To Annul or Not to Annul


Hi. My name is Teresa, and I don’t want to give my whole life story here, so I’ll try to keep this brief, lol.
After my being diagnosed with MS, my husband decided that he didn’t want to be married to me anymore and filed for divorce. I’ve been divorced for three years and have custody of my two children, 11 and 13. I am not dating and have no intentions of dating. As a matter of fact, as far as I’m concerned, I could remain single and celibate for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. Now, I know that if this is the case, an annulment is not necessary. But there’s always that “what if” factor. What if I meet someone that sweeps me off my feet? (Not likely, but I’m just saying.) I know how long an annulment takes. Should I start the process “just in case”, or does that seem ridiculous? :shrug:

Thanks for your input. I’m between priests right now, having recently moved. I miss my old parish!:frowning:



Very much suggest you get a copy of this boolket:

Remember, the phrase “get an annulment” is misleading. One can go to the tribunal and have the tribunal review your marriage to see if an actual valid marriage took place on the day of your wedding. Should the tribunal find that a valid marriage did not take place, the parties are then provided a decree of nullity - a document that says the marriage never was, it was null.

Should you make a decision to be “swept off your feet”, then, before broom shopping - have your marriage reviewed by the tribunal. :slight_smile:


Thanks! Sounds like exactly what I need!



First off, standard disclaimer applies, talk to a priest/pastor/pastoral associate/pastoral administrator or other reputable represenative of the church knowledgeable in the sacraments. They can assess your personal situation, and advise accordingly.

My opinion is that you should consider getting an anulment, to err on the side of caution. You may not know what the future holds. I once heard a quote to the effect of, when we make plans, God laughs.


I am 9 months into the annulment process myself right now, and highly recommend it. I think it is good to go through the process. It will help you to sort things out emotionally and spiritually, and I think it is a good thing to know the truth about where you stand.

A good online resource is this:

Praying that you find peace.:gopray:


Ok - just so there is clarity and no misunderstanding. No one can just go and “get an annulment”. If the marriage is valid, it will always be valid, and that can not ever be changed - by anyone. Period.

The process of requesting a Declaration of Nullity consists of the petitioner providing the requested details and information regarding the marriage, and the Marriage Tribunal investigating and reviewing this information to determine if the marriage was EVER valid from the onset. The fact that one person may have cheated on, abused, or whatever after the marriage is not relevant. The Tribunal is ONLY concerned with whether or not the marriage, at the time it occurred, was valid.

That all being said - I suggest that if you are going to submit a petition for the Tribunal to examine your situation that you do it sooner rather than later. They ask a lot of questions that require you to remember back to when you were dating your spouse, your wedding itself, and other historical information that tends to fade from memory after time.

I also recommend this book which is extremely helpful and one that I still will use as a reference, nearly 8 years after receiving my own Declaration of Nullity: Annulment: The Wedding that Was



Aas other have pointed out, the nullity process is not about getting an annulment, it is about determining of the marriage was sacramentally valid. If it was not, then the tribunal will declare the marriage null. If it is determined to be value, the tribunal will state than and neither is free to marry another.

If the marriage is determined to be null, the tribunal will examine why. They may determine that, while the person is now considered single, they may not be free to marry because of some serious problem such as mental instability or the inability to engage in sex. They may also put certain conditions, such as counseling or successful medical treatment, on the person prior to allowing them to be married in the Church.

A grave medical condition, in general, is not generally considered an impediment to marriage. Emotional or mental instability or the inability to engage in sexual relations are considered impediments.

I would encourage you to petition for an annulment. If, for no other reason, then to help yourself heal emotionally.

May God grant you peace and may He give you strength and grace to endure your sufferings.


I suggest you talk to your priest about grounds for nullity-- and also get the book Liza recommends. Start the process now, rather than later, for two main reasons:

*]You will know your canonical status with certainty
*]If you wait, and then meet someone, witnesses may be unavailable, dead, etc. The more time that passes the harder it might be to prove your case.


First–I’m sorry that your husband left after you were diagnosed with MS, it must have been very hard.:frowning: Second, I would consider going through the process, because (while I’m not able to decide these matters) knowing what I know of the annulment process, it would seem that your case would be that your husband never meant his vows–to be faithful to death do you part, in sickness and in health. Once you became ill, he left. I can’t tell you if you should or shouldn’t…but, I see it as being a good idea.


as usual, i also agree with 1ke here.:slight_smile:


I too, as a member of the 1ke fan club, agree with her as well.


I’m a fan as well.


there really could be a subsection in the forum for ‘ask 1ke’…:smiley: Seriously, I mean that, 1ke…I have learned lots from you, lady.:slight_smile:


OMG, please stop!

While flattering…:blush:… I can count all of the stupid posts, dumb comments, and other things I’ve made on here… but I have to use both fingers and toes and possibly a calculator or abacus to do it.

We all learn from each other! I’m just a big old nerd at heart! I’ve been unpacking books (you all know I’ve never unpacked all my stuff from my move/getting married/renovating the house)… well, I came across my Annulment: The Wedding That Was book… and was actually excited I don’t have to go from memory anymore!

overheard at the nerds-anonymous meeting: Hello, my name is 1ke… and I’m a NERD.


Your married?

I am so disappointed! :frowning: I guess I am out of luck! :wink:


Thank you all for all of your wonderful advice. I’ve got a lot to think about. I’ve come to the conclusion that before I can make any decisions, I’ve got to find a new parish (and priest). Since I’m geographically challenged, it’s taking longer than I’d hoped to get settled in, but we will get there, God willing! Prayers are welcome!

Teresa :gopray:


I think you’re on to something WG, but you would have to put yourself in that advice column, along with Puzzleannie, Em_in_FL, Feanaro’s Wife, lizaanne, kage_ar and so many of the ladies with great advise.:thumbsup:

Of we would have to have a men’s sub forum just to be fair.:wink: Maybe rpp or Mirror Mirror could set that up? This isn’t just a Womens Forum you know?:smiley: Although some days I wonder.:rolleyes: :stuck_out_tongue: Now where is yessisan and that Makeup Thread?:whacky:

Have a good day ladies.:tiphat:


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