I am a 49 year old male. My marriage was annulled. Lots of issues, primarily a chronically ill wife who committed adultery. Did I bear some responsibility for the demise of the marriage as well. Of course, but she is lost in perpetual mortal sin and I, by the grace of God, have kept my faith. I am a orthodox Catholic who is fully submitted to the authority of the Church. I have tried for several years to find a good Catholic woman who will let me love her and serve her. I miss the spiritual, emotional and physical intimacy of a sacramental marriage. I became so lonely at one point that I dated a woman who claimed to be Catholic (we both knew she wasn’t) and learned the hard way that there is no substitute for the love of a sacramental marriage. I’m no George Clooney but I have enough anecdotal evidence to indicate that women are attracted to me. I have two college degrees. I’m a teacher, a published poet and I play the piano and the guitar. I’ve been told I have a great sense of humor and I have an real soft spot for children. I can be playful, funny and spontaneous or I can discuss theology, literature, music and a variety of other subjects in great depth. I have prayed daily to give my vocation and my future, especially concerning a spouse, to the care of God, but everyday is a struggle and I feel so alone. I’ve tried Catholic Dating Websites and found to my dismay that only about 25% of the women on those websites actually agree with the major teachings of the Church. Where is my Juliet, I feel as though I have so much to give.
Praying for you:
Thank you for your prayers. I was not raised in any religion, but God has pursued me since I was a child. I first accepted Jesus at 12 thanks to my protestant Godmother. For the next ten years God continued to place devout Catholics in my life who slowly and progressively convinced me that I needed to convert to Catholicism, which I did in my 20s. I have had a half dozen experiences in my life that should convert even the most devout atheist to Christianity. I am referring to events that can only be understood as miraculous interventions. So, I know God exists and that He is a God of great love and mercy. I know he has intervened in my life in very personal, powerful and specific ways. Based on all of this, it is laughable for me to think that He doesn’t want what’s best for me. I also know that our faith calls us to pick up our cross and follow Christ. Our faith involves suffering and we usually don’t know the purpose of that suffering. I know all of this and at the same time I long so deeply to love someone again as I loved my wife before she abandoned her faith. Please keep me in your prayers.
You know I’m sure, that this world is a persistent illusion and having had experiences revealing to you the existence of God you must also know that you are never truly alone, yet I understand your need for companionship and human love, so much more then does our Heavenly Father of course. We have no alternative but to trust in His wisdom and guidance and I’m sure He will guide you and your future companion to meet. All manner of things shall be well I’ve no doubt.
I often feel alone physically and I often feel that I have so much love to give too but it occurs to me that actually I can give that love to someone special, the greatest Father one could ever wish for.
Peace be with you.
Bless your heart. After being single for six years I could not find a guy who was even close to dating…like one was previously annulled twice and still lives with his current 3rd ex wife, that was a no! One was engaged to be married, that was a no! One was not practicing Christian and the word chastity was not in his vocabulary…a no! Dear God help me, right? …
Then I went on an Ignatian Silent retreat. The Holy Spirit lead me to read a book and the Spiritual Directors encouraged me as well on another retreat to read God’s Voice Within. I learned about spiritual discernment. I realized that while I was praying and hoping for a husband all those years, I was not recieving consolation. If anything I would call it desolation. I realized that I received more consolation in attending one retreat than I have ever received in my six years of prayers for a husband. So, I accepted that God’s plan is clearly not what I had in mind and to trust in Him.
Have you ever been on a Silent Spiritual retreat for discernment?
To be fair…I must say there was one guy who asked me out (after retreat) who was a really great guy but I did not feel like he was the right one. Our personalities differ a lot and some of the best advise I offered him he did not pay attention to. God bless him.
Thanks for the encouragement Lee! My faith has sustained me and during this desert experience my understanding of God’s love and mercy has increased.
It’s interesting that you should mention a silent retreat. When I think back on my miserable marriage, and it was mostly miserable, for some strange reason I mainly recall the good memories. Anyway, when I realized that I had a habit of romanticizing the marriage, I started thinking that maybe marriage wasn’t as fulfilling as I had thought and maybe I needed to be open to another calling. I went up to St. John’s abbey for the weekend, spoke with the director of vocations, went to mass and prayed before the Eucharist. Although this experience bore some fruit I sensed from both my prayer time and the director of vocations that I was not being called to live the monastic life. However, it is good to be open to such a calling in case God is leading you in that direction. To answer your question, I have never been on an authentic silent retreat and I should prayerfully consider that option. I’m so glad that it was such a fruitful experience for you.
These are not grounds for annulment.
You will have been annulled for a marriage that wasn’t valid at the time you were married
The Silent Retreats are amazing. Whatever you may be looking for discernment in, it will be a blessing. In addition to my own experiences, I have heard great things about Fr Anthony Borrow and Fr John Tran at the Montserrat in the Dallas area. Fr Anthony Wieck at the White House Retreat in St Louise is also a wonderfully blessed Spiritual Director.
Well, this looks like fun.
Personally, I just want a husband so we can cut our monthly bills in half. And for kissing… I mean, really, am I right?
Best of luck to you! May St Raphael guide you on your journey!
He said his first marriage was already declared null.
I am not a believer but from my perspective there is something wrong with your comments about your wife. Your utter condemnation of her, literally a ‘damning’ condemnation on a forum such as this, suggests a bitterness that is likely to affect your relationships with other women. Your description of yourself, devoid of any faults or potential challenges for a future partner, also makes me wonder if there is not something about you and your attitudes to women that is putting people off you. May I respectfully suggest if you have not done so hat you seek professional counselling? There are obviously issues you need to deal with in relation to your past marriage and maybe, if my impressions are even a little bit right, with your overall attitude to yourself and relationships. I also note that on a forum such as this and even with your beliefs you did not seek prayers for your former wife. You are entitled to proclaim your orthodoxy but if doing so you should consider the implications of not being seen to practice it. However, as I say I am an unbeliever so please take that into account when considering my views. I give them only because you have sought them.
Welcome to Catholic Answers cnorman
I wish you all the very best in finding that spouse you are searching for.I know you will continue to pray for your ex but please don’t think of her as in perpetual mortal sin as you typed…there is always hope of change and really living the faith.Im going to mass soon, I will remember you there.God bless.
He might not be telling all the details, which is reasonable.
Maybe try Catholic Match, Catholic Singles, or Christian Mingle? There you’d meet people of your same faith that are also looking for partnership. Even non-religious dating sites might bring someone where you could have mutual love. I’ll say a pray for you.
It is absolutely unfathomable that educated adults would weigh in on a forum with assumptions, judgements and condemnations without having all of the facts. First, I will address the person who commented that my wife’s chronic illness and adultery were not grounds for an annulment. I don’t recall stating that they were the factors upon which the annulment was granted. My wife was mentally and physically ill, addicted to pain killers, and suffered from a personality disorder. Because of multiple factors she was unable to fulfill the obligations of a marriage. That, my friend, is one of the criteria for granting an annulment.
Another person posted that I put all of the blame on my wife for the demise of our marriage. If you look back at my very brief initial post I commented that I was also at fault for the demise of our marriage. However, the paths that my spouse and I took at the end of our marriage were radically different. I wept with remorse at my sin, sought help, made amends, changed my behavior and continued on as a practicing Catholic. My ex wife in contrast, had a series of sexual liasons with her psychologist, wounded our children for life by putting them through a divorce, lied to all of her friends and family about me and about her therapist who is now her husband. In addition, I caught them having a sexual relationship while she was his patient which means that my ex wife and children are living with a sexual predator who committed a felony and who should have served time in prison. In summary, my wife traded her family and faith to be with the man who groomed her and sexually violated her.
The psychologist legally changed his name, and retired just before he married her to hide the fact that he was her doctor and to this day my ex-wife introduces him by his alias and tells her family and friends that the two of them met in a church.
I put most of the blame on him, but God never gives us more than we can handle and I have to believe that if she would have sought the Lord’s help with all her heart, he would have given her the grace she needed.
To the person who played amateur psychologist and surmised that I have a problem with women in general after reading a few short simple blogs, are you beginning to understand the stark differences between my wife’s behavior and my own? You also expressed your profound ignorance of my marriage by stating, “you did not seek prayers for your former wife.” I prayed for her on a regular basis (rosaries, novenas, chaplets). I also fasted for her on numerous occasions, brought her to healing masses and made a pilgrimage on her behalf.
I know we are called to be charitable and Christlike on this website so I will forgive the unbeliever based on the fact that he does not know the love and mercy of Christ, but please think long and hard before you offer hurtful commentary about a situation of which you have very little knowledge.
I continue to pray for my ex wife each day, despite what she did to me and our family, and inexplicably, I still love her. God can still work a miracle and bring back his prodigal daughter. I pray he is able to do so.
Thank you my friend. Do you really think those websites would have a significantly higher percentage of women who are fully submitted to the Church and her teachings?
p.s. I don’'t know if you caught it, but I think I mentioned in one of my posts that on Catholic Match the women who actually submit to the authority of the Church are in the minority. Very confusing. Why don’t they just go on a secular dating website?
I haven’t done any dating myself, but I’d imagine people going to a Catholic dating site have a reason for wanting to meet Catholics.
Really? In my experience on that particular site, they were about 80-90%. I’m also only 26 though, so it may be more age-correlated than site-correlated?
I’m so sorry for the suffering you, your ex wife, your children have all suffered. There is so much evil in this world.
It’s been 12 years since my son’s dad decided he wanted out of our marriage. In our case, thanks be to God, there was no mental illness, or abuse, or addiction – and though our son suffered deeply from our separation, his dad and I have done everything in our power to lessen the blow of divorce.
Keep praying for your ex. And when you feel like you can’t pray for her (maybe this only happens to me?) have a trusted friend offer a few prayers for her on your behalf, as it were.
In heaven, we will see how Our Lord has used all these sorrows and even our sins to create a beautiful path that leads to our sanctification and reveals His glory.
God bless you and lead you!