Church Requires Civil Divorce

I made an enquiry with my local diocese about getting my marriage annulled. I wast told that I must first be divorced in civil law and then, the church tribunal will consider my case for annulment.

As an anarchist, this is a difficult pill to swallow because I do not recognize any civil authority and contrary to the desires of most bible thumpers, no earthly government has God's divine authority either. I only recognize the church as my governing authority. 

However, I can see the point of the church. Requiring the faithful to jump through the hoop of a civil divorce is probably the only affordable way in which the church can be confident that the case for annulment is serious.

This is my issue:  My wife lied about being a Christian and she is now telling the children that the Bible is filled with fairy tales.  She has since admitted that she was an atheist since she was a kid and she just went through the motions of her Baptist upbringing.   Those are violations of her marriage vows.  The priest made it clear to her that as a non-Catholic she must allow me to raise the kids Catholic and that she must be baptized Christian.  Her words exactly to me were:  " I will continue going to church with you every Sunday. "   During our dating period, she sat with me every Sunday morning.   However, after we got back from our honey-moon, things petered out to a crawl.   Once she got pregnant, I over-looked her lack of interest in church among other things.  I would not have married her had she told me the truth about her beliefs. 

As a father, this is a difficult pill to swallow because I love my children.  I believe God works in our lives in mysterious ways and sometimes that happens through the grace of children. 

Anyway, it will be at least a year before a civil divorce is completed and then one more year before an anullment is realized.    In our jurisdiction, there are only two things that can lead to a speedy divorce:  adultery and abuse.   If a court does not recognize either of those things as being present in the marriage, you have to separate for a year and then you can get a rubber-stamp on the divorce. That sucks.  My wife refused to have sex with me for three straight years and insists to this day that she loved me at that time.    If I had more money, I would take this divorce to a public court and argue two things: 
1) I was subjected to the cruel abuse of being refused sex by my wife
2) my wife breeched a pre-nuptual agreement implicit in the Cattholic wedding vows

Oh, well.  Time to keep moving on. 
AnarChristian AnarChristian
36-40, M
6 Responses Jul 26, 2010

Just thought I would drop a note to say I am sorry this has happened to you and your reasoning about the invalidity of your marriage is correct. I have heard many stories like this, where a spouse deliberately deceived about religious tolerance and /or conviction. A most cruel hoax, especially once children are involved. I wish you well and hope you can recover from the deep hurt you have experienced.

Keep taking your children to church. Its so sick that she is telling them these things about the Bible. She is playing crazy making games. I feel for you and hope that time will fly.

AC, I just wonder why Colormecrazy feels she has to "be mean" to you.<br />
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No doubt, your stbx has pulled the bait & switch on you many times, but to hear how she did it right from the start, by lying about her beliefs, that's just sick. Seriously, is she actually "all OK upstairs"?<br />
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It sucks that you have to wait so long for it to be finalised! My heart is with you man.

Okay. It's really hard to be mean to you -- as I've come to look forward to -- when you post a story like this. We may disagree on many things, but on this one, I got your back. <br />
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I can't imagine learning, after the fact, that the person I married misrepresented their religious beliefs. I might have actually physically attacked my spouse had he EVER opined to my kids that the Bible was book of fairy tales! <br />
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Yeah. I know. This is pretty screwed-up coming from me. But present issues aside, I maintain my core faith and know that there is always hope for repentance & forgiveness. I actually don't believe the bible condones divorce except in the event of physical danger. It's a major reason I've not taken that step myself. As you've described your state law on separation and divorce, I can't help but wonder whether my favorite anarchist mightn't be the devil in my backyard! :-)<br />
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It's tough to separate and maintain two households for the mandatory waiting period the state imposes. Sometimes life sucks. Sorry guy.

{{squeezed!!}} <br />
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Thanks, enna. You are right. The certainty and the inevitability of splitting up with my wife has released stress. Since I must accept divorce, I now have a specific job to do to protect myself, my kids and whether I like it or not, the mother of my children. <br />
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I am less angry now but I am still angry for having been betrayed. I am working on forgiveness and that will probably be a life-long challenge for me. We will see. One thing is for certain, I am convinced that therein lies peace of mind as you suggest. <br />
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It is difficult to forgive my wife now because she has recently dismissed the impact of her refusal in a very callous manner. That alone deserves a story in the ILIASM group. The bottom line is that she really does not care. One thing that I do is focus on the joy that she brought to me that no other woman ever has. <br />
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I am headed towards a different journey now and I will have to depend on my friends to steer me away from hate. Please feel free to knock some sense into me if you see me slipping towards the dark side.

AC, this is an incredibly painful and difficult period for you. But, as someone who has got to know you from EP, I wonder if you realise just how much LESS angry you are now that there is a definite path ahead for you? I'm not in any way suggesting it is not very distressing, painful and difficult . . . . <br />
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But it seems to me that you are now facing a certainty, rather than the previous uncertainty that was your marriage, and as an outcome, your anger levels are subsiding.<br />
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No doubt your anger will surge again!! I know mine does - even now when I'm in a loving new relationship! It can be very aggravating to think of all the "could have beens" - I try to avoid them!<br />
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I think it is a GOOD sign for you - you are moving forward and regaining your health. It may be a long process to get back to happiness, but it WILL happen. And no-one deserves it more!! Take pride in being the better man for your suffering, my friend. And continue to show grace to your misguided wife . . . That way lies true peace of mind IMO.<br />
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