There is this little thing, in the Catholic Church. A rule not sanctioned by God nor Jesus, but man. A law that allows one to be vanished and another to be recognized. This little thing is known as an annulment.
For those of you unfamiliar with this little term, it is a way to denounce a marriage and it’s validity so a person can remarry in the Church. That is the short and sweet version. Although, for me and others, not so sweet. But let me back up…
Before the ink on my divorce paperwork had dried, my ex had already become engaged. Through much reflection, I have come to believe he was with this person during our marriage. Although I have no solid proof, there were times he acted out of the norm. An example…my ex was never one to put himself out there to help anyone, including his immediate family, unless he could benefit from it. Which is why I found it mystifying when he offered to pick up a so called work friend from the airport. When I questioned him, my ex made up some cockamamie story that this so called friend had gotten a ride to the airport but had nobody to drive him when he returned home. Another example, one time I was cleaning out the cubby hole in our dresser. I ended up finding a package of pills hidden behind some videos. I googled them to see what they were as I did not recognize them nor remembered my ex mentioning anything about them. I found out they were for erectile dysfunction and only available online. Back then, as I did not like confrontation, instead of asking my ex about them, I threw them away. It was not, until a few years later, when my ex has prostrate cancer surgery that I mentioned maybe he should try Cialis or Viagra to see if that would help. His answer? “I tried those and they don’t work.” Course by then, our sex live was nil. But maybe it was just mine, as I am not sure what his process was in trying out the pills…masturbation or sexual relations with someone else.
Anyway, I am trying not to be bitter and resentful. The truth is I am. Not only that, I am also extremely angry!! Friday, when I picked up my mail, I received a notice from the post office. This notice indicated the postman had tried to leave a letter, one requiring a signature as it was certified mail. I could not figure out for the life of me why someone or who that someone would be sending me a certified letter. Saturday, I arrived at the post office, picked it up and tore it open. It was a letter, from the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit informing me my ex was filling an annulment. Okay, no surprise. The man is engaged and he did give me a heads up with a text last fall. But here is what pissed me off. He has listed everyone in his family as witnesses to testify why the marriage should be null and void.
Excuse me as I reminisce again. Not only do I suspect my ex was unfaithful, I also have some very damaging information that could be used to not only tear his asshole wide open but could taint his reputation for the rest of his life. Now, I am not nor have I ever been a revengeful seeking person. I do not believe in an eye for an eye. Despite this, I am human. After reading this certified letter, my first thoughts were to take him down and laugh all the way as he fell straight to the hell I would inflict. Instead, I ended up driving away, screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs, crying and rationalizing it out.
I came to realize I am not angry at the divorce. Nor am I angry that my ex wishes to remarry and is seeking an annulment. I am angry at the fact he is like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Socially, he portrays an image of trust, integrity and ethics. He even goes to church every Sunday. Yet, behind closed doors, he is very vengeful, arrogant, verbally abusive, controlling, doesn’t take responsibility for any of his actions, lies, blames others to the point of telling a version of an incident one day then changing it the next just to make himself look good and holds the practice of attending church over other’s heads. I will never forget the day we had an argument. I ended up getting so worked up, I thought I would have a heart attack. When I looked at him, he was smirking. Unfortunately, he learned to be this way from his mother. And since he had no balls to stand up for himself, he never made the effort to improve his life, despite my requesting he see a therapist. (Well, he claimed he did after I kicked him out and filed for divorce.)
Here is the problem. I know, from past experience, the finger and the blame will be totally directed to me. I know his answers will be totally different from mine. In other words, he is so manipulative, I know I will end up looking like the bad guy. Believe me, it has happened before.
So what have I decided? Due to the choices I have made to change my life, since my divorce, I have decided to follow my heart, to stay on the path of integrity. For you see, I have two children, adults they may be, I need to be an example for. More importantly, I have to live with myself. And if I am talking the talk, I need to walk the walk as well.
I have made the decision not to have anything to do with the annulment. I don’t need the stress, nor the lies, nor the anger. My divorce is final. My life is moving forward for the good. And I know I would not be in the place of contentment and peace if I had stayed with my ex. For me, that is enough revenge. For I am deliriously happy. And I know no matter where he is, whom he is with or what occurs in his life, he will never be happy, but will always be seeking more. Another trait he picked up from his mother.
I have learned a lot about myself in these last two years. Most of all, I have learned in order to stay at peace, to stay content, to live with integrity, I need to forge a new path away from those things, I know ahead of time, that can contaminate the life I am living. And for those times that just show up without warning? I stay faithful in God, pray for His strength and remind myself if I die tomorrow, I do not want to be on my deathbed struggling with regret. Instead I wish to die peacefully, knowing I did the right thing.
This life I have fashioned is not easy. Sometimes I wish I could pursue revenge without feeling guilty afterward. But I can’t. And I won’t. I have made a conscious, although at times painful, choice to change from who I was during my marriage, which was someone I detested, to whom I am today, which is someone I love and adore.
In the end, I realize my marriage was over long before I filed for divorce. However, even though the Catholic Church may grant an annulment, they will never be able to annul the life I have built. As for my ex, I wish him…things I will keep to myself. When it is all said and done, I know the path I have chosen is what has brought me out of the darkness into a place where I can spread the light so others will be able arise from lives that are null and void into lives full of hope and love.