What options does an abandoned spouse have?

Hello,

In a situation where you have two validly married people where one spouse abandons both the faith (the Catholic church) and the marriage and after several years has not shown any signs of returning to the marriage nor the church, add to this that the rogue spouse unlawfully remarry’s, what of the other spouse then? Could their marriage be considered for annulment? I’m thinking no because their marriage was a valid one, in which case this spouse would have to remain unmarried and bear their cross. If I’ve reasoned correctly, then how is someone in this situation comforted and uplifted?

Could their marriage be considered for annulment? I’m thinking no because their marriage was a valid one…

While he should presume his marriage to be valid there is no reason why he can’t let the Church investigate to officially determine its validity.

…in which case this spouse would have to remain unmarried…

Actually, if the marriage is determined to be valid, he would remain married although separated from his wife and unable to marry again until after her death.

…how is someone in this situation comforted and uplifted?

In such a case, he is an innocent victim; therefore, his civil divorce is not a sin (cf. Catechism, 2386). He can still live a holy life through prayer and the graces of the other available sacraments, especially frequent reception of the Eucharist. I also recommend checking with his parish/diocese for a local support group or he may want to consider the resources of the Pastoral Solutions Institute.

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.