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April 02, 2008

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Jillian

Melissa,

That must have been an awful thing to live through. If my husband ever did anything so awful to my kids, I would definitely separate from him...or should I say, I would have his butt thrown into jail, thereby making HIM leave! Sounds like you did the same thing. That brings up a good point. In a circumstance where I was forced to leave him, there may be a reason why I would legally divorce him, for example if it was necessary for me to receive full custody in order to protect them. However, his choice of sin does not negate our vows. I believe marriage is not a contract, but a holy Sacrament.

So even if I was forced to legally divorce my husband (only under the most extreme of circumstances)I would, in the eyes of God, still be married to him, and would continue to wear my ring. That ring is not a token of my love for him, for emotions are changeable. It is a symbol of a vow made before Almighty God. I made that vow until DEATH separated us...not difficulty, not his sins, however heinous, but death.

Situations may be different in a case where a man is not truly your husband. For example, if I married outside the Faith without special permission from a bishop, or if I made the mistake of marrying a man who was previously (validly) married. In those cases of course, there would have been no valid marriage for us in the first place.

That's not to say that I support the current "trend" of so-called "annulments". People can get an annulment at the drop of a hat now. When people call it "Catholic divorce" they are not too far off. Even fifty years ago, you could count the number of annulments in a particular diocese during a particular year on one hand...if there were any at all. Now there are hundreds each year, and the numbers are increasing. One bishop has been quoted as saying "there is no marriage that I can't find a reason to annul." That is an abomination. Marriages cannot be invalidated after the fact. An annulment is intended to only be a finding that a marriage never truly took place from the beginning...for example, if a woman found out later that a man had lied to her, and had been validly married before their "marriage". Or if she found out he had never had the intention (from before their "marriage") of ever having children. Irreconcilable differences, alcoholism, drug abuse, physical abuse, and even sexual abuse doesn't invalidate a marriage. Certain circumstances (the later two in particular) may necessitate separation, but that's a whole different thing.

Anyway, I only say these things because, since this is my blog, I feel responsible to respond to any comments made that express beliefs that differ from my own. There are virtually no blogs out there where I can express my opinion without being severely "flamed", so I reserve my opinions for my own blog. I'm not at all judging your situation, as I have no knowledge of whether your marriage is valid or not. I'm just responding to your comments. I thank you for sharing your experience, and I hope you continue to visit me. I love it when I hear from my readers, especially when they have helpful suggestions such as your humming idea!

I am very glad that your children are now safe from your husband, and I pray for his sake that he repents of his awful anger.

It is commendable that after such difficulties you are able to seek out ways to become a happier person. I think your suggestion about the humming is a wonderful one. Singing--or humming--is truly good for the soul, I believe. There is a particular hymn that I like to sing, which for some reason always soothes my wounded soul. Sometimes I forget to use it, but when I do, it works wonders. I will try to remember your suggestion during trying times. Thank you! :-)

P.S. For the record, my husband would separate from me and throw my butt into jail, too, if the situation was reversed, and I harmed my kids.

Melissa McClintock

One thing that helps me is humming. I am working at "having a settled heart". I heard from a sermon on the radio, about humming. I find out now that it helps. It doesn't even have to be a praise song! OH, and if I were in your shoes I would never divorce for any reason either. But my ex abused my son so bad he had surgery for a burst bladder, and he is so dangerous that he can't see our daughter until she is 18. I divorced him after a year of the reconciliation process, of which he did NOTHING. I do believe the Lord forgave me, especially for marrying him against church counsel in the first place! THAT is the key! Listen to those who care about you. Thanks for posting this, the Lord has been working on me in this area also, & it's encouraging to hear about your journey as well.

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