When do you stop hoping and split up?


#1

I feel like I need to divorce and most likely follow through with the annulment process with my husband. I’ve always been a glass half full person and I’ve been trying to wishfully thinking for the past four out of the five years I’ve been married. My husband was a devout catholic before we were married and now he tells me that it feels like I’m forcing him to go to Mass with me and the kids. I found out that he is a porn addict a year after we were married. Around the same time is when he stopped practicing the faith. I recently started noticing that he needs to be in the bathroom for a while before we are intimate and this last time I had proof that he needs to mb first. I just ended up getting yelled at when I brought it up, as if I was wrong for pointing it out. He is verbally abusive and has started recently not only yelling at me in front of the kids but also swearing at me in front of them too. He will talk to a therapist about the porn but only because he knows that I will leave if he doesn’t. I’m at the point where I don’t know that I want to wait around anymore. I feel like he will go to therapy but won’t really be actively working on getting over the addiction because of his attitude towards it. It feels like I’m asking him to give up his mistress who he loves maybe more than me and he is only doing it to keep the mom of his kids around. And since porn is so easily kept a secret I will never really know if “she” is gone. What would you do?


#2

I sympathize with your problem. You certainly should seek some outside help.

However, you can’t just get an annulment and wash your hands clean of the situation if you have children with this man. Children deserve an involved father and so the “deal breakers” should be rather extreme. Porn addiction is a problem but it isn’t a good reason to deprive your children of a father.

Remember- once you had kids you put your own happiness as secondary to theirs.


#3

[quote="Mommyjessica, post:1, topic:224894"]
I feel like I need to divorce and most likely follow through with the annulment process with my husband. I've always been a glass half full person and I've been trying to wishfully thinking for the past four out of the five years I've been married. My husband was a devout catholic before we were married and now he tells me that it feels like I'm forcing him to go to Mass with me and the kids. I found out that he is a porn addict a year after we were married. Around the same time is when he stopped practicing the faith. I recently started noticing that he needs to be in the bathroom for a while before we are intimate and this last time I had proof that he needs to mb first. I just ended up getting yelled at when I brought it up, as if I was wrong for pointing it out. He is verbally abusive and has started recently not only yelling at me in front of the kids but also swearing at me in front of them too. He will talk to a therapist about the porn but only because he knows that I will leave if he doesn't. I'm at the point where I don't know that I want to wait around anymore. I feel like he will go to therapy but won't really be actively working on getting over the addiction because of his attitude towards it. It feels like I'm asking him to give up his mistress who he loves maybe more than me and he is only doing it to keep the mom of his kids around. And since porn is so easily kept a secret I will never really know if "she" is gone. What would you do?

[/quote]

I would give him the chance to start therapy and reevaluate the situation as it progresses. I would work on my marriage, through both counseling together and separately, until I exhausted all options that address the issue. I would also seek out a spiritual director and go to adoration as much as possible. I think you have to at least give him a chance to work on his problem, and the trust issues within your marriage. The easy solution is to give up, before the healing can begin. That's not really fair to him, or yourself or your children. You took a vow for better or worse, well, this is the worse and you got to see your family through it and both of you will have to work hard on improving the situation.


#4

i would give it some time . It may take quite awhile for therapy to work,.


#5

also, yes, porn can be kept a secret, but one of his tasks is going to be to rebuild your trust in that matter. That can be done. A good therapist should be able to advise him on how to do that if he wants to stop and wants your trust. i agree with the previous post . There is a tendency to give up too soon. He after all is seeing someone for help. . Major problems like the one you described will take much hard work and time to fix, but it can be done/. .


#6

Thank you all so much for your input! I I guess the other part of my question is how long do I wait for him to get the help? He has told me for at least a couple of years now that he will talk to someone about it and he keeps “forgetting” to follow through. He doesn’t want me to find anyone for him because I did find a catholic therapist who specializes in the porn issue but once my husband talked to him once he decided that he can’t help him. He is very stressed about money right now so he wants the person that he finds to be able to work for free until we get more money.
About the kids, they are actually the main reason I’m considering leaving. I could deal with this if I had to but I don’t want all of this stuff to end up hurting them. So many boys get into porn because their dads are into it. I have also researched that if the father daughter relationship doesn’t go to the extreme negative which is he looks at her sexually in her teen years then it will end up being bad because he pushes her away because he doesn’t want to look at her the way that he looks at other women which in turn pushes her to search for other forms of male attention.


#7

I would ask my priest, ask here :) talk to friends with my faith, pray the Rosary, pray for my husband (this is the hardest one to do) and finally, if I thought my children were being harmed, even obliquely, I would leave. I think not going to Mass is harmful but I don't mean it that way.
I know some advise hangin' in there and naming saints whose husbands were scoundrels (to put it nicely) but I think I would feel like I was "lying down with dogs rising and up with fleas" if in a situation like yours. I know Saint Rita et al stayed around, and that's inspiring. But the Church as given us the Pauline Privilege for a reason too.

Also, I would tell you to rely on and involve our Holy Blessed Mother as you decide.

Your name says a lot about what is important to you. I will pray for you Mommyjessica :)


#8

ok, well now I get the impression he is not actually in therapy right now so I think it is time for you to try harder to get him in and for the two of you to do marriage counseling. The longer he waits ,you wait, then the more behaviors get set, the more damage is done and the harder it is to fix.
Can I ask to what extent have you pushed for counseling? I mean it sounds like you decided he has a problem, you found a counselor, he went once and gave up. Does he admit this is a problem or think it is not?
Has he said he is willing to stop looking at porn because you don’t want him to even though he thinks it is no big deal or does he say he thinks it is no big deal, and then hides it?


#9

Well, there’s also a lot of studies showing that children raised in single parent homes are more likely to be sexually, physically and emotionally abused. Also more likely to abuse alchol and drugs. Additionally, girls whose father’s aren’t involved or present in the home also tend to search for other forms of male attention. Cheery options you have, I don’t envy you. I don’t mean to be flippant, I did a lot of research because my now ex-wife left, thankfully, the kids live with me full time. She visits. Unfortunately, lots of data about kids raised by single mom’s, not much about kids raised by single Dads- I worry about how I may be messing my kids up.

That said, if you divorce, that will not solve the problem of your husband’s porn addiction. Legally, he will be able to argue for 50% custody. So, there’s still the issue of how he’ll view his daughter based on his porn addiction. In fact, unless you’re going to demand supervised visitation, and you’d need to talk to a lawyer about that, you don’t change anything. As well as, he’ll still be the father to your boys and influencing them, again unless you can figure out how to keep them from visiting with him.

Your best hope for your kids is to help your husband get through this. Have you talked about going to therapy/counseling together? This is affecting both of you, you can’t understand it from the outside, and unless you understand it you can’t help him. And I’m assuming this is incredibly embarassing to him.

All the above being said, the other issue to resolve right now is yelling/swearing/demeaning language to you in front of the kids.
That has to stop.
Now.
Whatever it takes.
That is something you should not put up with ever. That is also setting an example and teaching your sons how to treat women and your daughter what to expect AND ACCEPT from men.

Ask him straight up- Would you want your daughter treated this way by her husband? Because he is setting the standard for what she will expect in a relationship.


#10

[quote="Mommyjessica, post:1, topic:224894"]
I feel like I need to divorce and most likely follow through with the annulment process with my husband.

[/quote]

On what grounds do you believe you have a case for a decree of nullity?


#11

What great responses! I love the story of St. Rita! She is the reason I've been staying and praying so long. I have spiritual direction set up with my priest for next week. I just recently started praying a daily rosary and have noticed already how much better I handle the verbal abuse and I feel like my conversations with him are being fed to me from above :-)
I do realize that single mom homes are very difficult. I guess my thoughts are that at least the home will be blessed, it won't have the darkness that porn brings into a home, prayer as a family would take place daily, I would spend more time with devout catholic families so that my kids can see how the parents treat each other. I don't know what to think about your other points Styrg. I'll have to think more on that.
I came into this marriage knowing that the man I was marrying presented himself to be a devout Catholic who had a tobacco addiction that he was planning on getting rid of asap. I had no idea that he was also a porn and alcohol addict or that he would stop praying and going to Mass. The tobacco addiction is still there but I've given up on thinking that will go away and don't believe that would nullify the marriage. The other issues along with the fact that relations are incredibly rare and I even get yelled at for bringing up the fact that I'd like to be intimate with him make me believe that the marriage could be invalid.


#12

I forgot to say that yes we are in marriage counseling and he doesn’t do the homework. The first meeting the porn issue was addressed but was left alone since then.
I have pushed the sex addiction therapy a lot. I left for close to a month over the summer and returned home because he promised to get help. When I brought it up this last time I told him that if he decided to give up and let me go that I wouldn’t come back this time. He knows I’m serious about it. I think he just knows that in the past I have been a pushover.


#13

I'm with the other posters - there would seem to be more hope for this marriage if you get counseling and try everything you can to keep it together. You can explain to your husband without threatening that you feel his addiction is getting between you and affecting your relationship with him. If he loves you and wants to stay with you, he may decide to work on the addiction.

Sometimes it does take a shock in order to get through to an addict. I know a lot of women who finally reached their own bottom and told their husbands either get to AA or I am not staying. And maybe it takes a while but the alcoholic realizes that he is about to lose everything and gets sober.

Your home is revolving around his addiction. It happens. I think there is a group called SLAA but I don't know if they have a separate group for spouses. I have never heard anyone in Al-Anon discuss these issues and I'm sure there is a large measure of shame involved.


#14

I agree with RealJuliane. See if the shock of possibly loosing you will make him get serious about doing the hard work to turn things around. If it looks like that is so, then work with him to rebuild.


#15

[quote="Mommyjessica, post:11, topic:224894"]
I came into this marriage knowing that the man I was marrying presented himself to be a devout Catholic who had a tobacco addiction that he was planning on getting rid of asap. I had no idea that he was also a porn and alcohol addict or that he would stop praying and going to Mass. The tobacco addiction is still there but I've given up on thinking that will go away and don't believe that would nullify the marriage. The other issues along with the fact that relations are incredibly rare and I even get yelled at for bringing up the fact that I'd like to be intimate with him make me believe that the marriage could be invalid.

[/quote]

I don't think any of these things *necessarily *makes for grounds of invalidity. Things not turning out as you'd hoped aren't grounds. Addiction isn't necessarily grounds. The fact that he stopped going to church isn't necessarily grounds. One can be a bad husband and still have contracted marriage validly.

The canons dealing with deception have a pretty high standard. Just stopping going to mass or having an addiction alone don't necessarily meet the standards.

I certainly think you should work on saving your marriage. If you **truly **doubt the validity of your consent or his talk to your priest.


#16

If he hid the pron addiction at the wedding than he did lie. That is a major deception! It is adultry and very sinful. It is almost worse than sleeping with someone. DO not think for one minute that is is a better one to have. Porn is much tougher to break than having an affiar with someone else.

As to the verbal abuse. As the previous poster said if you contine to take it your sons will learn this is how you treat women and the girls will learn this is what to expect from men. Please address this! If the counselor doesn't take it or the porn seriously than get a new one!

Porn addiction eventually leads the addict into complete withdrawl from real women and into the porn world. It has lead to many other devient "Lifestyles". Just beware what can come up when someone has a porn addiction.It is a very misinderstood addiction even with counselors. SO is verbal abuse.

Prayers for you to have wisdom.


#17

divorce is not an option, barring a situation like abuse where a legal separation (which in most states means divorce) is the only way to protect rights of the innocent spouse and children. So get that off the table now.

Work first on yourself, your own relationship with Christ, and being the best Catholic wife and mother you can. You can change yourself, you cannot change anyone else.

Work on your marriage by pushing for counselling, get a referral from Catholic Social SErvices or Catholic Charities in your diocese. REtrouvaille has proven nothing short of miraculous for many couples who were ready to call it quits.


#18

amazon.com/Final-Freedom-Pioneering-Addiction-Recovery/dp/1881292371/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1294257468&sr=1-7-spell

This protestant guy is a recovering addict himself (porn) and he treats sex addict patients.


#19

This one was very helpful to my firend in getting her husband help.

amazon.com/Verbally-Abusive-Relationship-recognize-respond/dp/1440504636/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294257659&sr=1-3


#20

Why is your question : “I guess the other part of my question is how long do I wait for him to get the help?” rather than “What should I do so that WE get the help WE need?” This is your problem too, not just his.

YOU find a counselor - TODAY. Make sure you choose someone you can BOTH be comfortable with. (I knew both my wife and I needed help in our marriage - and I chose someone that I thought she could talk to - knowing that I would be willing to work with any competent counslor).

Then tell your husband the both of you have an appointment.

Yes, your husband has a problem. But trust me, there is some way (or ways) in which you are BOTH contributing to the issue, and being impacted by the issue. You BOTH need to have a responsibility for the issue. (…they become one flesh…)


OK - so I responded too quickly and now read more of the thread. You are in marriage counseling together. But the porn issue hasn’t come up since a first meeting? Why not? If it bothers you, why don’t you bring it up and say you need to address this now, or furher work on other issues is going to be a waste of time? Tell your counselor and your husband how important this is.


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