Marriage failing/failed


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Yep. I have a rule in dating: If anyone ever so much as slaps me in anger, I will never ever be involved in any relationship with them again. It is ridiculous that there is this double standard. I would never council anyone to stay in a relationship with someone physically abusive.

I certainly couldn't argue with this point of view. And I find myself applauding everybody who's said as much. But I know from personal experience that just because a person is physically abusive it doesn't mean they're beyond help. True, there are some people who just resort to violence as a first line method to control their environment. But I know of marriages where both parties were physically abusive to each other, and they both repented and stopped doing that. My understanding is that if a person feels like an animal in a cage, trapped, forced to endure emotional and verbal abuse, yelling, screaming, etc., that person will eventually snap. It's just a matter of time. Not that it would be right to do so, but I believe that anyone can be pushed to the breaking point, eventually.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's no big deal, but I am saying that there is still goodness in some of the people who are physically abusive, and some of them do what they do because they forget to flee from contention, and thereby remain in a situation that I believe would eventually drive anyone to violence.

The secret is to flee from contention. If a person's behavior makes you so angry that you feel yourself beginning to lose control, even the slightest little bit, you have to get away from them. If someone is verbally or emotionally abusing you, you have to put enough distance between you and that person for you to regain your sanity. Hang up. Go to another room. Leave the house. Stay at a friend's for the night. Whatever the situation calls for. Whatever it takes. Avoid the contention to avoid making a mistake yourself.

If you don't get away, you will crack eventually. And doing it once will make it easier to do it the next time, and you'll find your tolerance for provocation shrinking. We should instead flee from contention, and if we do, we'll find our tolerance growing stronger. It's easier to deal with being verbally and emotionally abused when it doesn't happen very often, or if, when it does, we flee from it rather than try to endure it.

Heavenly Father will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we're able to endure, but we share responsibility in that it is up to us to avoid temptation, and to flee from it when it presents itself.

His wife may surprise us all and someday become a kind and loving person. He shouldn't have to wait forever for it. Vort's idea about a deadline is a good one. Everyone needs mercy and forgiveness. Everyone can repent. I think we should give as many second chances as we can to those who hurt us.

But when they're violent, that's a difficult call to make. No answers here. Some things we have to decide for ourselves.

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Hey Semp, keep hoping and praying - I hope and pray for you both.

Do you love your wife? Do you tell her? Often? Do you romance her? Do you listen to her? I mean really listen, to what she wants and needs.

Did you tell her you ended all contact with that woman at work?

Would she be willing to pray together with you every night? Read scriptures? Are you willing to push for this to happen?

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First off, I would counsel anyone reading this who is not yet married to at all costs avoid marrying anyone with bi-polar disorder or any other kind of depression. It's hard enough to live with someone without having them scream and screech at you over a mood swing that you CANNOT control or influence. No matter how happy you make them while you're courting, eventually they will be verbally and emotionally abusing you (if not also physically). Just because you are confident enough to believe you CAN take it, doesn't mean it's wise to put yourself in the situation where you are FORCED to in order to keep your marriage together. I'm not saying that people with emotional disorders don't have the right to be married, or that they're of less worth. But I can promise you that if you do marry someone whose emotional disorder is bad enough, you will find yourself in the middle of a howling maelstrom of torment and despair, through little fault of your own.

AMEN! I would add to that ADHD, anxiety, and any other significant mental illness. Unfortunately we typically won’t be able to spot ADHD as easily as bi-polar or uni-polar depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia.

Quality thoughts and ideas Chet, thanks for taking the time to type them out.

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I have done a lot of wrong things that have pushed her away; suffice it to say this was not my first betrayal (the other was finical) she trusted me and we tried to heal our marriage. The description by soul_seacher is pretty accurate.

My first post was pretty much venting I am not sure ... maybe I was hoping people would slam my wife so I could leave her, maybe I just needed to vent ... but in my anger and frustration I only saw (and therefore only wrote) part of the story. I am still trying to figure stuff out.

We talked to the Bishop about everything I lost my recommended, nothing happened to my wife ( yes, we talked about her hitting/slapping me Bishop said he didn't blame her). This is the 2nd time I've lost my recommend. My wife said if I lose it 1 more time then we are finished for good-- temple divorce and all. Assuming we make it through this of course.

The new DR is helping me be more honest with myself and helping me to get over problems I did not know that I had; I am amazed that my wife has been so tolerant of me for so long. The reality is that I have put her through hell for the several years .The DR said that he thinks I am subconsciously trying to destroy my marriage and I interpret my wife's determination to save it as love for me. Pretty screwed up; I know. I have pushed too far for too long and don't know if she will recover from this one ( if he is right).

on a side note ..

She loves the kids very much and would never abandon them. She has said that if we divorce she wants full custody. She left the kids that night because she "needed to find a safe place for them and not just drag them around." I do not think she explained it that clearly at the time but I am not certain, I wasn’t exactly in my right mind.

Everyday I pray that she will forgive me and be happy, and that I will be the man she thought she married. Thanks again for your ideas and support.

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Self-confrontation and getting past our own inaccurate self perceptions is tough work! Glad you found an appropriate counselor to help you through it. Keep at it!!! Even if it can't save this marriage, it will be good for you over the rest of your life.

I've got to imagine that coming to the realizations that you have has been a pretty hard hit. Sounds like you might be feeling pretty appreciative of your wife’s patience and tolerance over the years – it might help if you make her aware of those thoughts/feelings.

As I offered in another thread in this forum, I have an electronic copy of a chapter from a marriage book that describes how to identify and confront what we are doing wrong in order to improve ourselves. If you are interested, send me a pm and I'll provide the link.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your wife was not justified in hitting you, no matter how much of a jerk you may or may not have been for however long. My wife has betrayed my trust, in pretty much the same way you did to your wife, about 11 times in our marriage, but in most cases I got sad, not angry. It has only been the last couple times that I have gotten angry about it, and even then it mostly after she got defensive about it. The proper attitude in that situation for the one who has been betrayed should be a sense of loss and sorrow, not a need for vengeance, at least not with the person you married.

When I went to the Bishop to tell him I found out my wife was emailing an old boyfriend and showed him the content of those emails, he came down on her pretty hard, so I don't know that the Bishop is taking your wife's side so much as perhaps it's just the way the Church handles this kind of thing. Hopefully your Bishop isn't a "new man" who thinks that unless you're automatically taking the woman's side, you're not being fair to her. Too many people in our society (even in the Church, sometimes) like to play favorites based on things like gender, race, etc. There's a good chance that your Bishop isn't doing that. I've been in a situation similar to yours, and what worked for me was to be humble and remorseful for my own mistakes, and trust the Bishop to handle what my wife had done.

And I cannot express how my Father in heaven helped me through that. I should have been turned into a complete basket case, by rights. But He pumped my soul full of confidence, peace, and patience, and he numbed almost all the pain, leaving only enough for me to know I was still alive. He healed me, even while the damage was still being inflicted. He got me through an absolute nightmare. I owe him credit for that and it would be a grave injustice for me to neglect to mention my gratitude.

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  • 2 weeks later...

First I have to admint, I didn't read all the posts. I read quite a few but not all.

I have been seperated from my wife for about 3 months now and we are in the process of a divorce. During that time I have observed something. When I tell someone I am seperated from my wife there is always this look like "How could you do this to you family?" I know the look and I have actually had some people ask the question.

Then with others its an outpooring of sympathy and reassurance.

The bottom line is there are very few people who know the whole story. The Lord will let you know when it is time to leave. Some in the church might say this is blasphemous and that the Lord would never tell anyone that divorce is acceptable. I can assure that they are wrong. There are times when divorce is justified.

When I made the decision to leave my wife it was only after I felt prompted by the spirit to do so. I had asked my dad for a priesthood blessing earlier in the day and I felt I was in tune with the spirit. Afterwards I felt horrible. I stayed up most of that night praying and I received confirmation from the spirit that I had done the right thing, but I felt absolutely terrible about the decision. I prayed 2 more times about this and felt the same reassurance from the spirit that I was doing the right thing. My question was, "If I am doing the right thing, why do I feel so bad?" It got to the point that I felt so bad I even vomitted a few times. I thought this only happened in the movies. My dad encouraged me to go talk to my bishop, so I did. It was the best thing I ever did. I talked about all the emotions I was feeling and asked him my question, "If this is the right decision, why do I feel so bad?" He explained to me that in life there are certain decisions where there is no "good" outcome. At least not right away. He was very aware of the circumstances surrounding our marriage as we had been in his office several times to talk with him. My bishop then told me that he would support me in whatever decision I made.

The bottom line is this has to be between you and the Lord. There isn't a single person on this board who knows the whole story. As was said in an earlier post, take this advice with a grain of salt (especially the condescending posts). If I could give you one piece of advice (and you can take this one with a grain of salt too) it would be this. If you decide to end the marriage, or even if your wife makes the decision, there will be those members of the church who will judge you. Try to ignore the stares and comments, its going to be hard. Stay close to the church and to the Lord and He will see you through, but it will NOT be easy. I am not there yet, not even close. But it is getting easier.

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I propose we get Semper to meet us in a dark alley and then beat the tar out of him. Then when he is lying on the ground we take turns kicking him.

Honestly, what happened to compassion? Isn't it the sinners who need help the most? Do you really mean to tell me that were the Savior in the same situation he would punch Semper in the jaw? What a load of crap.

Here is a guy pouring out his soul looking for answers and help, admitting mistakes he has made, and some of you turn on him like a pack of ravenous wolves. At this point I wonder who has done more damage, Semper's wife or some of the posts on this message board. This is exactly the kind of judgmental behavior that drives people away from the church and the Lord.

Semper, I will stick to my advice - take it up with the Lord. I don't know exactly where your spirituality stands but the closer you are to the Lord the more open to his spirit and inspiration you will be. You need to get your spirituality in order above all else. Then you will be able to be lead by our Father in Heaven and have the faith to act when the time comes.

Now having said that I would like to respond to some of the other things that have been posted. Semper, I hope you don't mind if I hijack your post for a minute.

The prophets have said that a justified divorce is rare, if ever. Why rare, when abuse & adultery is rampant? Because they know that even when one spouse may be abusive or adulterous, the other is usually not innocent either, so therefore not justified to divorce & leave the marriage. I don't mean normal everyday faults, but usually both have not kept their covenants to spend their days making the other happy & putting their spouse's wishes 1st in their life above their own needs & happiness.

What does this even mean? Of course divorce should be rare. But there are circumstances that are justified in the church and in the eyes of God. Semper hasn't once even alluded to himself being perfect, in fact he has done just the opposite.

There is no reason you have to ever have another fight. As you said it takes 2 to tangle. If you are humble & apologize & repent for whatever you have done to hurt her in anyway, even if what she says is not true, then she will soften & become less argumentative. Just ask her every day what she would like & then spend your days in her service. Read about Ammon & how he reacted to serve the wicked King Lamoni in the Book of Mormon. That is the greatest marriage scripture. Ask her "What wilt thou have me do, O Queen?".

I apologized relentlessly for the better part of 10 years while I was married, most of the time for things that I felt were not my fault, and my wife did not "soften and become less argumentative." It was just the opposite. Granted, in my situation there were some additional factors involved. The point is, if someone does not want to soften their hearts, they won't - no matter how nice you are or how often you apologize. Having said that it certainly can't hurt the relationship.

Unless you have True Love you are not justified & if you do have it, you could never live without her no matter what. The husband has the obligation to keep the covenant of marriage 1st & give his daily life to doing whatever is necessary to make his wife happy & love her with a True Love & be completely faithful, mind, heart & body. Unless the husband does this, no woman is ever expected to stay with him, though Heavenly Father would prefer she does & help & inspire him to keep his covenants evenutally. You pledged you would love her like that if she would only marry you. Her vows are contingent on you keeping yours completely.

According to your post a woman's salvation is dependent upon her husband's actions. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Are you suggesting if the man does not keep his covenants the wife gets a pass? Is there any man on this board who has lived up to the covenants made in the temple 100% of the time? According to your theory, the wife of every man on this board would get a pass and could justify breaking their side of the covenant.

In order to make a marriage work there has to be effort from both parties. Specific roles aside, tt requires work from the husband and the wife.

The prophet's teach that even if you are innocent, & you were keeping your covenants you would be so deeply in love with your wife, no matter what she does, that you would never even think of divorcing. True Love never ends, or gives up. And it is not dependent on the other loving you. To be deeply in love is a choice, no matter what our spouse is like. Your wife knows if you are deeply in love or not & if you haven't kept your vows to have True Love, this is where her pain & negative reactions to you stem from. Never consider divorce, ever. Give your life to love, serve & save your wife & children. Marriage is not about your happiness but about you making your spouse happy & giving them whatever they want.

Which prophet? When and where? What if the lives of the husband and/or children were in danger? Would you suggest the husband stick it out? I agree that true love never ends, I still love my wife with all my soul. I love her more now than the day I married her. Unfortunately she has done some things recently that have put the health and wellbeing of my children at risk. As much as I love my wife I also have a responsibility to protect my children, even if that means protecting them from the woman I love. I disagree that divorce should never be seen as an option. I believe there are times it is justified. What about the woman who is being abused by her husband? Would you suggest she stick it out? I won't give specific examples - this is between the person and the Lord.

Emotional Adultery causes one to become past feeling very fast & to rationalize divorce very easily & to feel justified in doing so. The Adversary is very cunning & makes most people who divorce, feel righteous, right & justified & that it's the right thing. Breaking our marriage covenants & spouse & children's hearts, is never ever ever the right thing or what God wants. Though the adversary gets countless people to believe they have revelation they should do it. Heavenly Father is the same with everyone & tells us to never give up on our spouse or break our marriage covenants. If a woman needs legal protection from a man, than in rare cases she may need to divorce but if she is righteous she will know she is still 100% really married & the divorce was just for financial & legal protection for her & the kids & she will keep her covenants to love & be faithful to her husband & not act like she is single & date.

Any sin, including "emotional adultery" causes a person to become past feeling. For a person to get to the point where they are past feeling they turn away from the Lord and continually choose a path of unrighteousness. The adversary is very cunning, I agree, and uses divorce as one of his tools. That is why it is so important to strengthen ourselves spiritually, so we will be able to discern promptings of the spirit and temptations of the adversary.

I think we also need to discuss the difference between a civil divorce and breaking marriage covenants. Although I am separated from my wife and we are in the process of getting a civil divorce, I am still married to her in the eyes of the Lord, and my eternal marriage is not broken. These are 2 fundementally different concepts.

As for divorce never ever ever the right thing or what God wants - well you know how I feel about that already. And why is it that it is sometimes justified for the woman to divorce but not the man? I understand the man as the priesthood holder has a greater responsibility, but why the double standard?

It must be realized that her physical abuse may be a reaction of self defense, though it's not a good thing, but it's probably because of the emotional affair & unfaithfulness or other abuse happening on your part. For if we are unfaithful we probably do other abusive things as well. Unfaithfulness in any form, (feelings for someone else, porn, physical affair, divorce, abandonment etc.) is usually more abusive & a more serious sin to repent of than most physical abuse. A wife can usually sense if her husband is keeping his vows to have True Love & faithfulness for her or not, & if he is not, that is abuse on his part 1st, her self defense & anger may be justified, though should be handled differently than hitting. But the unfaithfulness must be seen as the greater sin here. The Prophets say that Adultery, in any form, is on the level of murder & thus would cause some pretty serious long lasting pain & anger in any right minded woman.

Self defense? Really? What immanent danger was she in? Are you saying because he had an "emotional affair" that physical violence is justified. Again I ask you if this is really what the Savior would have done? I think not. Then according to your post, her actions are justified because they are essentially all his fault. What happened to agency? Doesn't she have her own agency? Couldn't she have chosen to vent her anger and frustration in another way? Even after we learned that Semper told her he was having an affair without telling her it was an emotional affair (I have to say that was not a smart idea - I am sure you realize that now) physical violence is not justified.

This post also groups divorce in a list of examples of unfaithfulness. This is a generalization that isn't entirely accurate. Some divorces could fall into this category, maybe even most, but certainly not all. The post then goes on to say it is more abusive than physical abuse, and that it is a sin that requires repentance. This is absurd! DIVORCE IS NOT A SIN! There may be, and usually is, sin surrounding the reason for the divorce but the divorce itself is not a sin.

Show me a modern day prophet that has said adultery is just as bad as murder. This may have been the case according to the old law, but this is not true for the latter day church.

So pretty much you were being dishonest in your posting? Was this to gain some kind of sympathy and support to your cause? Or to once again gain the attention you mentioned you crave?

Give the guy a break, he came clean. He didn't have to. It sounds to me like he really wants help. This post does not help.

To be honest...if I had been your wife I probably would have hit you at that exact moment too. Yet we were led to believe that she was a threat to you and to your children.

Physical violence is rarely the way of the Lord and certainly was not justified in this case. Again, this does not help.

Semper - I feel for you man. I know to some extent what you are going through, though not to the extent of what you have had to deal with. If you ever want to talk privately feel free to send me a private message. It sounds like we have some things in common.

My prayer is that we can all do some soul searching and think twice before judging others so quickly and harshly. The Savior teaches this best, "let he who is perfect cast the first stone." None of us are perfect, we are all walking the same path. It isn't up to us to judge, its up to us to serve and help. "By this shall men know, that ye are my disciples. If ye have love one to another."

I hope some of you get to read this post - I imagine it will be deleted pretty quick. And if I get booted from this forum I can understand that too.

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The Prophets say that Adultery, in any form, is on the level of murder & thus would cause some pretty serious long lasting pain & anger in any right minded woman.

Foreverafter, you posted this earlier in this thread. What Prophets have said this and please provide a reference.

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Funkenheimer..I appreciate your thoughts. However, when someone starts a thread, evokes sympathy and other thoughts, and then tells the rest of the story..well you can expect a reaction from some.

But Semper, I'm glad things are moving along and hopefully in a good way.

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I propose we get Semper to meet us in a dark alley and then beat the tar out of him. Then when he is lying on the ground we take turns kicking him.

Honestly, what happened to compassion? Isn't it the sinners who need help the most? Do you really mean to tell me that were the Savior in the same situation he would punch Semper in the jaw? What a load of crap.

Here is a guy pouring out his soul looking for answers and help, admitting mistakes he has made, and some of you turn on him like a pack of ravenous wolves.

Semperrideo has made the one fatal error for anyone seeking sympathy on this board: He allowed himself to be born male.

The board rules are these:

  • If a woman seeks sympathy, give it to her.

    • The more she complains, the more you must sympathize.
    • Calling her spouse/boyfriend/significant other names and adjudging him worthy of excommunication and painful death, while not strictly required, is greatly encouraged.
  • If the woman reveals that she is guilty of adultery, physical abuse, misusing the subjunctive, or any other heinous crime, see Rule #1.
  • If a man seeks sympathy, condemn him. For example:

    • Tell him to quit whining.
    • Tell him he should treat his wife better.
    • Tell him to grow a pair.
    • Be creative! Think up your own withering criticism!
  • If the man reveals that he is guilty of misbehavior (e.g. "emotional infidelity"), make it clear to him that he is a child of hell.
  • foreverafter must respond at least five time on any such thread, repeating that women misbehave only out of impotent frustration with their husbands' many abuses.
  • It is strongly suggested that someone work into the thread the idea that polygamy will exist in the hereafter because women are so much more inherently virtuous than men.
Edited by Vort
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I think some people forget (or choose to ignore) the fact that yes, Heavenly Father loves His daughters but He loves His sons too. And I don't believe He loves His daughters more than His sons because well that would be playing favorites. Adultery is bad no matter what sex commits it, it's not somehow less bad when a woman does it, it's bad and if you commit adultery you need to do some serious repenting. And I'm sorry but it almost offends me when I see the word abuse thrown around so casually. I've had relatives in abusive situations, I have six cousins who spent half their lives in a horribly abusive household and they now have issues that they will have to deal with for the rest of their lives. There are lots of women (and men) trapped in horribly abusive situations and I think it takes away from the seriousness of their situation when we apply the word abuse to every single mistake that a man makes in a marriage.

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There is a family in my ward that is one of those perfect families. You know the type. The movies they watch are all in black and white or animated Disney. All they do is work on the farm all the time. Not nocking them, mind you, just explaining the background here. We're talking about the poster family.

The mother in the family admitted to a friend of mine that she thinks there is some bias against men, if not in principle, at least in practice. She said she thinks that women are coddled while men are not because the men are better emotionally equipped to put up with the bias. She didn't say this to justify or condemn anything, but basically just a matter-of-fact explanation for why she believed things appear to be the way they do.

I suppose it's just one of those things that exists to test us, to try our testimonies. Will we hold on even if it seems there is sexism at work against us sometimes?

I remember standing in line behind a highly influential High Priest in one of my former wards, at a Church buffet. He spilled some of the food off of his plate, and commented on how he thought that men were the weakest link. I wanted to pick up a spatula and whack him. His own individual clumsiness was not justification for disparaging an entire gender, even if he was rumored to be part of it. Just because I can't bare children, it doesn't mean I'm of any less worth in Heavenly Father's eyes. And if the man in front of me spills some food? Forget about it!

I would ask anyone in a leadership position reading this to remember that there are some who feel that the worldly, summarily dismissive attitude toward men is creeping into the Church, and that some men may not have a strong enough testimony to deal with that. I'm not trying to tell the Lord's chosen how to do their jobs, I'm just asking them to bare this in mind.

Belittling anyone is wrong. Belittling an entire demographic is destructive to society.

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