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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

Jun 23rd 2013 new
(quote) Sharon-971976 said: Thank you, Carol. I just got off the phone with my new parish. Father is currently on retreat but I spoke with his secretary and left him a message that I want to start the process. He is wonderful and I was instantly comfortable with him when we first met after I moved here. I think it's time. If I'm thinking about it and it's gnawing at me, then it's spirit telling me to go forward with this.
Sharon, when I went through mine, I too found the questions difficult to answer, it took me a year to finish the application, and had to go back a couple of times to answer some questions by the defender of the marriage, but when it was all done, I found it to be a huge healing process. Just don't get discouraged when you get your first response back, remember that the defender's job is to defend the sanctity of marriage, and his first response is usually pretty strong, but if he believes that there is a cause for an annulment, his second response will show that.
Jun 23rd 2013 new
Sharon,

I don't think anyone is in a position to take a swipe at you here. There is probably a lot more our Church can do to support people going through this process and to be fair your priest could have done more to support you initially (your ex sounds like a 'lovely' man...). That said, it is in the past and the annulment process is really a healing time. Many of us go through feelings of intense guilt, failure and sadness that go unrecognised in the body of the Church but through this process Our Lord picks us up, dusts us off and gives us the strength to go on.

The lay people on the Tribunal tend to be fairly spiritual people in my experience and they are not judging you or your ex but the marriage and whether or not it was sacramental - don't be scared of being too personal. Put as much you can remember into the questions and pray about each of them.

When I was interviewed for mine, the interviewer stopped recording from time to time and let me cry and explored some really tough things in which the secrets and memories that were buried deep inside came out. If I had worried about this beforehand those gems might have remained hidden, but they are the real truth of where my marriage was at. She was astonished but showed real humility and compassion towards me and it felt very much like going to the sacrament of reconciliation...

I am sure that those who have replied to you will keep you in their prayers and that Our Lord gives you the peace that you need and deserve. All the best!!

Praying rosary theheart
Oct 13th 2013 new
I feel as Sharon does, too personal! A rehash of old hurts between two people. What are my children going to think, because their going to find out. Because of the annulment process I may never be able to marry again unless I want to be considered an adulterer by the Church marrying outside anyway. The process is onerous and no ones business! I feel the process bastardizes the children by basically saying this marriage never existed. I know the marriage existed, God knows it and why do I need men in some Tribunal to tell me whether I can get married or not just to make nice! A note of divorce is a note of divorce! A bunch of bologna and bureaucratic red tape. No wonder Catholics are so guilt ridden about everything. No other Christian sect make such a big stink, just the Catholics. Yes, I'm irritated if you haven't noticed already.
Dec 23rd 2013 new
I have thought about annulment for the sake of closure and my own inner peace, but my family says that I should not put up with the expense and the hassle because it would allow my ex to be free to marry in the Catholic Church.
When we got married he was Baptist and not even baptized. The priest baptized him into the Christian faith right after the rehearsal dinner. He left me for an exotic dancer and I believe they had a civil ceremony. He then converted to Catholicism (? Before or after he divorced the dancer). He remarried again, but in a Presbyterian ceremony. The kids say he still considers himself Catholic and he still goes to communion with them.
Would annulment validate his 3rd marriage?
I don't want to alienate him from the Catholic Church because he takes the kids to church. The kids are also asking questions about divorce and they don't understand why I don't just date and remarry like their father. I'm not sure what to tell them.

Dec 23rd 2013 new
(quote) Zynia-1041831 said: I have thought about annulment for the sake of closure and my own inner peace, but my family says that I should not put up with the expense and the hassle because it would allow my ex to be free to marry in the Catholic Church.
When we got married he was Baptist and not even baptized. The priest baptized him into the Christian faith right after the rehearsal dinner. He left me for an exotic dancer and I believe they had a civil ceremony. He then converted to Catholicism (? Before or after he divorced the dancer). He remarried again, but in a Presbyterian ceremony. The kids say he still considers himself Catholic and he still goes to communion with them.
Would annulment validate his 3rd marriage?
I don't want to alienate him from the Catholic Church because he takes the kids to church. The kids are also asking questions about divorce and they don't understand why I don't just date and remarry like their father. I'm not sure what to tell them.

Zynia,

There is something associated with annulments that most people are completely unaware of called a MONITUM. When the tribunal reviews your case, they look at things from the perspective of both spouses regardless if one of the spouses is participating in the annulment process or not. When the tribunal comes forth with its findings and judgment, it is possible that one or both of the spouses may have a MONITUM attached to the annulment. What this means, simply, is that some aspect of this person's character, life, dependencies, etc. need to be reviewed again by the Church before that individual can be approved to be married in the Church again.

I certainly understand what it is like to have a spouse who is unfaithful. My ex-wife did not wait for the annulment process. She got remarried within a year of our divorce well before the annulment was granted nearly 3 years after our divorce. The tribunal assigned a monitum to her. Since she never remarried in the church, it is a moot point. If she were to ever try to have her marriage blessed and went to the tribunal for the case judgment, she would find that the monitum will be an added step for her to prove things are different before she can remarry in the Church. Something like this could be assigned by the tribunal in your case to your ex-husband should the tribunal feel the situation warrants it.
Dec 24th 2013 new
(quote) Richard-711426 said: I feel as Sharon does, too personal! A rehash of old hurts between two people. What are my children going to think, because their going to find out. Because of the annulment process I may never be able to marry again unless I want to be considered an adulterer by the Church marrying outside anyway. The process is onerous and no ones business! I feel the process bastardizes the children by basically saying this marriage never existed. I know the marriage existed, God knows it and why do I need men in some Tribunal to tell me whether I can get married or not just to make nice! A note of divorce is a note of divorce! A bunch of bologna and bureaucratic red tape. No wonder Catholics are so guilt ridden about everything. No other Christian sect make such a big stink, just the Catholics. Yes, I'm irritated if you haven't noticed already.
Though I do have an annulment (my former spouse filed for the annulment), I agree with Richard. The church knows that we had a "sacramental" marriage, as well as everyone who were witnessed our wedding. By providing an annulment the church is essentially saying, "we really don't want you to leave the church, therefore we are going to say your marriage wasn't sacramental, so you can get married in the church again". Ugh! Whatever happened to SIN!! Someone committed GRAVE sins, broke the marriage vows, and allowed themselves to become servants of Satan by divorcing their spouse. Just read scripture, of which there are numerous references about divorce, none of which allows for an "annulment". Divorce is Satan's way of destroying the Church, and to think that the Church actually makes divorce more acceptable by offering an annulment. The Church is shooting itself in the foot, all to please King Henry VIII (the first marriage annulled).
Dec 24th 2013 new
Thank you that is very helpful. I also found the forum about what to tell your children about divorce helpful.
Dec 26th 2013 new
(quote) Sharon-971976 said:

I'm about to lay my head on the chopping block here for everyone to take a swipe, but here goes. I am trying to wrap my head around the annulment process. I had a civil divorce in 1984. My husband was a liar, a cheat and a thief and ultimately left me for one of his women (who he said is just like me). He tried to keep his foot in the door with me for a long time, until I finally moved somewhere where he couldn't find me. He told me that he was going to get an annulment just to hurt me because he knew how important the Church is to me. The reason he didn't pursue it was because it costs money and he didn't want to pay for it. I didn't bother getting one because at the time I didn't think I would ever marry again.

When I was with my last boyfriend I went to my parish priest for the interview to get the papers to start the annulment because it looked like we were heading for marriage at some point and I wanted to marry in the Church. The questions bothered me intensely because they were so very personal. I consider my marriage valid, we had one child, and I was in it for keeps. My husband was the one who made a mockery of marriage with his cheating and lying and drinking and stealing and everything else he pulled. I really struggled with these questions because they don't go to a bishop or priest or the pope -- it's lay people who read these and the deeply personal questions are between my husband and myself. Right or wrong, I feel strongly about this.

The relationship I had hoped to end in marriage just ended, so I haven't thought about an annulment in ten years. But now that I'm sticking my toes back in the water, I am once again thinking about it. Wouldn't it be enough to state that my husband was a liar, a thief and a cheat, he left me for another woman - I wasn't the one who wanted the divorce, as opposed to delving into such personal information that is no one's business? I feel like I would be writing a trashy novel (except that it would all be true).

I'm just trying to come to terms with the highly personal revelations that are required in the process. For those of you who have gone through this difficult and emotional process, did you feel relief to get it out? What about the children that were created during the marriage? Our marriage was certainly valid, our son was killed in 1978 at the age of 7 and I was unable to get pregnant again. I kept my vows to my husband. I did nothing wrong - except perhaps to get angry at him for cheating - but I do think that anger is certainly justified by his actions.

Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and be done with it once and for all. Any thoughts, comments, suggestions, feelings will be welcome. Meantime, I'm going to call my new parish right now and see about getting those papers again.

Heres how I look at things Sharon... When a christian marriage ends in divorce... Its doubtful that the marriage was sacramental ... Something was missing somewhere...

There are many myths about the annulment process... You will sort them out as you go through it... The questions are personel and require a great deal of thought... I answered one question a day...


Dec 29th 2013 new
Zynia, 39Chattanooga, TN
4 posts
Dec 23
I have thought about annulment for the sake of closure and my own inner peace, but my family says that I should not put up with the expense and the hassle because it would allow my ex to be free to marry in the Catholic Church

Dear Zynia, I have personally found that the annulment process was very healing. I actually got the paperwork ready before I could even complete the legal paperwork, tucked it away and pulled it out months later when I was ready. But the process although it is painful it is personal. It is all about introspection. Who of us has not sinned(Umm none!) We have all made mistakes and it takes 2 people with the right intentions and knowledge on the day of the marriage with no outside pressure forcing them into a marriage for the couple to obtain a sacramental marriage. The Church did not create annulements to justify or give Catholics a divorce in the Church. Just as it doesn't give us the sacrement of reconciliation to encourage us to sin to embarace us by having us tell another man our most embaracing moment, it is a merciful loving thing She does in offering us the Sacrement and this process. Neither are easy but both are healing if you let them be. Like a loving parent Mother Church wants to see her children back in the flock and healthy spirtitually. As sad as divorce is I whole heartedly disagree with a couple of the above post about how this is a bad process and the that the Church has manevolent intentions is just not true. With that said the annulement process will help you only as much as you open yourself up an allow God's grace to penetrate your soul. Going over painful memories can be useful. As one other writer said it can be cathartic and I would add, one can learn why this didn't work. In my case looking back at the red flags I overlooked in younger years, I would not do that again. Realizing he had a pre-existing problem that made him incapable of giving proper consent helped me to not feel like we could have made it work. I actually had my daughter read some good books on annulment before she married so she fully understood what was needed before she got married. Knowing all of this helped me grow through the hurt and helped me forgive my former spouse. That is really helpful to children too. sometimes I think that telling them some of the why's can be good. Mom and Dad weren't really mature enough to be married etc.. Without the annulement your former spouse really shouldn't be presenting himself for communion but again the annulment should be taken on for your spiritual growth and peace of mind. When you are dating is not the time to deal with the past before you start is when you should!

Dec 30th 2013 new
Hi Sharon, I am a newly converted Catholic...... I have been married 3 times and I went through the process to have ALL 3 annuled. Trust me, the questions will help you as you prepare for the next person.... It helped me to understand how I could improve and possibly how I could view my next relationship. I went through a lot and many folks said why bother..........I am sooooo thankful that I did go through the process. And here is what the decon who helped me said to me. "You stood before God and made a promise and now you want me to undo that... I need to make sure we are doing everything possible to review the marriage so that when I stand before God.... I can say I did my part" So, yes those questions are rough.........but it's really only you and the church......... And if you can't trust the church then we are all in BIG trouble. Good luck on the process... God Bless you in your journey!
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