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This is a moderated blog is a project of the Ruth Institute. Have a story to share? We're listening.
Posted on: Friday, April 16, 2021
I am a 28-year-old man, a separated husband, and a victim of the Sexual Revolution. I’m not only a victim of no-fault divorce, soon to be civilly divorced against my will, but also of LGBT ideology, pornography addiction, and cohabitation.
I met my wife in 2014. We were sexually active before marriage and cohabitated beginning 2015. We were engaged 2017 and civilly married 2018. I then returned to the Catholic Church, and my wife chose to convert. We undertook the sacrament of Holy Matrimony in 2019, and she was baptized in 2020.
In March 2021, my wife suddenly abandoned the marital home, cut off contact, obtained an emergency restraining order against me with false claims of abuse, and when that did not hold up, filed for divorce. Disturbingly, she claims I verbally abused her when I spoke about the Church’s teaching on marriage because it invalidated her as a “member of the LGBT+ community,” “questioning her sexuality.” I had no idea (nor therefore intention to hurt her feelings) and was devastated, because this seemed a tacit admission of the desire—and the perceived right—to go outside of our sacramental marriage for a romantic or sexual relationship.
When this happened, I received a lot of support for the suffering of my situation, acknowledging my wife’s actions as wrong and hurtful, but almost no support for my marriage and my loving care for her. She is obviously a suffering and deeply confused victim of the Sexual Revolution herself, possibly under the influence of still more confused victims unable to care for her as her Heavenly Father does, or even as her earthy husband does, because they were not taught what is genuinely good for a human person.
I was immediately told by almost everyone, including devout Catholics, to give up and move on. I think this was the most difficult part: that they taught one thing on behalf of the Church, but when it became difficult, they put aside Her teaching (and that of Our Lord Himself) for the teaching of the world. Even our pastor, who married us and has a successful marriage ministry helping the most troubled couples, seemed resigned that I should obtain a civil divorce and an annulment (and that the former was, and the latter not, a high priority).
Over time, I came to see that I was not only a victim, but wrong myself. When our relationship began, I had a warped image of women and sexuality from early exposure to pornography and a devastating addiction. I objectified her in a subtle way I did not perceive, as a source of comfort, companionship, and emotional validation, which I immediately sought from her body. She took my virginity at 22. After a year apart and maintaining the illusion of a unitive sexual relationship online, we then made the error of cohabitating, feeling marriage to be an outdated practice, in part because no-fault divorce eviscerated the sense of commitment.
We felt we made our own free commitment, though my partner may not have had the same understanding of exclusivity, at times secretly pursuing other relationships and becoming active in the LGBT+ community and other leftist causes. Nevertheless, we began to discern marriage to deepen our commitment, and she accepted my proposal eagerly. After we were civilly married, I discovered the infidelity but also had a conversion, forgiving her and offering her the chance to accompany me as she desired. At that point, I believe God poured Grace into our newly sacramental marriage, even if my wife may have fallen for a time back into the ways of the world.
It wasn’t my fault. Now I make it my responsibility. I intend to be a witness for my marriage and an advocate for the liberating teachings of our Creator, who gave us our sexuality to be a beautiful, loving, life-creating gift between a man and a woman. I want people to know that true love waits, that our bodies are designed for us to share, not use, and that the image of women provided by pornography is incomplete and dehumanizing. My story is hard to tell, but just telling it begins this healing.
Submitted by TA.
Posted on: Thursday, March 02, 2017
I took them off about 15 years ago when the grudge started.
The grudge was because I expected my husband to fulfill my every need. I had idolized him. I put him in the place of God.
My husband was my knight in shining armor when we got married, and I placed this insurmountable burden on him without even realizing.
The fact is that I was expecting him to fulfill the parts of me that only God can fulfill. I had placed my husband above God. And because he couldn't fulfill the God shaped hole in my heart, I unconsciously started to hold a very low level, almost unnoticeable grudge. Subconsciously I must have always been thinking "What am I getting out of this?" rather than ""What can I give to this marriage?"
Over the next 15 years this grudge effected my relationship with God because, without realizing, I was not putting Him in the first place in my life. I was not recognizing God as provider. I always felt this terrible separation from God, but I didn't know why.
When my husband became ill 3 years ago, my earthly provider stopped being able to provide. And because I had put him in the place of God, I had no where to turn.
The fear I felt in those years is something only an atheist would understand. I couldn't feel God near me, and I had no idea it was my own doing.
A few weeks ago it reached crunch point. I had already reconciled that I couldn't leave, but I felt I couldn't stay either. Who would provide for me?
It was after reading the 'Healing of Families' book that I realized I had been harboring this grudge, and that my relationship with my husband and with God was out of sync. I took all that to confession, along with a few other things.
I felt the fear lift. I felt the grudge go. I felt my relationship with God fall back into place. And I felt free to love my husband - agape Love, unconditional love, for the first time ever in our marriage.
He asked me "Why have you decided to do this now? I can't provide anything for you right now."
I told him "This is the perfect time, the FIRST time I have ever been able to love you unconditionally." 😊
I now recognize God as provider, and the love in my relationship with God, and with my husband has grown immensely. I am now free to love. And my husband is free from the burden of being put in the place of God.
Submitted by C. C.