Divorcee Wanting to Marry a Catholic, Specific Issue?


#1

I grew up Protestant. My girlfriend is Catholic and very committed to the faith, something that I find very encouraging. I attend mass with her on regular basis. We have been together for over two years and marriage is the horizon, but there is an issue.

I was married and I am now divorced. My divorce came about under some unusual and sad circumstances where my ex-wife left me after 6 years of marriage.

Understandably, I was very upset, but in the long run it was for the best, but not something I wish anyone to have to experience. My ex and I had no children. Due to the circumstances of the divorce I wanted an annulment in part, because I started dating a Catholic women and in part for my personal reasons.

An annulment was granted by the Catholic marriage tribunal a little over 1.5 years after my girlfriend and I became a couple. Not everything is perfect as in any relationship, but we love each other very much. I want to marry her and I believe she wants to marry me, but an issue keeps coming up for her that she is finding it very difficult to accept and if it continues to get worse or not get better I don’t know how we will be able to take the next step. My girlfriend is having a really hard time accepting the fact that I was married before. It really bothers her. I was very upfront with her and told her that I had been separated for a year when we started dating–it takes a full year of separation before a divorce can be granted where I live. I told her all of the details of my seperation and that I was getting divorced and that I would be seeking an annulment and one has bee granted. I just don’t know how my girlfriend and I can work through her discomfort that I was “married”. I know she loves me and would like to spend her life with me as my wife and me as her husband–I am very thankful to God for this second chance—but I don’t know how to support her and work through this concern of hers. Any advice???


#2

[quote="Notorius_ND, post:1, topic:210963"]
I grew up Protestant. My girlfriend is Catholic and very committed to the faith, something that I find very encouraging. I attend mass with her on regular basis. We have been together for over two years and marriage is the horizon, but there is an issue.

I was married and I am now divorced. My divorce came about under some unusual and sad circumstances where my ex-wife left me after 6 years of marriage.

Understandably, I was very upset, but in the long run it was for the best, but not something I wish anyone to have to experience. My ex and I had no children. Due to the circumstances of the divorce I wanted an annulment in part, because I started dating a Catholic women and in part for my personal reasons.

An annulment was granted by the Catholic marriage tribunal a little over 1.5 years after my girlfriend and I became a couple. Not everything is perfect as in any relationship, but we love each other very much. I want to marry her and I believe she wants to marry me, but an issue keeps coming up for her that she is finding it very difficult to accept and if it continues to get worse or not get better I don't know how we will be able to take the next step. My girlfriend is having a really hard time accepting the fact that I was married before. It really bothers her. I was very upfront with her and told her that I had been separated for a year when we started dating--it takes a full year of separation before a divorce can be granted where I live. I told her all of the details of my seperation and that I was getting divorced and that I would be seeking an annulment and one has bee granted. I just don't know how my girlfriend and I can work through her discomfort that I was "married". I know she loves me and would like to spend her life with me as my wife and me as her husband--I am very thankful to God for this second chance---but I don't know how to support her and work through this concern of hers. Any advice?????

[/quote]

Well, tell her that since you received an annulment, that you really weren't married (which is what an annulment says, actually, from the sacramental standpoint). Maybe that'll soothe her problems.

On the other hand, it sounds a little immature on her part, since this shouldn't be shocking news. You explained to her what the deal was beforehand. I wouldn't get married until/unless she can get past this issue because it will get worse rather than better after you're married, if you go through with it. The best time to avoid divorce is before you get married. :)


#3

You weren’t married before. End of story. She can either accept what the Church has decreed or reject it. If she rejects the Church’s decision then perhaps this isn’t meant to be. Either way, I hope that you will continue move forward and cross the Tiber. God bless.


#4

Don't move forward in the relationship if she continues to in this vein.

This is her issue, not yours. If she cannot work through it with the counsel of a holy priest, then I suggest you not pursue marriage with this person. It sounds like it is a deal breaker for her.

I don't know why she would date you for this long while harboring this feeling.

There are people who have all sorts of expectations and requirements for a spouse. There are a lot of people who post on here who refuse to marry someone who isn't a virgin. There are people who post on here who won't marry a divorced person. I was on a Catholic dating site and I was rejected by a man because I am a convert and not a cradle Catholic. My own personal deal breaker is that when single I did not date non-Catholics.

It's not personal. Everyone has certain expectations and requirements-- some are born out of culture, some out of experience, some out of fear or ignorance.

I know it's hard after all the time and energy you've invested, and your emotional bond that has formed. If she can't tell you why it bothers her that you were married before and she cannot get counseling and get through it, then you are asking for trouble if you marry her.

I do know some women like this, and although a broad brushstroke, it is immaturity and insecurity.


#5

I can offer no toher advice than that offered above, except to say be patient with her, and pray together. Perhaps the two of you could schedule a talk with your pastor. He may offer some good insights.

Peace
James


#6

If she has a nagging feeling about your past now it will only get worse once you get married when she really starts to feel like she was shortchanged. You should probably take a break unless she is able to work through her feelings. You didn't really say, has she had any serious boyfriends or anything in her past?


#7

[quote="Scoobyshme, post:2, topic:210963"]

On the other hand, it sounds a little immature on her part, since this shouldn't be shocking news.

[/quote]

not really, it is the natural way to feel and she is being honest. Everyone wants to feel they are your first and only love. Yes it will take time to work through and accept a less that perfect situation but something she has to do on her own. Prodding and forcing from you is not going to help and may hurt. The best you can do is live as the best Christian man you know how to be and grow in your own faith and relationship with Jesus Christ, that is what will attract her more to you and make a permanent bond more close.


#8

[quote="Notorius_ND, post:1, topic:210963"]
I grew up Protestant. My girlfriend is Catholic and very committed to the faith, something that I find very encouraging. I attend mass with her on regular basis. We have been together for over two years and marriage is the horizon, but there is an issue.

I was married and I am now divorced. My divorce came about under some unusual and sad circumstances where my ex-wife left me after 6 years of marriage.

Understandably, I was very upset, but in the long run it was for the best, but not something I wish anyone to have to experience. My ex and I had no children. Due to the circumstances of the divorce I wanted an annulment in part, because I started dating a Catholic women and in part for my personal reasons.

An annulment was granted by the Catholic marriage tribunal a little over 1.5 years after my girlfriend and I became a couple. Not everything is perfect as in any relationship, but we love each other very much. I want to marry her and I believe she wants to marry me, but an issue keeps coming up for her that she is finding it very difficult to accept and if it continues to get worse or not get better I don't know how we will be able to take the next step. My girlfriend is having a really hard time accepting the fact that I was married before. It really bothers her. I was very upfront with her and told her that I had been separated for a year when we started dating--it takes a full year of separation before a divorce can be granted where I live. I told her all of the details of my seperation and that I was getting divorced and that I would be seeking an annulment and one has bee granted. I just don't know how my girlfriend and I can work through her discomfort that I was "married". I know she loves me and would like to spend her life with me as my wife and me as her husband--I am very thankful to God for this second chance---but I don't know how to support her and work through this concern of hers. Any advice?????

[/quote]

Is she a virgin? It may be the "I'm a virgin, he isn't" issue. Or does she just not want to have to deal with an ex-spouse?

Maybe a better match for you would be a Catholic woman who has been divorced and had her previous marriage annulled (there are plenty to approach on this very forum!). You two would have similar backgrounds, would be on equal footing, and probably would be most familiar with the issues the other faces and therefore probably better equipped to bear each others burdens.


#9

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