Should I leave my marriage?

Hi, I got married only 3 weeks ago in the Catholic Church. I was raised Catholic and my husband came into the Church right before our wedding. We are both in our mid 20s. We are both strong willed and argue maybe a little more frequently than most couples. Since the day we got married (only 24 days ago!) we have had serious issues - he freaks out over the smallest things, doesn’t want sex, is rude and unaffectionate, and has become very angry. I have gone into a depression and cry almost everyday because I don’t feel loved and this is not what I thought it would be. These are not the reasons, however, that I feel I might need to leave the marriage. Only 8 days in, my husband said that if I don’t start doing things his way (i.e. clean the dishes a certain way, load the dishwasher a certain way, always keep a clean house) that he would seek to get our marriage dissolved. He told me I had “a 30 day probation”. I also work a full time job and it’s hard for me to remember to do all the little things that he wants. Two nights ago we got in an argument and he pushed me VERY hard down onto the couch, then he drug me across the couch and pushed me again. Then he grabbed my arm violently and yelled horrible things in my face for 10 minutes with his finger in my face. This is not the first time he has gotten physical. Before our marriage, he pushed me a couple of times and pinned me down. We talked to the priest about it who was doing our marriage “pre-screen”. I told him I would not tolerate it and that he didn’t have another chance to screw up. Everything seemed to be fine after that…until the other night. When he gets angry, he becomes a different person and is unreasonable. He goes through my phone, my emails, and my facebook account. When he gets mad at me he will not let me leave and he gets in my face and interrogates me. I just shut down and try to say whatever I think will make him happy. He takes my phone from me and my keys and will physically prevent me from leaving or using my phone. I am scared of him. He often gets rough with me in a “playful” way, and even puts his hand around my neck which I have told him I don’t like. I think he does it to show dominance. I know I am partly to blame for making him so angry, and I know that if I stop arguing with him that he won’t get physical. I am just heartbroken that 3 weeks in I realize the rest of my life is going to be miserable. One priest has advised me to get away and go somewhere safe and see if we can try counseling. I finally told my parents what was going on. My mom wants me to leave and not even give him a second chance. I know I’m not always the easiest person to get along with and that we could both benefit from marriage counseling. I feel like I might be overreacting or completely unforgiving by leaving him because he pushed me. He hasn’t hit me or truly hurt me (although I fear he will eventually). I am confused and don’t know what to do. He has agreed to move out until we can get some counseling, but he is trying to be all sweet now and comes over all the time. I don’t know how I should react or respond. I want to forgive him but I am still very hurt and don’t know if I should trust him. I take my vows seriously. Any advice?

Dear friend–what marriage?

This is no marriage! What has to happen for you to get a clue? Don’t walk; run away from him. You need to separate immediately and then work to get the marriage annulled. Your husband has serious anger problems. I do not see marriage counseling as the solution. I agree with your mother. The sooner you put this bad experience behind you, the better!
Feel free to contact me privately by clicking on my name above.

You are in our prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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