Should I get a divorce/annulment?


#1

Two months ago, I separated with my wife of about four years (we’ve been together for eight years total). We have been having problems for awhile and two months ago she told me that she has been cheating on me with another guy that she has been friends with, off-and-on, for the past eight months. She said after something physical would happen between them, they would feel guilty and not talk for awhile. Then they would talk again with the intention of just being friends, but would get physical again. When she told me about the affair, I thought about it for a few days and then told her that I wanted to work things out. I also told her that she could still be friends with this guy as long as they didn’t hang out at his apartment. This was a mistake. A few days later, they went to see a movie together but ended up going back to his apartment and she cheated on me again.

My wife and I don’t really fight that much and we are still physically attracted to each other but she says I have not been giving her what she needs intellectually and emotionally (I haven’t wanted to spend time with her, share in her interests with her, talk with her, cuddle with her like I used to, etc.). This is why she cheated on me. I understand and I am not as mad at her as you would think, in fact I feel partially responsible because I have not been putting much effort into our relationship for awhile. My wife and I are still on good terms.

Anyway, I’m not sure whether I made the right decision by leaving and am going back and forth about it in my head. She’s still seeing this guy (I did not object since I left). I’m pretty sure I could get him out of the picture if I rededicated myself to her, but I’m not sure if I should/want to. Basically, I got too caught up with school-related stress and wasn’t as into her as I used to be. However, I miss her and I think I would be more interested in her again if I rededicated myself to her and put in more effort. I feel really guilty about losing interest in her. I made a life-long commitment to her. We were only 21 when we started seeing each other exclusively (we’re now 30) and this has been part of the problem for me. I never cheated on her or tried to cheat on her but in my mind I sometimes get excited about the possibility of being single again. I never got to experience life as a single person after college.

The cheating has made me think a lot about other problems in our relationship. She has had other close platonic male friends before. I never thought this was that much of a problem but now I think it is because it puts her in a situation where she can be more easily tempted. We don’t have any kids. When we got married we didn’t want kids at the time but figured that we probably would someday. She has been wanting kids for the past year but I’m not sure if I do or not. We have a lot of different interests and she wants to do stuff together more than I do (she’s more active). She is pretty liberal politically and I am very conservative politically. She is Presbyterian and I am Roman Catholic. I’m not sure how we would raise our children as far as religion is concerned. We used to go to church together but I didn’t like going to the Presbyterian Church and she didn’t like going to the Catholic Church. It feels weird going to church alone because it reminds us of this major difference between us so now we only go to church on Christmas and Easter. Also, we’re both in graduate school which has put us both under a lot of stress.

Despite these major differences, she is the best friend that I have ever had. We enjoy each other’s company, have had many great times together, and she has always been very loyal until she cheated on me. Her actions are very disappointing but I assure you they are also very out of character for her. She is really a wonderful person. If I was a better husband, she may not have had this affair. She has been a great wife and went seven years without cheating on me. Sometimes I think I’m using her cheating as an excuse to give up. I didn’t even feel that hurt when she told me she cheated which is pretty cold. I think this is because I feel partially responsible by taking her for granted. If she cheated 2 years ago I would have been devastated. I don’t know what to do. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice that may help me make a decision? I need to decide whether we should try to work things out or get a divorce/annulment.


#2

Were you married in the Church or with a dispensation to marry out of the Church? If so, you made a vow before God and the right thing is to honor that vow.

Go to Confession, go to mass every week. You promised to do all you can to raise your kids Catholic, so, that is how you will rais the kids - remember, that whole vow to God thing?

Retrouvaille is a good place to begin healing your marriage.


#3

Reilly:

I would not vote on this poll if you paid me cash money to do so. The situation is much too complicated with hard ramifications resulting from any final decision. You should probably find yourself a solid Catholic priest who does marriage counseling and start by discussing it with him.

Sorry.


#4

Instead of asking yourself what you want, ask yourself what Jesus would want. I think you know.

Your marriage is a sacrament, it is sacred. Nevertheless, it takes work. Hard work. Both you and your wife are fooling yourselves if you think that the grass will be greener elsewhere.

However, you must realize that you have been hurt whether you feel it or not. Your apathy is not healthy. If you are going to do the right thing and work on this marriage, you are both going to have to get help - a good priest or counselor.

I will keep you both in my prayers. May the Holy Spirit guide and bless you anew.

peace and blessings,
Terrysa


#5

After she told you about the affair, she should have had no contact at all with this person…It sounds like you two have no common interests…I can see forgiving someone after they have an affair as long as that person stops…but she didn’t stop!..Don’t blame yourself for her having the affair…it is not your fault…I usually don’t condone divorce except in cases of abuse or addiction but it sounds to me like she just doesn’t care…


#6

First let me start by saying that this is very serious situation. I do not think getting advice from an anonymous Internet forum, even having people vote on what you should do, is necessarily a good idea.

I will tell you to live up to the vows you have made and ask your wife to do the same. Since it appears she loses her self control with this guy, she should never have contact with him again.

You, on the other hand, need to man-up and start fulfilling your duties and role of a husband. Recall the readings last Sunday. “Husband love your wives… as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.” You need to start embracing the sacrificial nature of the proper role of a husband by starting to give the attention and time she needs.

Finally, I will close by repeating what I said at the beginning. Seeking advice on such an important matter from an anonymous Internet forrum is not a good idea.


#7

It’s hard to tell.

There are some things that can make a marriage invalid. Like if you were not open to life when you got married. You should talk to a priest about this. If you are serious about your faith, unless the marriage is declared to never have existed you can never remarry. You need to find out how likely it is that there never was a marriage in the first place.

No one but you can really make this decision for you.


#8

You don’t have any kids with her to tie you down. If you stay with her you have to accept the fact that she is going to have sex with other men if you aren’t really tickling her fancy that week. If I were you I would run away and never contact her again.


#9

www.retrouvaille.org


#10

:thumbsup:


#11

Very bad advice. This is why you should not seek it on the Internet.


#12

Another thing is seeing as your wife has been active with another man, you should be tested for STDs, HPV, and HIV. Just because someone says they are clean doesn’t mean that they’ve been to an MD to get tested.

For your own piece of mind, get tested and have your wife tested as the guy she’s with could’ve been with many other women with who knows before he hooked up with her.

I use to work in the Ob/Gyn dept. at a local hospital and have seen everything. Women/men stating that their partner reassured them that they were clean and then come to find out that they have HIV, an STD, or HPV.

Good luck to you and God bless.


#13

I agree.

She’s already left the marriage even if you aren’t willing to admit it. After you talk to your priest about the annulment and your lawyer about the divorce get yourself tested for any social diseases she may have introduced into your marriage.


#14

You are seriously holding a poll to decide if you should end your marriage. Hove you thought about actually talking to say…your spouse, your priest, a marriage councilor, a good friend…etc. Holding an online poll is extremely tacky.


#15

You are seriously holding a poll to decide if you should end your marriage. Hove you thought about actually talking to say…your spouse, your priest, a marriage councilor, a good friend…etc. Holding an online poll is extremely tacky.

Come on, give him a break. He’s in a very complicated and stressful situation. Reaching out for help from other Catholics, in whatever form, is a good start.


#16

Holding an online poll is not a Good Start, asking for advice is a good start, but asking people who don’t know you and only have a couple paragraphs of information to go off of to vote about the future of your marriage is way not cool.


#17

For the record, I am in no way making any decisions based on the results of this poll. I started the poll because I am curious about what other people think I should do. People are usually reluctant to tell you this and understandably so. I know the decision is mine/ours to make in the end and I will not base it on what anyone else tells me to do.


#18

*You might not mean this to come across this way, but from reading through your opening post…it doesn’t seem like you are happy “being” married. Lot of confusion and hemming and hawing going on. :o (just an innocent observation, you may not mean to come across this way at all. lol)

There are some things that are normal (for lack of a better word) differences couples go through, but when reading through things…it sounds like you are both on such different pages. I think you both have to have a **serious serious **heart to heart about your futures. You are living in limbo right now…she’s still dating this other guy? Come on…this is not a marriage, not the marriage Christ wants for us. You know that. Indecision (staying on the fence) is worse than making a bad decision. :o How you and your wife are living is not healthy and not a holy marriage. It’s limbo. I speak from experience…my husband and I had different issues than you and your wife, but we were separated and living in limbo for a while…it was very confusing and painful. Very.

But, WE decided to work on things, change things that we needed to change…and it wasn’t easy at first. But when we made the DECISION to make our marriage work, it made all the difference. We got off the fence! :slight_smile: But, if you and your wife really want this to work…you need to merge back together, get counseling, get to confession…get to mass…and just keep rinsing and repeating. :slight_smile: Seriously, if you want it, that is. Or you can remain in limbo. :o

Your wife also needs to stop dating other men while she’s married. :frowning: You feel guilty about that, but she makes her own decisions. The notion that men or women drive one another into the arms of others, is ridiculous. She chooses this, and if you try to get back together, and she basically tells you that she wants the other guy, that might be your answer to your own question. I think that you owe it to your marriage, to yourself…to try to get things back together. Just my two cents. I would never advocate divorce, so long as there is no abuse, affairs that don’t end, etc… I will keep you and your wife in my prayers…best wishes in making things work, Reilly. *


#19

Holding an online poll is not a Good Start, asking for advice is a good start, but asking people who don’t know you and only have a couple paragraphs of information to go off of to vote about the future of your marriage is way not cool.

He’s in a terrible situation at the moment, and irrespective of whether or not an online poll is the optimal way of gathering info. in this case, I think we can cut him some slack. A lot of people internalise their anger or get really revengeful, angry or bitter, or even blame God, when they’re cheated on. The fact that he’s here, turning to other Catholics, shows he’s willing to get advice and do things the right way. There may be some mistakes along the way, but it’s what I’d call a step in the right direction.


#20

A) You are not to blame for your wife’s adultery. Your entire post reeks of guilt. Maybe you have not been the best husband in the world. But come on. The decision to cheat was your wife’s, and not yours. Unless consented to this act, aided or abbetted, you are not responsible for her actions.

You need to forgive you wife - we are all called on by Christ to forgive those who sin against us. This is true. But come on. Stop blaming her - and stop blaming you.

B) Have you had sex with this woman, since she began having this affair? Has she had an STD test, since she started this affair? Have you had a test? How do you know that she has not given an STD to you, that she contracted from him?

If the answers to question 1 is yes, and if the answers to either questions 2 or 3 is no, then you both need to go down to the health clinic tomorrow, and have the full spectrum of STD tests. And I hate to say it, but you will probably need to go there again, at least six months from now. Some forms of STDs, such as HIV, cannot be detected until well after it is contracted. I know, what a pain.

C) Your wife cannot be wife that man again - in social settings, work settings, church settings, anyplace. This is not a matter of forgiveness - it is a matter of trust. You simply cannot trust your wife at this point. You can forgive her for her past discretions - but who’s to say it won’t happen again?

She also really can’t be in situations where she will fall into the same temptations as well. She can’t be trusted alone with strange men. Some women can be trusted in these circumstances - she can’t, as evidenced by her repeated, serial adultery. She can’t be put into any occasion to sin such as that. Essentially, she has to be put on probation.

D) If you do have children with this women, for God’s sake, raise them in a decent, Catholic home. Do not have children until your wife has decided to be totally monogomous. Do not let them see their mother fooling around on their father. At a minimum, you owe that to any children you and her have. (And yes, the Catechism requires you to raise your children as Catholic. I don’t know what the Presbyterian faith states - honestly, I don’t care.)


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