Wow, Madonna. Just wow.
I became Catholic last year after being raised and spending my entire life on the Protestant side of things. I "settled" in marrying the woman who is now my ex wife, not knowing (at the time) fully of her liabilities, how they would damage the marriage if (when) they were brought into it, and without the benefit of having seen and truly understanding this WONDERFUL THING KNOWN AS CATHOLIC MARRIAGE.
At 39 now, I can only pray that God's grace and mercy will be granted. My divorce was final a couple years ago; the (civil) end of a marriage to an abuser and user who did not support the marriage in any way. I was a paycheck and support for her daughter, whose father paid no child support and spent a week, maybe two, per years with his daughter. This was fine... if there had been the ingredients needed for a marriage to succeed or a willingness from her to work for our marriage.
Certainly never would have married had I have had premarital counseling within the Catholic church, and truly understood the value placed upon the Catholic church. Although I was faithful at the time I married, I had no idea what marriage was intended to be. It is so important to raise children in the faith and show them, while young and by example, how wonderful marriage is when Husband and Wife both work together to fulfill their responsibilities to one another and build their marriage upon a shared Catholic faith.
Being "single again" at 39, when I want nothing more than to marry and have a healthy Catholic family, is SCARY as all get out. I'm terrified of being alone the rest of my life, never having anyone to love, nurture, and enjoy as a partner who is on the same team. I know I have the ingredients to build a wonderful marriage, but lack the annulment decision (currently) and the special lady. As a single man, I see nothing but shallow relationships among people my age. This is not what I want for the rest of my life, and I don't believe it is God's plan either.
I petitioned for an annulment around a year and a half ago... still waiting for a decision even though the ex never responded, even though we were not married in the Catholic church, and even though the decision to marry was made under duress and with an unclear picture of the responsibilities of marriage.
While men (and women, since I suspect there are many non-annulled women around) who lie about their annulment status should be held accountable, there are many of us who are simply waiting (and waiting...and waiting) on a decision who will not marry until the decision is received. I believe men and women who are not yet annulled can have friendships and should do things together after a divorce... without crossing certain obvious lines. Friendships with members of the opposite gender are critical to recovery after divorce, and are helpful as one struggles to rebuild faith in the other gender after being through the pain and difficulty divorce presents.