Dad's Possible Re-Marriage

Hi Everyone,

Well I have a lengthy question and wondered what the solution might be.

So my dad and mom divorced in 2002 when I was 16, mainly due to my mothers variable issues associated with her bipolar disorder. This might be grounds for annulment depending on several factors. Nothing was diagnosed or taken care of until she was “diagnosed at 35” according to my mother. She also told me she did have some depression in college. However, I’m told that she lied to the officials that were doing a hearing on whether or not the marriage could be annuled by saying she had no symptoms till she was 35. The annulment at this point has not been granted (it hasn’t been completely denied but sounds like it would take a lot more fighting on my dad’s part to get it to pass).

So my dad is in a serious relationship with another woman (who is not Catholic, she’s Episcopalian), and has been since I was 18. I know they aren’t in a hurry to get married…in fact I don’t know when it would happen if they do (not for 5-10 years I would imagine). In fact I very well might be married before them (I will be married in 2 years very likely).

So my boyfriend has said that if they do get married, he might not feel right attending the ceremony. He understands that I would since it is my Dad, but he doesn’t think he could attend and thereby be “showing support”. He isn’t 100% sure of this decision, but I worry that it might be a mistake since it would cause a possible rift in the family. I worry that it would be to hurt family in this way. :shrug:

Regardless, I am sure if they decided to get married, they would regardless who didn’t come. So would it still be wrong to attend?

Thank you!

Oh, honey, I think there are so many “ifs” and “maybes” in the scenario, that I wouldn’t even worry about your father’s relationship at this point.

You and your young man need to keep talking, however – not necessarily about your father and what he may or may not do and how each of you may or may not feel about it when he does (or doesn’t, as the case may be) – but about what each of your expectations are towards conflicts in your marriage. Because there are times you will disagree, on small things and on large. Must you agree? Do you support one another’s decisions respectfully if you do not agree? What are the issues that simply are not negotiable?

I agree - don’t worry about something that has not happened yet. Put it in the hands of a loving and merciful God and just let Him handle it.

It sounds like you’re thinking about this situation, even if it’s very hypothetical at this point. Perhaps it’d be helpful to hear about my experience?

When my mother re-married civilly (my father, her first husband, is still alive), my husband and I chose not to attend. In the eyes of the Church (that is, in the eyes of God - that is, in Truth), the “re-marriage” places my mother in a position of public, permanent adultery (CCC no. 2384). I could not in good conscience celebrate that in any way.

For background’s sake, I’ll mention that neither of my parents is Catholic (I converted from Lutheranism), but my mother’s second and third “husbands” were/are Catholic, and both previously married as well.

My mother was hurt that we did not attend. I told her very carefully what we believed and that I loved her very much.

I admire your candor with your mom. That took guts, and the grace of God was illuminating through you for sure! I also like you pointing out the CCC…’‘the remarriage places my mother in a position of public, permanent adultery…’’ That really makes it so plain for everyone to understand.

I tend to fall in line with the “Judge not lest ye be judged” crowd. I would attend the wedding since he is your father but I would let him know your feelings. God gave us all free will and in the end we have to make our own choices. :wink: All you can really do is pray be makes the right choices.:thumbsup:

The annulment may not take as long for your dad to get an answer as you think. If your mom lied, you have to know that your father was also asked many questions in his questionnaire about what he knew about his wife’s mental health history. And if his version is markedly different from hers, they will ask for further documentation or records. It could very well go his way, especially if she shows a pattern of deception about her ability to give real valid consent in a marriage. She proves your dad’s case by lying even now. Because if she lies now about her history, he was marrying her without knowing things even then.

And he may not be as eager to marry as you think he is. He’ll probably be twice as careful next time, especially if he dealt with a spouse with mental health issues. He’s going to make darn sure the next woman isn’t similiarly afflicted.

Try to have a conversation with him and ask him outright if he would ever remarry without an annulment. His answer might put your heart at rest.

Tribunals have to wade through a lot of conflicting information or even situations where one spouse will not even testify. It’s a careful process. And they will listen carefully to your dad too.

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