Thursday, May 3, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #178* Rachel's Story part 3

Part 3
Loneliness prevailed despite being married.  There was no mutual comfort as the church taught.  I was no match for my educated husband in matters of discussion, so trying to explain my point of view only created greater suffering.   When I tried to discuss injustices, there was always a lengthy lecture applied to my person, and reasons given which put the blame for my sorrows right back in my lap.  "God's will for you is made known through me!"   Without any end in sight, I had to embrace this life.  My spouse's reasoning seemed to fit the spiritual works I had been reading, which esteemed suffering in this Vale of Tears.  I even managed to find an array of secular marriage advice books which placed the onus on the wife to make the marriage a success. 

Despite my interior and exterior toils, nothing was improving.  Keenly aware of the damage occurring in our marriage, I would request, "Please, let's go to a Marriage Encounter Weekend - or Retrouvaille."  His answer, "What do I want to go to one of those crazy, post-Vatican II groups for?  You just need to be more submissive and everything would be fine."  Countering his response, I offered, "Well then, a priest - any priest - you pick one that you respect, but please, let's go to someone who can help us!"  His answer every time was a resounding, "NO.  Absolutely not.  I will not go to a priest to discuss my marriage, and stop telling me what to do - I'm the head of the household, not you."

Confiding once in a confessor, I was advised to seek an annulment.  Deep in my heart, a flicker of hope for some relief from this darkness stirred within me.  Approaching my husband with trepidation, I relayed the advice of my confessor.  "Absolutely not. I will not go for an annulment. That would be a huge slap in the face after all I've done for you!  I don't permit it, and don't ever mention it again!"  Out of fear, I obeyed, and did not mention it again.  I clung to the Cross of Christ and all who loved it.  St. Helen of the Cross; St. John of the Cross with St. Teresa of Avila expounding on the Dark Night of the Soul; St. Therese of Lisieux with her Little Way; anyone who understood suffering and found value in it for the Christian became a patron and recourse to me.  Without my Catholic Faith I could not have endured these dark and lonely days.  I will share more with you about this in my next post.  God Bless!

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