Encouragement, Please!


#1

The good news is that I received a letter from my diocese tribunal stating that the Appellate Court has confirmed the invalidity of my marriage. Praise God! :bowdown2:

I am so relieved to have this mistake behind me. I am hopeful that I will meet a woman with tremendous love for the Lord and who accepts all of the truth that the Catholic Church teaches. This website is the biggest reason for that hope! Although I have not met many people like you in my daily travels, it is comforting to know you are out there. :wave:

I know some of you have been through this. I am a bit nervous about starting over. Any advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated!


#2

Congratulations! Now I’m stuck figuring out how to go about a divorce and annulment. Glad to hear someone had their invalid marriage annuled! You’re free to find the right person now.

I pray you find the right Catholic woman and that you may be very happy with her.


#3

Congratulations!!! Doesn’t it feel good to be free…I mean really free?! I know that’s how I felt, even though my divorce isn’t final yet the only thing that really mattered to me was what the Church had to say…and they said “invalid marriage” that was the best news I’d gotten in a long time!!!

I am nervous about starting again also, so I’m afraid I have no advice for you, I would just say take it easy and take your time. I’m taking it slow cause I don’t remember what to do, although I know I don’t want to do things the same way I did them the first time around:blush:.

I’m a different person, my priorities have changed and what I want and need in a husband are very specific and those wants and needs revolve around God and my Faith. I pray that God will be merciful with me and put “that” man in my path…I will pray for you too.


#4

Hi Lexee,
I too am going through the process of annulment. I noticed while reading you post that you had mentioned that your annulment was granted but that the divorce wasn’t final yet? Forgive my ignorance, but I was told that before I could petition the tribunal, I first had to be civilly divorced? Perhaps it depends on the diocese. Or maybe I am simply not understanding your post correctly. God bless.


#5

Congratulations! My own annulment came through last year. Here’s my advice and encouragement:

  1. Your first post-divorce relationship will almost certainly be a failure, and that’s OK.

  2. Bone up on Church law about who is annulment eligible and how the categories work. If someone can get a “lack of form” annulment in 2 days (as happens here in my diocese), it’s a totally different deal than if they are effectively off the market during 2+ years.

  3. Online dating is tempting as an alternative to the “needle in a haystack” approach of local dating. I’m not looking seriously so I won’t pony up the fee, but I’ve heard that Ave Maria Singles is the most orthodox and marriage-focused.

  4. To avoid a rebound, don’t focus on just one person. For now I’m just working on rebuilding my skills at getting to know people, etc. before I start actually looking for a Catholic husband. I live in a very shallow dating pool, so it’s in my long-term interest to date local non-Catholics just socially.

  5. Don’t lose sight of all the other qualities (besides faith) that are necessary in a relationship. Right off the bat I found a devout and chaste Catholic man who was perfect “on paper.” It seemed meant to be at first, but we were a truly horrible match.

  6. Brace yourself: dating is going to be awkward whenever you’re very far outside the mainstream. My MO is to lead with the dealbreakers before the first date: “I’m Catholic, and I intend to see to it that my relationships conform to Church teachings. That means not only that I can’t have premarital sex, but that I’m kind of a prude about kissing as well. Also, I’m one of those Catholics that won’t use artificial birth control even within marriage. Seriously. So if you aren’t OK with that, let’s not bother.” It’s awkward, but it prevents more awkwardness later.

  7. I actually tell (and regularly remind) non-Catholics that, because of the principles above, that a relationship with them is basically out of the question. I continue to be shocked at how many guys aren’t deterred by the knowledge that the best they can hope for is a chaste, non-exclusive series of dinner dates, etc. in which they are expected to pick up the check. Again, I think my town is a strange dating pool where young professionals date socially just to have something to do. I’m moving to a medium-sized city soon, so my MO will change substantially.

That’s all, and sorry for the long post, but I’m going through it too! Good luck.


#6

I know some of you have been through this. I am a bit nervous about starting over. Any advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated!

Brian, I am grateful to God for the merciful decree!

do you have kids? if so, how many, how old? that would certainly make a difference how you proceed.


#7

The so called dating socially seems to be no problem at all, at least at first glance, but there’s always the problem of entering into a potentially romantic relationship where marriage is out of question. One ought to be careful with that, e.g. it’s one thing if let’s say a Catholic man has a coffee with a Wiccan woman or something and completely a different one when it starts to include kissing, romantic hugging and the like, with the knowledge that there will be no relationship and no marriage. Also, the other person might fall in love and have his or her feelings hurt.


#8

Thanks for the advice and encouragement! I will remember the participants in this thread tonight before the Blessed Sacrament.

[quote=Lexee15]I’m a different person, my priorities have changed and what I want and need in a husband are very specific and those wants and needs revolve around God and my Faith. I pray that God will be merciful with me and put “that” man in my path…I will pray for you too.
[/quote]

I couldn’t have said this any better. I compromised too much on what I wanted in a wife, and it back-fired. A tough lesson to learn, but thank God for His mercy. Strong Catholic values are more important than I first thought. I honestly think I would be better off not to marry than to compromise like this again.

[quote=monicatholic]Brian, I am grateful to God for the merciful decree!

do you have kids? if so, how many, how old? that would certainly make a difference how you proceed
[/quote]

No kids, and in this case, that is another of many reasons to praise God! My parents divorced when I was 3 or 4 years old (I don’t remember exactly when, and I don’t ask them about it either). I would be an emotional wreck if children had been involved in this. I am extremely sympathetic to those of you who are in that position. You will be in my prayers tonight as well.

[quote=convert31]Brace yourself: dating is going to be awkward whenever you’re very far outside the mainstream. My MO is to lead with the dealbreakers before the first date: “I’m Catholic, and I intend to see to it that my relationships conform to Church teachings. That means not only that I can’t have premarital sex, but that I’m kind of a prude about kissing as well. Also, I’m one of those Catholics that won’t use artificial birth control even within marriage. Seriously. So if you aren’t OK with that, let’s not bother.” It’s awkward, but it prevents more awkwardness later.

[/quote]

I see nothing wrong with setting the foundation like this. However, I am going to the next level with it. I am looking for a 100% practicing Catholic. I want to be at church with my wife on Sunday, not alone while she stays home. I also want her to be a regular participant in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The grace from that Sacrament is so necessary for a strong relationship. Basically, I want someone who recognizes that marriage is a Sacrament, a life-long bond, that requires grace to sustain it.

I won’t be dating non-Catholics. It just won’t work for me.


#9

You’re absolutely right, chevalier, it’s an imperfect strategy that I’d recommend only in limited circumstances and only for a little while. In my situation it works pretty well–especially given the fact that I’m moving out of state in 90 days or so. That’s the best automatic safeguard. I’ll hit my new city with some “practice dating” under my belt, and the guys also get some winter socializing in a town in which there are literally only a few hundred professionals in my age group. I think half of them go out with me in the hopes that they can also meet my single girlfriends before I leave town… and I’m fine with that.

Someone in a dating pool that actually contains eligible people shouldn’t bother with the above. It’s just an example of how, at least at the beginning, you may have to be creative in order to re-program yourself.


#10

My advice is to take a year or so off… don’t date or even look for someone… figure out what you want out of life, what is important to you, and why you were willing to settle before. Seriously! I thought I was all healed… and I even waited a year to date… and on that first date, we were driving to dinner and I asked if he had ever been married. When he said no, I replied… “wow, 38 and never married” His reply got me… it sounded EXACTLY WORD FOR WORD WHAT MY EX HAD SAID… only my ex was lying. I knew by the way it went right up my spine that I had lots more work to do on myself!!!

So, not only take time to find out who you are, but also choose wisely… compatible moral values are more important that looks, jobs, income, etc…


#11

I am so happy for you!!! Welcome to the Decree of Nullity Veterans. :thumbsup:

I would encourage you to take a trip to the thread, “Church Is Asking $500 For An Anullment”. That is what NOT to do. Please feel free to explain how different you feel, how important it was to you, what good it did you, and most importantly, how the cost was well worth it.


#12

Hi Tietjen…I don’t want to hijack this thread so I’ll give a little explanation, if you still have more questions go ahead and pm me.

You are correct, I am not civilly divorced yet. When I spoke with my priest about my situation he informed me that the Tribunal would NOT start the process until there was a divorce decree. He did encourage me to start filling out the paperwork and submit it, so a file could be started and as soon as I had a divorce date they could start working on my case. Also, because of my particular situation I only had to fill out the basic paperwork, no witnesses needed…yet.

My situation is that I found out that my stbxhusband had NOT received an annulment from his first marriage and he had told me that he did. When I filled out my paperwork I made an appointment with the priest who is in charge of the Tribunal in my diocese and explained what I had found out. He told me that if that was the case then he was not free to marry me. I had no idea that they were going to look into it right away since I didn’t have a divorce decree, but they did. They were able to determine that he was married, petitioned for nullity but was NEVER granted that annulment, therefore he was not free to marry me.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to go through the lengthy process that others have had to. I’m not real sure why they did it without a divorce decree I’m just thankful they did, I can tell you that it’s NOT the norm.


#13

So happy for you Brian–! I’ll keep you in my prayers, that God places you and that right woman on the right paths–together!:blessyou:


#14

Thanks for the welcoming! I responded to the other thread, comparing my divorce lawyer costs to the cost of an entire Tribunal staff. That puts the cost in perspective.

It was a tremendous relief to go through this process and be reinstated into the single life. I was fortunate and grateful that the annulment process took only 10 months. I took the advice of a good friend of mine and refrained from any sort of dating lifestyle since my divorce 13 months ago, and my spiritual life has benefited more than I could have possibly imagined from this experience. I would not have married again if the decree was not issued. I took my vows seriously, even though I chose to marry someone I obviously did not know very well.


#15

Lexee, your case is the exception to the rule. But you didn’t need a big drawn out case because there was no valid marriage at all. You are lucky it didn’t take almost two years like mine did.

I haven’t dated even. I’m one of those with children. Their needs have come first. Plus I have big trust issues and the city I live in is a very liberal kind of city and a lot of the single men aren’t into women, if you catch my drift.

And men my age want women a decade or two younger who will bear them newborns and quit their jobs and homeschool, if the dating pool on AveMariaSingles is any indication. Even the guys a decade and a half older than I want those 20 and 30-somethings to start a fresh family with them.

Which is just as well. Who would I trust anyway?


#16

Oh Liberanosamalo, your post made me sad:(. I have been separated for just over two years now and annulled for about two months, but because I’m still legally married I still have not even entertained the notion of meeting someone much less dating.

I worry when I think about that, how will I trust? My stbx lives with someone else (20yrs his jr) and has two kids with her (younger than ds…ds is going to be three in April:shrug:) and he’s got a bunch of girlfriends aside from the one he lives with.

After living with a man like that how can you possibly trust again? I pray I don’t bring any of this baggage with me into another relationship…if I ever have one. It’s hard, but I know there are good men out there, whether one of them is for me is an entirely different question, but as briang72 pointed out, it’s better to be alone than compromise what God wants for us.

I pray that God and our Blessed Mother heal my heart and allow me to trust men again, for the moment trusting in Him is all I can do. Keep praying He knows what your heart needs, and trust will come in time, take care.


#17

Good for you, Brian!! I know that sigh of relief a you feel as I’ve breathed it myself, 11 yrs ago. She is out there. You’ll find her!


#18

Brian… I am glad you took your time and didn’t try to date/marry again right away… glad things are looking up, and don’t worry… if it is God’s will… you will find Miss Right…

I was divorced at 35 and annulled and then remarried at 42… life isn’t over, it’s just beginning!


#19

Well, you can go into any relationship knowing you’ve seen it at about the worst it can get, and not be the least bit shy crying “BS” when you see it. That is the attitude I’m intending to take myself when/if I get an affirmative decision back…


#20

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