[before I posted this, I saw all the other marriage pain posted in this forum. As part of this Body of Christ, I pray that love that originates with Him be our solace and His grace guide us all.]
In the annulment process, if I understand it, they ask for a story of your marriage. The point of the story, if I am correct, is to show that one of the pair did not enter with full purpose. If that is the case, then the marriage, though valid, is not sanctified.
This note is not an attempt at justification in preparation of a separation and divorce, but about my personal struggle with recent events in my marriage and, looking back, recognizing the pattern that may have been there from the beginning. So many occasions of discovering truth beyond fabrications.
I don’t want to divorce. We have kids. We have two decades of life intertwined. There have been many good times. Yet, here I stand at a crossroads, nearly two years after discovering that my wife was planning to take her relationship with another man beyond innuendo to consummate her affair. This, with the support of several friends. In nearly weekly meetings with the former avowed religious counselor, the key focus was on communication and what I had done to precipitate the situation. She says all that I read in her Facebook conversations was venting and without true meaning. I believe she is fabricating a story, another story, and she has been doing that sort of thing, from the beginning of our relationship.
So, I sit here writing this, before Our Lord in our adoration chapel, seeking His guidance. To leave my wife and remaining kids, to leave our marriage, feels so wrong. Yet, since I moved out three months ago, I sleep through the night most nights, and that was not the case when I was there, for the last two years. She had re-established contact with him, and they were texting and she was sending him pictures, too. Don’t know what they were. I swore not to invade her privacy again. She says they’re just friends. I can’t accept that. And I know the history of obfuscation and denial that proceeds these most recent events.
I know her anger that frightened the kids. Lies heaped upon lies and her feeling subjugated and needing to lie to avoid criticism. And I just wanting to support and love her well. To love like Jesus. Knowing that she was human and faulty, sinful, like me. Forgiveness was not too hard, but curious wonderment about what it was about her that caused her to act as she did. What was in me that drew it out. Laying it out to God. Laying it out to her. Eventually, I removed my desires for my marriage, my opinions that caused anger, and removed my expectations about anything she said she would do. I have called it a sacrifice I could do for Him.
I’ve spoken with friends, received their support. I’ve spoken with my pastor. I hesitate to begin the ending process because it was my vow to God. Through the years of pain, even an old girlfriend’s offer of support and unconditional love five years ago, I asked God to make me better, not her. I asked friends and priests what He was asking of me – presenting me with these trials and temptations. Such testing. I put it all aside, and trudged on. Before, I had asked God to take me home sooner. It didn’t happen. My spiritual advisor says I’m a better Christian for this experience. Maybe. I just know I can’t continue on this way.
For my part, I thought we had God as a focal point for both of our marriage trials. She says God and she are not on the same page anymore. She calls my faith a crutch. She told her would-be lover and her friends that I am mentally ill. I wonder about what all the duress I’ve placed on myself has done to me. I wonder sometimes whether my faith is illness or my salvation. Sometimes.
Our relationship is coasting now. My heart would not let me stay any longer. I seek His guidance and the prayers of others that my leaving is the best thing for all concerned. Your will, Lord, be done.