Well, maybe wait until your annulment is completed. Then maybe take some time to discern this with Our Lord and ask Him how He wants you to carry on after. Remember that St. Louis Martin never married after St. Zelie died ( St. Therese’s parents for those who don’t know). He may be calling you to marry, he may be calling you to live out your role as a father without a woman in your life that way, who knows! Ask Him, spend time with Him, deepen your relationship with Him. If He wants you to marry, after the process is completely done, He’ll bring you a wife if He wants you married.
I’ve got to agree with this. A lot of trauma comes from having another woman involved when the children already have a mother, and vice versa, when there’s another man involved.
You have to be patient and pray. Consult with a priest, and pray the Rosary often. Begin a novena to the Holy Family, the model of all our families. Think of St Therese and her family, her parents both canonized saints. I would even go so far as to say the last thing you need to do now is urgently seek out a step-mother. Love is hard to come by, but when you find it, you’ll know it. Divorce can make us cynical and want to just push everything in the past under the cupboard door, but the choices you make will affect your life and your children’s lives even more so.
Don’t buy into the" successful stepfamilies" garbage. Stay single for the next 11 years and dedicate yourself to the needs of your children. Your kids need your full attention now. What they don’t need is your attention divided between the five of them and some strange new woman.
Half your children are well past that sort of formation. The other would not benefit from you jumping into something new. You are better off finding an older couple at your parish and asking them to come over for dinners, play games with your family and basically serve as adoptive grandparents. The last thing you need is to romatically attach yourself to another woman while they watch.
Forgive me if this is overstepping the boundaries, but do you fear taking care of the kids alone? Has your ex-wife been the main parent to your children or was that split between the both of you during the marriage?
It sounds like you don’t want to take on the main caretaker role for some reason.
I’m sure you can see the pitfalls there, though. Remember that your children already have a mother, and any woman you may marry in the future wouldn’t supplant her.
With regards to seeing a healthy marriage, have you tried to talk to your kids about what a healthy marriage is? And what they should look for in a spouse? Getting married again as soon as you possibly can isn’t showing them what a healthy marriage looks like. I would argue it shows the opposite - getting married because you don’t want to be alone, for example, isn’t a healthy reason to marry.
This isn’t the Catholic Answers version of Craigslist But, it hopefully would far serve better than craiglist could ever afford.
Now, taking that aside, are you looking to marry another spouse whilst you are now conceding that the validity of the Sacrament never took place?
You had children with this woman, how then do you see this elicits evidence to go down the avenue for annulment? I don’t get it.
You wouldn’t, I’d think in the same character and fitting persona as Saint Joseph (who was going to divorce Mary quietly for her protection) - you wouldn’t therefore announce anything like that.
Being prepared at the dismissal of your wife, because you are conceding this through both an annulment and a divorce, seems, poor taste, bad judgement, and character. Saint Joseph was a righteous man. So the Angel said onto Saint Joseph: “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.”
So thus I submit it to you. Don’t be afraid to take the woman you are married to as your wife, instead of divorcing her, and seeking through the annulment of your marriage.
My 3 sibs and I were very similar ages to your kids when my mom remarried – having rushed into another relationship. It was very hard for everyone. That relationship did not survive. I do not recommend it, and any delay in obtaining an annulment might be well spent figuring how to help your kids heal and building up YOUR relationship with them as much as possible without adding a romantic attachment, that to be honest, will be another person wanting you to invest yourself/time in a relationship, leaving less energy for your kids. It would be nearly impossible to develop/maintain a partnership any other way. As well, it is very worth extending the effort to make sure their relationship with their actual mother is a strong as possible under the circumstances. A family therapist might be the way to go on that one.
There are a lot of other things I want to say, but without knowing more about your family set up, such as whether or not you are the primary caretaker for the kids, their current contact with their mom, etc, I can’t make the words come out right.
I do wish you the best, and will pray for you, your wife, and your children.