Should I stay or leave?


my husband and I have been married for 7 years. We are from different cultures, and he is Catholic - I have gone through RCIA and hope to be in the church soon (I am lutheran originally). Anyway, we have pretty much always had a bad marriage except for maybe the first year. Lots of arguments and such. But at first, my husband tried to be understanding as he wants everything his way, but now he immediately gets mad if he doesn’t like my cooking (hardly ever likes it, but you know, I didn’t grow up in his culture with his food, so at least I try and everyone else seems to like it), and if there is a dish not washed, or something like that, then I am a horrible housekeeper, and as for the bedroom - well we don’t even share one anymore and haven’t since 2005. So, basically to him I am a failure in all those areas, so I am not worthy of him. And especialy in the looks department, I am 30 pounds lighter than when we dated, but he wants another 50 off (which would be in the middle of normal weight range for my height). So, this is something he brings up everyday.

He finds any reason to leave like joining a class so he can get away from us. he says we cling to him and he doesn’t need a wife and kid.

Anyway, to move on, he does not want to be married anymore - I do. He says he 70% hates me, 30% likes me, and 0% loves me. He wants me to move out, and either him pay some child support and see our 2 year old twice a month, or for me to just leave with our child and he’ll not se him except for when he feels like he wants too. Or, he says I can stay in the apartment and he can see our child and we will be roomates- basically I stay away from him when he’s home, he will cook for himself, take care of himself. He wants to put our son in daycare and for me to get a job then and split the bills. If we want to talk, we’ll just write notes to eachother. Of course, this won’t work long term though because what about when one of us takes a job somewhere else, or wants to buy a house, then there needs to be communication!

I know we have problems, but I think a marriage is a vow and should be worked through. He thinks he’s not happy so he wants out.

What should I do? Leave and have an okay relationship with him and move on, or stay as roommates and hope that it works out? I feel like I am being controlled and I don’t want to have to go all to his way and I don’t want to be loved only when I am in the correct weight range, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be healthy for me to lose that extra weight, and I am not trying to make an excuse, but I think divorce is a very big deal, and I don’t think anyone will be any better off in the end of divorce. I feel like maybe if I stay, even if it’s as roommates and come more to his way, there may be a chance later.

What should i do?


He sounds mentally and emotionally abusive and doesn’t seem to have any inclination to change that. If I were you I would seriously consider not raising my child around such a man. Your child will grow up thinking that this is normal, that this is how a man should treat his wife. If you have a son, think of how that will impact your future daughter-in-law and granddaughters. If you have a daughter, think of how this will affect her choice in dating partners and husband.

I don’t think you should pack your bags and leave right now- it doesn’t sound as if you are in immediate danger and if you do leave, legally it is considered “desertion” and I think it can affect your rights to marital property and custody. You could try his suggestion about being roommates: if he’s cooking for himself and staying out of your way, then it sounds like it might be a bit more peaceful than what you’ve got right now. I would seek counseling for yourself (as I doubt he will go, based on what you have told us, although I could be wrong) and maybe legal counsel. Start learning your options in case you need to use them. Hopefully a miracle will happen and you won’t need those options, but in this case I think you should be ready to protect yourself and your child.

I’ll pray for all of you. Don’t hesitate to talk to your parish priest as well.


You need to talk to a priest and a lawyer.



1625 The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman, free to contract marriage, who freely express their consent; “to be free” means:

  • not being under constraint;

  • not impeded by any natural or ecclesiastical law.

1626 The Church holds the exchange of consent between the spouses to be the indispensable element that "makes the marriage."127 If consent is lacking there is no marriage.

1627 The consent consists in a “human act by which the partners mutually give themselves to each other”: “I take you to be my wife” - "I take you to be my husband."128 This consent that binds the spouses to each other finds its fulfillment in the two "becoming one flesh."129

1628 The consent must be an act of the will of each of the contracting parties, free of coercion or grave external fear.130 No human power can substitute for this consent.131 If this freedom is lacking the marriage is invalid.

1629 For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed.132 In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged.133

I wonder if the marriage ever truly existed?


I am sorry for the pain the you are experiencing right now. I can’ imagine having to edure that. Know that you and your child will be in our prayers. I’m sure you’ve thought of this but will he consent to counseling? If not from a couselor what about your priest? Please get help at least for you and your child.

Remember that God loves you endlessly and you can rest in Him.


My husband and I came close to divorce about 20 years ago. Our oldest (of 6) children were in high school and the youngest was 4 years old. We finally really talked to one another, and made an effort to mend our injured marriage. That was the best thing we ever did. Now our marriage is better than ever. Our children are grown and on their own. Things do change in a marriage–it can get easier with time. The difference was that we had made a promise to one another before we married–that we would never divorce. We kept that promise for nearly 40 years now. (It will be 40 years Sept. 8, 2008).

It doesn’t sound like your husband has the same level of commitment as my husband did. I would definately talk to a priest. There are many really fine priests out there.

God bless you–I will pray for you!



get a good lawyer and when you follow her advice on how to protect yourself and your child, get some counselling on why you put up with his abuse in the first place. you did ask.


I was in an abusive marriage before. I was there for my children not wanting to be a product of a broken home only to realised that I have broken their spirits for staying too long. It’s guilt up to now I can’t shake.

The bottom line is our children wants us to be happy. When we are happy and emotionally balance, they too become centered persons. Respect their feelings towards their father, children don’t have to take sides when marriage falls apart. As for you, take time off to find out why you are still still in the marriage when he obviously left a long time ago.

Pray for discenment and courage to accept what is really there.

All the best to you.


Were you married in the Catholic Church?

The Catechism speaks to the fact that a civil divorce can be necessary to protect the rights of the spouse and child.

You need to speak to a good priest and a good lawyer. You should not be threatened with a change in your lifestyle simply because your husband has decided HE wants to change his…if he wants to live like a bachelor then he needs to be willing to support you living like the full time mother you are - and if you need to be protected from his abuse, you need to do so in order to be a good mother.

I am so sorry you are going through this - you are in my prayers.


It is time to stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about your child. (I do not mean that in a mean or rude way at all) You are in a situation that is not healthy for him at all You have a husband that 70% “hates you.” and you think that things are going to get better anytime soon. I applaud you for wanting to work things out and wanting to stay true to your marital vows. That is to be commended. However, there comes a time that you have to do what is best for you and your children when put in an abusive situation. Now I do not know if you are being physically abused, but there is a huge red flag for emotional abuse here and if things have been bad for 6 out of 7 years this could potentially be dangerous for you and your son.

Again, I am not saying that your husband would be physically abusive to either of you, but to me (based upon what you have wrote which is all I can go from) he seems like he comes from a culture that is very male dominated. As a husband, I find this very offensive to you and a terrible example to your son. Marriage is 50-50, not 95-5 like you are explaining. Personally, I do not feel that staying there is a good idea. Is there somewhere that you can go or someone that you can stay with? If not for your sake, for the sake of your son. Like another poster said, he is going to grow up thinking that this is ok, that this is acceptable behavior. You need to be the one that takes responsibility for your son. Do not let him stay with your husband and you pay child support. This is a case (seemingly) where your son would be best suited with you. Do you have someone near you that will take you in?

I agree that you should talk with a priest first, a lawyer second. Do not hesitate doing that. Take care of it ASAP for your sake and for your son’s.


This guy sounds like an imature jerk who is verbally and emotionally abusive. Before you do anything find out all you can about where he stands financially. What resources he has for your childs sake. See a lawyer and know what your rights are and most especially the rights of your child before making any decisions. Marriage takes two people and he seems to have already left emotionally by what he’s told you I think you might have a good case for an annullment but talk to a priest about that. I’ll keep you in my prayers. :thumbsup:

  1. Talk To A Priest
  2. Talk To A Lawyer
  3. Leave Before He Decides To Take Out His Hatred Physically On You And/or Your Child
  4. I Will Be Praying For You. God Bless.


IowaGirl80 First I’d like to give you a big virtual hug :hug1: It sounds like your husband is very manipulative and really doesn’t care for either you or your child. If I were you I would hire a lawyer and discuss what is going on within your marriage. This is just as a precaution due to the fact that if your husband has already said **that one of the options is to pay him child support and see your baby twice a month **then I don’t want to put you more on edge but this sounds like he has the mentality of a man who is capable of taking your child without you knowing it to God knows where.

I don’t mean to be nosy but what is your husband’s culture? When I was in a relationship several years back with a Middle Eastern Christian everything was fine until we got to the 6 month point in our relationship. I did all I could to learn about the customs and traditions of his culture but his cultural mentality concerning women soon showed its true colors and I can’t tell you the hell I went through with his friends and family members who treated me like I was garbage.

Enough about me. I would really be careful with this man if I were you. I don’t know if he was born in the Usa or not but just to be on the safe side please try and talk to a lawyer. Some of what you wrote about your marriage such as writing notes to one another sounds alot like my parents marriage and that is not a marriage at all. I can’t tell you how it felt like for me as a child caught in between my parents and being designated the messenger passing notes between them. For two years this went on until at age 11 I threatened to run away.

Your child is small now, but do you really want for your child to grow up in an environment where the father could care less and your communications consist of passing notes?

I will pray for you and your baby.



Thanks for writing - he’s from southern asia, born there, been here for a while (years and years). I think I wrote this confusing

"He wants me to move out, and either him pay some child support and see our 2 year old twice a month, or for me to just leave with our child and he’ll not se him except for when he feels like he wants too. "

I mean, he either wants to see our son every other weekend, and pay child support, or he wants to leave the country and never see either of us again (or else, leave and see us every couple of years when he feels like he wants to see our son), or we live like roommates.

we’ve already talked about terms of a divorce, like I take what I want pretty much from the house and our son (I would live with my family), everything else is his and he’ll pay a certain amount every month and either see our son every other weekend or so (maybe less who knows - he’s pretty wrapped up in his activities, not our son so I think he would not devote two full weekends to our son each month - he’d rather be doing this or that on his weekend)

Or everything the same as above, but he doens’t ever see us or pay anything for support (because he wouldn’t have any rights).


this has happened a million times. and then he changes his mind - wants to work it out if I’ll make changes, and I remind him he has changes to make too. Nobody takes us seriously anymore when this happens. I just don’t want an argument to end with “I want a divorce” when obviously it’s not a final decesion. I guess that keeps me thinking it’s not serious this time either, and it probably isn’t, but I never know. I don’t know how to get out of this cycle we are in. It takes two - I am also at fault. I am sure he can say a million things as well about me. I think I should have added this.


While it can be scary to see a lawyer, remember that seeing one doesn’t mean you are committing to get a divorce. It only means that you will find out how you can protect yourself, your son, and your assests. Please do so, it will help you to know what he is required by law and help you in your decision making. Perhaps his suggestions are not the only options.


It’s hard for any of us to really say what you should do…only what perhaps any of us might do, given the set of circumstances. First, you are in an abusive relationship. Not physical (yet) but, definitely emotional and mental. You have to ask yourself…why would you want to stay with a man like this, who doesn’t see your value as a human being, let alone a wife? You have to ask yourself why is this marriage worth saving? Was it a valid marriage, as another poster eluded to, from the beginning?

I would then seek out a priest, and also a lawyer. I would not live there taking daily doses of your husband’s abuse. To live like roommates will not change his attitude towards you at all…it might even worsen, if he is living with you, and senses that he can’t control you, fully. If it were me, I would move out. I would try to find family, or a shelter even, to get away from him. I will keep you in my prayers.


Dear Iowa I am praying that whichever way is better for your health and happyness. I am getting the impression that he may already have some one outside of you so it seems it is passed or at the point of no return. He sounds like he has already made his mind up and whatever sins you may have he is committing far worse.

You have reasons to go to a priest, for divorce but maybe you don’t want to join the church? You have a lot of decisions to make so make them one at a time and try not to figure out what the entire future will be. You are asking so I say leave also.

You arre trying to figure out what will all happen and we can’t know that for a fact and it can’t really be laid out for your peace of mind.

But you do see the direction it is going now is not good and God won’t make you take the next step you have to do it yourself.
Like stepping out into the faith of the CC so just do something and step out.


Are you both Catholic and were you married in the Church?


You are in a really difficult situation.

But, (I’m not a lawyer) I believe he would have to pay support toward the child even if he does not want visitation.

With custody issues the courts try to do what is in best interest of the child.

Please see a priest and a good lawyer (one that could help you reconcile also).

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit