The grass has not been greener


#1

*Had a talk with my sister last night, for those of you who don’t know, she has been divorced now for some time (5 years maybe?) and has been dating lots of men. Lots. :hypno: She never explored the annulment process, she and I have discussed that a few times, she was married for nearly 30 yrs, and feels the tribunal would never give her a degree of nullity, and she’s not sure she wants to put her ‘‘ex’’ through that ordeal. Okay, only so much I can say anymore…I did plant the seed, hoping she would either reconcile with her husband, or explore the annulment process.

That said, she wrote me an email today…saying…’‘the grass has not been greener.’’ :o I feel for her. I think she realizes that the men she has been dating, have lacked the moral character and integrity her husband has/had. He made his mistakes, he wasn’t perfect, I didn’t even like the guy, growing up. But, he loved my sister for who she really is, and was a moral man, even thought he flubbed some things, and I can understand why she was ‘‘fed up,’’ they should have worked on their differences. (too long of a story to get into here)

My question is this…is there hope for a marriage that has been legally over for 5+ years, to possibly reconcile? I don’t know if it is my place to suggest that to her? She asks me to pray…for her to find someone to love her, to spend her life with, but I can’t pray for that.:o I pray for her wellbeing, and peace, and for her to come back to the Church, fully…but, I can’t pray for her to meet a new man, in the state her Sacramental marriage is in.

Just wondering what you might say in such a situtaion, with a family member. *


#2

Having *never *been through this with close family members or friends…

I’m wondering if her email to you is a way of asking if it’s alright to try to reconcile - looking for your approval before she makes attempts??? :shrug:
Did she mention her ex-husband at all?
Did she actually use that phrase (grass has not been greener)? I’m curious, because if she did, she’s still comparing them to HIM… so maybe this is her way of seeking approval for that comparison, kwim?

No clue… no experience… but just want to off my thoughts and prayers for your sister and your family… (((HUGS)))


#3

No real advise to give, but I can sure say a prayer for your sister.
Hail Mary,
full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.
Amen.


#4

*Hey EM :wave:

I have a feeling her saying that about the grass being greener, that it’s about her ex husband. That she didn’t realize her situation was not as bad, as some of these dating situations turned out to be. My sister’s dating life is part and parcel for what she ‘‘missed’’ as a young adult…she didn’t go to college, she married straight out of high school, and while that works for some, she married for the wrong reasons. She did love her husband, I remember when they were dating (I was the flowergirl in their wedding when I was six) But, she was a girl…she evolved. Her husband didn’t evolve so much, he missed that naive young girl, when my sister became a businesswoman…(again long story) But, suffice to say, and I have told her this…you can’t go back and gain back the time you’ve missed. You can’t, as a woman in her 50’s, relive your 20’s. I think that had more to do with the divorce, than my BIL’s actions and the marital issues. My BIL was also ill, he had two heart attacks in their marriage, and my sister admits, she didn’t want to deal with more sickness in her life, that she was a nursemaid for our mom, etc…(my mom had depression issues, my dad dumped a lot of responsibility on my sister)

At the end of the day, I think my sister has come to terms with ALL of this, and so now…looking back, she wonders…having known what I now know, could I have made that marriage work? My BIL and she had lunch recently, and she asked for his forgiveness, and he cried, and accepted. I wanted to give a little more background to the situation.

I thought it was very interesting about the grass being greener comment. I think the only time the grass would be greener, is if a spouse was in an abusive marriage, or being chronically cheated on…I definitely think there are greener pastures for people in those situations. But, my BIL was nothing like that, and my sister has met so many LIARS. And her latest, wow…he sounded like a controlling narcissist. Scary.

I appreciate your prayers EM! :hug1: My prayer for her is to reconcile, actually…if there is a prayer. *


#5

*Aw, thank you, Ralph. *


#6

Hugs and prayers, WG.

I don’t want to give you false hope…but sometimes people do reconcile.

Years ago I worked with a woman who was going through a divorce. She had 2 children in their early 20’s We shared an office…so I unfortunately heard a lot of their heated phone conversations. :o They divorced. And it was bitter.

Years later, I met her on the subway, she and her husband had made up and remarried. I would have never thought it possible.

Maybe with your sister, it’s been a “mid-life crisis” of sorts?

Prayers again.


#7

Of course it is possible for them to reconcile. It depends on the willingness of the parties.
They are still married in the eyes of the Church, so it is good for you to pray for their marriage. Your sister can never really find peace as long as she is technically committing adultery. Yes, you knew that by the wisdom of God, but she needed the trial and error of finding that out first hand. Likely, there is more trial and error ahead for her too.
You have probably already done this, but I would recommend to your sister that she lead a chaste life while she is figuring out what to do. Maybe you can suggest that she and her ex meet up more regularly…maybe go on dates. She will do herself a favor to leave sex out of the equation in every relationship she goes into, even if that is with her ex (unless they restore their marriage). It sounds like you are doing everything that a sister can do for her sister, not budging on your beliefs but not condemning either.


#8

*Oh, that is a hopeful story, Mary. Thank you. I think that my sister could have been having a mid life thing, but again…she had a lot of growing to do. She went from taking care of our mom, to taking care of her husband…and never took care of herself, if that makes any sense. We need to have a grounded sense of who we are, otherwise, we seek it in other people, sadly. Waiting for them to tell us…which is what she did in her marriage. She was a very doting, and loving wife…but the last ten years of my sister’s marriage, all they did was fight, and she berated my BIL. I think this is why she apologized.

But, the thing is…they put so much time and effort into their marriage, dumping it, and then starting ‘‘over again,’’ with other men…only to find out…a lot of men in south florida have a lot of baggage…two, three ex wives they are paying alimony, kids that hate them, financial issues, lies they tell my sister, etc…it has shown her that gee, your husband looks like a gem, afterall, no? lol :o

I am convinced, I told my dh last night, that she won’t meet anyone that will last, because God doesn’t bless these dating relationships. *


#9

A priest I knew said he had done many “remarriage” ceremonies.

The fact she never went seeking an annulment maybe was because deep down she felt it was valid. And in such a case, the marriage will prove its validity by enduring even this “freakout” of hers.

It’s between her and her husband. Only they know whether they want to spend the rest of their lives together. In her case, she will have much to make up to him for her actions and to reinstill trust. (See a post I have above about trusting in marriage again.)

If there is any glimmer of anything, I’d suggest they go to Retrouvaille.

It’s not impossible. But it requires a genuine change of heart and a realization of what is really important in life. Maybe she is finally ready to be open to that.

The final decision is really his. She may realize the grass is greener. Only he can say whethere it’s too late. Pray for both of them to discern God’s will.

:thumbsup:


#10

Anything’s possible, really. You know that…

Whether or not it happens regularly I don’t know, but does it matter?

All that needs to happen is that the two people involved need to make it work. If both are willing, then I can’t see any reason why it couldn’t.

I think that most people don’t want to work it out. They go on to meet others and then the possibility is no longer there.


#11
  1. My question is this…is there hope for a marriage that has been legally over for 5+ years, to possibly reconcile?

Yes. It comes down to faith, hope, and love in Jesus Christ. Miracles can happen. Just look at Sarah and Elizabeth and St. Monica.

  1. Just wondering what you might say in such a situtaion, with a family member.

“I’m praying that you and your husband get back together.” Then say a Rosary. Offer your next Mass and Communion. Make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament.


#12

*Ugh, I have tears in my eyes reading your responses:(…thank you. I want my sister to get to heaven, I’m fearful for her soul right now.

Liberano…Retrouvaille! Oh my gosh, I hadn’t thought to mention this to her! I will do so, thank you for your reply.

Housearrest…I hear you. The irony is, the things that bothered my sister about my BIL, my BIL has changed. He is doing better than ever…and my sister commented to me last year, that she doesn’t want to ‘‘disrupt his progress.’’ Meaning, coming to him, asking to reconcile (perhaps, this is what he meant I’m assuming a little)…and maybe they try and then maybe he relives the hurt? If two people wish things to work, miracles do happen, I believe that.

phoenix…I will do so…I will put this as an intention in my Rosary prayers. *


#13

All I have to say is anything is possible… Both parties have to be willing to reconcile, though and work through any difficulties.


#14

Okay, I just sent her an email about reconciling…an informal kind of inquiry…and also brought up Retrouvaille…that it exists, does she know about it…etc. If I don’t ever hear from her again, maybe that is her way of thinking I’m being nosy. But, it’s not really nosy, as much as I think knowing all she knows NOW, her marriage could be better…they were going in circles back then…I think that who they have become after the divorce (my BIL had to grow too) could really make a difference in the life they could have now. I hope she doesn’t take my suggestion the ‘‘wrong way.’’ :shrug:


#15

That was very brave and very kind all at the same time.

I have to admit I have been reading a lot of Saint stories - and “The Shadow of His Wings”. It is absolutely amazing what can happen when we put God in charge.

I would imagine that part of the process would include reliving the hurt - but I think that part of Retrouvaille helps to put that behind a couple…


#16

*Housearrest, you are so right…it sounds like those here who I’ve read about, who have attended Retrouvaille, had to go through a healing process before any ‘‘new beginnings’’ could occur. I think that is true for any marriage healing from a split…I know this was the case when my husband and I merged back together from being separated. The irony is, she admires my ‘‘story,’’ but thinks it’s somehow different. :o

As an aside, for some reason, God continues to nudge me in this regard with my sister…I said today, ‘‘can’t you find someone else already?’’ lol ‘‘She’s not listening, suppose this damages my relationship with her…’’ God doesn’t answer though. :cool: lol! But…maybe we are our brother’s (and sister’s) keepers, and I can meet Jesus someday and say with some confidence…I did what You asked of me? :o

It is hard to be Christian, on some days. I’m worried she will think I’m pressuring her. I don’t bring this up often, but enough. ~sigh~ *


#17

*Welp, she hasn’t written back yet. :o I mean, she COULD be busy. lol But…just saying, she usually responds right away. What I wrote though wasn’t something you could just gloss over, maybe she is thinking about it.

Prayers would be welcome that she isn’t offended by my ‘‘pressing’’. *


#18

I don't have any advice (even though most of my friends have been through bitter divorces), but you have my prayers. :hug1:


#19

I hope they reconcile. Marriage is a sacrament. There’s much more to it than psychology and probability. :slight_smile: She can try. Have her talk to a priest?


#20

*Thanks chev…that would be a good thing to do…BUT…as I think through prior chats with her on all of this last year, and prior…she has a problem with the Church, in general. I think that is part and parcel of why she doesn’t explore the annulment process. She voted for Obama, sees nothing wrong with a Catholic being pro choice…see what I’m saying? I really don’t feel like teaching someone the ABC’s of the faith, when they should know better–she knows. She does. She chooses her own path, though…the popular cultural path. But, I do see where she is regretting some of her choices…maybe that’s part of learning.

Jesus taught His followers how joyous God is when that one lost sheep returns, than the 99 that remained in the fold. I believe this could be her ‘‘returning sheep’’ moment…but she has to want to believe, too. Popular culture has led the world astray. She buys into it all too much…the fake happiness, the artificial soap opera type ‘‘love.’’

When we have attended mass together since my coming to FL, she has made negative comments about the Church, priests, etc…how the scandals damaged her faith. I have little patience/tolerance for people who walk completely away from the Catholic faith, because of the wrongdoings of a few priests. I am outraged also, but I wouldn’t leave the faith. So, it’s things like this…where everytime, we make progress…we go back three steps. Thankfully, God’s grace keeps me coming back for more…maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. :stuck_out_tongue: So, does that make more sense? It’s not like this one thing she doesn’t believe, I think she has problems with the faith, in general…and thinks annulments ‘are a joke,’ as she has put it in the past. But, then, she’ll change her mind, and say she has thought about it.

I think she knows Truth. It’s easy to know it, hard to live it. I think we all can attest to that, so it helps me not lose my patience with her when she cracks on the Church. :shrug:*


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