My husband and I have had a rocky marriage for many years. In the last two years we have been getting counselling from very competent catholic counsellors. We still have a long way to go.
The problem we often run into is that our counsellors are very reluctant to give straight answers. They fear that if they are too direct that they might scare one of us away. But that has left some problems we have festering for years. We do both want to make the marriage work, but sometimes I think that this type of advice we get is dragging out our issues longer than they should. Maybe we just need staight up, down - yes, no type answers so we can get on with life.
So, I post here some of our long standing issues in the hopes of getting advice from a moral perspective. I (we) are both open to knowing what the real moral principles are in any of these questions.
- I have not been comfortable being in the same bed (or bedroom) with my husband for almost 2 years. He says he is O.K. with me refusing sex ( I think he really isn’t o.k. with it) but he says he is not O.K. in me demostrating to the children the depth of our problems by sleeping apart.
My spiritual advisor says that it is not a problem. His has said I should not sleep in the living room.
- Obedience. My husband feels that the instruction for wives to “obey your husbands” means that I must support his decisions on issues of child rearing and family finances even if I am not comfortable with his decisions. I feel that if he obeyed the instruction for husbands to love your wives, he would not put me in positions of obeying on topics we don’t agree on.
Is there any practical application for either of these instructions. Any limits?
- My spiritual advisor, has said that it would be o.k. for me to ask for a separation, as I need a break from his presence. Some of my older kids also want him to leave, and don’t even talk to him anymore. He says that my advisor is “whacked out” and is “totally out of line” for giving such “extreme” advice since the priest has never even spoken with him and since there is no history of violence or threat thereof and since there is no affair or drinking or drugs or anything like that.
I think my advisor is wonderful and right and I think he truly loves the Lord.
What are the limits of when a person can seek separation?
I have talked openly with my kids about my desire to separate from my husband. He is not happy about this, says that it is just making them more distant from him. Since they won’t talk to him, he cannot even “defend” himself. He feels he is being treated unfairly by my not being willing to present the children with his view of our situation. He says they would be better off without hearing any of this, even if they can see for themselves tha we have problems.
One last thing. He once emailed a long note and several shorter ones to a lawyer who runs a marriage counselling service that I was interested in. He asked in each that his notes be kept confidential. She shared them with a business associate and he emailed them all to me. She says it was o.k. as email is not confidential and she had not agreed to keep them confidential. He was really upset and thinks she was totally out of line. Was she out of line or not?