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I am a first time poster on here. I've been trying to figure out what to do for quite some time now as far as my marriage goes. I apologize for the length of this post in advance. :)

I have been married about 4 1/2 years now. We dated about 3 1/2 years before the wedding, being engaged about 1 1/2 of those years. We used to be happy with each other and were told that we'd last by lots of people. I got married at 23, he was almost 27 on the day of our wedding. We are both Catholic and married in the Catholic church.

I believe I have endured some verbal and emotional abuse over the years, but it has been intermittent. I have taken some online quizzes and they definitely indicate verbal and emotional abuse. For a while he was telling me I was fat even though I have nothing of a weight problem- this might have been like a 5-10lb weight gain at the most. I finally said "if you tell me I'm fat one more time..." which finally made him stop that. He has on various occasions called me some very derogatory and demeaning names if he is very angry about something. Starting this past summer he started to bring up divorce on a few different occasions, but then if I called him on it later, he'd act like he didn't mean it. He would bring up divorce, then maybe a couple of days later bring me a dozen roses or suggest we take a trip to some place I've always wanted to visit. It's very up and down when things are bad but we could go weeks without this happening.

It's been close to a year since the last time we had sex. Before then it would maybe happen once every 2-3 months but he would only think it was just a couple of weeks. Towards the end, it didn't seem like he wanted to take any time to please me and we just basically did intercourse to just say we got sexual. On a couple of occasions (and this was the last I had sex with him, I couldn't take it anymore) he would poke fun at my weight right afterwards. After that I figured I was not obligated to go to bed with him anymore. He has said on different occasions that we should divorce if we go more than a year without sex, because it isn't normal.

I made it extremely clear to him when we first began to date, and through our entire relationship that I wanted no children. I don't hate kids, I just have never wanted any of my own. I told him if he even had a slight thought of maybe changing his mind down the road, I'd like to know about it. He seemed like he was in agreement with me until about our 2nd year of marriage when he changed his mind. That also has been a big issue in our marriage, as he's given me guilt trips on reasons to have children, when I think they're the wrong reasons. Mostly they are for religious reasons, someone to take care of him when he's older, and to appease his parents.

The biggest thing right now is that he has a huge moral hangup with me taking birth control pills. Up until I started to take them 6 years ago, I battled very significant PMS symptoms that were affecting my work performance as well as other aspects in my life. I sought help through herbal supplements, Midol and even anti-depressants; none of which worked. Finally I asked my gynecologist and he suggested that I try birth control pills because my hormones would be so abnormal at times. Within 3 months my symptoms had completely diminished. My fiancee (this was a year before our wedding) had religious hangups over it at first, but after he saw how much I had improved, he seemed to be much more accepting of it. Other than a comment or two over the years about natural family planning, which is what the Catholic church teaches, I had assumed that he had become OK with me taking the pills since they helped me so much.

I had my birthday a month ago today and on that day he was acting extremely weird and angry with me. It turned out that a lady that he knew of miscarried but didn't know she was pregnant and she was taking birth control pills. Her gynecologist caught it later. To make a long story short, he told me he would not have sex with me again until I went off of the pills because they were "abortificants". He claimed that we might have miscarried many times over the years because of my choice to take the pills. He says that I should just pretty much suck it up with the PMS, or find another way to treat it. He claims that people who use birth control "don't put God in control of their lives" even though I'm taking it for medical reasons. The day after that, he went to talk to a priest and the priest said that we could still have sex, but my husband should pray that I make the right choice as far as taking the pills. I came home that night to find my husband drunk and acting like everything is 100% OK again even though he had me extremely worried the night before. I told him I still will not have sex with him, as this isn't going to fix anything, plus on top of that he ruined my birthday.

We have had many other issues over the years, but there has been no physical abuse. They've all been verbally/emotionally/sexually centered so I won't list all of them out here right now. We both make good money, although he manages all of the finances since that is his line of work. We are both very fiscally responsible. After the divorce talk started this summer, I started to secretly stash back any extra cash I could get my hands on and had my parents open a bank account with it, and also took out my own credit card so I could have at least one thing in my name only. I've been apartment hunting when I am by myself and have found a complex that I will go to if or when we split. I've been battling with the decision as to whether to leave for a long time now. I ask myself how bad is bad enough, and did I bring some of this on. We own a home together but he has said he would like to stay in the house if we do divorce and he would pay me half of the equity we've put in it along with half of his 401K. His biggest complaint about me is that he thinks I live in the past and I do not forgive. I tell him that I don't forget things that hurt.

I'd appreciate any help or feedback anyone has!
 
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Techgal, I hear what you're saying. I'm so sorry that your husband, probably for a number of reasons, including his own insecurity and woundedness, continues to ridicule you. It's really his loss, because you were created in God's image and likeness, and are truly beautiful and loved. Period. While it's good that he desires to be faithful to the Church's teachings, he also needs to take a good look at his own heart and soul. Which brings me to my second point: Contraception. As someone who used to be on the pill, and who now uses the Creighton model of Fertility Care (www.creightonmethod.com) to plan my family, I highly recommend you look not only into NFP, but really search for the truth when it comes to the purpose and meaning of marriage. It's challenging, but I promise you happiness if you really seek for your purpose. If there's one book you could read, I would recommend Christopher West's "Good News About Sex & Marriage." Actually, it would be great if your husband read it too. It's very readable and contemporary--West is a young fella who almost left the Church over contraception. Also, for more on NFP, see Natural Family Planning. The Creighton Method, by charting and seeing patterns in your cycles, can also help you with your PMS much better than the pill, which is a bandaid to your symptoms.

Remember, you are beautiful, and are called to an amazing mission in life. Find it.
 

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Plain and simple, if you want to be on the pill to help with you PMS, then it is for you to decide, and do not EVER feel guilty over the fact that you're taking the pill. I am not Catholic. I am against abortion(tho, my best friend had one, and I do not hold it against her), but I've had problems with my menstrual cycle. If yours were anything like mine were before a doc put me on a pill, everyone should be grateful that you haven't committed the sin of murder yet. I was only able to have 1-2 periods a year naturally. It was absolutely horrible and I have a high tolerance for pain. It's almost unbearable. Just remember what you were going through without the pill.
 

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YOU could go off the pill after getting sterilized, which might not be a bad idea if you are sure that you don't want to have kids.

It is also a good idea to save you money and have him move out. There is no point in your taking this abuse. I can't see how things will get better without your relinquishing your rights of self determination.
 
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