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Faith/Spirituality Forum: failling marriage good enough for anullment?

by Catherine Frakas 03 Mar 2001

failling marriage good enough for anullment? QUESTION from SLambert on December 26, 2001 My husband an I are both catholics. We have been married for a little over two years. Our marriage was regonized by the church and we did everything the right way.
For the past two years, our differences have made it difficult for the both of us. However, these differences were known prior to both of us getting married. At the time, our love was enough to deal with the differences (Culturally, Character wise, and our own internal issues ie: insecurities.) I thought these differences can be overcome with help of a professional and also from our pastor. I thought these differences would have given us a good dynamic.
We are good friends, we enjoy many things together and most of the time we are in sync. However, my husbad (who may have some depression) was not able to handle the bad times and decided to leave back in September without wanting to go through councilling. He called it quits and he took his stuff and left me. This really hurt me. I felt abandoned by him. I was alone and I had no one to talk to. I lost sight of god and I didn't pray to him. Instead I started chatting on the internet. It became an escape for me and I was beginning to accept what has happened.
After couple of weeks my husbad started to miss me. We started talking again. We saw a lot of each other during this time. By December, an apt. became available. The apt. was on the wait list a while back and so, he decided that he was ready to move back in and try to work things through.
Right after we moved into our new home, I thought the reason why he came back is because he loved me thus we were planning to see councilor. But i was wrong. He said that he's going to councilling to see if he loves me enough to continue on with the marriage. I was devasted. I was already really hurt by him in September and now this. I told him my feelings and he couldn't assure me his love for me because he wasn't sure where they lie.
After two weeks of us moving back in together, He leaves to go back to his family for 3 weeks during the christmas/new years holiday. (This trip was planed back in September when he first moved out) I understood the reason for him going was to help his family out and also for himself; however I wanted him to come back or delay his trip couple days or so in order for us to really spend some time together while we both have some time off. I wanted him to take us as a priorty, not his family. He said no.
During his absence, all things went wrong on a techinical level. On an emotional level, I felt abandoned and really alone. My family was chiaotic and I was in despair. I felt depressed, angry, and hurt. I started chatting on the internet again and it was comforting to talk with a stranger about my problems. This stranger was someone whom i have been talkign to for a while. We ended up meeting for coffee and at the time, i didn't think of this stranger in any romantic way. I saw him as a friend, a shoulder to cry on. To make the story short, the stranger kissed me and I had no feelings towards him. During the kiss, all I could think of was my husband. I felt that I have just hurt him and also myself. I felt terrible and realized that I have committed a great sin. There was an overwhelming guilt that swallowed me whole.
When my husband called to talk, he was so positive about us. He was optimistic about us. He really missed me and asked for me to understand. I couldn't help but felt the need to tell him the truth. I felt that if I wasn't able to be honest with him, that I would be sinning even more. I told my husband not to hurt him but because I thought it was the right thing to do, to be honest.
He now doesn't want to seek council and wants to get a divorce as soon as possible and an anullment. He feels that he will be granted an anullment because he wanted to get out of the relationship prior and after our wedding day. He feels that the church will grant him the anullment because he has witnesses (his family members)and also, he married me because he felt obligated since he gave me his whole being (virginity) not because he truely loved me. We did go through a marriage prep course and we were engaged for over a year.
I realized that kissing another man is a grave sin and I will repent for it. However, is the act alone enough for my husband to be granted the anullment? Does that fall into adultry? Does the act alone enough cause to break the bond of marriage?
I am devastated with my actions and know I will be paying for the pain it has caused everyone, including myself. It was a stupid thing and with all that was going on with my hurt, it did clouded my judgement.
Please write me and let me know what your thoughts are on this. I can't help but think that my family and friends point of views are to protect me. Also, my husband's mom is now councilling him to go separate ways. I only pray that he will find a way to want our marriage to work but as it seems right now, he doesnt even want it. I love him so much. I want to live my life with him. We both have great christian values. During this difficult time we both lost sight of eachother and god.
I look forward to your reply. Thank you.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on March 11, 2002 Dear Mrs. SLambert:
Please forgive the long delay in answering you.
I am very sorry that your marriage as gone the way it has. It is rough and will take time to heal from it.
It sounds like to me that the marriage may qualify for annulment because of the immaturity of your husband.
The kiss you describe is not a grave sin under the circumstances your describe in my opinion. It certainly is not grounds for an annulment.
But the lack of understanding and motivation of your husband toward the marriage and his immaturity may indeed be grounds for annulment.
We will be praying for you as you go through this difficult time.
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