Resentment & Fear

November 05 2014 | by

DEAR FRIAR RICK: My husband has suddenly abandoned me with two small children, without any explanation. This situation has sent me into depression. He never comes over to see his children, and appears to have no interest in them whatsoever. All he does is just pay their maintenance regularly – human selfishness knows no bounds! What worries me the most is that I am so demoralised that I no longer feel like going to church anymore. I feel that God has abandoned me as well. The last straw was learning that my former companion is expecting a child from his new partner. This last bit of news made me touch rock bottom.

Will I ever see the light again, Friar Rick?


I am so sorry that this has happened to you. By the behaviour that you describe I would almost say that you’re probably better off without your husband. The manner in which he has acted towards you seems neither respectful nor kind. At least he pays is share for your children. That’s more than many husbands do. It’s very difficult to say what is actually going on. Is he having a mid-life crisis? Sounds like he may have been having an affair if he’s already in the process of having a child with his new friend. But really ultimately it doesn’t matter why he did it. What matters is what you are going to do about this new reality.

It’s time for you to assume responsibility for your own happiness. You can’t depend on him and his behaviour to make you happy. What do you want out of life now? I would start by working with a counsellor to look at what you want to accomplish in your life. A key will be for you to forge some new relationships. Look at possibly getting involved in new groups of friends through work or your parish. It’s not always easy to find new friends, but it is possible. Reach out to everyone you know. Tell them what you are trying to do. I know it can be hard to trust and be vulnerable again, but in fact it is this very openness that will get people to help you. Sadly, this situation was thrust upon you. It’s not fair and it’s not right. But now you have the opportunity for a ‘make-over’ in your life. Take advantage of the moment!



DEAR FRIAR RICK: A few years ago I had an extramarital affair which lasted only for a couple of months. The problem is that I am unable to confess this sin to a priest even if I tried several times. Because of this inability I have stopped going to church. I want so much to be part of the Church again, but I don’t know if I have been forgiven by God. What should I do?


Well, congratulations! You just confessed it to a priest! Oops, but unfortunately I can’t give you absolution, even by means of the esteemed Messenger of Saint Anthony. And don’t even ask about absolution by email or the internet!

Seriously though, you have in fact done what you dread to do. So what’s the problem?

Perhaps it’s a question of anonymity? Is it that you feel more comfortable to write about this in a magazine where no one knows who you are? Well, it’s possible. Then again you could just go to another parish or shrine where people don’t know you and celebrate the sacrament in total anonymity. 

My guess is that it is not the anonymity that makes you uncomfortable. I wonder if what really scares you is to bring up this topic with a priest who will ask you questions that perhaps you don’t want to answer. If you were to come and celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation with me, one of the things I would say to you is that an extra-marital affair, although objectively wrong, might also be a symptom of something more serious happening (or not happening) in your marriage. It might be a cry for help! Is it possible that these kinds of questions raise your level of anxiety?

I would suggest that if you can’t bring yourself to go to confession, then don’t. Wait. God is patient and very understanding. Instead find a priest, sister or pastoral minister to be your spiritual director and to help you reflect on how things are going in your life and in your marriage. In time, and with insight, you will have the courage to make a good confession.

Updated on October 06 2016