had a nightmare marriage. My husband has been condescending in non-stop ways.
I have been henpecked and could do nothing right. He has disciplined me in
front of the children. I feel he is oversexed and does not understand
the word “No” in bed. I woke up the other night feeling like I
was being raped. He thinks it is my Catholic duty, under pain of mortal sin.
He is always telling me I need to do my duty. He is never guilty of wrongdoing.
I am always to blame. I just don’t know what to do.
ctually, when a man demands
sexual contact like this from his wife, he
is the one committing mortal sin.
Now, that statement might shock
a lot of people, but that’s only because they don’t understand
the entire concept of marital obligations as described in the
Saint Paul describes the relationship
of a wife and a husband as a reflection of the relationship of the Church
to Christ—and this relationship demands mutual respect and honor. “Be
subordinate to one another,” he says, “out of reverence to
Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). Moreover, when Saint Paul says that wives should
be subordinate to their husbands, he meant that wives have a noble and holy duty
to their husbands in the same way as the Church has a noble and holy duty to serve
Christ. Consequently, a wife does not owe obedience to her husband as a slave, out
of law and duty, must be obedient to a master; her obedience is a matter of her
respecting her husband in his responsibility as a chaste and pure spiritual leader
of a holy family.
Hence Saint Paul also says that
husbands must love their wives even as Christ
loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25). Thus a husband has an obligation to
treat his wife without bitterness (Colossians 3:19), to sanctify his wife,
to cleanse her, and to present her to Christ without blemish (Ephesians
Therefore, when a husband fails
in his Christian duty to live with his wife “in understanding, showing
honor” to her (1 Peter 3:7), his vows of Holy Matrimony become a spiritual
failure, and he has no claim on his wife’s duty to him.
That is, if the husband blames
and humiliates his wife, or if he reduces physical intimacy into
lust, or if he is emotionally absent from the
family, or if he shirks his responsibility as a
father, then he clearly is not “nourishing
and cherishing” (Ephesians 5:29) his family according to his
Christian duty. So, as was said previously, he is committing mortal
To demand sexual contact with
his wife under these conditions is equivalent to making her into a prostitute.
Prostitution is a mortal sin because
it “does injury to the dignity of the person who engages in it”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2355).
Christ does not treat the Church
like a prostitute. Satan, however, does treat his
followers as prostitutes. In fact, the
Church—is filled with the
devil’s prostitutes. Therefore, a husband who
violates his wife’s dignity by treating her like a prostitute in effect
excommunicates himself from the Church and severs himself from God by such a
grave, unloving act.
In a marriage
where the wife is humiliated like a prostitute, the physical intimacy of
the spouses is not a sign and pledge of spiritual communion, it’s a
defilement of spiritual communion.
If, after you explain these things
to your husband, he continues to place his desire
for bodily pleasure above the welfare of his soul,
the welfare of your children’s souls, and the welfare of your soul,
then he has openly declared his renunciation of his
baptismal vows. His state of
spiritual blindness and
mortal sin give you full justification to distance
yourself from him physically, to protect your own soul.
A treasure of a resource for psychological and spiritual healing. Information
gathered from my websites (including this webpage) is now available at your fingertips
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Falling Families, Fallen Children by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. Do
our children see a mother and a father both living in contemplative love for
God with a constant awareness of His presence and engaged in an all-out battle
with the evil of the world? More often than not our children don’t see living
faith. They don’t see protection from evil. They don’t see genuine, fruitful
devotion. They don’t see genuine love for God. Instead, they see our external
acts of devotion as meaningless because they see all the other things we do that
contradict the true faith. Thus we lose credibility—and when parents lose credibility,
children become cynical and angry and turn to the social world around them for
identity and acceptance. They are children who have more concern for social approval
than for loving God. They are fallen children. Let’s bring them back.