Over the past year, I have fallen in love with and became engaged to a divorced woman. At the time, I was caught up in the excitement of new love and didn’t think through the implications of her previous marriage. Now I am going through crushing bouts of anxiety about the possibility of her annulment being denied. I’m completely alone in my anxiety. There is no one I can talk to about this. Everyone in my family and hers is so happy about our engagement that it would cause severe turmoil in both families if I announced that our marriage was now conditional on the annulment being granted. Her family isn’t Catholic and mine attends every Sunday, but only follows the big, obvious rules (abortion, birth control, etc). And I certainly can’t say anything to her about my concerns. She is so euphoric about the engagement that it would crush her if I even hinted that there may be a hitch.
I have looked at the grounds for annulments, and as best as I can tel, she has a case. First of all, neither she or her ex were Catholic. However, he was in the RCIA process and they managed to get married in the Catholic Church. During their marriage preparation, the priest had serious concerns about them and at one point asked them to seriously consider if they were ready. All the way up to the wedding day, she wanted to call it off, but felt internally pressured to go through with it because she didn’t want disappoint anyone. He was physically abusive before the wedding, and she made him promise that he would not hit her again before she would be marry him. He promised, but became abusive again shortly after the wedding. It’s not clear if he ever completed the RCIA process. She says she doesn’t remember him attending church after they were married. He has since remarried and joined the Anglican Church. In fact he is due to be ordain as a priest next month. Some of the stories I’ve heard about him sound like there are some serious stability issues. Of course, only a tribunal can say for sure. I’m just so scared about the uncertainty right now.
At the time all this occurred, she was pretty much an atheist, but has since come to believe in God, although still searching for understanding. I’m helping her with that.
Anyway, I just need to vent and share my anxiety with anyone who will listen.