Getting through a divorce can seem like walking on a bed of red-hot coals that seems to never end. There’s always something else to exacerbate the pain and suffering of losing your marriage; custody trials, financial struggles, immature behavior on the part of your ex-spouse. And your emotions that rear their ugly heads seem to be present every moment of every day, which makes it only natural to wonder if you could ever be happy again. Will I always feel this way, or will it ever get better?
The good news is that it will get better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will see it in time. But what will make a huge difference in the amount of time it takes for you to see that light is dependent upon what you do between now and then. And so I strongly encourage you to consider beginning the annulment process to help you heal.
There are so many myths and misconceptions circulating out there about the annulment process which make many people decide they want nothing to do with it. I find this very sad because there is so much opportunity for healing that is being missed. True, the annulment process is only obligatory if you want to get married again, but it’s important not to look at this as just a tool; something you have to do if you want to remarry. There is so much to gain from going through it, if you approach it with a heart that is open to seeking God’s will, desires healing, and is ready to grow as a result of facing the truth of what happened head on.
Some of the benefits of this process, for example, are:
- Taking a bold and honest look at what happened in your dating relationship, engagement, and marriage, and accepting the truth about what happened. Being able to admit that both spouses made mistakes and bad decisions, even if one spouse was the one who cheated or abandoned the family. This takes a lot of courage, because so many people today have that victim mentality and blame all the bad things that ever happen to them on someone else. A victim is never happy. A victim will never experience real personal growth. It takes real courage to admit your mistakes, especially mistakes that cause something so devastating as a divorce. That being said, taking a hard look at what happened and accepting whatever role you played in the demise of your marriage becomes a source of humility, strength, and peace of heart.
- Learning from your mistakes. The only way people become wise (outside of being given a great grace from God) is through experiencing the trials of life, fighting through them and coming out the other side where you can look back and see it all from a different perspective. The annulment process helps you become wiser as it helps you understand the poor choices you and your ex-spouse made and be prepared to make better choices the next time around.
- Learning to trust in God. At a time in your life when trust is at an all-time low, it’s important to begin turning to God for answers and guidance. What is it that you want? What are you praying for? God wants you to come to him with all your cares, worries, concerns, hopes, dreams, and desires. But just asking for help is not what builds trust, believing that He will take care of you and work these circumstances for your good is the key. The annulment process helps you build your trust in God by offering you the opportunity to understand the outcome is out of your hands, and in His. If you can accept this and be truly docile to God in whatever the outcome is, you will walk away with great inner peace, knowing whatever happened was God’s will.
- Gaining complete confidence in the direction you take in life. By the time you receive your decision, you have been able to close this chapter of your life and lay it aside as you embark on a completely new chapter. No matter what the tribunal decides – whether you are free to marry or are still considered married – you now have a clear direction to take with many possibilities to find happiness.
If you are wrestling with the decision to go through the annulment process, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible so you can experience the healing properties it offers.
Please send comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter at @lisaduffy.