Advice and prayers please
I am a Catholic married to a Divorcee.
My wife was previously married in 1999 for 10 months, although to speed the process of divorce, she allowed the grounds for divorce to be laid against her (adultery) something I dearly wish she had not done but she wanted out. My wife is not baptised, being the daughter of a non practicing Anglican and a non practicing Jew. She identifies herself as culturally Jewish, but not religiously so. She was married in an Anglican church, to a chap who she doesn’t know if he was baptised or not, but thinks he was a non practicing Anglican.
I believe that, from what she, her family and friends have all told me, and from my understanding of annulments that were she to apply for one that it could be granted. Both her Father and Best friend asked her if she was sure on the day of the wedding that she wanted to proceed, because they were worried that the couple were making a mistake, and she admits that she felt like she had to go ahead with the wedding because all the guests were there and her parents would be humiliated if she didn’t go through with it.
We were married in December 2003, in a protestant church (because I wanted to be married in a church and since I could not be married as a catholic to her, I still wanted a "church" wedding.) Despite being a strong practicing Catholic growing up, I was at the time struggling with my faith, and so this seemed like a good “work around” to me.
Now I miss the Eucharist.
We have one daughter, aged six, who my wife has consented that I raise as a Catholic, although I am not doing a great job of that, she has not been baptised mainly because I feel like an alien in church and get myself so worked up that it upsets her too. I know I am not a full member of the churches family and this upsets me. When I do go to Mass, at the Eucharist I tend to be in floods of tears.
I have always been emotional in front of Christ in the form of the Eucharist, and always found great solace and peace in Adoration.
So I find myself needing Mass and going, upsetting myself and cutting myself off from the church, until the yearning gets bad enough that I go back to Mass again and start the cycle again.
I have not recieved the sacrement of reconcilliation for 4 years now. I think their little point going when the priest makes such an issue of me being an adulterer - I know I am but don't like being told it and told I can't be forgiven for it as I have no intention of ceasing sexual relations with my wife.
My wife has no real understanding of the Church nor despite my explanations of my faith, what it means to take communion. I have approached the issue of Annulment of her previous marriage with her on a number of occasions, and she has flatly refused to seek this direction. Her view is that it’s between me and my church.
I love my wife very much, but I also love my saviour and want to receive communion again.
As I understand it I suppose my options are:
Leave my wife – something I don’t think I could ever do – I love her too much, nor something my daughter would ever understand.
Persuade her to seek an annulment – something I know I won’t be able to do.
Live with it, waiting to see if my wife dies first so that I may return to full communion with the church when I am very old.
Seek out her ex-husband and persuade him to seek an annulment – I wouldn’t hold out much hope of this either, but have been thinking about it more and more.
Leave the Church and try and make my spiritual home elsewhere – not sure this will work as I will still miss the Eucharist and frankly the Catholic Church is a bit like the Hotel California – you can check out but you can never leave!
I still try and live as a follower of Christ, despite being a bad Catholic and have recently become Godfather to two Anglican friends children, because they thought I would be a good Christian example.
My prayer time has defaulted to something very basic, with me relying on the rosary. Not that the rosary is a bad thing – but I am abusing it by just going through the motions.
Spiritually I feel very lost and afraid.
Because of my sporadic Mass attendance I don’t feel I can approach the other priests locally, and to be honest they are not the greatest source of spiritual hope.
In the meantime I find myself flexing between a position of desperately wanting to play a full part in the churches life and hating the church in equal measure – I know it’s not the churches fault, but sometimes we are irrational humans…
Please pray for me and I would welcome any advice.