who realy needs help.
He does - but since you cannot change others, you need to focus on yourself.

LadyTempest, I am proud of you for attempting to change things. No one said it would be easy, and I think you know that. You may need to be the one to pick up and leave with the kids.

When I asked my husband to leave, he pulled out a butcher knife in front of me and tried to kill himself while the kids slept.

On another occasion, he refused to leave before putting up a scene for the kids.

And yet another occasion he would break down in tears and sob like a baby how much he loved me.

Please let God talk to you and block out the noise from everything else around you. Pray for God’s courage and faith. If this is God’s will, He will help you when you lean on Him.

I will pray.
[/quote]

I want to add this statement to jrab’s post because she’s experienced what you are going through and rebalance it if needed.

After you take control of this situation even during, and especially after completing the first step, it will give you a feeling you’ve probably forgotten. That’ll be what it feels like to be you. Rediscovering that treasure will consol you through the emotional hardship. Now all you can concieve of is the hardship. Once you experience the reward, it will be so much easier than you thought.


#15

[quote=Benadam]I want to add this statement to jrab’s post because she’s experienced what you are going through and rebalance it if needed.

After you take control of this situation even during, and especially after completing the first step, it will give you a feeling you’ve probably forgotten. That’ll be what it feels like to be you. Rediscovering that treasure will consol you through the emotional hardship. Now all you can concieve of is the hardship. Once you experience the reward, it will be so much easier than you thought.
[/quote]

AMEN!, Benadam. Well said.

In my life, I now have more peace than I have ever had. But that is because I completely lean on God. At the same time, I just completed the worst year of my life - but with amazing peace.

You’re circumstances can be rough but you can find peace in your heart through God. Take His hand and let Him lead you.
Fear is usless, what you need is trust.


#16

I will pray for you and your husband. You may be his sold hope of heaven despite his sinful ways. He has a problem, and leaving him will not necessarily help you, either. You need to determine several things: 1. Do you love him enough to try to help him stop? 2. What is he seeking in these liasons? Marriage counseling is definitely a good idea here, if you can get him to go. Sounds like he might, as he is repentant. 3. Is he truly repentant, or just manipulating you? If he won’t go to counseling, you should, to try to sort this thing out. My dear, it is very hard to stay when the secular world would advise you to leave. I have been married a long time, and my husband periodically beats me with his cane (no kidding, it hurts like a son of a gun) but his mental state at those times is not normal. We are working on this together, as I am certain he still loves me. That to me would be the crucial thing…is there still love between you? Don’t ask youself when you are angry, but when you are calm. Because, though you can leave him, odds are you will not ever be able to remarry, and is this something you and your children could handle? I have found solace in a prayer “for an unhappy marriage” which among other things, asks for courage and strength from God, grace to persevere and draw my spouse to Gods grace and mercy, and preservation from well-meaning but misguided conselers who may suggest solutions that would be against God’s will. Pray hard, look for counseling from a Catholic source. The confessional if nothing else. God bless you and I will ask St. Rita to pray for you as well. You are NOT a doormat (sounds like a question I used to ask myself…am I a saint or a chump…) We are neither, just lovers of God and helpmeets to our husbands and children on the path to heaven.


#17

[quote=kappydell]I have been married a long time, and my husband periodically beats me with his cane (no kidding, it hurts like a son of a gun) but his mental state at those times is not normal.
[/quote]

Wow. I would recommend that you take a self-defense class, so that the next time you can at least say, “my husband periodically tries to beat me with his cane.” In any event, I wish you good luck in your marriage.


#18

Thank you and God bless every one of you.

I have been talking to my husband every day about what it is that I need from him. He has talked to someone he knows who runs a business and starts work in 2 weeks. I told him that I am giving him one month after that to save his paychecks for a deposit on an apartment and move out. I told him that I want a divorce. In this state, there is no waiting period if I divorce him on the grounds of adultery. I’ve already talked to a lawyer and I am on my way to a new life.

Thank you all so very much for your prayers and support. I will pray for each of you.


#19

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