Pre-Marriage counseling during an annulment?


#21

Until you have a decree of nullity in hand, I cannot imagine a responsible priest or deacon will discuss pre-Cana with you or talk about a wedding.

And when you are dating someone who knows you do not have the decree of nullity, you are involving yourself with someone who does not understand or does not respect the marriage laws of the Catholic Church. Or she would insist you have that decree before she would date you.

Are you making a similar mistake all over again?

The thing about the nullity process, it is also a very good way for you to put your own choices and behavior patterns and ideas into focus to keep from making the same mistakes all over again.

It sounds like you have found again a woman who has "flexible" views about marriage and vows and does not adhere to Catholic rules about weddings. Whether that is through ignorance or you have convinced her otherwise... just be careful. Half a year of dating someone and you want to hurry up an engagement... too much can go wrong.

Patience.

Marry in haste, repent at leisure.


#22

This isn't really the info you were asking for, but my 2cents anyway:

God doesn't usually rush things, His timetable is not ours. I'd gently suggest letting yourself be healed by Him. It sounds like you would consider your marriage to have been unhappy for several years before the very recent divorce of a few months ago. Being there myself (2 1/2 years since my ex bailed on me), I can't stress enough how priceless it has been to let God penetrate and heal my emotions, memories, thoughts, all those mental contortions we get ourselves into when we're in a difficult and disappointing marital relationship. A year, 2 years ago I would have told you I was healed. But God showed me otherwise. The prospect of a new, better relationship is exciting. But God knows what's best and gives great graces through the Church. I hope you take time before getting into something new, and that you receive a Declaration of Nullity if that's God's will for you.

Blessings and prayers.


#23

It’s sort of like the rock song, Paitience, by Guns n Roses-“just take it slow, things will work themself out right-all we need is just a little paitence-”

I still stand by what I said in the previous posts-it’s heartbreaking that way the church views divorced people.


#24

[quote="Rascalking, post:23, topic:193855"]

I still stand by what I said in the previous posts-it's heartbreaking that way the church views divorced people.

[/quote]

As one, I've been treated very lovingly by the Church and priests, thankfully :). Life is still full and rich and fun and beautiful despite the heavy cross of divorce. Although I personally hope to receive the declaration of nullity as does the OP, I am thankful to be part of a Church that views the sacrament of matrimony with as much solemnity as the covenant deserves. It's a real privilege to live in an area where representatives of the Church will take the time to look into my personal situation and discern what really happened some years ago. That being said...if I am never able to marry again I'll be :bighanky:, but I'd pray for the grace to remain faithful and committed to my faith, and ask God to fill my life with joy and purpose. I admit it's easy to speak this way now, because the possibility of an annulment is very much on the horizon.

Rambling over....


#25

[quote="SarahR, post:24, topic:193855"]
As one, I've been treated very lovingly by the Church and priests, thankfully :). Life is still full and rich and fun and beautiful despite the heavy cross of divorce. Although I personally hope to receive the declaration of nullity as does the OP, I am thankful to be part of a Church that views the sacrament of matrimony with as much solemnity as the covenant deserves. It's a real privilege to live in an area where representatives of the Church will take the time to look into my personal situation and discern what really happened some years ago. That being said...if I am never able to marry again I'll be :bighanky:, but I'd pray for the grace to remain faithful and committed to my faith, and ask God to fill my life with joy and purpose. I admit it's easy to speak this way now, because the possibility of an annulment is very much on the horizon.

Rambling over....

[/quote]

I have no doubt whatsoever that divorce is heartbreaking. I'm so sorry. I am so proud of you though, for being happy even though you have such a cross! So many people could learn alot from you!!!


#26

Thanks for the posts… even the ones I don’t want to hear! HEHE I want to clarify one thing. I am not getting married tomorrow, next week, next month… but maybe next year. The person I am dating is a non-denomination Christian and has never been married. She understands the Church’s point of view and although she does not like it, she is willing to wait through the process because she knows it is important to me. Her second and subsequent masses have been with me. She loves that I am strong in my faith, but really does not understand why “we” have to wait for a person to tell us it is ok to get married. This being said, I know there will be a long haul explaining my Catholic faith to a Protestant that has had no previous exposure. But, I love it!!

Additionally, we both believe that premarital counseling will prepare us the way that we need to be for our future lives together. I know we have to go through premarital counseling through the Church, but on our own, we have already agreed to seek a counselor through the Catholic Charities.

Lastly, and again, I know this seems very quick for some people. This woman, with no indiscretion I may add, has been in my life for a couple of years. An acquaintance of some sorts prior to the divorce. When we decided that we wanted to go forward and give a relationship a try, we both agreed that God WILL be in the center of us. I am not sure I have had that before, and she says the same thing!

Pray hard and pray long!

  • Cathoversal

#27

[quote="Cathoversal, post:26, topic:193855"]
Thanks for the posts... even the ones I don't want to hear! HEHE I want to clarify one thing. I am not getting married tomorrow, next week, next month... but maybe next year. The person I am dating is a non-denomination Christian and has never been married. She understands the Church's point of view and although she does not like it, she is willing to wait through the process because she knows it is important to me. Her second and subsequent masses have been with me. She loves that I am strong in my faith, but really does not understand why "we" have to wait for a person to tell us it is ok to get married. This being said, I know there will be a long haul explaining my Catholic faith to a Protestant that has had no previous exposure. But, I love it!!

Additionally, we both believe that premarital counseling will prepare us the way that we need to be for our future lives together. I know we have to go through premarital counseling through the Church, but on our own, we have already agreed to seek a counselor through the Catholic Charities.

Lastly, and again, I know this seems very quick for some people. This woman, with no indiscretion I may add, has been in my life for a couple of years. An acquaintance of some sorts prior to the divorce. When we decided that we wanted to go forward and give a relationship a try, we both agreed that God WILL be in the center of us. I am not sure I have had that before, and she says the same thing!

Pray hard and pray long!

  • Cathoversal

[/quote]

What happens if you don't get a decree of nullity?


#28

[quote="Cathoversal, post:26, topic:193855"]
Thanks for the posts... even the ones I don't want to hear! HEHE I want to clarify one thing. I am not getting married tomorrow, next week, next month... but maybe next year. The person I am dating is a non-denomination Christian and has never been married. She understands the Church's point of view and although she does not like it, she is willing to wait through the process because she knows it is important to me. Her second and subsequent masses have been with me. She loves that I am strong in my faith, but really does not understand why "we" have to wait for a person to tell us it is ok to get married. This being said, I know there will be a long haul explaining my Catholic faith to a Protestant that has had no previous exposure. But, I love it!!

Additionally, we both believe that premarital counseling will prepare us the way that we need to be for our future lives together. I know we have to go through premarital counseling through the Church, but on our own, we have already agreed to seek a counselor through the Catholic Charities.

Lastly, and again, I know this seems very quick for some people. This woman, with no indiscretion I may add, has been in my life for a couple of years. An acquaintance of some sorts prior to the divorce. When we decided that we wanted to go forward and give a relationship a try, we both agreed that God WILL be in the center of us. I am not sure I have had that before, and she says the same thing!

Pray hard and pray long!

  • Cathoversal

[/quote]

Not to be disrespectful, but you are not yet "listening" to those who are informing you of the teachings of the Church. Your entire post above indicates that you do not understand yet that you might not ever receive a Decree of Nullity. If that turns out to be the case, that after investigation and the Church determines that you are already validly married, you cannot be planning any sort of future with any other woman because you are already married to someone else. Do you see?

You say "I am not getting married tomorrow, next week, next month... but maybe next year." What happens if you continue to plan thusly and the Church determines that you are already married? You seem to not even be aware or taking into account that that could happen. Just because you seek a Decree of Nullity and you want a Decree of Nullity does not mean that your marriage is invalid. Though you have a civil divorce and your wife is no longer honoring her marriage vows to you, the Church may yet find you two validly married and you will not be free to marry another until the death of your spouse. That is a reality that you need to consider.


#29

[quote="Seatuck, post:27, topic:193855"]
What happens if you don't get a decree of nullity?

[/quote]

Exactly.


#30

And remember, if she will do it with you, she will do it too you.

She has shown you she does not see marriage to mean "hands off boyfriend shopping with this guy".


#31

After speaking with my Priest as well as my Diocesan director of annulment tribunals about the particulars, both seem to think that an annulment is inevitable. If I do not get it, then I will appeal because the only way they would not grant one was because they did not have accurate and complete information.

Additionally, the people who make up the tribunal are not Christ himself, there for there is no way they can accurately grasp what anyone of us are thinking. This is the problem that other posters, in addition to myself, have with this process.

If I don't get one... I will cross that bridge when I get to it!!!

-Cathoversal


#32

[quote="Cathoversal, post:31, topic:193855"]
After speaking with my Priest as well as my Diocesan director of annulment tribunals about the particulars, both seem to think that an annulment is inevitable. If I do not get it, then I will appeal because the only way they would not grant one was because they did not have accurate and complete information.

Additionally, the people who make up the tribunal are not Christ himself, there for there is no way they can accurately grasp what anyone of us are thinking. This is the problem that other posters, in addition to myself, have with this process.

If I don't get one... I will cross that bridge when I get to it!!!

-Cathoversal

[/quote]

Please keep up posted, be optimistic, and God bless.


#33

Just contemplate, though, the chaos if everyone could claim that what is in their heart is paramount and there is no need for an external forum to determine the validity of a marriage and examine it. The same church that witnesses the bond between the man and woman suddenly becomes irrelevant if one or the other decides to leave?

If that were the case, there would be no permanence in marriage as people would just figure they'd leave and claim no one knew what was in their hearts and if there was no bond, there was no bond.

Now, I know people do that anyway... they walk away from marriage vows. And some may not have meant it in their hearts or were incapable of carrying out the duties of marriage. But just as the guilt or innocence of a physical crime is not determined by whether a prisoner "feels" guilty in his heart or if the lynch mob has determined guilt and has a rope handy, but needs an external legal forum... well, imagine the similar chaos if that were left to people to decide in their hearts.

You say the people in the tribunal cannot accurately grasp what anyone is feeling... well, annulments aren't granted based just on feelings. They are granted based on behavior... demonstrable behavior that puts a lie to words said on an altar. Behavior that indicates the carrying out of what was in the heart.

Doesn't matter what's in the heart if it's never put into play. You can enter marriage fully intending never to have children. But your spouse accidentally gets pregnant. The world never knew you never intended children.

Or you could enter never intending to be faithful. But you could be so nasty that no one would have an affair with you and so you never get to carry out your infidelity.

Or you could enter intending to divorce eventually. But as long as you don't file the papers yet, your intent and what's in your heart will never go before the tribunal.

It's actions that bring a case before the tribunal. And the actions may first be sins in the heart, but until they are committed... the tribunal doesn't involve itself.

So don't discount the validity of a tribunal.


#34

[quote="Liberanosamalo, post:33, topic:193855"]
Just contemplate, though, the chaos if everyone could claim that what is in their heart is paramount and there is no need for an external forum to determine the validity of a marriage and examine it. The same church that witnesses the bond between the man and woman suddenly becomes irrelevant if one or the other decides to leave?

If that were the case, there would be no permanence in marriage as people would just figure they'd leave and claim no one knew what was in their hearts and if there was no bond, there was no bond.

Now, I know people do that anyway... they walk away from marriage vows. And some may not have meant it in their hearts or were incapable of carrying out the duties of marriage. But just as the guilt or innocence of a physical crime is not determined by whether a prisoner "feels" guilty in his heart or if the lynch mob has determined guilt and has a rope handy, but needs an external legal forum... well, imagine the similar chaos if that were left to people to decide in their hearts.

You say the people in the tribunal cannot accurately grasp what anyone is feeling... well, annulments aren't granted based just on feelings. They are granted based on behavior... demonstrable behavior that puts a lie to words said on an altar. Behavior that indicates the carrying out of what was in the heart.

Doesn't matter what's in the heart if it's never put into play. You can enter marriage fully intending never to have children. But your spouse accidentally gets pregnant. The world never knew you never intended children.

Or you could enter never intending to be faithful. But you could be so nasty that no one would have an affair with you and so you never get to carry out your infidelity.

Or you could enter intending to divorce eventually. But as long as you don't file the papers yet, your intent and what's in your heart will never go before the tribunal.

It's actions that bring a case before the tribunal. And the actions may first be sins in the heart, but until they are committed... the tribunal doesn't involve itself.

So don't discount the validity of a tribunal.

[/quote]

Per your post, then the tribunal will have no problem with granting the annulment being that she filed and left in addition to seeing another man while in the marriage. Her actions showed that only if the marraige went her way, then she would stay, otherwise, she would leave. Those were her reasons... because we did not have the marraige she imagined we would have, she left.

Fort the people who keep saying that they may not grant one... my question is why would they not? Specifics... also you are saying I need to go back with someone who is not civilly married to me and do what? It makes no sense to me to try and make something work that is obviously not gonna happen.

-Cathoversl

-Cathoversal


#35

Should the marriage be found valid, you would be required to live a life of chastity until the death of your spouse, just like all married people. You could remain civilly divorced and devote your life to good works.

Go to the top of this page where it says “shop” and buy a book about the “annulment” process. It will help you understand.

Your marriage was either valid at the moment of the convalidation or it was not. Nothing you or your wife did or did not do will “nullify” a valid marriage or make valid an invalid marriage. The wedding or convalidation results in a valid marriage or it does not.


#36

[quote="kage_ar, post:35, topic:193855"]
Should the marriage be found valid, you would be required to live a life of chastity until the death of your spouse, just like all married people. You could remain civilly divorced and devote your life to good works.

Go to the top of this page where it says "shop" and buy a book about the "annulment" process. It will help you understand.

Your marriage was either valid at the moment of the convalidation or it was not. Nothing you or your wife did or did not do will "nullify" a valid marriage or make valid an invalid marriage. The wedding or convalidation results in a valid marriage or it does not.

[/quote]

With all that said, you must be talking about the conovalidation of the marriage... At that time she has already told me, over a year prior, that she wanted a divorce. She saw that I wanted to come back to the Church and the only reason we got the marriage blessed is because she liked that I was becoming more faithful again and did not want to hold me back from recieving the sacraments. With that said, she told me and our parish preist that was the only reason, not because she wanted to stay married to me.

I will continue to pray, but still no one has answered the question of "why would the tribunal say this marriage was valid"? I want specificts of first hand knowledge of what they look for to keep a marriage together that is O-V-E-R. If you cannot give me specificts to this, then don't give me doctorine as it does not help me understand the process, only the ideal light of marriage, something I am very aware of.

Please let me know if you were denied an annulment!!!

-Cathoversal


#37

[quote="Liberanosamalo, post:33, topic:193855"]
Just contemplate, though, the chaos if everyone could claim that what is in their heart is paramount and there is no need for an external forum to determine the validity of a marriage and examine it. The same church that witnesses the bond between the man and woman suddenly becomes irrelevant if one or the other decides to leave?

If that were the case, there would be no permanence in marriage as people would just figure they'd leave and claim no one knew what was in their hearts and if there was no bond, there was no bond.

Now, I know people do that anyway... they walk away from marriage vows. And some may not have meant it in their hearts or were incapable of carrying out the duties of marriage. But just as the guilt or innocence of a physical crime is not determined by whether a prisoner "feels" guilty in his heart or if the lynch mob has determined guilt and has a rope handy, but needs an external legal forum... well, imagine the similar chaos if that were left to people to decide in their hearts.

You say the people in the tribunal cannot accurately grasp what anyone is feeling... well, annulments aren't granted based just on feelings. They are granted based on behavior... demonstrable behavior that puts a lie to words said on an altar. Behavior that indicates the carrying out of what was in the heart.

Doesn't matter what's in the heart if it's never put into play. You can enter marriage fully intending never to have children. But your spouse accidentally gets pregnant. The world never knew you never intended children.

Or you could enter never intending to be faithful. But you could be so nasty that no one would have an affair with you and so you never get to carry out your infidelity.

Or you could enter intending to divorce eventually. But as long as you don't file the papers yet, your intent and what's in your heart will never go before the tribunal.

It's actions that bring a case before the tribunal. And the actions may first be sins in the heart, but until they are committed... the tribunal doesn't involve itself.

So don't discount the validity of a tribunal.

[/quote]

You and KAGE AR may need to speak with one another. You state actions, he says actions to no come into play! I am very confused with you 2 giving me contradicting statements about the Church and its reasons for an annulment!

-Cathoversal


#38

[quote="Cathoversal, post:1, topic:193855"]
Hello all,

I am in the process of an annulment and was wondering if I had to wait for the final paperwork to come through prior to starting premarital counseling/classes through the parish and or diocese?

Let me know what you know!!

-Cathoversal

[/quote]

no, you cannot begin classes for engaged couples because you cannot be engaged with one person while you are still married to another person. You are validly married to your first spouse until proven otherwise. You cannot be in another romantic relationship until that is resolved and you have a favorable decision from the tribunal.

No you cannot marry civilly and later have your marriage convalidated for the same reason, you are married to someone else. That is actually the worst thing you could do because, besides voluntarily with full free will and consent entering into mortal sin and putting your soul in peril and the soul of your companion, you have no guarantee the annulment will be granted or that you will ever be free to marry this person. You could find yourself, as many have done, in an untenable situation.

Your soul is too important, as is your relationship with Jesus Christ, to jeopardize your eternal happiness for another human relationship.

Please be patient and allow the Holy Spirit to work for your good and that of all concerned through the Church. The time of waiting is an occasion of immense grace and healing if you work with God and the Church rather than against.

[quote="Cathoversal, post:31, topic:193855"]
After speaking with my Priest as well as my Diocesan director of annulment tribunals about the particulars, both seem to think that an annulment is inevitable. If I do not get it, then I will appeal because the only way they would not grant one was because they did not have accurate and complete information.

[/quote]

you are correct, do everything in your power to make sure they have not only your complete testimony but access to the witnesses who can make sure they have all this relevant information.

also congratulations on having the wisdom to work with a Catholic counsellor in all this, hope others will follow your example


#39

Remember, words are important.

No one is denied an annulment.

Marriages are found to be valid or invalid. If they are found invalid, a Decree of Nullity is issued.

The Tribunal presumes marriage is valid until proven otherwise.

There are only a few reasons marriage is found invalid. Let me pull that from Canon Law and update.


#40

[quote="Cathoversal, post:37, topic:193855"]
You and KAGE AR may need to speak with one another. You state actions, he says actions to no come into play! I am very confused with you 2 giving me contradicting statements about the Church and its reasons for an annulment!

-Cathoversal

[/quote]

I'm sure both people mean well, and I'm not trying to put words in anyones mouth- but, to paraphrase a great song, we're just strangers in the night-er, internet- so we don't know the hole situation, and we surely can't tell you what will happen. Just sharing our experiences.


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