Are annulments a good thing?


Hello, I'm new here and appreciate any advice and prayers. I'm wondering if annulments are a good thing. I understand the circumstances that may warrant an annulment. I am married and struggling. I've been married for a year and I am now fairly certain that we could get an annulment due to external pressures. However, I also know that marriages are not supposed to be easy, so I could stick it out for months/years and try to make it work. If we were truly not married in the eyes of the Church though, then this doesn't seem right. Is the annulment the only way towards our true paths and happiness?


Annulments are good in that they officially state that a marriage is invalid. What’s not good is that they are ever needed in the first place. You should talk to a priest about whether you have potential grounds for an annulment.


Everyone is entitled to one mistake, and annulment is that one mistake for our Holy Mother Church.


The fact that you mentioned this indicates to me that you are willing to work on the marriage. In that case, work on the marriage, and forget about the annulment. Divorce and annulments should be the absolute last resort, used only when all else fails.


[quote="Don_Jackson, post:3, topic:297606"]
Everyone is entitled to one mistake, and annulment is that one mistake for our Holy Mother Church.


I don't think this is a good way of looking at it. In many case, the person applying for the annulment with full intent of keeping their vows, and end up being a victim. That person did not make a mistake, but is the victim of someone else mistake.


Answering the questions of the OP would take spiritual direction. Prayers.


As already mentioned, get spiritual direction... and pray.

This is a salutary warning for people flying into marriage without a year or more of engagement - you'll soon find out if you will be compatible or not. Counselling from a reputable marriage counsellor should become obligatory for a marriage licence.


[quote="Don_Jackson, post:3, topic:297606"]
Everyone is entitled to one mistake, and annulment is that one mistake for our Holy Mother Church.


There is no mistake on the part of the Church! Please learn what annulments really are. If anything, it's a mistake on the part of the couple (or one of the two), who were deficient in some way on the day of their supposed wedding. But why would that mean "one mistake and no more"?


[quote="Don_Jackson, post:3, topic:297606"]
Everyone is entitled to one mistake, and annulment is that one mistake for our Holy Mother Church.


and your mistake is posting this.


All marriages between two catholics (an assumption on my part) are considered valid by the Church until an appeal for annulment is made and granted. And just because there may be grounds for an annulment does not mean the marriage is invalid. My mom has grounds for an annulment, (my father is, um, suffers from severe ptsd stemming from his childhood.. it was not evident until after they married) but they celebrated their 40th anniversary this year. I would find a spiritual director or Catholic marriage counselor wham can help you determine if the problem is a difficulty or a marriage dissolver.
God Bless


Please take advantage of the resources available to you through your parish to pursue this. I am so sorry that you are experiencing these issues in your marriage, but this is best resolved through the Church. God bess you.


If someone believes their marriage is invalid than they should get an annulment or marry each other again if it’s possible to do it validly the next time. If a marriage is invalid, it’s not a real marriage.


What I meant by "grounds for annulment" is something that would've made the marriage invalid.


I am not sure what you mean by “external pressures” unless you are referring to what is called a shotgun wedding.

Please understand a few things:

  1. having grounds for a decree of nullity is not the same thing as getting a decree of nullity. It may appear that you have grounds,(which will not even be examined until after you have a divorce) but you may find that you cannot obtain sufficient evidence (which can include testimony for witnesses) after you are divorced and have attempted to start the process.

  2. you not only have to obtain the evidence - possibly physical evidence, possibly testimony from your prior spouse as well as your statements and those of other witnesses, but you have to convince not one but two courts that your evidence proves that there was an impediment existing at and on the day of your wedding.

There is an old phrase that there is never a fight but that there are two combatants. You may be having marital difficulties, They may be due in part to what may or may not be an impediment to the marriage; but they are also in part due to both of you. It is not impossible that there is one purely innocent spouse and one purely guilty; but in most marital difficulties, both sides are contributing to the problems.

I say that not to be harsh, but to be realistic and to hope to bring some light to matters at hand, It is not important to me what the difficulties are which you are experiencing, nor do I want to know, That is the realm for professionals; in part (and usually not a siginificant part) the pastor, but also the part of a trained marital counselor. And the job of a competent, trained marital counselor is not to take sides, and to make the other person change, but to show both paties how their behavior, their choices, and their responses are contributing to the problem(s).

The best advice I sould give you is to assume, right here and now, that you do not have a provable case and that you will not be granted a decree of nullity. Then from that position, you need to decide what course of action or actions you are going to take. Hopefully the two of you will seek counseling, and hopefully, from that both of you will learn more about who you are, who your spouse is, what each of you is doing to contribute to the problems, and what you can do to make a solid marriage.

Often the problems can be solved. They cannot be solved if one of the parties is unwilling to accept responsibility for what they are contributing to the issues. Being a “wounded victim” is a short path to a divorce. There are people who truly are very real victims; but there are far more divorces among couples where either one or both of the parties are unwilling to admit they are part of the problem; until that is done, they cannot be part of the solution.

And note: I say this having done divorce work as an attorney for 12 years.


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