There was no duplicate to the annulment decree I held in my hands?
How would I protect this document? If something happened to it and there was no duplicate and I ever wanted to remarry, what would I do?
Would we have to go through the process again? Would the decision be the same? Could I ask my ex———— for his copy?
I didn’t think that would go over well, and it brought up another question.
Could I ask my _______________.
Ask my what? What did I now call this man I’d spent 17 years with? Who was he to me now? He was obviously not my husband. I was okay, if not exactly comfortable, with that after 5 and a half years.
But now he was not my ex-husband either. Who was he? How did I refer to him now? What name did I call him by?
In the Bible, God changes people’s names after big events. It makes sense. After life changing events, we are seldom the same people we were before. It is part of the reason I chose Strahlen – “Smiling, Radiant,” as in shining in God’s Love. God changed me through these hardships. I am no longer the same person I was before. I could not go back to either my married name or my maiden name. I am not that girl/woman.
I wondered what plans God has for this man and whether he would accept those plans or fight them. I wondered if God would rename him too. I wondered if God had already renamed him and I just wasn’t aware of it. I thought of “him” as He Who Has Yet To Be Named. Not knowing his name didn’t bother me in the least, but I did wonder and hope for his sake he would be renamed positively.
My thoughts continued onward further thinking of what the annulment approval meant for He Who Has Yet To Be Named and me and our relationship.
He Who Has Yet To Be Named was now no longer even my ex-husband. Was he just some guy I’d lived with for 14+ years? That definitely creeped me out.
The letter closed with this paragraph:
If you ever decide to remarry in the Catholic Church, you should present this decree to the parish priest who will be making arrangements for the ceremony.
With every best wish, I remain
Sincerely in Christ,
Very Reverend, ________
And that was it.
I read that last paragraph again with just a slight tightening of my heart. Would I ever be Blessed with Love again? I thought about the few men who have sparked my interest in the past few years. I thought about two men I’ll blog briefly about later and the choices I’ve made over my lifetime. Would I trust myself with marriage again? Would I trust God with marriage again?
The answer is Yes.
I do hope to be married again. I Love sharing life with another and have learned a lot. What my husband did and the way he did it, the way he continues to act is terrible, but the truth is, I was not perfect either. I made mistakes and could have, no, I SHOULD HAVE, done better, been a better wife. The Bible tells us, “To Whom Much is given, much will be expected.”
At the time, I did the best I could. Now I could (and pray I would!) do better. It is now expected of me.
Today, I know more; I have been given more.
If I were to enter into a relationship again, I must be a better wife than I was to He Who Has Yet To Be Named. I pray that God builds me up for that task if it is in His plans.
Thinking about marriage made me again think of what the Annulment approval means for He Who Has Yet To Be Named and his girlfriend. Her brother is a priest in our area, and I’m guessing he is part of the reason they filed for the annulment. I assumed they would be getting married soon.
The idea of their marriage doesn’t bother me in the least. It’s something I’ve known was coming since he filed for the annulment.
Sometimes I think of our marriage prep and how he skipped over parts of the “homework” and how I’d wanted to go through things more thoroughly with him, things he blew off as foolishness. I should have known then, but I didn’t.
I think of He Who Has Yet To Be Named and his girlfriend, beginning their affair while I was pregnant, living together for about 5 years now, the lies they had to tell and secrets they had to keep so people wouldn’t judge them, and how much they skipped over in a God-Blessed courtship. I think about how their relationship was begun in sin and how small their chances are for success. I think of how she must always wonder if he will leave as suddenly as he did here and how they must both wonder if the other is having an affair when they are not together.
They do not need me to wish them ill.
They will have enough battles of their own making.
I’d heard, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, and wondered if they had learned from their affair or if they were they still the people they were when they made excuses permitting them to begin a relationship? Did they still have the plank in their eye that kept them from seeing their own sin? Would they repeat their pasts?
I honestly hoped not. I sincerely dislike both of them, but I know, if God hasn’t removed them from our lives, they have a purpose for being here, and I am guessing the boys need their father and he needs them. They are his connection to Goodness and God. The Father may lead He Who Has Yet To Be Named and his girlfriend back to God through the innocence and Love of children. It has happened many times before!
Besides the reasons for their being here, my disliking them does not make me want them, or anyone, to ever suffer the pain of divorce the way the boys and I have. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
For them, the annulment had to go through to further justify their relationship in their minds. They wouldn’t see that the annulment did not justify their actions. The annulment didn’t guarantee they would live a life of God-Given Love until death do them part. For their marriage to work both of them need to have learned and grown and surrendered.
That is a tall order.
Is it possible?
Would they let it happen?
That I didn’t know,
and it isn’t for me to decide.
It was time for me to move on to other thoughts. It was time to leave them in the past and reflect on what the annulment meant for me. I hope you join me tomorrow.
Part V – My Chains ARE Gone!