(Quote) Jim-624621 said:
I broke up[ with the last person I dated, and I have decided not to date anyone in the future who does not have an annulment and is not immediately available for sacramental marriage. Here is what happened.
I went on a few dates with her in 1997, and we became friends, but not especially close friends. We were the same age and had many friends in common in the same city. At the time I did not have my annulment either, but I was working on it. I got my annulment in 1998.
In early 2012, I saw her out at a local function in which I was attending alone (which I hate doing), and she actually sat closer to me than she did to the guy that brought her there; we were all at the same table. Afterward, we started talking through Facebook and wound up planning to go on a date. On the very first date, we started to discuss things, and I rediscovered that she did not and was not planning to get an annulment. I told her that this would be a deal breaker for me, and that we would not be able to date, and I would never be able to marry her. In the course of the conversation, she agreed to get the annulment, but here were her initial reasons against it.
1) Her son would be considered illegitimate. (False, but a common misconception)
2) She did not want to have to involve the ex-husband, even so little as to leave the decision of the annulment to the justice and jurisdiction of the tribunal.
3) I don't want to think about all of that stuff; it was 20 years ago.
Those were the only arguments she made against it, and she initially agreed to get the annulment. But when I got her the telephone number of the person to speak with at the diocese about starting to actually do it, she changed her mind again. So I told her that without an annulment, we were wasting our time, and I stopped seeing her, though she has made repeated attempts to get me to date her again, I continue to refuse, and will continue to refuse for more than just the annulment.
These reasons that she has given are an indication to me of a couple of things that are not healthy. Thinking that your son will be considered illegitimate if you got an annulment shows ignorance, but once presented with the facts about the children of a divorced and annulled family, to continue in that misguided belief is simply stupid and willfully ignorant. How can I respect that? And to not want to have any conversation of any kind with the ex-husband, after 20 years of divorce for even so important a reason is this shows a lack of maturity, and for the same reasons that she got a divorce the first time, she could wind up there again. I can understand not wanting to face all the pain necessary to write all that the Church asks us to reflect on and write about, after all, it was difficult for me to do it as well, but I did it while the marriage was still fresh in my mind, and I used it as part of the healing process, which she has not and will not ever get the benefit of. I could never date her again, and I resolved to never date anyone that does not have an annulment already and is not available for sacramental marriage in the RCC.
What I have come to realize is that some people do not care about their Catholicity. Being Catholic, attending mass, receiving the sacraments are not important to them, and therefore, moving through life without an annulment is not any more necessary to them than receiving the sacraments. These are the people who reason that they are a good person, they don't hurt people or break the commandments (in their mind), so they believe that they are going to heaven the way they are living. Jesus said, unless you eat my flesh you have no life in you. Now, you can live your whole life alone in a chaste way and never get an annulment, and still go to heaven. But if you ever expect to get married in the church, or to marry a good Catholic in the church, then you must get an annulment. If you are here on this site looking for a good Catholic to marry you or date you and your previous marriage was not annulled, then I consider you to still be married in the eyes of the Church, and therefore in the eyes of God (what you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven).
My searches no longer include "Divorced" because of my experience with this local person. For the reasons I have stated, many of us have come to CM to find someone who truly wants to live their Catholic faith and wants to help each other get to Heaven as devout Roman Catholics. We have tried dating people we know, and they are not always the best examples of Catholics or fall short of the basic requirement of being available for sacramental marriage. The sad part is that once you get past that part, the basic requirement, there are still all the other factors that either make you attracted to someone or not. It is difficult to be in our situation because we have so many things that need to line up in order for it to work. It is like finding the needle in the haystack only to discover that you have still not found the right needle; try another hay stack. If you find that special person, you are truly blessed.