Annullment- I wonder what my chances would be


My wife left five years ago

Lastyear she successfully got a divorce. I’m left as a single dad with four kids at home.

She has a history of mental illness which I’ve slowly come to realise over time and something I knew nothing about when we were Married.

Chronic depression hearing voices and worst of all Borderline Personality Disorder as well as Bi Polar the list goes on, and she certainly deteriorated over time.

I tell ya Borderline personality Disorder people with this can seem quite normal to the average Joe who deosn’t know them that well.

Not having ever heard of any of these conditions when we were married and what hell it has been coming to terms with it all,It can be difficult at the best of times living with someone but these sort of illnesses- well its been very tough times.

As much as I would have loved to have saved our Marriage, I’m now coming to terms with the fact that its over( yes its taken me all this time to accept it and come to terms with it)and maybe its time to apply for an annullment.

I wonder what would my chances be. The thought of it acctually scares me I mean people in my family don’t get divorced my parents have been married for Fifty something years and we’re catholic I mean it just doesn’t happen to us.

Do you think the annullment is a possibility a very sad and scarey possibility.


I’m sorry you are going through this. Has your wife been diagnosed by a medical professional with these disorders? That is necessary if you are going to use that as evidence for an annulment as far as I know.

You should read the following books-

The Wedding that Was by Michael C Foster

100 Answers to your Questions on Annulments by Edward Peters


The problem with basing your annulment application on psychological defects in the other party is that in order to obtain proof, the other party will need to actively and willingly cooperate. Is your ex-wife willing to document her diagnoses to the tribunal?

This is why tribunals often recommend that you look for defects in yourself rather than the other person. Why is it, do you think, that you didn’t notice these problems before you got married? Would you be able to notice these problems in a new partner before it was too late?


JRPO - I don’t really have anything to add about your chances of getting an annulment are. I just wanted to say that I have a mother-in-law with borderline personality disorder and I can totally relate to the struggle. To outsiders…it is hard to see, they may be charmed by or take sympathy with the BPD person…so many distorted perceptions and allegations all the time. There are a few women on this board who have husbands (or ex-husbands) that have Narcissistic Personality disorder, which is similar in some ways…so I am sure they can relate to you. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I can understand what a torture it can be with dealing with someone who is borderline. IF you do seek an annulment, make sure you get a therapist involved who specializes in BPD…even many trained professionals can be fooled by this people.


If you have reason to believe your marriage was invalid from its inception because of something that existed at that time which was not disclosed–this situation or any other-- or that for any other reason either or both of you did not have the capability or intention of exchanging full free will consent, then yes you should ask for the validity of your marriage to be investigated by the Tribunal. This is your right under canon law.

The sooner you begin proceedings after your divorce the better, because it will be easier to recall, identify and locate witnesses, events, paperwork etc.

Please make an appointment with the priest today. This canon law remedy is available so you don’t have to live in some kind of marital limbo but can find out one way or the other, and to assist your healing.

We will be praying for you.

there are specific rules for introducing evidence based on medical records so the sooner you find out what you have to do, the better.

Even though you are not contemplating remarriage now, this wondering about your status is causing you anxiety now, so that is reason enough to proceed. You don’t want to wait a few years until you are contemplating remarriage with someone to start what could be a much lengthier process down the road. Don’t discount the healing aspect of this process, it is considerable.


I don’t have anything to add as far as the annullment is concerned. I just want to say that I’m praying for you.


The only way to find out is to apply for an annulment. It is not an easy process, and will force you to bring up the painful past. But if you want to know for sure, it is the only way. Do you have witnesses who saw the unstable side of your spouse? Their testimony can back you up. Do you have doctor reports or any kind of bills/paperwork related to her diagnosis and medications? Those can help too.

The tribunal will be contacting your ex-spouse for an interview or info, so she can tell her side. That can help as well. A Tribunal-appointed psychologist analyzed both my statements and my ex’s statements, and deemed him to possess narcissistic traits. A pyschologist is usually brought in for long-term marriages in my diocese; perhaps you can request one for your annulment. The fact that you have the children and your wife does not also indicates something about her state of mind.

I’m sorry you have been through this pain over the past five years. I would contact your local priest to get the ball rolling on this rather than wait. Better to know than not know.


Sending you hugs. Please find out if you qualify either way. It will help to give your children more concrete answers in the future even if the answers aren’t necessarily the ones you want. Also, even though you may not be considering marriage you may be called to another vocation later in life when your children are adults and you would need the anullment or permission of your spouse to do that and from the sounds of it - you aren’t going to be getting her permission to do anything. :angel1::hug1::grouphug:


Unfortunately my parish priest has only just been diagnosed with cancer he’s doing it tough at the moment I may be able to contact the marriage tribunal direct.
And please pray for Father Steve Durkin


Im my parish, a Deacon handles all Marriage Tribunal cases for our Pastor. Partly because our Pastor serves on the Tribunal. Partly because he is so swamped running such a big parish alone. So check at your parish, you may not have to wait. I know many parishes do not have associate priests anymore, as there are not enough to go around, but every parish I’ve been at has Deacons, and they might be taking up some of the slack for your Pastor while he is ill. Or, like at my parish, it may be their regular job.


JRPO, I am going through the annulment process myself. At first… I thought I could just do the annulment on my own but now they want my ex-spouse to get envovled too.

I have emotionally suffered through the process in answering all of the personal questions that are asked. Plus, I had to pay $650. I also had to sign a paper stating that I was willing to pay $75. per hour for a psychologist that they would asign to me. If I don’t get the annulment I will have wasted my hard earned money.

I first had to fill out a 65 questions form. Then as time passed I had to have my priest sign some more papers for me, then recently I had to answer 13 more questions and have my priest sign the paper.
My ex-spouse also has to fill out that final form if I want to keep processing the annulment
papers according to my Advocate assigned to me. I don’t think he has read all of my answers to the questions because he always seems clueless to my case. Plus, he has never heard of my parish. I had to send him a church newsletter to prove that my church existed.
Christmas is coming soon…if I were you I would wait until after the Holidays to start the process with your annulment. Plus, your ex-spouse has to be willing and wanting the annulment if you want to be sucessful in getting your annulment approved by the Tribunal.

YOU DO HAVE A GOOD CASE…but you also have to look at your FLAWS TOO and state them as some of your answers to the questions. We can’t tell that someone has serious psychological problems when we choose to get married. My ex-spouse is a pathological liar and I can’t prove it because he will not go for counseling or therapy.

I don’t plan on getting married again… I thought it would be an easy process but it is not.
If I had to do it over again I wouldn’t bother because God knows that I have suffered because I chose a mentally ill man whom I didn’t know was ill, and plus… I didn’t even know I was mentally ill with depression since I was very young. I still live with my depression. PEACE… Lucia

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