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I have a question that I pray I won't actually need the answer to.  It seems likely that my wife is going to be leaving me (please pray this doesn't happen).  Long story short, should the worst happen, what is my 'responsibility' in terms of an annulment.

By that I mean, I'm 99.9999% certain that the marriage was valid/sacramental from what I can see.  Of course, I can't read my wife's mind on the day we had our marriage con-validated, but it seems like it was valid from her side too.  I'm sure she will seek an annulment so she can move on with a 'guilt free' conscience.  I am also quite sure she will be happy to say that she didn't expect our marriage to last when we got married (or something like that) (Whether she actually believes this in her mind or not, who can know.  She is quite good at self-deception).

So - If she seeks a declaration of nullity and gets it, should I just trust the Church in this matter and feel free to marry again (I doubt I'll want to ever, but I also want to know my position in life going forward as I'm only 35).  Or if I have doubts as to whether or not the annulment was valid, should I assume the marriage is still valid.

I don't want to assume I know more than the Church on anything, but I also look at the fact that virtually every attempt at a declaration of nullity is granted these days, which seems unlikely. 

Of course, my only desire is to do God's will...Just having trouble figuring out what that is in this situation.

Thanks for any insights and please pray for my wife, my marriage, my children and me.

God Bless

Michael
I'm sorry you're in this position. My first marriage also dissolved not by my choice, although we didn't have children, so I at least know a bit of your pain.

As for participation in the process, I believe you are under no obligation to participate if you're not the petitioner. I don't know what impact that would have on your outcome, but it seems to me when I went through the process that's what I was told (I was the petitioner for our annulment, although not the divorce). However, if you feel that you had a sacramental marriage, it might be in your interest to participate so the tribunal knows both sides.

As for trust, unless you have sincere and deep, passionate reasons to believe the tribunal is in error, I would simply accept the judgement. I think most marriages are found null these days because the majority are in fact null, whether it be due to lack of maturity, intent, preparation, etc.
I'm really sorry to hear about your situation, Michael. I know how tragic these sort of things are.

About the question, I think its quite clear that these decisions are not infallible--especially now that the process was facilitated. Most conservative bishops and canonist says that its not that hard to actually have a valid marriage, and almost nobody gets married thinking about divorce--even the most adolescent of passions are directed to eternity, hence the promises, which at the time are nothing but sincere. Are people aware of the sacrifices required to keep them ? Are they aware of the sacrifices required to keep sanctifying grace when we make the promise to never sin again in the confession ? Most of us are, some are not, and we are darn sincere there. We know its valid there.

Anyway, if that's the only reason she's giving, I don't know. You lived with her so you'll know better. Keep track of the process and see if its just. The other day someone posted (was it PrairieMom ? ) about a woman who only kept her ex-husband from getting an unjust annulment (who ended up marrying in Prot church) because she made a big deal out of it, otherwise they'd just had given him. I suppose that given the jokish state these tribunals have acquired you'll have to look into it independently, with the counsel of a honest, faithful and orthodox priest who knows you.

Again, I'm sorry for you. This is precisely why so many people are afraid of getting married, and why I said the pope just hurled us into dark times, making our Church look like something like a neo-Church or something of the sort (if we could say that).

(03-28-2016, 12:05 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote: [ -> ]Anyway, if that's the only reason she's giving, I don't know. You lived with her so you'll know better. Keep track of the process and see if its just. The other day someone posted (was it PrairieMom ? ) about a woman who only kept her ex-husband from getting an unjust annulment (who ended up marrying in Prot church) because she made a big deal out of it, otherwise they'd just had given him.

Hmmm.. no, it wasn't me. I'm not even sure which thread that's in.

How did they know they were going to "give it to him" but then changed their mind? I don't really remember being privy to too much until the decision itself was handed down.
The case that is referenced, I believe, is the famous one concerning Joseph P. Kennedy II, of the noted Kennedy political family, and his wife, Sheila Rauch Kennedy. Mrs. Kennedy opposed the annulment and, after the tribunal had decided in favor of annulment, appealed the decision to the Vatican, which ultimately voided the annulment. But altogether, the process was long and complicated, with the appeal and the voiding of the annulment taking ten years.
(03-28-2016, 01:01 AM)Cyriacus Wrote: [ -> ]The case that is referenced, I believe, is the famous one concerning Joseph P. Kennedy II, of the noted Kennedy political family, and his wife, Sheila Rauch Kennedy. Mrs. Kennedy opposed the annulment and, after the tribunal had decided in favor of annulment, appealed the decision to the Vatican, which voided the annulment. Altogether, the appeal process took around ten years, if I am not mistaken.

Yes, there's that too. But I'm pretty sure there was one like this in a small scale that we discussed last year--the husband even ended up having a Protestant marriage, etc.
And I'm pretty sure PrairieMom commented on it--or was it some of the other FE's females ? CP even had a snarky comment suggesting an implicit feminist power structure in the Church.
Anyway, I'll never find it in the FE archives.
I'm sorry you're going through this, went through the same thing a few years ago, prayers for you and your family,  Pray

Unlike you my annullment is pending, I filed. The Tribunal sent my ex the forms twice but she did not respond. That is your right also but if you think you have a valid marriage you have every right to tell your side and you can appeal if you feel the final decision is incorrect.
So - If she seeks a declaration of nullity and gets it, should I just trust the Church in this matter and feel free to marry again (I doubt I'll want to ever, but I also want to know my position in life going forward as I'm only 35).  Or if I have doubts as to whether or not the annulment was valid, should I assume the marriage is still valid.

I don't want to assume I know more than the Church on anything, but I also look at the fact that virtually every attempt at a declaration of nullity is granted these days, which seems unlikely. 

What you do will be up to you. If she seeks an annulment you are under no obligation to accept it. You may wish to appeal the decision to the Vatican if you feel that the Church has made a mistake. If the Church gives you an annulment then they will tell what you can do. Not every annulment gives both parties the freedom to marry. Sometimes there are strings attached. And also not every attempt at a declaration of nullity receives the answer that is desired. 
Michael,

I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you are going through this. 

Something none of us are discussing is that your marriage was con-validated.  How long after you were married did the con-validation take place?  Did you or your wife convert at that point?  The reasons behind the con-validation might be a factor.  Did she convert under pressure?  Is she attending Mass with you now? 

Just a thought: perhaps some marital counseling might help.  Would she be willing to speak with a good traditional priest?  How about attending a marriage retreat?  I have no experience with such programs but surely there is one out there that is appropriate and might help.  It might be worth taking some time together to try to fix things.

Prayers for you both -
Fontevrault
Thank you all for the prayers and information!

(03-29-2016, 09:50 AM)Fontevrault Wrote: [ -> ]Michael,

I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you are going through this. 

Something none of us are discussing is that your marriage was con-validated.  How long after you were married did the con-validation take place?  Did you or your wife convert at that point?  The reasons behind the con-validation might be a factor.  Did she convert under pressure?  Is she attending Mass with you now? 

Just a thought: perhaps some marital counseling might help.  Would she be willing to speak with a good traditional priest?  How about attending a marriage retreat?  I have no experience with such programs but surely there is one out there that is appropriate and might help.  It might be worth taking some time together to try to fix things.

Prayers for you both -
Fontevrault

The marriage was con-validated about 5 years ago (on our 8 year anniversary of our civil marriage if I remember correctly).  We are both cradle Catholics but did not really take our faith too seriously (we went to mass occasionally, sent our kids to Catholic school, but that is about it.).  When I began taking my faith seriously, she did too to a lesser extent.  There was no pressure at all.  When I learned that the convalidation was necessary (I had no idea what one even was prior to this point), she agreed to do it without any problems.  She attends Mass now for the most part (she has some medical issues so she misses quite a bit).  We attend together sometimes and other times separately because of my work schedule. 

I have asked repeatedly for marital counseling and/or retreat, ect.  She agreed to Retroulvelli at one point has since changed her mind.  I'll keep trying for this of course, and praying that she comes around.

Thanks again for your advice and prayers.

God Bless

Michael
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