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This is a moderated blog is a project of the Ruth Institute. Have a story to share? We're listening.
Posted on: Friday, April 16, 2021
I am a 28-year-old man, a separated husband, and a victim of the Sexual Revolution. I’m not only a victim of no-fault divorce, soon to be civilly divorced against my will, but also of LGBT ideology, pornography addiction, and cohabitation.
I met my wife in 2014. We were sexually active before marriage and cohabitated beginning 2015. We were engaged 2017 and civilly married 2018. I then returned to the Catholic Church, and my wife chose to convert. We undertook the sacrament of Holy Matrimony in 2019, and she was baptized in 2020.
In March 2021, my wife suddenly abandoned the marital home, cut off contact, obtained an emergency restraining order against me with false claims of abuse, and when that did not hold up, filed for divorce. Disturbingly, she claims I verbally abused her when I spoke about the Church’s teaching on marriage because it invalidated her as a “member of the LGBT+ community,” “questioning her sexuality.” I had no idea (nor therefore intention to hurt her feelings) and was devastated, because this seemed a tacit admission of the desire—and the perceived right—to go outside of our sacramental marriage for a romantic or sexual relationship.
When this happened, I received a lot of support for the suffering of my situation, acknowledging my wife’s actions as wrong and hurtful, but almost no support for my marriage and my loving care for her. She is obviously a suffering and deeply confused victim of the Sexual Revolution herself, possibly under the influence of still more confused victims unable to care for her as her Heavenly Father does, or even as her earthy husband does, because they were not taught what is genuinely good for a human person.
I was immediately told by almost everyone, including devout Catholics, to give up and move on. I think this was the most difficult part: that they taught one thing on behalf of the Church, but when it became difficult, they put aside Her teaching (and that of Our Lord Himself) for the teaching of the world. Even our pastor, who married us and has a successful marriage ministry helping the most troubled couples, seemed resigned that I should obtain a civil divorce and an annulment (and that the former was, and the latter not, a high priority).
Over time, I came to see that I was not only a victim, but wrong myself. When our relationship began, I had a warped image of women and sexuality from early exposure to pornography and a devastating addiction. I objectified her in a subtle way I did not perceive, as a source of comfort, companionship, and emotional validation, which I immediately sought from her body. She took my virginity at 22. After a year apart and maintaining the illusion of a unitive sexual relationship online, we then made the error of cohabitating, feeling marriage to be an outdated practice, in part because no-fault divorce eviscerated the sense of commitment.
We felt we made our own free commitment, though my partner may not have had the same understanding of exclusivity, at times secretly pursuing other relationships and becoming active in the LGBT+ community and other leftist causes. Nevertheless, we began to discern marriage to deepen our commitment, and she accepted my proposal eagerly. After we were civilly married, I discovered the infidelity but also had a conversion, forgiving her and offering her the chance to accompany me as she desired. At that point, I believe God poured Grace into our newly sacramental marriage, even if my wife may have fallen for a time back into the ways of the world.
It wasn’t my fault. Now I make it my responsibility. I intend to be a witness for my marriage and an advocate for the liberating teachings of our Creator, who gave us our sexuality to be a beautiful, loving, life-creating gift between a man and a woman. I want people to know that true love waits, that our bodies are designed for us to share, not use, and that the image of women provided by pornography is incomplete and dehumanizing. My story is hard to tell, but just telling it begins this healing.
Submitted by TA.