Nervous about annulment proceedings


#1

So, as I have mentioned here before, I was previously married and then remarried before I became interested in the Church. At the time I was not really aware it was a sin, and I had a legal divorce and a civil ceremony for my 2nd marriage. If you happen to be wondering how it is I am now Catholic and able to receive Communion, I will just say that my husband and I have separate residences and when we are together act as brother and sister (which is its own challenge, but so be it). We have discussed this extensively and this will continue to be the case until and if a decree of nullity is granted, with the understanding that it may not be. If it is, then I would move on to pursuing convalidation (my husband is not Catholic, but is willing to consider it, and is thrilled that I am happy).

I have started a case with the Diocesan Tribunal, and have finally completed a draft of the questionnaire, which was very difficult to fill out. I have sent it over to my representative, who also happens to be the pastor of my parish, and whom I know to be understanding and gentle. And yet... we have a meeting on Tuesday to go over the questionnaire, and I am horribly nervous about it. There is so much that is so intensely personal, and which I basically never talk about with anyone, and I am just feeling sort of intimidated and a bit embarrassed. (I suffer from an anxiety disorder, which does not help.) I am kind of a wreck right now and likely will be until after our meeting. I get like this about ANY important discussion that is scheduled for some point in the future.

Can anyone who has been through this provide any thoughts or reassurances? Also, if there are any good prayers, I would love to know them. Right now I basically just pray for strength and courage and the ability to wait for and fulfill God's will on this. My real life friends and family are not very helpful here; mostly they wonder why I would feel that I need to do this, why I would be subject to such personal questioning, etc. and don't "get" that it is required for me so I can go on with my life and my relationship with God. I have been outright told that "the whole thing is ridiculous." Obviously I disagree, but I can't look for much support from that quarter, you know?

I hope this made sense. I'm having a hard time gathering my thoughts.


#2

I can’t help you much with all the inner details and workings of the annulment, but having been prone to panic attacks for quite a long stretch of my life, I would advise you to ask your doctor about medication that can help on that day. I took Klonopin and it was an amazing aid for me. You only take it as needed and I didn’t need much or very often, but if I felt that panic rising up I would take half of a tab and I could think clearly again. It also seemed to have some residual effect for me, which I’m not sure is normal. A friend took Atavan and that worked for her. I am telling you this because panic attacks and anxiety can be very paralyzing and horrible, and when you need presence of mind, these medications may help. I don’t know that you have time to get them before Tuesday, maybe if you have already been under a doctor’s care for anxiety, you have something to take. I hope so.

I say the rosary when I need to calm down. Praying the Hail Mary just has a good effect on me. I will add you to my prayers.

Your husband sure must be a great guy. So many would just leave, I think…Like all those other people say, “Why are you doing all this?” They just don’t understand. You are doing the right thing, though, I’m sure you know that.


#3

I don’t have any advice for you, but a lot of admiration for your dedication to doing the will of God. May God bless you with everything you need!


#4

Hello. I admire your dedication to God. You are living according to His will, and in today's world, that is something not too many people will understand. My husband and I have been criticized for just going to church on Sunday. It is just one of the many kooky things you will hear when you choose to follow God's ways. We just ignore those folks, and perhaps you may want to do like-wise. I will say that I know someone who did go through the annulment proceedings, and I do remember that she mentioned having to divulge personal information. Though it made her uncomfortable, she is glad that she did it. I trust all will go well for you!

Heavenly Father, in faith, I thank You for helping Sparrow during this stressful period. Thank You for smoothing over the road ahead, and for blessing Sparrow and her husband for their faithfulness to you. Amen.


#5

Thank you for the thoughts. Julianne, I do have Klonopin actually already. I just kind of hate taking it; sadly, half a tab does nothing for me because I have a high tolerance for almost all medications, and so I try to avoid it when I can. But this is probably a situation that calls for judicious use, I guess.

I went to Mass this morning (duh) and practically hyperventilated beforehand, but I really find Mass to be very helpful and especially reception of the Eucharist. I feel pretty good right now. I'll have to make sure to go to 7am the next few days :) At least work should be super busy as well, which will help keep me occupied.

I have to say that I do think God had a hand in setting this situation up for success. I can see His hand in the events of the past year and a half, where jobs led us to have separate residences. And it also really emphasizes for me the love and respect that my husband has for me, that he is willing to do this because he knows it is important to me, even if he doesn't quite understand why (yet?). So I do hope the decree of nullity is granted because I think this time can only make our relationship stronger.

I have even had some Catholic friends ask me why I would "subject myself" to this process, and that they see no reason one should have to provide such personal information and would not do so themselves. :shrug: But I will try not to be discouraged. I really wish my own mother were still alive for this, because I know she would support me, but as it is I find myself turning to Mary for consolation.


#6

A PRAYER
FOR PEACE OF MIND
(By Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini)

** FORTIFY me with the grace of Your Holy Spirit
and give Your peace to my soul
that I may be free from all needless anxiety,
solicitude and worry.
Help me to desire always
that which is pleasing and acceptable to You
so that Your will may be my will.
**


#7

Lord, help me to live this day quietly, easily
To lean on Thy great strength trustfully, restfully
To await the unfolding of Thy will patiently, serenely
To meet others peacefully, joyously
To face today and tomorrow confidently, courageously


#8

Also, pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet. It is quick and easy - and when your mind is anxious, its great to have an easy prayer. There are many graces that go with it. Here is the how-to below. Its really very simple!

How to Recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Begin with: the* Our Father, theHail Mary* and the *Apostle's Creed*.

Then, on the large bead before each decade*:*

      ***Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Your Dearly Beloved Son,Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.***

      On the ten small beads of each decade, say:

  ***For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.***

  Conclude with (Say 3 Times):

  ***Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.***

Its that simple. You can add these optional prayers to begin and close if you want:

Optional Opening Prayers: You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!

Optional Closing Prayer:

Optional Closing PrayerEternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.


#9

Hi, I don’t know whether you’ve had your meeting yet, but having been through the tribunal process myself the only advice I can give you is to be completely open and honest in everything you say. It’s not easy to talk about such private, personal things but you need to try and suspend the shame/embarassment or whatever it is you’re feeling for that short time so that you can make a full, honest testimony. I have no doubt that the priest who meets with you will have been through this process many times before and will treat your situation with the utmost sensitivity, as the priest did in my situation. Don’t be afraid. Finally, pray to Pope John Paul II as I did, he didn’t let me down :slight_smile:


#10

[quote="fieldsparrow, post:1, topic:238338"]
There is so much that is so intensely personal, and which I basically never talk about with anyone, and I am just feeling sort of intimidated and a bit embarrassed. (I suffer from an anxiety disorder, which does not help.) I am kind of a wreck right now and likely will be until after our meeting.

[/quote]

FWIW, you're not the only one that goes through this. I'd speculate that a great many do, excepting those cut-and-dry cases.

In one case I know about, a woman I know simply wouldn't speak to a priest about certain personal issues; she insisted on being interviewed by a nun. In my own case, I was faced with revealing some very private information that nobody else knew about, told strictly in confidence to me, that would basically guarantee an annulment, or risk not getting it. To this day I am not happy about it, but it was done for the sake of keeping peace with my family and Church.

Can anyone who has been through this provide any thoughts or reassurances?

I recommend not dwelling on the issue at hand; simply do what is necessary to make the annulment proceed. With some prayers and luck, in due course you'll have your annulment and convalidation, and you'll have forgotten about what you're currently going through.


#11

Thanks all. I did have my meeting -- I actually rescheduled it to yesterday because I had to go to a funeral viewing tonight. The meeting went fine. I am grateful that our parish's pastor is really a wonderful priest. We had a good chat and I have a few revisions to make and then off we send the documents. Whew.

ETA: And I have been very honest in filling out the questions, which is what's made it so hard to do. There are some things I keep behind walls, but if I am really starting again, it doesn't profit anyone to keep those things concealed. It's all been great practice for going to Confession, I can tell you that.


#12

After my pastor read my 60+ pages of testimony, I thought I would never be able to make eye contact again. Somehow, though, he managed to act as if he doesn't know any of that, or like he forgot or something. Which is a very good thing given how much contact we have.

It's weird, though.


#13

Please keep us posted.I am Catholic and my husband has just startred RCIA. He was married previously/divorced and we were married 11 yrs ago in a Christian not Catholic church. I am a revert and we are just starting the process of annulment and convalidating our marriage.I will pray for your situation and anxiety and would appreciate any prayers and encouragement from any who have done this(or those who have not)


#14

Blessing to all,

I am new here, just joined today (May 2011).

I have a question. I am a Roman Chatholic and married a divorcee. My husband got married in Uk (Church of England) he is not a roman chatolic. If we want to get married in a chatolic church must he annul his first marriage? I know I have to talk to a priest regarding this, but if anyone can give me some advice will be of great help.
Thank you all.
God Bless: Agnes


#15

not enough info
you need to see the priest, your pastor is the best one.
sorry I read the post wrong where you "just joined" and thought you meant the Church, not the forums, anyway welcome to the forums.
on the face of what you said here your husband was not free to marry, but only after you present all the relevant circumstances can the priest direct you on what is neccessary in your situation.

Bear in mind that entering into a marriage you thought was valid because you did not have all the facts, or were given wrong information, is not a sin.


#16

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for all your help.
I knew I have to talk to a priest about all this.
Just wanted to find out, anything I can before I proceed to it.
My husband says, he believes in God and he is a Christian, why must he become a chatholic - I replied its because you married me and we are one, but I dont think he will go for RCIA. How much does it cost to annual a marriage? We are not that well to do people.
He does not have any contact with his ex-wife at all.
We have been married for nearly 6yrs now, no kids. I just want to get blessings from the church and attend masses with my husband.
God Bless you all.
Aggi


#17

There is no charge for annulment proceedings in my diocese, as it is considered part of the ministry of the Church and is therefore covered by the annual assessment each parish pays to the diocese. I’ve heard of many dioceses who ask for several hundred dollars, but never more than a thousand. And they will never ask you to pay what you cannot afford!


#18

Your husband does not have to become a Catholic. He does need to be free to marry you , though.
The fee depends upon your diocese. Make an appointment with your pastor.


#19

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