Married then Divorced


If your marriage ended in divorce and you didn’t want the divorce :frowning: how did you cope with it after it happened. Any and all answers are good. Thank you.


I know there will be others offering much more knowledgeable advice, but I would attend a Church support group for divorcees. Our parish offers one and I hope yours does too.


I tried this as well; however, in my case it didn’t really help and I stopped going. I don’t know what the answer is concerning how to cope with a divorce. I’m still trying to figure it out. I eventually petitioned the Church for an annulment, but the Church did not find cause to declare the marriage invalid. Then my wife (or I suppose ex-wife) petitioned again, and we are both still awaiting the decision. The way I see it, it’s a lose-lose situation. I love the woman I married. Something happened and she decided she no longer wanted to be a wife or a mother (said she needed to “find herself”). I finished raising the children and continue to wear my wedding band until such time as an annulment is granted. After that… who knows. I have no real desire to ever again be involved in a relationship and certainly not a marriage, but I have no idea what God has planned for me. I still love my wife… I never stopped. So, I too would like to find out how one can cope with this situation, since I have been trying now for 4 years to do it (after a 20 year marriage) and haven’t had much success. :frowning:


You allow yourself to grieve it as if your spouse died. You increase your prayer life. You find real faithful friends who have been through it too. And give them all the furniture and stuff. After a few years you really won’t want to look at reminders anyway.

If they want it, take cash as as substitute.

And remember your worth as a person doesn’t depend on the opinion of one person.


I also joined a support group at my church. It is a good group, but in the end I found myself more hurt than ever and am no longer attending. Healing will take more time in my case, and apparently a different path than a support group.

Good luck and God bless.


Great Faith- I will look in to this. Thank you for the reply.

Tietjen-I hope you find peace with this someday. We have a few things in common. I will never get in a relationship either not even date. My children are 5,3,2 still young ones. I am primary care provider but that isn’t good enough for me. I want full custody with out hurting the children but I think I deserve it we shall see.I will devote my time entirely on my children and my faith. God has pulled me through and my spiritually has increased. I’m thinking that was his plan. Wife isn’t very spiritual I hope God touches her heart but hasn’t yet. I love her as well I was wearing my wedding band but didn’t like the reminder of what is going on so I took it off. Honestly, I felt like smashing it but haven’t. Thanks for the reply.

Liberanosamalo- I have had that thought go through my mind that is what it feels like anyway. I will have to make friends if I can. I’m kind of a recluse and leave only when needed. Kids, groceries, so forth. That is a great idea on the furniture :thumbsup: Thanks for the reply.

God Bless you all!!


LFV- Hello thank you for the reply. I hope you find the right path shortly. If you don’t mind and if it doesn’t open wounds can you send me a private message and tell me what made the support group hurt. I don’t want to go through that, it hurts enough already.

God Bless!!!


cacaco, I feel as though I have offered you bad advice, and I apologize. As other posters have stated, maybe a support group could be more hurtful than helpful. I have never been in this position, but my cousin was a few years ago, and turned to the church support group and it helped him a lot- and he was in a dark place. God bless you, and I pray you find your path to recovery and happiness soon!


My Wife left five years ago divorced me last year against my whishes and then left the kids in March of this year. I’m only now coming to the reality that its over and only just now starting to think about an annulment(I’m told its not a very easy process to go through). I’ve written many love letters and talked and communicated much with my wife(sorry ex wife) got very angry ,upset and well basically been through the five stages of grief .Yes its like someone dying but the grief goes on longer because she is still there and the fighting over visiting the kids still goes on. Now I,m at the stage where I want her out of my life. I want custody of the kids and yeah well its awful.

She has mental health Issues and the kids don’t really want to be with her but some how I think the courts are going to make them spend time with her. The grief is still going on I guess but having said that I’m feeling better now than I’ve felt in a long time and now that I am with the kids thats great too. Its hard being a full time woking dad but right now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Would I like to get in another relationship ? Well yes at some time but we’ll just have to see what the Good Lord has instore for me.

God Bless


Yeah, JRPO, I forgot to mention that part. It’s like your spouse died, but the corpse comes by and harasses you or leaves nasty messages on your answering machine. A clean death would be merciful because it’s quick and definitive.

I compare it to death in that God allowed death but he hates divorce. Even God thinks divorce is worse than death.

If you compare it to amputation of an arm, death would be a surgical amputation, divorce is like someone with a hack saw with a jagged edge spending a few years slowly slicing your arm off.

(It’s been one of those days. Can you tell?) :smiley:


yeah I was only passing on my own individual feelings there. But well done - you did mention first that its like someone dying:thumbsup:


I think its worse than a death, because the one being left is being rejected. A decision on the part of the other spouse has been made and you have been found unacceptable. On the other hand, when a spouse dies, the spouse left certainly feels the grief, but I doubt that they feel the rejection. :frowning:


By the way I should mention.
In my Achdiocese they have a weekend held once every six months (its a relatively small archdiocese) It is for people who have lost there partner either through death, divorce separation or whatever. Last weekend held I couldn’t make it, I do intend though to go along to the next one. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this kind of thing.


Yes death is final and a normal everyday occurence but divorce goes on and on and its awful for the kids and the spouse a life long sentence and yes you said that too Liberanosamalo.


What has helped me is reading the Psalms, spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, getting to know my family all over again (because I threw all of my energy and attention into “helping” my “poor” ex)…and many little things, like enjoying creating routines for the kids and I, rearranging furniture the way I want it, etc.

Oh, one of the first things I did was to buy new bedsheets/pillows/covers…I didn’t want to keep using the marital bedcovers. That helped.

Also check with your doctor if you think antidepressants may help.
I tried several counselors but they weren’t as much help (actually the opposite of helpful) as the two times I met with a good priest. Those few meetings really opened channels of grace for personal healing.

God bless, you & your children will be in my prayers.


I’m not a big fan of self-help books, but I do really recommend this one:

I am the one that left my (abusive) marriage, so I am not totally sure how helpful my advice will be.

I left because during confession my priest instructed me to set a 6 month deadline for leaving. I have no doubt whatsoever that had I stayed, my ex would have eventually left me. There were enough threats to that effect and enough indications that he was interested in encounters outside the marriage.

Leaving was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Reading all of the responses here, I kind of think that the problem is that a lot of you haven’t made the mental decision to LEAVE that hurtful and harmful relationship. Even though you were left, you still have the hard work to do of leaving and building a healthy and happy life for yourself. This isn’t something that will passively just happen to you. You need to take steps and make concrete decisions to do just this.

Even after I left, my cousin told me that my ex was still very present in my home, that we were all still walking on egg shells and thinking about how he would feel about everything we said or did, little things like would he approve of what I cooked for dinner or the way I folded towels. It did take a lot of time to sort through everything, to be able to hold onto and appreciate the good memories and to reconcile them with the sad truth of how harmful, destructive, and truly soul killing that marriage that I had fought so long and hard to hold together really was. Honestly, it really, really is important to be able to let go of all of the hopes you once had and all of the hard work you had invested in keeping together something that was outside of your power to ever fix.


I have not gone through a marital breakup, but I just want to say, that your post deeply touched me. It just struck a chord with me in a positive way…I think that it’s so true what you say.


First I want to apologize for not responding to others that replied with wonderful insight and testimonies. I was on a retreat and will reply tomorrow to all that posted. I would do so now but I’m exhausted but feeling great from the experience of the retreat.


I feel like I am headed there and I am scared. I don’t know which scares more staying married or getting a divorce/annullment. I hate my situation but I love the man. I know have to trust God.


Those who think that death of a spouse is better than divorce have not gone through the death of the one that they truly loved.

I have been through both and can assure you that I’d take the divorce over the death any day! The death happened years ago and the grief and the pain and the suffering still go on. I have always had regrets with that wife. “I should have been more loving,” or, “I should have done this,” and, “I shouldn’t have done that.” You can’t change those. You can’t take those things back. She’s gone.

Yes, there’s rejection with divorce. Yes, there’s grief. But have some decency and courtesy. It sounds like all of you who have stated thus wish that the spouse had died instead of divorced you. Hate to say it, but it sounds very selfish on your part!

I am in no way diminishing the pain and suffering of divorce (and continued pain and suffering). I understand that too.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit