Please do not read this if you are feeling fragile.
Part of a conversation I had today:
Abandoned Spouse: “This group has been a Godsend for me, because no one I know (even Catholics) understands why I am fighting so hard to stay married to someone who doesn’t even like me.”
My reply: People are so stupid it astonishes me. Quite apart from the fact that there are serious emotional and material damages which go with a broken family, especially for the children (and good parents want to protect their marriages for the sake of the children, if nothing else) and quite apart from the most important consideration – our eternal salvation – there are other things that matter to all right thinking people.
Personally, I enjoy the status of “wife.” Even when we have been through rough patches, my status still holds. I don’t mean necessarily that being a wife is better than being never-married, but I mean that I think I was created to be a wife and mother and therefore I enjoy *being* a wife and mother. I am “happy” like a plant that is in the garden in the right spot with proper water, sun, soil and drainage! If the Church will not defend such godly things as that, then we are in serious trouble.
If I had wanted to be a Concubine, I would have become a Concubine!
I expect the Church to uphold my marriage, not cast it into doubt and despair.
Even before the ghastly Synod We Had To Have on Divorced-Brats-Living-In-Adultery, in which the Faith did actually gain the victory, the plain fact is that Church practice has been watered down badly. Now you are basically guaranteed that if you wish to live by your own vows, should you be subject to an unwanted separation/divorce, then after an unspecified time (weeks/months/years) almost no-one will support you in this.
Why? Because they are fuzzy-thinking, modern people with a super-sentimental view of the world. This is unfortunate and almost the exact opposite of a disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no nice way to say this. The remedy for this is to be hard-headed, not hard-hearted. And on that, let me point out that those who are soft-headed are sure enough soft-hearted towards those who commit injustice, but are very hard-hearted towards actual victims of divorce, specifically abandoned spouses and their children. Please let that sink in.
Proponents of fake “mercy” are cruel and unkind towards the children of valid marriages.
No-fault divorce has led to a shocking, sustained, virulent attack upon marriage and the family. Children are suffering because of it, but the only children people care about in this situation are the children from the subsequent adulterous relationships which typically follow divorce. There is no easy or painless way of talking about this topic, I’m sorry. The only time people are acknowledged to need to “stay together for the sake of the children” are those parents living in adulterous relationships, which is exactly the wrong way around. From an article I read today:
To summarize, marital indissolubility is no longer supported by Catholic ecclesiastical discipline. Anyone who seeks an annulment will almost certainly be granted an annulment. In the Age of Francis, a troubled marriage between two people afflicted with original sin is essentially presumed invalid.
To be fair, this was the case long before Pope Francis was elected.
Dear single Catholic, should you choose to enter the marriage state, you need to understand something: The Church no longer has your back. The Church will marry you but has lost the will to defend your marriage. As painful as this is to admit, you’re entirely on your own. You live in a time when marriage is hard, annulments are easy, and charity has grown cold. In some ways our own time is coming to resemble the early Church when, due to heavy persecution, little in the way of ecclesiastical discipline was possible, and heroic faith was expected of all. Nevertheless, take courage! If you marry, pray like your marriage depends entirely on God, because it truly does. Stay faithful to your marriage even if the Church doesn’t seem to care. Jesus Christ cares. Learn to love, forgive, and suffer like Jesus. Stay close to the sacraments. And please, choose wisely.
Let me just say too, even if you choose wisely, you could still end up divorced against your will. The good news is that still today, most marriages do last, so don’t give in to a Spirit of Fear. God will always honour the covenant and will always look at a broken family as a true family, if the marriage is valid. Also, there are no guarantees in this life, but the love of God. Finally, marriage break up doesn’t have to happen to YOU!
With the help of the Lord, be strong and courageous!