Good morning Father Angelo,
I have already written to you other times and today I would like to submit to you some reflections which have arisen in these days after having received the news that my sister wants to separate from her husband.
They have two beautiful girls who are obviously suffering a lot because of the situation that has been going on for 4 years since my brother-in-law cheated on my sister, and consequently she has been suffering from mental breakdown and depression. She has lost 40 pounds and her depression leads her to be angry with the world, sad, disappointed and always nervous. I know that for 4 years in their family there have often been quarrels, scenes and very bad episodes that make me move deeply. I am so sorry for those little girls and for my sister. Over the years my sister has tried in every way to be able to forgive (I specify that she is not a person of faith) but did not make it. She is disgusted by her husband and she cannot stand him anymore. She feels hurt and humiliated, she says she endured so many things for love of him and his family and that she did not deserve to be betrayed. I am not speaking because she is my sister but I have to confirm that my brother-in-law is an uncouth type, he is gross, he has no sense of one’s own moral values, who has no desire to work so my sister has to break her own back in order to provide for her family. But now she has given in.
Obviously as a Christian I am against divorce but I wonder what is best for these girls whether they should suffer the separation of their parents or continue to see their mother going out of her mind and getting more and more sick due to constant quarrels and humiliation. I too, together with my three brothers, experienced the disastrous relationship of my parents. My mother also used to keep silent, to endure and suffer so much amidst quarrels and blasphemies. Although she is a woman of faith, she was never able to change my father or to forgive his shortcomings.
I still honestly don’t know which of the two solutions would have been more appropriate for us to opt for,whether to see them get separated or to see them hate each other all their lives while suffering and feeling bad. What should Christians do in these cases? What is best for their children?
Thank you if you want to answer me
The Priest’s answer
1. If there is no faith, that is, if there is no love for Jesus Christ, one is inclined to give in and break up the family in front of a person who behaves like your brother-in-law does.
If, on the other hand, one is aware that the Lord has given us to guard a person for eternal life, then everything changes and one is also willing to walk the painful way to Calvary.
2. Unfortunately, from what you tell me, your sister lacks faith. However, even from a human point of view I would say that for the sake of the kids, who absolutely need to live in a family with their father and mother, it is necessary to swallow any bitter morsel and avoid drama.
3. But if, as a matter of fact, that were impossible and if the family union causes a greater damage than that caused by a temporary separation, it would be prudent to take the path of a separation that still keeps the door open in the hope that the spouses make inner changes.
4. Divorce, on the other hand, establishes that all is over and divorced people easily have relationships with other people. And this would always be painful too, at least for the two daughters who would gladly return home where their father lives with their mother and vice versa.
5. Lastly, you tell me: “I honestly don’t know what would have been better for them to choose, whether to see them get separated or to see them hate each other all their lives while suffering and feeling bad. What should a Christian do in these cases? “
A Christian in these cases should bring the love of God.
Whenever there is God’s love in a family there is also the secret to overcome everything.
6. I am thinking of what the vicar general said to the one, who became the Holy Curé of Ars, when he sent him to be the parish priest in that place: “In Ars there is little love for God. You will bring it”.
And that is what every Christian should do in situations like the one you described to me.
I will remember your sister’s family in my prayers so that God’s love may be introduced into the lives of her family members.I will remember you too in my prayers and I bless you all.