“I’d Divorce Him, But I Don’t Want to Go To Hell”


I’m a newlywed wife who has been married for only five months. I married my husband after only dating for three months. It was all pretty fast. I am 25 and my husband is 32. He wanted to get married and he was ready. He felt he was getting older and wanted to settle down. I was in a serious relationship (my high school sweetheart) for five years before I met “Ted.” My ex and I have been split up for a good two years but always keep in contact because we were so in love (our relationship just didn’t work out because he didn’t want to grow up).

Anyway…I met Ted, thought he was super cute, plus he was a believer in God which was super important to me. I wanted to marry a Godly man someday. Well, in the first month or so dating Ted, we joked about marriage. We both believe in God and thought God brought us together and, since we were having sex outside marriage, we felt guilty and said we should get married…so we did. My Dad and Mom and family thought I was crazy. They said, “You don’t know him!” They said I should wait and get to know him more. My Dad looked up his record online and saw he had criminal charges, which I knew of. He definitely tried to talk me out of it and cried to me saying, “Please don’t.” But I didn’t listen. We took some pre-marital counseling…and then got married after three months of dating, which I regret everyday.

The first month of marriage went ok — we had an argument or two. Fast forward five months and let’s just say I hate myself for the decision I made. And I mean it. I cry and cry and ask myself why? Why was I so dumb? Why didn’t I listen to the important people in my life? I am realizing that I was in that “lovey dovey” lust stage when you first meet a nice guy. You know, you think he’s the one…and now I’m finding out I don’t feel like I love him like a wife should. I was just in lust.

We fight constantly, we butt heads, say mean words, we’re miserable, and we’re finding out that we think we made a mistake. I’m hardly attracted to him and can’t stand to be around him most of the time. He says “I love you” to me and I have to force myself to say it back even though tears come up because I feel it’s a lie. I’ve told him how I feel and he just shakes his head. We already talk about divorce, well at least I do. And when I do, he makes me feel guilty and says God sends people to hell who divorce for anything beside adultery. I think he is waiting for me to make the first move so he can screw me somehow, and he threatens that he would. He even sometimes jokes how, if he ever found out I cheated, he would seriously hurt me and the guy; he said he would kill someone and he’s not scared.

He hasn’t held down a job and there’s always an excuse for not getting a new one. He also doesn’t trust me because he’s super insecure, always checking my phone and asking me questions. I’m not cheating. I feel trapped and depressed. I wish I could take back the last six months and erase it all. I feel like a fool. I can’t talk to my friends and family because they will just laugh and say “I told you so.” I don’t feel free, my soul feels lost.

I made a mistake and now I have to live with it. On top of that, I found out I’m pregnant, which is good news to Ted. He wanted kids, but I wasn’t too excited. He actually refused to let me get on birth control…and now I bet he feels like he can lock me down for good. We both mentally abuse each other with hurtful words.

I guess my question is what would you do in my situation? I know I was the stupid one who said yes, and, trust me, I don’t know why I did, but I guess I just have to keep being miserable and stay in a marriage that I regret everyday?

I’d leave in a heartbeat but I know people are going to think I’m pathetic. Everyone said not to do it, even all his friends too. Plus, I feel God will send me to hell for divorce. I know He hates it and it’s a huge sin to Him. Please help me with any advice or tell me if there’s any hope. I’ve thought about taking my life, but I’m 12 weeks pregnant now and I must not even have those thoughts. I gotta do this for the baby. — Regretting My Quickie Marriage

I’m no Biblical expert and I wouldn’t call myself very religious, but I do believe in a higher being — God, if that’s what you prefer to call it — and I can say with 100% confidence that no loving God would condemn anyone to eternal hell for divorcing an abusive, manipulative person she doesn’t love and made a mistake marrying. But the God I believe in would also would never condemn anyone to eternal hell for loving someone of the same sex or having an abortion or using birth control or having premarital sex, for that matter. The God I believe in is loving and forgiving and supportive, and, while perhaps you and I don’t have the same beliefs, if the God you trust is one who would send you to eternal hell for leaving a loveless, abusive, manipulative marriage that would make the rest of your life a living hell, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your belief system. For that matter, if your loved ones are people who would laugh and point and say “we told you so” if you divorced a man you didn’t love, simply because they all warned you not to marry the guy a few months ago, you should probably re-evaluate those relationships, too.

But this isn’t about religion or your friends; this is about you and your marriage and what you should do now that you’ve realized you made a mistake marrying someone you hardly knew who has turned out to be a Dirtbag (capital D), and the answer is a resounding — A RESOUNDING — MOA. Get out, get out, get out. Get out like this woman did (she escaped an emotionally abusive “Quiverfull” marriage where she wasn’t permitted to use birth control and she bred like a rabbit), or the only hell you’ll be condemned to is a life of misery in staying with this man. Rather than think of yourself as “pathetic” or a “sinner” for leaving a broken relationship, realize how strong you must be to not only acknowledge your mistake but also to find a way out of it. Do it now before it gets harder to leave (and it will get harder, as stories on this blog from women who have escaped marriages like yours after many years — and many, many babies — can attest to).

As for your pregnancy, if it’s too late to get an abortion or that isn’t an option you’d ever consider anyway for religious reasons, please consider other options that would save you from dealing with the baby’s father for the foreseeable future. Talk to a family attorney immediately. Find a group that supports victims of domestic abuse. (Even if he hasn’t laid a hand on you, he is threatening to KILL you if he were ever to believe you cheated on him; he is abusive). Seek support from the least judgmental members of your inner circle. You don’t have to do this alone. If you decide to keep the baby and raise it yourself, know that a home where his or her mother is being abused and manipulated and threatened by his or her father is NOT a happy or healthy home. Be a role model to your child-to-be by building a life for yourself free from the confines of a miserable, abusive marriage. You made a mistake. It happens. People have made much worse mistakes and paid far less dearly for them. You can get out of this marriage. You can be happy. It’s your choice. Thank God we women have choices — about our bodies, our relationships, and our lives.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. “He refused to let me get on birth control” – YOU refused to get on birth control LW. You could have just gone to the doctor on your own, gotten an IUD or taken pills on your own. You need to stop seeing yourself as a victim and stand up for yourself or you’re just going to stay in this situation. You have control over your life so exercise it.

    1. But can you imagine his reaction if he found out about it? Yes she could have gone on birth control herself but he sounds dangerously controlling and I’m sure she was terrified of what he would say or do.

      1. Yeah Muffy, I’m not sure about that. Men forbidding their partners to use birth control, or tampering with it, is a fairly common form of abuse. I get my pills from Planned Parenthood and every time I go in they have to ask me if I feel safe in my relationship. They have pamphlets and quizzes that ask very targeted questions about your partner trying to get you pregnant or messing with your birth control. Would you blame a domestic abuse victim for being hit or controlled or otherwise abused? This is the same thing. Also, to get pills you need an appointment, and you need health insurance or money to cover it. For an IUD you need a medical procedure. How are you going to hide all that from your husband?

    2. Avatar photo something random says:

      She did hand over her personal power and responsibility to her husband. She might have believed she was doing the righteous thing. It was a choice and probably one she regrets. Right now she feels trapped. You are right that she needs to be less passive in her own life. I think she also needs some compassion to get there. She went against a lot of her familiars advice and now she is seeing she was wrong from a very isolated and lonely place. So let’s be encouraging.

      1. Exactly. It’s a VERY sad situation and she needs help and encouragement to get out of it.

      2. I have compassion however I think her line of thinking as a victim is what keeps her trapped here. She needs to take back her power and realize that she does have control. I do not in any way blame the victim for abuse.

      3. I get what you’re saying, yet at the same time just writing in to DW was her taking control of her life again. Going behind her controlling husband’s back to get birth control I don’t think would have ended well.

  2. Avatar photo call-me-hobo says:

    Ok. I have a feeling you grew up in a very “fire and brimstone” kind of church, LW. I’m assuming you are from a protestant faction that had a heavy focus New Testament teachings of Jesus. (If that is not the case, I apologize, that is my only frame of reference).
    The Bible straight up says that you are going to sin. As an imperfect creature, nothing you do on your own can make you “worthy” of eternal salvation. The New Testament says that salvation is reached through Jesus (and the wording is ambiguous- some sects think this means you HAVE to have a physical baptism, others do not. It depends on your interpretation). You will sin, as it as the very condition of your humanity, but if you repent your sins (through confession or simply trying to do better) and try and follow Jesus that’s all you can do.
    If it makes you feel better, nowhere in the New Testament is there a “hierarchy” of bad sins. It doesn’t say- Oh, you’re gay/divorced/drug addict that’s a ticket straight to hell. There isn’t anything you can’t come back from in your faith. If a divorce is what keeps you safe on this planet, it’s not going to endanger your eternal soul.
    Good luck, LW. I know that divorce is hard in some of the more traditional, small churches, but I know that there are churches that offer divorce counseling and care. If your church can’t support you, another one with welcome you.

  3. I’m religious and go to church regularly. The Bible actually has a few passages where it says it is ok to divorce and get out of an abusive marriage — which you are in, LW. Obviously some religions are really extreme, but I truly think that if you looked deeper into it, or visited with a pastor, you would find that it is NOT a ticket straight to hell, especially since he is abusive and horrible.
    Quite honestly some of the most religious and most faithful people I know have gotten divorced. Many have gotten remarried and are much happier and their faith is much stronger. One in particular struggled a LOT when she got divorced from her first husband. She had a daughter with him and felt like there was no way out because she didn’t believe in divorce and her religion frowned upon it. I don’t think it was as extreme as your situation but I do I know she went to counseling and finally realized that ultimately she was married to the wrong man, someone who didn’t treat her as she deserved.
    Without getting too preach-y here I highly recommend you lean on your faith and pray a LOT during this time. Have faith that you will have the strength to get out of this marriage. Have faith that you CAN and WILL get out of this. Have faith that you will be happier on the other side. Have faith that your unborn child can have a better life if you are no married to their father.
    You CAN do this.

    1. Additionally, as a religious person, I actually don’t believe that two people are “brought together by God.” It sounds like that is the only reason you married him. Trust me, LW, there are plenty of guys who are religious and who will treat you well. It sounds like you got together with the first one you met. Though I understand that religion is important to you, that can’t be the only deciding factor in a guy. There are MANY other things to think about.

    2. soontobemrssmith2013 says:

      As another person who regularly attends church, and is a believer like this commenter and the LW, I wanted to second this person’s comments. I go to a very conservative church and I think even my very anti-divorce pastor would encourage this LW to get out of this marriage.
      People make mistakes, some bigger than others, but it’s not to late to get an annulment, and in your circumstances, I think it would be fairly easy to get one granted, as long as LW’s husband agreed to it (if required, I’m not sure if it is as I’m not an attorney).

  4. TeacherNerd says:

    I’m rather hoping that no “religion is stupid!” or related replies are said in response to this, but:

    LW, I don’t know which flavor of religion you are, but I’m Catholic and the teaching of my own particular religion states that divorce is not a sin, especially in cases of spousal abuse. The Catholic Code of Canon Law states: “A spouse who occasions grave danger of soul or body to the other or to the children, or otherwise makes the common life unduly difficult, provides the other spouse with a reason to leave, either by a decree of the local ordinary [e.g., bishop] or, if there is danger in delay, even on his or her own authority” (CIC 1153.) Furthermore, the Catechism states that “[i]f civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense” (#2383). There’s a bit more said about divorce here: https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/communion_of_divorced_and_remarr.htm.

    (Back in the day, divorce had been illegal in Ireland, even it cases where the spouse should have gotten the heck OUTTA there – abuse, rape, etc. If you feel you’re in you danger – physical, emotional, whatever – divorce can in fact protect you.)

    What it comes down to, from a theological perspective, is that it’s not the divorce that’s always the problem – it’s remarriage (it’s considered adultery).

  5. Avatar photo something random says:

    Letter Writer, I just want to say that I don’t think you are stupid. So many women rush into marriage when it feels right. Please don’t compound your suffering by allowing pride to stop you from getting help. Go to your parents. Tell them everything. Ask them for help. They sound like they love and care about you.

    Your husband and your parents are not the voice of God. Their opinions are just opinions. Just because your husband has a lot of confidence in his view, doesn’t make his views more righteous or worthy than your own. They might even be based on his own fears than genuine scriptural interpretation.

    Your life has changed very quickly. But you can still take the reign and lead yourself to a path that makes you happy. You can be strong. You can do this. I don’t often do this, but I will pray for you to find peace and courage. Good luck.

    1. Avatar photo something random says:

      P.S. You say that “God hates divorce and will send you to hell”. Please don’t allow your fear of displeasing god to get in your way of feeling all the love and compassion and grace that god has for you. You might to focus your mind, heart, and prayers on love and mercy.

      Coming down hard and punishing yourself with cruel thoughts is no gift to god. It doesn’t make you more devout or committed, in my opinion. Get out of your head and take a hold of your life. As you move forward, open yourself up to feeling divine love and guidance. Knock and it will be opened. This is not the same as being passive with the life god gave you and expecting him to do all the work of living and learning on your behalf.

      1. Yes, this! As I mentioned before some of the most religious and faithful people I know went through a divorce. Both the women I’m thinking about were terrified and they both had kids when they went through the divorce, but later on realized that it wasn’t in their life plan/God’s plan for them to be married to horrible men their entire lives.

  6. Laura Hope says:

    If the people in your life who are supposed to love you would rather see you miserable and abused than divorced and at peace, they don’t love you.
    If you want to know how God feels, ask Him.
    I wouldn’t worry about going to hell. It sounds like you’re already there.

    1. Avatar photo something random says:

      The letter writer said “I’d leave in a heartbeat but I know people are going to think I’m pathetic. Everyone said not to do it, even all his friends too.”

      To me, the letter writer sounds like she is worried about what everyone will think. Haven’t we all been there? It sounds like a lot of people saw red flags and tried to warn her. I wonder if they would really rather see her miserable than divorced. She’s worried others will think she is “pathetic”. I think she is judging herself way too harshly and maybe projecting it onto people around her. Maybe some people will judge. So what? You learn who your real friends are at times like these. I think instead of assuming the worst, she should bite the bullet and ask for support. People might surprise her. And if they don’t, at least she will know instead just assuming the worst. Then she can move on and look for a community that will be compassionate and supportive.

      1. Yes! This! I too think it’s in her head and I have a feeling that if she opens up to her family, they will support and protect her. Yes, she made a mistake, but people are for more forgiving of others than they are of themselves. Especially people they care about.
        LW, IDK, I tend to think the better of people, especially family. Please talk to someone. Maybe they’ll so I told you so, but then they would probably help you.

    2. Yeah I think she would be surprised if she reached out for help. It sounds like she wants to do things “right” and she wants to please everyone at the expense of her own happiness. I think in some ways too a lot of it is what she perceives what will happen instead of what could *actually* happen. If people were warning her not to marry this guy, they care about her and want the best for her. I’m sure it is hard for her to admit this was a mistake, especially to people who are closest to her.

    3. I get the feeling that the pointing and laughing are more in her head than in reality. I could be wrong, but the kind of father that will cry and beg you to not to make this decision doesn’t strike me as the type to mock and say “I told you so!” when she comes around to the same conclusion. They’ll likely be supportive and to try to help get her out.
      I’m trying to imagine how my own (very religious) father would react in this situation. I’m sure there will be many emotions involved, but I just can’t see a scenario where he would want me to stay in such a miserable situation at such a cost to my own well-being.
      Seriously, being miserable to the point of suicidal thoughts (even if you have no intention of acting on them) isn’t worth being “right.” Admitting you made a mistake doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you human. Leaving doesn’t make you pathetic, but staying will only make a bad situation worse. If you’re this miserable after a few months, imagine what your life will look like in 10 years. And more importantly, imagine what your child’s life will look like, growing up in that kind of environment. I’ve seen kids grow up in abusive marriages, and it’s not pretty. You’ll be modeling to your child(ren) that this is what a marriage is supposed to look like.

      1. I tend to agree, dabbler. When I got married the first time at 21, my dad was about to walk me down the aisle of the church and said, “you don’t have to do this. you can back out now and it’s fine.” He knew. My parents both knew it was a bad idea but that there was no point in trying to stop it. Never EVER did they say anything like “I told you so,” and were nothing but supportive when it ended. I am not reading anything in the LW’s letter that makes me think her family would be vindictive, though of course you never know. And as for “pathetic,” no. If you realize quickly that you made a mistake and get out, you’re smart. Pathetic is staying in this situation for 60 more years out of fear and bringing a child into this mess of a marriage with an abusive man.

  7. I get that you feel “stupid” right now and are kicking yourself for not listening to everyone who tried to tell you not to go through with the marriage, but those are your judgments of yourself. The people who love you will, likely, not be nearly so hard on you. From the way you describe your dad, he would welcome you back with open arms.

    Go to your parents. Tell them you need to to tell them something and to please not say “I told you so.” Then let it all out. If you don’t think you can get through the words, write it out. Even print out this letter you wrote to Wendy, hand it to them and say, “This is me.”

    As a parent, if my child were in this situation, my heart would break for them. The last thing I would do is heap on more criticism and blame. I would, however, do everything I could to help them get out of that situation. Let your family do the same for you.

  8. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

    The God I know and love would not send you to hell for divorcing this man. You made a mistake, as we all do. And God can forgive that. This man sounds dangerous, and the most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is while she is pregnant. If you want to keep this baby and keep yourself safe, get out. I’m sure SOMEONE in your friends and family will help you and reserve the “I told you so” if they truly love you.

    Good luck.

  9. If your friends warned you against this guy that means they care about you and would want to see you happy.. You learned your lesson the hard way
    Now it’s time to protect yourself and your baby. Ask your parents for help contacting a lawyer.

  10. You have to leave. If your father cried to you and asked you not to marry, I’m hard pressed to understand why he would turn his back on you now when you need help since he clearly loved you enough to try and save you from a mistake. So reach out to your parents and tell them they were right. You made a horrible mistake and you need their help setting it right. So what if your pride is hurt should they say I told you so. They did tell you. So what if people talk? People always talk. You concern should be about doing what is best for you. If your parents are willing to help or if you have a good friend then pack up yourself and move out and start divorce proceedings. But even if you have no one that would help you – find a shelter and let those people help you disentangle yourself from the jackass you married. Threatening violence is abusive and you cannot bring a child into that marriage. As I suspect you are having the baby, you have a duty as mother to protect your child from abuse.
    You won’t be the first Christian woman to divorce and you won’t be the last. Jesus preached forgiveness. So even if you consider divorce a sin (and I, for one, don’t) you are not without redemption. You made a mistake. You are sorry for it. The Bible is clear – No one gets to stand in judgement of you. No one gets to say whether you go to heaven or hell. That is a divine decision. Is your husband god? No? Then shame on him for acting that way. Your husband wants to control you. He wants to check your phone, he wants to tell you what to do, and he wants to tell you what to believe. Take back the control in your life. You can do this. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to the baby you are carrying.

    1. The husband is incredibly controlling. He sounds like the kind who is extremely “religious” but it seems like he doesn’t believe they apply to him. If the husband is so set in his religious ways, I find it SO ironic that he is basically condemning her to hell when he also participated in pre-marital sex. Double standard much??

  11. LW, Please leave. Please protect yourself and your unborn child. And, even if divorce from an abusive situation were a sin (I don’t think it is), the Bible describes a forgiving God – not one who would condemn you to Hell for leaving a dangerous (yes, dangerous) and unhealthy situation (1 John 1:9, Romans 3:23-26, Romans 10:13, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 1:15, etc). And no one will think you’re pathetic for leaving – they’ll acknowledge the strength of character it took to leave the situation regardless of when you decided to leave. I had a friend who had a similar trajectory – and everyone was just happy she finally made a healthy decision. No one said “I told you so.” Everyone was supportive. It’s OK. We all make mistakes.

  12. Avatar photo Guy Friday says:

    Let’s set aside for a moment the broad viewpoints there are of the Lord , many of which have been expressed so far. Let’s set aside for a moment the fact that the Bible has numerous stories in both the Old and New Testaments of the Lord making exceptions for “sinful” activities for the sake of the greater good of a person or people. Let’s strictly view this scenario from your viewpoint of a vengeful Lord who will condemn you to Hell for a sin like divorce that you supposedly can’t get forgiveness for. Here’s the thing though: if there’s one thing my studies in comparative religion in college taught me, it’s that any sect of Christianity that finds divorce to be a sin also finds extramarital sex — even with someone you later marry — to be an EQUAL sin. So assuming the Lord is as vengeful as you believe Him to be, you have already signed your ticket to Hell. If you have already sinned sufficiently to go to Hell, you can’t go to Double Hell or anything. Either the Lord will punish you or He won’t, but the divorce isn’t going to push it one way or the other.
    I’m not saying this to make light of the situation or to criticize your beliefs. Each one of us interacts with the Lord in our own unique ways. But while everyone else here will recommend Domestic Violence resources, what I would recommend is that you look on the website for the governing organization of your faith, find a church other than the one you go to regularly — even if it’s several towns over — and go talk to the priest/minister/[insert title here] there. Explain what you’ve said here, and ask for guidance. I have never met a spiritual leader of any faith who wouldn’t stop what they were doing to give guidance to someone in need; it’s what they’re taught to do. And I suspect when you do talk to him or her, the advice you get will relieve you of a great deal of the stress and guilt you feel now.
    (Also, since you brought it up: don’t think for a second that there aren’t legal protections for you even if you get divorced and have this child. If he is as controlling as you say, the courts will quickly and firmly set him in his place.)

    1. I might have to challenge your premises here GF. I am pretty sure i am going to Double Hell, unless they’ve got a suite for me at Quadruple Hell. Let’s do a quick count. I’m 1/3 illegitimate – my parents got married with me three months along. I’m a ginger, so i don’t have a soul. (This might actually exempt me, though, because no soul to be damned for all eternity). I’m a lefty, and the very word for left in Latin (“sinistro”) means “evil” in English. My screen name certainly suggests unholy allegiances. I gleefully partook of as much pre-marital sex as I could, and only got married for love, not because I wanted to stop this heinous sin. I like heavy metal. I drink. I swear. I regularly think very unwholesome thoughts of a sexual nature. I depreciate non-taxable items brought forward from a previous tax year. You think they got a cell in Single Hell that can hold me? I’m gonna be running that place! (Actually, i thought Single Hell was where several DWers are currently serving sentences.)

      Sorry, LW. There ain’t no hell except the one you are making for yourself by letting this thinking control you. You have an abusive controlling husband. Seek an annulment if it will assuage your spirit, but get the hell outta there. never mind some metaphorical hell, do you wanna spend the next 6 decades of your earthly life miserable over this?

      1. Damn, you are going to hell Diablo. The left handed thing put you over the edge. Perhaps we’ll meet there. Although I am of a superior race (german descent, blonde, blue eyes, you know, you’re typical aryan), I am left handed. I drink, a lot. I’m a woman. I enjoy premarital sex. I’ve cheated on a test or two. I’ve taken birth control. I’m a woman. I occasionally think bad thoughts about people. In fact, just yesterday a friend and I decided our untimely ends need to be swift instead of long and drawn out. Over brunch, we plotted to go on a rampage and “take care” of anyone who has wronged us, swiftly sending us to our demise. We will ask for lethal injection over electrocution, of course. Do serial killers go to hell? Did I mention I’m a woman?

      2. A woman!? Anything but that!!

      3. That’s what I feared.

      4. Sue Jones says:

        And I was born and raised a Jew!!!! I have never been baptized. Surely there is a stain on my soul as well! Then I went to India and learned to meditate and do yoga. A heathen! And I am a woman! A mouthy Jezebel type woman as well! And I emasculate my husband by making more money than he does! I will see you in Hell as well and we can all have a party! But seriously, LW, what you are experiencing is a living hell. THAT is my definition of hell. Moving on with your life will seem like heaven on earth compared to this.

    2. And I suspect when you do talk to him or her, the advice you get will relieve you of a great deal of the stress and guilt you feel now.
      Sadly not always. Spiritual leaders are fallible too and some have very particular agendas. Some of them encourage women to stay in situations that are not tenable – burdening a women with even more guilt and imposing their own interpretations on her cloaked in authority…but leaving her to live with the consequences. I know you don’t intend it, but this advice could be dangerous. It is likely the priest/reverend /whatever would want to speak with the husband – and that type of scenario wouldn’t work in the LW’s favour. It might bolster the husband’s control r enrage him if the spiritual advice is counter to what he wants her to believe. I’ve heard of priests etc. telling women to obey their husbands and to find contentment in the obedience. This may agree with a particular passage in the Bible but, in my opinion, runs afoul of it’s broader message and intention Jesus had for his followers. But particular people push particular passages for their own purposes. The LW is too vulnerable to introduce another man with no real connection to her into a position where he can influence her to make the wrong choice.
      I would advise that she extricate herself from the marriage FIRST and then, if she feels the need, to seek counsel AFTER to re-establish her place in the church – if she even has to do that. She needs to see about herself first – everything else after.

      1. I disagree. I think seeking help from a spiritual leader could help her a great deal because of how religious it sounds like she is. Many churches have pastors/priests/reverends, but many partner with specific non profits for counseling too (divorce, grief, unplanned pregnancy, etc.). Or some have support groups for specific events such as divorce or alcoholism or drug abuse or whatever. Pastors usually have access to a great deal of resources that could help the LW.

      2. Sure – some churches are like that – and some are most decidedly not. Unless you know what exactly you are sending her into – why advocate it?

      3. I would advocate it because I think she would probably be more comfortable talking to a religious leader versus a secular therapist or counselor. Her main concern in here was that divorce would send her straight to hell. A regular therapist wouldn’t be able to address those issues with her. Yeah her church may not be like the churches I’m used to and I’m talking about, but what if it is? Those resources are available for situations just like this. If nothing else she can look into it and do some research.

      4. But if it isn’t, she’ll be going straight to someone who will use religion, which she finds such strength in, to convince her to stay. I have a friend who used to be super religious, got married to a guy who she didn’t really love because he was a part of the church. When she tried to go to her church for support, they basically just tried to further convince her to stay in a terrible marriage. It made it that much harder to leave the marriage, because she would also be leaving the church community that had been such a big part of her life. Her dad on the other hand, took her in and helped her get back on her feet. Now years she’s happily married to a great woman and they’re in the process of starting a family.

  13. I can’t speak to the religious aspect, but it’s NEVER too late to get out. It doesn’t matter what mistakes you made, no one deserves to live like this (which is, IMO, its own version of hell). Start planning your way out of this marriage and be careful, since your husband may become violent or try to harm you in other ways. Turn to your loved ones and let them assist you in this.
    If there’s still a way to get an abortion and you’re not opposed to it on moral grounds (though it sounds like you would be), consider it. You have a right to save yourself.

  14. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

    From the LW:

    “Thank you for the response and posting my letter. It brought tears to my eyes reading it. I felt like you understood me and have mercy and compassion towards me. It wasn’t a rude or ignorant response like I thought I might get, it was total opposite and put hope back into my life. I’ve been living with regret and beating myself up everyday but you gave me relief knowing that it’s ok that I made a mistake. I want to thank you so much for responding to me. I’ve been waiting anxiously for your response and I’m glad you did. If you don’t mind, I will keep in contact to let you know the outcome of my messy life. Hopefully I can get things figured out and life can go on.

    P.s. as for keeping the baby or getting a abortion, I have decided to keep it and raise it on my own. I couldn’t bare to abort it so I am going to do all I can in my power to raise this kid on my own and get a family attorney like you said. I pray I have friends and family who will help me along the way.

    I always say…God never puts something in your path you can’t handle. I’m having faith in this.”

    1. Aw. What a wonderful affirmation of everything you do Wendy. Best of luck LW – we are all wishing you much success!

    2. LW, your last line is perfect. Take that and run with it.

  15. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    The update is sweet. But C’MON! This LW proved she was absolutely clueless about what it means to be married and now we are all supposed to think she’s miraculously now gonna become this great single parent? Um, yeah. Sure. Whatever. Sorry, world. But I don’t buy it. Put this kid up for adoption — otherwise you’ll just marry the next guy that comes along (over EVERYONE’S objections, no doubt) and the fiasco of your life will continue.

    Frankly, it alarms me, LW, how you take ZERO blame for anything. Everything is somebody else’s fault. Even your previous break up. What? HE didn’t want to grow up so you ran off like a child and married the first idiot that came along that nobody liked? And yet HE was the one being childish? REALLY? Um, no. I think not.

    1. We have to respect that she is a religious person. This is who she is and that keeping the child is a natural result of that belief. I firmly believe in freedom of religion (even though I am an atheist). To suggest that she get an abortion when she is trying to reconcile divorce and her religion is cruel and shortsighted. Other religious commenters have helped her to understand her religion and her abusive marriage and that she can divorce and still be good in her faith. Just because you make one mistake does not mean you will always make bad choices.

      1. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        For the record, I didn’t suggest she get an abortion. UNTIL NOW. Get an abortion, LW. Otherwise you will be tied to this religious nutjob that YOU foolishly and vapidly chose to marry for the next fucking 18 years. Your kid will be fucked up by all this religiouys nonsense that you both spew… PS: Oh, yeah, and fucking BRILLIANT to get knocked up in the middle of all this by some guy you apparently can’t stand. Talk about mind-blowing insight. Bah! NEWSFLASH! I have never, ever met anybody who only made one bad choice. It’s always one in a long, long, lonnnnnnnnnnnng line of many.

      2. My mistake, abortion/adoption, my comment applies to both suggestions. I am aware my comment will hold no sway for you, but the LW was owed a response to your vitriol.

      3. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Honestly? The world is filled with vapid believers making messes of their lives. And acting like it simply can’t be helped. Surprise, surprise. Some of us are more than a little tired of it.

      4. Ummm, if you read above she IS taking initiative and she IS taking action and she CAN be helped. As one of those “vapid believers” you speak of I don’t go around criticizing you for being an atheist and frankly I expect the same. She’s obviously in a pretty fragile place and came here for advice. I don’t think right now is the time or place for your bitterness.

  16. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    Also, please stop passively aggressively blaming GOD for your path. NEWSFLASH! He didn’t somehow indirectly make you spiral out of control, sweetheart. You did that to yourself. If anybody has given your more than you can handle — it’s not God. But you. So wake up! Start taking REAL responsibility for your own life and stop worrying to much about imaginary friends. Trust me. You’ll find yourself infinitely better off.

    1. Really??? She’s acknowledged her mistakes. She’s taking action to leave. God is a part of hers but He doesn’t have to be part of yours. In all honesty, from experience as someone of faith, it can get someone like the LW through some really tough times. It worked for me. I’m NOT saying everyone needs to believe because duh, religious freedom, but oh, I don’t know, some compassion and tolerance might be nice.

  17. wobster109 says:

    Sweetie, your god permits divorce on the grounds of adultery, so you know he doesn’t want his children suffering in really bad marriages. Your husband threatened to kill you. Surely your god will forgive you. Your life is in danger.

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