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Marriage, Divorce, and Annulment
Thus, using common language, the absent spouse is properly referred to as "ex" or "former". If there is no Decree of Nullity, the other person is still a spouse even if common life has ended. Expand all Collapse all We're only separated Divorce is hard enough, but separation has its own unique pain because there's no finality, no apparent moving back or forward. The first thing to do is stay open to reconciliation, if possible. Each situation will require certain steps but for most couples this is a time for patience, practical planning and doing the following: Ask God to help you keep your primary focus on Him and His will for you. In a certain sense, the marriage--whether valid or not, salvageable or not--is secondary to your love for and faithfulness to God. Visit the Blessed Sacrament. Call on Him throughout the day. Draw close to Him. Try to clearly identify how you two got to this point so that you can work to solve the crises. Many couples make a sincere effort to get back together, but their core problems have not been addressed. Over time they'll come back and the hurt will be recycled. Nothing changes if nothing changes. That doesn't mean you have to divorce. It means get help and let your intellect lead, not your emotions fear, guilt, regret, etc. Money, kids, housing and other practical issues need attention especially during separation. Stop all unnecessary activity and spending for a few months or longer. Don't just wait and do nothing. Whatever you have to do to stabilize the home, do it on a temporary basis. Start getting help on any practical issues where you need instruction or counseling. Joseph and Our Blessed Mother. These two powerful allies of ours have been given great gifts by Jesus to help us on earth who are trying to keep our families together. They hold a treasure of graces that can truly help you. If you can't reconcile with your spouse, stay reconciled to the Truth. Take a day at a time. In peace I lie down and at once fall asleep, for it is You and none other, Yahweh,who make me rest secure. Mary's function as mother of men People are made to bond with each other at various appropriate levels. When that bond is broken, it hurts. People cry when their parents die, their best friend moves away, or their co-worker is transferred. There is pain in separation with loved ones. They merge, meld, and give themselves totally to one another. Like Father, Son, and Holy Spirit do. From that union should come great security, love, peace, and joy. Pain can also signal grave fear. Our goal is to help you discover the truth of your identity and your security. No role in marriage spouse or parent should ever be the center of your life; that place is reserved for God alone. When you are willing to begin to put Him at the center of your heart, He will heal you from the inside out. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and they become one flesh. Their relations were distorted. You may look at others who seem to heal more quickly, or even your ex-spouse who seems to have moved on. Each person is unique and unrepeatable; the way each experiences divorce will be just as unique. No one will experience divorce quite the same way you do. Most people enter marriage with still-unhealed wounds from their past. They also bring huge hopes and dreams for the future. In between all that is an unrealistic view of the world in general that they hope will be disproved as life passes. They believe their marriage has taken care of all that. So, when divorce hits, these past issues and future hopes are also brought to the surface like raw nerves. And then something else happens: Cost of living keeps increasing. Your body parts keep sagging and youth is passing. You could afford a house back then, but not now. You could have risen to the top of the company and retired early, but not now. And on top of that you are alone to face caring for your children and your aging parents. Our materials invite you to take deep breath, step back, and allow God to show you His love, mercy, promises and His vision for your life. One that is filled with great hope even within the pain, and rich in a love that never fails. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for. CCC 27 What can I do to feel better? But a new relationship, a spending blitz, or a half-gallon of Haagen Dazs will only hurt you more in the long run. We offer healthy ideas to help you through this tough time: And remember that feelings come and go. Feeling better may not mean you are better. Only the spiritual Truth will bring you the deepest healing. Perhaps you may never have thought about going to sit before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He promised never to leave you and left His real, true and substantial Presence available to you in the Eucharist. Quiet time with Him, crying, unloading, problem solving or even better. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. The worship of the one God sets man free from turning in on himself. CCC Where can I go for help? If we are the Body of Christ, that means the people in your local church should be His arms, His legs, and His smile for you. If not, you can order the DVDs online. Maybe later you can facilitate a group in your parish. Avoid advice from those who tell you to get over it, to move on, or to take your ex for all he or she is worth in court. Especially ignore the counsel to go find a new relationship. More often than not, divorce reveals deep heart wounds that you may have carried from your childhood into the marriage. Full healing from divorce might mean attention to other such issues. However, God can use anyone of His choosing to help you, so keep asking Him for direction. Many therapists offer internet or telephone support. Do-it-yourself saves money on car washes, but might be stupid when it comes to healing from divorce. Fools think the way they go is straight, the wise listens to advice. God wills the interdependence of creatures. God is not a puppet master. And, boy, has mankind made a mess of that! Look at the crucifix. Because from that greatest evil came the greatest GOOD. You may look at bad things and think they are the end, but wait and see what gifts can come from an evil like divorce. Real love stands by faithfully, helping the child to grow from it. Many say that through their divorce they finally found God; they grew closer to Him, changed their lives, and found deep inner peace. They came back to the gifts of His church, had better relationships with their children, and learned what life was really all about. Not to discount injustices and pain that you have suffered, but these are some unexpected treasures that can be yours! All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. And in the meantime, consider asking God to show you where you need to seek forgiveness as a separate act for the ways in which you failed. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. CCC I have so much guilt.
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