Should I persevere with my marriage or separate?

My husband has a pornography addiction that led to an affair last year. We are in marital counseling and he has his own therapist to deal with the sexual addiction, in addition to seeing his spiritual director who is a priest. I forgave him for his affair after much prayer and adoration.

He has had relapses with the pornography that he has lied about and two months ago met with the woman he had the affair with last year. I felt I couldn’t bear the pain any longer and was going to leave him and would have if it weren’t for the fact that we have four children (and another on the way) that we have tried to raise as good Catholics.

My husband apologizes for his bad choices and says it won’t happen again and he is committed to our family but I have a very hard time believing him now after the second transgression with this woman. I have forgiven him again but find it very difficult to live with him. Does the Church have guidelines as to what to do in a case like this?

I cannot tell you what you “should” do, only what the Church *allows *for you to do.

The Church allows for divorce for serious reasons, considering civil divorce to be a legal separation for the sake of settling finances and child custody. Serious reasons include personal safety and the safety of minor children (including unborn children), which, by your account, your husband has repeatedly endangered through his extramarital affairs. Because the couple is still presumed to be married in the eyes of the Church, one cannot enter into a romantic relationship or remarry unless and until an annulment is granted by the Church, but it is possible to divorce for just cause and remain in good standing with the Church.

You may wish to contact the Pastoral Solutions Institute for further assistance in determining the course of action you must take and for help with your children’s questions. Your family is in our prayers here at Catholic Answers. God bless.

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