Who accompanies the abandoned spouse?

Not every “no fault” divorce is really no fault. What if one party wants the divorce and the other wants to stay married? Under no fault divorce law, the party who wants to preserve the marriage has no standing.

And while the divorced and remarried may be offered accompaniment by the clergy to discern their status, who accompanies the abandoned spouse?

From Jennifer Roback Morse’s article:

“I know an abandoned spouse who changed parishes. She couldn’t bear to see her spouse receiving communion with his new cohabiting girlfriend. He evidently “discerned” that this was hunky-dory. The pastor wasn’t much help to my friend. He told her the “people fall out of love,” and that “everyone gets an annulment.” He assumed that my friend was also dating someone else, which she had no intention of doing.”


How very sad. Looks like she did exactly the right thing in changing parishes.


In some quarters, there seems to be an assumption that everyone desires to remarry.
My Protestant grandma was widowed in the 1970s. It’s now 2018. She never had any desire to remarry, though she would have been free to do so even by Catholic standards. After the end of one marriage, some prefer to be alone.

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The pastor shouldn’t of been any help as to the man’s doings. It’s none of the ex’s business, especially once annuled. Even before annulment spouses do not have the right to know other’s sins. The priest could not speak freely on this matter.

I think that the point is that a divorced and remarried spouse can expect “accompaniment” and discernment in order to be fully integrated into the parish. The abandoned spouse who did not want the divorce and did not seek annulment gets no accompaniment.

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It sounds like this poor person needed some support and didn’t get any so I don’t blame her for leaving.

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I don’t think it’s that simple.

I think many times the wrong spouse gets the shaft because their former partner is more charismatic often to the point of narcissism. The wronged partner often is dealing with at the very least a busted ego and situational depression. Should people rally around a wronged spouse? Yes, absolutely. But they aren’t doing it becuase they are simply fine with the sin of the other, they are no doing it becuase they, too are being manipulated. Given that the wronged person was manipulated by the other into marriage and an intimate relationship, it’s unfair that they blame others for being charmed when friendship just goes skin deep.

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A few thoughts:
Thanks Ron Reagan for legalizing no-fault divorce in the US.
If I were the ex-wife I would want to sit in the pew with hubby and new sweetie… The nerve of them! I would make it uncomfortable so they would have to leave the parish, not her.

The husband and wife exchange solemn vows promising fidelity till death separates them.

But no fault divorce cancels that vow with the promise that any party can walk at any time for any reason, thereby making the wedding vows less binding than any mortgage contract or promissory note.

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