I am a lifelong Catholic and have been married for more than 40 years and my husband (also a cradle Catholic) just walked out 2 1/2 years ago because he said we had a mortally dysfunctional communication pattern (whatever the heck that meant). I have tried mightily to figure out what he wants and to work to reconcile but to no avail. He refuses to go to couseling and has put me through some miserable months and years trying to dance to his tune. We don’t speak, we don’t see each other, we no longer email (until I have served my penance for some imagined infraction) or even write. I filed for divorce last fall but withdrew it this spring in hopes that he would be shocked back to sensibility and agree to work with me. But all I achieved was his insisting that I continue to fulfill the discovery tasks that were part of the divorce (inventories, massive document production etc.). Everyone that knows him thinks he has had a psychic “break” of some kind, some just say he is totally nuts (I’m in the latter group). A former therapist of his (psychiatrist) even told me that he is clinically depressed and refuses to even consider medication.
I still love my husband but he has hurt me so badly during out separation that I don’t think I could ever get past the memories of how he’s treated me and ever feel loving or close to him again. (He left me all alone when a big hurricane hit two years ago; when I lost my job last year he offered nothing by way of support; he has also estranged himself from every other member of the family including our daughter; he continues to foist off more and more expenses on to me so now I have almost nothing left after paying my bills (although I did get a new job four months later); there’s lots more but you get the idea… I firmly believe that he has been systematically trying to “reprogram” or “re-educate” me to some warped version of what his new idea of what a wife should be and until that happens (not ever) he is content to go on like this forever - I’m not.
Anyway, I don’t see much hope for this marriage any longer so I have become curious about the subject of annulments. I have read the reasons that are used by the church to grant annulments and the area called “defect of consent” has me wondering if there were things in him from the beginning that precluded his being able to consent to a lifelong union. He had just returned from Viet Nam four days before we married and had been pinned down in a bunker for several days by the Tet Offensive before he left the country. Another issue is that there aren’t really any witnesses around from the beginning of the marriage who could give testimony about those days so what could I do about that? Anybody out there who knows more about this than I do who might give me some advice?
Thanks so much.