There have been a lot of posts about annulments lately and this is bothering me. Can someone please explain to me why annulments are good? Everyone on this board seems to be 110% supportive of annulments and congradulates people on annulments and that is not something I understand.
I understand how in certain circumstances they make sense, but I was raised to believe annulments are horrible. Even my very Catholic grandma, thinks it's better to get a divorce and not be able to take communion than to say that the marriage never happened. And this is the woman that convinced my grandpa (who can't hear the sermons anymore) that he needs to keep going to church because you go to get the sacrament.
My parents divorced when I was young and both are remarried. While, from what I've heard, they would have been granted an annulment, neither of them ever wanted that. My mom married for life, and although she is happily remarried, a part of her still loves my dad because she married for life. And you can't just say those 12 years of her life didn't happen.
My mom also knows someone who got a call saying her marriage had been annulled. Just that. Even though it was her marriage, they wouldn't tell her the reason her marriage was invalid. You may say she can now be happy and have a valid marriage like her ex-husband, but she doesn't want to. That first marriage was 100% valid in her eyes, so she can't remarry, even if the church says she can.
I think what really bothers me is that until yesterday, I had never heard of someone seeking an annulment that didn't get one. That is much too high a percentage of invalid marriages for me. I was raised to believe that when you marry, you actually get married and no one can take that away from you. That's why you don't get married on a whim and you do pre-marital counseling, because marriage is for life and it isn't easy to break. When you marry someone and consumate the marriage, you become one flesh. You can't invalidate that.
I don't want to make any of the women on this board who have gotten annulments feel bad or like I'm judging them. I don't know your situation. And I understand for some people it's very important to get remarried in the church. I just would like to prehaps hear the way annulments were described to other people, and why you think they are good. However, I don't want to hear, "Well, the church doesn't invalidate marriages unless they are invalid." I've seen that a lot but it isn't enough for me because I personally don't believe a marriage can be invalid unless one or both of the parties was unable to give consent, and I've seen marriages annulled when both people were fully capable of giving consent.