Obstacles to "returning home" - feeling discouraged


#1

Mods, if this post is in the wrong section please move it for me. Thank you.

After resisting the call for many years I made the decision to return to Catholicism, the faith of my childhood, while standing at my dying father's bedside last October. Even after my dad's passing I continued to make lame excuses why I shouldn't.

One by one over the last few months I have overcome those silly and lame excuses. I'm very shy, so I reached out to long time friends of my husbands that I knew attended the local church. I now attend mass with them so I don't feel so awkward and out of place. We live on a farm and don't get a day off from work. The English mass happens to be during our busiest hour of the morning, so I talked it over with my husband and he agreed to take on twice the work. I didn't feel I had appropriate attire - farm clothes: overalls, t-shirts and shorts weren't going to cut it, so I bought myself a church wardrobe. I had no clue where my baptism occurred and with both my parents deceased I didn't know where to start my search. I reached out to a relative that I hadn't spoken with in many years who knew and I now have a copy of it. I had a very troubling issue that I couldn't face, my dad's passing and my part in enforcing his living will (long story), so I had a long discussion with the parish priest about it and I'm at peace with that now. I am now in RCIA classes. One by one, I have pushed my perceived obstacles aside and kept my eye on the goal - being in full communion with the Church.

Now I'm up against an obstacle that I see no way around, through or over and just feel like giving up. My husband and I have both been married before. Mine was a short marriage of convenience that was not consummated. I have no idea where my ex is now, but I'm told that getting an annulment shouldn't be as hard as my mind as made it out to be. The problem starts with getting our current marriage blessed by the church. My husband is Baptist and still very supportive of my reverting to Catholicism, but he won't now nor will he ever willing to deal with his ex wife to get their marriage annulled. He was married to her for 27 years. During the last ten years of his marriage she was repeatedly unfaithful and in our very small town everyone knew about it, but he stayed until his youngest child was grown and out on her own. He was very hurt that everyone was talking about it behind his back, but he was determined to look after his children. He even went so far as to continue to support his ex financially for two years after the divorce, but once it was over he was done with it. He refuses to even speak with her on the phone, let alone approach her about getting an annulment.

My husband is a very special person, but he is also very stubborn and slow to change or make up his mind about something, if he does at all. The family joke is that it takes him at least six months to decide to purchase a new package of undershirts. I should mention here that we are both in our 50s, don't have sexual relations and haven't for a couple of years, due to health issues on his part. We live together more like best friends and helpers. I love him and he loves me, we show affection with hugs and kisses and face life challenges together, but I know when his mind is made up about something and on the issue of the annulment his mind is made up.

Having said all that, why should I bother to continue to try and obtain full communion with the Church? Everyone tells me to prayer about it, talk to the priest about it, have faith. I have tried to do all that, but it's not going to change my husband's outlook. Why bother?


#2

First of all, you need to talk with your priest. It sounds like you already have found him to be supportive of you so allow this to continue.

I'm not an expert on how tribunals work, but my understanding is that your husband would not have to contact his ex directly. The tribunal does all of that, so hopefully that should help.

But most of all, talk to your priest.


#3

I know you are discouraged, but I encourage you to try to simply pray for guidance, and take it one step at a time.

You can't change your husband, only yourself and maybe this is a trial meant to teach you to simply follow without seeing how it will all work out. Let God move the mountains and level the paths ... your part is to simply draw near Him in prayer and trust.

Good luck to you and may God bless you on this journey!


#4

I have no words of wisdom to offer you, but can offer my prayers that this works out for you.

You and your husband sound like decent and good hearted people. I really hope and pray this comes together for you.

Welcome home.


#5

Your husband does not have to have contact with her at all. The Tribunal handles all of it. And if she chooses not to respond or participate, that is OK too.


#6

[quote="kdkkdt, post:1, topic:338781"]
I should mention here that we are both in our 50s, don't have sexual relations and haven't for a couple of years, due to health issues on his part. We live together more like best friends and helpers.

[/quote]

Then there should be no issue at all. If you are living in continence, you should be able to resume the sacramental life without delay.

[quote="malambo, post:3, topic:338743"]

Having said all that, why should I bother to continue to try and obtain full communion with the Church?

[/quote]

Because it is the Truth. It is Christ's Church. If you love Christ and know the truth about his Church, where else can you go?

[quote="malambo, post:3, topic:338743"]
Everyone tells me to prayer about it, talk to the priest about it, have faith. I have tried to do all that, but it's not going to change my husband's outlook.

[/quote]

I suggest you buy the book Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster.

[quote="malambo, post:3, topic:338743"]
Why bother?

[/quote]

Because pleasing God is important.


#7

Pray, pray pray. Look its obvious the devil is putting these obstacles for you to come home. Don’t let him interrupt your journey home. If I may, i have been posting this in several posts, but check were in your area they have an adoration chapel. Go to it. Talk to God, leave your problems in his hands, and tell him, Father, help me, I will let you guide me.

Ill be praying for you


#8

[quote="kdkkdt, post:1, topic:338781"]
.... I made the decision to return to Catholicism.....

Having said all that, why should I bother to continue to try and obtain full communion with the Church?....... Why bother?

[/quote]

"Having said all that...." I left in the quote.... what I heard from you "having said all that".

**
"I made the decision to return to Catholicism."**

Welcome to your journey home.

You have decided to return to the Church.

You know that you find the fullness of the Faith in the Church.

Why bother to not continue towards being back in the fullness of the Church?

Why bother letting something like an annulment process keep you from returning to the Church?

You start by talking with your parish priest. Someone will lead you through your part and your husband's part of the annulment process. Do not let "fear" and "discouragement" keep you from the Church.

Your husband will not be the first person who asks for an annulment that does not want contact with his ex-spouse.

Trust the Church that they can help you. You will never know the outcome if you never start the process.

Welcome Home and blessings upon you and your husband.


#9

Please don't be discouraged, anything worth while is worth waiting for, its a bit like the dress you always wanted but cannot afford and have to pay off for it, eventually its all paid off and the dress is yours, what excitement when you own it and wear it.

You know its the right thing to do, your heart and head tell you so, plus you want to get yourself straight with the Lord, go for it, ask the Priest again and tell him you want to go ahead with it. Your brave, let your bravery shine forth.


#10

Talk to your priest about all this, esp your husband’s health issues. There are times occasionally when it is permissible (not always! and your priest will be able to handle the ultimate descision in your case!) when a couple or one of a couple living together “as brother and sister” are able to receive. I have no idea whether this is common or uncommon, but it may be an option or it may not be for you.

As to your husband’s annulment, talk to your priest about that as well, or there may be a sort of specialist in your parish with whom you would need to discuss it further.

Don’t let *anything *discourage you from returning! I was too easily discouraged in my yoth and so returned years later than God called me to!

And welcome back :slight_smile: and welcome to CAF.


#11

As someone beginning the annulment process right now, I would just add that I think we need to remember that the Church provides the annulment as pastoral care for those who have been hurt by marriage but it must also take very serious Gods command that no one put asunder what God has brought together. The annulment process should be thought of as a great discernment, with the help of Mother Church as to whether God really did intend us to be with our spouse. While we participate in the process and take advantage of the opportunity for great reflection about the sacrament of marriage and how our particular situation fits the model of sacramental matrimony, we must ultimately submit to the understanding and determination of the Church. The problem is when we have lived our lives without consideration for the wisdom of the Church as I did before I got married we have to deal with consequences of not following Gods design. So while you want to return to the fold of faith married to your current husband, you may encounter barriers to what you desire. However, if we are to truly submit to the will of God that means we have to submit to the wisdom of the Church in the faith that She speaks for Christ with authority. I pray that in your desire to return to the Church , you experience loving pastoral care and peace to accept what God truly desires for you life. God Bless you on your journey!


#12

Thank you all for your kind words, your wisdom and your prayers.

As it turns out, shortly after I posted this thread I started crying in frustration, also praying hard.

My husband came in from chores and saw me crying. He insisted I tell him why I was crying, so I explained. He called me silly and said he is willing to do whatever it takes to make it possible for me to obtain full communion with the church, up to and including going through the process of getting an annulment of his first marriage. Whatever it takes.

I know I still have an uphill battle ahead of me, but I'm feeling stronger every day. :)


#13

[quote="kdkkdt, post:12, topic:338781"]
Thank you all for your kind words, your wisdom and your prayers.

As it turns out, shortly after I posted this thread I started crying in frustration, also praying hard.

My husband came in from chores and saw me crying. He insisted I tell him why I was crying, so I explained. He called me silly and said he is willing to do whatever it takes to make it possible for me to obtain full communion with the church, up to and including going through the process of getting an annulment of his first marriage. Whatever it takes.

I know I still have an uphill battle ahead of me, but I'm feeling stronger every day. :)

[/quote]

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful!

Thank you for sharing that with us!

Prayers of Thanksgiving for you and your dear husband.


#14

How could your husband deny that a marriage existed for 27 years - however if your marriage ocurred outside of the Church -I believe the RC Church does not recognize it-no sexual relations = no “living in sin” -I do not believe you would have trouble entering the Church at all-quite confusing

Need one more knowledge:cool:able in RC Canon Law


#15

[quote="cmodrmac, post:14, topic:338781"]
How could your husband deny that a marriage existed for 27 years -

[/quote]

A very common misunderstanding of an annulment is thinking the annulment is saying the marriage never existed.

An annulment is not saying anyone denies that a legal marriage existed, it is saying that it was not a valid marriage from the very beginning.

After a divorce, a couple or one party of the couple asks the Marriage Tribunal to rule if the marriage was valid on the wedding day. If the Tribunal sees something that shows the marriage was not valid on the wedding day, then it can grant the annulment.


#16

first of all, I want to wish you all the best of luck with your problems and in time I am sure things will work out. At least you have option. I have been told by the bishop office's after many inquiries that my wife cannot file for an annullment because she is not catholic or baptized. We also cannot register at a parrish until my marriage situtation is settled.(which cannot happen). so any hope of getting back to church is gone. so count your blessing that you can at least get back to church and work things out.

so don't get discouraged. hang in there. keep working at it. I have faith that everything will workout for you and your husband.


#17

[quote="USS_Nostromo, post:16, topic:338781"]
first of all, I want to wish you all the best of luck with your problems and in time I am sure things will work out. At least you have option. I have been told by the bishop office's after many inquiries that my wife cannot file for an annullment because she is not catholic or baptized. We also cannot register at a parrish until my marriage situtation is settled.(which cannot happen). so any hope of getting back to church is gone. so count your blessing that you can at least get back to church and work things out.

so don't get discouraged. hang in there. keep working at it. I have faith that everything will workout for you and your husband.

[/quote]

Have you made an appointment with your parish priest to ask about becoming a parishioner in this parish and for help with your "marriage situation in the Church?"

(Maybe if you start a thread here on your situation, someone will have the information you need.)

May God lead you to the right people to help in these important matters. God bless you.


#18

[quote="kdkkdt, post:12, topic:338781"]
Thank you all for your kind words, your wisdom and your prayers.

As it turns out, shortly after I posted this thread I started crying in frustration, also praying hard.

My husband came in from chores and saw me crying. He insisted I tell him why I was crying, so I explained. He called me silly and said he is willing to do whatever it takes to make it possible for me to obtain full communion with the church, up to and including going through the process of getting an annulment of his first marriage. Whatever it takes.

I know I still have an uphill battle ahead of me, but I'm feeling stronger every day. :)

[/quote]

Your husband sounds like a really awesome guy.

I'll be praying for you. My wife and I recently had our marriage convalidated and being able to receive the Sacraments has been a blessing. I can't wait for you to receive them too.


#19

[quote="kdkkdt, post:12, topic:338781"]
Thank you all for your kind words, your wisdom and your prayers.

As it turns out, shortly after I posted this thread I started crying in frustration, also praying hard.

My husband came in from chores and saw me crying. He insisted I tell him why I was crying, so I explained. He called me silly and said he is willing to do whatever it takes to make it possible for me to obtain full communion with the church, up to and including going through the process of getting an annulment of his first marriage. Whatever it takes.

I know I still have an uphill battle ahead of me, but I'm feeling stronger every day. :)

[/quote]

:thumbsup: Wonderful news! Your husband really does sound like a great guy and I'm so happy for you. I have a feeling you are about to witness God at work in surprising ways. God bless you on your journey!


#20

Abba, Father, please help this woman in her desire to return in full communion. Thank You and bless her husband in his support and willingness in all of this.


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