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Christi wrote:

Hi, guys —

I was raised Methodist. In college, I met my husband and became pregnant after knowing him only 6 weeks. We booked a wedding date and had a large wedding with many bridesmaids. We really put on a show. We had our first child months later.

After two years, we divorced. After struggling as a single mom, we remarried at a Justice of the Peace. We had two more children and kept very busy. Then, I went through RCIA because his family is Catholic and he was very disinterested in the Methodist church. I thought it might make him participate more. I fell in love with the Catholic church and felt I finally found the truth. 
Our marriage had to be blessed in order for me to become Catholic, even though I thought it was ridiculous.

In the years since, I have come to understand and cling to the Church even more. I have worked so hard to read, pray, and go to counseling to help our marriage. It has felt miserable and difficult from the start. He had a problem with pornography and we went through a financial meltdown.
He has no spirituality and doesn't pray. He does go to Mass with us but, if I didn't go, he wouldn't.
For about 12 years, he never told me or our children he loved us, nor showed affection.
We seemed to be a huge burden to him.

I turned to another man and was unfaithful. He knows about this and we have once again tried to heal our relationship. I pray, read, and try to talk to him. He is still angry, resentful, and thinks he has done nothing wrong. I need help.

I want a holy marriage and family. I am even open to more children, but everyday of this 17.5 year marriage has been a struggle. We are opposing forces. I feel like I have tried everything while he sits and gripes. He makes our home a negative place and brings the world in with him to dump on us.

I feel like I want a divorce but don't want that for my children.

  • If I do go forward with a divorce, are there any grounds for an annulment?

I am a very confused Catholic.

Any advice would be appreciated.


  { If I go forward with a divorce, are there any grounds for the annulment of a 17.5 year marriage? }

Mike replied:

Hi Christi,

I was heart-broken by your e-mail. I will pray for you and your spiritually-weak husband. Seeing how your relationship started with him, you may have very good grounds for an annulment.

Based on the lack of affection you have mentioned, my concern is that instead of sacrificing his life for your physical and spiritual needs, he is using your life only for his physical/pleasurable needs. This could have happened for at least two possible reasons. Either:

  • he was never taught the Catholic faith by his parents, or
  • was taught the faith, but ignored it.

Pornography is a big demonic problem we have in our culture today. If your current husband has no spiritual life and is addicted to pornography, it's like a man in plain clothes with no weapons being dropped in the middle of a war zone.

In this type of demonic warfare you at least need:
a set of rocket launchers for the week spiritual
equivalency of
Sunday and, if possible, daily Mass on a regular basis in a state of grace

(most damaging weapon)
a Kriss Super V
sub machine gun
(with high stopping power)
Good for CQSC
Close Quarters Spiritual Combat
equivalency of
(praying) the Holy Rosary daily

(second most damaging weapon)
An Interceptor Vest
lined with dragon skin and Abrams Kevlar
equivalency of
a blessed St. Benedict medal and a blessed Brown Scapular around the body and neck
a pack of impact grenades spiritual
equivalency of
blessed pictures and statues of saints around the house with a holy water font at the entrance
a pack of partial and full med-kits spiritual
equivalency of
Saying the Act of Contrition; and receiving the sacrament of Confession on a regular basis

If you are asking, where did I get this idea from:

My nephews got me addicted to their military video games and the analogy was a perfect fit.  I watched a few shows on the Military channel as well.

I have no doubts that due to your past mistakes and his current mistakes, both of you have been hurt by the other.

The question, which none of us can answer, is whether both of you want to make your marriage work and make it holy.

The best you can do is pray for him. No one can control another person's free will.

  • Is he going to counseling as well?

I would talk to a priest known for his holiness and faithfulness to the Church. In cases like yours, there may be nuances that we may not be aware of. He would also be able to assess whether there are grounds for an annulment and guide you spiritually.

Based on what you have said, you are doing your part. Persevere with prayer and study, both the Scriptures and the Catechism.

When we live a sacramental life in a state of grace and pray on a regular basis, we always beat the Hell out of the devil and his legions, so keep it up!!

During our earthly life, there are always up's and down's but no matter whether we are going through a peak or valley, if we persevere in prayer and live a sacramental life in a state of grace, things will always turn out according to God's Will and in our best interest.

I thank the Lord for calling you to the fullness of the Faith that he founded on St. Peter and His successors. Praise the Lord!

Hope this helps,


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