Should I stay with an unrepentant vow-breaking husband?


If your husband is a practicing Catholic, you might point him to these links, which are pastoral letters about pornography. “just looking at a playboy magazine” is by no means harmless, and may in the end have been what led him to do what he did.

I think Bishop Loverde’s one (the second one) is particularly good for your situation, but both are good. Maybe when your husband understands the seriousness of pornography better, he will also understand the seriousness of the much worse behavior.

Best wishes,




This also may be causing some of your anger - since I don’t want to be too graphic look at these three situations:

  1. You get in a car accident and wreck your own car and are on foot for a few months

  2. Somebody steals your car, gets in an accident, you’re on foot for a few months but they feel guilty and turn themselves in and pay for the damage.

  3. Somebody steals your car, gets in an accident, you’re on foot for a few months and they get caught in the act so they HAVE to fess up and pay you back to AVOID getting in trouble.

Either situation you are on foot (forced celibacy) but the behavior of the perpetrator or the fact that you are the one did it adds insult to injury. Something think about.



I am so sorry that you are going through this. I can relate in that my husband had a 9 month affair a couple of years ago. We are16 months into recovery and I will not lie to you - IT IS VERY HARD. I have a few thoughts on what you’ve posted.

  1. This is infidelity. Infidelity is simply the keeping of secrets. Why did he keep this a secret? Because he knew it wasn’t something you would tolerate.

  2. This is not the same as Playboy, of course, but SO WHAT??!!! Referencing number 1, does he really use porn? If he does, have you always known about it?

  3. It is good that he says he won’t do it again, but there is still work to be done. You may have some decisions to make if he will not admit to doing something wrong. After all, why is he promising not to do it again if it isn’t wrong?

  4. It is very normal to feel the way you do - not sure if you want to stay in your marriage. However, unless he is being abusive, the BEST thing, and the most healthy, for YOU is to stay. Stay in the marriage, stay in counseling and consider individual counseling for yourself. (That your husband also needs counseling from a Christian therapist goes without saying.) While your feelings are normal, you need to work on some healing so that you can make a decision from your strength not your hurt. Notice that I talk about making a decision. It is possible that you may choose to leave, but I urge you to not do it now. Take some time on this.

  5. On forgiveness: it is true that you will need to forgive him. It doesn’t mean you need to do so now. Forgiveness is a process that takes time. Our Lord does require this of you, but right now He looks favorably on your ablity to commit to forgiving him.

  6. You are going to be on a rollar coaster for a while. Damage has been done that cannot be undone. You have lost trust in your husband and marriage. You will not regain that quickly. If your husband is commited to you and your marriage he will not only recognize this, but he will work to make you feel SAFE. Safety is the piece from which everything else will stem.

God bless you and feel free to PM me any time. Also, when you are ready, look into They have some excellent courses available and wonderful information.



He said the women were grinding on his penis very hard and it hurt. That’s what I meant by very explicit. He was able to touch their breasts as well.



I’m not saying I don’t. I’m making the point that he is not the person I thought he was.




Regarding #2: No, he has never had a Playboy in our house. As far as I know, he does not look at magazines like that. He is not an internet user either. However, throughout our marriage we have had a problem with him liking to go to go-go bars to watch the girls dance.
About # 5: He hasn’t asked for forgiveness, because he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. He has apologized for hurting me though.
#6: My problem I have been talking about with our counseling, is that he hasn’t been doing anything to make me feel safe. I’ve been asking for more affection…hugs, etc. and he has been reluctantly doing that. So I asked him to stop because I can tell it was not spontaneous. He also has no interest in sex because of the meds he is on. He has a low testosterone level and as yet has not seen a doctor about this. (I’ve been asking for two months now, but he also has been under alot of stress lately with the economy, Our family business is suffering.)I told him that I thought the normal reaction to this would be for the vow-breaker to go out of his way to make it up - a second honeymoon, love letters, flowers, SOMETHING. But nothing. It seems he just wants to sweep it under the rug.



I would suggest against that. If he’s trying, giving him any kind of negative feedback for it is a bad thing. I’m not a very affectionate person (never have been, it’s just how I am), and it’s been the cause of many arguments with my dear husband.

I force myself to show affection physically (random hugs and kisses, etc), because I know that’s how he recognizes that I love him, even if I don’t need that. It’s forced sometimes, but he knows I’m doing it because I want him to be happy. It might be the same for your husband.

Forced affection for your sake will eventually turn into second nature for him. But responding negatively to it will only push him away more.



It may take him a bit of time to come to terms with the whole thing too. Which seems unfair, since he was in the wrong, but it often takes us a long time to integrate our own bad behavior, to understand what it was really about and why it was hurtful to others, and to be willing to really accept responsibility for that.

I agree with the pp that if you want affection, you will have to let him get there in his own bumbling way, even if it seems unnatural for now. It IS unnatural, because he is learning a new way of relating to you. That he is willing to do it anyway speaks well for his intentions, and it will probably bear fruit over time. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love and care for you - his efforts despite his discomfort suggest that he cares very much. If it were easy it would be less meaningful.



Men are inherently weird. Stating that - so are we. :blush:

Now, I found with my hubby sometimes an apology that I am hurt is the best he can do because as a man he has to take time to process the situation intellectually and logically although it already makes perfect sense to me. Eventually he comes around to the correct thinking. This is frustrating but I realize that it is God’s way of teaching me patience.



How is it possible that we are married to the same man, joan? :ehh: :smiley: That said, I think I should have my PhD by now, when it comes to patience. :wink:



It must either be my age (28) or the fact that I have very few Catholic friends. But all my married friends, their husbands go to strip clubs. So I expect that my future husband would partake in it as well. It is kind of look away and ignore it kind of thing. My best friend (who is Catholic) said “at least he comes home to me”.



Hey whatevergirl - give me my man back lol :smiley:

Anyway I look at it like this - God made the two sexes to complement each other:

God gave them logical thought processes, He gave us sensitivity and emotion
God gave them great physical strength, He gave us emotional strength and patience
God gave them the seed, He gave us the womb
God gave them the proclivity to wander, He gave us the mystique to make them want to stay put :thumbsup:



The husband might come home to her, but who is he thinking about while making love to her. Her or the woman swinging on the pole? :mad::eek::shrug:



That’s what I thought you’d say. I was only saying what I did because of his likening what he did to porn. Neither one is ok. If he did use it, he kept it a secret because you wouldn’t have tolerated it. It is infidelity.

This certainly is a good reason why you will need time to forgive him. It is hard enough to forgive my husband who knew and knows he was wrong. I can’t imagine how much harder it would be if he didn’t.

There are many issues here. If he was willing to attend counseling, (I think) you should encourage that. Counseling is not a quick fix. Recovering from this will not be fast. If you remove him from the counseling, it will not help him see the truth of the damage he has done. What does your counselor say about all of this?



I have no doubt that he is thinking about the other woman. I don’t agree with it at all, but men are highly visual creatures and need variety. In this society, I can’t expect a man to be faithful to me. There is just too much out there. Like one of the husbands says “I can’t look at the same woman without getting bored.” Nice sarcasm



*No, no…don’t ‘expect’ that from a future husband. TONS of men do not go to strip clubs, and are not feeling like they’re missing something. That said, has my husband ever gone? Yes, but he asked me if I minded (this was early on in our marriage) he was going to a bachelor thing. I didn’t mind, oddly enough, but we had non-conservative views of marital sexuality back then. Much has changed now, I would be very sad if he did this, now. So, no…you do not have to expect this from a man you marry. :frowning: I will pray for your friends, that their husbands change their hearts and minds about that. *



Countrysinger…I call that settling. Expecting that you will be cheated on, is also a degrading way of looking at men. :o Many men do not cheat. MANY. I’m married to one. My sister was married to one (she cheated though) Many people I know have loving, faithful marriages. With God, all things are possible. Please please don’t think that you are destined for a man to cheat on you someday. :hug1: I think you need to add some friends who have faithful, and wholesome marriages to the mix. I am starting to think that you feel this way,because of what you have witnessed with them. :o *



i could be the op but in a slightly different situation – it is very hurtful to get your eyes opened to the fact that the man you trusted all these years was not trustworthy or faithful and sees nothing wrong with his infidelities.



Just to try to cut through other issues, perhaps it’s best if you, if you really want to do this and save your marriage, be like Christ to Peter. Peter denied him three times and yet still was head of the church.

Something to maybe think of.


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