“How can I keep hope when I know my husband is cheating and dishonest? He pretends all is fine, but I am the one who is suffering inside. My only solace is talking and praying every day to my Lord Jesus, God, Immaculate Virgin Mary, St. Anne her mother and St. Joseph along with the Holy Spirit. I gave my vows at the Altar when I got married 30 years ago. It’s hard to show emotions toward him when I know what he’s doing. What can I do? Do I just put on a face and pretend, and be the victim?” ~ Susie, Toronto, Canada
There are not always easy answers to difficult situations. Depending upon one’s perspective, infidelity and related duplicity are immediate grounds for divorce or formal separation in accordance with one’s religious affiliation. Others might recommend marital counseling if the relationship is valued and deemed capable of being salvaged. You appear to honor the Catholic faith, so consider seeking the feedback of a trusted Priest, one who won’t hide behind dogma when wisdom is called for.
All final actions arising from the rupture of marital relationships should not be pronounced by another person, but, be resolved through your conscience after soulful reflection and guidance from Spirit. Take a retreat, or several of them, to pray and meditate upon these issues until inner guidance is received. You must live with the consequences of your actions so obtain the holy assurance that will sustain you going forward.
How? Take your problems to Spirit inwardly. Pray deeply for guidance over extended periods and with increasing intensity until a response is experienced that brings great peace, calmness, and certitude. You may gain clear realization of what to do or grasp that such clarity will be imminently forthcoming. Trust this and attend to whatever inner or outer guidance comes that conforms to your needs, and, feels impeccably right in your heart. Remove your own agenda – your likes, dislikes, preferences – and surrender to divine will.
When a correct course is revealed, you’ll know it intuitively in your heart as impersonal, righteous, and just. Heed that and it will free you to pursue life knowing you’ve done your best when confronted with a most distressing situation. And remember that marriage, though sacred in its intent and purpose, is not meant to be a prison for abuse or infidelity. As a soul your allegiance is always to God alone, not institutions. Heed the still voice within and live in peace accordingly.
Rev. Alan Pritz