Catholic Friend possibly facing divorce


#1

I have a very close Catholic friend who is facing a possible separation/divorce situation with her husband. I am wondering if anyone has faced a similar situation and when they were faced with it, what was the best way to help their friend through the situation.


#2

Having gone through a divorce myself I can say it’s a very sad time. The best thing is to be there for her. If she is feeling the way I did, she is feeling alone (because I did not know who to turn to) and ashamed (I’m one of 8 Irish catholic siblings that are all married, thankfully I’m the only one without kids). I would even suggest counseling; I went and it helped keep me grounded. I’m a guy so her feeling maybe different.

One last thing, this may be obvious, but she will be vulnerable, so if she turns to you for comfort you just may be putting a wedge between her and her husband or he may see you as a threat.

Oh yeah pray for her. We all can do this,

I hope this helps and I’ll keep her and you in my prayers
-Otter


#3

there are some resources that you can access like divorcecare.com so let her know that she can go there… also it helped me a lot to just talk… so just listen to her and be there for her…

i dont agree with the previous poster that you would drive a wedge between her and her husband… let her speak and dont judge anything… if everyone thought that way, she owuld not have any friends left and then whom would she turn to for comfort?


#4

Hello Greg and God bless you. I am a devout catholic who saw my own marriage end in the failure of divorce and I later had an annulment granted by the catholic church. I have not since remarried, but I was plagued with doubt and guilt before, during, and after the divorce process until the end of my annulment process. Your friend has my sincerest sympathies and prayers. The idea of divorce is not only emotionally traumatic, but as a catholic, it can be spiritually crippling and leave one overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and remorse. Your friend will question everything, from “am I doing the right thing” “why is this happening to me” “how could things be different” and “could I have done more”. The best thing you can do for your friend is be supportive and pray, pray, pray and entrust this situation to the Blessed Mother. Offer a mass for her if that’s what it takes, but do not encourage her to do anything or commit to anything as serious as divorce or separation without seeking the counsel of a priest. He will offer his advice, and possibly even marriage counseling or suggest a counselor. If her husband is unwilling to go with her or speak to the priest or counselor, as my husband was, then, and only then after much prayer, it might be time to be seeking other avenues, but she must above all surrender the outcome of this situation to God and allow his will to be done. The threat of divorce might have been looming for a long time in this marriage so she might have had lots of time to think about this, but if she places her trust in God first and foremost before acting on anything and seeks a priest to consult, her conscious will be at a much greater ease with whatever outcome the Lord choses and she can rest easy knowing that the Lord has blessed her for placing her trust in him.


#5

Hello Greg and God bless you! I am a devout catholic who saw my own marriage end in the failure of divorce and I later had an annulment granted by the catholic church. I have not since remarried, but I was plagued with doubt and guilt before, during, and after the divorce process until the end of my annulment process. Your friend has my sincerest sympathies and prayers. The idea of divorce is not only emotionally traumatic, but as a catholic, it can be spiritually crippling and leave one overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and remorse. Your friend will question everything, from “am I doing the right thing” “why is this happening to me” “how could things be different” and “could I have done more”. The best thing you can do for your friend is be supportive and pray, pray, pray and entrust this situation to the Blessed Mother. Offer a mass for her if that’s what it takes, but do not encourage her to do anything or commit to anything as serious as divorce or separation without seeking the counsel of a priest. He will offer his advice, and possibly even marriage counseling or suggest a counselor. If her husband is unwilling to go with her or speak to the priest or counselor, as my husband was, then, and only then after much prayer, it might be time to be seeking other avenues, but she must above all surrender the outcome of this situation to God and allow his will to be done. The threat of divorce might have been looming for a long time in this marriage so she might have had lots of time to think about this, but if she places her trust in God first and foremost before acting on anything and seeks a priest to consult, her conscious will be at a much greater ease with whatever outcome the Lord choses and she can rest easy knowing that the Lord has blessed her for placing her trust in him.


#6

I think the best thing you can offer your friend is to listen, not judge, and of course pray for her. One thing that has been difficult for me as I have gone through the divorce process is that there were some people who were so insistant that my ex and I would get back together. I think it is good to listen and see where she is at, does she have hope for reconcilliation, or does she think that her marriage was possibly invalid and thinks ending it is what is really best. I know in my case I am quite certain that my marriage was not a marriage, and am relieved to be putting it behind me. When people would talk about reconciling with him, it would really stress me out. So, that is why I suggest listening as the place to start. It is really nice when you go through such a trying time to have support from people who really care about you, so I am glad that you can be there for your friend.


#7

You may wish to suggest to your friend that she and her husband consider a Retrouvaille weekend. I understand that they are geared specifically for those couples with serious problems–even those considering divorce. They have a website. It’s retrouvaille.org.

God bless!


#8

Praying for your dear friend. Be a listener, counselor, and provide whatever assistance you can at this difficult time. Recommend professional or liturgical counseling if necessary. You are a good friend and are helping by being there. Good luck.


#9

They should give Retrouvaille retrouvaille.org/ a try. This program is designed for marriages that are at risk of or have reached separation/divorce. It has helped my marriage.


#10

Thanks everyone for your advice. The situation is not looking like divorce, but there are still some problems. I am doing my best to support my friend, and it seems to be making a large difference.


#11

yaaaaaaay!!! thats great news…

:))))))))))


#12

LISTEN…best thing you can do. Experience has taught that when someone is facing a difficult decision, whatever that is, what they are mostly doing when they “vent” is “thinking out loud”. They don’t really want an answer, but rather they are giving a voice to their thoughts. So …be there…help her give a voice to those thoughts.
Kathy


closed #13

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