Be Faithful!

June 23 2016 | by

DEAR FRIAR RICK: I have been married for a year after almost four years of engagement. I have to say that I love my husband very much, but after tying the knot a few negative sides of his character, that I had never noticed before, began to emerge. For instance, he is highly impulsive, stingy, and fights frequently with his sister over an inheritance.

I try to remain close to him with my love, but how long will I be able to take all this? At times, Friar Rick, I would just like to slam the door on his face and move back with my parents, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m into my fourth month of pregnancy.


It’s highly unlikely that key aspects of your husband’s personality were hidden from you for over five years of relationship. My hunch is that perhaps you noticed it, but convinced yourself that it wasn’t as bad as it looked. In fact this same thing often happens to couples who co-habitat before marriage. The couples experience one another’s foibles and irritants, but ignore them because they figure they can always walk away; it’s not forever. But then as soon as they get married, those very same seemingly innocuous personality traits become serious irritants because this is now a ‘forever’ situation.

In your specific case I would add a couple of cautions. First of all there may be more to the relationship between your husband and his sister. If they are fighting over an inheritance then there must have been a loss in their lives; a parent? Can it be that what you are seeing in your husband is part of his grief? Is it possible that there are unresolved issues among siblings? Closer to home, you shared that you are four months pregnant. I’m no expert in pregnancy or hormones, but is it possible that some things that didn’t bother you before now are causing you distress? I’m not saying that you don’t have reason to be concerned, but I would not make any important decisions in the midst of a pregnancy. If you feel threatened in any way at any time you should leave that situation. But if your safety is not at risk I would be careful of making any sudden moves. Perhaps some counseling would be helpful?


DEAR FRIAR RICK: A year ago in my parish, which is run by a religious order, the friar I usually went to for confession suddenly left and moved to another city. I asked for his address, but the Father Superior, who is also our parish priest, refused to give it to me, saying that his confrere was going through a crisis, and that it was best to leave him alone. From other sources I recently learned that he has actually left the order, and that he is soon to get married.

I have to say that I am quite bewildered by this news. How is it possible that the priest to whom I confessed all my darkest secrets, the teacher who nurtured my faith and gave me valuable advice in times of trouble has, all of a sudden, turned into an ordinary bloke who could even become my next door neighbor? Is he now also exempt from the confessional seal?


Indeed God chooses ‘ordinary blokes’ to be his priests. We are normal human beings of flesh and bone who often have great gifts and also the normal failings of our brothers and sisters. If it were not so how could we be an example of Christian living? What kind of credibility would we have? Unfortunately some of us forget some of the basics of our life like prayer, like developing healthy friendships and by maintain proper boundaries in our relationships. Every priest, if he is honest, falls in love after ordination. It’s normal. It happens to married people too. So, what do we do with all those feelings? Well, both married people and priests have to deal with their feelings and also remain faithful to their calling.

Still it is jarring to see a priest leave is ministry. Regardless of his current status in the Church he will always be a priest and the work he did or the counsel he gave do not lose their validity. Rest assured that he is still bound by the seal of confession. The best you can do is pray for him and also pray for your current parish priest. Also take the time to encourage your priest. Thank him for his generous response to God’s call.

Updated on September 30 2016
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