What is the Godly thing to do?


My husband and I have been married for 10 years with one son. At around the 5 year mark and the 7 year mark I caught him wanting to initiate a relationship with other women. We went through couseling and managed to stick it through.

In October, he began expressing that he is missing something. He states he is confussed but wants to experience the single life. Because this has been the third time I told him that he is free to do that. (I love him, but I want my partner to love me too.) He expressed that we would need to wait to after the holidays for the sake of our Son (8 years). I agreed, after 3 months, he is still confussed but does not want to leave due to a new job.

I can not find it in me to stay at home. I have been very depressed and want to start my healing process. I feel I have been patient enough especially because he has not changed his thinking about staying as a family.

P.S. I see the works of God…trying to make him see he is making a mistake. He is however blinded and resistant to him at this time. Only prays for the sake of his new job and not for the family.

What would Jesus want me to do?


He needs to seek counseling from a priest and also the sacrament of Reconciliation.

I would hope that you two would seek to save your marriage through www.retrouvaille.org and more counseling.

I would not tell him it’s “fine” for him to experience the single life… he’s NOT single. He is married.


I agree to try and get him to go to a Retrouaville retreat.

I have not been but have heard of many wonderful miracles in marriages on the verge of divorce in their retreats.

I have nothing else to offer you but my prayers. I am glad you found this website. Please take care and may God bless you.


But, if he refuses to go to counseling or to a retreat:confused: …what should she do?


Whenever I hear about people feeling empty or restless, it always reminds me of St. Augustine’s prayer – “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O God.”

And Psalm 63 – “O God, Thou art my God, I seek Thee, my soul thirsts for Thee.”

Whether he realizes it or not, what your husband is “missing” is God. I echo that he should talk to a priest or you should both try counseling or retrouvaille.

I’m sure this is very difficult for you, and you are hurting. But you are still married, and should try to do everything possible before you give up.

Pray for God to reach your husband in a special way. When you are married, your vocation is to help your spouse make it to heaven. God can change hearts, minds and souls!


This is such a great post! Beautifully stated. I agree!

I wonder though, if he refuses --what is a spouse to do in such a circumstance? For example–if he says he wants to separate to explore the single life, or if he leaves? At what point, should a spouse stop trying when the other spouse is not willing to work on the marriage?


Thank you so very much for your advice. I have been wanting to suggest a marriage retreat. But when I ask him what he wants, he leans to exploring the single life. I then feel rejected and say nothing. I have been praying, that God speak to him, and I know he has. But my husbands words are like daggers when he response “Why do not I get it? Everyone likes you…I’m the that is screwed up.”

I will ask that the Holy Spirit be with me and make it easy for me to suggest the marriage retreat.


At what point, should a spouse stop trying when the other spouse is not willing to work on the marriage?

i think: because her spouse is unwilling to remain a married man with family, then erazo needs to know if her spouse ***ever ***intended to remain faithful. at the time of his vows, did he intend to abide in the Church’s (which is God’s) definition of marriage? was he never fully open to life? did he never really mean to be faithful and forsake all others? was he impeded in the ability to take vows because of mental illness or addictions? questions like that need to be answered. erazo might seek the Church’s determination of the validity of the vows.

if the Church determines the vows are invalid then she’s no longer required to “work on the marriage.”

if the Church determines the marriage valid, then she is always required to “work on the marriage.” even if that means she simply remains faithful in her vows to an estranged, adulterous husband.

either way, she must continue to pray for him,. as the father of her child, she must lead her child in prayer for him as a way to give the honor he deserves through the fourth commandment.


erazo, unless the Church determines the marriage invalid, we have to assume it is, in fact, valid. given this, the term “exploring the single life” is a misnomer.

assuming, as we are required, your marriage is valid, there is no exploration of single life anymore. in fact, it is only abandonment and probable adultery that he will be exploring.

as Christians, we’re responsible to speak the language of truth. “single life” is*** not*** the language of thruth.

even if the Church might determine your marriage invalid, you will still feel abandoned, and rejected. even if the marriage is deemed invalid, you will still need so much help, grace, love, support and time in healing.

so many prayers for you. do you have a special patron to whom we might pray for intercession? please let us know.


But, can the Church make this determination, without a divorce…and a person seeking annulment? The reason I ask, is because I can’t imagine telling my daughter or sonsomeday, to just stay in a marriage where her/his spouse doesn’t want to be with her/him–wants to explore single life (aka date other women/men)–and keep working at a marriage that is one sided.:frowning: I would encourage my daughter to seek counseling, and a priest for both of them–but I would not encourage my daughter to stay in a marriage with a man who wasn’t interested in being a true husband to her. I would not encourage divorce, but I wouldn’t encourage my daughter or son to stay in something so destructive for them. I can’t imagine God expecting this of married couples.

Maybe that is wrong of me to say–but, as much as I think we have a responsibility to our marriages–to help our spouses to Heaven…they have a responsibility to us, as well. I agree that the marriage could be deemed invalid based on if the vows were taken lightly at the time, or the person was not intent on being committed. But, again–would the spouse need to wait for a divorce, before exploring that? Could a spouse explore this, if the other spouse was determined to go on without the other–while they are still married?:confused:


How is your Spiritual life? How is your husbands Spiritual life? Do you go to Chruch? Together? To you pray together? As a family?


Erazo, all is not lost. Get counseling for the two of you.

I know you are hurt, but it’s kinda funny, looking at this from the outside. It seems like, even with your approval, he just WON’T LEAVE! He finds all kinds of excuses not to make it final.

Use that. Help him find what he is looking for within the context of the marriage. Maybe Didi is right and he has a Christ-sized hole in him, and doesn’t know how to fill it. As long as he is still there with you, you have a chance. As long as you guys are talking, there is hope.

Sorry if this offends anyone, I know it’s a serious subject. I know erazo is in pain.


No I wouldn’t imagine it offends anyone. I think that is great advice…

I will say that I agree with the Christ-sized hole comment. Most likely, erazo, your husband is seeking God, and is trying to fill it with something else…the single life looks appealing, because whatever is ailing him, must be his marriage–he thinks. I will say though, that I would try counseling…I would encourage him to go with you–to a priest, to a healing mass (which is REALLY helpful) and perhaps he will grow closer to the Lord, and not stray. But, if he does choose to leave…I don’t imagine that God would want us to be treated in such a manner. You are in my prayers.:frowning:


This is so sad :frowning: Sounds to me that he wants his cake an eat it too! He definitely needs to seek other help before just deciding to live the single life. This kind of thing makes me so angry. It’s so selfish. Does he want a metal for waiting for the holidays to end? Give me a break.

Erazo, he needs help. Serious help, but you cannot MAKE him seek it. I hope he changes his mind. It’s not fair and certainly not healthy/safe to be with an unfaithful man. That is not what you vowed to do.



How long does something like this need to go on before enough is enough. I would assume days and weeks are too short but for many, many years and decades?:eek:

The spouse of their own free will, who consistently and repeatedly shows and says, they do not want to be married IS the person which unravels/destroys the marriage.

I am sure most if not all of us have been through challenging times in our marriages and have gone the extra mile or two. After years of neglect, abuse, etc. that is plenty of time to work things out, but stating you no longer want to be married, that says, enough right there.:mad:


Well put. One person can’t carry a marriage, but one person can destroy it.


I don’t have any real good advice, but this just reminds me of the movie “The Mexican” with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. Remember the answer to the question, " if two people really love each other… when do they reach that point of enough is enough?"… The answer was very simple… Never!:wink: I know that seems too easy, but I think it holds alot of truth. May God bless you and carry you through these troubling times.



I really feel blessed, to know that know so many people have taken the time to hear and feel my pain.

I try to the best of my ability to live a good Catholic Life. I understand that Divorce is not an option for us. My husband however, belives that this may be a good thing for us. Of course our marriage is not perfect, and I realize that no marriage is. He however, belives there is something better. He feels that although we have accomplished alot, beautiful son, house, careers. Our marriage struggled, in a way it should not. (Meaning those terrrible quarrels we once had, but have out grown them)

I have encourage him to come to church…but it is a struggle at times. He actually was a very spiritual person before and blames me for no longer being. I do not want to force him, obiously it is only drawing him further away. He did state that his New Year’s Resolution will be to pray more often. :slight_smile:

They only thing I feel I can do at this time is pray the Holy Rosary, pray to St. Monica, and support his decision to live a single life.

**For a long time I was patient…accepting this thoughts of separation (and crying when he was not at home). However, after being patient for so long I exploded. I told him how I felt and said…

You are being selfish and thinking of only yourself.
-God has blessed you with a healthy body…not a sexy body.
-God has blessed you with a prestegious job to help others and support your family. Not to flaunt it.
-The Church is there to help people who need an ego check. It is obious you do not go because you are feeling guilty. You will continue to feel that way until you repret.

What did he say about all this…?

“That outburst you had last night…did not work”


We’re missing a few pieces of the puzzle. Is this a man who just had a parent die or an illness… I’ve seen more than a few men go temporarily over the deep end as they personally encounter their own mortality and that of their parents. Women cling to others in their grief, some men become very isolated. Sometimes it passes.

Is this man actually acting out his single life? In this day and age of fatal and permanent STDs, it’s no longer a matter for the wife of looking the other way. Her own health could be severely impacted. So she has to then make a decision whether to withhold marital relations until the situation is resolved and she is sure her health isn’t impacted, or just kick him out right now.

As for him: He wants to explore the single life. Ahhh, greener grass. I have known men who did that too. Turns out the grass isn’t greener. And cut off from God and family, they spiral downward chasing that elusive youth and happiness. It’s really sad. They make themselves miserable and drag everyone else down with them.

For a married man to explore the single life is like a mother or father deciding to explore the child-free life. Can’t do it. Just as once you become a parent you will never approach the world or be looked at by the world as childless again, when you marry, you can’t ever pretend to be single again.

So even though he may go through the charade of pretending to be single, he will limit his own options. His choice of women will now be limited to women who are a combination or part of the following: Don’t care that he abandoned a wife and family, don’t care that his vows don’t matter, don’t expect fidelity from a man or don’t intend to give it to him, don’t practice their own faith, don’t follow certain codes of conduct themselves so will overlook it in him.

In short, the kind of woman he finds now won’t be the same kind or quality he had before. Because nice, normal, sane women who find out he’s just another man who abandoned a wife and child to play single again will flee in the opposite direction when they meet him.

You can’t unring that bell.

Great lyrics to a song you might want to check out:

What’cha gonna do when the new wears off and the old shines through?
It ain’t really love and it ain’t really lust
You ain’t anybody anybody’s gonna trust…

To the OP: go to counseling. I’ve been there, done that. Sometimes it does work. But if he’s been choking at the leash since year 3 of the marriage, he may not even be capable of that kind of commitment. Sounds like he got bored right after the baby was born and it required some sacrifice and patience on his part, being a husband and dad.

Good luck.

You try as long as you can before “trying” starts to destroy you and impede your ability to give your child a stable home. Because if he leaves, your child will need you twice as much.


But, can the Church make this determination, without a divorce…and a person seeking annulment?

i don’t know. can you seek annulment before ending the legal contract of marriage?

i was assuming, though, single-curious husband would leave and seek divorce. but now i read he’s not doing that. i disagree with others that it’s a hopeful sign. i agree he’s a real comfortable guy that wants all that cake. he stated his new job as reason to remain. he’s staying home for economic convenience.

Liberanosamalo brings up a very crucial point-- do you have marital relations with a man who may contract STDs?

finally, erazo is this:

support his decision to live a single life.

in peace and kindness i disagree-- you cannot support this because it’s a lie. ***until *** and ***unless ***the Church deems the marriage invalid, he is NOT a single man. he is a married man.

his response to your outburst demonstrates a complete self-service. his blaming you for his loss of relationship with God is a most uncharitable ruse. please don’t believe any of this.

please seek counselling with a good priest.

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