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Topic : 06/22 Nasty Breakups

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Created on : Friday, December 02, 2005, 03:43:10 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 12/05/05) Breaking up is hard to do -- and it's even worse when it destroys the entire family. When Pat announced he was seeking an annulment after 31 years of marriage, his three daughters felt betrayed. Jennifer and Kellie are doing their best to accept what's happened and repair the relationship with their father and his new wife, but their sister, Mynde, says her father is "dead" to her. Can this fractured family find a way to come back together? Plus, Mary Anne lost count of how many lies her husband, Lyle, told her, and after nine years of marriage, she kicked him out. Now Lyle says he's a changed man. Can he be believed and should she take him back? Share your thoughts.

 

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December 5, 2005, 7:45 am CST

Annulment

Hello Dr. Phil, 

  

I am not sure that the daughter really understands what an annulment in the Catholic Church really is.  An annulment means that the Sacramental aspect of the marriage was not valid.  It does not mean that the marriage never took place.  You can go and look at the records in the town hall.  You can look at wedding pictures, and you can look at possible children which derived from the marriage.  All of these prove that the marriage indeed took place.  The annulment says that at the time of the ceremony, the Sacramental aspect was not valid.  Only the tribunal can know the aspects which declared the marriage null, but it does not, in any way shape or form, deny the reality of the marriage.  The children are absolutley not bastards by any standards.  This is one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Catholic church.  I pray that this family can find some peace going forward from this show. 

Deacon Steve 

 
December 5, 2005, 7:52 am CST

Can understand in a roundabout way!

 After only 6 years of marraige, my daughter is going thru pure hell with her husband.  He is an alcoholic, and the blame gets put all on her.  In the meantime; they have 2 small children ages 5 & 3 that do not even BEGIN to understand what is going on.  Alot of times after the 5 year old comes home from spending time with daddy, she is miserable to her mom-will not listen, is mean to her, an down right horrible.  She even so much as came out and told her that it was her fault daddy left-apparently when she goes to visit, there is talk that it is because of her mom that her dad left.  He ws very mentally and emtionally abusive to my daughter; and he is court ordered to Domestic Violence classes.  He is playing the game with them to get thru the classes but when it comes down to them being togethter he is still the same way-he still puts her down, and critizies everything she does; so nothing has really changed.
My feeling is that she does not take him back.  They may change for a short period of time, but the old ways are so engraved into their heads, that they really are not going to change.  They say they want to, and in their own way, sometimes in some cases, I think they want to-but statistics show that more times than not, they really don't.  Just like I told my daughter, and that was after she gave her husband 2 chances after he was in jail 2 times!!!
I personally think she needs to cut her loses and move on, find a man that really cares about her and forget about her husband; an her mother.  Her mother has also caused her mother an enormose amount of pain over the years, and it doesn't sound like she is willing to stop now!  Just by her actions of late!!  Good luck to you.
Helen
hchilds@stny.rr.com
 
December 5, 2005, 7:58 am CST

No misunderstanding...

Quote From: dnsteve

Hello Dr. Phil, 

  

I am not sure that the daughter really understands what an annulment in the Catholic Church really is.  An annulment means that the Sacramental aspect of the marriage was not valid.  It does not mean that the marriage never took place.  You can go and look at the records in the town hall.  You can look at wedding pictures, and you can look at possible children which derived from the marriage.  All of these prove that the marriage indeed took place.  The annulment says that at the time of the ceremony, the Sacramental aspect was not valid.  Only the tribunal can know the aspects which declared the marriage null, but it does not, in any way shape or form, deny the reality of the marriage.  The children are absolutley not bastards by any standards.  This is one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Catholic church.  I pray that this family can find some peace going forward from this show. 

Deacon Steve 

I don't think the daughter misunderstands, I think to her the Sacramental part of the marriage IS the marriage.  I'll bet she would have reacted better is the only action was a legal divorce.  This guy can't have it both ways...
 
December 5, 2005, 9:02 am CST

Marriage Annulment

Quote From: jlangel

There is a very big difference between a legal annulment and an invalidation of marriage within the Catholic faith. One has nothing to do with the other and consequently has nothing to do with the children of that marriage.  

  

It is very difficult to obtain an invalidation (several years in most cases) in the Catholic Church. It is not taken lightly and must prove certain points that have only to do with the "intention" of the marriage. It also has to be proven that you have made every effort to make the marriage work and that must be supported by witnesses to the marriage. At no time does it have anything at all to do with the love and devotion a parent feels for their children. Marriage is a sacrament in The Church, but one that can not be fullfilled by only one partner. You have to have the cooperation of two people and that is not always possible. Adult children who love their parents would want them to be able to receive the sacraments and continue practicing their faith. These "children" seem to be centered on themselves more than the love of God and family. 

it's very hard to receive an annulment in the Catholic Church. Marriage is a sacrament as well as a legal contract. The Church, since you can't re-marry & still receive the sacraments, has for centuries used the vehicle of annulment. Reasons for an annulment are varied - but if one party entered into the marriage w/o the right intentions, then usually an annulment is granted. If you were pregnant & married simply because it was "the right thing", if you told your spouse you would have children & then decided not to, if you felt guilty about someone yet still married them. These are a few examples of a marriage based on bad decisions and a bad foundation. Annulment has nothing to do with the children. It takes a lot of writing and soul searching in the application process. You're asked to have several people who knew you and your spouse while you were married answer, in writing, a series of questions about their observations of the marriage. If only one person applies for it the other spouse has an opportunity to answer & analyze the same questions as the petitioning spouse. It takes a lot of time & work to complete this process. I hope Pat's daughters, through time & prayer can come to grips with this situation.
 
December 5, 2005, 9:11 am CST

re: Nasty Breakups

Quote From: pad1gett

 Since I don't know the details of this breakup, I will withhold comment except to say  I wish people would try harder to repair damaged marriages instead of selfishly  ending them  without trying all avenues. I was told when I married that at 16, you have made your bed.  Now lie in it and I have for 53 years without regret. There were times it would have been easier to just  say good-bye and leave but  we knew we saw something in each other and neither of us  strayed outside marriage when things got tough.  In fact, I can't remember when things weren't tough but we muddled through  and our family was intact and we have earned the happiness we have found.  I would encourage the daughters to go forward.  It never helps to hold a grudge.  Seek  help in  understanding the why in this case.
Aunita Padgett Orlando Florida

I agree you should try to work things out before this one big step.  As Dr. Phil says, you have to earn your way out.   But how much is one supposed to take before you decide there isn't enough to work on or with? 

  

I was widowed at 35.  At 40, I met my current boyfriend and we've been living together for 7 years, engaged for 4+.   I suppose we've always felt something was not quite right, or at least I have, because the "M" word has not been mentioned more than four or five times since our engagement.  He has been verbally abusive throughout our relationship.  He refuses to engage in any way with my grown daughter and her family.   He recently vented his frustration at my lack of affection toward him.  I told him I hadn't felt like he had any desire for me and he confessed that he isn't attracted to me any more (but thinks it's maybe a "7 year itch").  We agreed to try and mend our relationship but he still admitted that even if things get better, he's still not sure he'll be satisfied.  He has a way of making all our problems about me and I need to somehow be fixed.  Thinking back, there have been signals over the past three or so years that the attraction is waning.  I know in my heart that even if we get "through" this period, it will again deteriorate, as has been the cycle.   I am truly unhappy and hurt by his rejection of me and find it isn't possible to feel anything for him.  I love him, but not in a romantic way any more.  I could see us just being friends, but I think I deserve more from a marriage.   

 
December 5, 2005, 9:24 am CST

what ever happened

What ever happened to staying married? For better or for worse? I've heard say that if Divorce was a virus then there would be an epidemic? I do understand that a person can take so much, and they have to leave , but why can't we communicate before that reaches that point anymore? 
 
December 5, 2005, 9:37 am CST

12/05 Nasty Breakups

Quote From: vaughn15

Sometimes when our plate is full, it doesn't seem it can be much worse but you know otherwise.  One thing for sure, this is your parents that are making all the changes, for the life of me if a couple stay married for 50 years, it is hard to believe that it could have been all bad or they wouldn't have hung it so long.  Were they happy most of this time or just putting on a facade for their children and themselves.  Sometimes people really are happier after divorcing.  As to your Mother marrying your FIL, that has absolute nothing to do with your relationship with your husband.  If anything, and especially if you have a good marriage, you need him more than ever.  You said "she was never there for me" which says a lot already of your relationship w/your mother.  Possibly she and your father weren't all that happy all along. 

  

Take care of yourself.  Let us know how you are doing. 

  

Grammy Jan (and happily married 2nd time for 27 years....lst time 20 years...lst husband died in accident) 

I have a friend that got married and awhile later her mother married her father in law.  She had some trouble with it more from other peoples reactions.  BUT she loves her husband and it's a good strong relationship.  50 years is such along time.  Thats more than most people make it.  You need your husband now to help you with this because he's just as much of it as you are maybe he needs you to.  Fix a nice dinner one night with candles and music and take a good look at what you have and then decide is your mother really worth giving up a marriage for.  She doesn't sound like it. 

  

divorced and looking for a special someone 

 
December 5, 2005, 9:46 am CST

Moving goalposts

Quote From: jlangel

There is a very big difference between a legal annulment and an invalidation of marriage within the Catholic faith. One has nothing to do with the other and consequently has nothing to do with the children of that marriage.  

  

It is very difficult to obtain an invalidation (several years in most cases) in the Catholic Church. It is not taken lightly and must prove certain points that have only to do with the "intention" of the marriage. It also has to be proven that you have made every effort to make the marriage work and that must be supported by witnesses to the marriage. At no time does it have anything at all to do with the love and devotion a parent feels for their children. Marriage is a sacrament in The Church, but one that can not be fullfilled by only one partner. You have to have the cooperation of two people and that is not always possible. Adult children who love their parents would want them to be able to receive the sacraments and continue practicing their faith. These "children" seem to be centered on themselves more than the love of God and family. 

Mynde was allowed to believe for 20+ years she was the product of a sacrementally adequate marriage.  She's entitled to be hurt and disappointed that her father now considers his marriage to her mother deficient in the spiritual sense from the outset.  Whilst that may not make her legally illegimate I'm not surprised she feels devalued as a daughter.  The annulment allows her father to behave in Church, a place which is obviously important to her, as if the marriage to her mother hadn't taken place. 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 
December 5, 2005, 10:06 am CST

another question

 I am currently married to a previously divorced catholic with kids.  My husband had been divorced for several years, after finding his wife in bed with his former friend, when we met.   However, he  had not yet gotten an annulment.  He told me he feared there would be reprecussions against his kids who were then attending catholic schools.   I told him that I thought he was wrong about that, but that he should talk to his priest.    When we began talking about marriage, I told him that if he really wanted to marry me, he needed to apply for an annulment.   I am protestant, but I told him that unless he was going to convert, he needed to follow the tenants of his religion or we would never have a happy marriage.   He agreed, but then found out it would take seven years to complete the process.   Because of my age, this would have mad ethe possibility of children extremely difficult or impossible.      We talked to a priest who told us that since the circumstances were very clear-cut (undisputed infidelity),  we could marry before the annulment was complete and then get the marriage blessed afterward and that that would be the same as getting remarried within the church.     

  

Later I found out that he had not actually applied for an annulment at all.   I was devastated.  I feel guilty that I did not ask for more firm proof earlier.  My husband says it should not matter to me since I am not  Roman Catholic, but  I  feel it shows a lack of commitment and even respect on teh part of my  husband.  I feel  this has placed a shadow over our entire marriage.    My husband also lied about finances.   Right now, I  almost feel that we don't have a marriage, except that we do have a child together.   He did not ask for any of this.     

  

I don't mean to sound as if I am "just a victim".   In retrospect, there were many signs that I just did not want to see.  I LET myself be blinded.  Also, there are always 2 sides to every story.  I cannot possible cover it all in this tiny space.     However, it is our son and the stepkids are all paying the price.      

  

I don't know where to go from here.   Part of me says that I should just leave and get a divorce,  but that won't really fix the religious issues.  Maybe the only real fix is to move on and seek forgiveness as dictated by my faith.   My concern is largely what is best for my son.    Leaving will be very difficult financially.   Because we live in a very small town where my husband has many connections, I fear that I might not be able to retain custody of my son.    My husband had to give up physical custody of his other two.  It hurt him very deeply.   I know he would fight harder this time.    And I don't have a lot of resources. 

  

Ultimately, I am not sure that divorce is even the answer.    It is easy to  just point a finger any ideas? 

 
December 5, 2005, 10:14 am CST

The Oxygen Mask Theory

Quote From: hazelann2

What ever happened to staying married? For better or for worse? I've heard say that if Divorce was a virus then there would be an epidemic? I do understand that a person can take so much, and they have to leave , but why can't we communicate before that reaches that point anymore? 
When two people enter a marriage, neither knows what events lie ahead.  There are circumstances which occur that result in divorce.  In my opinion a mate's refusal to communicate is the NUMBER ONE KILLER OF A MARRIAGE. To ignore those circumstances is to bury one's head in the sand only to pull it out years later and discover that life has gone on its merry way.  Divorce can be a blessed release and relief to both parties, not to mention the children.  I was previously married for seventeen years and my huband for twenty.  Both of us felt that we had failed miserably.  After my divorce both of my children told me that they felt relief; they'd known for years that their father and I were only "going throught the motions."  My husband's children told him that they had been waiting for this to happen for many years.  My husband and I have been married for twenty-three years.  Neither of us can imagine spending our lives with anyone else; we never knew what the word "soulmate" meant.  Now we do.  About the Oxygen Mask Theory...when the flight attendant directs the passengers to place the oxygen masks over their faces first, so then they can help the person sitting next to them, is a good analogy for life in general:  If we take care of ourselves, then we can take care of someone else; otherwise we can help no-one.
 
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