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Wouldn't God Want Me to Be Happy?

“I met my soul mate at 44. I am…having a very hard time deciding whether I should…spend the rest of my life with him or stay in my marriage….Wouldn’t God want me to be happy?”

My blogging buddy, Rina, of Into Still Waters, wrote a beautiful little post a while back called, I Didn’t Marry My Soul Mate. (It’s a two-minute read and lovely. I hope you’ll check it out.) In it, she praises the richness of two people loving each other and walking through life together despite the fact that they weren’t pressed out of the same cozy cookie cutter. And, even though she wrote the post back in February, recently she got a comment on it that she passed on to me to see if I’d like to have a go at responding to it. Here it is (with a few typos corrected):

This is a truly beautiful thing that is written. After I read it, I realized I wanted to ask you a question. Did you ever meet your soul mate? A lot of people never meet their soul mate till they die. So if they never felt these feelings how with someone special then they are not in the position to say that their husband is a better choice. I met my soul mate at 44. I am married and am having a very hard time deciding whether I should go back to see my soul mate and spend the rest of my life with him or stay in my marriage and keep the family happy but endure the pain of loosing my soul mate. What should I do? Wouldn’t God want me to be happy?

And here is my response:

Dear Friend,

Many people might expect me to start out talking to you about promises, and wedding vows, and how divorce will hurt your children (if you have any), and how it devastates society and isn’t good for you, and how you’ll actually be happier in the long run if you stay with your husband, etc. But instead, I’d like to talk to you about: steak.

See, I think the real heart of your question is not the part about your soul mate. I think the real heart of your question comes at the end where you ask, “Wouldn’t God want me to be happy?” I think the fact that you apply that question to a situation in which you are contemplating leaving your husband for another man demonstrates that you’ve been fed lies in two critical areas: what God wants, and what will make you happy.

I’d like to do my very best to tell you the truth about these two things because if you have a handle on them, the answers to your other questions should fall into place.

Let’s take these backwards and start with what will make you happy. The deep gravitational pull of your soul to your soul mate is an ancient one, commonly called desire. I’m guessing it’s probably the case that you long for this man the way a runner longs for water on an August afternoon. It’s a deep, almost visceral need to be refreshed, and quenched, and satisfied. But what you may not realize is that what you are feeling is a hunger.

Which brings me to steak. What could steak possibly have to do with you and your soul mate? Well, all human hungers work, not on the basis of satisfaction, but on satiation. We can’t actually make the hunger go away permanently. We can only satiate it for a little while. I love steak, especially with a nice cream horseradish sauce, maybe with some fresh dill, like they have at Outback, with a potato, and some salad, and a Coke. Yum. That’s my idea of a fabulous meal. And there are times when I’m hungry, really, really hungry, and I get this perfect steak, and I savor and devour the whole thing, and it’s incredible and perfect, and I love it, and I go home from the restaurant really happy. But you know what? In the morning, I’m in the kitchen scrounging up some eggs. Because I got hungry again.

We always get hungry again.

Proverbs tells us, “the eyes of man are never satisfied” (Proverbs 27:20). Everything in this life from steak to romance satiates but never satisfies. You could run off with your soul mate and you might feel wonderful for a little while, months, even years, but one day you will feel that emptiness again. All you have built with your husband has left you empty. And all that you could build with your soul mate will leave you empty in the end as well.

There is only one thing that takes the ache away, only one thing that fills the emptiness, only one thing that truly satisfies, and that is God.

There was a woman in the Bible who went chasing around from man to man, seeking satisfaction without success. She was on her sixth try when she met Jesus by a well, and He offered to quench her thirst forever.

Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. –John 4:13-14

As temporarily happy as being with your soul mate might make you, it will not make you permanently happy. The only thing that will truly make you happy is God.

Now there might be some folks out there who are saying, “I’ve tried this religion stuff, and it does NOT make me happy. It’s ridiculous that you’re saying God is the ultimate source of happiness.” Ah, but if you don’t actually know Him, no amount of religious behavior will bring you close to Him.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, walked this earth preaching a message, telling people the way to know God and to be perfectly satisfied in Him. The trouble is, many people have no idea what that message actually was and misconceptions abound. Those people think they know Jesus and His message, and they still feel hungry all the time, so they look elsewhere. But in reality, what they thought was Jesus’ message was wrong. And they actually have no idea what it means to follow Christ.

Jesus message, His Gospel, His “Good News” that He had to share with the world, was the Gospel of the Kingdom. He said, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). We need to “repent,” turn around, stop going our own way, because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. A kingdom is a place where people are under the authority of a King. Think about this. Why do I go to the store and spend money with “The United States of America” stamped on it? Why do I pay taxes to the government of the United States? Why am I responsible to obey the laws this government makes? One answer is that I live here, on this land. But why doesn’t my money list the local Native American tribe? Why am I not paying taxes to the Potawatomi and obeying their laws? Because they were conquered. They are not in authority anymore. The thing that determines what kingdom you’re living in is whose authority you are under.

So, if you are not under God’s authority, are you part of His Kingdom? And if you’re not part of His Kingdom, do you have any hope of understanding “what God wants,” of being close to Him, and of finding the ultimate satisfaction your heart is seeking? No, you don’t. Anyone who is outside of God’s kingdom will spend his life going from steak to steak, man to man, human hope to human hope, getting satiated, but never satisfied, and always getting hungry again.

The question everyone has to answer is this: are you truly under God’s authority, or are you living your life apart from His rule? He said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16). Have you ever told a lie, no matter how small? He said, “Honour thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). Have you ever complained to your friends about what idiots your parents are? He said, “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15), and maybe you’ve never stolen anything “big,” but did you ever take a pen from the office or put pirated music on your iPod?

The fact is, we’re all born outside of God’s kingdom. None of us is capable of obeying God all the time. The Bible calls this sin, and every one of us is guilty of it.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God –Romans 3:23

And there’s even worse news.

For the wages of sin is death –Romans 6:23

Sin leads to death. It destroys us. We’re all dying men, trying to medicate ourselves with steak, and romance, and the love of soul mates while our bodies slip slowly into decay and finally fail us entirely.

And there’s even worse news yet! That God we’ve disobeyed, the God whose kingdom we could not be part of because of our sin, that God will judge us after our death. We will give account for every lie, every complaint, every stolen pen and broken marriage. We will be found guilty and condemned.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works… And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. –Revelation 20:12, 13, 15

But there is some good news in all this. God, through Jesus, has made a way for us to have our sins forgiven and removed forever, a way for us to come under His authority and become a people capable of obeying Him, a way for us to be part of His kingdom. When Jesus died on the cross, He took the penalty for our sins.

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. –Colossians 2:13-14

When we put our faith in Jesus and accept His offer of pardon, we become new creatures. Jesus called it being “born again,” and without it we cannot know Him or truly experience Him because we cannot see His kingdom.

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God. –John 3:3

And what about you, dear friend? Are you part of God’s kingdom? Are you living a life fully submitted to God’s authority? Let’s look at a passage from the Bible:

And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. –1 Corinthians 7:10,11

One of the Lord’s commands is that wives don’t leave their husbands. There’s a loophole there, probably for wives’ protection in situations of abuse, that allows them to just remove themselves physically from the situation, but they don’t get to have a new man. If a departed wife wants a man, she has to go back to her husband.

Suppose I was hungry for a steak, but the only way for me to get a steak would be to steal it. God has said, “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15). In light of what I’ve just shared with you, would it make sense for me to contemplate stealing the steak by asking the question, “Wouldn’t God want me to be happy?” The steak is a temporary happiness, a satiation, not a satisfaction of my longing, and in order to get it, I must put myself outside of God’s authority and separate myself from the only Source of lasting happiness: God. Therefore, stealing the steak is both not something that God wants me to do and not something that will ultimately make me happy.

And so it is with you.

Being with your soul mate will satiate, but not satisfy you, and in order to get it, you will have to disobey God’s command to wives not to leave their husbands, thereby putting yourself outside of God’s authority and separating yourself from the only Source of lasting happiness: God Himself. Leaving your husband for your soul mate is both not something that God wants you to do and not something that will ultimately make you happy.

I plead with you to consider that the only way to understand what God wants and to know Him, the only source of true happiness and satisfaction in the universe, is to be born again. Anything else we chase, from steaks to soul mates, will merely satiate us for a little while on our way to death.

25 comments to Wouldn’t God Want Me to Be Happy?

  • This is such a great answer. You did a wonderful job. I pray that she reads the whole thing and has an open heart to hear.

    If we aren’t looking for a soul mate we are looking for peace and quiet, or pats on the back, or children. Whatever it is, your article hits the spot. Our satisfaction is in Jesus.

  • The heart is deceitful above all things…..Jer 17:9

    Well written Andrea. We must fall in love with Jesus and then our marriages can be glorious!

  • God bless you for taking the time to write this. Very beautifully done, and no small task for a busy mom of four–spoken by another busy mom of four. :)

    Evangelism is definitely one of your spiritual gifts!

  • Sharon

    Thank you for taking the time to respond in such a godly way, and for sharing it with us. This was an encouragement and great reminder for me–God is the only one who truly satisfies!

  • Adele

    You present a powerful and moving argument that is very well-articulated, as usual.

    I have some issues with the “I Didn’t Marry My Soul Mate” post and the comparison of a soul mate to a steak though. I *did* marry my soul mate, and based on the way you write about your husband, I think you did too. I agree with you that the commenter is confused about what will make her happy, but in this case I think she is also confused about what a soulmate is. A soulmate is not someone who wants all the same things you do and thinks exactly like you. It’s also not someone who “likes to cuddle” or some romance movie cliche of the ideal man. It’s certainly not someone you physically lust after at first sight. A soul mate is just that – the mate of your soul: the one person who completes you, whose strengths complement your weaknesses, who fits with you like two puzzle pieces fit together, the person with whom it is infinitely more natural to be together than separate.
    I assume you believe that your husband is the person God has selected for you. I think that in itself is another definition for soul mate: the person God intends for me to be with.
    It makes me very sad when people talk about staying with their husband rather than being with their soulmate, because it indicates to me that either they actually did marry the wrong person, or (more likely) they are with their soulmate and don’t even realize or appreciate that.

  • That was well done. That principle applies to so much in life, not just marriage (although that is a huge topic in connection with this). We need to realize that God’s top priority for us is righteousness… not temporary pleasure.

    Thanks for this!

  • I had some thoughts in regards to what Adele shared.

    I would have described my husband as my soul mate for the first seven years of marriage. When multiple children came along and we began raising them without extended family around, fatigue set in for both of us. We have four children. Our oldest is now 8.5 and our youngest is 20 months. He works evenings and goes to school, so there is little couple time.

    I am certain that when things aren’t so intense, I will once again feel that my husband is my soul mate. In the meantime, I keep in mind that I am as much a sinner as he is, giving him as much to contend with in our marriage as he gives me.

    When things are hard for whatever reason, that is when we must adhere tightly to our commitment to God to stay married. And with that, stay humble and open to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

    To everything there is a season, and I think that includes having a soulmate. It may be very different for couples who have a lot of family around to allow them “dates” or breathers.

    I would hate for other women (couples) out there battling fatigue to feel that they married the wrong person, as though they weren’t listening to God when they got engaged and married.

  • Adele,

    When I wrote the post “I didn’t marry my soul mate” I used the term “soul mate” loosely to define the term the way American culture has come to define it (i.e.: “the romance movie cliche of the ideal man.”) It might be interesting to write a post some day on the term “soul mate.” You write that it’s “someone who completes you, whose strengths compliment your weaknesses, the person with whom it’s more natural to be together than separate.” I don’t disagree with you, and if these are the terms that define “soul mate,” I think it’s safe to say that people of the same sex can also be defined as “soul mates.” I think therein lies one of the biggest deceptions surrounding the issue of “finding a soul mate.” American Culture has romanticized the concept of “soul mate,” going so far as project that each person has only ONE soul mate, and everything in our lives will just naturally fall into place once we find that “special someone.” And that if I don’t find that person, or if, God forbid, I find him when I’m already married to someone else, them I’m somehow going to go through the rest of my life lacking some vital fulfillment, never obtaining what “should have been.”
    And what if the man God has chosen for me ISN’T the person who “fits me like the other piece of the puzzle?” What if he isn’t the person with whom I can share everything, who understands me, with whom it’s “more natural to be with than without?” What if my marriage is miserable? “What if God designed marriage to make us holy, more than to make us happy?” (Gary Thomas.)
    When I answered this woman’s question in a private email (private because she asked some very personal questions) I wrote:

    Does God want me to be happy? I’ll answer that this way: God wants me to be blessed. I married a man with whom I have a holy history. I married a man to whom I made a vow before God to love and to cherish and there is no relationship I have with anyone else that will ever be as sacred as the one I have with him. Including my relationship with my “soul mate.” Nothing and no one will ever bless my life more than living inside the will of God, and God’s will for me is my marriage.

  • Amen to your post, Rina. God’s plan is our sanctification, and in that we will find JOY! “Happiness” is a word that is truly of this world. When seeking to obey the Lord with our whole hearts we will be filled up to overflowing with Joy, and Joy is something we can have even in our sorrows.

    Thanks for sharing with us (even the ones who got here accidentally and now love to read it all!)

  • Great answer and great Gospel message. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a soul mate. I’m my own person, and God is my soul mate. My husband is a good friend, but I can not expect him to do things that only God can do. I enjoy people, and there are those with whom I have more fellowship with than others, but truly our fellowship is with the father, and his son, Jesus Christ. As far as the young lady who is confused about whether to go or stay, deception is what she is under. These infatuations die out in 18 months.

  • L.

    Secular perspective:

    I’m not sure I even believe in the concept of a “soul mate,” since no one is either completely perfect nor completely imperfect for anyone else.

    But my most measures, I didn’t marry my “soul mate,” either.

    I married someone who doesn’t share my race, culture, native language, religion, or preferred country of residence. I loved him (still do!), but I had vast misgivings that our situation would work out, in the long run.

    I am living proof that two people who are totally wrong for each other can work to make it right.

  • Adele

    In response to Christine:

    I hope I did not give the impression that my marriage is always perfect or easy. It certainly is not! I also went through a time right after my child was born when my husband and I were both chronically sleep-deprived and we had no extended family around whatsoever and very little support system at all. We argued a lot and there were times when I felt trapped and I will admit thoughts of divorce actually crossed my mind. I never seriously considered divorce though, and I believe part of the reason is that my husband is my soulmate. Even when I was miserable and it seemed that all I could see of my husband was his flaws, something deep inside me, my soul if you will, knew that we were connected and belonged together. If I had not had that to hang onto – that absolute certainty at a level beyond rational conscious knowledge that I was with the right man for me – I think it would have been much harder to stay committed to my marriage, if not impossible.

    Adele

  • Adele

    In response to Rina:

    I am not Christian myself, but I love Mrs. P’s blog and, usually, I find I can relate to the perspective very well – better than that of many secular blogs I have read. And though I am not Christian, I do consider the vows I made on my wedding day to be sacred and I consider my relationship with my husband to be holy.

    From that perspective, this is the part of your comment I just cannot get my mind around:

    “And what if the man God has chosen for me ISN’T the person who “fits me like the other piece of the puzzle?” What if he isn’t the person with whom I can share everything, who understands me, with whom it’s “more natural to be with than without?””

    My marriage isn’t something that just happened to me without my consent. It’s something I chose. I take vows very seriously and I made the promise to love and be faithful to my husband with every expectation of keeping that vow for the rest of my life. There was no part of me, not the tiniest little bit, that was thinking “this might not work out” or even worse, “If this turns out to be a mistake I can always get a divorce.” For me, there is no way I could possibly have committed myself so completely to a person who *wasn’t* my soul mate. I would not have made that vow if I was not 100% sure of my ability to keep it, and for me, that requires that I believed I was marrying the man who was “the other piece of the puzzle”, the man with whom “it’s more natural to be with than without.” Furthermore, I think believing this is true goes a long way to helping it be true and stay true.

    So this talk about choosing husband over soulmate does make me sad, because I do think the people involved are missing out. I’m not saying people should forget their vows and abandon their marriage to be with their soulmate. I don’t think that would ever work – I don’t think this person they think is their soulmate really is. But being married to your soulmate is such an unbelievable blessing, I think those who are not are lacking something. Maybe not “vital fulfillment”, but definitely something wonderful and important and not just “steak”. Rather than try to encourage the idea that finding a soulmate is trivial or impossible, I think we would do better to say don’t get married until you are sure. Marrying your soulmate is not enough in itself to make a marriage work, but without it a marriage is so much harder. And finally, if you simply do not marry someone who is not your soulmate, then the whole issue of what to do if your soulmate comes along after you are married becomes a moot point.

  • I didn’t marry my soul mate… but as we experience life together, growing and learning, he is BECOMING my soul mate, and I pray that I’m becoming his. About 6 weeks into marriage we had the “who are you, really?” argument and made the committment that leaving was never going to be an option. It was then — not when we first met, not when we were dating, not even on our wedding day — that we gained the freedom to really be ourselves and begin exploring each other’s souls. It’s a lifelong journey and I’m only at the beginning, but when you make the decision that there is no “out,” you truely can begin becoming authentic soulmates.

  • Mrs Tumbas

    Mrs Parunak you really are gifted. The analogy fit perfectly. As a fundamentalist, we believe God has a reasoning for everything, Romans 8:28. My dad told me a long time ago he feels he didnt marry the “one” but when I look at the chain reaction that started with their union, I cant but help feel it was God’s will.

  • Adele,

    I understand your position completely and agree with you – marriage isn’t something that just “happens” to us, and I agree that we should wait until we’re sure about the person we’re considering spending our lives with before we get married. Unfortunately, this doesn’t change the fact that there ARE some marriages in which two seemingly incompatible people have come together. Getting married and then realizing, years down the road, that we’re waking up to a stranger each morning is, unfortunately, all too common in our romantically-minded society. I don’t believe that finding your soul mate is “trivial” or “impossible” but I do seek to address the concerns of those who haven’t married the person whom they consider to be their “soul mate.” Where does that leave them? ESPECIALLY if they find the person they consider to be their “soul mate” AFTER they’re already married to the “wrong” person?

    I love what Jenny P had to say on this issue – the person you married can BECOME your soul mate, but as she mentioned, it requires making the commitment to stay “no matter what” for two seemingly incompatible people to truly become “soul mates.”

    As a culture, we’ve bought into the idea that there is only one “soul mate” out there for everyone. We’ve bought into “the supposition that God has somewhere out there that one person exactly right for each of us to find and marry. Hence widespread and heightened anxiety that ‘I might be making a mistake,’ for well you might if there is only a single person genuinely fit for you in a world of several million. This is searching for a unique needle in a haystack full of needles” (1). We take no account to the idea that a person can BECOME our “soul mate,” with effort and commitment. Even worse is the lie that a marriage is somehow “less than” if we haven’t married our “soul mate.”

    But what if marriage isn’t about finding our soul mate in the first place? I don’t disagree that finding and marrying your soul mate is a wonderful thing, but is this what marriage should be built on? C.S. Lewis, in his book The Screwtape Letters, writes from the perspective of a demon ridiculing our culture’s obsession with romanticism. The demon gloats: “Humans who have not the gift of [sexual abstinence] can be deterred from seeking marriage as a solution because they do not find themselves ‘in love,’ and, thanks to us, the idea of marrying with any other motive seems to them low and cynical. Yes, they think that. They regard the intention of loyalty to a partnership for mutual help, for the preservation of chastity, and for the transmission of life, as something lower than a storm of emotion.”

    In his book, The Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas writes: “What if God didn’t design marriage to be “easier”? What if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness, our comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”

    He goes on to write: “marriage is one of many live situations that help me to draw my sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment from God. [My wife] can’t make me happy, not in an ultimate sense… We need to remind ourselves of the ridiculousness of looking for something from other humans that only God can provide…. The first purpose in marriage- beyond happiness, sexual expression, the bearing of children, companionship, mutual care and provision, or anything else – is to please God. The challenge, of course, is that it is utterly selfless living; rather than asking, “what will make me happy?’ we are told that we must ask, ‘what will make God happy?’ [Paul writes]: ‘those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again’ (2 cor 5:15)… Happiness may well be beyond [us] but spiritual maturity isn’t – and I value character far above my emotional disposition.”

    “What God has joined together let no man separate” (Mark 10:9).

    (1) Why Christians Have Lousy Sex Lives http://www.highlandsministriesonline.org/articles/lousySexLives.php

  • OK, I’m Jewish so I skipped all the references to Christian sources in this post, but I do agree with the fundamental idea that nothing on this earth, in and as of itself, is able to quench our spiritual thirst and hunger. We have a higher yearning, which is for God, and nothing else can take His place.

    In our religion we do have a concept of a soul mate, but it’s certainly not the romanticized wishy-washy Western culture type of soul mate. And once you are married, you are to believe that your husband is indeed your soul mate, brought to you by God (obviously I’m not talking about extreme situations such as abuse, when divorce is allowed).

  • Allie

    Mrs Anna T, I was interested to hear a Jewish perspective. Would you be willing to tell us more about what you wrote at the end about “extreme situations such as abuse, when divorce is allowed”? How do you reconcile that with your belief that spouses are brought together by God? Do you believe that He makes mistakes in creating those marriages where there is abuse, and that the people therefore have the right to overrule His decision and get a divorce?

    Thanks in advance if you have time to answer!!

  • Allie, God surely does NOT make a mistake when he brings a husband and wife together. It is still possible, however, for us human beings to mess things up to a point of no repair. A wife is not required to suffer a life of abuse with a spouse who is unwilling to repent. It doesn’t mean divorce is an easy option as it’s often seen these days. Our belief is that it’s literally ripping a soul in two, and though it’s possible to remarry, healing is very, very hard.

    I once read a wonderful analogy saying divorce should be like amputating a limb – you wouldn’t do it if your limb was ugly or maimed or causing you discomfort. You would only resort to that if co-existing with your limb was literally incompatible.

  • Erika

    I like this post. however, i do have a question. If a wife is getting physically abused, she can divorce him but cannot remarry?? Really?? I grew up catholic, and the only time we were told divorce was ok if is someone (either party)was abusive. They could get re-married with an anullment. Why are they not allowed to re-marry if the partner was at fault?

  • Erika,

    Abuse is a horrible, evil act that separates the perpetrator from God. However, it does not nullify the marriage covenant. There is no verse in the whole Bible that ever even suggests this as an “out.” A woman certainly can and should protect herself by removing herself physically from the situation, but she may not remarry. The Bible is clear on this with no exceptions and no concern over who is at fault.

    And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. –1 Corinthians 7:10-11

  • Maria

    @Erika: That last answer given was not only judgmental but also simplistic, inaccurate and a complete disservice. The Bible teaches that Jesus says that a marriage cannot be dissolved save for the cause of fornication. It also says that if the unbelieving depart, let them depart, a person is not bound under such circumstances. So it can be argued that a re-marriage is acceptable.

    However, since you mention the fact you are Roman Catholic. Here is the facts on that issue. An annulment aka a Decree of Nullity is not merely a “Catholic divorce” that requires grounds in the same as a secular “fault” divorce might. Whether a marriage was “abusive” or not is immaterial as far as the Roman Catholic Church is concerned. Going through the annulment process through a tribunal is done so that it can be determined whehter or not a marrige had a sacramental bond. If it’s determined there was no marriage to begin with, that means no marriage bond existed to begin with so it was not a true marriage to start with. So, in that case, there’s no need for a “remarriage.” If you secure an annulment and are allowed to marry, the state will consider it a 2d marriage, however the Church will consider it your first and ONLY marriage. Mind you, there are some who do get annulments but who are still not permitted to get married. The reasons for that can be varied. Again, this is something you really need to discuss with either your priest or someone in the Church that is versed in canon law rather than going online to discuss with people who don’t understand Roman Catholic Christianity and the Church’s teachings on marriage and divorce.

  • Maria,

    Thank you for your comment. The reason that I did not discuss the passages you brought up (1 Corinthians 7:15, and Matthew 5:32 and 19:9) is that they have nothing to do with spousal abuse, which was the topic of Erika’s question.

  • [...] my spouse despite watching and reading romance.  But it was a contentment that involved (to borrow an analogy from Mrs. P), looking over at the plate next to me, filled with steak and potatoes, and being resigned to my [...]

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