I am a devout Catholic; divorce is not a word that is in my vocabulary and my wife knew this when we married yet she has filed for one, citing “irreconcilable differences”. I have considered contesting the divorce, but my attorney says that all that will do is draw out the process and make it more expensive; in the end, I will lose. I talked to several other divorce attorneys and they all told me the same thing – that I cannot force my wife to remain married to me; the most I can do is try to prove to the judge why I deserve custody of the children and more than half of the marital assets, thus making a divorce financially and emotionally painful for her in the hope that she will reconsider and come back and try to work on our marriage.
The issue started when our children became teenagers. Our daughters are now 14 and 16, with the elder one driving. My wife thought this would be the perfect time for her to get a job to bring in some extra income. I took this as a slap in the face! As the husband, it is my responsibility to take care of my family and “Sarah’s” desire to work outside the home expresses doubt in my ability to properly care for her and our daughters. Teenage girls need a lot of looking after, and an empty house during after school hours is the perfect playground for the Devil’s work! It was while discussing this with Sarah that I discovered a few horrifying truths, including:
Our elder daughter is taking birth control pills! Sarah says that it is because the girl has “painful periods” and the pills help to regulate her cycle and control her endometriosis. I believe this is just an excuse and that surely there are other methods other than this mortally sinful manner to deal with the problem.
Our younger daughter has been reading the Harry Potter books at school and the library, in spite of my insistence that my children not be exposed to this heathenish filth!
My wife has been volunteering at a shelter for people with AIDS. Before we had children, she had worked as a social worker and she said that she missed helping people. She could easily help people through the Church and not expose herself to these sinful people who lie, cheat, and steal in order to fulfill their dirty habits that led to their punishment of disease.
Sarah claims that she has kept this and a lot more secret from me because she knew I would refuse to allow them (she and my daughters) to live their lives, and she is darn right that I would, since this is the way they choose to live! The fact that my wife has been keeping secrets from me has me so enraged I can’t even think straight! Sarah claims that our marriage has been going downhill for years and that I have ignored the problems, but how can I have ignored them if she was keeping them secret?
I am not asking for advice, Tazi; I just needed to get all of this off my chest in a way that people can see that I am not the bad guy here! Thanks for listening.
The Righteous One
Dear The Righteous One:
I can see that you are full of anger – also known as wrath; a cardinal vice, if I remember my teachings correctly. You need to learn to let go of it and let peace enter your heart.
You do not ask for advice, but I would like to correct you on one issue you raised: prescription birth control can be a life-saver for those with severe endometriosis, which can be painful enough to stop a woman in her tracks and send her to the emergency room, screaming in pain. Imagine this happening to your sixteen year old daughter…now imagine that she is driving her car to school when the pain strikes. At 16, she is still an inexperienced driver and may not be able to keep control of her car under such circumstances, which could result in a bad accident. Furthermore endometriosis, when left untreated, can lead to fertility problems and repeated miscarriages. Do you believe that this is God’s will for your daughter, when there are simple, safe, and effective medical treatments available?
Pope Francis has recently asked the followers of the Catholic Church to open their hearts to love and to see the person behind the sin; your wife is doing this in her work with those afflicted with AIDS, yet you continue to stand back and judge. Perhaps this is why your wife felt the need to keep secrets from you. As it says in the Bible, you must “first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Mt 7:5 NIV). Call my sin pride, but it’s my column, so I get final say, and this is it.
Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.