so lost...

I’m not even sure where to post this. That I am in desperate need of prayer is certain.

I am a cradle Catholic, who until very recently considered myself a strong and faithful one. I suppose I could be a case study in how easy and quickly one can tumble down a slippery slope.

I have been married for almost 20 years. Again, until recently, I would have said quite happily. Not as excuse, but as background: My husband was injured on the job about 12 years ago, has had several surgeries and has never returned to work. Needless to say, myriad health, emotional, spiritual issues have been come, gone, grown over the years. But our marriage had remained strong.

I have no doubt that he loves me, but all of these issues have spiraled his spirit into a deep pit from which he has been unable to pull himself. And regardless of what I’m about to say, I do love him, yes deeply. Being in that pit has rendered him, mostly emotionally, sometimes physically, unable to express his love for me in the intimate way of spouses for months at a time. Very often he is just completely emotionally absent.

Of course I am aware of the importance of communication, counseling, prayer, everything I should be doing … But the beyond unfortunate (sinful, evil?) thing I have been doing is the basis for my prayer request.

A few months ago I met a man on line and have allowed, even encouraged, an extramarital relationship to develop. I was swept away by the feelings of being ‘noticed’ for the first time in a very long time; suddenly I was attractive, funny, smart, interesting, and yes, sexy. So many needs I had been tamping down, ignoring, begging to be met, were finally being met; albeit by a person from whom I had no business receiving them.

What began as innocent? (yes I do realize that cannot be true) flirtation swiftly moved to not-to-innocent flirtation, to ‘cyber-intimacy’, to emails & photo exchanges, to phone calls, to ultimately meeting and ‘consummating’ the relationship.

Beyond question I know how horrendously wrong this is. But I don’t have the strength, will, want, desire … to stop. I actually feel the most guilty for not feeling guilty enough. I know my soul is in grave danger. I haven’t received communion since this began and have not gone to Mass in many weeks.

I feel like a lost and forsaken soul. I know, I know, I know what I NEED to do … get to confession as quickly as possible, return to the sacraments, do whatever it takes to heal my marriage … but again… I don’t have the will …

I have even seen and recognized God talking to me in so many different ways throughout this whole situation. When I do, I thank Him, beg him to forgive me for ignoring Him and go on in my sin…

am I irrevocably lost and hopeless?

No you are not lost forever. But please do all the things that you say you have “no desire” to do. Desire is not necessary. You have brought yourself to this forum. Just force yourself to go to confession. It sounds like your marriage really needs repair. I understand that deep, loneliness. I too have had periods of years when my husband was “emotionally and physically absent”. It is impossible to overcome this alone. You must seek help. A priest may be able to give you the counsel you need. If he doesn’t, try another, and another and another. The grace of God will carry you. Trust.

I will pray that the Angels carry you toward the place you need to be. You should also consider the soul of the person you are seeing. He too can be helped by your seeking counsel. Go to God. He is the only thing that lasts, the only One that matters, the only Hope in which we can trust.

**You are not lost!
I did the same thing when my wife and me had marital trouble.
She separated for a while and I really sunk into online dating.
I confessed the sin and prayed to Mary Most Holy to help me
stay pure. It has been years now but I still get some email that
I delete. I confessed to my wife and she said it was loneliness
and alcohol.
Your husbands self worth is zero now as was mine when I was
out of work. After I quit drinking, I developed Schizophrenia.
I am now on SSDI and stay at home. After my diagnosis I was
relieved because I finally had an answer to why my life was a
mess for many years.
I will pray for both of you!

**

Nobody is hopeless when they have faith. God is merciful and he knows all and sees all. You already know what you need to do.

I am praying for you and your husband …

I would suggest praying the Sorrowful Mysteries whenever you get a chance (like if you have a few minutes, pray one decade, if you have 15 or 20, pray all of them), and meditate on Christ’s Passion and death before a crucifix, in front of the Tabernacle whenever possible. Pray for the graces you need to break off this sinful situation.

Also, I assume you are not receiving any sacraments, (but if you are, stop!!!) but talk with a priest to help you. Just tell him exactly what you told us…

We are all in an immortal combat for our souls. Compared to eternity, we don’t live very long at all! Yet, our eternity will be decided by how we live our lives in this short time!

We are all built with a desire for infinite love, which only God can give. That is the root of your problems, I think. You are trying to satisfy this desire for infinite love in your heart elsewhere because your husband hasn’t done it. He can’t, nor can anyone else on this earth. Plus, I think that at some point, you begin looking at your husband as an object rather than a subject. In other words, like many men do to women, you began looking at him in terms of functionality, rather than personhood. Something to be used for your own ends. Now, I know this may sound harsh and offend the sensibilities of yourself and some who read this, but it happens all too frequently, and I think straight talk is helpful. No sugar-coating or mincing around the truth. :slight_smile:

The key for you, right now, is to get yourself to Confession and make a sincere Confession. This guy is not worth an eternity of agony in hell, no matter if he’s Tom Cruise.

And if you want to be happy in your marriage, I have the solution: Always, always come as a servant. Do not come into your relationship with your husband looking to BE served, but to serve him, regardless of whether he’s capable at this time of serving you.

And, finally, pray the Rosary EVERY day, without exception, begging Our Lady to obtain the grace for you to attain the virtue of purity, without which you will never see heaven.

God bless!

:slight_smile:

Oh, one more point to mention. Before we sin, Jesus calls us to task: “Take up your cross daily, and follow Me!” Satan, on the other hand, is our defender. “Go ahead and do it! Everybody does it! Certainly God isn’t going to send everybody to hell! After all, you deserve it! You’ve earned it!”

Then, after we sin, the roles reverse. Satan becomes the accuser! “Now you’ve done it! All is lost! You’d just as soon go all the way! You can try to get right with God when you get old and close to death!”

And what does Jesus say? “Come to Me all you who labor. If your sins are red as crimson, I will make them white as snow!” He’s calling us back to Him, as He is right this second! He loves you and wants you to get your relationship with Him straight again, before you die. Every day, without exception, someone your age or younger dies suddenly, without warning, in some sort of accident or illness. They don’t wake up in the morning and say, “Well, I guess I’m going to die in a car wreck at 2pm. I think I’ll go out to lunch at noon, then swing by the rectory and go to Confession so I’ll be prepared.” It doesn’t work that way. One minute they’re alive, the next they’re dead, facing Jesus for their judgement.

The only way this is hopeless is if you continue to turn your back on God. You are a child of God, and He loves you more than anything in the world. Can you possibly imagine how much He is hurting while you have your back turned to him?

And when tempted, picture satan’s ugly, evil face getting a slow spreading smile across his hidious face as he watches you turn your back on God, and melt into the sins of the flesh again and again? Don’t forget that pride, and sins of the flesh probably get more people into hell than everything else combined.

A man’s self worth many times is tied to his job. Remove his job, and he is lost. Your husband sounds like he may be depressed and in pain. You made a promise to him for better or worse. I’m sure you took the better without complaining, now you have to take the hard parts the same way. Life can’t be very pleasant for your husband either. You promised this man that you would be there for him, keep your promise. Yes it’s hard, and now he is the one that needs help, be there for him. Loving someone means you forget yourself and sacrafice for them (remember a certain person on a cross doing that for love of you?).

No matter what you have done, God loves you and is waiting for you to invite Him back into your life. You are the one that pushed God aside, you now are the only one that can bring Him back in. Only you can make this right. He is waiting for you with open arms, go to Him. You are the one lost sheep that He is leaving His more secure sheep to go find. His arms are open and He is waiting for you. Go to Him.

I will keep you and your husband in my prayers.

Thank you everyone for your prayers as well as the thoughtful remarks and suggestions. I really believe my anonymous ‘confession’ combined with your responses are helping me become more open to the ‘real’ confession I need to make.

Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me …

Holy Mother Mary we pray

Hail Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Remember oh most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee oh Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Saint Castora Gabrielle, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Catherine of Genoa, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Dorothy of Montau, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Edward the Confessor, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Fabiola, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Gengulphus, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Godelieve, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Gummarus, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Hedwig of Andechs, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Helena, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Louis IX, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Margaret the Barefooted, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Marguerite d’Youville, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Monica, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Nicholas of Flue, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Olaf II, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Pharaildis, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Philip Howard, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Radegunde, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Rita of Cascia, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Theodore of Sykeon, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Thomas More, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Wilgefortis, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Saint Zedislava Berka, holy patron of difficult marriages, pray for this couple. Amen.

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but delivers us from evil. Amen.

Anyway, sorry I could not offer any advice. I have never been married before so I don’t have hardly any experience with this sort of thing.

Holy Mother Mary we pray

Hail Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Dear cmdmac,

Of course the situation is not hopeless, there is always hope with God. But the only way to receive His mercy is through repentance. If you feel far from God because of what you did, and if you feel like you are lost, the only way to get back to Him is by letting go of this relationship and going to Confession, with the sincere desire to not sin anymore.

I know it must be very difficult… but I just wanted to share how I see this situation as someone reading your story…

God created us for Himself. We are meant to find our happiness in Him… yes we can find happiness in other people also, but when we choose another creature above God, we are committing idolatry. God said, “do not commit adultery”… If you know this is wrong and still do it, because you feel loved in your relationship, - feeling loved does not make it right, because Scripture also says we should love God first, and that He loves us more than anyone can. I’m sorry if this sounds blunt… but the man you’ve been having the affair with doesn’t love you even one percent as much as God loves you, because God’s love is infinite. It is just as personal, just as intimate (perhaps more so). When we receive Communion, we become truly one with Him. He died on the Cross for us!! for you! Whenever I find it difficult to repent of something, I try to think of the Cross and it helps me understand what an insult I’m giving to God by not repenting, after everything He’s done. Most of all, He wants us to repent so He can HEAL us and make us whole… He can make us truly happy… much happier than this relationship you’ve been in. The devil often tempts us to exchange the BEST for the good… but God knows what is truly best for us.

This life is very short… once we die, we would all stand before God to be judged. When we see this life compared to eternity, it becomes easier to give things up. For the good of our souls… we should repent… and that is more than just saying we are sorry, but willing to no longer do what we are doing.

Is this man worth risking your soul over? Nothing is… our souls are so precious that God died for them.

I am sure that your marriage situation must be very difficult, but try to come back to God so He can heal you and fill you with His love. Then, you would be able to give that love to your husband as well. Relationships aren’t so much about receiving as about giving… that is why we should primarily seek to receive from God, and then share that love with others. Human relationships shouldn’t be centered on emotional needs, because we can’t fill each others’ emotional needs. I recommend listening to this whole talk; there are several parts :slight_smile:youtube.com/watch?v=c99to97XYG4 Try to trust God and surrender to Him…

If you feel afraid, or unable to let go of this, if you can’t find the strength to repent… I’ve been there too… try to remember that God is near you and trust Him… open your heart to Him. He is always willing to help us when we want to do His will, even if our desire is only a choice, without feeling. Feelings aren’t necessary, it is enough to make a choice and stick to it. But try to rely on His grace, not on yourself. Remember how much God loves you… would another person ever be able to say anything like this: mcpriests.com/03_I_thirst_PrayerEN.htm God can make us feel more special, more loved, than anyone else can.

God bless :hug1:

Thank you Monica. You (and everyone else) are so very right. I have not been the least offended by bluntness or ‘straight’ talk. I’ve actually given similar advice to friends in the past.

I think my greatest roadblock to repentance has been the lack of ‘perfect’ contrition as well as not feeling like I am willing to say in my Act of Contrition, that I will avoid whatever leads me to sin. It’s like I’ve been unwilling to confess until I felt like I was ready, willing even, to stop.

Since my conversion almost 20 years ago, I have never been in this state. I have eagerly sought confession, begging God to give me perfect contrition…

But I do feel my heart becoming more flesh. Especially since my first post, I have witnessed so tangibly God working on my heart. My husband and I had a very loving evening this weekend and did a lot of needed bonding and talking. I went to Mass on Sunday for the first time in months (did not receive Communion, of course).

That there is a battle going on for my soul is certain… thank you everyone for your prayers; they’re working.

I remember a priest who talked about how he would pray to God for the graces to help make him chaste, “but just not right now”. In other words, he wanted to be chaste and wholesome, but he was also having a difficult time giving up his unchaste lifestyle. God doesn’t expect us to have perfect contrition. He knows our struggles and would be happy of you went to Him right now in the sacrament of confession. Think of the good thief who confessed his sins to Jesus while on the cross and Jesus said, “Today you shall be with me in paradise.” And Jesus wants you to be with Him in paradise too. Think also of the prodigal son who was welcomed back by his father. He wants all of us to come to him. So go to him and confess. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If you are having difficulty working up the nerve, pray to Mary. We are praying for you.

Ishii

Faultless Lord, enduring death for me,
First, forgive yourself then talk to God and receive His forgiveness…

PRAYER FOR STRENGTH TO FORGIVE

You have consummated the debt of my sins:
Your sacrifice of forgiveness was absolute!
Grant me the strength to also forgive others,
To excuse their transgressions against me.
So I may truly reflect this spiritual fruit,
Obliterate any persistent feelings of malice.
Let each trespass end as a closing chapter,
My continuing on the road of righteousness.
Forgive my sins as I aspire to forgive others.
You are truly archetypical of forgiveness.
You are a most forgiving Lord!

Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Hail Mary,
full of grace,
the LORD is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
JESUS.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

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