How to deal with parents' invalid marriages?


I’m interested in knowing if my situation is common for others. What follows is a description of my mother and fathers’ types of relationships. My parents had a divorce; my mother ended up marrying the man she was having an affair with, and my father ended up going through a little depression and then ended up marrying and divorcing in a period of about 3 years; and in addition, is about to be married again in the coming month. If it makes any difference, both of my parents still consider themselves Catholic, which is sort of bizarre. Naturally, amidst all of this awkwardness I drifted away from the Catholic Church and held the cliched nihilistic viewpoint in my teenage years. Knowing how this was in a way somewhat responsible for me breaking away from Church, and because both of them do not admit their faults, then what exactly do I owe them? I do not particularly enjoy their company, yet I agree to visit on occasion and attend certain things like my upcoming Dad’s marriage. Do I really have to do all of this?


You say your parents consider themselves Catholic. Have either of them ever been through the annullment process?

I think you owe your parents respect and love - as for attending his wedding, have you spoken to your priest about the options you may have, say going to the reception but not the ceremony?


Both of my parents are remarried without an annulment. I have discussed the issue with them. I cannot froce them to go through the process. I can pray for them and love them (which is what I do). We are not called to abandon sinners because of their sin (how could we abandon ourselves?) but to love them and to teach them the TRUTH.


I’m sorry I can’t really answer your questions, but pray for them.


My parents divorced after 32 yrs of marriage. My mom was raised Catholic but left the Church. My parents were married in a non-denom church. Then after all of us kids left…so did she. So I know what you are feeling. My mom is remarried with the man she was seeing while my parents were still married. Her husband and she were married in the Church so I assume that my mom sought an annulment and was granted one. My dad has been dating a woman for a few years (who BTW is a practicing Catholic) that he has no intention of marrying but they play house.
As far as what you owe them: As imperfect as they may be, they are your parents. They took care of you when you were little. So love them. In loving them, that doesn’t mean that you can’t speak the TRUTH. Truth meaning the truth the Church teaches. The truth about your feelings. Tell them how you feel without being accusatory. Say things like, “Dad, I am having a hard time with coming to your wedding because…” We hold our parents on such high pedastals and when they don’t measure up, it is hurtful. Don’t judge them. Just be open and calm yet firm in what you know the truth is. And pray for them. Put all of these concerns in the Lord’s hands. You will drive yourself crazy trying to “fix” them. I hope this helps you.


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