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Question from Brandy Maldonado on 12/14/2012:

I have been married for almost 3 months; however, my marriage existed of only a honeymoon week and a few days of living together upon return. Both of which were not very pleasant. I thought money was the main issue, but now I do not believe it. Currently, my husband refuses to talk to me and when I last to him he said he didn't love and it was over. He tells me it won't be difficult to get a divorce and no need for legal representation. This is my first marriage; his second. The problems arose with his lack of helping with the cost of the wedding and to make matters worse, he wanted me to pay for the honeymoon expenses too, which I could not has I was out of money due to the wedding. When we returned from our trip, he immediately wanted to collect the wedding money and used it for his bills. Granted these were not even the bills from the trip but his personal bills prior to the wedding. I felt this was wrong and when I confronted him he got very angry and said he didn't want anything to do with me. And this is how it has been. He doesn't want to work this out, he doesn't want to go to marriage counslor, he doesn't want to talk to a priest, he doesn't even go to mass anymore, he's changed the locks to the house, and he won't talk to me. My question is, what is expected from me? Of course I don't want a divorce because I did fall in love with this man; however, he told me he no longer loves me and it's over. Sometimes I feel like he was a fake and never a true believer, but no Christian acts this way, but that's between him God. I turned to the church that married us, but the priest said he was not a marriage counselor, so we are left without any guidance, and I have no idea what I'm to do. Should I continue to pray a miracle will occur and stir my husband's soul to realize the sacrament he took or should I simply seek legal assistance and start the process for an annullment if it's possible? And if I should continue to wait for a change in his heart, how much time do I wait? I'm no longer in my 20's and a family is something I always prayed for. I feel like he robbed me of so much, especially my virture and the sacrament I honor so much and the life I always prayed God with would bless with, a husband and children. I am now in limbo. Any advice would be greatly appreicated. Thank you for your time with my problem.

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 12/28/2012:

Given how quickly this terrible situation developed, within hours of your marriage, it may be that this man never intended to commit to marriage. While most priests are not professional counselors, a good priest should be able to advise you as to this bizzare situation, as to whether there is reasonable hope or not. The Church cannot proceed with a consideration of an annulment prior to a civil divorce and a priest must be careful in recommending particular legal action for you. But in those few cases I have encountered in which there is a radical change in behavior or perception almost immediately after a wedding, something is radically wrong. Sad to say I have even encountered infidelity on day of or days following a wedding. I'm not suggesting that is the case here but bizzare things happen. I suggest you get some legal advice, and hopefully can find a priest who can advise you personally, even apart from marriage counseling. God bless and so sorry for your situation.

Father Echert


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