My brother probably getting a divorce


#1

Hullo.

Okay. A little background, be warned, it's long:

My brother went to school to be a high school history teacher. Got his degree, got married in the church, and became a teacher. It's been 7 years. During those last 7 years, both he and his wife became non-practicing Catholics. Within the year of his first teaching year, he and a student got to texting and emailing, and let's just say, when the student's mom found out, he ultimately lost his job.

So then he went into law school; his wife was already in it, and in fact, graduates next month, and later she will take the bar. Low and behold, about two months ago, his wife finds out that my brother had been keeping in contact with the student to cost him his job. His wife saw a text that he had sent, some song quote, saying "all my life and I've finally found you" or something. I don't know. But words definately to that effect.

Now he has been living out of the house, for the past two months, and has told his wife that he doesn't want to be married anymore. Whether or not he ends up with this girl who he's been texting, I don't know. And apparently neither does he. In any case, it looks like--according to his wife--that they are going to file for a divorce. Now, while the church will obviously consider them still married, since we don't recognize a divorce, neither husband nor wife see it that way. I told her they would have to get an annullment if they wanted to marry again, but my sister-in-law (hearafter abbreviated SIL) says that she meant every single word, and knew exactly what she was doing. She says she still loves him, and would take him back if he asked for forgiveness and all.

But he hasn't done that. And he doesn't want to. My SIL says she thinks he'll be starting counseling because, oh yea, he dropped out of school. And he had previously quit his job--working clerical in a law firm I think--so that he could attend school. So now, he's homeless--living with a friend--jobless, and schoolless. While counseling may help, it doesn't look like he's going to come back to his wife, because he doesn't want to.

My brother can be fragile, harsh words can send him into a depression, though he already is at this point. But saying anything like "be a man and keep the promise you made" won't work, it just makes him retreat even further.

My parents are devastated. My mom in particular is angry at him for doing this, and feels like she's failed to bring him up right. She also is devastated that she will not get grandchildren from them--they have not kids yet--and any children my brother has, will be outside his rightful marriage. But she did the best she could, being the only practicing Catholic parent. My dad feels guilty he did not warn my brother of the danger in being so close to a student like he was, at the beginning, and also feels he didn't bring him up better. I'm mad at my brother for making my parents think that, and for thinking he can just say "oh, I don't want to be married anymore" as if this weren't a lifebound promise.

But I'm also mad at him for selfish reasons: He is my only sibling. My boyfriend and I have been talking about getting married, and I feel I can't talk about our plans with my parents anymore. Everytime something has to do with marriage or grandchildren, any little thing and it sets my parents thinking about my brother. And at my eventual wedding, either my brother will be there or he won't, and if he isn't, it'll break hearts, and if he is, everyone will be thinking "oh what a shame that Mil's marriage didn't work out" or something, their attention will be divided. I know this is incredibly selfish of me, and I'm trying to get over that.

Meanwhile, I am so incredibly angry at him but obviously saying anything, even if it's the truth, won't do anything. He's already been told, mostly by my parents. He's barely speaking to any of us as it is. Of course we've all been praying. And I ask for your prayers too. As my SIL said, "only an act of God will bring him back" but if my brother doesn't want to, then God won't interfere because he allows us to do what we want, even if it's stupid.

Which leads me to: trying not to be angry at God that He's allowing my brother to have such a hard heart as to not admit he was wrong and want to try to fix it.

So yea, I think just talking about this helps, but I'm still dealing with anger and pain and selfishness, as aforementioned.

sigh Please pray for us.

Thank you
--Grey


#2

My ex did the same things your brother is doing. God might be allowing him this stony heart to let your brother see where it leads him. My ex’s family jumped right in and tried to fix everything for him, and it only makes the whole situation so much worse. IMO, your brother needs to feel this desolation his choices have brought about. Let everything fall. Love him, pray for him, but let him feel the consequences. My 2 cents.

God wants your bro back more than you, your parents and his wife combined do. God sees the whole picture though, and knows what needs to happen.

Gotta run, but you’ll be in my prayers!


#3

Regardless of what happens, your brother is still your brother. I cannot think of anything my sisters could do that would make me stop talking to them or cut them out of my life.

Yes, your brother seems to be on the wrong path, but never, ever forget that you are a sinner as well.

Prayers for your family.


#4

Just also remember that there is nothing sinful in a divorce because that is a civil issue. It is if you try to get remarried after you are divorced where the problem is, because that is a church issue.


#5

Thanks guys. I of course love him very much, and I think that's why the anger and pain is as strong as it is. And I've told him that I love him, and that nothing would change that. I try to keep in contact with him too, even though he doesn't want to talk to us very much.

And I know I'm not perfect either, oh man I know I'm a sinner too, but still...it's hard to see someone destroy what he has. But as SarahR said, guess he's just gotta take the fall so that his eyes may be opened.

At this point, my parents agree that there's not much we can do for them, except to pray, and be there if/when they ask.

Thanks again for your prayers, it's really appreciated. Just gotta fight this with prayers! :knight2:


#6

[quote="GreyRabbit, post:1, topic:194924"]

.

I feel I can't talk about our plans with my parents anymore. Every time something has to do with marriage or grandchildren, any little thing and it sets my parents thinking about my brother. And at my eventual wedding, either my brother will be there or he won't, and if he isn't, it'll break hearts, and if he is, everyone will be thinking "oh what a shame that Mil's marriage didn't work out" or something, their attention will be divided. I know this is incredibly selfish of me, and I'm trying to get over that.

It is not incredibly selfish of you. Of course you see how it will affect your wedding both to you directly, and the effect on your parents. But you should not allow your brother's stupid choices to have such an effect on your wedding and on your marriage. You cannot let his behavior color your life. If you do not talk about your wedding or avoid the subject you are in a way enabling him. You would be dancing around what he has done and for what purpose? Go full speed ahead with your plans and your conversations and if he is not a part of it, so be it.

Meanwhile, I am so incredibly angry at him but obviously saying anything, even if it's the truth, won't do anything. He's already been told, mostly by my parents. He's barely speaking to any of us as it is. Of course we've all been praying. And that is all that you can do until he wakes up, if he ever does. And I ask for your prayers too. As my SIL said, "only an act of God will bring him back" but if my brother doesn't want to, then God won't interfere because he allows us to do what we want, even if it's stupid. The fact that you realize this now will be a big step toward your being able to go forward.

Which leads me to: trying not to be angry at God that He's allowing my brother to have such a hard heart as to not admit he was wrong and want to try to fix it.
No, here is where you are wrong. God is not keeping your brother this way, your brother is. And God is not going to "fix" your brother's heart. Only your brother can do that. What God can do is help your brother if and when he asks for a change in his life. Remember, free will?

So yea, I think just talking about this helps, but I'm still dealing with anger and pain and selfishness, as aforementioned.

sigh Please pray for us. You have come to the right place for that! :thumbsup:

Thank you
--Grey

[/quote]


#7

[quote="Irishmom2, post:6, topic:194924"]

[/quote]

Thanks, I really really appreciate it :o


#8

Sad situation. the church won't give an annulment if they are splitting up because of something that happened after the marriage.


#9

The comments you made about your brothers going into depressions,etc could be grounds for anullment depending on if he was unable or unwilling to enter into the Sacrament. Just because she meant every word of it - it takes two to tango.


#10

[quote="gelsbern, post:4, topic:194924"]
Just also remember that there is nothing sinful in a divorce because that is a civil issue. It is if you try to get remarried after you are divorced where the problem is, because that is a church issue.

[/quote]

Um. Are you forgetting about the vows made before God, the Church, and the community? Divorce is a sin unless there is an annulment.


#11

Uh, excuse me? Divorce is not a sin.
Re-marriage without an annulment is a sin.


#12

Read the Catechism-
**IV. OFFENSES AGAINST THE DIGNITY OF MARRIAGE

** **2383 **The *separation *of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.176
If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.
**2384 ***Divorce *is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:

If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to herself.177 **2385 **Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.
**2386 **It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.178


#13

[quote="Seatuck, post:12, topic:194924"]
Read the Catechism-
IV. OFFENSES AGAINST THE DIGNITY OF MARRIAGE
...
** **2383 **The *separation *of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.176

[size=]
If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense*[/size].

**2384 *
*Divorce *is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:

[/quote]

I did read it. You might want to read it again.
Divorce does not automatically constitute "a sin."


#14

The comments you made about your brothers going into depressions,etc could be grounds for anullment depending on if he was unable or unwilling to enter into the Sacrament. Just because she meant every word of it - it takes two to tango.

Sad situation. the church won’t give an annulment if they are splitting up because of something that happened after the marriage.

Why, exactly, are we talking about annulments? The wife says she would take him back, it is only the husband who is keeping the marriage from being whole. If/when he comes around, the marriage can be restored.

Just because it’s getting hard doesn’t mean you jump right to annulment.


#15

Praying for your brother-- As a teacher, it goes directly against what we are there to do when we decide to get into a relationship with one of our students--- particularly when the student is younger than us. (Now in a college situation, where the professor is an adult and the student is an adult that may be different) But perhaps if your brother had a closer relationship to God, he would have realized this.

With him having depression, I know you have to choose your words carefully. He has lost a lot due to wanting something that isn't and should not happen. I know there is a caring way to come across and remind him he lost his home, his wife who loves him dearly, his job, and the chance to get a good education (something I would assume would mean a lot to an educator) AND he is depressed--- those bad feelings must be due to his loss.

And don't worry about the wedding day: the BIG thing is that you and your husband are exchanging vows. It shouldn't matter what other people are thinking about. Focus on your husband, God, and the new union you two are building. The rest of the people are just there to witness this union. (Which btw, congrats on the upcoming marriage!! :thumbsup:)

Prayer is a good place to start for your brother--- let us hope that he opens his heart to the Lord, only then can healing take place. http://www.kutlessrocks.com/images/smilies/general/angel.gif


#16

[quote="Angelic_Rose, post:15, topic:194924"]
Praying for your brother-- As a teacher, it goes directly against what we are there to do when we decide to get into a relationship with one of our students--- particularly when the student is younger than us. (Now in a college situation, where the professor is an adult and the student is an adult that may be different) But perhaps if your brother had a closer relationship to God, he would have realized this.

With him having depression, I know you have to choose your words carefully. He has lost a lot due to wanting something that isn't and should not happen. I know there is a caring way to come across and remind him he lost his home, his wife who loves him dearly, his job, and the chance to get a good education (something I would assume would mean a lot to an educator) AND he is depressed--- those bad feelings must be due to his loss.

And don't worry about the wedding day: the BIG thing is that you and your husband are exchanging vows. It shouldn't matter what other people are thinking about. Focus on your husband, God, and the new union you two are building. The rest of the people are just there to witness this union. (Which btw, congrats on the upcoming marriage!! :thumbsup:)

Prayer is a good place to start for your brother--- let us hope that he opens his heart to the Lord, only then can healing take place. http://www.kutlessrocks.com/images/smilies/general/angel.gif

[/quote]

Bolded above might be the heart of the matter.
Not only has the brother failed in terms of professionalism, but he has torched his future.
His future meaning: his marriage, his family relationships and his professional life.
Acting as he has done - and is doing - speak to very serious issues that are obvious.
Getting him ongoing psychological help is the primary need.

You could say his behavior is clearly self-destructive.

As for the sister's future wedding, it's almost irrelevant compared to the brother's needs.


#17

**Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law.

This is the primary teaching.

The catechism also says:

It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law.

The vast majority of divorces are grave offenses against the natural law by one or more of the spouses. Fewer fit the scenario where one spouse in a completely innocent victim.

You seemed to disregard outright that divorce is a sin and did not say “in some cases” which is what the church teaches.


#18

[quote="Seatuck, post:17, topic:194924"]
**Divorce **is a grave offense against the natural law.

This is the primary teaching.

The catechism also says:

It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law.

The vast majority of divorces are grave offenses against the natural law by one or more of the spouses. Fewer fit the scenario where one spouse in a completely innocent victim.

You seemed to disregard outright that divorce is a sin and did not say "in some cases" which is what the church teaches.

[/quote]

You are attempting to re-write the Catechism.

First statement:

*2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.176
If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense. *

Give some thought to the FACT that MORAL law and NATURAL law are not the same.

**The Church has never declared divorce to be sinful.

It has always declared re-marriage without annulment to be sinful. **

Insisting that your own confusion is certainty is a grave disservice to Church Teaching.
Do you imagine (and propose) that a divorced person must confess the "sin" of divorce?
Do you imagine that such a person is not free to receive the Eucharist?

You are in error. Common error. Yet still ERROR.


#19

[quote="catharina, post:18, topic:194924"]
You are attempting to re-write the Catechism.

First statement:

*2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.176
If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense. *

Give some thought to the FACT that MORAL law and NATURAL law are not the same.

**The Church has never declared divorce to be sinful.

It has always declared re-marriage without annulment to be sinful. **

Insisting that your own confusion is certainty is a grave disservice to Church Teaching.
Do you imagine (and propose) that a divorced person must confess the "sin" of divorce?
Do you imagine that such a person is not free to receive the Eucharist?

You are in error. Common error. Yet still ERROR.

[/quote]

I don't believe I am wrong. Moral law is derived from the Natural Law. Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law means it is a a grave moral offense.


#20

[quote="Seatuck, post:19, topic:194924"]
I don't believe I am wrong. Moral law is derived from the Natural Law. Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law means it is a a grave moral offense.

[/quote]

Sticking to your erroneous conclusions?

Explain then, must a divorced Catholic seek the confessionnl to have divorce forgiven?
If so, how many times must he/she do so? Forever?

Divorce, not rectified and repudiated becoming an eternal sin?

Is such a Catholic, faithful in every way, forbidden to recieve Holy Communion?
If so, according to what Church Teaching?

You are wrong.

It's that simple.

One more time:

If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.

The Church clearly contradicts your imagination and misunderstanding.


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