I am currently seeking an annulment, and I have no idea what to expect. I married another “Catholic” after dating her for only 6 months. Before her, I didn’t have any long term relationships with any other women. It was my decision that the marriage be in the Catholic church, she was indifferent to this decision. We went through the marriage preparation at our parish. The discussion of sexuality in marriage, and the practice of natural family planning is of particular importance in the failure of this marriage. I agreed with the Church’s teaching and suggested that we should follow that teaching. At the time, I thought we had both agreed that we would not use artificial means of birth control during our marriage, but I would later find out that this was not the case.
My wife later was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a disease that is not life threatening in itself, but it is a very large burden. This diagnosis happened shortly after our marriage, probably within 3-4 months. There are no known cures for IBS, only ways to manage its severity. Unfortunately, one of those ways of managing its severity is by the use of prescription drugs that are a high risk to causing birth defects. My wife and I both agreed that we wanted to have children as soon as possible after our wedding. However, IBS would change all of that in less than a year after our wedding day.
She had the option of trying to limit certain foods in her diet that are known to be problem foods for IBS sufferers. She came up with a plan to try the diet, but after a few months she gave up, not ever really following the diet. At this same time she told me she was no longer in love with me, and she was harboring resentment towards me because of my practice of the Church’s teaching on artificial birth control. I asked if there was anything I could do to save our marriage, advising that we should go to counseling together. She didn’t see what counseling could do for us. We decided to divorce, and she thought that I would have no problem getting an annulment, but I am not as sure as she is.
Lately I have been feeling that I probably gave up the fight for our marriage too early. I was very uncomfortable having my faith attacked in the manner, and I guess I “shook the dust from my feet” as quickly as I could. I tried a couple more times to ask her to go to counseling and not divorce, but it fell on deaf ears.
What are your thoughts? Any similar situations out there?