Wedding Vows * Broken Contract * Intimacy Is Expected

So after a week, I walked into the house today.  He hardly looked up from what he was doing and gave me a low hello.  I nodded -- he's trying to be social, although it's not his style. We went to the Chinese Buffet tonight... that's one thing we do well .. go out in public to eat.  He told me he wanted to talk about things, but kept putting it off all night .. "not now" ....  At dinner he talked about his old job, which I know he could care less about ..he made some light jokes ... when I tried to talk more personally, he said "not now".  He did say he missed me when I was staying at my daughter's this week.  He said he stopped his high blood pressure meds and that he woke up with an erection three days in a row, which never happens with his ED.  I asked him if there was a desire to have sex with the erection, and he said "not really" ...   He shouldn't be messing with his meds, but he is of the mindset that his HBP meds are causing his lack of interest in sex, although the specialist told him it was a combination of factors, including the HBP, ED and his age.  He's been a refuser since day 1 and I have taken what I could when it was offered ... How sad was that!

When I was at my daughters this week, I had an appointment with her parish priest to discuss my present situation.  Being from the Traditional Roman Catholic mindset, I have been agonizing over my wedding vows and breaking them after 40 years. After I answered some questions and told the story of my marriage, the priest was more than human in his compassion and understanding ... absolving me of any perceived sins that were committed by seeking the love of another man years ago when my husband turned his back on me.  He told me to take that Scarlett Letter off my neck and shake that load off my shoulders and understand that our wedding vows were broken by my husband years ago.  The refusal to have intimate sexual relations with me over the years was a breach of the marriage contract.  Upon describing recent events in the marriage, he assured me that God wants me to be happy and not carry the weight around any longer   The priest said I knew what I had to do because my husband was sucking the life out of me, and would I be able to do that .. I said yes .. he said will you? ... I looked him in the eye and said yes.  More was said and tears were flowing out of me.  He gave me a bear hug and said he would be keeping in touch to make sure things were going well for me. 

I couldn't believe the honesty and humanness of this priest.  I felt like a failure and a sinner and he elevated me to a level of self-respect after feeling like a failure for not being able to make my marriage work.. He said my first mistake was when I went back to the marriage when I was first separated after three years of marriage.  I agreed.

I am going for a consultation with an attorney to understand the parameters I am working within with our property and finances.  Until that time, I can't speak to him about a separation/divorce.  I am afraid he might start to move accounts around ... guess when it comes to money, I don't trust anybody.

So now he wants me to go to counseling with him .. I was so surprised after begging for so long that I didn't jump on it...he noticed and said that he thought I would be happy to hear that because I was all for it .. how can I tell him I have taken the next step to severe the marriage instead of trying to fix it.  Truth be told, I will miss him and love him on a weird level, but don't want to stay in this relationship any longer.  He might want to change so nothing else has to change .... my therapist said I am going through a process.  Happiness seems so elusive but for the first time I can feel it nearer.

Until we talk .. I don't know where his head is at, or where he wants me to think he is.  Finances are a huge consideration in this economy .. we have very limited income and don't want to lose because we have to split the assets. 

I do have FAITH that God is alongside of me and sending me messages of love and angels to guide me on my path, here on EP and in my life.  I thank all of my new friends here for their heartfelt support. 

reflections3 reflections3
61-65, F
8 Responses Mar 7, 2009

Drat. Lost that in typing. I think you're doing what you need to do. Having read your stories, he's had lots of opportunity to work on things. Stick to your plans.

You ail well know my feelings about counseling and my perception is that your husband's sudden desire to participate in doing so is a blatant attempt to pacify your want to leave. It is a pure manipulation on his part.<br />
<br />
You are lucky to have found a priest as understanding as this one. It had always been a wonderment to me that priests who never marry are consulted about the serious issues that plague married couples. It is nice to see one that understands the difficulties endemic in marriage. <br />
<br />
That all aside I am delighted that you are making the final adjustment in your life to try and change it for the better.<br />
<br />
Your concerns about finances are real and you should seek professional advice on the subject. Believe me from the experience of my divorced friends and family I can assure you this becomes a big hassle. Where ever money rears its ugly head , the kid gloves come off and it becomes a down and out fist fight, a struggle for the bigger advantage.<br />
<br />
I wish you all the best in this and I am proud that you are taking action

I know from first hand experience that blood pressure (and diabetes) medications absolutely mess around with a person's blood flow--and therefore, ability to have sex, however, from what I've read of your previous posts and stories, there are a multitude of other issues in the way.<br />
<br />
And, indeed the path before you maybe strewn with rocks and stones, but the way that you've already come doesn't look so easy, either!<br />
<br />
Wishing you you level-headed intestinal foritude!

Very cool what the priest told you ... what a huge weight lifted from your shoulders. You did nothing wrong. <br />
<br />
If you can swing it financially, leave as soon as you can; if not wait a while but don't lose sight of your final goal. <br />
Good luck to you!

Experience..<br />
First of all, I feel for you, as do all of us in this group I am sure. Your Priest has a great deal of compassion and I think you are fortunate!<br />
I just wanted to share a couple of thoughts....conclusions I have come to because of my similar situation.<br />
Love, sex, and emotion cloud so many things. I realized that if I were in a business, and my business needed widgets, I would look around and find the best widgets I could. If I found a company that provided widgets that were absolutely perfect for my needs, I would feel very lucky.<br />
After talking to that company, they said 'We will make a contract with you that, If you agree to get widgets only from us from now on, we will supply widgets only to you.'<br />
That would be a wonderful deal, and it is a deal we have all made.<br />
Then, of course, the company regrets to inform you that they don't make widgets anymore, but reminds you that you are still under contract to aquire widgets from no one else...<br />
How absurd yould that be?<br />
Also, I am sure that you, like me, accepted the responsibilities of marriage happily...family, grandchildren, providing for the ones you love, etc. <br />
But in this life, everything is balance..when the responsibilities of marriage are never balanced by the emotional, physical and sexual priveleges of marriage, then, eventually, something HAS to give.<br />
Again, Best of luck from me and, I am sure, all of your friends here in EP.

Reflections, I just LOVE that priest!! Of course, what I really mean is I love how humane and kindly and non-judgemental he is. He sounds to me like EXACTLY the sort of person God would pick for his priests if he alone had the responsibility! LOL.<br />
<br />
<br />
I don't think it is surprising that you no longer want counsellling to save your marriage - I think the time for that is passed. <br />
<br />
I think your husband has FINALLY come to the realisation that you mean what you say, and therefore wants to delay the process or try to turn you around.<br />
<br />
Dear Reflections, this is manipulation. I don't suppose he thinks of it as such - but the truth is he wasn't about to change himself in any way for YOU - only when he thought he might have to do WITHOUT you.<br />
<br />
Please see how this makes a difference to his intentions. It might also mean he will revert to his old ways as soon as he feels he has convinced you to stay . . . <br />
<br />
You have started the process now. Know that your many EP friends will "have your back" on this. Come to us for support to stay strong when you need it.<br />
<br />
And know that you have my (and everyone else's I'm sure) best wishes for your future happiness.

Feel sad for you because the spouse is already on different path. My wife and I are the same way. We are traveling in different direction. We have been married for 27 years and have three kids. The kids are about to leave the house for college and our marriage are breaking apart. There are hardly any communication and physical contact. We are just two strangers staying in different bedrooms. Through the years, everything changes. It is refuse and rejection. It is a long time ago since we have sex together. It is like your are hungry and you cannot eat. The frustration and anger just keep piling up inside you. I do wish you happy and find your peace inside.

Here's to you girl. You deserve happiness and fulfillment as a normal sexually active woman. I'm not catholic but the priest was right.