looking back over my last post, i feel like i must come across as incredibly naive. maybe i am. but i wouldn’t have stuck with this marriage for so long if i didn’t truly believe that there was hope. i am a Catholic, and proud to believe that marriage vows are sacred. but what does the Church believe about marriage and abuse?
As bishops, we condemn the use of the Bible to support abusive behavior in any form. A correct reading of Scripture leads people to an understanding of the equal dignity of men and women and to relationships based on mutuality and love. Beginning with Genesis, Scripture teaches that women and men are created in God’s image. Jesus himself always respected the human dignity of women. Pope John Paul II reminds us that “Christ’s way of acting, the Gospel of his words and deeds, is a consistent protest against whatever offends the dignity of women.”11…
“…Finally, we emphasize that no person is expected to stay in an abusive marriage. Some abused women believe that church teaching on the permanence of marriage requires them to stay in an abusive relationship. They may hesitate to seek a separation or divorce. They may fear that they cannot re-marry in the Church. Violence and abuse, not divorce, break up a marriage. We encourage abused persons who have divorced to investigate the possibility of seeking an annulment. An annulment, which determines that the marriage bond is not valid, can frequently open the door to healing.”
so, to me, this is saying that i should fight for my marriage, that my husband is wrong to be abusive, and that once i have given him the chance to repent of his behavior, i am free to call him out and divorce his butt. i choose to think of my hope and trust as products of my Catholic faith, and not naivete. i am certainly not going to allow his treatment of me to ever escalate to it’s previous heights, but i will give him a chance to repent of his sins and give him a chance to prove to me, to God, and to himself that he can change. but, if he doesn’t take full advantage of that, then it is on him, and i will have a clear conscience.