I would appreciate it very much if someone could answer my question. I am living with a man who is Catholic. Everyone believes we are legally married, but we aren’t. I would be perfectly OK with getting married legally, but both of us have been married previously and my “husband” only considers marriage by a priest to be the real deal. I am in class at his church investigating the possibility of converting to Catholicism. I have been baptized in another church and I have been a faithful follower of Christ for 3 decades. I’ve never lived with anyone without benefit of marriage and I very much dislike doing this now. My “husband” has gotten annullment papers for both of us from our priest. I am fine with getting my previous marriage annulled by the Church, but I am told this could take as long as a year and a half. Recently, I have been investigating this issue and it seems that there is the alternative of getting married by a priest if my husband receives his annullment from the Church (which our priest assures us is a virtual certainty given the circumstances of it) and we do the “mixed marriage” alternative where he declares he will remain Catholic in spite of our union. No children would be involved as we are both past that time in our lives and neither of us can have any more children anyway.
I just want to have a clear conscience and I don’t. I don’t like living a lie, but I also don’t like the idea of my husband not being able to receive communion and feeling guilty and horrible. The only reason I agreed to this was that my partner said he wouldn’t be able to take communion and it would kill him. I care very much for him and I wouldn’t want him to sacrifice like this. However, every day we live together without marriage is a blight on my conscience.
Could someone please tell me if there is an acceptable Catholic alternative to waiting a year and a half for my annullment to take place?