I don’t understand why you can’t receive absolution thru the sacrament of reconciliation. I don’t see what this has to do with your marriage. Seems to me that if you’re a baptised Catholic then the sacraments are available to you. I can’t understand a priest refusing absolution unless you were refusing to be contrite and if you’re in the confessional, a certain contrition surely must be assumed. I divorced my sacramental wife 9 years ago. I never pursued an annullment because I assumed that, since the marriage was sacramental, an annullment would be impossible. Yet, she obtained an annullment somehow, after I moved out of state. She may have claimed that I abandoned her, which in a manner of speaking, is true. I went for several years in and out of short-term relationships and one-nighters. I ignored the Church, and actually became rather obnoxious against it. For years I’ve lived with a woman who is also divorced. Recently, feeling drawn back to God, I went to confession after a ten year absence, and was granted absolution, but warned that I cannot continue a sexual relationship with this woman, and so we have remained as brother and sister. Nothing has ever been said to me in any of my confessions over these issues that I could not obtain absolution. My friend and I have discussed getting married, but she is a Mormon, and so there are religion complications as well as marriage complications. In the process I have become celibate, which isn’t nearly as hard as I thought it’d be. The road to celibacy has revealed the truly disordered nature of my sexual self, and so there has been healing going on there.
Your post caught my attention, since your path is similar to mine. I felt myself being drawn back to God about two years ago. Going to confession after so long an absence was painful, and so I know what you mean when you say you were “nervous.” Not knowing the details, and not knowing why the priest refused you absolution, all I can say is, stick with it. God is calling you home. You have many issues, and they are very serious issues. Dealing with them will take time, prayer, patience, forgiveness. My years away from worship are requiring a very long period of cleansing and renovation, and yours will, too. All the processes of the Church are holy and good for you, even though painful.