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Tormented Theresa wrote:

Hi, guys —

My husband and I were married in the Church and we have two beautiful children. He had an affair with my daughter's Catholic school teacher. I believe in for better or worse, and was willing to forgive him to save our marriage and family.

He now says he doesn't love me anymore and wants a divorce. I have done everything I can to try and change his mind but he left me last week. It is all so painful.

  • I have been reading about annulments, but my question is what if his choice was not my choice or what I wanted?

Thank you,

Theresa

  { What should I do if my husband's desire for a divorce was not my preference or what I wanted? }

Mary Ann replied:

Theresa,

I am so sorry for what has happened and what you are going through. His idea of love is that it is a feeling, one that he doesn't have anymore.

Love is not a feeling, it is an act of the will for the good of another. He is demonstrating no care for his children, (who are harmed by divorce more than almost anything else - read the book, "The Divorce Culture") or, of course, for you.

He cares for himself and his own pleasurable feelings, which are often the only thing a man in his state perceives — he can even deny the pain of his children. He can't change his feelings by will, and neither can you, but he can act against them if he chooses, and you can pray for him to have the (strength and will) to do so. I have read that men typically want to come back at 18 months, but by that time the wife has closed the door. You have to find your security and strength and love in God right now, and look to the benefit of your children. Women can easily focus on their own heartbreak and anger at this time.

As for an annulment, if he seeks one, you will be contacted. You will be able to give your knowledge and view of the marriage. He could be granted an annulment against your will, if the tribunal finds that (he or you) lacked the capacity to make vows or did not have the intentions of marriage (meaning permanence, children, and fidelity). In any case, he generally cannot seek an annulment without a civil divorce. That will take a while itself. Perhaps, during that time, there will be a reconciliation, or perhaps the divorce process in your state requires some attempt at reconciliation.

I would also report your daughter's Catholic school teacher to her principal and pastor, and I would not expose your daughter to having to continue to have her as a teacher (if she and your husband are together).

  • She has violated your rights, your children's rights, and her duties as a Catholic and a teacher.
  • Your husband has violated your rights, his children's rights, and his duties as a husband and a father.

Please try to avoid the pitfalls of:

  • extreme anger (which always gets manipulated to make you look bad to the courts) and
  • if he can do it, I can too — which I have seen happen many times in women who have been deserted.

Be strong, and don't be afraid. God is with you through this storm, and will bring you out the other side able to forgive and be a source of good for your children.

Mary Ann

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