4 Tips For Divorced Catholics Who Believe They Are Called To Marriage


Not everyone who gets divorced intends to remarry, but in my personal experience, I did. I definitely had the desire to marry again because I had always believed my vocation was to marriage.

The questions that arise from being civilly divorced, yet confident you are called to be married, can be somewhat mind-boggling. “How do I know if this is what God wants?” was, for me, the big one. I knew what I wanted, but how could I be certain that it matched what God wanted for me?

Many Catholics today find themselves in this exact position and wrestle with this same question and more.

Is jumping back into the dating scene the right thing to do?

Do you just sit tight, trust God and wait for someone to walk into your life?

How do I even know where I stand with the Church?

If you are asking these same questions, I’d like to offer you some tips on how to discern the answers to these critical questions. Here are some definitive steps you can take that will help:

1.     The Best Starting Point: Offer Reconciliation

It may seem impossible to imagine reconciling with your ex-spouse, but in my opinion, it’s definitely a risk worth taking. I took this leap of faith myself, and although my invitation to reconcile was declined, I have never regretted taking that risk. I believe it was the right thing for me to do, and I encourage anyone who was not living in an abusive or dangerous marriage relationship to consider taking this same step.

Attempting to reconcile with your divorced spouse may seem impossible, but it is a risk worth taking. Click To Tweet

By giving God a chance to work in your spouse’s heart, and through your willingness to risk loving even when it requires swallowing your pride, the graces you’ve received as a married couple have the opportunity to produce good fruit.

Of course, it takes the free will of both spouses to cooperate with those graces, and that doesn’t always happen, but just think of what could happen if you both did… Just opening this door can lead to something totally new. And if that happened, you’d be one step closer to knowing that dating and finding someone new should be put on hold.

What if you are not in a position to ask your ex-spouse for reconciliation? Maybe your ex-spouse is already remarried, or maybe the circumstances that led to the separation dictate that it really is not possible to reconcile. Okay, that happens. But if there is even a slight chance, why not throw the option out there? If it is accepted, there is hope. If it is declined, you will never look back and wonder what if?

2.    Go Through The Annulment Process

All marriages are considered to be valid/sacramental unless proven otherwise by the annulment process. So in my case as an example, although I had a civil divorce decree and my union with my ex-spouse was dissolved in the eyes of the state, the Church still considered me to be married. Only the annulment process could determine whether a valid/sacramental bond existed between my ex-spouse and me and only receiving a decree of nullity could free me to date and marry again. This holds true for all divorced Catholics.

So, by going through the annulment process and receiving a formal declaration that states you are either bound to your ex-spouse until death or you are free to marry, you have a clear direction to head in.

3.    Test Your Call

It’s a good idea to leave no stone unturned when you’re making a decision that will affect the rest of your life, so why not investigate the religious life?

Discerning remarriage after divorce? Check out religious life just in case. Click To Tweet

I personally did this by going on a retreat with a community of consecrated women, and also making an appointment to speak to the nuns at a local convent. Even though I didn’t feel called to this way of life, I wanted to look into it with an open mind. I wanted to give it a fair chance just in case I was missing something God was trying to tell me. In the end, it reinforced my confidence in being called to marriage.

4.    Pray About It

Discernment always requires conversation with God, and you can feel confident that he will lead you in the right direction. The key is to be open to whatever he has in store for you.

I encourage you to take these steps if you are considering marriage in the future. No one wants to go through another divorce, and taking action on these recommendations will help to ensure the best possible scenario for marrying again.



  1. Robert B. April 5, 2017 Reply

    An annulment doesnt prove God feels you can remarry after a divorce. It just shows the Catholuv church itself feels it is permissible….not good enough for me

  2. Franjo-1431957 April 4, 2017 Reply

    You can’t remarry after divorce. You don’t go backwards in spiritual life but forward.

    • Lisa-727959 April 5, 2017 Reply

      Hi, Franjo – I understand your point, but you have to take into consideration first, that there is a very real legal process people have to go through that uses specific language. Second, a couple may not have had a valid marriage in the eyes of God and therefore getting married in the church again may be the “first” valid marriage, but the Church definitely does recognize this couple had a very real relationship that was assumed to be valid (putative) and was visible in society. In that sense, it is totally appropriate to say someone is getting “remarried.”

  3. Joel-1364361 April 3, 2017 Reply

    Reconciliation for me was more me with the church than with the ex spouse. For me my connection with the church felt broken. I know that it takes two to tangle and I am sure there were things that I could have done better in the marriage. But my feeling broken from the church hurt me the most. Thus getting my marriage annulled with the church was very important to me. As far as Religious Vocations go, my doing things with the church like volunteering when I can and being an alter server are my way of contributing and being a bigger part of the church. Perhaps more later but I will have to see. I have prayed and discerned what God wants for me. So far everything I feel and believe is that God wants me to work on myself towards marriage. Time will only tell for sure. God bless this broken soul and lead me to your will.

    • Lisa-727959 April 5, 2017 Reply

      Joel, thank you for sharing your situation and I will keep you in my prayers for healing. So sorry for all you’ve been through!

  4. David-1162851 April 2, 2017 Reply

    This is not a good article. Step 2, get an annulment is basically implying that annulments are just Catholic divorce. Where is the step that should be something along the lines of, “Accept your marriage is valid and you simply cannot get married unless your spouse dies?”
    This so-called 4 step process is just flawed.

    • George-1274666 April 2, 2017 Reply

      Step 2 actually says go thru the annulment process to determine if you are bound to the other person until death or free to marry in the Church. It’s your assumption that all annulment processes end in a decree of nullification and not the authors. What you were looking for in your missing step is in Step 2.

      While the status of tribunals with respect to annulments is ripe for discussion, I don’t believe this article presents much in the way of case history or discussion material on annulments to warrant condemnation of the process as a whole. In other words, while you may have issues with the way the Church handles annulments, that isn’t the topic of this article.

  5. Cesar-796175 April 1, 2017 Reply


  6. Nicholas-1207352 April 1, 2017 Reply

    I like how this article was written. There were clear and concise four steps. I’d like to share my own experience for those who may be in this process.
    1. Reconciliation doesn’t necessarily mean rebuilding a relationship. If the other is engaged in activities inconsistent with yours there may always exist a “line in the sand” that can’t be crossed, but I found it healthy for me to take that first step.
    2. The annulment, though I’m not a fan, did give me clear direction as to where to go and I trust that the church has seen thousands of cases of the same type of people saying the same things, who are incapable of marriage. Trust the Church.
    3. Religious vocations I have previously discerned.
    4. I am currently praying, and the Lord is moving me toward the Florida area – very cool! I think it’s a matter of time to find someone who’s in the same place in life that I am.

    • Lisa-727959 April 5, 2017 Reply

      Thank you, Nicholas! I will keep you and your future in my prayers 🙂

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