God's will & recovering my former marriage?


#1

I’m trying desperately to discern God’s will for me and am having no luck at all. :confused: Let me give you a little background. My husband and I got married when we were 20 years old and our first child was born 7 months later. Do the math. Ten years later we had two more children.

We were married for 16 years with three children when he developed a love affair with a coworker but said that they did not have sex, just body rubs he said.:mad: However, when I told him he needed to break it off with her he told me that he didn’t want to hurt her, never mind hurt me, and that she was all he could think about. So I divorced him and they moved in together. Eventually I received a degree of nullity from the Church. That was 6 years ago.

We get along fine and the kids go back and forth with no trouble and he even gets me birthday presents, probably because she and I have the same birthday and he feels guilty. Anyway, after a couple of years they stopped living together but remain a couple still and whenever we do our kids’ birthday parties at a public place she shows up. I went through a very difficult time after the divorce with depression and then I lost my job.

I have since moved on with my life, reverted back to the Church and love the mass and sacraments, have good friends, fun, and am now in graduate school. Since my reversion I’ve come to understand that perhaps I was hasty in divorcing him, even though he was a scoundrel, and that my children are still so very hurt. I want my family back together. I keep getting this nagging feeling that I should ask him to come back home and I keep asking God to give me a sign because the nagging feeling could just be my own feelings of guilt and loneliness. No sign from Our Lord so far though. A big NO blasted from the sky would be helpful.:thumbsup: There may not even be the remotest chance that he would want to get back with me and I would just be making a fool of myself.

Has anyone ever heard of this kind of thing happening and the couple eventually remarried and it lasted? And does anyone have suggestions about how to discern God’s will concerning this kind of thing?


#2

They are still a couple? I wouldn’t have him back. I understand completely about your children being so very hurt (I am a product of a divorced family and no one could understand better than I do about the pain divorce causes children), but you have successfully moved on. It doesn’t seem to me that he really wants a family or he would show that a bit more than have her coming to family gatherings.
I can tell you this: my parents briefly got back together and it would’ve been better if they hadn’t…it just prolonged our family’s misery.
My advice is to move on but maintain good relations with your ex.


#3

Thank you, I do need to keep in mind that getting back together could actually make it worse for our kids. I don’t want them to go through the initial pain all over again if we reunited and then broke up yet again.


#4

Musician has it right.

You say he’s a scoundrel and you have watched him launch the relationship failboat with two women and you want a do-over?

Go take a nap until that feeling goes away!

You’re tired. Bored. Something! Don’t fall for it!

Be glad you are able to maintain civility with him. But don’t drag him back into your life. I gave mine a second chance and like you said… it would just hurt your kids again.

You probably weren’t as hasty in divorcing him as you give yourself credit for. I’m sure his body rubs with his friend were not the only thing he did in 16 years. That was probably the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

You were amazingly tolerant to be civil to the woman he left you for.

Your children are hurt. You didn’t cause that. HE left you AND them for that woman. Not only did he only care whether SHE was hurting, he didn’t care if his own kids were hurting. What has HE done to fix their lives since he tore them apart? Besides give you a present once a year? Which in my book is worthless. The gift made HIM feel better and confused you.

When you are trying to discern God’s will for your life when it comes to marriage, remember God’s will has to be involved with someone else’s free will, that God respects. Nothing in the exercise of your ex’s free will indicates he has ever respected God’s rules or anything other than what he wanted when he wanted it. (That goes also for the timing of your first child’s conception.) Do you really think God’s will for you involves bringing in someone who has given no indication of spiritual reform or stability and centering your life around him again? Why do you feel guilty that HE left you? It was his choice! He chose someone and it wasn’t his own family. Sometimes you don’t need a big NO blasted from the sky. Sometimes God says no by remaining silent. Listen to the silence.

Take that extra attention and energy and devote it to your children. Sometimes God allows things to be taken out of your hands so He can give you something better. If your hands were full of your husband, you wouldn’t have the life you have now. Be more patient with yourself. And don’t confuse loneliness with God wanting you to take someone back who doesn’t respect marriage vows. I take it he never married his girlfriend? He’s been using her for a few years and now he’s back to being footloose and fancy free? You’re beyond that mentality and now it’s time to show your children an opposing moral code so they can make choices based on truth in their lives.

You’ve made so much progress. Don’t let your memories of a family with your ex drag you back into a bad situation. Been there, done that. It darn near destroyed me. You are only considering this because YOU have progressed spiritually and are seeking God’s will. He hasn’t walked that walk with you. Leave him where he is.
:wink:


#5

Thank you for your thoughtful answer; it’s good to hear of the experiences of others so I don’t reinvent the wheel. It is very true that God works through our free wills and even if God would love to see me reunite my family there are two grown-ups who must humble ourselves to His will in order to take such an arduous trek.

I’ve been taking this opportunity to grow closer to Our Lord and the Holy Spirit has given me a gift to see how arrogant and controlling I was and so I see how much trouble I caused in our marriage and I feel so guilty. Although always faithful to my vows, I remember something new to confess about my previous wifely behavior every month. However, I don’t feel guilty at all about his bad behavior; that is his deal to reconcile with God. I may actually be slipping back into the controlling ways, :o which is evidenced by entertaining this idea in the first place.

Thank you for the wake-up call and reminding me that although I’m looking at things through new glasses, my ex-husband isn’t. Maybe God is silent because He wants me to sit tight, focus on raising my boys, and finish grad-school so I can get a good job and give them a better life.


#6

I haven’t been in this situation, but I have been in situations where my common sense and a “nagging” sensation were at odds. In these cases, I find it helpful to be straight with God by telling Him that I’m going to do X (usually following my common sense) unless He makes it abundantly clear that He wants me to do Y (following the “nagging”), and that I want to do His Will but need to be sure that it is His Will before I get started. I do think that sometimes God calls us to do things that are against common sense, but in these cases it is very important to do what you are doing - work to discern with certainty that this is, in fact, God’s Will that is moving us, and not our emotions or false expectations for His Will.

If you pray over this with the Spirit, then I think you will be okay ignoring any feelings you may have about reuniting with your ex and just praying that you are still at the stage of trusting that God will make His Will blatantly clear when these emotions arise. I have found that handing my future to God in this way has been a great source of peace for me, and that when God really did want me to make a change, He has always provided me with the confidence and means in His own time. On at least one occasion, the response was increased confidence in the path I was going to do anyways, unless He told me otherwise. In that case, the “nagging” was social pressures and my expectations, and not God’s Will at all.


#7

I don’t know what exactly happend back then, you do obviously though and perhaps you are right.

Maybe your husband did have an emotional affair that wasn’t sexual and you drove him away and he fled to the only emotional relationship he had… can’t say on that.

You guys have remained friends though so that says that some type of relationship is still there.

I do know people who have divorced and got back together 12 years later, there was a sponsor in my RCIA class who re-married her son’s father 12 years after they divorced and thus far they have been very happy… as is their son that his mom and dad are together and happy again.

A marriage is 100% from both parties, not 50/50 and it’s never just one persons fault in a split… it may be much MORE one person that the other but a marriage takes 2, it’s never 100% someone elses fault.

So did you drive him away rather than trying to work it out? That’s up to you to decide…

If you guys are friends I don’t see a problem in saying… “Hey, you know after all these years - did we make a mistake? Should we have tried to work it out? Should we even bring ‘us’ up after all these years?” (do NOT say “I” as in did I make a mistake, again this is 2 people here, don’t put yourself up for blame in the least no matter what - he chose his actions)

And just see what he says… if he says I’ve been thinking about that then see where it leads, if he says “no we made the right decision” then you have your answer.

I’ve always found honesty and frankness being best in a relationship.

You are in my prayers!
Joe


#8

Wow, I just love all the thoughtful replies! There is so much to keep in mind when making a big decision and sometimes it’s hard to keep track of it all. One of the things I love about being a Christian is that when we confide in one another people always keep in mind that there is always that extra person, God, to consider. Thank you for the advice.


#9

Hmmm…I’m not sure you were hasty in divorcing, since he made the choice to consider her feelings over the feelings of you and your children. Faithless spouses are not likely to tell the truth, so I would bet there was a lot more than “body rubs” going on. He is still seeing her, so what does that tell you? It doesn’t sound like he is trying to reconcile with you after all this time, in any case.

You received an annulment, which means the marriage was never valid. I would suggest counselling to figure out why you are feeling this way, before talking to your ex about it. I know my children would dearly love it if my ex and I got back together, but that is impossible because he is not trustworthy and lacks respect. Are you feeling that familiar Catholic guilt because Catholics are not supposed to divorce? Sometimes relationships can be so toxic that it is worse to stay together “for the sake of the kids”.

Of course nobody is perfect in any marriage, but going outside the marriage and seeking others breaks a fundamental trust and causes a huge disconnect due to the amount of deceit that takes place. It’s a lot of work to keep up a secret life like that. I think people who have never been in that situation don’t really know what they are talking about, and so should perhaps not pass judgement.


#10

Your story shows that you, by God’s grace, have been a faithful person and that he remains virtually unrepentant. Even now you think about how you could improve things for all of you, though he’s not fit for marriage. Your actions are noble, his are not.

The annulment was an objective finding that this guy never knew what marriage was in the first place, or did not have the capacity to fulfill the duties of marriage from the outset. Without a major conversion to consistent saintly living, this guy will not be trustworthy for you now or in the future. You need to let go and move on. If you tangle with him, he’s likely to fail you and the kids all over again.

If he had demonstrated a dramatic reversal by committing his life to you and the kids—and had done so for a sustained period—perhaps things would be different today.

Move on with your future, and perhaps you someday you’ll meet a good Catholic man who knows that marriage is all about family, fidelity, and caregiving. But even if you don’t, you’ll do well with your children and close family and friends.


#11

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