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I understood right from the beginning of my new life as a single person that, in order to be happy in a new relationship, I would have to be happy just being me and being single. At the same time, I was unaware of what makes a healthy marriage and very much in denial about our problems.
My attitude now is, “If it happens, it happens.” In the meantime, please accept that I am fine as a single person. It means that I love you and I love the institution of marriage. My marital problems went a lot deeper than most, but every marriage needs constant care.
The divorce rate is anywhere from 50 percent for first marriages to 80 percent for subsequent marriages.
Perhaps, as a result, more and more couples are choosing to live together without bothering to get married.
It is too easy for those who have never experienced the desperation and sorrow of a failed marriage to believe that “they could have done something to save it.” Let me assure you, the divorced Catholics I know (including myself) are spiritual, forgiving people who are committed to family and to the institution of marriage.
But there is a definite, although largely unconscious, attitude in the Church that the divorced are less spiritual, less committed to marriage and/or less forgiving than the long-term married.Perhaps we divorced Catholics are overly sensitive, but certain statements and inquiries are like rubbing salt into a very sore wound.I have been asked, “Did you try counseling or Retrouvaille? ” is another gem, to which I answer that forgiveness is not the same as a pardon.The Catholic Church’s response has been to get proactive about better preparing engaged couples before they marry.The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage has made strengthening Catholic marriages a top priority.