This room is for supportive and informative discussion about divorce and/or the annulment process. All posters must have been previously divorced or annulled.
Saint Eugene De Mazenod is patron of dysfunctional families & Saint Fabiola obtained a divorce from her first husband prior to devoting her life to charitable works.
Learn More: Saint Eugene De Mazenod and Saint Fabiola
At any rate, you are not alone in your struggle. Please don't second-guess yourself. Mother your children and find that man who will be a great dad and role model for your children since their father can't/won't. Prayers for you and your children...
I don't know if you have children or not but unless a parent is really abusive (where the child is in danger), there is no substitute for your actual parent. I witnessed this with my then 14 yr old daughter when going through divorce. No matter how much her father avoided seeing her, she craved that relationship with him. It has taken 6 years for their relationship to get back on some solid footing. It just is not as simple as you presume.
Have a great day.
I go to mass every week, and as of late, all the homilies are about marriage. You will always see me in mass with my younger 2 children, age 10 and 12, and I just feel like I totally made a mistake divorcing their father . It has been a yr. since the civil divorce but about 3 years being estranged from each other and more or less separated. Stats show that kids who have a bio familiy intact do better it thier adult lives...
I feel like all I did was rip them off of a nuclear family. I had so many serious and valid reasons for the divorce, but the fact that their father IS not involved in their lives truly just makes me feel worse and worse with each passing mass. We did attend mass as a family most of the time and so naturally I have flashbacks - always in mass, and my younger kids are getting purterbed practically, always questioning : "Why are you crying Mommy?"
Im sure someone out there can relate.
I used to struggle with this until the last couple of years. I started seeing my pastor as my spiritual advisor in 2009. If you don't have a spiritual advisor, I would suggest that you go speak to your parish priest about it. Explain your situation and he can help you find someone who can support you through this painful time in your life. You obviously care, and that is half the battle. You care because you feel. We feel because it is human, and living alone is not the natural thing for social beings.
The solution for me was to get involved in the church as an acolyte. Being in this situation forces me to live an upright life in God's eyes so that every Sunday I can serve on the altar and receive Holy Communion with the others at the altar. It has helped me stay focused on fixing my own faults and building my own prayer life. It has helped me develop a stronger resistance to the pain of what my life is not and has not been, that I once desperately hoped it would be. It gives me hope in the future for my children and for myself to love and be loved again as never before, because God can do all good things that He wills for us if we seek that will as our own in our lives.
Rebecca, you can do this too. When you come to realize that life is a journey, and the destination is heaven, and all that we experience in this life is just road wear, it is a calming thing in your life. There was only one perfect human being, and the world hated Him. The world hates us and Satan hates us for our love of Him and our attempt to imitate Him. I am hopeful that in the final analysis, when we one day meet Jesus in heaven, He will say to us that we fought the good fight, that we have run the race and we did our best. That is the real meaning of this life - obtaining eternal salvation with our Lord in heaven.
I will keep you in my prayers for peace and discernment of your future and that of your children.
Everytime I unload my pain to my children caused by their father's abuses, they both would say "You should have divorced him Mom when we were still young." I asked back what made them say that, and the answer I got was that he was a bad influence to them. His presence in the house while they were growing up dented their emotions, cracked their souls and made them short tempered like their father. Of course they are aware of this that they are trying hard not to be like him.
My marriage was abusive since day one, but I never thought of leaving because of my Catholic Faith until after 36 years when my children said I can go. After I left him I did not receive the Holy Eucharist for months. My ex and I are still in the same parish and sometimes he would see me and I see him. During the holy week of 2012 I made a confession and told the priest of my divorce and the reason why. He told me to continue receiving the Holy Eucharist and to seek annulment. He said that God sees who is at fault in the divorce and if your conscience is clear, there is no reason for you to deny yourself of God's sacrament. The parishioners who know us never ask why we were on separate seats; they just pray everything goes well for both of us. Remember what Pope John Paul II said, "Be not Afraid". Trust every thing to God.
I will keep you in my prayers. I too struggle with the same issues as you. I have been divorced for 4 years and still have my good and bad days. I do mourn for the loss of the family unit. Too many days I feel guilty because my children will never have their parents living in the same house again. On my really bad days, I do alot of praying for strength and courage. I hand it all over to God. Which, might I add, is not as easy as it sounds. On my good days, I give thanks for getting me through the rough days.
Just as we love our children and want the best for them, God loves us too and wants only the best for us. God wants us to be happy. Reading about how you are struggling makes me feel sad. Try and remember that you are a strong women, a loving mother, and I'm sure a kind friend. With everything that you do every day, you are setting a good example for your children.
God has very strong shoulders. He will carry this for you.
Prayers to you and your family,
Rebecca, I'm sure a lot of us can relate. Ughhhh!!! Those sermons that point the finger and make me squirm in my seat. When I know that everyone in the parish knows that I am divorced. When those sitting next to me give a quick glance in my direction to see if I am really listening.....Well, yes I know that they aren't, but that's how it feels sometimes...
Whilst I don't have children, just to hear sermons about divorce make me uncomfortable and the tears generally flow. But tears are healing and Jesus does reach out to us in these moments and sometimes those difficult sermons are the ones we most need to hear - they make us face the facts and our sinful nature (that's the bit that makes us squirm in our seats) so that we can receive God's healing grace. I would rather hear these than some glib sermon with a few jokes thrown in. It seems that God is quite happy to throw a lot of grace my way recently...
The only thing that could have prevented my divorce was not marrying him in the first place (he left me for another man), yet I played some part, so through these gospel readings and sermons I reflect and offer up to God my failings in not being the wife I could or should have been, the times when he needed me and I wasn't there, or when I didn't listen. It teaches a bit of humility. For a while, I harboured a feeling way down deep inside that he did it to me, he took 15 years of my life, he left me, he humiliated me, he left me without children....etc, etc. But God has a funny way of teaching us and I believe that the divorce experience was a way of teaching me what marriage is really all about. Listening to those gospels intently and praying about how we can prepare for our future marriage (whether on earth or in heaven when we die) might seem hard, but really worthwhile.
We can't change the past, but we can learn from it and grow. The annulment process is meant to be a healing process too and if you haven't considered it, you might want to? Just writing the report for the tribunal was a healing process.
I'm off to Lourdes this week and will be remembering many of the people I have spoken to on CM and you bet you'll be on the list!!
Stats show that kids who have a bio familiy intact do better it thier adult lives...
I had so many serious and valid reasons for the divorce...
...the fact that their father IS not involved in their lives....
I think it is quite natural to feel as you do, at least for me anyway. I felt the same way quite often in the early stages of my divorce, wondering "what if"... But in the end, you know it was done for the right reasons. I do no know what the serious and valid issues were in your marriage (and nor do I need to know), but statistics also show that in many cases children who witness serious dysfunctionality on a continual basis are in far worse shape than being raised in a single parent home. You may have actually done your children a favor. Speaking from personal experience, my Mother did an excellent job raising 3 boys by herself when my Father passed away. We were in the same age range as your children are right now. We turned out OK, but had the typical bumps along the way. It is probably tough sledding for you right now, but parenthood is the toughest job there is. My Mom is the role model I use a single parent.
The fact that you wonder "if only I had done x, y, z...", or question aloud the choices that you had to make -- and clearly worry for your children's future -- tells me they are in the best hands possible. Not sure why their father is not involved in their lives, but even someone who sees their children every summer only, could still pick up the phone on a weekly basis. If there is no involvement at all -- even that much -- then again, they are in the best hands possible right now. And it should serve as a reinforcement to you that your judgement was correct all along. Character matters, and you seem to have it in spades. And who knows, maybe at some point he may decide to get involved again. His current lack of involvement with his children is NOT your doing. It is more a reflection of his character. And any sort of moving away for the sake of a job is a cop-out in my opinion. If I lost my job I would make for darn sure I stayed local to get another one, even if it was for half the pay. So that I would be around my kids as much as possible. Or barring that, they'd darned sure be with me over summers, school breaks, etc...
I hope I was not too forward and speaking out of line. You post just called to me a bit.... Familiar territory, so to speak...
Blessings to you and your family,
Rebecca going to Mass can be hard. I have been divorced for 4 years and today...I could not speak or sing for fear of crying during Mass. Some days are harder than others. It does get easier with time. Count your blessings, and we have many to count! Ignore your kids when they get upset with the tears. Mine are 13 and 14. They wonder why I am crying or cry so easily sometimes. Usually we sit in the front row, I am not really able to see all the happy families around me. Today we sat back a few rows and every where I looked couples were holding hands or had their arms around each other. There was a baptism and tons of new babies at Mass. It is hard to tell what will get you sometimes! Blessedly today the choir did not sing the song I requested for my grandmothers funeral. I would have been a basket case for sure.
Wow, thanks for this everyone! I have been feeling totally overwhelmed at Mass, cannot sing or respond. I pay attention but my heart has been so heavy. Now I know I'm not alone. I guess it does just take time. I often feel society pushes us hard too--"You should be over that by now". Grief is expected to be wrapped up in 1-3 days and that's it. People don 't seem to realize all that goes on in a person's heart and that it takes time to heal. I can relate to Rebecca too. I almost quit going to Mass but we can't cave in--we have to just plow through. I am known to wait until everyone is seated and find a solo spot where I don't have to see all the family interactions. Everyone handles it differently.
Prayers and blessings to everyone,
I often feel society pushes us hard too--"You should be over that by now". Grief is expected to be wrapped up in 1-3 days and that's it. People don 't seem to realize all that goes on in a person's heart and that it takes time to heal.
Lorrie you are so right about how society reacts. It feels, at times, as if we are being judged or looked down upon for still hurting. I only share things with my closest friends because I don't want to deal with the looks or awkwardness that follows if I am honest. I saw a man at mass this weekend who was divorced about six months before me and he looks so heartbroken, not that I'm happy for that, but it reminded me that there is no time limit on healing which made me feel like I wasn't alone. Maybe it's so strange for people to comprehend the heartbreak that comes from divorce and the time it takes to truly heal because there are so many people who are dating as soon and the legal papers are filed (or even before). Thanks for sharing this. I really needed it at this moment.
I'm still struggling. It is interesting to note how I have ups and downs. Last night, I tried attending a new (to me) Young Adults group in Tampa at a different parish than the one I regularly attend. There was a wedding rehearsal going on when I arrived. Such a beautiful and intimate setting, and such a pretty inside of the many-windowed church lit amongst the pitch black night sky.
A couple months ago, there was a wedding at my own parish as I pulled up for confession. I had to turn around and come back home, to attend confession at another time. Not that I'm not happy for couples getting married, but the thought of ever marrying again and experiencing the blessings in life that come only with healthy marriage just seem so far off--even unattainable--as I (still) await what I pray will be a favorable annulment decision (for remarriage) after 18 months. Evidently the diocese where I filed my petition is backlogged with cases due to an extremely high number of divorces. Sad that so many Catholic marriages are failing.
Meantime, I can't even get to first base with dating. It has been three years since I lived under the same roof as my (ex) wife, and nearly two years since the civil divorce was final. She is practically married to a guy she met at work, and has had support of nearby friends these past two years. My life has become completely isolated, with seemingly no hope for recovery, as I've moved to a new place, then lost a career, and moved to another new place (Tampa) where I'm trying to get my feet back under me. Want to talk about loneliness and heartbreak? Coupled with the unplanned career change and move from friends across the state, the effect has been purely devastating and even debilitating at times.
Being treated very poorly by a woman I had met after moving to Tampa last year, who claims to be Catholic, didn't help. I had wanted to simply be friends with her, and really needed someone who could show me around, introduce me to other Catholics, and help me settle in. She was trying to rush me into marriage when I'd made it clear I sought only friendship due to lack of an annulment decision. She did some things subsequently to intentionally hurt me, to include calling me after she had established a relationship with someone she had met, to tell me of her new boyfriend and that she didn't want to be friends with me. She didn't return a couple of calls/texts a couple days afterward, so I'm not going to chase. I never understood people who intentionally try to hurt others, especially folks who claim Christianity and then act in ways contrary to our Catholic faith.
So, have been very alone the past 9 months. With career loss, moves, and my father's death, this time has been the closest thing to hell that I can imagine. I'm just now starting to move ahead on my own with efforts to build a new life here in Tampa after feeling numb the first 8 months here. It takes much courage and prayer... not much I've done in this life has been harder. But, I am finding opportunities for character development, reflection, and growth that may not have come otherwise. And, perhaps our Lord has a reason for giving these tests at this time. I don't know why, but am certain He does know, and one day--on the other side of all this heartache--perhaps I'll look back and have a feeling of peace and understanding as I see how this time was a time of building faith, growing closer to our Lord, and building a capacity to love others much more deeply than before. Have certainly picked up a healthy dose of humility through experiences endured the past few years.
Yeah, having a difficult weekend... Things will get better. Prayers for all others going through similar circumstances,